The post-Garrison Keillor “A Prairie Home Companion” era commenced Saturday evening with the new host and uber-mandolinist Chris Thile filling those shoes nicely.
For the next two hours, Thile kept dancing guests Lake Street Dive’s folk-soul. He ripped through Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues.”
One undeniable highlight was when guest Jack White invited Margo Price on stage to play ‘I’m Lonely (But I Ain’t That Lonely Yet) ‘ from the White Stripes’ album ‘Get Behind Me Satan.’ Along with backing band Lillie Mae Rische, Dominic Davis, and Karl (Fats) Kaplin the two turn the originally piano-driven ballad into a heartbreaking country duo weeper.
If there was ever an Americana and roots music watershed recording the Basement Tapes 1967 sessions from Bob Dylan and The band was one.
Now there’s official word that that mainstay of Americana, T Bone Burnett, is working on a project “Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes.” The project has a solid (and marketable) roster – Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Jim James (My Morning Jacket) and Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons.)
The event focuses on two-dozen recently discovered lyrics written by Dylan during the 1967 period that generated original legendary Basement Tapes release.
Recording is nearly complete on the project which will be released later this year by Electromagnetic Recordings/Harvest Records. The album will be accompanied by a Showtime documentary titled Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued, directed by Sam Jones (the Wilco documentary, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart)
I can imagine the germ of this endeavor occurred during the “Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of “Inside Llewyn Davis,” held at New York City’s Town Hall last September. That one-night event featured Mumford and Giddens as well as Joan Baez, Patti Smith, Jack White, The Avett Brothers, Punch Brothers, Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings Machine, Willie Watson, The Milk Carton Kids, Colin Meloy and Lake Street Dive. (see below)
Truth is I’m ambivalent about this. A sequel to The New Basement Tapes is like a sequel to Casablanca. Is it necessary and will it ever have a chance to even come close to the genius of the original. And as much as i respect the artists involved, they are hardly the contemporary versions of Dylan and The Band.
If this was Ryan Adams and the Felice Brothers I still think it would fall short, but damn it would be interesting.
Here’s to being proven wrong.
You can sign up for updates at on the project at the official site.
Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes” will be released Nov. 11. Pre-order here.
“Another Day/Another Time,” a concert inspired by the Coen Brothers’ film “Inside Llewyn Davis”, which itself was inspired by the 60’s New York folk movement, took place at Town Hall
Sun, September 29, 2013.
Luckily Showtime set up some cameras.
The concert features performances of songs from the early 1960s in addition to live renditions of the film’s folk music.
The performances include The Avett Brothers, Marcus Mumford, Jack White, Gillian Welch, Joan Baez, Dave Rawlings Machine, Rhiannon Giddens, Lake Street Dive, Colin Meloy, The Milk Carton Kids, Punch Brothers, Patti Smith, Willie Watson, and the film’s lead Oscar Isaac.
“Another Day/Another Time” will will air December 13 at 10:00 PM on Showtime.
Jack White continues to crank out one-of-a-kind, quality goods from his Nashville-based Third Man Records. For the latest offering from his Vault Platinum Subscription service the label will offer a colored vinyl recording of Willie Nelson’s 80th birthday celebration shown on CMT Network’s Crossroads. the package will also include a 6′ of Jack White and Willie Nelson singing duet together on “Red Headed Stranger,” posters, lapel pins and other goodies (aka The Vault Platinum Package #17.)
From the press release:
“One of the highlights of 2013 (so far) has been the esteemed honor of hosting country music legend Willie Nelson at Third Man to celebrate his 80th birthday. On April 18th of this year Willie played a concert with some guest musicians, among them real life legacy artists, but also importantly, some handpicked sidemen from the house of Third Man. All of this was documented for the public on a very special episode of the CMT Network’s esteemed Crossroads series. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, tape was rolling on that historic show (as is Third Man’s way) and every song (even those not broadcast) was captured on beautiful, warm-sounding analog tape by the crack Third Man team of engineers. It was in many respects a perfect evening.
This is a beautifully-packaged, 3-sided double LP with a gatefold sleeve of the Willie Nelson & Friends concert, with performances as of yet unreleased and unheard!
Featuring Willie Nelson, Jack White, Neil Young, Leon Russell, Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow and Ashley Monroe pressed on Smokey Grey and Bio-Diesel Green Vinyl with an etched graphic of Willie’s guitar “Trigger” on the D-Side this is an outstanding LP visually and audibly for casual fans and collectors alike!
