Archive for November, 2009

Canadian Celtic sensation, The Cottars, will release Feast February 9 on Rounder Records.  Featuring the traditional Gaelic song “Goodnight to You” (Oidhche Mhath Leibh), the contemporary folk tune “Song for Stephen Foster” by Gordon Lightfoot, and two new original compositions, “On a Pier” and “Hymn for N” by founding band member Fiona MacGillivray, Feast creates a bridge from the deep Scottish and Irish beginnings of Cape Breton Celtic music to a new emerging roots music; one that blends American folk music with Celtic overtones as well as age old instrumental and vocal material with fresh new compositions.  With an undeniably solid musical base and the vibrancy that comes with The Cottars’ youthful artistry, Feast leads the way in an evolving genre.

Since , their successful 2006 Rounder album, the band has undergone changes, and returns with a solid roster, including original members Ciarán & Fiona MacGillivray on vocals, piano, guitar, tin whistle, Irish bouzouki, Irish flute, bodhrán, and Celtic harp (not to mention step-dance), as well as new members 18-year old Claire Pettit on violin, viola, vocals, compositions and dance, and Bruce Timmons, one of the most respected accompanists in the Maritimes today on lead guitar.

Track Listing: (more…)

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Marley’s Ghost, cited by Paste magazine as “(having) earned cult-band status over 20 years of spirited musicianship, multi-part harmonies and irreverent humor,” will return from a three-year absence from recording with a new album, Ghost Town, due out February 23, 2010 on Sage Arts Records. The new album was produced by Cowboy Jack Clement, in whose Nashville home studio it was recorded. The cover was painted by acclaimed American watercolorist William Matthews.

The album follows Marley’s Ghost’s 2006 album Spooked, which was produced by Van Dyke Parks and featured a cover by R. Crumb. Of Spooked, No Depression remarked, “The band’s eighth full-length in 20 years glides with deadpan sincerity through sea chanteys, perverted mountain gospel, country-rock, vintage pre-WWII pop, Jazz Age vamps, Dylan, western campfire songs, and a rib-tickling salute to ‘the French Elvis,’ Johnny Hallyday. Brilliantly sung and played, Spooked is a heady, subversive treat.” (more…)

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The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress presents a lecture in the Benjamin Botkin Folklife Lecture Series, December 1, 2009, 12:00 Noon – 1:00 p.m., Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building presented by Mick Moloney, Global Distinguished Professor of Music, New York University.

Mick Moloney’s illustrated talk on Jewish and Irish collaborations in vaudeville and early Tin Pan Alley explores a fascinating, though largely forgotten, era in American popular culture.  In vaudeville’s heyday between 1880 and 1920, Irish/Jewish collaborations on stage were commonplace. They were attended by all sorts of interesting identity ambiguities. (more…)

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Nineteen individuals and organizations will be honored with The Blues Foundation‘s 2010 Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) Award during a recognition brunch at the Downtown Doubletree Hotel Saturday, January 23rd, 2010, in Memphis, Tennessee.  The KBA ceremony begins at 10:00 a.m. and will be held in conjunction with the 26th International Blues Challenge (IBC) weekend of events that will feature the semifinals and finals of the world’s largest gathering of blues bands, as well as seminars, showcases, and receptions for blues societies, fans, and professionals.

The Keeping the Blues Alive Awards recognize the significant contributions to blues music made by the people behind the scenes. Each is selected on the basis of merit by a panel of blues professionals. KBA Chairman Art Tipaldi notes with respect to this year’s recipients: “We are very pleased to bestow this recognition on people and organizations who have promoted blues music for many, many years. Increasingly, this is an international effort, and this year’s recipients reflect the worldwide impact of blues music.”
The 2010 Keeping the Blues Alive Award recipients are: (more…)

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On Under The Rose, Rahim AlHaj combines with the world-renowned guitarist Ottmar Liebert to unite the ancestral Iraqi tradition with modern flamenco, celebrating and exploring the family connections. Liebert, who has incorporated his own innovative ideas into the vocabulary of flamenco—bringing electric bass, synthesizer, electronics, drum kit, and more into the mix—proves a compelling musical foil to the ancient sound of the oud and AlHaj’s contemporary approach to the instrument.

