Sunday, November 30, 2008

11/30/08 Playlist

A short show, preempted around 8:25pm:

1. Truckstop Honeymoon: Nobody Asks Me (Great Big Family), Squirrel 1054
2. Ben Sollee: Bury Me with My Car (Learning to Bend), Thirty Tigers / Sona Blast 1015
3. The Figs: Cross That Bridge (The Figs), Valcour 0003
4. Still on The Hill: One Good Leg (Ozark), self

5. Asylum Street Spankers: Asylum Street Blues (slightly edited, from What? And Give Up Show Biz?), Yellow Dog 1408
6. Beausoleil: Basco Stomp (download -- from the forthcoming Alligator Purse), Yep Roc
7. Annbjorg Lien: Home East (Waltz with Me), Compass 4492
8. Barry & Holly Tashian: The Grey Funnel Line (Long Story Short), Rock-A-Lot 008

9. The Bluelights: Down and Out (Rub That Rhythm), self
10. Blue Mule: Kitty Creek (Scratchy), Flat Five Press 1135
11. Emmylou Harris: Kern River (All I Intended to Be), Nonesuch 480444
12. Jed Marum: Yankee in Texas (Ain't No Goin' Back), EP Boston Road Records

A few songs for the coming season and the current chill:
13. Matt & Shannon Heaton (at P.A.C.E. 12/6: Fine Winter's Night (Fine Winter's Night), self
14. Joel Mabus: Snow on The Water (The Joel Mabus Omnibus), Fossil 1908
15. Kitty Donohoe / The Yellow Room Gang: Winter Dark (Happy New Day), Yellow Room Records 009
16. Loreena McKennitt: Snow (A Midwinter Night's Dream), Quinlan Road 12096
17. Krista Detor: A Traveler in Winter (The Silver Wood), Tightrope

The guy’s view of the failed romance………
18. Chris Stuart and Backcountry: I Remember Memphis (Crooked Man), self
19. Barry & Holly Tashian: Honey, Where's The Money Gone (Long Story Short), Rock-A-Lot 008
20. Joel Mabus: The Book I Gave Up Reading (The Joel Mabus Omnibus), Fossil 1908

21. Annabelle Chvostek: The Sioux (Resilience), Borealis 193]

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Funny Bit from John Gorka's Website

Woody, Cisco and Me

I first met Woody Guthrie in Chico, CA in late July, 1938. He and Cisco Houston had been invited to play at an afternoon rally for a new fruit pickers union. I attended and hovered around afterwards but didn’t have the nerve to try and say hello. Later that evening I followed Woody, Cisco, and a small group of hangers on as they moved to a bar in downtown Chico. The place had an Irish sounding name as I recall — Muldoon’s or Mulrooney’s. Several people offered to buy them drinks. ”Well,” Woody said, “I only drink in two situations — when I’m alone or with somebody.” Since it was a warm evening in July both the front and the backdoors were open so I was able sneak a peek and listen to the grown-ups even though I wasn’t old enough to go inside. After eating sandwiches at the bar they moved to the back room and out came the instruments. I moved to the back entrance to listen and I remember hearing Gypsy Davy, and what would become some of Woody’s dustbowl ballads (recorded in Camden, NJ, 1940). At one point Cisco came out the back to have a smoke and he saw me there and asked if I had eaten lately and would I like a root beer. I said I’d had some jerky and peanuts but I would love the root beer although I didn’t have the money to pay for one. Cisco said “Don’t worry about it kid,” got me the root beer and went back inside to make some more music.