Roll Me Up
Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground – with Ashley Monroe (Unreleased)
Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain – with Ashley Monroe
Funny How Time Slips Away – with Norah Jones
I Gotta Get Drunk – with Norah Jones (Unreleased)
Sail Away – with Neil Young (Unreleased)
Long May You Run – with Neil Young
Far Away Places – with Sheryl Crow
Whiskey River – with Neil Young, Ashley Monroe, Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, Jamey Johnson
A Song For You – with Leon Russell
Heartbreak Hotel – with Leon Russell (Unreleased)
Red Headed Stranger (Broadcast Version) – with Jack White
WILLIE NELSON & JACK WHITE RECORDING BOOTH 6-INCH RECORD
The second item in this stellar package is Third Man’s first-ever 6″ record, pressed on transparent yellow vinyl, with an etched b-side and housed in a 6″ die-cut sleeve. The A-side captures one of those near mythological musical moments , something that could only happen here at Third Man, of Jack White and Willie Nelson dueting together on “Red Headed Stranger” in Third Man’s Voice-O-Graph Recording Booth. This is a version not shown on television and was recorded live in the TMR Recording Booth.
DELUXE FOLD OUT POSTER
Behold the double sided, foldout, metallic printed poster on special heavy stock paper… One side features Willie Nelson in the TMR Recording Booth and the flip is an all new Metallic Platinum Vault Design. Double the bang for your buck
Lastly, TMR will be doing something special to thank returning Vault members and welcome new ones. With this Vault Package 17 only, members will receive a membership kit at no additional charge to their Platinum service!
Casa Twang is proud to offer the latest from Jack White’s Third Man Records excellent Blue Series. The 7-inch vinyl features Charleston indie-folk duo Shovels and Rope covering Bruce Springsteen’s “Johnny 99” (listen below) on one side and Tom Waits’ “Bad As Me” on the other.
The Third Man’s Blue Series brings singers and bands traveling through Nashville by the third Man Studio to record one or two songs. The songs are then, as soon as possible, made available on 7” vinyl and digitally on itunes. The series also includes releases by Brittany Howard and Ruby Amanfu, Seasick Steve, Chris Thile with Micheal Daves , The Secret Sisters, Wanda Jackson and others.
It’s easy to enter in the contest, just leave a comment below! The picked at random winner will receive the 7-inch vinyl and a CD copy of the release. Winner needs to be located in the United States and will be picked at on 12 PM Pacific Time on Sunday, April 7th. Comment away and good luck!
UPDATE: Amanda Ramsey is the winner! Thanks all for commenting and look for more contests soon!
It looks like Jack White;s adopted home of Nashville is starting to reflect in the music being released by his Third Man Records label.
The latest is from Charleston indie-folk duo Shovels and Rope. The 7-inch will be released on April 2nd and features a jaunty cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Johnny 99” (off the extraordinary Nebraska, hear it below) on the A side, with a version of Tom Waits’ “Bad As Me” on the B.
The release is on on Third Man’s Blue Series, where singers and bands traveling through Nashville are invited to stop by to record one or two songs at Third Man Studio produced by White. The songs are then, as soon as possible, made available on 7” vinyl and digitally on itunes. The series also includes releases by Brittany Howard and Ruby Amanfu, Seasick Steve, Chris Thile with Micheal Daves , The Secret Sisters, Wanda Jackson and others.
The release will be available on iTunes and vinyl. It;s a measly $6 and you can pre-order here.
As I said in an earlier post the first time I saw the Muscle Shoals, Alabama’s Secret Sisters ( Laura Rogers Lydia Rogers) was at a GRAMMY event for the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers honoring T Bone Burnett. Burnett’s then recent protégés had just released their self-titled debut album which featured him at the production helm. The Sisters opened the event and I saw what he perhaps saw while watching their performance as did the jaded industry folks who stopped hobnobbing and stood entranced by the delicate harmony and winning personalities on stage. I was a fan.
The duo recently released a 7 inch released by Jack White’s Third Man Records and had their song “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder”, inspired by the Alabama tornado outbreak, featured on the T Bone produced soundtrack for The Hunger Games.
The duo were kind enough to give thoughtful l answers to emailed questions submitted by me and some of my twitter followers.
Twang Nation: What was your first experience with music? The Secret Sisters: The two of us have been completely surrounded by music since we were babies. We spent many summers attending bluegrass festivals with our dad, who is a bluegrass musician. Though we can’t remember that far back, it’s very likely that the first concert we ever attended was a bluegrass festival somewhere in the South. We really believe that bluegrass musicians are some of the most incredible, skilled artists in the music world, and growing up in those circles helped us appreciate a time-honored musical genre and tradition that still finds its way into our music on a regular basis. We are very influenced by certain aspects of the bluegrass world, and that sound has been ingrained in us since we were very young.
TN: Alabama musicians seem to look after one another – from the Drive-By Truckers , John Paul White from the Civil Wars and Doc Daily – what is the source of that camaraderie and how has it helped you? TSS: We believe that the camaraderie comes from the desire to see Alabama be well represented again. Alabama is known for producing some of the most legendary artists, musicians, and songwriters in all of music history. It seems to us that all Alabama musicians are proud of the heritage we have, and we just really cheer for one another when big things happen, when our fellow Alabama artists get recognized for their talent. We’ve had countless compliments and expressions of support from other artists in Alabama, and knowing that those people are supporting us helps us keep going. It’s almost as though we’ve all subconsciously joined a movement to put Alabama back in the musical spotlight. That movement also requires a bit of a responsibility-we don’t want to do anything to tarnish the reputation of great music in our state, and we believe that all the artists in Alabama help to hold each other accountable for always putting out quality music.
