Kronos Quartet & Friends celebrate the music of Pete Seeger

The GRAMMY-winning Kronos Quartet has announced its new album ‘Long Time Passing: Kronos Quartet and Friends Celebrate Pete Seeger’, a tribute to the music, political philosophy, and social impact of Seeger, which is due out 9th October on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Joining the  group are Sam Amidon who appears on Kronos’ 2017 album ‘Folk Songs’ (which came out on the Nonesuch label), Maria Arnal, Brian Carpenter, Lee Knight, Meklit, and Aoife O’Donovan. The artists give voice to the plainspoken songs of struggle that Seeger both wrote and collected in his seventy-plus years as a musician, while Jacob Garchik and Kronos’ arrangements translate his banjo-playing for the group’s two violins, viola, and cello. Continue reading “Kronos Quartet & Friends celebrate the music of Pete Seeger”

Mandolin Orange and Hiss Golden Messenger support new North Carolina fundraiser compilaton

If you were going to rank US states for their contribution to music over the years, North Carolina would be right up there and for fifty years, Carrboro’s live venue Cat’s Cradle has been at the heart of it, but like many independent venues across the US, it’s now in trouble as a result of the pandemic. As a response to this, a new compilation comes out today via Bandcamp called ‘Cover Charge: NC Artists Go Under Cover To Benefit Cat’s Cradle’ which brings together some of North Carolina’s most notable artists across multiple genres but with a notable americana bent to support the venue including Chatham County Line, Hiss Golden Messenger, Iron and Wine, Mandolin Orange, Steep Canyon Rangers, Superchunk, Tift Merritt and The Mountain Goats among others. Each artist performs a cover version of a favourite song of theirs, with many recorded during the pandemic. Continue reading “Mandolin Orange and Hiss Golden Messenger support new North Carolina fundraiser compilaton”

Cambridge Folk Festival at Home 2020 begins tomorrow

The Cambridge Folk Festival has announced Cambridge Folk Festival at Home 2020, a unique event to mark the Festival weekend by inviting the public to create their own festival atmosphere at home (bonfire in the garden, copping off at 2 in the morning, throwing up in the bushes) and enjoy a range of special entertainment and activities. Cambridge was forced to cancel this summer’s Festival due to safety concerns in light of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, which has led to the widespread cancellation of live events across the world. Continue reading “Cambridge Folk Festival at Home 2020 begins tomorrow”

Lucinda Williams discusses Trump and Tornadoes on new podcast – Listen

Rolling Stone Country have posted a really interesting interview with Lucinda Williams who despite having a new album out has barely left her new home in East Nashville since the advent of the pandemic. RS calls it nonetheless “an alt-country soundtrack to our modern times, filled with social commentary and pissed-off political jabs that, while written in 2019, remain eerily topical.” She says to presenter Chris Shiflett in his latest podcast: “Someone told me, “This must be a weird time to put your album out.” But I guess I was fortunate, because of the subject matter of the album. The timing was… I don’t want to say it was perfect… but there seems to be a need for it.” You can hear the whole interview below.

Robert Francis and The End Times “Vol. 1” (Aeronaut Records, 2020)

Vol. 1’ is a curious title for an album by an artist with such a long track record, giving fair warning that there is a new avenue that Robert Francis is going to explore. With the release of ‘Amaretto’ and ‘Vol. 1’ being only months apart it is perhaps inevitable that there is relationship between these two records. The former is Americana recorded in Nashville, the latter is firmly rooted in nineties indie-rock. Continue reading “Robert Francis and The End Times “Vol. 1” (Aeronaut Records, 2020)”

Loudon Wainwright III returns with “I’d Rather Lead A Band”

Loudon Wainwright III has unveiled his new album ‘I’d Rather Lead A Band’ which will be released on October 9th in the UK via Thirty Tigers.  A collaboration with Vince Giordano and his band The Nighthawks, and producer and music supervisor Randall Poster, the 14-song collection is described as “a loose, fresh, and “anti-nostalgic” take on classic songs from the 1920s and ‘30s featuring Wainwright as singer and band leader.” Wainwright will debut two songs from the record acoustically on the BBC Radio 2 Virtual Folk Festival on Sat Aug 1 between 8 and 10pm. Continue reading “Loudon Wainwright III returns with “I’d Rather Lead A Band””

Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams discuss art and empathy

There’s a really interesting feature courtesy of the New Yorker when journalist Amanda Petrusich speaks to Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams together but remotely, chatting to them about “songwriting, the legacy of Bob Dylan, the cruelty of online comments, protest music, poetry, compassion, and their decades-long friendship.” They also perform some new songs. You can watch the clip (because we can’t embed it here sorry) over at the New Yorker’s website here.

Gillian Welch to release new volume of “lost recordings” – Listen

Gillian Welch has confirmed the digital release of ‘Boots No.2: The Lost Songs, Vol.1’ which will come out at the end of this month via Acony Records, the independent record label she and partner David Rawlings founded in 2001. The new collection is unearthed from a cache of home demos and reel-to-reel recordings and is the second release of archival music from the vault of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Continue reading “Gillian Welch to release new volume of “lost recordings” – Listen”

The show goes on: Red Rooster 2020 is happening

Well there’s a turn up for the books. After looking like cancellation was a near certainty along with every other festival this year, the organisers of the roots festival Red Rooster have announced that the festival will go ahead from Friday 3rd – Sunday 5th September. Set amongst 10,000 acres of parklands & pleasure grounds at Euston Hall estate in Suffolk, the 7th edition of the 5,000-capacity festival will proceed with “appropriate social distancing” and “now have three outdoor stages celebrating the best in Cajun, Soul, RocknRoll, Blues and Country.” Continue reading “The show goes on: Red Rooster 2020 is happening”

West On Colfax “Barfly Flew By” (Greenhorse Records, 2020)

Drive thru the In-N-Out Burger, head out to the canyon or wherever you won’t get pulled over with that dime bag of weed, turn up the car stereo and chill out to that new band from… Preston. This debut album from West On Colfax abounds with Western themes, and the gods of Americana have conspired to bestow on this quintet a sound that is rich with experience, yet fresh with the fervour of new beginnings all in one roll of the dice. Continue reading “West On Colfax “Barfly Flew By” (Greenhorse Records, 2020)”