Sat, Jun 17
Sun, Jun 18
2017 Clearwater Festival Weekend Pass
Lake Street Dive, Los Lobos, Josh Ritter, TOMMY EMMANUEL, Alejandro Escovedo, Toshi Reagon & Big Lovely, The Barr Brothers, Tom Paxton, A-WA, Jimmy Bosch, Holly Near, PLENA LIBRE, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Osborne, Joe Purdy, Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, Leyla McCalla, Martha Redbone Roots Project, Orkesta Mendoza, Tom Chapin, Guy Davis, David Amram, Dayme Arocena, Richard Thompson, Nick Lowe, Lucky Chops, Cry Cry Cry, Richard Shindell, Lucy Kaplansky, Dar Williams, Valerie June
1A Croton Point Ave
Croton-on-Hudson, NY, 10520
Watch & Listen
2017 Clearwater Festival Weekend Pass
The 2017 Clearwater Festival will take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 17 and 18 at Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson, Westchester County, NY. Festival gates open to attendees at 9AM.
Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival (aka “the Clearwater Festival” or “Revival”) features seven sustainably powered stages with diverse music, dance, storytelling and family-oriented programming as well as juried crafts, the Green Living Expo, the Working Waterfront with small boat exhibits and rides, an artisanal food & farm market, environmental education displays and exhibits, and the Circle of Song where audience participation is the focus. The festival is wheelchair accessible and most stage programming is staffed with American Sign Language interpreters.
Inspired by Pete Seeger’s desire to clean up the river over forty years ago, Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival initially helped raise the funds to build the sloop Clearwater, which has since become a world-renowned floating classroom and a symbol of effective grassroots action. Today, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. is a non-profit organization that sails at the forefront of the nation’s environmental challenges. The revenue raised by the Revival goes to support Clearwater’s numerous educational programs and its work toward environmental and social justice—as well as keeping the sloop Clearwater afloat. - See more at: http://www.clearwaterfestival.org/about-the-festival/#sthash.RjihdkNi.dpuf
Lake Street Dive
Lake Street Dive find themselves on the cusp of stardom, though they insist they will always be the same people whose stage outfits once consisted of matching sweater vests. "We realize this could all go away tomorrow," says Rachael Price. "But that won't change what we do. We want to continue to do this for a long, long time. This is what we love. We just want to make sure we keep enjoying ourselves."
Lake Street Dive have been performing for nearly a decade after meeting as fellow students at the New England Conservatory in Boston. The band was hand picked by Minneapolis trumpet/guitar player Mike Olson and named after an actual neighborhood of seedy bars in his hometown. Vocalist Rachael Price came from outside Nashville, Tennessee, stand-up bassist Bridget Kearney was an Iowa native, while drummer Mike Calabrese called Philadelphia home. "I wasn't only impressed with their musicianship," says Olson, who acquired the nickname "McDuck" while at the conservatory for his reclusive ways. "They were also a lot of fun just to hang out with. The first four years of rehearsals were more like glorified dinner parties."
Lake Street Dive has come a long way, but this just could be the start of something even bigger.
It took a casually made video featuring the band gathered around a single mic, performing a cover of Jackson 5's "I Want You Back," shot on a Brighton, Massachusetts, street corner to grab the public's attention—its YouTube views now hurtling past a million views. What followed was nothing less than a modern-day music business success story—T Bone Burnett tapping them to perform on the Another Day, Another Time show at Town Hall featuring music from and inspired by the Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis, taped for an upcoming special on Showtime. The New Yorker raved of their Town Hall performance: "I can't imagine then, that Lake Street Dive—a quartet led by an amazing young singer, Rachael Price—won't be getting some air time soon." Rolling Stone called the band "unexpected showstoppers," while Hollywood Reporter noted the group "delivered one of the show's best moments with the swinging 'You Go Down Smooth,' with stirring vocals by lead singer Rachael Price." The New York Daily News was similarly enthused, saying Lake Street Dive "was the evening's wild card," and noting Price "has the soulful howl of a young Etta James."
And just like that, Lake Street Dive went from playing for a small devoted following, to selling out venues and planning an initial European tour, with dates on several late-night TV shows in the offing.
While "I Want You Back," a track from their six-song Fun Machine EP, which included five covers and an original track, was spreading like wildfire on the Internet, the band had little idea what was happening. They were ensconced at Great North Sound Society, a recording studio located on an 18th century farmhouse in Parsonsfield, Maine, two hours from Boston, with producer/engineer Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter) a
location so remote, cell phone reception was spotty and web access non-existent.
The new album, Bad Self Portraits, which is being released by the Northampton, Massachusetts indie label Signature Sounds Recording as the follow-up to a self- titled debut and subsequent EP, is a microcosm of Lake Street Dive's evolution of the band from "a weird alt-country jazz group to a pop-soul juggernaut, that turns '60s influences like Brill Building girl groups ("Stop Your Crying"), British Invasion rock ("Bobby Tanqueray"), horn-driven Stax R&B ("You Go Down Smooth"), Motown soul ("Use Me Up") and even The Band-like gospel blues ("What About Me").
"Our musical development has been like Google Earth," explains Olson, "going from the entire universe to a specific place. That's how we've honed in on our sound. We had the whole world of music at our fingertips, and we were unsure of what direction to take, but now we're zeroing in a little closer."
All four members of the band take part in the writing. The Bridget-penned title track is a wry commentary on how those selfie iPhone photos are just a cover for loneliness, but it could also refer to the rest of the album, each song a polaroid glimpse of a band that is constantly evolving.
"Nothing we do is set in stone," says Olson about the band's recording process in the studio, and that they are, first and foremost, a live outfit. "Songs change when we start to play them for people. That determines the stylistic direction more than anything else. When we record a song, that's just a snapshot of where it was at that moment. And it continues to grow as we perform it."
And as things are rapidly growing for Lake Street Dive, the nine years that they spent focusing on their musical development has left them with one constant to strive for. "We are named in homage to dive bar bands," says Calabrese, "we were, are and always will be a dive bar band. Whether we're playing for 10 people or 10,000 we want them to have that feeling."
Los Lobos were already East L.A. neighborhood legends, Sunset Strip regulars and a Grammy Award winning band (Best Mexican-American/Tejano Music Performance) by the time they recorded their major label debut How Will The Wolf Survive? in 1984.
Although the album's name and title song were inspired by a National Geographic article about real life wolves in the wild, the band—David Hidalgo, Louie Perez, Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano and Steve Berlin—saw parallels with their struggle to gain mainstream rock success while maintaining their Mexican roots. Perez, the band's drummer, once called their powerhouse mix of rock, Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B, blues and traditional Spanish and Mexican music "the soundtrack of the barrio." Three decades, two more Grammys, a worldwide smash single ("La Bamba") and thousands of rollicking performances across the globe later, Los Lobos is surviving quite well -- and still jamming with the same raw intensity as they had when they began in that garage in 1973. The band chronicles a key moment of their expansive journey on Disconnected In New York City, a dynamic live album that marks the band's 40th anniversary and launches their new association with 429 Records.
Recorded over two nights in December 2012 at The City Winery in NYC, the engaging 12-song set celebrates Los Lobos' great legacy as a freewheeling and unpredictable live band, which most recently includes touring in Europe with Neil Young and Crazy Horse in June 2013. Disconnected in New York City features fresh interpretations of songs from throughout their three decade recording career, including their first ever live recording of "La Bamba," their worldwide pop crossover hit from the 1987 film which reached #1 on the U.S. and UK singles chart and whose video won a 1988 MTV Music Video Award. The collection covers the band's 25 year studio discography, from "Gotta Let You Know" (a bouncy zydeco rocker driven by Hidalgo's accordion from How Will The Wolf Survive?) through "Tin Can Trust," a bluesy rock ballad that was the title cut from their last studio release in 2010.
By design, Disconnected in New York City has songs that have been longtime staples of Los Lobos' tours mixed with other gems that had somehow fallen by the wayside over the years. The mix includes the mid-tempo shuffling rocker title track from The Neighborhood (1990); the easy flowing and whimsical (thanks to Berlin's jazzy sax solo) "Oh Yeah" (from This Time, 1999); the spirited, traditional flavored, Rosas penned Spanish language "Chuco's Cumbia" (from The Town and the City, 2006); the graceful and spiritual "Tears of God" (from By The Light of the Moon, 1987); "La Venganza de Los Pelados," a fiery burst of Latin rock fusion with mariachi textures (from The Ride, 2004); the soulful, simmering blues of "Little Things" (from The Town and The City, 2006); the Latin blues funk classic "Set Me Free Rosa Lee" (from By The Light of the Moon); and two mid tempo funk pop/rock tunes from 2002's Good Morning Aztlan, "Maria Christina" and "Malaque."
As per the literal meaning of its title, Disconnected In New York City sets itself apart from Los Lobos' other acclaimed live recordings (most notably, 2005's Live At the Fillmore) by stripping down the instrumentation for a mostly acoustic affair. Lozano, who drives the grooves with his bass and also plays the deep-bodied Mexican 6-string acoustic bass called the guitarron, says, "It's funny because when the venue hired us, they specifically requested that we do something acoustic to fit its smaller dinner house vibe. The idea popped into our heads to ask them if we could record it and they were cool with that.
