Monday, March 29, 2010

Spinner article about Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright Discusses New Album, Kate KcGarrigle and Sinking Into Sadness

Rufus Wainwright has had an eventful and painful past year. Last spring in Berlin, he debuted 'Sonnette,' a Shakespeare-based theatrical collaboration with maverick director Robert Wilson. A few months later in Manchester, he premiered his first opera, 'Prima Donna.' In December, he sang with his mother, Kate McGarrigle, at London's Royal Albert Hall and the following month she passed away of cancer in Montreal. And all the while, he was working on his melancholy new CD, 'All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu.'

More at

Sunday, March 28, 2010

3/18/10 Playlist

1. Steve Smith, Chris Sanders & Hard Road: Kindness of Strangers (Signs Along the Road), self
2. Danny Barnes: Charlie (Pizza Box), ATO
3. Robin Greenstein: Good Thing He Can't Read My Mind (Images of Women Vol. 2), Windy
4. Kris Kristofferson: Sister Sinead (Closer to The Bone), New West []5. Gloria Attoun: Radio Receiver (single), self

6. Corb Lund: This Is My Prairie (Losin' Lately Gambler), New West 7. Bonnie Koloc: You've Been A Good Old Wagon Daddy (Beginnings), Mr. Biscuit
8. Martin Grosswendt: The Prodigal Son (Call and Response), self 9. Lynn Miles: Surrender Dorothy (Black Flowers Volume 1-2), True North

10. Anne & Pete Sibley: Jus the Right Moment (Coming Home), self
11 & 12. The Honey Dewdrops: Don't Leave Me Here & 1918 (If the Sun Will Shine), self
13. Jan Krist & Jim Bizer: Artist's Market (Influence), Yellow Room Gang
14. Harlem Parlour Music Club: Christine (Salt of The Earth), self

15. Gordon Bok w/Kat Logan: Sherry's Song (Other Eyes), Timberhead
16. Nuala Kennedy: The Waves of The Silvery Tide (Tune In), Compass
17. Johnsmith: Jay Bird (Gravity of Grace), Blue Pine
18. Miss Tess: Train Ride to Caroline (Darling, Oh Darling), self

On this day in 1979, Three Mile Island's nuclear power plant overheated:
19. Don Lange: Take the Children and Run (Don Lange Live), Flying Fish LP
20. Tom Paxton: All Clear In Harrisburg (The Paxton Report), Mountain Railroad LP
21. Kristin Lems: Too Cheap to Meter (In the Out Door), Carolsdatter LP
22. Charlie King: Acceptable Risks (Somebody's Story), Rainbow Snake LP

23. Jay Linden: Foot of Glory (Under the Radar), self
24. Carolyn Cruso: Natural Disaster (Have You Ever), Blue Heron
25. Bob Wright & Harbortown Revue: When Billy The Kid Lived in New York (The Diver), self
26. Carolyn Currie: Rain (Waves of Silence), North C

Dreaded Folk Calendar over selections from Ron Cody's "The Talking Rake," self-released

27. Gordon Bok: Ocean Station Bravo (Other Eyes), Timberhead
28 & 29. Carrie Newcomer: I Wish I May, I Wish I Might & A Crash of Rhinoceros (Before and After), Rounder
30. James Gordon: How? (My Stars Your Eyes), Borealis
31. Rebecca Loebe: Avalanche (Mystery Prize), self

32. Adam Carroll: Errol's Song (Live at Flipnotics), self
33. Suzi Ragsdale: Wishbone (Best Regards / Less of The Same), self
34. I See Hawks in L.A.: I See Hawks in L.A. (Shoulda Been Gold), American Beat Records
35. Reckless Kelly: Bird on A Wire (Somewhere in Time), Yep Roc
36. Herdman / Hills / Mangsen: Language of The Bees (private recording), Herdman / Hills / Mangsen
37. Eliza Gilkyson et al: Peace Call (Land of Milk and Honey), Red House

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mary Chapin Carpenter to receive Spirit of Americana Award

Newseum to feature Mary Chapin Carpenter News release
By the First Amendment Center 03.26.10

WASHINGTON — “Freedom Sings,” an evening celebrating the power of free speech in music and honoring the career of Mary Chapin Carpenter, will be presented April 27 at the Newseum in downtown Washington.

Carpenter will receive the “Spirit of Americana” Free Speech in Music Award from the Newseum’s First Amendment Center and the Americana Music Association. The award recognizes artists who have used their work to raise awareness and promote free speech through their music and other efforts. Past recipients include Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Joan Baez, Mavis Staples, Judy Collins, Charlie Daniels and Steve Earle.