Ably assisted by Jon Gagan (bass, keyboard), who also produced the CD, finding just the right textures and contexts to illuminate this unique pairing, and Barrett Martin (percussion), these two musical masters bring a fresh perspective to flamenco that echoes its distant past while perhaps anticipating its future. Whether playing in call and response (“The Coin”), weaving two lines together in a rhythmic dance (“A Storm Approaches”), experimenting with electronic embellishments (“Return to Andalusia”), or hewing closer to tradition (“Under the Rose”)—AlHaj and Liebert display a rare musical simpatía that bridges cultures and genres. (more…)

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The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) is honoured to host a day of events celebrating the life of Davy Graham probably England’s greatest (Paul Simon).

Davy Graham: A Life in Celebration will bring together such luminaries of the folk and blues world as Martin Carthy, Ralph McTell, Roy Harper, Wizz Jones and Sam Carter. The full line-up for the two performances will be as follows:

Saturday 28 November (afternoon event) 2.30pm – 5.30pm

The afternoon event will see an introduction by Will Hodgkinson and will be followed by performances from Martin Carthy (plus guests), Forbes Henderson, Cahit & Hass Dur, Steve Tilston, Gareth Hedges, Dave Tomlin, Merv Depeyer and Mike Head. (more…)

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Excerpts from the new issue of Dirty Linen, #145 January/February 2010, have been posted on our website.

Red Molly, Tommy Sands, Houston Jones, Tracy Grammer, Maunalua, The Folk Brothers: Jack Hardy & David Massengill, Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers, John Denver: Around the World Live, concert reviews, recording reviews, book reviews, DVD reviews, Wee Folk, and news.

This issue was mailed to subscribers on November 13 and will be on newsstands December 8.

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Due to Dirty Linen’s publication schedule, it is nearly impossible to publish reviews of the winter holiday releases during the same year they are released. Do you prefer to have the holiday music lumped together into one column, published in the issue closest to the holiday season (even if it’s a year later), or would you prefer to see them scattered throughout the year, even if it means reading holiday reviews in May?

63%  Combine all reviews in the November/December issue only.

25%  Review them individually throughout the year.

12%  Don’t care.

The poll ran from September 14, 2009 through November 17, 2009.

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The New York Songwriter’s Circle today announced the names of the 12 finalists for its fourth annual “Songwriting Contest” and the three finalists for its “Young Songwriters Award.”  The NYSC is also proud to announce that Ida Østergaard from Copenhagen, Denmark, is the 2009 recipient of its prestigious “International Writers Award.” The Grand Prize winner will be determined by an esteemed panel of judges at live performances on November 18 and the 19 (8 p.m.) at the legendary Bitter End in New York City.  Tickets for both performances can be obtained by going to: http://www.theatermania.com/new-york/shows/ny-songwriters-circle-contest-finals_161221/

The twelve Songwriting Contest finalists are: Barnaby Bright – “Gravity,” Kate Branagh – “Tether,” Caleb Hawley – “Other Side Of It All,” Clara Oman – “Song for Ruthie,” Janet Onyenucheya – “The Element,” Adrien Reju – “When The Curtain Falls,” Martin Rivas – “North,” Bobby Smith – “The Breakup Song,” Chloe Temtchine – “Four Letter Fever,” Justin Tracy – “Secrets,” The Sweet Remains — “Easy,” Reed Waddle – “Piece By Piece.” (more…)

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The University of Southern Mississippi and the Entertainment Industry Program in the School of Music are proud to announce the first ever Songwriter’s Workshop, January 11-15, 2010. Hosted by Nashville songwriter and publisher Justin Peters, this workshop is open to Southern Miss students as well as the public at large. Justin is the President of Songs For The Planet, Inc. Whether you are a songwriter, musician or just plain interested in getting started in the music business, this workshop is a one of a kind opportunity for the southern Mississippi region. Questions, please call 601.266.5433. Limited availability, advance registration closes Dec. 1, 2009.

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