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”

Screen Door Porch “Play It Forward” (Yella Dog Records 2017)

This five track EP from Jackson based Screen Door Porch is their fourth such CD offering. They have been touring since 2010 and are clearly a tight band. The Parade opens the CD and is a rock orientated number with heavy organ and slide guitar to the fore. There is diversity in the vocals with transition between male and female which adds an extra dimension to the work. Continue reading “Screen Door Porch “Play It Forward” (Yella Dog Records 2017)”

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”

The Brother Brothers “Tugboats EP” (Independent, 2016)

The Brother Brothers are in fact the identical Moss brother twins, Adam and David, and I should perhaps beg forgiveness from Adam and David now if I mix them up at any stage in this review.  Originally hailing from Illinois but now based in Brooklyn, NY, and with both pursing individual career paths, this six track EP represents the first coming together of this musically blessed duo. Fiddler, banjo player and vocalist Adam has played with the likes of Anais Mitchell and Ana Egge. David is a distinguished cellist and guitar picker and winner of the New Folk competition in 2011. As a musical partnership, their talents have been championed by the likes of Sarah Jarosz and, listening to this brief musical introduction to the band, it is not hard to see why. Continue reading “The Brother Brothers “Tugboats EP” (Independent, 2016)”

Colin Hay, Union Chapel, Islington, London 4th April 2017

When a panel voted recently on the best Australian songs of the modern era, three of the top ten were penned by Scots. The Easybeats’ “Friday On My Mind” topped the list, co-written by George Young whose brothers Angus and Malcolm were behind the number nine, AC/DC’s “It’s a Long Way to Rock”. Neither of these are overtly Aussie, which cannot be said of the song that came fourth, written by the man working the audience in
Upper St. tonight. Colin Hay, the solo troubadour behind the mike and behind the song in question (more of that later) was Men at Work’s founder and frontman who moved from Saltcoats in Scotland to Australia in his teens. However he has lived in California since the demise of the band, almost 35 years ago, making him more than qualified to deliver a new album “Fierce Mercy” where the influences of his adopted homeland come to the fore. He chats about inspiration – he cites Gene Pitney, the Walker Brothers and Roy Orbison but in addition to those, echoes of The Beach Boys, Jackson Browne and Bob Seger are all evident in this latest piece. Continue reading “Colin Hay, Union Chapel, Islington, London 4th April 2017”