Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Anthony da Costa at the Postcrypt Folk Festival

For the second year in a row, Columbia University's Postcrypt Coffeehouse wrapped up its season with an outdoor folk festival this past Sunday. (Back in the day -- before my time -- the Postcrypt was affiliated with a Columbia event known as the Furnald Folk Festival. I'm not sure if the current Postcrypt festival organizers are aware that they are following in this tradition.)

Allan, Alison and I arrived for the final two sets of the festival -- and my friend Julia joined us, too. I'd like to say that we were paying close attention to Chuck E. Costa's set, but we simply weren't. We were sitting in the shade, a little ways back from the stage, and enjoying the folk festival atmosphere.

When Anthony da Costa took the stage, however, we moved in for a better view and a better listen.

Anthony opened with Dan Bern's terrific song "Jerusalem" with its stabbing opening and closing stanza:
When I tell you that I love you,
Don't test my love,
Accept my love.
Don't test my love
'Cause maybe I don't love you all that much.
Then he went into his own "Devil's Won Again" and "Okemah Sunrise" before offering up a new love song with the repeated lyric 'I'll be your river valley / If you'll be my mountain range.' "Upstate Living" followed next, much to Allan's delight.

Collaborator Abbie Gardner joined him for a cover song and then "Note" from their Bad Nights/Better Days disc.

Then Anthony played a song about turning 16 that he hopes to get into the soundtrack for the television show My Super Sweet 16. At the time, we were convinced that we would be singing the chorus for a few days. At the moment, I'm afraid I don't remember it.

As an unusual closer -- the Postcrypt staff were folding up tables around the plaza -- Emilyn Brodsky joined Anthony on stage for a duet version of Leonard Cohen's "Chelsea Hotel."

In C

If you haven't heard, they played Terry Riley's In C, the breakthrough work of minimalism, at Carnegie Hall last Friday night.

Justin Davidson in New York Magazine anticipating the event:
A piano tolls high C’s for an uninterrupted hour, while underneath a varied ensemble interweaves pattern with burbling pattern. The music evokes no journey, produces no tension, excites no expectations, requires no relief. To sit up seems aesthetically incorrect.


David Harrington, a founding violinist of the Kronos Quartet, has assembled a large and disparate ensemble of musicians from several generations, united in reverence for this work. “All egos will be checked at the front door, and we’ll just start experimenting,” Harrington says. Expect a disciplined be-in.

And then Steve Smith's New York Times' review after it happened:
Emphasizing a communitarian spirit, the Kronos Quartet violinist David Harrington gathered 70 diverse performers, including the composers Philip Glass and Osvaldo Golijov, jazz improvisers, rock musicians, two vocal groups, a recorder quartet, a koto trio and players of invented implements.


Some listeners rocked in place. Others sprawled in their seats, adrift; one hammered the pulse into his palm with a rolled-up program. At the end, after 98 minutes of muddy thunder and hypnotic bliss, Mr. Riley and his ad hoc community received a tumultuous ovation.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Last Moonshine Show - May 17th

As we announced today on WKCR, May 17th will be my last day as host of The Moonshine Show, the program that I've been hosting since June 1998 (with breaks in the summer of 2001, the summer of 2005 and January-March 2007). I'll be hosting next Sunday's show with Logan Ledger, and then Logan will host on May 10th (while I'm traveling), and then I'll be doing the show solo on May 17th. Jeff Kandel will be hosting this summer, and Logan will take over the show for the foreseeable future in the fall. I hope that you all can tune in.

Playlist: The Moonshine Show - 26 April 2009

We had a great show today to go along with the great warm weather, playing a whole bunch of bluegrass favorites and playing many of them off of those heavy long-playing records -- the most LPs that we've played on the Moonshine Show in quite some time!


The Moonshine Show - 89.9 WKCR-FM, NYC
Sunday 26 April 2009 - 10 a.m. to Noon
Hosts: Matt Winters and Logan Ledger

Mike Auldridge; "Train 45 1/2"; _Takoma Eclectic Sampler_ (Takoma)

The Seldom Scene; "City of New Orleans"; _Live at the Cellar Door_ (Rebel LP)

Reno & Smiley; "I'm Using My Bible for a Roadmap"; _20 Bluegrass Originals_ (Gusto LP)

The Nashville Superpickers with Mike "Chickenhawk" Toppins; "Get Back"; _Fire on the Banjo_ (CMH)


The Osborne Brothers; "Georgia Mules and Country Boys"; _The World's Greatest Bluegrass Bands_ (CMH LP)

The Osborne Brothers; "Ruby, Are You Mad?"; _The Osborne Brothers_ (LP)

Kristin Scott Benson; "No Steering, No Brakes"; _Second Season_ (Pinecastle)