The rest is at

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Judy Collins on her life, songs, work

Judy Collins Speaks Of 'Rainbow', 'Clowns' and All Sides Now

Among Judy Collins’ many accomplishments, she is responsible for the last showtune to win the Grammy Award for Song of the Year. That, of course, was her 1975 rendition of “Send in the Clowns,” which helped establish the Stephen Sondheim song as a standard and made it a pop hit. A folk-music icon, Collins has included showtunes and standards, as well as rock songs, lullabies and hymns, Christmas carols and her own compositions, on the 40-plus albums she’s released since her debut, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, in 1961.

More at

Sunday, March 21, 2010

3-21-10 Playlist

All selections from CDs available to contributors as premiums, except #1:

1. Jamie Anderson: Public Radio (Better Than Chocolate), Tsunami
2. Greg Brown: Samson (Dream City), Red House
3. Dala: Levi Blues (Everyone Is Someone), Campus / Universal Music Canada
4. Cliff Eberhardt: (500 Miles -- The Blue Rock Sessions), Red House 5. Kristin Andreassen: Crayola Doesn't Make A Color For Your Eyes (Kiss Me Hello), self
6. Ensemble Galilei: Fire Up The Kiln, Love (Notes from Across The Sea, from Ann Mayo Muir), self
7. Archie Fisher: Borderlands (Windward Away), Red House
8. Eliza Gilkyson: Runaway Train (Beautiful World), Red House
9. John Gorka: Where No Monuments Stand (So Dark You See), Red House
10. K.C. Clifford: Johnny Cash (Pockets Full of Hope), self
11. Rosanne Cash: Motherless Children (The List), EMI / Manhattan
12. Sharon Isbin: Andecy (Journey to The New World), Sony Classical
13. Dave Rawlings Machine: I Hear Them All (A Friend of A Friend), Acony
14. Karan Casey & John Doyle: Exiles Return (Exiles Return), Compass
15. Harvey Reid: Sly Damsel Serenade (Blues & Branches), Woodpecker 16. Bonsoir Catin: Listen to Me (Vive L'Amour), Valcour
17. Slaid Cleaves: Run Jolee Run (Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away), Music Road
18. Girlyman: Easy Bake Ovens (Everything's Easy), self
19. Joy Kills Sorrow: New Shoes (Darkness Sure Becomes This City), Signature Sounds
20. Kieran Kane: More to It Than This (Somewhere Beyond The Roses), Compass
21. Sara Watkins: Where Will You Be (Sara Watkins), Nonesuch

The Dreaded Folk Calendar over selections from Jeremy Kittel's "Chasing Sparks," Compass

22. James Keelaghan: Circle of Stone (House of Cards), Borealis
23. String Sisters: The Champaign Jig medley (Live), Compass
24. Darrell Scott / Danny Thompson / Kenny Malone: With A Memory Like Mine (Live in NC), Full Light
25. Naomi Sommers: Come Home (Gentle As the Sun), American Melody
26. Chris Smither: It Takes A Lot to Laugh, It Takes A Train to Cry (Time Stands Still), Signature Sounds
27. Patty Larkin with Suzanne Vega: Pablo Neruda (25), Signature Sounds
28. Richard Shindell: Mariana's Table (Not Far Now), Signature Sounds
29. Eliza Gilkyson: Beautiful World (Beautiful World), Red House

Sunday in New York with Earle / Moorer, Collins

Today's New York Times "Sunday Routine" column describes Sundays with Steve Earle and Allison Moorer:

A month ago, it was Judy Collins's turn:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Video from Ann Mayo Muir's CD Release Concert