That music went on and on and eventually I fell asleep listening. When I woke up I had my head on my pack and someone had put a red and white checkered table cloth over me as a blanket. I stirred as they left the bar, still singing. Woody and Cisco’s ride to Los Angeles never showed up so a guy who wrote under the name “Mick Inkmann” for the local paper said he could give them a lift out to the main highway. From there they planned to hitch hike to Los Angeles or at least to Sacramento. The newspaperman’s car had a rumble seat that was open & unoccupied so I jumped in and kept my head out of sight. At a railroad crossing the car stopped for a freight train moving slowly south out of town. At the north end of the train we saw a boxcar door open and 4 men jumped out looking like certified hoboes. Woody and Cisco quickly decided a change of plans was in order, jumped out of the car, thanked Mick and hopped up through the open boxcar door. I scrambled out, startling the Local Press, and ran for the train. Woody saw me and pulled me up into the car. They asked my name and I told them and we sat and talked or rather shouted over the sounds of the moving train. I told them of the many places I had been and all the people I had met but that more than anything I wanted to do what they were doing. It quickly dawned on Woody that the account of my travels was not technically factual and he stopped me and said “How old are you kid?” I said that “strictly speaking I won’t be born for another 20 years or so”. There was a pause then Woody said “What’s a preconceived notion like you doing on a train like this?” I said that “the musical standard that you and Pete and Leadbelly were setting was so high that the aspiring folksingers of the future needed to get as early a start as possible. So that’s why I’m here – to observe my heroes up close and personal, even though it did take some doing to make the arrangements.” Woody looked at Cisco. Cisco looked at Woody. Without saying a word they both picked me up and heaved me out of the boxcar door.

Somehow they must have known they could not harm my immortal soul in the process.

As I tumbled eastward down the embankment they yelled that I should be more careful in picking my heroes. I waved and sang a little bit of the chorus of “So Long It’s Been Good to Know You” which prompted rude, synchronized gestures from the two of them.

I smiled to myself and continued to roll slowly and steadily to the east, rolling up the Sierras and down through the desert, then up the Western Slope of the Rockies and down into the Plains, only stopping on a summer Sunday afternoon in Newark, NJ where I was born, again – so to speak, bound to sing, if not actually bound for glory.

John Gorka, December, 2007

Sunday, November 23, 2008

11/23/08 Playlist

1. Annabelle Chvostek: I Left My Brain (Resilience), Borealis 193
2. Bob Dylan: Tell Ol' Bill (Tell Tale Signs), Columbia 34747
3. Barry & Holly Tashian: Darkness on The Delta (Long Story Short), Rock-A-Lot 008
4. Tom Kimmel: One World (Never Saw Blue), Point Clear 0007
5. Autumn: Velvet Sky (Velvet Sky), Bull Creek 80361
6. Arlo Guthrie with The Dillards: Pastures of Plenty (Thirty-two Cents Postage Due), Rising Son 1127

Finally, I can play
7. Joni Mitchell: Urge for Going (Hits), Reprise 46326
8. Anne Hills: Brown Leaves (Beauty Attends), Collective Works 0502
9. Maddy Prior: Marigold / Harvest Home (Year), Park 20
10. Matt & Shannon Heaton: Harvest Time (Blue Skies Above), Eats Records 006
11. Paul & Win Grace and Family: Autumn Harvest (Dance upon The Earth), Wellspring 4905

It's Steve Gillette's birthday:
12. Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen: When The First Leaves Fall (A Sense of Place), Redwing 5409
13. Steve & Cindy: Johnny Appleseed (The Light of The Day), Compass Rose 7
14. Steve & Cindy: Hurricane (Being There), Compass Rose 11

Thanksgiving preview:
15. Si Kahn: Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving), Strictly Country Records 63
16. Mary Chapin Carpenter: Thanksgiving Song (Come Darkness, Come Light), Rounder Zoe 1123
17. John McCutcheon: Thanksgiving Day (Autumnsong), Rounder Kids 8037
18. Mary Gauthier: Thanksgiving (Between Daylight and Dark), Lost Highway 33857

Food insecurity:
19. Phil Lee: 3 Faces in The Window (Songbook Americana), Shanachie
20. Bill Morrissey: Picnic (The Silverwolf Homeless Project), Silverwolf 1002
21. Tom Paxton: Feed the Children (Up & Up), Mountain Railroad 52792

