Mark Erelli just released a new album entitled Little Vigils. On his website this month he wrote an impassioned piece on the importance of the journey in music discovery. He asks the question, “When you can find an answer (though it may not be correct) to any question with a simple web search or hear nearly everything ever recorded with a few keystrokes, what can any of it be worth?” He uses his ‘gateway’ band- The Grateful Dead- to his discovery of George Jones. He clearly makes an argument I’ve unsuccessfully attempted to communicate- the search for music is as important as the listening to the music. Read more at http://markerelli.com/
Archive for July 2010
Thanks to Jeff over at Country Standard Time, I was able to attend a day at the Calgary Folk Music Festival. As I’ve written before, I have a hard time attending more than a day of any festival. Calgary never disappoints and even lacking huge name acts- Roberta Flack (!) and Ian Tyson were likely the only household names on the slate for this year (depending on the home, I suppose.) I hope no one reads into this anything of a slag toward the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, itself a brilliant creation. Edmonton and Calgary are different beasts, each with their positives and shortcomings.
Between Jeff’s and my computers, there was difficulty getting my writing published. Jeff posted much of the review here http://www.countrystandardtime.com/d/concertreview.asp?xid=540 and I will post the entire, unedited article here at Fervor Coulee. Thanks for visiting, as always. Donald
With 67 performers from around the globe- including the United Kingdom, Australia, Israel, and Niger- representing the diversity of turntablism, blues rock, nu-folk, gospel, country, and- in a select cases- folk, the 2010 edition of the Calgary Folk Music Festival may have been the most eclectic in 31 years.
Often overshadowed by its monolithic northern brother in Edmonton, the CFMF has long been the preference for music lovers looking for comfort- the treed-island set in the Bow River provides shelter from the sun throughout the day- ambiance, and an exceptional music selection deliberately refusing categorization. As the fest’s artistic director wrote in the program, the CFMF is “an idyllic verdant urban village where indie artists, roots and country veterans and blues masters rub sonic shoulders with global electronic divas, Latin rhythm masters, Ukrainian rock bands and Congolese hipsters.”
In an effort to nurture the festival, the directors have continued to manipulate the offerings to extend the audience while maintaining respect for the music and performers the loyal patrons have consistently supported. 20% of the talent booked is home-grown with a full 50% Canadian. In recognition of the breadth of the offerings, additional sessions were added this year with a side-stage complementing the main stage most evenings. The festival came within a few hundred tickets of being a sellout, with Friday and Saturday tickets unavailable at the gate.
Due to competing demands- including becoming just too darn old and impatient to spend four days at any festival- I only took in the Saturday. And as Country Standard Time did the assigning, for the most part I searched out the country side of the fest.
Country music was well represented on this particular day by three artists with strong Alberta connections – Tom Russell, Ian Tyson, and Corb Lund. As has occurred in the past, Russell was the standout. Pulling his attentive side-stage concert audience into his “neon world of knives and guns,” the Texas-resident opened with his modern classic “Blue Wing” before launching into a set that emphasized more recent material. With a generous offering of songs of immigration blues, near death experiences, cowboy truths, and western debauchery, it didn’t take long for Russell to expose much of the nu-folk crowd as obvious pretenders- passionate perhaps, but lacking in the gravel of life. Accompanied by guitarist Thad Beckman, Russell was in keen voice and humour, reinvigorated since last seen and heard.
Corb Lund could do no wrong with a hometown crowd enthusiastic for his hip, country offerings. Like Russell, Lund concentrated on fresher material. Indeed, the southern-Alberta native performed a handful of songs not previously encountered including “R-E-G-R-E-T” and an untitled tale of an antique pistol. His calm confidence allowed Lund to deliver personal portraits of love lost and tributes to those who serve with equal composure, but also enabled Lund to effortlessly join in with his mentors- Russell and Ian Tyson- in an early afternoon session.