"We're well known for our electric, high energy performances but we've done acoustic stuff for certain smaller auditorium tours," he says. "Playing these songs acoustically makes them feel more intimate. We notice that when you play softer and quieter, the audience tends to pay attention to everything we're doing. When you play rock, they're thinking more about rhythm than melodies and lyrics, but playing them this way allows for more subtle elements of the songs to stand out."
Perez laughs when he calls the Los Lobos Unplugged experience "folk music for the hearing impaired - it's still loud because the acoustic instruments are amplified! The idea of making a record like this came from never having the opportunity to work some of our favorite songs from over the years into our usual sets. Because most tours are done in support of new albums, the fresh material we play means that some favorite older tunes fall away over time. When we thought about making another live album and what would make it different, the logical concept was to revisit songs we haven't played in a while but had been requested by a lot of fans. We had already documented our rock show with Fillmore, so we felt kind of liberated to take another approach with this one.
"There are two challenges releasing a live album, though," Perez continues. "One is choosing certain songs over other ones. It's like having kids. We love Tommy as much as Johnny but one day Johnny gets to go the park today and Johnny stays home. In spite of this, we do cover a lot of ground. The biggest problem is the way people sometimes perceive live albums, like they're an afterthought put out to fill some kind of gap. Bands love doing them but fans don't always pay attention. But historically, it can be a license for great creativity. Jimi Hendrix did Band of Gypsies to fulfill his last recording commitment, but it was one of the most incredible recordings he ever made. Because Disconnected in New York City marks a key anniversary and the start of us working with a new label, we put a lot of thought into the project, from its design and structure and how we performed the songs."
Steve Berlin is Los Lobos' saxophonist, flutist and harmonica player who met the band while still with seminal L.A. rockers The Blasters. He joined the group after performing on and co-producing (with T-Bone Burnett) their breakthrough 1983 EP …And A Time To Dance. Though he wasn't jamming with the others way back in the "Krypton days" (as Perez calls it) in the barrio garage, Berlin felt it was important to find a special way to mark his cohorts' 40th year--just as they had done on their 30th by inviting special guests (Dave Alvin, Bobby Womack, Elvis Costello, Mavis Staples) to be part of their 2004 date The Ride.
"Trying to figure out a way to acknowledge 40 years as a band is harder than you might think," he says. "We got to play with all of our heroes on our 30th so what was something we had not done? So, like Louie said, we thought the best thing was to bring back songs we rarely if ever play and put them into a fresh context. We wanted to create something of value for our fans that would reflect the mutual appreciation we share with them – starting, of course, with 'La Bamba,' which we had never documented live before. I think it was important also that once we knew the set lists for the shows that we would eventually choose the final tracking from, we didn't over-think the arrangements. We only rehearsed these shows for a single day. The coolest part of how Disconnected worked out is that we hadn't been doing some of these songs long enough to worry about how to pull them off. And because we performed them acoustically, we couldn't just blast everyone with power and skate through them. We had to be present and make the choices that occurred to us in each moment."
Around the time of their last big anniversary Rolling Stone magazine summed up that distinctive, diverse and spontaneous Los Lobos aesthetic perfectly: "This is what happens when five guys create a magical sound, then stick together for 30 years to see how far it can take them." Most fans know that the group came together from three separate units. Hidalgo, the band's lead vocalist/guitarist (whose arsenal includes accordion, percussion, bass, keyboards, melodic, drums, violin and banjo) met Perez at Garfield High in East LA and started a garage band. Rosas, who plays guitar and mandolin, had his own group, and Lozano launched a power trio. "But we all hung out because we were friends and making music was just the natural progression of things," says Perez. "Like if you hang around a barbershop long enough, you're going to get a haircut."
Looking back at the historical and cultural sweep of the band, Lozano sees the release of Disconnected In New York City as Los Lobos coming full circle. "A lot of people forget that though we were rock musicians when we got out of high school, the band started off as an acoustic outfit," he says. "We wanted to play Mexican folk music because those were our roots and there was this whole Chicano awareness thing happening back in the early 70s. We started to pay attention to our traditions and culture, and focused on those styles of music for years. We studied music from every region of Mexico, learned how to play all these authentic instruments. So that's what we did for ten years until we decided to play rock again by bringing in drum and electric bass.
"We were playing this restaurant gig for two years, and some small local clubs, playing the same songs, when people in the crowd started shouting out, 'Do you know any Beatles or Grateful Dead tunes?'" Lozano adds. "Soon we got fired from the restaurant and headed back to the garage to write our first original songs that were rock with some accordion on them: 'Let's Say Goodnight' and 'How Much Can I Do?' We made a little tape and gave it to the guys in The Blasters, which included Steve Berlin, when we went to see them live on Sunset Strip. They loved our tunes and invited us to open their show at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, which was the first time Los Lobos performed on the other side of the Los Angeles River. We played some originals and old favorites by Hendrix, Cream, The Yardbirds and Beatles – all the stuff we loved as kids. The icing on the cake is that the audience loved it, too."
The Beast In Its Tracks, the new album from renowned singer-songwriter Josh Ritter, was released on March 5 on Pytheas Recordings. Of the record, Ritter says, "In the year after my marriage ended, I realized that I had more new songs than I'd ever had at one time. Far from the grand, sweeping feel of the songs on So Runs the World Away, these new songs felt like rocks in the shoe, hard little nuggets of whatever they were, be it spite, remorse, or happiness."
The new album follows Ritter's 2010 release, So Runs The World Away, of which Bob Boilen from NPR Music declared, "I've come to expect good records from him...but this one took my breath away," while the Boston Globe praised, "quite sensational…marks the finest music he has made."
In 2011, Ritter made is debut as a published author with his New York Times Best-selling novel, Bright's Passage (Dial Press/Random House). Of the work, Stephen King writes in The New York Times Book Review, "Shines with a compressed lyricism that recalls Ray Bradbury in his prime . . . This is the work of a gifted novelist."
Following a sold-out spring 2013 tour, this upcoming acoustic tour presents Ritter's songs stripped down, intimate, and close up.
With a career that spans five decades, Australian native Tommy Emmanuel is one of the world's most respected guitarists. Guitar players and music lovers come to his shows to watch the magic hands of the 'guitar Wizard of Oz.' His live shows are known for their humor, passion, infectious joy, a pure love for the music, and his delight in sharing it with the world - one audience at a time.
Tommy has been playing professionally since age 6, when he started playing in his family's band. His unique style – "finger style" – is akin to playing guitar the way a pianist plays piano, using all ten fingers. Rather than using a whole band for melody, rhythm, bass, and drum parts, Tommy plays all that – at once – and on one guitar. Guitar legend Chet Atkins was one of the first to inspire Emmanuel to try this "finger style." Atkins himself became one of Emmanuel's biggest fans, and eventually honored him with the title of "Certified Guitar Player" for his contribution to fingerstyle guitar. It's a rare distinction shared by only four other people in the world.
2011 has been a busy year for Tommy with two records and a new PBS Special. First there's the recently released double disc, Little by Little, which features collaborations with Victor Wooten, Doyle Dykes, Dr. John Knowles (CGP), and others. One of Tommy's most memorial performances was captured on film and released as Tommy Emmanuel And Friends: Live From the Balboa Theatre, which began airing on PBS in June 2011. Tommy's next offering will be his first ever Christmas album entitled, All I Want For Christmas, which will be released in November 2011.
In all, Emmanuel's catalogue includes session work with Air Supply, Men at Work, and Michael Jackson, over 20 musical recordings, fourlive performance DVDs, three instructional DVDs, and two PBS specials. His awards include 2011 CMA Global Country Artist of the Year, 2008 and 2010 Best Acoustic Guitarist in Guitar Player Magazine's Reader's Choice Awards, 2009 Guitar Legend Award by Guitar Player Magazine, 1990 Best Guitarist by Rolling Stone Magazine, inductee in the Thumbpickers' Hall of Fame, and he is a two-time Grammy nominee.
Come see why Tommy Emmanuel is considered as, "the Greatest Acoustic Guitarist in the World."
Renowned songwriter, singer, true believer, Alejandro Escovedo released Burn Something Beautiful on October 28th, 2016 via Fantasy Records. The new album, Escovedo's first solo endeavor since 2012's highly acclaimed Big Station, is in actuality, a highly collaborative affair. Teaming with Peter Buck (R.E.M.) and Scott McCaughey (The Minus 5) to co-write the album's songs, Escovedo also enlisted the pair to act as the project's producers.
Escovedo and company take some mighty big swings here. At once a celebration of the rock and roll life, a contemplation on mortality, and the healing power of love, Burn Something Beautiful connects repeatedly with Escovedo's soulful heart and voice at its core. Recorded in April at Portland's Type Foundry studio, the project coalesced with the help of an esteemed group of musicians who give the album a genuine band feel. They include guitarist Kurt Bloch (The Fastbacks), drummer John Moen (The Decemberists), vocalists Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney) and Kelly Hogan (Neko Case, The Flat Fie) as well as saxophonist Steve Berlin (Los Lobos).