22. Johnny Cash: Busted (At Folsom Prison), Columbia 38176
23. RJ Cowdery: Down the Road (One More Door), Goose Pie
24. Richard Berman: There Is No Gold (Now and Then), self
25. Tish Hinojosa (with Carrie Rodriguez): Mi Pueblo (Our Little Planet), Continental Song City 1049
26. Tom May: The Words upon The Wire (Blue Roads Red Wine), Waterbug 80
27. Kathy Mattea: You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive (Coal), Captain Potato

The Dreaded Folk Calendar over selections from Lunasa's "The Story So Far," Compass 4475

Katrina Kids The Sickest Seen in The U.S.
28. Dr. John with Willie Nelson: Promises Promises (City That Care Forgot ), 429 Records 17703
29. Truckstop Honeymoon: The River & The Lake (Great Big Family), Squirrel 1054

"Richest 1 Percent Get Biggest Share of Income Ever..."
30. Carol Denney: The Rich Will Never Be Poor (The Rich Will Never Be Poor), self
31. Peggy Seeger: Legal Illegal (Enough Is Enough), self
32. James McMurtry: Can't Make It Here (radio edit -- download), self
33. Bruce Springsteen: How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live (We Shall Overcome / American Land Edition), Columbia 88231

34. Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands: Val's Cabin (Live), Spruce & Maple 2004
35. Houston Jones: Sleepy Armadillo (Calico Heart), Summerhill 004
36. Annbjorg Lien: The Old Car (Waltz with Me), Compass 4492
37. Eliza et al: Peace Call (Land of Milk and Honey), Red House 174

Friday, November 21, 2008

Red House: The little label that just keeps spinning

by JEFF BAENEN, The Associated Press - Friday, November 21, 2008

ST. PAUL, Minn.

Digital music downloads, both legal and illegal. Declining record sales. The fickle tastes of the music-buying public. All make it tough enough to keep a small independent label afloat.
Add the unexpected death of the record company's owner and guiding light, and a label could be as obsolete as eight-track tapes.

But tiny Red House Records has managed to survive and even thrive since the death two years ago of president Bob Feldman. Thanks to its sturdy foundation and the passion of its staff, "The House That Bob Built" is celebrating its 25th anniversary and carrying on his mission - to bring the music to the people.

Red House's roster has featured folk stalwarts such as Loudon Wainwright III, former Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and Ramblin' Jack Elliott, whose 1995 album "South Coast" won Red House its first and only Grammy. The label's appeal is mainly to public radio listeners and the coffeehouse crowd.

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Red House caps a yearlong concert tour Saturday (Nov. 22) with a sold-out performance at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, featuring Eliza Gilkyson, John Gorka and Cliff Eberhardt. A 64-song, three-CD boxed set, "Red House 25: A Silver Anniversary Retrospective," is set for release Tuesday (Nov. 25).

Losing Feldman, a hands-on businessman who once ran Red House from his apartment and sold records from his trunk, was emotionally devastating to his staff. But it also re-energized the St. Paul-based label, which specializes in folk, roots music and Americana. The employees knew what had happened at other labels when the sole owner died.

"Most of them didn't survive. Their catalogs get sold to another label, and they basically vanish from the face of the business. And we didn't want that to happen with Red House," says Chris Frymire, 47, Red House's vice president of operations and a 19-year veteran at the label.

Red House survived by doing what a lot of other indie labels have done - create a brand that has "stood the test of time," says Rich Bengloff, president of the American Association of Independent Music, a trade organization that represents about 210 labels.

"I would buy a Red House record just based on reading a review or seeing the Red House (logo) on the back of the CD, because I know what they put out," Bengloff says.

A love of music is what makes for a successful independent label, says Tom Riggs, 72, whose Columbus, N.C.-based bluegrass label Pinecastle Records is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

"Most people in independent music still basically love the music, and unfortunately the major labels are run by bean counters as opposed to people who really love music," Riggs said.

