John Prine’s Family Announce ‘Picture Show’ Tribute Livestream June 11

On June 11th the John Prine’s family will celebrate the late beloved singer-songwriter’s legacy with the Picture Show a livestream tribute.

Produced by the Prine family and Oh Boy Records, the event will feature “musicians, actors, and friends sharing memories and songs.” The names of those participants, which will stream via Prine’s YouTube and Facebook pages — have, so far, not yet been revealed.

The event will also raise money for several charities including NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) and Alive, whose Grief Center is providing free counseling sessions to anyone in Middle Tennessee who has had a family member die of COVID-19.

Additional details will be shared soon.

How About? Sarah Jarosz’s New Album “World On The Ground”

Sarah Jarosz
Sarah Jarosz

With less than 3 weeks until ‘World On The Ground’ is released Sarah Jarosz has been busy on her social platforms offering fans 3 songs from the album and some media interviews including her tips on making sourdough bread.

So here’s everything I know about the new release from Sarah Jarosz.

The Title:
Sarah Jarosz’s new album is titled “World On The Ground.” It’s her first new album in four years.

Release Date:
“World On The Ground” is due out on June 5, is available to pre-order and pre-save via a number of platforms. Those who purchased the album, either on vinyl or CD, as well as some sweet bundles found at Jarosz’s online storefront.

Record Label:
Jarosz’s new album is on Rounder Records. This is her first release for the label.

Jarosz worked with John Leventhal (Rosanne Cash, Elvis Costello,) and the album was recorded in his Manhattan home studio. Jarosz credits Leventhal with helping inspire her new songwriting direction toward more storytelling.

The Album Cover:

Sarah Jarosz - "World On The Ground"
Sarah Jarosz – “World On The Ground”

Released Songs:
Jarosz has released three songs in the runup to the “World On The Ground” release. “Johnny,” “Orange and Blue,” and “Maggie” (hear them below.)

The Songs
“World On The Ground” will contain 10 songs. The songs released so far, and in as covered in interviews, take on more of a protagonist narrative form, Of the song “Maggie” Jarosz recalls it coming to her soon after attending her 10-year high school reunion in Wimberley, Texas,

“It’s is the only one that’s actually based on a real friend I’ve lost touch with…” Jarosz explains. “I was probably complaining about never being in one place, but she said, ‘That’s all I want.’ So the song is about her, but it’s also about the greater thing: it’s about having compassion for someone who doesn’t have the means to get out of their circumstances but still has the dreams.”

World On The Ground Tracklist:

Pay It No Mind
Orange and Blue
I’ll Be Gone
What Do I Do
Empty Square
Little Satchel

Pre-order “World On The Ground” now

Keep up with Sarah Jarosz:

Official Site

Listen Up! Gillian Welch Releases New Song For Mother’s Day

Gillian Welch debuts the song “Happy Mother’s Day” in celebration of the holiday. This release is on Acony Records, the independent record label she and partner David Rawlings founded in 2001, and comes from a newly rediscovered cache of demos and home recordings from the early 2000s. “We can’t always be with the ones we love, but that can’t stop us from saying ‘I love you,’” Gillian says. “I wrote this song one May when I was far away and couldn’t be with my mom on Mother’s Day. Then I called and sang it into her answering machine when I knew everybody’d be sitting down to eat.

Here is the original home demo for the song, recorded on a portable reel to reel.”

Listen to “Happy Mother’s Day” here.

John Paul White and Rosanne Cash Join Forces For “We’re All In This Together Now,” To Benefit Music Health Alliance

John Paul White and Rosanne Cash have joined forces on the new single “We’re All In This Together Now” to benefit the Nashville-based Music Health Alliance. The song is also available for purchase with all proceeds benefitting the Music Health Alliance, which today announced its partnership with the Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief project. Spotify will match donations to its partner organizations dollar-for-dollar up to a total Spotify contribution of $10 million, and the song can be streamed on Spotify.