Jimmy Martin; "Run, Pete, Run"; _20 Bluegrass Originals_ (Gusto LP)


Jimmy Martin; "Hit Parade of Love," "Mary Ann"; _Bean Blossom_ (MCA LP)

Junior Daugherty with the Dry Branch Fire Squad; "Sally Goodin"; _Winterhawk Scholarship Album_ (LP)

Tony Trischka and Skyline; "Where You Hang Your Heart"; _The 2nd Winterhawk Scholarship Album_ (LP)

Peter Rowan; "Free Mexican Airforce"; _The Berkshire Mountains Bluegrass Festival_ (LP)


Spectrum; "I Will Survive"
Blaine Sprouse; "Jerusalem Ridge"
Jonathan Edwards and the Seldom Scene; "Wait a Minute"
Three from _The Berkshire Mountains Bluegrass Festival_

The Boys from Indiana; "Auctioneer"; _Wind-Gap Bluegrass_ (Mountain Laurel LP)


Country Gentlemen; "Matterhorn"; _Can't You Hear Me Callin': Early Classics, 1963-1969_ (Rebel)

Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen; "Amelia Earhart"; _45 Years of Memories_ (Pinecastle)

Doc Watson, Norman Blake and Dan Crary; "Black Mountain Rag"; _Tellulive: 1979 Telluride Bluegrass and Country Music Festival_ (Flying Fish LP)

Doc & Merle Watson; "Alabama Bound"; _Ballads from Deep Gap_ (Vanguard LP)


Dry Branch Fire Squad; "The Old Time Way"; _Fertile Ground_ (Rounder LP)

Hot Rize; "High on a Mountain"; _Tellulive_

Fiddle Fever; "Ashoken Farewell"; _Come to the Mountain: Old Time Music for Modern Times_ (Rounder)

Blue Harvest; "Miss Molly"; _Just Around the Bend_ (self-released)

The Cox Family; "Standing by the Bedside of a Neighbor"; _The Angels are Singing: A Women's Bluegrass Gospel Collection_ (Rounder)


Silk City; "Marche Funebre d'une Marionette," "Think It Over One Time"; _Silk City_ (Sliced Bread)

Tony Trischka with Skyline; "Brady's Leap"; _Ticket Back_ (Flying Fish)

Tony Trischka with Tom Adams; "Fox on the Run"; _Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular_ (Rounder)


James King; "Thirty Years of Farming"; _Thirty Years of Farming_ (Rounder)

Blue Highway; "V-Bottom Boat"; _Through the Window of a Train_ (Rounder)

Friday, April 24, 2009

New Banjo Movie

Throw Down Your Heart is the name of a new documentary following Bela Fleck across Africa, as he brings his banjo playing back to the instruments' native land. It opens today at the IFC Film Center in New York (and elsewhere, presumably).

Stephen Holden has a review in today's New York Times:
At every stop on a journey that takes him from Uganda to Tanzania to Gambia and finally to Mali, Mr. Fleck plays and records with gifted local musicians.


Mr. Fleck, a gentle, curious man of few words and formidable talents, is a benign presence. In a Ugandan village his banjo accompanies several local musicians playing a 12-foot xylophone. In Tanzania he collaborates with Anania Ngoliga, a master of the African thumb piano, an instrument consisting of metal tines of varying length attached to a wooden board. It is in Gambia that Mr. Fleck encounters the akonting, a primitive three-string forerunner of the banjo whose preservation is the mission of a troupe known as the Jatta Family.

(HT: Tina Aridas.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Judy Collins and Handgun Safety

I liked this story from Stephen Holden's review of Judy Collins' engagement at the Cafe Carlyle (although the ending obviously could have been far less humorous):
Her wildest tale described an adventure in Chicago on a winter night in which she caroused until 3 a.m. with two folk-singing colleagues, one of whom gave her a handgun for protection during the walk back to her hotel. Once safely in her room, she tried to remove the clip, and the gun went off.

More Fawning Over the Young Folksinging Set

Allan alerts us to the fact that the Bwog has alerted us all to the fact that Anthony Da Costa apparently will be a Columbia College student starting in the fall.

The entire Bwog post reads:
Spotted: Anthony Da Costa-–the most electrifying thing to happen to acoustic guitar since actual electric guitars-–at the Days on Campus activities fair, currently in Roone.

Says he's definitely headed to Columbia in the fall, and has his sights set on living in John Jay. (Ladies, take note.) Plus: he's walking around with his mom–be still our hearts!
Some of the comments so far read:
I don't get it... Does Jim Downie have a man crush on this dude or what's the deal? Bwog is crazy about this fella to a degree that's getting weird.


bwog you have a tendency to latch on to a particular freshman or 2 from each entering class and it makes a decent fraction of the rest of campus resent them (a la Stephan). Don't do it - it isn't fair to them, or us.