It was during this interactive workshop that the afternoon’s most memorable moments occurred. Sharing the stage with blues- and jug band-master Geoff Muldaur (who performed a number of well-received offerings from the likes of Mississippi John Hurt and Bobby Charles), Lund, Russell, and Tyson swapped songs in a companionable manner. Providing evidence of the enduring patron base supporting these country-shaded singer-songwriters, this session filled the audience bowl to the fence.
Sharing songs of family experience (Russell’s “Throwing Horseshoes at the Moon”) and embellished history (Lund’s “Five Dollar Bill”), the three displayed an amiable desire for collaboration. Again performing “Blue Wing”, Russell traded verses with the more youthful Lund while Tyson joined in on the chorus. Elsewhere, Tyson reluctantly joined Russell on “Navajo Rug”, while Lund swapped verses with Tyson on “M.C. Horses”, with Russell jumping in on the chorus. It is this interplay that can only happen in a well-constructed session that creates the magic of a music festival.
Into the evening, Tyson opened the main stage offerings with a captivating hour-long set of western country songs. Performing tunes largely drawn from his most recent albums, Tyson also went back into his saddlebags to locate “Smuggler’s Cove”. The lyrics of “This is My Sky” and “Land of Shining Mountains” may be geographically specific, but their metaphors speak to more global experience. So well-received was Tyson, now fully adapted to his new, virus-scarred voice, that he was allowed to return for a rare main stage encore, capping his performance with his signature song, “Four Strong Winds”.
Elsewhere on the grounds, world music held court. A crowded stage featured India’s Debashish Bhattacharya, Belgium’s Natacha Atlas, and Vancouver’s Delhi 2 Dublin. Fiddle, percussion, guitars, and a range of stringed and wind instruments caused trance-inducing sounds to swirl overhead. Augmented by Atlas, a singer with the world in her voice, the collaborations between the dozen or so instrumentalists- including “S.O.S.”- were met with great enthusiasm.
Steve Dawson’s Mississippi Sheiks tribute project was represented by guitarist Del Ray, Geoff Muldaur, Robin Holcombe, and Dawson sharing a soothing concert set of stringband standards including “Please Baby”, “We Both Are Feeling Good Right Now”, and “Lonely One in this Town”.
Over on the main stage, Greg Brown delivered a spellbinding set of mid-western rural blues. With a voice as deep as his penchant for folkosophical parable, he drew close the ears of the dinner-eating masses. Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens brought church to the people with forty minutes of uplifting gospel soul music.
A bit sultry, a whole lot dirty, Memphis-based Hill Country Revue took things in a different direction with a set of Mississippi education. Destroying any “Kumbaya” moments that may have been developing, Cody Dickinson’s troupe shared a surprisingly flavorful set of modern southern rock. The horn-based pop of The Cat Empire got the crowd dancing, giving promise for a glorious set.
Unfortunately, facing a two-hour drive home, I elected to sneak out during their initial numbers and therefore missed Corb Lund and the Hurtin’ Albertans’ evening-closing set.
While the focus of the Calgary Folk Music Festival is increasingly kaleidoscopic, there remains sufficient support- both from the audience and the festival’s management team- for more traditional music. While populist acts are necessary to pay the bills and diverse, developing talents are required to keep the festival young and vital, little evidence exists to suggest the festival is in danger of losing its way.
Discovery of the day- Baskery, three Swedish sisters playing explosive lingonbilly on electric banjo, bass, and guitar
Appreciation of the day- The staff and volunteers who make this show occur. Hats off, y’all!
Affirmation of the day- The ‘good neighbor’ policy isn’t understood by too many who continue to see outdoor music fests as the place for nonstop chatter
Peeve of the day- Artists who repeat songs- Tyson, Russell, and Lund were all guilty
Disappointment of the day- no bluegrass (none scheduled for the entire weekend!)
Good guy of the day- Ox’s Mark Browning who gave up his main stage tweener to encourage Tyson to return for an encore
I’m looking forward to listening to this album later tonight. I downloaded it at https://www.noisetrade.com/jamesmcmurtry, where in exchange for an email address and a promise to ‘pass the word’, select albums are available. Lots of folks I’ve never heard of and a few I have including Thad Cockrell. Anyhow, if you’re interested…
[Update- turns out my download was for a single song, not the entire album. Hmmm, I don't recall it stating that on the website. In fact, the way I read it, quite the opposite. Nothing much ventured...]