Red House is a label that emphasizes singer-songwriters, who were beloved by Feldman.

"The vast majority of pop music out there is really focused on boy meets girl, boy loses girl, girl meets boy. They're all love stories, very superficial," said Frymire, the Red House vice president. "Red House artists songs tell a story, evoke an emotion, take you to a time and place you can relate to. There's just depth to it."

Feldman stressed selling one record at a time - a philosophy that his staff continues. The biggest sellers at Red House are Lucy Kaplansky's 1999 album "Ten Year Night" and "A Nod to Bob," a 2001 tribute to Bob Dylan featuring Red House artists. Each has sold more than 70,000 copies.

Larry Groce, host, artistic director and founder of the National Public Radio program "Mountain Stage," cites the "very thoughtful songwriting" of Red House artists, who are frequent guests on his show. Groce said Red House is "not aiming at the lowest common denominator and they're not trying to win over the mass market."

"The people who like to listen (to Red House music) are more of a literary bent," said Groce, who had his own hit, "Junk Food Junkie," in 1975.

Iowa singer-songwriter Greg Brown started Red House to issue his first two albums, naming it after the red house he was living in outside of Iowa City. A champion of folk music, Feldman invested $2,000 to reissue Brown's "The Iowa Waltz" and eventually quit teaching to focus on the label. Red House now has nine full- and part-time employees at its office in St. Paul's Midway area, a number that has held steady since Feldman's death in 2006.

The rest is at
Associated Press:

Monday, November 17, 2008

The ASL version of Defenders of Marriage

You've heard me play Roy Zimmerman's excellent song a number of times. Here's the latest version, filmed at the NorthEast Region Folk Alliance conference held this past weekend. The interpreter is Dave McCloskey, often seen at folk festivals; Roy is singing:

Sunday, November 16, 2008

11/16/08 Playlist

1. Eva Cassidy: Coat of Many Colors (Somewhere), Blix Street G2-10090
2. Andy Mullen: Sun Goes Up, Sun Goes Down (The Toenail Jar), self
3. K.C. Clifford: Johnny Cash (Pockets Full of Hope), self
4. Paul Reddick: Blue Wings (Sugar Bird), NorthernBlues 0050

5. Emily Kurn: I'm Just Like You (I'm Just Like You), self
6. Beppe Gambetta with Patty Larkin: Battle of Waterloo (Rendez-vous), Gadfly 516
7. Lindsay Mac: 7 Stones (Stop Thinking), self
8. Michael Jerome Browne: Pouring Water on A Drowning Man (This Beautiful Mess), Borealis 192

For the first legal same-sex marriages here in CT, and in support of those protesting Prop 8 this past weekend:
9. Danny Schmidt: Song for Judy & Bridget (Little Grey Sheep), Waterbug 79
10. Kim Richardson: Virginia (True North), self
11. Roy Zimmerman: Defenders of Marriage (Faulty Intelligence), Metaphor 920

12. Tish Hinojosa: We Mostly Feel That Way (Our Little Planet), self
13. Arlo Guthrie with The Dillards: Tom Joad (32 cents/Postage Due), Rising Son 1127
14 & 15. Cosy Sheridan: Weekend Workshop & The Days I Do Not Believe (Eros), Wind River 4042
16. Luke Powers: Aron Presley (Texasee), Phoebe Claire

Odetta's ailing -- you can find an address to which you can send a card at
17. Spiritual Trilogy: Oh Freedom, Come and Go with Me, I'm on My Way (Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues), Tradition 1004

18. John McCutcheon: Si Se Puede (Autumnsongs), Rounder Kids 8037
19. Christine Lavin & The Democratic Republicans: God Bless Barack Obama (single download)

In response to the AP news-story "Obama election spurs race crimes around country:"
20. Maria Muldaur and ensemble: We Shall Be Free (Yes We Can!), Telarc 83672