What about all those dreamy guys that already go here and build a race car from scratch every year? They may always have black fingernails, but they are dreamboats nonetheless.

Piece of advice to Anthony: if you want to follow in Matt Winters' footsteps, it all started in 1003 John Jay, baby.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Minimalism Remixed Again

Back on Live from Miller Theatre, we would sometimes use the Reich Remixed CD as a bed for our blabbering. It's a cool disc where a bunch of DJs take the basic ideas from Steve Reich's compositions and run wild with them.

Now the New Music Ensemble at Grand Valley State University is putting out a CD that includes a number of remix takes on Terry Riley's In C.

Among the remixers: DJ Spooky (who participated in the Reich project), Nico Muhly (perhaps the hottest young composer out there), Glenn Kotche (new music percussionist and Wilco drummer), Dennis Desantis (of Alarm Will Sound), David Lang (from Bang on a Can) and Todd Reynolds (from Ethel). What a great bunch of people! (Kotche and Reynolds both appeared on episodes of Live from Miller Theatre during my tenure.)

Alex Ross's blog pointed to this grooving -- and I mean that -- promo video:

Free Symphonic Downloads

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is making 10 symphonic recordings available for free download.

(HT: Alex Ross.)

Update: Man, does Mahler's first symphony crib some major Handel or what?

Remembering Citizen Kafka

Richard Shulberg -- aka Citizen Kafka -- passed away back on March 14th. We paid brief tribute to him on The Moonshine Show the following day, and Kenny Kosek and Tony Trischka shared some memories during the Tony Trishcka segment of the Country Festival.

Kenny, Ed Haber and John Goodman -- who with the Citizen had been the creative team behind the Citizen Kafka Radio Show -- paid lengthy tribute to the Citizen on WBAI, and I've been listening to that show, which is full of archival recordings, on Eli Smith's Down Home Radio Show web site. The show, which can be found here, is definitely worth checking out: all of the madcap antics for which these guys were and are known are on display -- if you like sarcastic, almost-overbearing, New York humor, these guys had it down.

On May 9th, there will be a Wretched Refuse tribute to the Citizen at Jalopy. They're doing two shows and requiring reservations.

Update: Someone with their Google Alerts turned on writes the following in the comments: "WFMU's 3-hour CK tribute is archived at: http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/31088."

Monday, April 20, 2009

NYT on The Dead Weather

Ben Ratliff had a great lede in the paper last Thursday in his review of Jack White's side project, The Dead Weather:

At the first public appearance of a fledgling band called the Dead Weather, at the Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday night, all four members dressed in dark clothes. They made infernal blues language with big drums and vocal whines and used beautiful Gretsch guitars and keyboards to create noises like woofs and air-horn blares. It was an hour of unease with jumbo gestures, like discarded ideas from Led Zeppelin’s first album. Nobody onstage looked very happy. The band was good looking and good sounding, perfectly acceptable and a bit inert.
"Infernal blues language," "discarded ideas from Led Zeppelin's first album," "perfectly acceptable"? Keep it coming, Ben!

Brooklyn Folk Festival Announced for Mid-May

I got an e-mail from Jalopy yesterday announcing the Brooklyn Folk Festival.

It looks like Eli Smith of the Down Home Radio Show has put together a great couple of days of music. With veterans like John Cohen (of the New Lost City Ramblers), Peter Stampfel (of the Holy Modal Rounders) and Pat Conte (of Major Contay and the Canebrake Rattlers) meeting up with some of the leading young lights of the New York City music scene, it should be a terrific mix of old and new, borrowed and blue and all that. The emphasis is definitely on roots music: jug band music, string band music and blues. This ain't no singer-songwriter festival.

See the complete schedule here.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Playlist: The Moonshine Show - 19 April 2009

Today, we were joined by New Yorker cartoonist Matt Diffee who hosts the Steam Powered Hour, a series that combines bluegrass music with comedians, projected cartoons and musical skits. Michael Daves performed tonight along with comedic storytellers James Braly and Adam Wade. (Let me say it right here: I love Adam Wade!) Matt read some of his cartoons over the air.