January 11, 2010, Annapolis MD

Sunday, March 14, 2010

3/14/10 Playlist

Radiothon: all CDs except for 1, 24 & 25 were available as premiums

1. Jamie Anderson: Public Radio (Better Than Chocolate), Tsunami
2. Danny Schmidt: Grampa Built Bridges (Instead the Forest Rose to Sing), Red House
3. Dave Rawlings Machine: How's About You (A Friend of A Friend), Acony
4. Sara Watkins: Where Will You Be (Sara Watkins), Nonesuch
5. Chris Smither: Surprise, Surprise (Time Stands Still), Signature Sounds
6. Bonsoir Catin: Un Bouquet de Camelias (Vive L'Amour), Valcour
7. Harvey Reid: Dance, The Storm Is Over (Of Wind and Water), Woodpecker
8. Carrie Rodriguez: El Salvador (She Ain't Me), EMI
9. Harlem Parlour Music Club: Christine (Salt of The Earth), self
10. String Sisters: Da Trowie Burn (Live), Compass www.compassrecordscom
11. Pete Seeger / Bruce Springsteen: Ghost of Tom Joad (Sowing The Seeds), Appleseed
12. Carla Ulbrich: If I Had the Copyright (Live from Outer Space), Romantic Devil Records
13. Ensemble Galilei: Hanko Panko (Notes from Across the Sea -- Ann Mayo Muir), self
14. Battlefield Band: Robber Barons (Zama Zama), Temple
15. Solas: Sorry (The Turning Tide), Compass
16. Darrell Scott / Danny Thompson / Kenny Malone: You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive (Live in NC), Full Light
17. Patty Larkin with The Nields: I'm Fine (25), Signature Sounds
18. Houston Jones: Pick Up The Snake (Jericho), self

Dreaded Folk Calendar over selections from Jeremy Kittel's "Chasing Sparks," Compass

19. Jamie Anderson: Public Radio (Better Than Chocolate), Tsunami
20. Carolina Chocolate Drops: Snowden's Jig (Genuine Negro Jig), Nonesuch 21. Jim Post: Beautiful City (Reach Out Together), self
22. Zoe Mulford: Just Before I Go (Bonfires), Azalea City
23. Slaid Cleaves: Beautiful Thing (Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away), Music Road
24. Annalivia: Barrier Falls (Barrier Falls), 5-String Productions
25. Girl Howdy: Honky Tonk Merry Go Round (Honky Tonk Hair), self
26. Eliza Gilkyson: Wildewood Spring (Beautiful World), Red House
27. Ellis Paul: Heaven's Wherever You Are (The Day After Everything Changed), Black Wolf

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Joanna Newsom in the NYTimes

Joanna Newsom, the Changeling

Jody Rosen, New York Times, March 3, 2010

"There is no shortage of Joanna Newsom Theory. Newsom is among the most critically lionized American musicians to emerge in the past decade. (This year, Roan Press published “Visions of Joanna Newsom,” featuring essays by Dave Eggers and other admirers.) She is certainly one of the most singular. She’s a classically trained virtuoso on an instrument withJoanna Newsom, the Changeling little meaningful popular-music lineage. She writes sprawling songs, unhinged from verse-chorus pop form and crammed full-to-bursting with lyrics that owe more to John Donne and Anne Sexton than to any songwriting sources. All of this would seem to relegate Newsom to the high-art avant-garde hinterlands. Yet she is an indie-rock star: “The Milk-Eyed Mender” and “Ys” (pronounced “ees”), from 2007, sold 200,000 and 250,000 copies respectively, huge numbers for independent-label releases, especially in the anemic 21st-century record marketplace. But sales figures don’t tell the whole story; her popularity is a phenomenon of depth, not breadth. To the members of her cult, Newsom inspires the kind of exegetical fervor that Bob Dylan did in 1966 — fandom on the high-rock album-era model, with devotees who pore over the runes of lyric sheets like Talmudists."

The rest at: Newsom&st=cse&scp=2

[I don't see any references to Loreena McKennitt, which surprises me -- she's not an indie-music darling, but she's been mixing and matching themes and styles and traditions and influences for decades.]

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Anais Mitchell and "Hadestown" on Weekend Edition

March 6, 2010

The ancient tale of Orpheus searching for his beloved in the underworld has been told many times. The Greek hero with musical superpowers was portrayed by composer Monteverdi in an early-17th-century opera. And in the 1800s, Jacques Offenbach told it differently. His famous opera featured gods and goddesses dancing the cancan for the finale. Now, the desolate journey of Orpheus is presented in a new way: as a folk opera written by singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell in collaboration with Ben Matchstick and Michael Chorney.

The rest is at

Sunday, March 7, 2010

3-7-10 Playlist

On Tuesday the Southern Poverty Law Center released a report about the growth of Hate Groups in the past year; these first 3 sets of songs are about hate and its victims:
1. Terri Hendrix: Judgment Day (The Art of Removing Wallpaper), Wilory
2. Ellen Bukstel/Nick Annis: By My Silence (2008/2009 Music to Life), Public Domain
3. Chuck Brodsky: In the Beginning (Tulips for Lunch), Waterbug
4. Lui Collins: Guinevere and The Fire (Stone by Stone), Molly Gamblin