Composite video image; credit Reid Long

Watch the Michael Kessler directed video for the poignant ballad below. Though the song wasn’t written during the coronavirus pandemic, the sentiment and video perfectly reflect our current quarantine resulting from COVID-19, and shows footage of people helping – from hospitals to the food banks – from around the world.

“John Paul and I have been friends for years, and early on we awkwardly tossed the idea of writing a song together, but we never got around to it,” explains Cash. “The last few years have been tough. I wanted to find some little corner of community, some instinct toward unity. It was hard to find, so I figured I’d have to write it. Last year, I wrote these lyrics and sent them to John Paul. He wrote this gorgeous melody very quickly. I was so moved. But the song didn’t fit on my last record, and it didn’t fit on his last record, so it sat there waiting for just the right moment. Which is now.”

White adds, “I don’t believe I’ve ever been a part of something that foretold things to come as vividly as this song, or something that would feel so relevant months after its completion. I loved the song, but for whatever reason it hadn’t yet seen the light of day. I had recorded a guitar/vocal of the song in my studio in Florence, Alabama. Once it dawned on me recently how prescient the song was, I asked Rosanne if she’d be willing to put her voice on it. She said, ‘I thought you’d never ask.’”

The Jayhawks Return With “XOXO” Out July 10

Jayhawks -  XOXO

Legendary Minneapolis pop-roots band The Jayhawks have announced their new album XOXO will release on July 10 via Sham/Thirty Tigers. Reportedly their most diverse and wide-ranging group of songs to date, XOXO marks a new era in collaboration, with songwriting and lead vocal contributions from all four longtime band members – Gary Louris, Marc Perlman, Karen Grotberg, and Tim O’Reagan. Along with the announcement, The Jayhawks have released a new video with Louris performing a stripped-down version of “Living In A Bubble”, a timely song of the current lockdown era that laments the problematic nature of our ratings, click=bait driven “news” environment.

“Living In A Bubble’ lyrically is a reaction to the 24-hour news cycle and how the media can fan the flames of fear if one lets it,” says Louris. “It is also a commentary about data collection, Big Brother, and our obsession with devices, while never being truly present in the here and now. Musically it is an homage to the great Harry Nilsson, and is driven by the amazing piano playing of Karen Grotberg.”

Recorded over two weeks holed up together at the secluded Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, MN, as well as at Flowers Studio, founded by their friend and Minneapolis music stalwart the late Ed Ackerson.

With XOXO The Jayhawks camaraderie is at the heart and soul of the 12 songs, bringing an injection of confidence and energy to The Jayhawks’ signature harmonies, infectious melodies, and masterful musicianship.

“It was time to open things up,” explains Louris. “The Jayhawks are a true band, one where everyone’s equal, and we wanted to make a record that really reflected that.” Elaborating on the process, Perlman says, “Some songs we molded together from scratch, but others had been fully written by one or the other of us. We didn’t worry too much about who penned what, because after all these years of playing together, everything we do just naturally comes out sounding like a Jayhawks song.”

Watch Out! Amy Black With The Blind Boys of Alabama – “I Have A Choice”

Amy Black With The Blind Boys of Alabama
The title of the new song by Singer-songwriter Amy Black is “I Have A Choice.”

A choice to do what? “To turn your back on hate and pride and clothe yourself with love and joy.”

Black explains, “I wrote this song because I wanted to remind myself that I always have a choice of who I’m going to be, how I’m going to act, and how I’m going to respond to whatever life throws my way. I was inspired when I thought of my mom and dad and many others who came before me. It’s encouraging to look at the choices they made, and are still making, to live in kindness and love. I can’t control what others do, I can’t even control my own mind, but I do get to control how I live.”

When Black wrote the song, she imagined one of her greatest influences, Mavis Staples, singing it (and she would still love to see that happen). But upon deciding to record it herself, she immediately knew who would be perfect to join the project — Blind Boys of Alabama. Black had opened a few shows for the fabled gospel act and had the chance to sing with them on stage. After a Washington D.C. show, she sang her song to Blind Boy Jimmy Carter in the green room and he exclaimed, “That sounds like a Blind Boys’ song!” It was all she needed to start the wheels in motion.