In a trailblazing career that began with The Nuns, San Francisco's famed punk innovators, to the Austin-based-based alt-country rock pioneers, Rank & File, to Texas bred darlings, True Believers, through countless all-star collaborations and tribute album appearances and finally a series of beloved solo albums beginning with 1992's acclaimed Gravity, Escovedo has earned a surplus of distinctions: No Depression magazine's Artist of the Decade Award in 1998 and the Americana Music Association's Lifetime Achievement Award for Performing in 2006, just to name two.
"You just do your good work, and people care," Alejandro says. "I always believed, when I was a kid, that if you worked hard, you would find fulfillment. I think I got a lot of that from my father and my brothers. A working musician is all I ever wanted to be. Hard work, stay true to what you want to do, and then eventually someone would notice for that very reason."
Co-producer Peter Buck says, "I've been a fan of Alejandro's music for over 30 years, and recording with him was as good as I expected it to be. I think he, Scott McCaughey and I really extended our vocabulary as writers and musicians, coming up with something that is unlike anything we have done individually in the past."
"I felt a real kinship with Alejandro since we first met in 1986," Co-producer Scott McCaughey says. "We bonded over our mutual love of the rock & roll circus. Making this record really meant a lot to me, and I think people will get that when they hear it."
Burn Something Beautiful is Alejandro Escovedo at his very best. His many gifts are revealed across a lifetime spent in dedication to and faith in the hard work of life and music…and its possibilities. Refusing to go unnoticed.
The Barr Brothers
The Barr Brothers Biography (in 3 acts)
"What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It
would be like sleep without dreams."
Interior; montreal 2008; cross-section of two adjoining
Brad Barr and Sarah Pagé meet when Sarah's harp playing drifts
through the thin walls separating their two apartments. He is inspired
and attempts to learn her music through drywall. They meet and
become friends. Sarah, an experimental harpist, had been playing
with various orchestras and performing with the esteemed singer
Lhasa de Sela. Brad, a recent transplant from the US, had played for
years with his brother Andrew in the Providence/Boston based band
The Slip. He had followed Andrew to Montreal after a fire in a
Montreal club they were playing sparked a romance that took them
over the border. The two brothers and Sarah began playing and
recording together in their makeshift studio, ultimately producing their
debut record, The Barr Brothers, "…a dusty journal of hushed
Americana, West African grooves, and voyeuristic lyrics, rich with
Exterior; the Grand Canyon, 2012; band is set up on the rim.
Rounded out by multi-instrumentalist Andrés Vial, the four band
members have been touring relentlessly since their record was
released on Secret City Records. The wiling quartet decides to set up
on the rim of the Grand Canyon and asks the tourists to film the
charade on iPods. Its been a long year with many miles and shows.
Its hot, and the band is prone to such hallucinatory daydreams. Along
their travels, amongst the many highs and lows, they performed on
the David Letterman Show, opened for Emmylou Harris, lost as much
gear as they'd purchased, been nominated for a Juno award, played
festivals from Iceland to Portland, and learned how to make mojitos.
Interior; recording studio; 3am; 2013; a half-glass of whiskey
sits on a Hammond organ.
The four members of the Barr Brothers sit behind their instruments in
a large wooden room in Montreal–a recording studio built in the
70's(and decorated as such). They have enlisted the engineering
skills of Ryan Freeland(B. Raitt, R. Lamontagne) to help them record
and mix their second album, Sleeping Operator. They record
everything live, including vocals. By the end of the year, after working
in several different studios(including a session in Iceland with Valgier
Siguròson(Bjork, Sigur Ros)), and many friends coming in to lend
their voices, they will have recorded nearly 40 songs. They will have
whittled the album down to 13. Sleeping Operator is a bold, dense
release, an expansion on a continuum that they set out upon when
they tip-toed into the unknown.
At 4am, the drummer types a letter to the head of the record
company. It reads:
I imagine this record may seem a little confounding at this
point, but we're starting to have some clear and united
visions of the thing – it's getting pretty exciting.
here's my current two cents on the work as a whole:
in the time since we started making this record with Ryan,
there have been two weddings, two babies, many miles
clocked on the international road. needless to say it's been a
liberating, joyous, but also intense time for us with a lot of
major life changes.
this record, to me, reflects a complexity that is perhaps
beyond what we've done before. not complicated musically,
just complex. it has a wooly and warm weight to it – a big
soft ruby blanket – a weight that is welcome and liberating–
maybe a lot like these changes that we go through as we
grow up a bit, build communities and families, etc.
we'd like the artwork to be Brigitte's diamond. this image to
me has a primal, yet "from-another-planet" feel to it, and
has all of the rust and beauty that we seek in our music.
ok, those are my musings from the studio couch. rough
mixes on their way!
call me if you want to talk.
Tom Paxton has become a voice of his generation, addressing issues of injustice and inhumanity, laying bare the absurdities of modern culture and celebrating the tenderest bonds of family, friends, and community.
In describing Tom Paxton’s influence on his fellow musicians, Pete Seeger has said: “Tom’s songs have a way of sneaking up on you. You find yourself humming them, whistling them, and singing a verse to a friend. Like the songs of Woody Guthrie, they’re becoming part of America.” Pete goes on: “In a small village near Calcutta, in 1998, a villager who could not speak English sang me What Did You Learn In School Today? in Bengali! Tom Paxton’s songs are reaching around the world more than he is, or any of us could have realized. Keep on, Tom!”
Guy Clark adds: “Thirty years ago Tom Paxton taught a generation of traditional folksingers that it was noble to write your own songs, and, like a good guitar, he just gets better with age.” Paxton has been an integral part of the songwriting and folk music community since the early 60′s Greenwich Village scene, and continues to be a primary influence on today’s “New Folk” performers. The Chicago native came to New York via Oklahoma, which he considers to be his home state. His family moved there in 1948, when Tom was 10 years old, and he graduated from Bristow High School and The University of Oklahoma, where he majored in drama while his interest in folk music grew and eventually predominated.
Brought to New York courtesy of the US Army, Tom remained there following his discharge. His early success in Greenwich Village coffeehouses, such as The Gaslight and The Bitter End, led to an ever-increasing circle of work. Then in 1965 he made his first tour of the United Kingdom — the beginning of a still-thriving professional relationship that has included at least one tour in each of the succeeding years.
He and his wife, Midge, have been married 46 years and have two daughters, Jennifer and Kate. All three women have served as inspiration for many songs, and now three grandsons, Christopher, Sean, and Peter are adding to the sources of inspiration.
He has performed thousands of concerts around the world in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Scandinavia, France, Italy, Belgium, Holland, England, Scotland, Ireland and Canada. That these fans still enjoy his work is a testament to the quality of his recent work, and to the enduring power of modern standards like The Last Thing On My Mind, Ramblin’ Boy, Bottle Of Wine, Whose Garden Was This?, Goin’ To The Zoo and The Marvelous Toy. Paxton’s songbooks, critically acclaimed children’s books (available from HarperCollins – see the page for children), award-winning children’s recordings, and a catalog of hundreds of songs (recorded by artists running the gamut from Willie Nelson to Placido Domingo), all serve to document Tom Paxton’s 40-year career.
Tom received a 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy during the 51st Annual GRAMMY® Awards. He was nominated for a GRAMMY for Comedians and Angels in 2007, and Live in the U.K. in 2006. He was also nominated for GRAMMYS in 2003 for his Appleseed Records CD, Looking For The Moon, and in 2002 for his children’s CD, Your Shoes, My Shoes. He has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from ASCAP, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the BBC in London.
Tom Paxton’s place in folk music is secured not just by hit records and awards, but by the admiration of three generations of fellow musicians. An internationally recognized and loved cultural figure, he has always chosen goodwill over commercial success. His generosity has taken the shape of a benefit concert performance for a little girl fighting leukemia, or a personal note of encouragement to an up-and-coming songwriter. This is the man who wrote and lives the words, “Peace will come, and let it begin with me.”
He is one of the great songwriters of the last century and will be reckoned as one of the greats in this new century, as well. He is a man we have come to regard as our friend.
“Tom Paxton’s songs are so powerful and lyrical, written from the heart and the conscience, and they reach their mark, our most inner being. He writes stirring songs of social protest and gentle songs of love, each woven together with his personal gift for language. His melodies haunt, his lyrics reverberate. I have sung Tom’s songs for three decades and will go on doing so in the new century, for they are beautiful and timeless, and meant for every age.” (Judy Collins)
“Tom Paxton embodies the spirit of folk music in the most beautiful sense. Not just in his song crafting, his work ethic, his politics and his dedication to people’s music, but also in his kind and generous heart. When I first started playing folk festivals, I was all of eighteen, shaved headed and politically outspoken. Many people in the folk community at that time seemed defensive and threatened by me, but I remember Tom was a notable exception. He was nothing but warm, welcoming and supportive to me from the git go. He’s the coolest.” (Ani DiFranco)
“Every folk singer I know has either sung a Tom Paxton song, is singing a Tom Paxton song or will soon sing a Tom Paxton song. Now either all the folk singers are wrong, or Tom Paxton is one hell of a songwriter.” (Holly Near)
What is A-WA?
Three letters that you may not know how to pronounce (for now)
Three sisters whose sweeping and uncompromising creation will take you on an exciting journey.