The Moonshine Show - 89.9 WKCR-FM, NYC
Sunday 19 April 2009 - 10 a.m. to Noon
Hosts: Matt Winters and Logan Ledger

Dave Evans; "Hello Stranger"; _Bad Moon Shining_ (Rebel)

Ross Nickerson; "Red River Valley"; _Blazing West_ (Pinecastle)

Rhonda Vincent; "Rhythm of the Wheels"; _All American Bluegrass Girl_ (Rounder)


Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys; "I am the Man, Thomas"; _Cry from the Cross_ (Rebel LP)

Dailey & Vincent; "By the Mark"; _Dailey & Vincent_ (Rounder)

Peter Rowan & The Rowan Brothers; "Lone Pilgrim"; _Sacred Voices: An A Capella Gospel Collection_ (Sugar Hill)

Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys; "I Am Weary (Let Me Rest)"; _Clinch Mountain Gospel_ (Rebel)


Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver; "Sadie's Got a New Dress On"; _More Behind the Picture Than the Wall_ (Rounder)

Jason Davis; "Buffalo Gals"; _Cuppa 'Jo: The Huber Banjo Sessions, Volume 2_ (Huber Banjos)

Curly Seckler with Jimmy Martin; "I'm Coming Back But I Don't Know When"; _60 Years of Bluegrass with My Friends_ (Copper Creek)

Grandpa Jones; "Old Rattler"
Jim Eanes; "Log Cabin in the Lane"
Both from _30 Bluegrass Hits_ (Deluxe)


Michael Daves; "Old Dangerfield," "Sophronie"; _Live at the Rockwood_ (self-released)

Chris Thile; "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground"; _How to Grow a Woman from the Ground_ (Sugar Hill)


LIVE Interview with Matt Diffee


Kenny Kosek; "Sugar Hill"; _Angelwood_ (Rounder)


Michael Daves; "Rain and Snow"; _Live at the Rockwood_


Merle Haggard; "Mama's Hungry Eyes"; _The Bluegrass Sessions_ (McCoury Music)

Lost and Found; "Wreck of the Old 97," "Window Up Above"; _It's About Time_ (Rebel)

Michael Cleveland; "Miller's Cave"; _Let 'Er Go, Boys!_ (Rounder)

Charlie Waller & The Country Gentlemen; "Crying in the Chapel"; _Crying in the Chapel_ (Freeland)


Jimmy Gaudreau and Moondi Klein; "Sweet Sunny South"; _2:10 Train_ (Rebel)

IIIrd Tyme Out; "Crucial County Breakdown"; _Round III at the MAC_ (Chateau Music Group)

Blue Highway; "He Walked All the Way Home"; _Lonesome Pine_ (Rebel)

Friday, April 17, 2009

YouTube Symphony Orchestra Debut

Tony Tommassini has the review in today's New York Times:
[A]fter 96 winning players were selected from more than 3,000 musicians who submitted audition videos and were brought to New York for a group summit and Carnegie Hall concert, how did the YouTube Symphony Orchestra finally play?

Quite well, actually....


There was Soo-Young Lee, a clarinetist from South Korea, now working in Austria, whose sincere belief that music is a universal language would wither any cynic. And George Durham, an experienced cellist who makes his living as a professional poker player in Reno, Nev.

After all the spoken and video tributes to YouTube and its owner, Google, it would be nice if this project could become permanent. But it is doubtful that YouTube will sponsor an orchestra, as NBC did for Toscanini during the heyday of radio. Still, as Kurt Hinterbichler, a physicist at Columbia University who is also an active performer on the double bass, explained in his video introduction, YouTube deserves credit. It did, after all, field a symphony orchestra instead of the YouTube International Basketball Team.

More on the Tallest Man on Earth

Allan alerts me to the collection of great photos from Wednesday night's show at the Bowery Ballroom over at Brooklyn Vegan. The non-animal-abusing types link to a review by Backseat Sandbar that speculates on how the Tallest Man is or is not tall:
Kristian Matsson’s “Tallest Man” status must surely come from his voice because no mere human should be able to sound like this (that, and it clearly does not come from his height). ... a penetrating growl of emotion that made the audience feel that Matsson was reliving each moment and truly experiencing every word as it was spoke.
"Penetrating growl" is pretty apt, although it's a nasally growl, rather than a junkyard dog growl -- it's definitely penetrating.

An anonymous commenter at Brooklyn Vegan suggests,
That was a good show. He should ditch the amplified and go straight up acoustic, best part of the show was when his amp failed and he lowered the mic.
That I actually disagree with. Although I liked the "this is folk music, and I can play directly into a microphone" moment quite a bit, I think that some of the edge of his songs comes from having the direct mic'ing of the guitar.

I also forgot to mention that he reminds me of Anthony da Costa. He does a bit.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Tallest Man on Earth at the Bowery Ballroom

David Stevens and I rolled into the Bowery Ballroom last night to catch The Tallest Man on Earth. David has been excited about this actually-not-that-tall Swede (real name Kristian Matsson) for quite some time, and having listened to his folky, acoustic-guitar-backed tracks on MySpace, I was up for checking him out.

The opening band was Red Cortez, a four-piece hailing from California and formerly known as The Weather Underground. Coming out harsh with two electric guitars being strummed at top speed, I said, while sticking my earplugs in, "Well, this should be a contrast to The Tallest Man..."