In competing concerts on Friday 11/21:
21. Cheryl Wheeler (Infinity Hall): Quarter Moon (Cheryl Wheeler), True North LP
22. Janis Ian (Cheney Hall): God and The FBI (God and The FBI), Windham Hill 11498
23. Cheryl Wheeler: Summer Fly (Half A Book), Cypress LP
24. Janis Ian: Boots Like Emmylou's (God and The FBI)

The world lost Miriam Makeba last week:
25. Miriam Makeba: Pata Pata (The Best of World Music/World Vocal), Putumayo Rhino R2 71203
26. Harry Belafonte with Miriam Makeba: Bamotsweri (The Many Moods of Belafonte) BMG

The Dreaded Folk Calendar over selections from Jeremy Kittel's "Roaming"

27. Northern Lights (Roaring Brook 11/22): Talk about Suffering (One Day), Fifty Fifty Music 106
28. David Jacobs-Strain (Iron Horse 11/23): Write Me A Few Short Lines (Liar's Day), self
29. Anand Nayak (P.A.C.E. 11/22)/ Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem: What's That (Big Old Life), Signature Sounds 2005

Gun sales have increased drastically since the election (ABC News with Charles Gibson, Nov. 7):
30. David Zink: Damn That Gun (Pyro), Papa's Moon 07802
31. Harvey Reid: Cryin' Shame (A Very Old Song), Woodpecker LP
2. Deborah Holland: Kids with Guns (The Book of Survival), Gadfly 257
33. Fred Eaglesmith: Time to Get A Gun (Ralph's Last Show), Signature Sounds 1265

34. Celeste Krenz: I Know You (My Mother and Me), self
35. Rex March Fowler: Stargazers (Stargazers), Red Engine
36. Tony Trischka: Trompe de L'reille (Territory), Smithsonian Folkways 40169
37, Catie Curtis: The Princess and The Mermaid (Sweet Life), Compass
38. Eliza Gilkyson et al: Peace Call (Land of Milk and Honey), Red House 174

Friday, November 14, 2008

Odetta hospitalized 11/8/08

On Saturday, she went into Lenox Hill Hospital for a check-up and IV nourishment. However, on Sunday evening she went into kidney failure, and we were told that the next 24 hours would determine if she would survive. Miraculously, she made it through that emergency, but is still listed in critical condition. I was on the road when she went in the hospital and rushed back on Sunday. Jan and I are thankful that Michelle was here and has been by Odetta's side every moment of this ordeal.

Odetta believes she is going to sing at Obama's Inauguration, and I believe that is the reason she is still alive. She has a big poster of Barack Obama taped on the wall across from her bed. Her old heart has already outperformed and lasted far beyond the expectations of the heart specialists who treated her in January-March 2007 when she had her last health crisis while touring out West. Now compounded with the kidney failure, the doctors at the hospital are trying to do everything possible to stabilize her system and prevent the weakening of her other organs. They have her on dialysis now to rid the body of the toxic poisons that have built up, and it seems to be slowly working. She is sleeping a lot, but after a dialysis treatment and some food, she is coherent and talking. She is not in pain. We are told that she will be in the ICU Unit for at least another week, and that we'll just have to wait and see after that. All of you are well aware of Odetta's indomitable spirit. Accordingly, I wouldn't bet against her singing for Barack in January!

If you would like to send a card, I know that she would love to hear from you (address of the hospital is below).

Ms. Odetta Gordon
Room # 719, 7th Floor ICU Unit
100 East 77th Street
New York, NY 10021

Monday, November 10, 2008

Late posting: Guest Host John Sloan's 10/5/08 Playlist


Road Home / String Cheese Incident / Round The Wheel / sci fidelity
Wildwood Flower / Roseanne Cash / Ramblin' Boy
Headin' South / Radoslav Lorkovic / High & Dry / shed
First Chill of Winter / Boo Hewardine & Darden Smith / Evidence / compass