From the first time A-Wa took the stage 1 year ago, they've been dropping jaws, raising eyebrows, making people dance: from hipsters to families, from festivals to clubs, young and old, Polish, French, Israeli, and all over.
To tell the story of A-WA, we have to go a few years back, to a family who lives in the small village 'Shaharut' in southern Israel. Not too far from the Egyptian border. In beautiful prairie landscapes with magical desert sunsets, Tair, Liron and Tagel grew up - three sisters (out of six siblings) to the Haim family.
As a gift from God, all members of the Haim family are blessed with musical talent. All three sisters studied music, sang, danced and performed together and separately since a very young age. In their childhood home they listened to many different kinds of music, such as Greek music, Yemenite music, Jazz, R&B, Hip Hop, Reggae, Progressive rock and more. The inspirations that sustained them, and the warm musical home that encouraged them, have become the creative part and parcel of their lives.
A few years later, after Tair and Liron completed their studies in music and design, and before Tagel started college, they hooked up again at their parents' house. They worked in the days, and at night they would meet up and record materials in English, Hebrew and Yemenite, which always had a special place in their hearts. They filmed and uploaded their videos to YouTube.
The flood of great comments and suggestions from around the world encouraged them to rise to the challenge and promote their music. One day it led to an inbox message to Tomer Yosef on Facebook. Once pressing Play, it was clear to Tomer that a gift fell upon him, a one-time only three voices (yes, it's possible) fit together in a perfect harmony, even in Hebrew it sounded out of this world... and so the musical love story was instantly born. Tomer's groove, the global characteristics of his artistic vision, Yemenite roots, everything came together and led to the collaboration that continues to this day and in every possible aspects - such as the first music video that was both directed and filmed by Tomer in an intense weekend shoot in the desert.
For the last two years, the girls, who initially were called The Haim Sisters, have been performing non-stop, they became an integral part of the stage composition of Balkan Beat Box's MINIMAL tour and later on they appeared with a band of their own and gave shows around Israel and in music festivals in Poland and France in front of an embracing audience, while at the same time working at the studio with Tomer.
While searching for materials and in the spirit of fate that accompanies this story, one day the girls bumped into the song "Habib Galbi", an old Yemenite song that they knew from childhood, but this time they heard the first original recording by the Yemeni singer Shlomo Moga'a. From there, a door was opened of a hidden treasure of ancient Yemenite women's chanting, that was passed from generation to generation for centuries and has been recorded a few times. Moga'a was one of the only chief curators of these songs and after passing has left a legacy, just waiting to be discovered. A-WA's debut album includes 12 songs, composed entirely of original performance of these folk songs.
In a closely working at the studio with producer Tomer Yosef, the sound and the artistic statement were formed. And in cooperation with musicians like Tamir Muskat, Itamar Ziegler, Tom Darom and more, they created a composition of a unique identity with a lot of groove, electronics and a brand new global beat fragrance.
You can choose whether to take the story behind the sounds to your A-WA experience. Even without dwelling on genetic loads or cross-generational folklore, A-WA send a refreshing and authentic breeze of world music to the music scene in Israel and abroad. A happy, warm and genuine music, that that starting this year is going to break language barriers and boundaries and bring a new message for those who love the genre and in general.
Jimmy Bosch (c. 1960, aka "El Trombon Criollo", is a jazz and Salsa Music trombonist composer and bandleader of Puerto Rican decent born in Jersey City, New Jersey. Having performed since age eleven, by age thirteen he was playing in several local Latin music bands, "La Caliente", "Arco Iris", "La Sonica." While at Rutgers University studying classical music at age eighteen, he met Manny Oquendo and joined his band. He worked with Manny Oquendo on and off for over 20 years. Jimmy worked with Ray Barretto from the early 80's to early 90's. In 1996 he founded his own band "La Orquesta Jimmy Bosch", and has recorded four albums as a solo artist. Jimmy began working with Israel Cacaho in 1987, recorded and toured with Cachao also for over 20 years. Having recorded on over 100 recordings, Jimmy has toured with FANIA, Eddie Palmieri, Ruben Blades, Tipica Novel, Combinacion Perfecta, Pete El Conde Rodriguez, and so many more on a global level. Jimmy continues to tour as a solo artist and band leader imparting his years of experience with musicians all over the world. "La Orquesta Jimmy Bosch" and Jimmy Bosch y su Sexteto de Otro Mundo" continues to tour globally.
As Holly Near celebrates her first album in three years, Peace Becomes You, she's building on 40 creative years and 30 recordings. Respected around the world for her music and activism, her joy and passion inspire people to join in her celebration of the human spirit. Equally compelling at her shows or through your speakers, her music fully engages listeners in the world around them. Holly has made a career speaking to anyone in the world who believes in peace, justice, and feminism, a wonderful spectrum of humanity.
Born in Ukiah, CA in 1949, Holly began singing in high school, including work with a local folk group. She built on her performing career with acting parts on Mod Squad and appeared in a number of guest roles in seminal 70s TV shows like Room 222 and The Partridge Family. In 1970, she was a cast member of the Broadway musical Hair. Following the Kent State shootings in May of that year, the entire cast staged a silent vigil in protest. The song, "It Could Have Been Me" (which was released on A Live Album, 1974), was her heartfelt response to the shootings. In 1971, she joined the Free The Army Tour, an anti-Vietnam War road show of music, comedy, and plays organized by antiwar activist Fred Gardner and actors Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland.
In 1972, Holly was one of the first women to create an independent record company, paving the way for women like Ani DiFranco and others. Her goal was to promote and produce music by politically conscious artists from around the world, a mission that Redwood Records fulfilled for nearly 20 years. Often cited as one of the founders of the Women's Music movement, she not only led the way for outspoken women in the music world, but also worked for peace and multicultural consciousness. Throughout her long career Holly has worked with a wide array of musicians, including Pete Seeger, Ronnie Gilbert, Arlo Guthrie, Mercedes Sosa, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Harry Belafonte, and many others.
Holly Near has been recognized many times for her work for social change, including honors from the ACLU, the National Lawyers Guild, the National Organization for Women, and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; she was named Ms. Magazine Woman of the Year and received the Legends of Women's Music Award. During her travels in the Pacific with the Free the Army show, Holly became a globally conscious feminist, linking international feminism and anti-war activism. She was an active participant and coalition builder in what she calls the "heady days" of 70s activism, when so many movements were gestating and jostling with one another.
Another significant arena of Holly's activism is the LGBTQ community. Her interest was both personal and political. She was one of the first celebrities to discuss her sexual orientation during a pioneering 1976 interview with People magazine. A staunch advocate for LGBTQ rights, Holly is comfortable with her own sexuality and has a clear understanding of the fluidity of sexual orientation.
Holly is also a teacher, presenting master classes in performance craft and songwriting to diverse audiences. Building on this role, her historic papers are housed at Radcliffe's Schlesinger Library and are regarded as an informed look at the last 40 years of social change movements.
She has also become a spokeswoman within the social change music movement. During her time on the road, luminaries in the folk world have noted how her presence sets the tone for each event she joins. As she has observed, "Music can influence choices, for better or worse. A lullaby can put a troubled child to sleep but Muzak can put a whole nation to sleep. A marching band can send our children off to war. It can also have everyone laughing and dancing and loving as it leads a gay-pride parade."
Holly finds herself in a role that her amazing journey has uniquely prepared her to fill as the significance of her work over time has crystalized her iconic status. At once flattered, amazed, and centered, she graciously assumes this honoring that comes with time, proud to represent – through her voice and her music – the movements that are so fundamental to her spirit.
The Puerto Rican Cultural Society of Charlotte presents "Noche de Bomba y Plena" featuring Puerto Rican sensation and masters of contemporary bomba and plena, Plena Libre.
Plena Libre, four-time Grammy nominees who infuse salsa with the African-derived rhythms of Puerto Rico's bomba and plena music. Founded by bassist Gary Nunez in 1994, Plena Libre have toured internationally, with notable live dates including the MoroccanFes Festival in 2008, and the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl that same year. As the New York Post raved in a five-star review, "Where would the contemporary bomba y plena be without… Plena Libre?"
The event will kick off with local groups Boriquen Sublime and Yapre Dance Group. Authentic Puerto Rican food will be available.
Doors open at 5pm / show at 6pm
Tickets: $20 pre-sale / $25 day of the show
More info: 704 777-0670
Arlo Guthrie has been known to generations as a prolific songwriter, social commentator, master storyteller, actor and activist. Born in Coney Island, New York in 1947, Arlo is the eldest son of Marjorie Mazia Guthrie, a professional dancer with the Martha Graham Company and founder of The Committee to Combat Huntington's Disease, and America's most beloved singer/writer/philosopher/artist Woody Guthrie. Arlo has become an iconic figure in folk music in his own right with a distinguished and varied career spanning over fifty years.
Growing up Guthrie, Arlo was surrounded by such renowned artists as Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, Ronnie Gilbert, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, and Ramblin' Jack Elliott to name only a few. Not surprisingly, Arlo drew from these influences and he in turn became a delineative figure bridging generations of folk. He and Pete Seeger created a legendary collaboration that was sustained for over forty years. The last Pete & Arlo show was in November 30, 2013 at Carnegie Hall, only a few months before Pete passed away at the age of 94.