To my ears, they had a bit of a Black Crowes sound, but I say that about 2 out of 5 bands that I see for lack of better vocabulary, and David last night decided to make fun of me for the comparison. Therefore, I was pleased to discover that the folks at Daytrotter (via Brooklyn Vegan) agree with the assessment.

I warmed up to the group a little bit when lead singer Harley Prechtel-Cortez switched from blaring electric guitar to the keyboard. Cutting back to one furiously strummed guitar freed up the sound a bit, reducing the edge and bringing Harley's voice out. While at the keyboard, he launched into a solid gospel-sounding number with a beat meant to be clapped along to and some lyrics about the devil being outside.

They had a couple of other all right tracks, but nothing that really got planted in my head. Bassist Ryan Kirkpatrick looked like he was straight back from playing Lucky in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot. I appreciated that.

The Tallest Man on Earth was solid from the moment that he hit the stage. Armed only with an acoustic guitar, his elfin movements around the stage -- yes, the Tallest Man on Earth projects has an elfin demeanor -- brought the crowd in, and his playing was crisp and precise.

In fact, his guitar playing is pretty amazing. He can strum fast, but when he does, the bass line rises to the top of the playing. He can also fingerpick with the best of them -- by which I mean Blind Blake and Skip James -- getting a solid driving beat out of the guitar. And he does all of this while moving around the stage, coming back to the microphone -- slightly shocked to see it there -- to sing the verses. (In his sly stage wanderings, he reminded me a bit of Curtis Eller, who I saw back in February.)

The Tallest Man's sound is country gothic. He reminded me of some of the material that 16 Horsepower used to put out, although with implied banjo, rather than real banjo. He also reminded me of Bascom Lamar Lunsford, although maybe because he's not afraid to reference moles in the ground and lizards in the spring.

And there also is a clear Bob Dylan influence. The song "Honey Won't You Let Me In" takes pretty directly from "The Hour That the Ship Comes In," and seems to reference Eric Von Schmidt's "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down." His lyrics are a mixture of rambling cosmic imagery, which is Dylanesque in its way, too.

For the last song of his regular set, The Tallest Man busted out some roots, playing a really nice version of Patsy Cline's "Faded Love." Readily called back to the stage, he encored with two of his own songs.

In the middle of the set, his guitar pick-up stopped working, so he bent his vocal microphone down toward his guitar and continued to play and sing at the same time, and it all sounded good. The Tallest Man on Earth wasn't going to let the lack of a DI get to him. And I respect that. And I enjoyed my time with the Tallest Man on Earth.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Music for People Who Don't Like Music

That's Peter Matthews' description of the Dave Matthews Band:

I'd never seen the Dave Matthews Band before their sold-out show last night at Madison Square Garden, and on paper, it looked promising: electric violinist, brass section, high-energy lead singer. But, the music...just...didn't...go...anywhere. I guess this is what you'd call: music for people who don't like music. Nice stage show, though.

South by Southwest Note

Catching up with my reading over at Feast of Music, I find that Peter Matthews caught a pretty good bit of emcee banter:

"Hey, I have an ID here from someone who goes to Yale. And, here's another from somebody who goes to Cornell. So, hey, all you Ivy Leaguers, stop losing your sh*t."

- Todd P, Ms. Bea's, 11:44 pm.

Playlists: Womenfolk (Apr. 5 & 12, Mar. 29)

So I know it seems like I've been like a slacker, and while that's true in regards to posting stuff here at Sound of Blackbirds, I've been pretty busy everywhere else--playing gigs in and out of town, hosting several house guests, training for a marathon and preparing for my big CD release show.

We're also in the middle of KFAI's Spring Pledge Drive, which means all us DJ's are keeping pretty odd hours. I guested on Pam Hill's morning show this Tuesday, which was, as always, a blast--playing our favorite Richards (Shindell and Thompson). This Sunday on my show, I was joined by fellow KFAI DJ's Pam K (yes, different from Pam Hill!) and Liz Olds!  In addition to playing lots of listener requests and new releases, we talked with Lucy Kaplansky about her show this Friday at the Cedar Cultural Center...If you missed the interview, you can hear the archived show.

In addition to listening to the show any time, you can also pledge to Womenfolk any time by clicking here.  As a special thank-you, I will be sending folks who give at any level a sampler from Red House Records' 25th anniversary box set--an exclusive only available to Womenfolk pledgers!

Thanks for your support of women's music!


WOMENFOLK (April 12, 2009)
Hosted by Ellen Stanley
Fresh Air Community Radio, KFAI 90.3 FM Minneapolis/106.7 FM St. Paul
Sunday 11 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
*New Releases
**Womenfolk Theme Song

**Kris Delmhorst / Everything Is Music / Strange Conversation / Signature Sounds

Iris DeMent / When My Mornin’ Comes Around / The Way I Should / Warner Bros.
The Wailin’ Jennys / Beautiful Dawn / 40 Days / Red House

*Emily Kurn / No Need to Hurry Up / I’m Just Like You / Self
*Annabelle Chvostek / Wait For It / Resilience / Borealis
Nanci Griffith / Anything You Need But Me / Flyer / Elektra

[Womenfolk Find - Featured Artist of the Month]
*Rachael Kilgour / Sing Out Together / Rachael Kilgour / Self
Shawn Colvin / I Don't Know Why / Live '88 / Plump
Kate Wolf / Give Yourself to Love / Weaver of Visions / Rhino

Mavis Staples / Eyes on the Prize / We’ll Never Turn Back / Anti
Susan Werner / Help Somebody / Live at Passim / Sleeve Dog Records

The Sacred Shakers / Travellin’ Shoes / The Sacred Shakers / Signature Sounds
Crooked Still / Ain’t No Grave / Shaken By a Low Sound / Signature Sounds

[Behind Twin Cities Women’s Calendar]
*Alison Brown / Rain or Shine / The Company You Keep / Compass
*Jonatha Brooke / Little Bird / The Works / Bad Dog Records
Lucy Kaplansky / Over the Hills / Over the Hills / Red House

[Live Interview with Lucy Kaplansky]

*Lucy Kaplansky / Somebody’s Home / Red House 25: A Silver Anniversary Retrospective / Red House
*Kate MacKenzie / Past the Point of Rescue / Red House 25: A Silver Anniversary Retrospective / Red House
*Rosalie Sorrels / Talkin’ Wolverine/ Strangers in Another Country: The Songs of “Utah” Phillips / Red House

Adrienne Young / Art of Virtue / The Art of Virtue / AddieBelle
Ana Egge / Sitting in the Midday Sun / Lazy Days / Grace/Parkinsong

Kris Delmhorst / Bobby Lee / Songs for a Hurricane / Signature Sounds


WOMENFOLK (April 5, 2009)
Hosted by Ellen Stanley
Fresh Air Community Radio, KFAI 90.3 FM Minneapolis/106.7 FM St. Paul
Sunday 11 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
*New Releases
**Womenfolk Theme Song

**Kris Delmhorst / Everything Is Music / Strange Conversation / Signature Sounds

*Rebecca Pronsky / All the Birds / The Best Game in Town / Self
*Neko Case / Magpie to the Morning / Middle Cyclone / Anti

k.d. lang / The Valley / Hymns of the 49th Parallel / Nonesuch
*Edie Carey & Rose Cousins / Veering From the Wave / itsgonnabegreat / Self

[Womenfolk Find - Featured Artist of the Month]
*Rachel Kilgour / Bluebird / Rachel Kilgour / Self
*Harbor Collective / California / The Monday EP / Super Solar Records

Natalia Zukerman / Better Me / Brand New Frame / Weasel Records
*Terri Hendrix / Posey Road Stomp / Left Over Alls / Wilory Records
Adrienne Young / Art of Virtue / The Art of Virtue / AddieBelle Music

Patty Loveless / Sounds of Loneliness / Mountain Soul / Epic
Nanci Griffith / Speed of the Sound of Loneliness / Other Voices Other Rooms / Elektra
Jenn Adams / Angel From Montgomery / Water / Self

[Behind Women’s Calendar]
Kit McClure Band / Diggin Dirt / Just the Thing / RedHot Records

[Live in the Studio: Chastity Brown]
Chastity Brown / Bluegrassy Tune
Chastity Brown / Gracy

*Carrie Rodriguez / Rag Doll / She Ain’t Me / Back Portch
*Antje Duvekot / Ragdoll Princes & Junkyard Queens / The Near Demise of the Highwire Dancer / Black Wolf

Pieta Brown / #807 / In the Cool / Valley Entertainment
Lucy Kaplansky / Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go / Over the Hills / Red House
Julie Miller / Too Many Troubles / Respond II / Signature Sounds

Linda Thompson / Dear Mary / Fashionably Late / Rounder


WOMENFOLK (March 29, 2009)
Hosted by Ellen Stanley
Fresh Air Community Radio, KFAI 90.3 FM Minneapolis/106.7 FM St. Paul
Sunday 11 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
*New Releases
**Womenfolk Theme Song

**Kris Delmhorst / Everything Is Music / Strange Conversation / Signature Sounds

Alison Rae / Birds / Alison Rae / Self
Oh Susanna / Pretty Face / Short Stories / Outside Music
*Po’ Girl / Dig Me a Hole / Deer in the Night / Self