Cursed Be The Caller / Jez Lowe & The Bad Pennies / Northern Echoes /
Love Vigilantes / Oyster Band / Ride / ryko
That's My Song / Bill Staines / Old Dogs
The Wing & The Wheel / Nanci Griffith / Last Of the True Believers / philo
The General Specific / Band Of Horses / Cease to Begin
Mud Slide Slim / James Taylor / Mud Slide Slim & the Blue Horizon / reprise

The Fields Of Athenry / Petra Haden / Ramblin' Boy
Follow Through / Michael Hedges / Best of / windham hill
Not Of This Earth / Keller Williams / Breath / sci fidelity
Arrowhead / Michael Hedges / Best Of / windham hill

Two Soldiers / Cowboy Junkies / Early 21st Century Blues /
Society / Eddie Vedder / Into The Wild- Soundtrack /
Factory / Martha Wainright /
No God But God / Brian Cullman / All Fires The Fire / sunny side
Detlef Shrempf / Band Of Horses / Cease To Begin
Couldn't Cause Me Harm / Beth Orton / Central Reservation / arista

Single Girl, Married Girl / Haden Triplets / Ramblin' Man
Ballad Of Lucy Jordan / Marianne Faithful / Perfect Stranger-Anthology /
The Long Way Home / Tom Waits / Big Bad Love-Soundtrack
Theme From Alamo Bay / Ry Cooder / Music By Ry Cooder / wb
Nobody Cares / John Mayall / Memories / polydor
All To You / Ellen McIlwane / Up From The Skies / polydor

Buzzinfly / Tim Buckley / Dream Letter-Live In London /
Easy / Norah Jones & Anoushka Shankar
An Architect's Dream / Kate Bush / Aerial / columbia
Dawning Is The Day / Moody Blues / A Question Of Balance / threshold
Givin In / Happy Rhodes / Rhodesongs / aural gratification
Little Brown Bat / Mike Craver / Wagoner's Lad / sapsucker
Sailing Round The Room / Emmylou Harris / All I Intended To Be
Autumn Song / Jory Nash / Tangle With The Ghost

Sunday, November 9, 2008

11/9/08 Playlist

The post-election show:
1. The Foremen: What Did You Do On Election Day? (Who's Left?), Reprise
2. Leonard Cohen: Democracy (More Best of Leonard Cohen), Columbia CK 68636
3. Ensemble: This Land Is Your Land (Ribbon of Highway, Endless Skyway), Music Road
4. Johnny Cash: I Am The Nation (Johnny Cash's America), Columbia/Legacy 23401
5. Gretchen Peters: American Tune (Trio), Purple Crayon
6. Roy Zimmerman: America (Faulty Intelligence), Metaphor 920

7. Bruce Springsteen: American Land (American Land), Columbia 88231
8. Eva Cassidy: People Get Ready (Live at Blues Alley), self [don't know if it's available through Blix Street --]
9. John Gorka: Good Noise (Out of The Valley), High Street
10. Aoife Clancy: There Is Hope (Sowing The Seeds -- The 10th Anniversary), Appleseed 1102
11. Ed Petterson: The Liberty Song [ca 1768] (Song of America), Split Rock / 31 Tigers 1206546
12. Roy Zimmerman: I Approve This Message (Thanks for The Support), Metaphor 922

13. Eliza Gilkyson: Chimes of Freedom (Misfits), Realiza
14. The Byrds: Turn, Turn, Turn (There Is A Season), Columbia / Legacy advance
15. Ferron: It Won't Take Long (Shadows on A Dime), Redwood LP
16. Bobby Darin: Simple Song of Freedom (Aces Back to Back), Hyena 9324
17. Tom Paxton: Outward Bound (The Best of Tom Paxton), Elektra Rhino R2 73515
18. SNCC Freedom Singers: Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around (Sing for Freedom!), Smithsonian Folkways 40032

19. Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen: 1800 and Froze to Death (The Light of The Day), Compass Rose 7

20. Malvina Reynolds: The Money Crop (Ear to The Ground), Smithsonian Folkways 40124
21. Peter Dyer: Moneychangers (single)
22. Woody Guthrie: Worried Man Blues (Some Folk), Properbox 115
3. Eliza Gilkyson: Runaway Train (Beautiful World), Red House 212
24. Tom Paxton: I Am Changing My Name to (single download)
25. Del McCoury et al: Breadline Blues 2008 (Moneyland), McCoury Music 0005
26. Utah Phillips: What We Need (Farewell to The Thief), Running Scared

The Dreaded Folk Calendar over selections from Beppe Gambetta's "Rendez-vous," Gadfly 516

27. Dan Bern: President (My Country II), Messenger 19
28. David Massengill: The X-President's Waltz (Fast Folk Musical Magazine March 1985), Fast Folk LP
29. Bob Dylan: When The Ship Comes In (The Times They Are A-Changin'), Columbia CK8905
30. Magpie: Give Light (Give Light), Sliced Bread 71185
31. Bob Gibson: Let The Band Play Dixie (The Living Legend Years), Bob Gibson Legacy
32. Phil Ochs: Power and The Glory (Farewells & Fantasies), Elektra Rhino R2 73518

33. Johnny Cash: Veteran's Day (Wounded Heart of America -- Tom Russell Songs), Hightone 8196
34. Mark Erelli: Volunteers (Delivered), Signature Sounds 2014
35. Joel Mabus: Touch A Name on The Wall (Retold), Fossil 1808
36. Elana James: Hey, Beautiful (single)
37. Ed McCurdy: When Soldiers Die in Battlefields / Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream (Fast Folk Feburary 1982
38. Eliza Gilkyson et al: Peace Call (Land of Milk and Honey), Red House 174

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Joan Baez on CNN

Legendary singer Joan Baez says she's finally happy
By Shanon Cook, CNN

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Joan Baez is in a celebratory mood. And rightly so: She's survived 50 years in show business.

The legendary singer, who rose to fame during the folk movement of the 1950s and 1960s, is marking the occasion with a new album called "Day After Tomorrow." Produced by Steve Earle (whom Baez likes to call "Mister Gruff"), it's a collection of bluegrass-tinged songs reminiscent of her early repertoire.

"We were looking for songs that feel like now but sound like back then," she said.

Earle penned one of the album's standout tracks, "God Is God," which he describes as "recovery speak." Baez also covers "Scarlet Tide," a song written by Elvis Costello and T Bone Burnett for the 2003 film "Cold Mountain."

At 67, Baez finds her voice may not have the sheer power it did in her 20s, but her political spirit is intact. She passionately expressed her support for Barack Obama during the presidential campaign, the first time the self-described pacifist has taken sides in party politics.

"I haven't heard an orator like that since King," she said. Baez knew the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and famously sang the protest song "We Shall Overcome" to a massive crowd at the Lincoln Memorial during King's 1963 March on Washington.

Baez spoke to CNN about sustaining her voice and finding happiness in her 60s. The following is an edited version of that interview, which was conducted before Tuesday's election.

CNN: What did Steve Earle bring to the table with your new album?

Joan Baez: Oh, everything but the voice. Spirit, some songs. His gruffness to my non-gruffness. He worked fast, really fast, and I like that. And he brought the musicians. I don't know who to choose for musicians. We were a good match.

CNN: Is there a song on the album that speaks to you more than others?

Baez: I guess the ones I go back listening to are "God Is God" and "Rose of Sharon." "Rose of Sharon" sounds exactly like an old folk song. I wouldn't have guessed in a million years that it's contemporary.