In 1965 a teenaged Guthrie performed a "friendly gesture" that proved to be fateful. Arlo was arrested for littering, leading him to be deemed "not moral enough to join the army." Guthrie attained international attention at age 19 by recounting the true events on the album Alice's Restaurant in 1967. The Alice's Restaurant Massacree, an 18 minute and 20 second partially sung comic monologue opposing the war and the backward reasoning of authority, has become an anti-establishment anthem and an essential part of Thanksgiving on rock stations receiving worldwide airplay. Alice's Restaurant achieved platinum status and was made into a movie in 1969, in which Arlo played himself, by the esteemed director Arthur Penn. 1969 also brought Arlo to the rock festival of the ages, Woodstock. His appearance showcased Arlo's chart-topping Coming Into Los Angeles, which was included on the multi-platinum Woodstock soundtrack and movie.
Beginning the seventies with a number of albums for Warner Bros., Guthrie helped set the standard for the singer-songwriter genre burgeoning at the time. Perhaps the best known is Hobo's Lullaby (1972) featuring a diverse body of work. Most notable is the definitive version of Steve Goodman's The City of New Orleans that was a hit on all major charts. Another critically acclaimed album that charted on Billboard was Amigo (1976), which includes Massachusetts, honored in 1981 as the official State Folk Song.
Taking complete creative control, Arlo left the major record label system in 1983 to fulfill his career as a truly independent artist, and established Rising Son Records, one of the first indie labels in existence. Rising Son is still in active operation serving as his record and production company. To date Rising Son Records has released over twenty titles of Arlo's, both all new material and re-mastered versions of his classic records including the Grammy nominated Woody's 20 Grow Big Songs (1991) featuring Arlo and his family, and In Times Like These (2007), recorded with the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. The latest offering is Here Come The Kids (2014), recorded at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, IL, from the previous tour of the same name, celebrating the centennial of his father Woody Guthrie.
In addition to his musical career, Guthrie is an accomplished actor with numerous television appearances. Arlo has had recurring roles in two major network television series (The Byrds of Paradise and Relativity), and feature films, the aforementioned Alice's Restaurant and Roadside Prophets (1992). Arlo is the author of three children's books and a distinguished photographer, showing his works in selected galleries.
Inspired by his parents' activism, Arlo bought the old Trinity Church ("the" church) that is now home to The Guthrie Center and The Guthrie Foundation. Named for his parents, The Guthrie Center is a not-for-profit interfaith church foundation dedicated to providing a wide range of local and international services. The Guthrie Foundation is a separate not-for-profit educational organization that addresses issues such as the environment, health care, cultural preservation and educational exchange. In 2009 Arlo was awarded the ASCAP Foundation Champion award for making a difference through social action on behalf of worthwhile causes and demonstrating exceptional efforts in humanitarianism.
Guthrie's trademark ability to derail a song with a comical tangent and bring it right back on track with a relatable thought is as concise as ever. Fifty years after the historic events that launched him to reluctant celebrity, Arlo brings The Alice's Restaurant Massacree in its entirety back to the stage for an international tour beginning January 2015.
She's sold out StageOne four times and returns to do it again with her piano playing partner in crime, Keith Cotton. Joan Osborne is a powerhouse of electrifying blues, soul, and R&B. Give a listen to her take on John Mayall's "Broken Wings" and our work here will be done. She has a deep understanding of the blues and it's undeniable whether heard live or on recording. Over all, Joan Osborne can easily take her place alongside her inspirations Etta James and Tina Turner in the league of powerful, electrifying singers of blues, soul, and R&B.
"Osborne has proven that a bluesy, soulful voice like hers only gets better with time…" -Seattle Weekly
Celebrated singer/songwriter Joe Purdy is more aptly described as a troubadour—the term, as archaic as it may seem, refers moreover to the idea of a communicator of folklore through song-- one who travels and tells stories using the effective medium of music. Purdy understands that his own live music tradition has as much to do with commanding captivated, pin-drop silence as it does prompting roars - which it most definitely has - because in those hushed moments, a solemn and crystal-clear voice, the resonance of acoustic guitar strings into the reverberant din of a music hall, his stories are being heard. It is a pure experience. It's about Joe and his audience.
This direct communication with his fans has, year after year, album after album, translated from the stage to the further dissemination of his folklore. Purdy has chosen to release his albums on his own independent label, Mudtown Crier Records, and with the help of national TV placements and that constant conversation with a strong and ever- growing fan base, he has been able to sell a staggering 1 million direct track downloads in the US on iTunes without ever signing to a label. Joe and those people, all over the country (and beyond) are perpetually willing to hear his stories.
Joe's writing process is heavily influenced by his environment. His albums act as a travel guide for his experiences. Last Clock On The Wall (2009) was recorded over 6 days at Old Mill Studios, located in a 17th Century mill converted into a live arts theater in Strathaven, just outside of Glasgow, Scotland. Take My Blanket and Go (2007) was recorded in NYC following a UK tour in 2006, You Can Tell Georgia (2006) was recorded outside of London, immediately following a European tour with Tom McRae, while Paris in the Morning (2006) was recorded during a short visit to Paris a few months later. And, in contrast, Canyon Joe (2007) was recorded at his home in California, after being stranded in New Mexico during a blizzard over New Years Eve.
This American is rich with imagery, haunting and utterly unique, filled with warm American folklore and real storytelling. Reflections of moving about underscore more of the 'travelogue' motif ("Highways," "Oregon Trail"), through plaintive acoustic arrangements perfectly appropriate- with audible count-offs, unedited breaths, whistling, etc and melodies channeled through Purdy's distinctive yearning voice.
Adding to his arsenal, Purdy has been embraced by a broader audience through Prime Time network television. His song "Wash Away (Reprise)," from the Julie Blue album, was chosen by J.J. Abrams for an episode of Lost in its first season. Shortly after, Joe's, "I Love the Rain Most" (also off Julie Blue) was featured in an episode of Grey's Anatomy, which led to "The City (Only Four Seasons)" being included in the show, as well as on the Grey's Anatomy Season I soundtrack. Additionally, Purdy landed five more songs in Grey's… episodes including "San Jose" (Take My Blanket and Go)," "Suitcase" (Only Four Seasons), "Can't Get It Right Today" (You Can Tell Georgia), and "Rainy Day Lament" (Stomping Grounds), which was featured on an episode of House. "Can't Get It Right Today" was also featured in a national KIA ad, and "Wash Away (Reprise)" was very notably used in a Dawn Soap Wildlife ad, helping to raise a significant amount of money to rescue wildlife and the gulf spill cleanup.
Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams
Multi-instrumentalist-vocalist Larry Campbell and singer-guitarist Teresa Williams have rocked many a venue, as both center stage performers and invaluable assets to world class acts. A shortlist of artists who've benefited from their talents, live and in studios, reads like a Who's Who of Music Icons: Bob Dylan (Larry spent eight years on the Never Ending Tour), Paul Simon, Little Feat, Hot Tuna, Phil Lesh, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Mavis Staples, and, for one miraculous seven-year stretch, Levon Helm. Now, with an eponymous debut album, the couple brings it all back home. Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams may have been simmering awhile, but the timing is perfect; the eleven tracks, produced by Campbell, distill everything into a potent, infectious blend of Americana style and timeless soul, offered with a relaxed generosity that can only come from rich experience.
Larry and Teresa's story begins at New York's famed Bottom Line club in the mid 80s; she was singing country, he was playing pedal steel. It was love at first chord. "She was the real deal," native New Yorker Larry says. "None of that Urban Cowboy nonsense. And she was clock-stopping gorgeous. I was smitten." "I'd thought country music players in New York was an oxymoron," says Tennessee-born Teresa. "But he saved my life on that stage. I thanked him for bringing the heavy steel down to play just a few songs, and when we looked into each other's eyes I saw everything he is, the depth of his soul." They married soon after, setting off on their own individual highways, but always circling back to each other. Among other adventures, Teresa originated the role of country music pioneer Sara Carter in the musical Keep On the Sunny Side, and Larry achieved renown as the go-to roots music guy for sessions, tours, and pit bands, the dude who'd mastered a dizzying array of stringed instruments and styles.
The seeds for a duet project were unwittingly planted in their courting days, when Larry and Teresa sang and played with the locals under her great-great grandmother's Tennessee cedar tree, the same one under which they married. (These gatherings continue to this day.) Later, when the duo was song-swapping all night with the band in the back of Bob Dylan's tour bus, Dylan's longtime manager Jeff Kramer told Larry he was crazy not to make hay with what they had as a duo. But their schedules kept the idea on the back burner until 2005, when Levon Helm called. He'd beaten cancer, was invigorated as never before, and was putting together a band for the soon-to-be legendary Midnight Rambles at his barn-studio in Woodstock, NY. He wanted some Campbell-Williams mojo to help make the most of his surprise fourth act. This humble beginning – playing in a barn on a dirt road – inaugurated the greatest musical experience of Larry and Teresa's lives.