Once she secured fan funding for the project, Black enlisted Nashville producer and guitar maverick Joe McMahan to co-produce, engineer, mix and play guitar. She lined up a stellar group of Nashville musicians: Jimmy Matt Rolland on organ and piano (Todd Snider, Bobby Bare Junior), Robbie Crowell on bass (Midland, Jim Lauderdale, Deer Tick), and Josh Hunt on drums (Alison Krauss and Union Station). They weren’t in Memphis, but gospel was in the air.

Once the music was complete, Black met up with Blind Boys of Alabama while they were on tour with Marc Cohn in New England. They rendezvoused at the Wellspring Studio in Acton, Massachusetts, on an off day and recorded the song. The studio was just a few miles from where Black lived as a teen when her family relocated from Alabama to Massachusetts.

No stranger to studios, Black has released four albums in six years. After touring extensively in 2017, she returned to her current home of East Nashville and shifted focus (she now teaches mindfulness and yoga, in addition to playing music).

“After pushing so hard for years, I’m not in any rush to put out a new album. I’m allowing some space to see what’s next. With this song, I really feel like I have a message to share that’s helpful. I put it out there as a project and it got some great support so I moved ahead. It’s powerful to connect with how much choice we have at any given moment. I hope this song can help a few folks to find that – and continue to remind me!”

Hear the powerful song below.

Doc Watson and Gaither Carlton Live Recordings To Be Released This Spring

Doc Watson

Yes, the shiny new stuff is fun to look forward to. But we do well to remember the elders that paved the sonic highways leading to the music we still love today.

Doc Watson and Gaither Carlton are just such pioneering elders. Watson went on to become a legend in the late 50’s early 60s folk scene and his guitar style influenced luminaries as Bob Dylan to Ry Cooder and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. They were part of a wave that brought the austere aesthetic of the hills and plains to the coffee house youch hungry for something “real.”

On May 29 Smithsonian Folkways will give us a chance to hear what those caffeinated kids were experiencing. “Doc Watson and Gaither Carlton” is the title of the upcoming new album of old-time music produced from archival recordings consisting of largely unheard tapes that were recorded at Doc Watson’s two earliest concerts, presented in New York City’s Greenwich Village in 1962. Those shows were among the rare appearances Doc’s father-in-law, Appalachian fiddler Gaither Carlton, made outside of North Carolina. The instrumental pieces, including Gaither’s signature tune “Double File,” include intricate musical interactions developed through years of family music-making. On the songs and ballads, Doc’s instantly recognizable baritone voice is accompanied by his own guitar and Gaither’s fiddle, or by the traditional combination of fiddle and banjo. Shortly after these recordings were made, Doc Watson embarked on a career as one of America’s premier acoustic guitarists, earning the National Medal of Arts and eight Grammy Awards.

And we’re proud to announce this on Doc Watson’s birthday!

From the presser:

It’s hard to imagine a time when the brilliant guitar playing and Appalachian roots of Doc Watson weren’t a part of the American musical fabric. A famed artist in his day and a continuing influence on American music, Watson happened into the music industry much by accident, “discovered” by noted folklorist Ralph Rinzler in the early 1960s when he was mainly playing rockabilly tunes on the electric guitar near his home in tiny Deep Gap, North Carolina. Rinzler convinced Watson that audiences around the country were interested in the older music of Appalachia, and the nation soon fell in love with his heartfelt, powerful singing and his inimitable acoustic guitar playing. He inspired countless people to pick up the guitar and learn to flatpick the old melodies, much of this encouragement coming in person after performances. It was at the first of these shows in New York, really Watson’s first time headlining a show in the city (the previous time he’d played there he was one of two guitarists in Clarence Ashley’s band), that we get to hear this old music played by Watson and his fiddling father-in-law, Gaither Carlton. These live recordings from 1962 are to be released May 29, 2020, by Smithsonian Folkways as Doc Watson and Gaither Carlton on CD, digital, and vinyl. Most of these tracks have never been released before, and the recordings capture two masters at the height of their power, reveling in an audience that was there to listen, not just to drink and dance. It’s a moment where the rural Appalachian world of North Carolina came face to face with the urban New York world of young people desperate to learn folk music and to learn more about the Southern traditions they’d been discovering. These recordings show two very different worlds coming together, buoyed by Watson’s charming personality and his willingness to teach all who would learn.

