Bernie Sanders to stump for legendary folk singer

A nice story to begin the week with which has been doing the rounds over the weekend in various forms – Rob Quist is apparently a “bluegrass legend” and you can see his campaign song below. (Everyone should have a campaign song in a fair world!) HuffPost report: “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has offered to travel to Montana to help boost insurgent House candidate Rob Quist, who is running in a surprisingly competitive special election for the at-large seat previously held by Ryan Zinke, who is now secretary of the department of interior. The stop would be part of a national tour Sanders is doing with Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez after Easter, the Vermont senator told The Huffington Post in an interview.  Continue reading “Bernie Sanders to stump for legendary folk singer”

Hurray for the Riff Raff’s “Pa’lante” – Listen

From this month’s Friends Of compilation (out now on digital download!) there’s been some discussion of a striking track by Hurray for the Riff Raff called “Pa’lante” which is an incredible listen. Pitchfork have written a piece about it here which is worth a read while you absorb the track – the audio is below. “In an ever-desensitized world, Hurray for the Riff Raff’s Alynda Lee Segarra is skilled at making violence human. “Pa’lante,” a ferocious highlight from her forthcoming record The Navigator, examines the spiritual death that occurs when ancestral histories and identities are abandoned in order to assimilate. The song’s title is a Spanish affirmation that means “onwards, forwards,” borrowed from the name of the newspaper published by the Young Lords, a Puerto Rican community activist group that agitated for change in the 1970s. Segarra also samples a recording of Pedro Pietri’s seminal 1969 poem “Puerto Rican Obituary,” which illuminated the rigged game of naturalization to a generation. But her lament is entirely her own.  Continue reading “Hurray for the Riff Raff’s “Pa’lante” – Listen”

Elliot Smith vinyl releases out today

And there’s pictures!  Consequence of Sound report: “On the heels of a recent 20th anniversary reissue of Elliott Smith’s breakthrough album, Either/Or, fans of the singer-songwriter will soon have even more reason to empty their pockets. Smith’s 1998 major label debut, XO, and 2000’s Figure 8, the final album he completed before his death, are being reissued on vinyl [today], April 7th, via Geffen/Ume. In addition to the standard releases, both albums will be available in special colored vinyl editions limited to 500 copies. The limited edition XO release will come in black and white marbled vinyl, while the two-LP Figure 8 is composed of one clear vinyl and one white vinyl. Pre-orders for both albums are live here (XO) and here (Figure 8). Check out images of the limited edition pressings below. Continue reading “Elliot Smith vinyl releases out today”

Billy Bragg pays tribute to Woody Guthrie at Folk Awards – Watch

This will set your weekend off to a good start, it’ll elevate the hairs on the back of your neck (well until you read the Trump bit of the accompanying piece). Spin reports on Wednesday evening’s events: “Woody Guthrie was the hall of fame inductee at last night’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, which sort of makes you wonder who’s in the hall already if Woody’s only just now getting in. In any case, the UK folksinger Billy Bragg gave a tribute performance to the icon last night, and it was quite lovely. Bragg is probably the most easily identifiable inheritor of Guthrie’s weighty legacy as poet and troubadour of the working class–his 1998 collaborative album with Wilco Mermaid Avenue set unused Guthrie lyrics to original music–and he handled the role with gravity, performing a somber rendition of “I Ain’t Got No Home,” Guthrie’s devastating ballad of poverty. (The song was previously covered by Bruce Springsteen and Bragg himself on 2013’s Tooth and Nail.)  Continue reading “Billy Bragg pays tribute to Woody Guthrie at Folk Awards – Watch”

BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – here’s the list of winners

We seem to have lost a day in bringing you this news, so apologies for the slackness but the winners of the Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017 were announced in a ceremony broadcast live from the Royal Albert Hall, London on Wednesday evening. Now in their 18th year, the Awards, the BBC say “are a key highlight of the folk music calendar and serve to raise the profile of folk music. Talent, new and old, received accolades including Folk Singer of the Year, Best Duo, Best Album, Musician of the Year, Young Folk Award and more. Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to Ry Cooder and Al Stewart.” Woody Guthrie was rightly inducted into their Hall of Fame which was very cool, but hey, the Folk Awards had Tony Blackburn and we had Bob Harris for ours – read into that what you will. Here’s that list of winners.  Continue reading “BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – here’s the list of winners”

Foo Fighter Chris Shiflett’s new americana album is out next week

“West Coast Town” the new solo album from Chris Shiflett, will be released on 14th April on SideOneDummy Records. Although he’s known as the Foo Fighters’ lead guitarist, Chris’s solo country work has also gained him recognition on the alt-country scene, where “his signature vocals and killer guitar work serve up a heady brew of raw barroom honky tonk, hi-octane rockabilly, and here-and-now Americana.” And we like a bit of here and now americana.  Continue reading “Foo Fighter Chris Shiflett’s new americana album is out next week”

Will Oldham covers Merle Haggard in a bath – Watch

OK it’s not quite a bath, but it would have been an even better story if it was.  Stereogum report: “Next month, Will Oldham will release Best Troubador, a Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy album made up of Merle Haggard covers. We heard his take on “Mama Tried” last month, and today he’s shared a video of him performing the late-period Haggard track “Bad Actor” in a steamroom. It’s not as steamy as you’d might expect given the locale, but Oldham is accompanied by his wife Elsa for the performance. Watch below.”  Continue reading “Will Oldham covers Merle Haggard in a bath – Watch”