Kim Beggs / Up From the River / Wanderer’s Paean / Caribou Records
*Carrie Elkin / Questions About Angels / The Jeopardy of Circumstance / Self

[Womenfolk Find - Featured Artist of the Month]
Devon Sproule / Old Virginia Block / Keep Your Silver Shined / Waterbug
Rita Hosking / Operator’s Got a Call / Silver Stream / Self

*Lucy Wainwright Roche / Hungry Heart / 8 More / Self
Suzzy Roche / To Alaska With Love / Songs From an Unmarried Housewife and Mother, Greenwich Village, USA / Red House

*Neko Case / This Tornado Loves You / Middle Cyclone / Anti
*Eilen Jewell / Rain Roll In / Sea of Tears / Signature Sounds
*Rosalie Sorrels / He Comes Like Rain / Strangers in Another Country: The Songs of Bruce “Utah” Phillips / Red House

[Behind Women’s Calendar]
*Missy Raines / & The New Hip / Duke of Paducah / Inside Out / Compass

*Chastity Brown / New Orleans Groove / Sankofa / Self

[Live Interview with Edie Carey]

Edie Carey / Lonely / Another Kind of Fire / Self
Patty Griffin / Love Throw a Line / Impossible Dream / ATO
Tracy Grammer / Shadows of Evangeline / Flower of Avalon / Signature Sounds

*The Winterpills / Burning Hearts / Central Chambers / Signature Sounds
*Sometimes Why / Aphrodisiaholic / Your Heart Is a Glorious Machine / Signature Sounds

Calling All Ladies

Just wanted to pass on this information about the annual Powerful Women, Powerful Voices songwriting workshop and retreat for women, presented by Eliza Gilkyson, Nerissa & Katryna Nields, Gretchen Peters and Val Denn. It takes place at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in the Berkshires of Western Mass April 26-29. Some day I'll make it out there for this!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pirate Music Video

Robert Mackey over at The New York Times' The Lede has posted a music video made by the folks at Wired featuring footage shot by Somali pirates aboard a captured ship. He describes the following as "a sort of weird mash-up of a music video, a hostage tape and a home movie."


It's a shortened version of an almost 11-minute hostage video available on the Wired website.

As Mackey writes,

Presumably videos like this will not do much to bolster the case for more sober news coverage of the pirates made by Amy Davidson, who asked on The New Yorker’s News Desk blog last week: “Can we finally agree that the Somali pirates are neither romantic nor funny?”

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tony Trischka, Kenny Kosek and Sean Trischka on WKCR

Tony Trischka, his son Sean and Kenny Kosek just paid us a visit here at WKCR on the Country Music Festival. Here are some photographs!

(Thanks to David from the In All Languages Department for the use of his camera and for taking the better photographs.)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

2009 WKCR-FM Country Music Festival Schedule

2009 Country Music Festival
Perspectives In Country Music

Listen at 89.9 FM in the New York City area or at www.wkcr.org anywhere in the world.

Friday, April 10, 2009

12 a.m. to 1 a.m. - Introduction to the Festival

1 a.m. to 6 a.m. - Country Couples

6 a.m. to 11 a.m. - Billy Joe Shaver

11 a.m. to 6 p.m. - Mickey Newbury

6 p.m. to 10 p.m. - Michael Martin Murphey

10 p.m. to 12 a.m. - Outlaw Country Songwriters

Saturday, April 11, 2009

12 a.m. to 1 a.m. - Instrumental Steel Guitar

1 a.m. to 5 a.m. - The Musicians of Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys

5 a.m. to 8 a.m. - David Grisman and Jerry Garcia

8 a.m. to 11 a.m. - Geno Delafose

11 a.m. to 7 p.m. - Tony Trischka (New York Alive Program)

7 p.m. to 12 a.m. - Don Helms

Sunday, April 12, 2009

12 a.m. to 1 a.m. - Don Helms (continued)

1 a.m. to 3 a.m. - Cajun

3 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. - Country Gospel

5:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. - George Jones

2:30 to 4 p.m. - Eddy Arnold

4 p.m. to 11 p.m. - Dolly Parton

11 p.m. to 12 a.m. - Hank Williams Request Hour

Schedule Subject to Change

Playlist: The Moonshine Show - 5 April 2009

I listened to today's show from Chicago, Illinois, eating leftover deep-dish for breakfast. Logan Ledger hosted a good one.