Aaron has posted my review of the latest from Matt Urmy (see below) at the Lonesome Road Review. Buy this album. NOW! I can’t imagine that you will be disappointed. Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald
The last time I was this excited about a fairly unknown (to me) singer-songwriter was when I was introduced to Jay Clark via www.wdvx.com. As an aside, I likely heard Urmy on WDVX as well since he lived in Knoxville for most of the past decade prior to his return to Nashville; unfortunately if I did, his music didn’t register. My bad. I had previously downloaded New Season Comin’ and quite loved it. But this new one takes things to an entirely different level.
Sweet Lonesome is an incredible album. I only received it yesterday and listened to it once last night and several times today. When looking for comparisons, the best I can come up with tonight is that Urmy and Sweet Lonesome remind me of Mary Gauthier at her best. They share a similar poetic outlook, a common way of looking at the complexities of relationships and life, and they manage to explore some pretty intense things while creating music that isn’t as dark as it may seem. Visit www.matturmy.com for more information. I’ve submitted my review of the album to the Lonesome Road Review and I hope it will be accepted. I hope I did Matt and his album justice. [Update: It took me all day, but I finally came up with the stylistic comparison I was searching for- Urmy reminds me a bit of Mike Plume, although Urmy is much gruffer. And if you don't know who Mike Plume is, you should!]
Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald
Another week passes. Looking forward to catching at least one day of the Calgary Folk Festival this coming week- plans are to be in attendance on Saturday. The week following I’ll be heading up to Stony Plain for the Friday of Blueberry Bluegrass- I’m wanting to catch Fred Eaglesmith there as I’m interested in the reception he’ll receive. I was exchanging email with a New York friend a couple weeks back and she caught Fred while he was in NYC to film Letterman. She expressed that she and hers quite enjoyed the show, although this was tempered with the comment that “the Willie P. Bennett days are long gone.” I understand what she means- it seems like Fred is one of those folks who just can’t stand still with his music- things are always changing. What I find consistent is the quality of his live performances, so I’m looking forward to that evening in Stony Plain.
This week’s listening was typically broad.
Greg Brown- Dream Café I heard the title cut on the radio about three weeks ago, and fell for it in a big way, especially the line where he sings- words to the effect of- “I still smell the lilacs in the corner of the dream café.” Inspired to hear more, I looked on the shelf but couldn’t find the song on the Brown set I thought it was on (Dream City got confused with “Dream Café” in my wee, over-taxed brain.) This week, in anticipation for seeing Brown at the Calgary Folk Festival, I took another look and was surprised to find this album on the shelf. Things surface when they need to. A beautiful album with “I Don’t Know that Guy” standing out. Listening to Greg Brown can change the course of your life because he makes you attentive to details you may otherwise overlook. Like the smell of lilacs in a café.
Kim Beggs- Blue Bones I reviewed the album in last week’s column. An unassuming album that reveals its treasures with every listen. Perhaps my favourite album of the past few months, and an early favourite for my 2011 Polaris ballot.
Lonesome Traveler- Looking for a Way An acoustiblue band out of- I think- Colorado. Just received as it was assigned to me by Aaron at the Lonesome Road Review.
Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby- Two-Way Family Favourites I didn’t care for their album of last year, which was a surprise because individually they are faves. “Whole Wide World” is in my top 50 songs of all-time. This short little collection of covers is more enjoyable, some of it a bit predictable but in other places quite shocking- “Endless Wire,” anyone? The song I was most looking forward to- “Living Next Door to Alice”- has some strange vocal effects in it and these distracted me a bit. I’ll listen to it more, and will give the previous collection a do-over as well.
Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane At Carnegie Hall I’ve been reading the Harry Bosch novels of Michael Connelly of late and the main character listens to instrumental jazz while contemplating his cases. This album was mentioned in one of the most recent novels read and the story behind the release- the tapes were found in an uncataloged box at the Library of Congress- appealed to me. On my next visit to the local library I decided to flip through the jazz stacks (not really expecting to see anything of interest, but thinking that maybe it was time to follow Bosch’s lead, much as I have previously followed Rebus’ listening) and as I turned to leave the cover of this one caught my eye for some reason- the simple blind-contour drawings jumped out at me- and I recognized the title. The album itself doesn’t do much for me, but it was an enjoyable listen. I suppose I look at jazz the same way some others look at bluegrass- I don’t understand where it is coming from, I don’t really understand it, so it doesn’t really appeal. Still, it was nice to listen to the music behind the story.
Jimmy Webb- Just Across the River A real surprise. Terrific and reviewed below.
Red Horse- Red Horse Red House artists Eliza Gilkyson, John Gorka, and Lucy Kaplansky get together to swap songs- via long distance- in an eminently listenable manner. Oliver di Place writes about it much more eloquently than I could- http://oliverdiplace.blogspot.com/2010/07/red-horse-self-titled.html “I’ve got a foolish heart, but I’m not an idiot,” sings Eliza. Yup. And I recognized Tom Russell’s painting style on the cover as the disc slipped out of the mailing envelop.
Miles Davis- The Birth of Cool Picked up at the library.
Kiss- Gold I’ve been watching too much of Gene Simmons Family Jewels of late. For my dollars, the best of the ‘unscripted’ celebrity promotional series if only because the massively ego-ed Simmons is consistently undermined- in the gentlest manner possible- by his sharp-witted children. Unlike other celebrity reality t.v. kids, Sophie and Nick seem like entirely non-bratty, non-self-indulged, well-adjusted people. I have likely bought a dozen different Kiss packages over the years, going back to grade seven and my purchase of The Originals. I usually listen to the sets once or twice and then trade them in. The last time I wanted a Kiss fix, I bought this double set and determined that I would hold onto it simply because I knew the day would come when I really wanted to hear “Firehouse” one more time. A solid set with a fair amount of filler- never has a band ridden a dozen superior songs- all recorded in their first decade- further.
The Chieftains featuring Ry Cooder- San Patricio I read a review of this somewhere and it was quite unfavourable but the story of the disc- Irish immigrants to the US (among others) who went to fight alongside the Mexican forces in the mid-1800s- captured my imagination. The Chieftains so are so versatile, and I thought the album made for very interesting listening.
Great American Taxi- Reckless Habits I’ll be reviewing this one in my next column as the band is appearing as part of the Central Music Festival in Red Deer in mid-August. A solid set of country-rock tunes, highlighted by the title track about Gram Parsons.
D.B. Rielly- Love Potions and Snake Oil Some album are ‘all over the place’ and as a result, don’t work as a whole. Rarely do albums as fractured as this one keep it together and provide an enjoyable and refreshing listening experience. I’ll listen to this one more, and will review it…eventually.
Mickey Jupp- Long Distance Romancer and Shampoo, Haircut, and Shave Sophisticated pub-rock at its finest. As I do with Wreckless Eric, I go back to the Stiff days with Jupp although I didn’t listen to his music with the same ferocity I did Eric’s, Rachel Sweet’s or Lene Lovich’s. During the summer, I have nights when I can’t sleep, and had a couple of those this past week- whatever novel I was reading was more appealing than sleep. While reading, these two discs came off the shelf. Nothing fancy, but solid and enjoyable- which seems to be my word of the week.
Kim Beggs- Wanderer’s Paean Purchased via download because of my interest in Blue Bones. I have her second album around here somewhere, but can’t find it. I can’t imagine that I would have traded it in at the used store, but perhaps I lent it to someone and never got it back. I love her voice and approach to folk music.
The Pogues- Rare and B-sides I don’t do this very often, but a couple weeks back I found a four-disc bootleg collection on the ‘net and downloaded it. I already have likely half of these recordings on the album reissues and various singles and collections, but I was interested in having the full slate of odds and sods from The Pogues. Again, insomnia listening. A cracking set- their b-sides are as interesting as everything else they recorded.