The rest at

Sunday, November 2, 2008

11/2/08 Playlist

1. Polk Miller & & His Old South Quartette: The Watermelon Party (Polk Miller), Tompkins Square 2028 []
2. Red Rock Rondo: Rocks on Fire (Zion Canyon Song Cycle), Steamboat Mountain []
3. Todd Burge: Buffalo Skinned by All The Kings Men (My Lost and Found), self []
4. Paul Rishell and Annie Raines (Vanilla Bean 11/8): I'm A Lover Not A Fighter (A Night in Woodstock), Mojo Rodeo []

5. A. J. Roach: Revelation (Revelation), Waterbug []
6. Haynie & Samuel: Please Don't Blame It All on Texas (Here in America), Hard Pressed []
7. Patriot Act: Back to Crawford Waltz (Farewell to The Thief! Volume IV), Running Scared []
8. Tony Rice: He Rode All the Way to Texas (Night Flyer), Rounder

I read "White House Memos on Wiretapping Sought" (Joan Lowy, AP, via
9. Chuck Brodsky: Dangerous Times (Color Came One Day), Waterbug []
10. Cindy Kallet: Trying Times (Cindy Kallet 2), Folk-Legacy 98 []
11. Ellen Bukstel & Nick Annis: By My Silence (Daddy's Little Girl), self []
12. Scott Alarik: Finest Are The First to Go (All That Is True), self
13. Band of Hope: If They Come in The Morning (Rhythm & Reds), MusikFolk 512
14. Solas: Song of Choice (The Words That Remain), Shanachie 78023

15. Hardy & Massengill (The Folk Brothers): The Worst President Ever (Partners in Crime), Great Divide 1780 []
16. Joni Mitchell: Strong and Wrong (Shine), HearMusic 30457

We're all worried about the economy -- have we forgotten that the wars continue?
17. Elana James: Hey Beautiful (single), promo []
18. Ensemble: Rise and Stand (Songs for Our Soldiers), Elthon []
19. Steve Earle: Rich Man's War (The Revolution Starts...Now), E-squared/Artemis
20. Eliza GIlkyson: Hiway 9 (Land of Milk and Honey), Red House 174 []
21. Richard Thompson: 'Dad's Gonna Kill Me (Sweet Warrior), Shout Factory []
22. Jackson Browne: Lives in The Balance (Solo Acoustic Vol. 1), Inside Recordings 52512 []

Studs Terkel died Friday:
23. Studs Terkel: Blessed Be The Nation (Where Have All The Flowers Gone -- The Songs of Pete Seeger), Appleseed 1024 []
24. Priscilla Herdman: Millworker (Forgotten Dreams), Flying Fish 70230 [] (“Millworker” was written by James Taylor, based on a story in Terkel’s book “Working”)

25. Will Kimbrough: Wind Blowing Change (Americanitis), Daphne 0607 []
26. Bob Dylan: The Times They Are A-Changin' (The Times They Are A-Changin'), Columbia CK 8905
25. Donal Hinely: Winds of Change (Blue State Boy), Scuffletown / Atom 1308 []

The Dreaded Folk Calendar

26. Mark Erelli: Hope Dies Last (Delivered), Signature Sounds 2014 []
27. John McCutcheon: Hope Dies Last (This Fire), Appalsongs 2007 []
28. Tom May: Hope for One and All (Blue Roads, Red Wine), Waterbug []
29. Eliza Gilkyson: Beautiful World (Beautiful World), Red House 212 []
30. Butch Hancock: Brother Won't You Shake My Hand (War and Peace), Two Roads Records
31. Mark Erelli: Seeds of Peace (Hope & Other Casualties), Signature Sounds 1296 []
32. Dirk Powell et al: Oui, On Peut (single download)
33. Maria Muldaur et al: Yes We Can Can (Yes We Can!), Telarc 83672 []
34. Butch Hancock: That Great Election Day (War and Peace), Two Roads Records

35. Paul Rishell and Annie Raines: It'll Be Me / I'll Be Looking for You (A Night in Woodstock), Mojo Rodeo []

36. Eliza Gilkyson et al: Peace Call (Land of Milk and Honey), Red House 174

Playing for Change

Watch this segment of Bill Moyers Journal for a hopeful story about music around the world:

You can also go to the Playing for Change website:

It looks as if the DVD won't be available until early 2009, but I might be missing something on the website.