The Moonshine Show - 89.9 WKCR-FM, NYC
Sunday 5 April 2009 - 10 a.m. to Noon
Host: Logan Ledger

Native and Fine - Bill Evans (Native and Fine - Rounder)
Don't Give Your Heart to a Rambler - Tony Rice (Tony Rice - Rounder)
Little Maggie - Little Grasscals (Nashville's Superpickers - Naxos World)
Darlin' Corey - Little Grasscals (Nashville's Superpickers - Naxos World)


I'll Be There - The Del McCoury Band (Cold Hard Facts - Rounder)
Cabin of Love - David Grisman with Del McCoury (Life of Sorrow - Acoustic Disc)
Lily Hoskins - Ronnie McCoury (Heartbreak Town - Rounder)
Chicken in the Washtub - Jason Carter (On The Move - Rounder)


Blue Railroad Train - Tony Rice (Manzanita - Rounder)
Ginseng Sullivan - Tony Rice (Manzanita - Rounder)
Home From The Forest - Tony Rice (Manzanita - Rounder)
Ridge Road Gravel - Tony Rice & Norman Blake (Blake & Rice - Rounder)
Little Beggerman/Gilderoy - Tony Rice & Norman Blake (Blake & Rice - Rounder)


John Deere Tractor - Larry Sparks (40 - Rebel)
Today Has Been A Lonesome Day - Special Consensus (Everything's Alright - Pinecastle)
Back Up And Push - James Alan Shelton (Song For Greta - Rebel)
Road To Columbus - James Alan Shelton (Half Moon Bay - Rebel)
Brown County Breakdown - The Dreadful Snakes (Snakes Alive! - Rounder)


Down Where The River Bends - Old And In The Way (Breakdown - Acoustic Disc)
Ain't No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down - The Greenbriar Boys (Big City Bluegrass - Vanguard)
The Sensitive Waltz - Andy Statman (East Flatbush Blues - Shefa)
Dusty Miller - Bryan Sutton (Not To Far From The Tree - Sugarhill)


Huffy - Mike Compton & David Grier (Climbing the Walls - Rounder)
Flop Eared Mule - Mike Compton & David Grier (Climbing the Walls - Rounder)
Train Wreck of Emotion - The Del McCoury Band (Don't Stop the Music - Rounder)


Wolves a-Howling - Bruce Molsky (Lost Boy - Rounder)
Drunken Hiccups - Bruce Molsky (Lost Boy - Rounder)
Let's Go Huntin' - Bruce Molsky (Contented Must Be - Rounder)
Glory in the Meeting House - Bruce Molsky (Contented Must Be - Rounder)
Sail Away Ladies - Brittany Haas (Brittany Haas - Ook)
Bonaparte's Retreat/Yell in the Shouts - Brittany Haas (Brittany Haas - Ook)
June Apple - Brittany Haas (Brittany Haas - Ook)
Don't Cheat in Our Hometown - Keith Whitley & Ricky Skaggs (Second Generation - Rebel)
Dream of the Miner's Child - Whitley & Skaggs (Second Generation - Rebel)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Some Lines on No Line on the Horizon

Sasha Frere-Jones reviews U2's No Line on the Horizon in this week's New Yorker.

He starts by recalling a 2005 concert experience:
[T]he moment the band began to play “City of Blinding Lights,” from “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb[,]” [t]he crowd went berserk.... The audience was going perceptibly more berserk for this particular song. I realized that I was hearing, for the third or fourth time, the evening’s loudest applause for a recent single. ... What other band, three decades into the game, gets its most intense audience reaction with new songs?

I think he overstates the case here a little bit, but I also think that he is spot-on about U2 fans digging into new material and developing new favorites.

His analysis of the new disc is also quite accurate. Overall, he describes it as "wobbly," refers to "Get on Your Boots" as "a sort of adorable blunder," and argues that "[m]any of the missteps on 'No Line' can be attributed to odd choices of lyrics." I think this is all quite true.

He also hits the nail on the head when talking about All That You Can't Leave Behind, saying it "felt like a greatest-hits album before the fact."

His final assessment of No Line on the Horizon?
This album is a long dinner with old friends, all of whom love each other, most of whom are born talkers, and some of whom hold the floor for too long. Not every anecdote holds up, and some of the food belongs, untouched, on the edge of your plate. But it would be small-minded to leave before the whole warm, rambling night is over.


(Update: At Ben's urging, there has been some modification of gender pronouns in this post.)

The Bluegrass Intelligencer

Finally, the Weekly World News has a bluegrass equivalent -- I mean, we've all been waiting for this, right? -- The Bluegrass Intelligencer.

Some of the current headlines:

Botched Exorcism Leaves Soul of Bruce Molsky in 13-Year-Old Girl

Red Stick Ramblers Quitting Music to Travel, Cook Full Time

New Mitchell Report on Performance-Enhancing Drugs Names Mountain Heart, Kentucky Thunder

Jim Mills Disappears in African Jungle Hunting Legendary Prewar Banjo

All the news that's fit to print and then some!