Andre Williams & The Sadies- Red Dirt
Johnny Darrell- Singing it Lonesome As I think I’ve written before, I always discover new music within the Oxford American music issues- artists that I’ve always needed to hear. Johnny Darrell was written about in an issue from several years ago but was only read last February. Since then, I’ve found his music in a few different places. When I’m listening to Darrell, I don’t have a more favourite country singer.
John Hiatt- Warming Up to the Ice Age, Riding with the King and Bring the Family Got on a bit of a roll one afternoon last week. While the first two were recorded during a commercial low, they were the first albums of his I heard and I thought they were brilliant. I actually caught him live in Edmonton at the nearly empty Howlin’ Wolf (at least I think that is what it was called) in mid-May 1987 just before he released Bring the Family. One of those shows that go down in the ‘I’m glad I went’ category; it was magic and has only gotten better in my memory. I only stayed for the early show because, when I phoned home to tell my wife-to-be that I was staying for the late show as well, she informed me that I had missed a call from a school in Saskatchewan who wanted to talk to me about a job. As this was the first positive call I had had since finishing university the previous month, I skipped out on the late show, went home to return the call, and ended up starting my teaching career in La Loche. So I traded a second Hiatt set for the start of my career. It was a fair trade, I think.
Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band Hyde Park, 2009 June 28 A typically fine set- uptempo and inspired with an almost flawless setlist- I just don’t get “Outlaw Pete!”
Jackson Browne & David Lindley- Love is Strange En Vivo Con Tino Disc 2
Townes Van Zandt- For the Sake of the Song, Our Mother the Mountain, and Townes Van Zandt The first three albums within the Texas Troubadour set, which has just been reissued by Charley- four discs, seven plus albums- for $22 on Amazon.ca. These ones came up in the 300-disc jukebox this week as something else finished up. What can you say about Townes? He knew how to write a song. Too bad he didn’t know how to live.
[Several months after writing this review, I was asked to submit a review of Blue Bones to the Lonesome Road Review. That piece is posted here: http://www.countrystandardtime.com/d/cdreview.asp?xid=4633]
In this week’s column I review the excellent new album- out this coming Tuesday- from Yukon-based singer-songwriter Kim Beggs. It’s a corker; spend some money on a singer who is well deserving of the support. Albums only occassionally impact me the way this one did; from first listen, I knew Beggs was a singer I want to hear more from. Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald
Roots music column, originally published July 16, 2010 in the Red Deer Advocate
Kim Beggs Blue Bones Black Hen Music
Based in Whitehorse, Kim Beggs has lived across our country and her music captures the influences that have contributed to her development as a singer and writer.
Apparent from the opening track, the organ-fueled road warrior lament “Honey and Crumbs”, is that Beggs has more homespun charm in her voice than many Appalachian-born singers. Not only does her voice contain attractive, easy warmth, but it has strength and depth lending Beggs the power to authentically convey intense emotions.
Based in folk traditions, Beggs’ third release defies easy categorization. The instrumentation is roots rock with country overtones. Lyrically, lively wordplay reminiscent of Loretta Lynn is customary. Has anyone attempted the following in a country song, as Beggs does within “Terrible Valentine”?: “Huck-tuu to you for making me blue, I wanna spit in your shoe!”
Beggs and producer Steve Dawson have structured this collection wisely. The original songs blast out of the gate, establishing Beggs’ voice and perspective. It is only midway that covers are sprinkled in, beginning with Dylan’s “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”; it is difficult to imagine a finer interpretation of the John Wesley Harding classic.
There is a spry loneliness filling these songs. The bitterness, however, doesn’t overwhelm either Beggs or the listener; in the finest country tradition, she sounds plum pleased to be singing these occasionally mournful tales. She hits the mark throughout the collection, perhaps never more accurately as when singing of her lost brother in “Firewater Bones.”
Available Tuesday, Blue Bones maintains the new standard for western Canadian folk music established by John Wort Hannam, Maria Dunn, and Rae Spoon.
Also in rotation: Jimmy Webb- Just Across the River; The Wilderness of Manitoba- When You Left the Fire; Mississippi Live- Mississippi Live ; Various Artists- Putumayo Presents Tribute to a Reggae Legend; Great American Taxi- Reckless Habits
This is an album I’ve been listening to for a couple months, but had no intentions of reviewing until Jeff at Country Standard Time asked me to take a run at it. It challenged me, without doubt. It is an album that is a bit overwhelming, but I managed to get my thoughts together after a couple abandoned attempts. The review is now up at CST: http://tinyurl.com/2erobf5. The album wasn’t on my initial Polaris ballot, but did make my second round ticket- it is one of ten finalists for the Polaris Music Prize to be awarded in late September.
There is no denying that Jimmy Webb was one of the most successful songwriters of the late 60s and 70s. The string of hits he wrote for others- many of which are included on this new 13-track collection- is embedded in the social collective: “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” “Highwayman,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” among others.
This isn’t the first time Webb has reached back to record the songs on which he made his bones. Ten Easy Pieces was a similarly rich production and shares five songs with the current set. Setting apart the two collections is that the 1996 recording was largely a ‘solo’ vocal project, with a few guests providing background harmonies. This lushly recorded extravaganza has no such constraints, with contemporaries of Webb joining children of the 50s- who grew up listening to Glen Campbell on the radio- contributing to the duets.
Whereas the recently released Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows had the next generation examine the songs of John Prine, Just Across the River makes no similar attempt toward timeliness. Webb is singing songs he has sang several thousand times, accompanied by vocalists who are likely almost as familiar with his material.
The closest the set comes to contemporary is when Lucinda Williams- at her most yearning- vocalizes with Webb on “Galveston.” The duet format brings a sense of opportune completeness to the song, encouraging one to attend not only to the familiar but still absorbing chorus but to the devastating verses. Whether the song was written as an anti-war opus no longer matters; the song’s impact is magnified by its apparent simplicity.
Jackson Browne- riding a bit of a wave this year following the brilliant live collection with David Lindley Love is Strange En Vivo Con Tino- shares “P.F. Sloan” with Webb, and the effect- shaded with a bit of banjo from John Willis- is spellbinding. Their voices fit together and the catchy if esoteric tribute to Webb’s mentor sounds brilliant.
Other highmarks of the album are “If You See Me Getting Smaller” (with Willie Nelson) and “Highwayman” (featuring Mark Knopfler, who also contributes guitar to “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.” Within this format, there is only one singer who should sing with Webb on that number; Campbell sounds better here than he did anywhere on 2008’s Meet Glen Campbell.
Also making appearances are Vince Gill, Billy Joel, Michael McDonald, J.D. Souther, and Linda Ronstadt. Webb handles three songs on his own, including the less familiar but excellent “It Won’t Bring Her Back.”
Just Across the River is a comfortable collection of easy listening music. Don’t let that description scare you off, though. It isn’t sleepy or boring in anyway. The musicianship is of the quality that makes criticism ridiculous and the production is sound. Webb’s voice is amazingly elastic and personable, bringing life to songs that one may initially believe to have been heard enough.
What Just Across the River identifies is that Webb’s songs- with choruses so familiar that the depth of the songs is often overlooked- have stood, and will continue to stand, the ravages of frequent reinterpretation.
And why the opening reference to 1957? That was the year Vince Gill, like Webb an Oklahoman, was born- making him the youngest featured guest on Just Across the River. So, yes…the lineup of featured musicians reads like a random Billboard chart from 1980. Don’t let that deter you from exploring this release. Like Webb’s songs, the guest vocalists sound as impressive as ever.
I was on a brief vacation for most of this past week and my listening reflects what is on my mp3 player. It was lovely to be sitting in the Vancouver Island sun watching the waves lap the shoreline with bald eagles flying overhead while listening to Doc Watson and such. A nice, relaxing break. As always, only whole album listening gets listed; this is what passed my ears this week:
Tom Russell- The Tom Russell Anthology: Veteran’s Day
Doc Watson- Trouble in Mind: The Doc Watson Country Blues Collection and Hayes Carll- Trouble in Mind Through a glitch in how my machine sorts files, these two ended up in the same folder. Listening to them trading songs in this manner was perfect. This is the first time I have been able to listen to the Carll album in its entirety- for no reason than lack of attention span- and I found myself quite enjoying it. The Doc set is faultless.
Guy Clark- Sometimes the Song Writes You Truly a master. His strongest set in quite awhile, and he has never recorded a less than satisfying album.
Various Artists- Real: The Tom T. Hall Project One of the best tribute albums, and possibly my favourite. Without fault.
Steve Earle- Train A Comin’ Still my favourite Steve Earle recording.
The Gaslight Anthem- The ’59 Sound I love everything about this album, including all the Springsteen references, deliberate and obvious as they are.
Slowdrag- Slow-Fidelity One of the finest acoustiblue albums of the past ten years.
John Wort Hannam- Queen’s Hotel As a member of the Polaris Music Prize jury, I wasn’t surprised that this album didn’t get through to the long list. I was disappointed, though. Folk music doesn’t get much better than this.
Charlie Sizemore- The Story Is…The Songs of Tom T. Hall The second best Tom T. Hall tribute. And it is pretty darn good.
Paul Burch- Pan-American Flash
The Wooden Sky- If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone Another album that was considered for the Polaris Music Prize this year; it didn’t make the short list.
Kate Campbell- Blues and Lamentations
The Drive-By Truckers- The Fine Print A collection of odds & sods that rivals several of their albums.
John Stewart- Bombs Away Dream Babies
James Reams & the Barnstormers- Troubled Times and Barnstormin’ Listening to these two last week made me realize, again, how strong his original material is, and how different it is from typical bluegrass fare.
That’s the mp3 album list from last week; I never thought I’d become a portable device person, but I’m glad I did; the convenience is great, the battery life is unreal, and the capacity- even on my wee 4 gig machine, is incredible.
My wife is convinced I have a record store GPS inserted somewhere in my body. This was proven, again, when I pulled into a random parking spot in Parksville and looked up to see the community’s new and used record store in front of me. The Cranky Dog was visited three times over five days and offered up some discs I couldn’t leave without, including:
Thin Lizzy- The Universal masters Collection A set of pre-Vertigo Thin Lizzy. A nice collection I hadn’t previously seen.
Dwight Yoakam- South of Heaven, West of Hell I’ve been looking for this one for three or four years, after passing up on it the only other time I saw it in a store. I love searches like this; it makes the locating of the album that much more meaningful. Good for driving, as are most Yoakam albums.
James Gordon- Mining for Gold (Disc 2) A retrospective of the Ontario songwriter’s material up to 2000; 8 bucks for the 2-disc set. The deal of the trip.
Ray Wylie Hubbard- Live at Cibolo Creek Country Club
Marshall Crenshw- The Definitive Pop Collection I already have most of the songs. Who cares? A non-stop power pop , two-disc set.
Graham Parker and the Rumour- The Up Escalator Not among the critic’s favourites, The Up Escalator is one of my essential GP albums. It may have been the first album of his I bought and the album holds up. “Endless Night” remains a stone classic.
Bookending our Vancouver Island getaway was more listening:
Various Artists- Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine I missed this one last week. Review is up at the Lonesome Road Review.
Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez- The Trouble with Humans
Lainie Marsh- The Hills Will Cradle Thee Liking it more with every listen.
Various Artists- Putumayo Presents Tribute to a Reggae Legend A nice set for casual reggae fans. I prefer my reggae with a bit more anger.
Mississippi Live- Mississippi Live
Kim Beggs- Blue Bones To be reviewed in the paper this Friday. A great album.
The Sadies- Darker Circles With a well-deserved place on the Polaris Prize short-list.
Andre Williams- That’s All I Need