TN:What is your songwriting process like? Do you walk into the studio with ideas fully formed or do you work it out in the studio? TSS: All of our songs come about in unique ways. Sometimes they come to us quickly, other times we struggle with them for hours and hours. We’ve spent a lot of time this year working together on our songs, and also exploring songwriting with some of our very favorite cowriters. It has been a wonderful learning experience and we still have so much to figure out. For the second record, we’ve chosen to have our songs mostly complete when we go into the studio. It saves time, and having a real grasp of the song ahead of time gives everything a good direction to work from. Of course some changes will be made once we get into the studio, but for the most part our songs are all ironed out and ready to be put to tape.
TN:Your self-titled debut album album was executive produced by one of the godfather’s of Americana, T-Bone Burnett. How was working with him and how did it open doors for you. Did his association hamper you in any way? TSS: Working with T bone has been very advantageous for us. He has been very kind and protective towards us, and we truly believe that much of our progress can be attributed to his involvement in our career. His knowledge of music history and sound quality is absolutely incredible, and he has taught us so much, in a very short amount of time. Having him in our corner helped us be involved in the Hunger Games soundtrack, which was a huge boost to our career. He’s constantly fighting for us and involving us in the cool projects that he undertakes, and it’s very nice to know that someone so well-respected is looking out for us.
TN:What compels young performers to create or cover music that is, or sounds like it’s, from generations before they were born? TSS: For the two of us, we choose to cover songs only if we love them. We obviously tend to love music from the early years of the 20th century, but we will cover any song that really touches us. The kind of songs we gravitate towards reminds us of home, our family, the South, God and faith, and all the other things that are most important to us. We think that young performers like us get tired of being surrounded by music that is fleeting. We want to cover and create music that can withstand the test of time. For the two of us, there’s also a sense of preservation in the music we play. We value early American roots music so much, and to think of that music fading into obscurity breaks our hearts. So we use our voices and our platform, no matter how big or small it may be, to remind everyone of how sincere and special the music from long ago is.
TN:You recorded the song “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder” for the The Hunger Games soundtrack. Did you read the books? If so did you imagine your music as a backdrop while you reading it? TSS: Honestly, we had written the song “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder” before we read the books. When we were approached about being on the soundtrack, we knew that we had a song in our pockets that would work very well in light of the subject matter of the books. So we submitted the song for consideration, and everyone involved agreed that though the song was begun previously, it was truly meant to be associated with that film. When we finally read the books, we were stunned at how perfectly our song fit with the emotional themes in the stories. It reminded us that music has its own way of getting to where it’s supposed to be.
TN:In a period of music industry turbulence and self-reflection how have you shaped the direction of your careers? TSS: We don’t let our career define us. We’ve focused on staying true to our beliefs and morals, and we both believe that we can be happy no matter what happens in our career, so long as we choose to be happy and grateful for whatever comes our way. We try not to get too worried about music business ups and downs. We simply make the kind of music we want to make, and if at any point we are pushed to be something other than what we want to be, we will walk away. Luckily, we are surrounded by people who help us preserve our true identities and the music that moves us, and we just let that music do what it will. Ultimately, our faith reassures us that we’re so blessed, in every moment, and that everything will pan out exactly as it should.
TN: How was it to play Jack White’s divorce party? Was it at all awkward? TSS: We actually did not play at Jack White’s divorce party. Not exactly sure how that rumor got started, but we are friends and fans of both Jack and Karen, and we love them both dearly and treasure their sweet family.
TN: How is your new album coming? Who’s playing on it and does it have a title yet? TSS: As of right now, we haven’t started tracking the record yet. We focused most of our time this year on writing the entirety of our record, and hope to go into the studio in October to start cutting songs. We did some of the songwriting with our good friend, Brandi Carlile, and that experience was absolutely priceless for us. We feel that Brandi really understands our musical inspiration, and she helped us develop our songs into something we are very proud of. We don’t know quite yet who will be playing on our record, but we can promise that some of the friends we’ve made in the past will be making appearances. We toured with so many incredible people last year, and several of them have offered to make a contribution to our second record. So be on the lookout for some awesome collaborating!
TN: John Paul White (The Civil Wars) mentioned be collaborated with you for a song on the album, who else has had a hand in writing songs for it? TSS: We did write a song with John Paul, and he was so great to work with. He really taught us so much, and we are proud for him and Joy and the success they’ve had. As mentioned before, we’ve worked with Brandi Carlile quite a bit on our songs, as well as Dan Wilson, Kevin Griffin, and other Nashville writers that we love and respect. At the end of the day, we really love the moments when just the two of us get together to write a song, mainly because we feel that those moments help us grow exponentially as writers. As we spend time writing together, our respect for one another grows, and the songs that come out of those sessions surprise us every time. Like maybe we are supposed to be doing this after all.