The recordings on Doc Watson and Gaither Carlton come from two concerts in New York City in October 1962; one concert at the NYU School of Education and the other at Blind Lemon’s (a folk club in the West Village that was gone the next week). Rinzler set up the concerts as Watson’s debut in New York, but it was a young Peter Siegel, barely 18 years old, who recorded both concerts. Siegel still lives in New York, and went on to many great projects in the years after this, founding the Nonesuch Explorer Series, producing more music with Watson, becoming head of A&R for Polydor, and later producing music with Paul Siebel, Tom Paxton, Roy Buchanan, and others. But during those wintery nights in New York in 1962 he was just a teenager with a recording device, and he captured something truly special. “Today there are all these great flatpicking guitarists we know about,” Siegel says. “Clarence White, Tony Rice, all kinds of people. Billy Strings too now. At that time, nobody had ever heard a folk guitar player play like that! In folk music, the guitar was an accompanying instrument, which was usually strummed in a specific way. So when Doc showed up, it blew my mind. It blew everyone’s mind!”

The music that Doc Watson and Gaither Carlton played on these recordings is not the powerhouse virtuosic guitar style Watson would later be known for; indeed he actually plays banjo on half the tracks. “This is family music with intricate interweaving of fiddle and guitar, or fiddle and banjo,” Siegel says. “This is the music that Doc and Gaither had been playing at home for the last twenty years. On this record you can hear the older stuff, you can hear flashes of brilliant guitar playing, but that’s not what the album is about.” Gaither Carlton was himself a fiddler of great power. His stately playing reflects the Scottish and Irish roots of the music, and he knew seminal old-time fiddlers from the 78rpm era, such as fiddler GB Grayson of Grayson & Whitter. Whereas Watson grew up in a household with a record player and access to the radio, later basing much of his music on songs he discovered over the airwaves, Carlton came from an older world and learned his music from his family and friends directly in his region of Appalachia. As Siegel says, “Gaither Carlton’s playing is a lot like his personality. He was very humble and soft-spoken. Now I listen to it again, I see he’s the soul of old-time music. He just brings out the essential quality of that music tradition.”
You can hear the love from the audiences at these concerts, and you can hear the love between Doc Watson and Gaither Carlton as they play, Watson encouraging Carlton with a “Fiddle it, son!” exclamation at one point. “These recordings were made,” as Siegel says, “at a particular time in Doc’s career when he’s just figuring out that people like to hear this old-time music. He couldn’t get arrested with this music in his hometown. If you listen to parts of this album, you can hear his surprise and happiness that the audience is responding in such a way. He’s clearly having a real good time.”

Pre-order Doc Watson and Gaither Carlton.

Lucinda Williams Teases New Album “Good Souls Better Angels,” To Be Released This Spring

Lucinda Williams - Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone

2020 releases just keep getting better and better.

While discussing her history and her upcoming Fort Mayers her show at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall (tickets here) the Queen of Americana Lucinda Williams dropped some sweet news that she had decided on a title for her upcoming release as well as a date.

“Good Souls Better Angels” is the album title, a title she just settled on the week before this interview. The release date was stated to be in April.

About the album Williams says: “Once I start writing, then the songs kind of dictate: OK, this is the kind of album it’s gonna be,” she says. “So this one ended up being very grungy and edgy and bluesy and rock. Very political, you know.

“I don’t like using the word political, because people interpret that in different ways. They used to call ‘em topical songs, you know, back when Bob Dylan was writing protest songs. They called ‘em topical songs. So that’s what I’d call them.”

Read the full interview here.


We now have official news on Lucinda Williams’ new album and a new song as well!

Williams’ upcoming album, ‘Good Souls Better Angels,’ will be released April 24th via Highway 20/Thirty Tigers.

The LP is the follow-up to 2016’s ‘The Ghosts of Highway 20’ and reportedly ” finds the Americana songwriter addressing an array of cultural and political issues, from social media persecution to a nonviable leader. Williams and her husband Tom Overby produced the album with Ray Kennedy, who engineered her 1998 breakout album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.

Hear the new song ‘Man Without a Soul’ below.

Caleb Caudle To Release New Album ‘Better Hurry Up’ This Spring

It’s always welcome news around Casa Twang when our friend Caleb Caudle readies a new work.

This time around Caudle set up camp at the historic Johnny Cash’s log cabin (yes, the one of the famed ostrich attack ) on Old Hickory Lake in Hendersonville, TN. with some friends like John Jackson of the Jayhawks (producer), and guest vocalists include Courtney Marie Andrews, Elizabeth Cook, Gary Louris, and John Paul White,
to create an “earthy, funky sound’ for his new album.

Of recording ‘Better Hurry Up’ at the log cabin Caudle says “It feels like you’re in the shadow of giants. None of us wore headphones,” Caudle says. “It was just like we were doing it for the love of music – it didn’t feel like we were making a record. It felt like I was playing with an incredible group of musicians and making art.”

A well as the stellar list of artists lending their vocals, musicians appearing on ‘Better Hurry Up’ includes Mickey Raphael on harmonica (Willie Nelson), Dennis Crouch on bass (Elton John, Leon Russell), Fred Eltringham on drums (Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow), Russ Pahl on pedal steel (Kacey Musgraves, Dan Auerbach), Laur Joamets on guitar (Sturgill Simpson, Drivin’ N Cryin’), and, on keyboards, Pat Sansone (Wilco) and Rhett Huffman (American Aquarium). Guest vocalists include Cook, White, Andrews and one of Jackson’s fellow Jayhawks, Gary Louris. Caudle wrote all 11 songs on the album, with the exception of “Regular Riot,” a co-write with Natalie Hemby of The Highwomen.

‘Better Hurry Up’ will be released on April 3rd. Pre-order here.

Check out the soul-drenched title track below.

Caleb Caudle – 2020 Tour Dates
2/7 Springfield, IL – Boondocks^
2/8 Indianapolis, IN – HiFi^
2/9 Huntington, WV – The V Club^
2/11 Pittsburg PA – Thunderbird Cafe^
2/21 Nashville, TN – 3rd & Lindsley^
2/23 Pittsburg, KS – Lakewood
3/12 Little Rock, AR – Whitewater Tavern*
3/13 Oklahoma City, OK – The Blue Door*
3/14 Tulsa, OK – Woody Guthrie Center*
3/16 Ft. Worth, TX – Magnolia Motor Lounge*
3/17-3/18 – Austin, TX – SXSW
3/20 Galveston, TX – Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe*
3/21 New Orleans, LA – Carnaval Lounge*
3/22 Ocean Springs, MS – Greenhouse on Porter*
3/24 Mobile, AL – Callaghan’s*
3/25 Tampa, FL – The Attic*
3/26 Macon, GA – Creek Stage at The Rookery*
3/27 Charlotte, NC – Evening Muse*
3/28 Columbia, SC – Curiosity Coffee*
3/29 Waverly, AL – Standard Deluxe*
4/2 Nashville, TN – The 5 Spot*
4/3 Danbury, NC – Arts Place of Stokes*
4/4 Atlanta, GA – Eddie’s Attic*
4/5 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle Back Room*
4/8 Asheville, NC – ISIS Music Hall*
4/9 Richmond, VA – Richmond Music Hall*
4/10 Washington D.C. – Hill Country Live*
4/11 Baltimore, MD – Club 603*
4/15 Cambridge, MA – Atwood’s Tavern*
4/16 Providence, RI – Askew*
4/17 Hiram, ME – Friendly River*
4/18 Basking Ridge, NJ – The Ross Farm*
4/19 New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall*
4/21 Woodstock, NY – Hangin’ & Sangin’*
4/22 Buffalo, NY – Sportsmens Tavern*
4/23 Oberlin, OH – Riverdogs*
^ Supporting Jason Boland & The Stragglers
* With Wild Ponies