5. Tom Waits: Road to Peace (Orphans), Anti-
6. Ralph McTell: Peppers and Tomatoes (Sand in Your Shoes), Red House
7. Hugh Blumenfeld: Laramie (Mr. Jekyll & Dr. Hyde), self
8. Richard Berman: Jacob Weintraub (Dreamer), Aries
9. Kevin So: Just Like You, I'm An American (Along the Way), Omni

10. Ann Reed: God Is Sleeping / Medley (Telling Stories), Turtlecub
11. Roy Zimmerman: Kill A Doctor for Christ (Security), Metaphor
12. Jack Williams: This Moment Is Mine (Eternity & Main), Wind River
13. Roy Zimmerman: Defenders of Marriage (Faulty Intelligence), Metaphor

Guest: Kerri Powers (Hungry Tiger 3/14),
14. Tallulah Send A Car for Me (live)
15. Shadow of Someone
16. Do You Hear Footsteps (Faith in The Shadows), self
17. To Love Somebody (live)
18. Fireworks and Cheap Repairs (live)

Ticket Giveaway:
19. Natalie MacMaster (Jorgensen 3/19 & 20): Matt's & Nat's (Yours Truly), Rounder

The Dreaded Folk Calendar over selections from Pete Huttlinger's "The Santa Rita Connection," self

It's Liz Meyer's birthday:
20 & 21. Blue Lonesome Wind & The Only Wind That Blows (The Storm), Strictly Country

One more ticket giveaway:
22. Natalie MacMaster: Mother Nature (Yours Truly), Rounder

23. BluesGrass (Fred's Brick House 3/14): Tear My Stillhouse Down (BluesGrass), self
24. Grada (Iron Horse 3/12): John Riley (Natural Angle), Compass 25. Garnet Rogers (PACE 3/13 ): Here Tonight (Shining Thing), Snow Goose
26. Four Bitchin' Babes (Springfield Symphony Hall 3/11-3/13): Chocolate (Diva Nation), self
27. Aztec Two-Step (3/12): Old Friends (Time It Was), Red Engine
28. Eliza Gilkyson et all: Peace Call (Land of Milk and Honey), Red House

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Tour of The Martin Guitar Factory

Guitar Towns: C.F. Martin

The Martin family has been making prized guitars since 1830. They still make them by hand -- with a little assist from robots.

By Jim Washburn for MSN City Guides

C.F. Martin I and his family had emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1833, a daunting proposition involving some three months on pitching seas to arrive in a roiling new land whose future was by no means secure.

Martin was fed up with the old world, where his town's guild of violinmakers had tried to force him out of business. Here, he was free to develop uniquely American guitar designs that have allowed him and his successive guitar-making Martins to thrive for 177 years. From settlers' covered wagons to space shuttle launches, Martin guitars have been along for the ride, and Martin instruments have facilitated the music of Hank Williams, Elvis, the Beatles, Eric Clapton, John Mayer and thousands of other name musicians.

Even before the first C.F. Martin had a factory, company records show that musicians were traveling to visit the family house on Cherry Hill above Nazareth, Pa., where he built his guitars, says Dick Boak, Martin's head of artist relations and limited edition instruments. For much of the company's history, there weren't organized tours: Folks would turn up and whoever wasn't busy would show them around. The company started conducting organized tours in the 1960s, after the boom in guitar-driven folk and rock music had necessitated building a new factory, and had inspired more people to seek the source of their sound.

More at:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rounder Records' 40th Anniversary

Rounder Records at 40

Airing on PBS stations this month (beginning Saturday) is "Rounder Records' 40th Anniversary Concert," a celebration of the storied and thriving Massachusetts-based independent music label. Artists performing range from bluegrass superstars Alison Krauss and Union Station to New Orleans soul queen Irma Thomas, singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter, rocking actress Minnie Driver, multigenre banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck and Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas. They're all on the Rounder label—in some cases, for decades. (A companion CD with additional performances included is being released Wednesday, and an extended DVD on May 4.)

For the most part, independent record labels come and go, or get swept up into larger music-making conglomerates with new management, often with little institutional memory at all. Remarkably, Rounder—begun in 1970 with a recording of old-time banjo player George Pegram, and the home last year of the Grammy-winning Album of the Year (Alison Krauss and Robert Plant's "Raising Sand")—is still helmed, if with a much larger executive staff, by the same three roots-music aficionados who started up the company with no industry experience whatsoever. The '60s folk-music revival was waning, and the whole range of music that Ken Irwin, Marian Leighton Levy and Bill Nowlin loved was becoming frustratingly hard to find.

The rest is at: