Sarah Jarosz with Alex Hargreaves (Fiddle) and Nathaniel Smith (Cello) performs two new songs from her 3rd album ‘Build Me Up from Bones’ (9/24 – Sugar Hill Records) in her hometown of Wimberley, Texas
‘A Thousand Things’ Jarosz says in the video is one she had been working on a long time and ended up finishing by co-writing by Darrell Scott. “Build Me Up from Bones” is the title cut of the new album.
Both songs display Jarosz deft touch and contemporary interpretation of traditional sound. If this is a solid sampling of what’s to come I’m really looking forward to this album!
All right Civil Wars fans, this is what we’ve been waiting for. Proof of the upcoming album that might not have been.
While riding high on the wave of their best-selling, Grammy award winning, Barton Hollow the pop-roots duo abruptly canceled a amidst a UK tour, citing “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition.”
Then last month the Civil Wars revealed that they’d completed a new self-titled album, a result of a Nashville recording session last fall with Barton Hollow’s producer Charlie Peacock.
Now a single “The One That Got Away,” (no, it’s not a Katy Perry cover.) It’s got the typical Civil Wars dramatic vibe but with more of an edge. What stands out is Joy Williams is more up in the mix with John Paul White as supporting in contrast to their more equally handling of vocal duties on their earlier EP and album.
“I wish I’d never ever seen your face,” Williams sings convincingly “I wish you were the one that got away.”
The band’s labels, Sensibility Music/Columbia Records, give some context to the song in the accompanying press release “The [new] album was recorded amidst a grueling touring schedule, exhausting workload and a growing disconnect from their families.”
More omens abound with the video for “The One That Got Away,” and the new album’s cover, features nothing more than a billowing cloud of black smoke.
Can all the bad blood be overcome to allow the band to embark on a tour to support the sure to be a huge selling new release? Stay tuned when it’s release August 6th.
The new video for the “The Fall,” by the Knoxville-based roots band The Black Lillies, sand being shifted a shimmering ocean , much like the lives being shifted and changed by the innocent youths that walk the windy beach and simmering landscape. The spare, atmospheric instrumentation builds slowly as we follow the boy and girl to adulthood and union in this tale of modest love.
“The Fall” is from the Black Lillies’ new release Runaway Freeway Blues, out now. they are currently on a national headlining tour in support.
St. Louis-based Jazz-roots traditionalist Pokey LaFarge teamed up with Old Crow Medicine Show front man Ketch Secor to produce his new self-tilted release on Jack White’s Third Man Records.
“Central Time” proves Pokey LaFarge is not merely a retro act. Sure he reaches back to a time when distinct the genres of jazz, country blues and western swing blurred together into one glorious cultural mash-up, but there is a timelessness and vibrancy displayed in this ode to his Midwestern home.
The time I spent living in New york taught me some things. One, New Yorkers aren’t rude they just don’t have time for your dumb ass, and New York has is a great market for roots music.
Brooklyn’s The Defibulators have been creating tunes some time and garnering a lot of praise by mashing their throwback honky-tonk with frenetic bent. Think of them as the perfect soundtrack for a family picnic, or a meth lab. Yes that’s a compliment.
Their upcoming ssophomore album “Debt’ll Get’em” (August 27) was recorded in Woodstock, NY, at The Isokon with D. James Goodwin and Eli Walker, and Sunset Park, Brooklyn, at Motherbrain with co-producer Brian Bender (Langhorne Slim, Jose James), ‘Debt’ll Get’em’ is a 10-track and if the below tunes are typical i look forward to an amped-up take on classic country classic.
The video for “Cackalacky,” directed by Alexis Boling, follows a hayseed as he finds his way in the big city looking for music success.And “Pay For That Money” is a sassy swagger of a song about fiscal responsibility and moral comeuppance.
Yesterday, fittingly on 6/6 at 6am, the roots psychedelic duo Hymn For Her released a video for thier deomically funky Lucy Fur. The single is from their newly released second album “Lucy & Wayne’s Smokin Flames” (Buy it at CD Baby)
The video stars Wayne Waxing as the victim as he and Lucy Tight’s darling daughter is transformed into a a hellion trickster. Inter-cut with scenes of Tim Curry as Lord of Darkness, from the 80′s cult fantasy “Legend,” Waxing suffers a myriad of indignities inflicted by the masked prankster in this cranked-up, funked-out, roots number. Suffering never sounded this good.
The Johnny Cash “Forever” Stamp celebration took place June 5th at the Ryman Auditorium featured John Carter Cash, The Oak Ridge Boys, Marty Stuart, Randy Travis, Carlene Carter, Wesley Orbison and other members of the Cash family to kick off the release of the limited-edition stamp
A “forever’stamp is a non-denominated stamp that retains full validity postage no matter of price increases.
Kathy Cash , Johnny’s Daughter from his first marriage to Vivian Liberto Distin and sister of Rosanne Cash, posted her heartfelt and funny speech from the event. I re-post it here with a video of a rousing “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” from the finale. Enjoy.
Thank you for being here to celebrate the “Johnny Cash Forever Stamp” in the Music Icon series.
My dad and mom had a 4 year courtship in the early 50′s. Dad was in the Air Force in Germany, mom was a young woman living in San Antonio, Texas. During that 4 year period, they exchanged an astounding 10,000 letters.
Dad was no stranger to licking a stamp.
He loved stamps and we have the letters to prove it.
When dad was on the road until he retired, he sent us hundreds of cards, letters, poems and Valentines, postmarked from all over the world. When he heard a new upcoming artist on the radio and liked what he heard, he always sat down to write a letter of encouragement.
Always postmarked, always mailed.
In a fast paced world of telegrams and faxes, then email and texts, dad always preferred and chose writing. It meant a great deal to him to send a handwritten letter, stamped and mailed to people he cared about.
Dad has been inducted into all 4 Halls of Fame : Country Music, Songwriters, Rock and Roll and Gospel. He received the Kennedy Honor Award, The National Medal Of Arts, and was the first person to receive the Spirit Of Americana “Free Speech Award.” He earned thousands of awards for his musical accomplishments and humanitarian works. There’s even a main street in Hendersonville, TN., named “The Johnny Cash Parkway.”
Dad loved this country. I have no doubt that having his image on a United States postage stamp would be his proudest accomplishment.
If dad were here he’d be beaming with pride, and would say something to the effect of, “Well. Ain’t that somethin’? This face of mine on a postage stamp. A government issued postage stamp. A FOREVER STAMP.” He would love that it’s a forever stamp.
Dad had such an impact on American history. To have him recognized in this capacity is incredible. It means future generations will realize what a monumental part of American history and music Johnny Cash is.
On behalf of the entire Cash family, I want to thank the United States Postal Service, the fans and collectors who initiated and participated in this remarkable effort, voicing their support for a Johnny Cash stamp.
I’m not sure if I was the first to coin the term but I’m pretty sure i was the first to tweet it – that’s so country it’s Americana.
By that I mean as Music City continues to do what it’s always done, chase trends to broaden consumer acceptance, fill radio slots and asses in arena seats, and make truckloads of money, who looks after the legacy of the music? The legacy of twang, soul and grit that Rodgers, the Carters and Hank Sr. left us? The focus on the song as deep, personal expressions and not just target-marketed laundry lists? Ladies and gents it’s Americana straight up.
sure music Row still determines the brand “Country Music” but they don’t won the legacy or spirit. Tom Petty hit the nail squarely in the noggin when he described contemporary country music as “Bad rock with a fiddle. Zing! While the rhinestone cowboys chase hits and eschew tradition (Blake!) the real soul of country music has found a new home in the Americana camp. Now by Americana I also include the underground, muddy roots acts as well, as I believe a lot of the passion and blue-collar core is often found on that side. Here are a few videos to make my case.
Legacy: in their golden years no one in Music Row bothered to return phone calls to Johnny Cash and Porter Wagoner who were still viable a, had songs, and wanted to work. It took hip-hop/rock producer Rick Rubin and musician/producer Marty Stuart to work with these legendary men, respectively, and understand their storied place in music history. Working with their own label (Rubin) and an L.A. rock label (Epitaph) allowed these legends to produce some of their best work at the end of their lives and leave this world with dignity and fans with a few more treasures. Hell, even country music legend Lee Ann Womack teamed up with Americana stalwart Buddy Miller to stretch her wings.
Johnny Cash – “Hurt” (Nine Inch Nails)
Porter Wagoner – “Committed to Parkview”
Leann Womack & Buddy Miller – “Don’t Tell Me”
Soul – At it’s core country music is soul music. It bleeds life in common stories plaintive and wondrous. Here are some performers that reflect that rough beauty.
Robert Ellis – “Cemetery”
Jason Eady – “AM Country Heaven”
Elizabeth Cook – “Mama’s Prayers”
Twang and Grit – Musicianship has always been the stock and trade of country music , but it used to be more than a backdrop for party anthems. Here are some that are tearing it up without dumbing it down.
Sturgill Simpson – “You Can Have The Crown / Some Days”
Whitey Morgan and the 78′s – Cocaine Train
Turnpike Troubadours – “Before The Devil Knows We’re Dead”
When the nominees for the Americana Music Association awards was released there was some that commented on the lack of diversity; which is a shortcut for racial diversity. I agree there’s no one of color represented. But the implication is that racism is to blame. Yeah, that’s not it.
Though I do believe there is an inherent bias in the AMA wards nominees it tends towards the popular and well-known and not on skin color. If an African-American act sold as many albums as Mumford and Sons you can bet they would be o the list.
Though I’m willing to call out discrimination when I see it, the simple fast is there’s not a lot of diversity on the Americana charts, which represent the source of the radio-centric voters for the AMA Awards. Superior performers like the Carolina Chocolate Drops are few and with no representation there’s no opportunity for celebration.
Some have suggested we expand Americana to include the Blues and R&B. Though these genres, like country , folk, and jazz, feed into the greater American music ocean they are going fine on their own as mature, rich and diverse genres. Beside we already have extraordinarily talented musicians that, regardless of color, deserves celebration without us wringing our hands when we do so.
Some want to dig deeper than the charts and top level performers to see if there’s a strata of increased diversity somewhere below the surface. I’m all for seeking out undiscovered talent, but seek how far and for what reason?
Personally I’m not an advocate for pilfering other mature genres or lowering a musical bar, those are forms of racism. How far afield would we have to travel to address some imagined suppression of racial diversity?
Then there is outright racism. After appearing on the Opry stage Darius Rucker received a tweet stating that he should “leave country to the white folk.” Now that’s racist as well as historically imprecise. Huffington Post held an interesting discussion on the subject of race in mainstream country industry and culture.Though I don’t fully agree with all the discussion it’s a healthy and interesting conversation. Perhaps there should be a roundtable on race in the more left-leaning Americana genre.
Hosted by Marc Lamont Hill with guests Charles Hughes (Memphis, TN) Music Historian at Rhodes College, Cowboy Troy @cowboytroy (Mt. Pleasant, MI) Recording Artist at Warner Music Nashville, Rissi Palmer @RissiPalmer (Raleigh, NC) Country Music Singer / Songwriter, John Bryant (Dallas, TX) Ray Charles’ Drummer and Stanley Crouch (Brooklyn, NY) Writer and Music Critic
When Greil Marcus coined the phrase “Old Weird America” in his book Invisible Republic, he wasn’t describing The Handsome Family. The line that Marcus drew from Harry Smith’s Anthology of American pre-World Folk Music to Bob Dylan and his work with The Band could easily continue it’s sonic trajectory to the husband and wife songwriting duo Brett and Rennie Sparks.
The video for the single Woodpecker, from their new release Wilderness, is shot in moody greys by director Chris Hefner. Acoustic guitar and mandolin delicately accompany this tale of Mary Sweeny, a woman who has a irrepressible obsession with smashing windows lands her in a state institution, where the remedies do more harm than good. Woodpecker follows The Handsome Family’s Gothic-folk style and narrative that harkens back to folk tales brought over by our ancestors.
Wildernessis out now on LP, CD, and as a deluxe box set.
A companion book of original artwork and essays by Rennie Sparks, also titled Wilderness, will expand on the meticulously researched and little-known enigmas of the natural world explored on the album: immortal jellyfish, woodpecker tongues, dancing octopi, fly royalty, the secret language of crows, and mysterious ant spirals. A 72-page, 12”x12” full-color edition of the book will be included with the deluxe box set, along with an 11”x17” color poster and a six-postcard set, all with original art by Rennie. A black and white edition of the book will be available separately.
6/20 – Cambridge, MA @ Club Passim
6/21 – Fall River, MA @ Narrows Center for the Arts
6/22 – New Haven, CT @ Café Nine
6/23 – Hudson, NY @ Club Helsinki
6/27 – New York, NY @ The Slipper Room
6/28 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Café Live
6/29 – Brooklyn, NY @ The Knitting Factory
7/19 – Friday, Minneapolis, MN at The Cedar Cultural Center with Azita
7/20 – Madision, WI, @ The High Noon Saloon, EARLY SHOW (with Azita)!
7/22, – Chicago, IL @ Pritzker Pavillion – 6:30pm*
7/24 – St. Louis, MO, @ Off Broadway with Danny Barnes
7/25 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop with Danny Barnes
7/26 – Louisville, KY @ Headliners with Cathy Irwin and Danny Barnes
7/27 – Athens, OH @ The Union with Danny Barnes
7/28 – Ann Arbor @ The Ark with Danny Barnes
phrase “Old Weird America” as described in his book Invisible Republic, which deals with the lineage connecting the pre-World War II folk performers on Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music to Bob Dylan and his milieu.