Larry became the unflappable leader of the shape-shifting Midnight Ramble Band, earning three Grammys for producing Levon's final three CDs; Teresa, as an indispensable band member, frequently brought the house down. Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams is an extension of that time, featuring eight originals and three covers honed on the carpet of Levon's barn, under the gaze of grateful fans. Songs like the Muscle Shoals-inflected CD opener "Surrender to Love," heart-wrenching ballad"Another One More Time," and boot-stomper "Bad Luck Charm," feature the distinctive texture of two entwining voices who've been through a lot together – the good, the bad, and the joyous.
"It was the most pure musical experience I've ever had," Larry says of their time with Levon. "It gave me the template for how to make music for the rest of my life: no egos, no agenda, no petty stuff. I looked forward to every gig I ever did with Levon, I loved doing it, and when it was over I couldn't wait for the next one. I got inspired to write more songs for Teresa and me to sing."
For Teresa, singing in the church-like space at the Midnight Rambles was full circle for her childhood discovery of the magic between an audience and an artist. "I don't remember a time not singing in front of people. I sang in church, at school, everywhere. I didn't know anything about making records. I just knew connection to an audience was everything. While standing onstage Saturday nights at Levon's – musically true north – in that intimate space, I realized: this was my dream, and I'm in it."
When performing at Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch in Ohio, Teresa took on Reverend Gary Davis' "Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning," infusing the apocalyptic gospel tune with show-stopping, pew-jumping fervor. Her roots as a seventh-generation Mississippi Delta cotton-farm girl rose to the surface. The song became part of the Midnight Ramble repertoire, and captured on Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, it's a powerful force indeed.
After Levon's 2012 passing, they grieved, celebrated his life, and got to work finishing Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams. They had the tunes, and, with drummer (and ace recording engineer) Justin Guip and Ramble Band member Byron Isaacs on bass, they had an ass-kicking, road-worthy band.
Additionally, the lovefest of guests on Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams sweetened the pot considerably: Amy Helm's voice melding with Larry and Teresa's on the gorgeous Grateful Dead hymn "Attics Of My Life," Little Feat keyboardist Bill Payne's rollicking touch on several tracks, and Levon himself appearing on "You're Running Wild," a tune made famous by the Louvin Brothers, now given an Orbison touch (originally recorded during Levon's Dirt Farmer sessions). Finally, it all dovetailed into place.
With Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, this duo not only brings a lot to the table, they bring the table itself – plus the house, the still, the church, the marriage bed, the sawdust-covered floor, and abiding, unconditional love, all carried in two voices harmonizing across hills, hollers, porches, and fire escapes. Those close harmonies ride atop music made in a mountain refuge, far from the madding crowd, connected to a spirit that lives on in song.
Named 2013's Album of the Year by the London Sunday Times and Songlines magazine, Leyla McCalla's debut album, Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes, made a profound impression upon all who heard it. The record, which set some of Hughes' poems to Leyla's music, and also included original compositions and Haitian folk songs, received rapturous reviews for its haunting mixture of music and message.
A Haitian-American who sings in French, Haitian Creole and English, Leyla McCalla plays cello, tenor banjo and guitar. Deeply influenced by traditional Creole, Cajun and Haitian music, as well as by American jazz and folk, her music is at once earthy, elegant, soulful and witty — it vibrates with three centuries of history, yet also feels strikingly fresh, distinctive and contemporary.
Offbeat called Vari-Colored Songs "ambitious, deep and gorgeous," while the Boston Globe described the record as "at once varnished and sparse, like field recordings in high definition." The track "Heart of Gold" was featured on NPR, which noted that the song's instrumentation "sounds like lonesome nighttime." But it was the New York Times who perhaps put best, characterizing the album's material as "weighty thoughts handled with the lightest touch imaginable."
Born in New York City to Haitian immigrant parents, and raised in suburban New Jersey (with a couple of teenage years spent in Accra, Ghana), Leyla experienced a renewed sense of connection with her Haitian heritage after moving to the Crescent City in 2010. "I feel very at home here," she says. "The more I learned about the history of Louisiana, its ties to Haiti and French speaking culture, the more sense of belonging I felt and continue to feel."
Martha Redbone Roots Project
For some musicians, eschewing their own backgrounds and exploring new frontiers is part of their artistry. But for Martha Redbone, embracing, celebrating and exploring the complexity of her own roots is what fuels her creativity. Hailing from the American South and being of Cherokee, Choctaw and African-American descent, Redbone draws on the richness of her own background and upbringing to create a unique representation of the voices, history, and spirit of her corner of America.
If that glorious collection of musical influences isn't complex enough, for her most recent album Redbone threw the words of English poet William Blake into the mix. On paper, The Garden of Love—Songs of William Blake, with its lyrics written by a man born in the 18th and African-American music just shouldn't work. But work it does. Blake's lyrics and Redbone's signature musical style makes for a seamless Southern Gothic feel that she takes on naturally. No matter where the words come from Redbone sticks to her roots, creating a sound that is sensual, spiritual and utterly mesmerizing. Century, sung and performed by a woman known for her work in Native-and African-American music just shouldn't work. But work it does. Blake's lyrics and Redbone's signature musical style makes for a seamless Southern Gothic feel that she takes on naturally. No matter where the words come from Redbone sticks to her roots, creating a sound that is sensual, spiritual and utterly mesmerizing.
Sergio Mendoza y La Orkestra: It's a safe bet that most of us haven't heard the term "Indie Mambo" to describe a group before now, because such a style simply did not exist until young Sergio Mendoza invented it in late 2009, in Tucson, Arizona. The impetus? Mendoza was participating in an annual benefit event held at the world famous Club Congress, called 'The Great Cover-Up,' and had chosen the legendary Cuban bandleader Perez Prado as his coveree, as the rules of the event dictated. But combining that influence, as well as Cumbia and other Latin styles, with psychedelia-tinged rock music proved to be a formula that was extremely palatable, nay – savory, to Arizona music fans and Mendoza's fellow musicians.
In a career that spans five decades, 23 albums and three GRAMMY® awards, multi-talented singer/songwriter/guitarist Tom Chapin has covered an incredible amount of creative ground. In addition to his work as a recording artist and concert performer, Chapin has acted on Broadway, as well as working extensively in films, television and radio.
As a music-maker, Chapin has maintained two long and productive parallel careers, both as a highly respected contemporary folk artist and as a pioneer in the field of children's music. In the former role, Chapin has established a reputation for insightful, heartfelt songcraft and effortlessly charismatic live performances. In the latter, he continues to engage the hearts, minds and imaginations of young listeners with witty, life-affirming original songs delivered in a sophisticated array of musical styles. In either format, Chapin's infectious songs, sterling musicianship and personal warmth consistently shine through, whether he's performing on record or in a concert hall, an outdoor festival, a school, in front of a symphony orchestra or in an intimate coffeehouse.
Whether Guy Davis is appearing on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" or nationally syndicated radio programs such as Garrison Keillor's, "A Prairie Home Campanion", "Mountain Stage" or David Dye's,"World Café"., in front of 15,000 people on the Main Stage of a major festival, or teaching an intimate gathering of students at a Music Camp, Guy feels the instinctive desire to give each listener his 'all'.
His 'all' is the Blues.
The routes, and roots, of his blues are as diverse as the music form itself. It can be soulful, moaning out a people's cry, or playful and bouncy as a hay-ride.
Guy can tell you stories of his great-grandparents and his grandparents, they're days as track linemen, and of their interactions with the infamous KKK. He can also tell you that as a child raised in middle-class New York suburbs, the only cotton he's picked is his underwear up off the floor.
He's a musician, composer, actor, director, and writer. But most importantly, Guy Davis is a bluesman. The blues permeates every corner of Davis' creativity.
Throughout his career, he has dedicated himself to reviving the traditions of acoustic blues and bringing them to as many ears as possible through the material of the great blues masters, African American stories, and his own original songs, stories and performance pieces.
His influences are as varied as the days. Musically, he enjoyed such great blues musicians as Blind Willie McTell (and his way of story telling), Skip James, Manse Lipscomb, Mississippi John Hurt, Elizabeth Cotton, and Buddy Guy, among others. It was through Taj Mahal that he found his way to the old time blues. He also loved such diverse musicians as Fats Waller and Harry Belafonte.
His writing and storytelling have been influenced by Zora Neale Hurston, Garrison Keillor, and by the late Laura Davis (his one hundred and five year-old grandmother).
Davis' creative roots run deep. Though raised in the New York City area, he grew up hearing accounts of life in the rural south from his parents and especially his grandparents, and they made their way into his own stories and songs. Davis taught himself the guitar (never having the patience to take formal lessons) and learned by listening to and watching other musicians. One night on a train from Boston to New York he picked up finger picking from a nine-fingered guitar player.
Throughout his life, Davis has had overlapping interests in music and acting. Early acting roles included a lead role in the film "Beat Street" opposite Rae Dawn Chong and on television as 'Dr. Josh Hall' on "One Life to Live". Eventually, Davis had the opportunity to combine music and acting on the stage. He made his Broadway musical debut in 1991 in the Zora Neale Hurston/Langston Hughes collaboration "Mulebone", which featured the music of Taj Mahal.
In 1993 he performed Off-Broadway as legendary blues player Robert Johnson in "Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil". He received rave reviews and became the 1993 winner of the Blues Foundation's "Keeping the Blues Alive Award" presented to him by Robert Cray at the W.C. Handy Awards ceremony.
Looking for more ways to combine his love of blues, music, and acting, Davis created material for himself. He wrote "In Bed with the Blues: The Adventures of Fishy Waters" -- an engaging and moving one-man show. The Off-Broadway debut in 1994 received critical praise from the New York Times and the Village Voice.
Davis' writing projects have also included a variety of theatre pieces and plays. "Mudsurfing", a collection of three short stories, received the 1991 Brio Award from the Bronx Council of the Arts. The Trial", (later renamed, "The Trial: Judgement of the People"), an anti-drug abuse, one-act play that toured throughout the New York City shelter system, was produced Off-Broadway in 1990, at the McGinn Cazale Theater. Davis also arranged, performed and co-wrote the music for an Emmy award winning film, "To Be a Man". In the fall of 1995, his music was used in the national PBS series, "The American Promise".
Davis also performed in a theater piece with his parents, actors/writers Ruby Dee and the late Ossie Davis, entitled "Two Hah Hahs and a Homeboy", staged at the Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ in the spring of 1995. The show combined material written by Davis and his parents, with music, African American Folklore and history, as well as performance pieces by Hurston and Hughes. Of Davis' performance, one reviewer observed that his style and writing "sounds so deeply drenched in lost black traditions that you feel that they must predate him. But no, they don't. He created them."
For the past decade, Davis has concentrated much of his efforts on writing, recording, and performing music. In the fall of 1995, he released his Red House records debut "Stomp Down Rider", an album that captured Davis in a stunning live performance. The album landed on top lists all over the country, including in the Boston Globe and Pulse magazine.
Davis' next album, "Call Down the Thunder", paid tribute to the blues masters, but leaned more heavily towards his own powerful originals. The electrifying album solidified Davis' position as one of the most important blues artists of our time. It too was named a top ten album of the year in the Boston Globe and Pulse, and Acoustic Guitar magazine called it one of the "thirty essential CDs from a new generation of performers".
Davis' third Red House disc, "You Don't Know My Mind", which includes backing vocals by Olu Dara, explodes with passion and rhythm, and displays Davis' breadth as a composer and powerhouse performer. It was chosen as 'Blues Album of the Year' by the Association For Independent Music (formerly NAIRD)The San Francisco Chronicle gave the CD four stars, adding, "Davis' tough, timeless vocals blow through your brain like a Mississippi dust devil."
Charles M. Young summed up Davis' own take on the blues best when he wrote his review in Playboy magazine, "Davis reminds you that the blues started as dance music. This is blues made for humming along, stomping your foot, feeling righteous in the face of oppression and expressing gratitude to your baby for greasing your skillet."
Guy's fourth album was, "Butt Naked Free", the first of all of the albums since that have been produced by John Platania, former guitarist for Van Morrison. In addition to John on electric guitar, it includes musician friends such as Levon Helm (The Band), multi-instrumentalist, Tommy "T-Bone" Wolk (Hall & Oates, Carly Simon, 'Saturday Night Live' Band), drummer Gary Burke (Joe Jackson), and acoustic bassist, Mark Murphy (Walt Michael & Co., Vanaver Caravan). The musicians all performed "Waitin' On the Cards to Fall" from this album on the Conan O'Brien show.
Of the fifth album "give in kind", Music critic Dave Marsh wrote, "Davis never loses sight of the blues as good time music, the original forum for dancing on top of one's sorrows. Joy made more exquisite, of course, by the sorrow from which it springs."
It was this album that caught the ear of Ian Anderson, founder and lead singer of one of Rock & Roll's greatest bands, "Jethro Tull", who invited Guy to open for them during the summer of 2003. He wrote in his invitation, "Folk Blues (Sonny Terry, J.B. Lenoir) is where I started. Hearing Guy is like coming home again."
In fact, there are many notables in the entertainment world who call themselves Guy Davis fans including Jackson Browne, Maya Angelou, and Jessica Lange, who had Guy perform his take on the Bob Dylan song, "What's a Sweetheart Like You (Doing in a Dump Like This)" for a special fundraiser she and her husband Sam Shepard organized for Tibetan Monks in Minnesota.
"Chocolate to the Bone", Guy's sixth album followed with more accolades and acclaim including a W.C. Handy award nomination for "Best Acoustic Blues Album". In fact, Guy has been nominated for nine 'Handy Awards' over the years including for "Best Traditional Blues Album", "Best Blues Song" ("Waiting On the Cards to Fall") and as "Best Acoustic Blues Artist" two times.
His latest album, "Legacy" was picked as one of the Best CDs of the Year by National Public Radio (NPR), and the lead track on it, "Uncle Tom's Dead" was chosen as one of the Best Songs of the Year. This of course is ironic as FCC rules won't allow it to be played on the air, but it's a fitting tribute none the less. The only other artist on both lists was Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys fame.
The cover for this album was drawn by noted comic book artist and graphic illustrator, Guy Davis. The tongue-in-cheek cartoon strip that is included in the liner notes, is a collaboration between the two Davis'. A winery in California completes the triumvirate as it is headed by a man also named Guy Davis. He created a limited edition wine in their honor with the label artwork done by illustrator Guy.
Bluesman Guy has contributed songs on a host of 'Tribute' and 'Compilation albums', including collections on bluesmen Charley Patton and Robert Johnson, for Putumayo Records collections including, "From Mali to Memphis" and the children's album called, "Sing Along With Putumayo", for tradition-based rockers like the Grateful Dead, songwriters like Nick Lowe, and for Bob Dylan's 60th birthday CD called, "A Nod to Bob", even on a Windham Hill collection of Choral Music, and alongside performers like Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, and Bruce Springsteen for a collection of songs written by his friend, legendary folksinger, 'Uncle' Pete Seeger, called, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone".
However, easily the proudest recording project he's been involved with is the one produced by his friend Larry Long, called "I Will Be Your Friend: Songs and Activities for Young Peacemakers", in which Guy contributes the title track. It's a CD collection of enriching songs combined together with a teacher's aide kit to help teach diversity and understanding. It is all part of the national "Teaching Tolerance" (www.tolerance.org) campaign and continues to be distributed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and sent to every public school in the country to help combat hatred.
And speaking of children's projects, Guy wrote a couple songs and recorded with Dr. John for Whoopi Goldberg's "Littleburg" series, and appeared and sang in "Jack's Big Show", both for the Nickelodeon network, "Nick, Jr".
Guy has also done residency programs for the Lincoln Center Institute, the Kennedy Center, the State Theatre in New Jersey, and works with "Young Audiences of NJ", doing classroom workshops and assembly programs all across the country and in Canada for Elementary, High School, and College students.
Most recently Guy had the honor of appearing in the PBS special on Jazz and Blues artist, the late Howard Armstrong. And he was an honored guest at the Kennedy Center Awards, in which his folks received their medals, alongside other recipients like Warren Beatty, Elton John and composer John Williams from the President of the United States.
David Amram has composed more than 100 orchestral and chamber music works, written many scores for Broadway theater and film, including the classic scores for the films Splendor in The Grass and The Manchurian Candidate; two operas, including the groundbreaking Holocaust opera The Final Ingredient; and the score for the landmark 1959 documentary Pull My Daisy, narrated by novelist Jack Kerouac. He is also the author of three books, Vibrations, an autobiography, Offbeat: Collaborating With Kerouac, a memoir, and Upbeat: Nine Lives of a Musical Cat published in the fall of 2007 by Paradigm Publishers.
A pioneer player of jazz French horn, he is also a virtuoso on piano, numerous flutes and whistles, percussion, and dozens of folkloric instruments from 25 countries, as well as an inventive, funny improvisational lyricist. He has collaborated with Leonard Bernstein, (who chose him as The New York Philharmonic's first composer-in-residence in 1966), Dizzy Gillespie, Langston Hughes, Dustin Hoffman, Willie Nelson, Thelonious Monk, Odetta, Elia Kazan, Arthur Miller, Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton, Johnny Depp and Tito Puente.
Amram's most recent orchestral works include Giants of the Night, (commissioned and premiered by flutist Sir James Galway in 2002); Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie, (commissioned by the Woody Guthrie Foundation in 2007); and Three Songs: A Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (written for and premiered by pianist John Namkamatsu in 2009). He was also chosen as the 2008 Democratic National Convention's "Composer In Residence For Public Events." In 2012 Amram is working on a new orchestral piece and new book. He will also be the subject of a new documentary film about his life, which will include a filming and recording of his 1968 comic opera 12th Night and several of his other works.
DAYMÉ... My Heart is a Crystal...
Singer, composer, arranger, choir director and band leader, Daymé Arocena at 22 years young, is an energetic, charismatic presence in today's Cuban music. Her diverse musical talents have already taken her into broader territories from traditional Cuban rhythms and songs into jazz and and neo-soul.
Daymé Arocena's debut album 'Nueva Era' was released on Brownswood Recordings in June 2015. Look out for news about another release from her in 2016.
For more information visit - http://www.gillespetersonworldwide.com/artist/dayme-arocena/
Named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of All Time, Richard Thompson is also one of the world's most critically acclaimed and prolific songwriters. He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards for Songwriting on both sides of the Atlantic - from the Americana Music Association in Nashville to Britain's BBC Awards and the prestigious Ivor Novello.
Having co-founded the groundbreaking group Fairport Convention as a teenager in the 60's, Richard Thompson and his mates virtually invented British Folk Rock. By the age of 21 he left the band to pursue his own career, followed by a decade long musical partnership with his then-wife Linda, to over 30 years as a highly successful solo artist.
Nick Lowe's Quality Holiday Revue arrives in time to sprinkle some much needed Christmas Cheer. Starring none other than... Nick Lowe, the show will feature a few brand-new Christmas Classics from 2013's "Quality Street" as well as careful selections from his back catalog of hits and near misses. Nick will appear both solo and backed by a sharp-dressed rock & roll combo who will bring along some Yuletide treats of their own.
Armed with the belief that positive music can change the world, Lucky Chops is on a mission to bring life back into the music industry. The intensity of the band's energy is fueled by their desire to inspire others. The hard work and dedication put in by each of the band's six members has been recognized by fans across the globe, earning Lucky Chops headlining spots at several international festivals and delivering consistent sell out shows in NYC.
Cry Cry Cry
Cry Cry Cry was a folk supergroup, consisting of Richard Shindell, Lucy Kaplansky, and Dar Williams. The band released a single eponymous album of cover songs on October 13, 1998.
An expatriate New Yorker now living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Richard Shindell is a meticulous craftsman of song whose eight studio albums and 2 live recordings have been revered by critics and fans alike. Innovative, original and occasionally spiritual, Shindell's songs weave tales that interchangeably champion the downtrodden, exalt the disaffected or wax empathetic to those lost to society's fringes. From his first record, Sparrow's Point (1992) to the newest album Not Far Now (2009), Shindell has demonstrated a penchant for songwriting at once passionate and profound. His songs are often slowly and painstakingly crafted until honed to perfection. Conversely, he is also capable of writing tunes that are simply clever and amusing.
Shindell's songwriting is truly eclectic, ranging from lighthearted ballads and adulterous love songs, to dirges and diatribes that skillfully skewer politics, prejudice, war and religion. He has a unique ability to morph into the soul of the many and varied personalities he casts as narrators in certain songs--songs that are veritable novellas framed in haunting acoustic melodies, sometimes including cryptic, revelations through the eyes of a woman.
Lucy Kaplansky is a rare vocal talent, "a truly gifted performer...full of enchanting songs" (New York Times). Blending country, folk and pop styles, she has the unique ability to make every song sound fresh, whether singing her own sweet originals, covering country classics by June Carter Cash and Gram Parsons or singing pop favorites by Lennon/McCartney and Nick Lowe. Lucy's iconic voice has been featured in film and on television, includ- ing commercials like Chevrolet's iconic "Heartbeat of America" jingle. A Billboard-charting singer and one of the top-selling artists on Red House Records, she has topped the folk and Americana radio charts and has been fea- tured on shows throughout the world from NPR's Weekend and Morning Editions to BBC Radio to CBS Sunday Morning. One of the most in-demand harmony singers, Lucy has sung on countless records, performing with Suzanne Vega, Bryan Ferry, Nanci Griffith and Shawn Colvin.
Dar Williams has become a major force on the New England folk scene. An idiosyncratic songwriter who writes folk songs from a unique, often insightful perspective, Williams takes pains to avoid the coy and the quirky; her songwriting and performing style has been compared to that of Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez, but with a few acidic and at times hilarious twists.
Williams, a native of Mount Kisco, N.Y., is a classic made-for-coffeehouses artist, writing about the world around her, her encounters in it, and the conclusions she's drawn; she's as comfortable rhapsodizing about a favorite babysitter ("The Babysitter's Here," from her self-released debut, The Honesty Room) as she is inveighing against the evil political monolith (see "Empire," from 2005's accalimed My Better Self).
At the core of Williams' work is a belief in the innate ability of people to make a better world, the product of countless observations in her travels and conversations with her fans. If anything, her optimism has intensified as she's crisscrossed America during the tough times of recent years. "My big secret," she says, with a twinkle in her eye, "is that we are gonna make it — but we'll be the last to know."
"Williams has a vocal style quite like that of Joan Baez (who happened to be one of Williams's early supporters): a variable, semi-operatic, vibrato-laced, high-pitched tone full of passion." – Bershire Living Magazine
"It's been a long night if that's what happened," Valerie June laughs when asked about her seemingly overnight breakout in the UK. By the time she released her debut album, Pushin' Against A Stone, the Tennessee native had already performed on Later... with Jools Holland, sung a stunning duet with Eric Church at the ACM Awards, toured with Jake Bugg, graced spreads in top music and fashion magazines, and earned some of the year's most glowing reviews. But June traveled a long road to the remarkable moment at which she now finds herself.
"I feel like my whole life I've always had a stone I've been pushing," she says, explaining the record's title. "Some days it's a good thing to have, like a best friend, and sometimes it's your worst enemy. In the case of this record, I had so many friends helping me move the stone."
Those friends include the album's producers, Kevin Augunas (Edward Sharpe, Florence + The Machine), Dan Auerbach, and Peter Sabak, along with an all-star cast of fellow musicians ranging from Booker T. Jones and Jimbo Mathus to some of Hungary's top session players. Recorded at Easy Eye in Nashville, Fairfax Recording in Van Nuys, CA, and Studio H in Budapest, Pushin' Against A Stone is a showcase for June's astonishing and singular sound, a blend of rural roots and country that bridges Alan Lomax's acoustic field recordings with biting, electric indie-blues.
From the slide guitar shuffle of "You Can't Be Told" and heavenly harmonies of traditional spiritual "Trials, Troubles, Tribulations," to the stark, acoustic "Workin' Woman Blues" and the uncanny darkness of "Twined and Twisted," June effortlessly shifts between eras and genres. She can be haunting and melancholy, singing of loneliness on "Somebody To Love," or full of warmth and charm, fondly recalling her home on "Tennessee Time." At one moment seductive in a sensual come-on, fragile and vulnerable the next in a display of naked honesty, June transports you to another world the moment you hear her voice.
Ask her where it comes from, and she'll tell you about her church. "Everybody sings in my church, there's never a choir," she explains. "There was every kind of voice you can think of, so I was always trying to sit beside somebody who had a cool voice and listen to them and see what I liked about it. I had 500 teachers three-days-a-week for 18 years."
That education paid off in spades, as June has developed what The Independent's Andy Gill describes as "the most strikingly individual delivery I've heard in ages." Percolating somewhere between Dolly Parton and Billie Holiday, June's is a stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks voice, the kind that grips your imagination and paints her Southern portraits in vivid detail.
Many of those portraits are drawn from Tennessee, where June grew up between the small towns of Humboldt and Jackson. She moved to Memphis after finishing high school and considered attending art school, but ultimately settled on singing in a band. The clash of creative egos proved to be more draining than inspiring, though, and she quickly made the leap to solo artist.
"My grandfather had given me a guitar when I was 15, and I kept saying, 'I'm gonna learn it,' but I never did because being in a band, I didn't have to," says June. "I'd had so much fun in the dirty dives in Memphis or heading to Mississippi or Arkansas, it felt like something huge was missing when I couldn't play shows, so I decided I needed to learn to play guitar because I'd never get gigs if I couldn't accompany myself."
The determined June not only taught herself guitar, but also banjo and ukulele, developing a distinctive style inspired by her heroes from a century before. "I really fell in love with 1920's and 30's music when I moved to Memphis," says June. "Mississippi John Hurt, Elizabeth Cotten, The Carter Family. I have almost everything with Alan Lomax's name on it. Once I discovered country blues and straight-up old time country, I never left it."
The nurturing musical community in Memphis embraced June's timeless songwriting from the outset, and she went from coffee house gigs to touring across the South and beyond. She cut a homemade record in a friend's 1800's farmhouse to sell at shows, and followed that up with a disc she knocked out in 8 hours at the famed Ardent Studios, where she earned a free day of recording as payment for a gig. She opened for Old Crow Medicine Show at Rhodes College, and the band was so enraptured that they invited her back to Nashville to record an EP, Valerie June and the Tennessee Express.
Though she had fans around the world and musical admirers in high places, June had yet to record a proper studio album of her own. There was no shortage of label interest, but the idea of signing away her music held no appeal, so June took a decidedly modern approach for her studio debut and launched a Kickstarter, where her fans helped her raise more than $15,000.
It was about that time when famed producer Kevin Augunas stepped into June's life. Taken with her music on first listen, he immediately flew to Tennessee to introduce himself. Augunas connected her with The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, who, unbeknownst to June, was completing work on his Easy Eye Studio in Nashville at the time.
"The intention was to meet him and write some songs," says June. "Songwriting can be like going on a blind date, you don't know what's going to happen, but when we got in the room together, we were on the same page. We really got each other. After two sessions, he said, 'My studio's about to be finished if you want to record some of these and your own.' The music always tells me what to do, and I knew I needed to capture those songs there and then. I had to read the signs."
The result is a stunning studio debut from an artist who's journeyed a long and dusty road, pushing a mighty stone all the way. It's been a long night, but dawn is just breaking for Valerie June.
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