Pokey LaFarge To Release New Album ‘Rock Bottom Rhapsody’ This Spring

Rejoice neo-trqd fans, Pokey LaFarge will release eighth studio LP ‘Rock Bottom Rhapsody’ on April 10th of this year. The 13-song set is his New West Records debut and was produced by Chris Seefried (Fitz and the Tantrums).

The album was recorded at Reliable Recorders on Chicago’s Northwest Side during the polar vortex of 2019 and features the guitarist Joel Paterson, keyboardist Scott Ligon, upright/electric bassist Jimmy Sutton, and drummer Alex Hall. ‘Rock Bottom Rhapsody’ is LaFarge’s first album in over three years and follows 2017’s ‘Manic Revelations.’

The first cut released is the radio unfriendly “Fuck Me Up” which you can hear in the surreal video directed by Keene McRae and Brandon Bernath. (below)

The song’s rollicking saloon-house piano and Dixieland tempo contrast with the darkly amusing imagery of LaFarge participating in and around his own funeral procession.

“The writer and directors and I decided to take a surrealist, absurdist point of view to the video for ‘Fuck Me Up,’” LaFarge says. “We rented a ghost town in the Mojave desert of California — a timeless, placeless location — to present past and present forms of ‘Me,’ as well as outside forces, clashing for control.” LaFarge says.

“This song was a prophetic vision of the self-destruction yet to come, instead of what I now know that I need — peace!” LaFarge says. “I imagined the music to be what I thought it would be like to write with Willie Dixon, perhaps in the Sixties.”

Preorder ‘Rock Bottom Rhapsody’

Rock Bottom Rhapsody track list:
1. “Rock Bottom Rhapsody”
2. “End of My Rope”
3. “Fuck Me Up”
4. “Bluebird”
5. “Rock Bottom Reprise”
6. “Lucky Sometimes”
7. “Carry On”
8. “Just the Same”
9. “Fallen Angel”
10. “Storm-A-Comin’”
11. “Ain’t Comin’ Home”
12. “Lost In The Crowd”
13. “Rock Bottom Finale”

Pokey LaFarge tour dates:
April 24 — Rotterdam, Netherlands @ Maasilo
April 25 — Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso
April 26 — Berlin, Germany @ Roadrunners Paradise
April 29 — Paris, France @ La Maroquinerie
April 30 — Antwerp, Belgium @ De Roma
May 1 — Lessines, Belgium @ Roots & Roses Festival
May 2 — London, UK @ Islington Assembly Hall
May 8 — Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle
May 9 — Mt. Airy, NC @ The Earle
May 10 — Charleston, WV @ NPR’s Mountain Stage
May 13 — Lexington, KY @ The Burl
May 15 — St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway
May 16 — St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway
May 17 — Nashville, TN @ 3rd & Lindsley
June 2 — Maquoqueta, IA @ Codfish Hollow
June 3 — Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line
June 4 —Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
June 5 — Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
June 6 — Indianapolis, IN @ HiFi
June 9 — Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
June 10 — Pittsburgh, PA @ Thunderbird
June 11 — Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live
June 12 — Annapolis, MD @ Rams Head Live
June 13 — Jersey City, NJ @ White Eagle Hall
June 16 — Fairfield, CT @ The Warehouse
June 17 — New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
June 18 — Boston, MA @ Sinclair
June 19 – Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
June 20 — Albany, NY @ The Egg
June 23 — Rockport, MA @ Shalin Liu
June 24 — Portsmouth, NH @ Prescott Park
June 26 — Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
June 27 — Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern