New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival April 24 – May 3

Article written by on Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 in Festivals

The daily stage-by-stage performance schedule for the 40th annual “peace, love and crawfish” celebration is now available. The first weekend’s scheduled artists (April 24-26) include, among many others, the Lost Bayou Ramblers; Joe Cocker; the Kumbuka African Drum and Dance Collective; a tribute to Mahalia Jackson by Irma Thomas, Mavis Staples and Pamela Landrum; James Taylor; Pete Seeger and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger with Mike & Ruthy; and Etta James & the Roots Band. The second weekend’s performers (April 30-May 3) include Emmylou Harris; Solomon Burke; Bonnie Raitt; Patty Griffin; Neil Young and Buddy Guy.

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Will McLean Music Festival April 3-5

Article written by on Monday, Mar 30, 2009 in Contests,Festivals,People

The annual festival honoring Florida folk musician and songwriter Will McLean (1919-1990) takes place this weekend at Withlacoochee Campground, Dunnellon, Florida. McLean spent much of his life traveling around the state and writing songs based on Florida history. He was awarded the Florida Heritage Award in 1989 and inducted posthumously into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 1996.

This year’s winners of the Best New Florida Song Contest, sponsored by the Will McLean Foundation, will be presented their awards and will perform their songs at the festival. The winners are Garrison Doles, first place for “This Florida;” Chris Kahl, second place for “Out on Cedar Key” and Carla Bak, third place for “Boil that Sugar Cane Down.”

Scheduled artists include The Mayhaws, Clyde Walker and Roadside Revue, to name just a few.

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Folklorist Archie Green Has Died

Article written by on Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 in Passings,People

The man whose dogged persistence led to the formation of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center passed away on Sunday, March 22 at the age of 91. With a heritage of socialist activism and an education in political science, he began as a union activist (in addition to being a shipwright and carpenter) but returned to school later in life to study folklore and eventually to teach at the university level. He began his writings in this area with a 1965 article on hillbilly music, and one of his last projects was the co-editing of the historical union song collection The Big Red Songbook, completed in 2007. Green was awarded the Living Legend medal by the Library of Congress in 2007. In addition to the obituaries referenced above, The Daily Yonder has a personal article that helps to round out the picture of Archie Green’s legacy.

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Leonard Cohen Live in London Release March 31

Article written by on Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 in Concerts,Releases,Tours

A two-CD set from Leonard Cohen’s July 17, 2008 London performance will be released Tuesday, as will a DVD of the same. Songs include “Suzanne,” “In My Secret Life,” “Sisters of Mercy,” “First We Take Manhattan,” “Hallelujah” and 21 others. Audio and video excerpts are available on CBC Radio 2.

Cohen will be performing in Austin April 1, Oakland April 14, Chicago May 6 and Boston May 30.

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Caroline Herring: Austin to Savannah

Article written by on Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 in Concerts,Festivals,Reviews

After her crowd-winning performance at the South by Southwest Music Conference last week, singer/songwriter Caroline Herring is headed to Savannah, Georgia for her April 2 concert during the Savannah Music Festival. Caroline’s “Southern Gothic” folk music writings capture the imagination, and her voice is wonderfully easy to listen to. The video on the Savannah site is a great introduction to this singer’s work.

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RootsFest Denver March 28

Article written by on Monday, Mar 23, 2009 in Concerts,Festivals,Organizations

The Swallow Hill Music Association is celebrating its 30th anniversary Saturday night, with RootsFest Denver, an event known in previous years as the Denver Folk & Roots Music Festival. Shawn Colvin, Leo Kottke, the Boulder Acoustic Society and Joe Pug are among the performers. Also playing is the longrunning bluegrass group Hot Rize, currently consisting of Tim O’Brien, Bryan Sutton, Nick Forster and Pete Wernick. A Taylor Leo Kottke 12-string guitar, signed by Leo Kottke and estimated to be worth $3400, will be raffled off at the festival. The location is the Ellie Caulkins Opera House at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available online or at the box office.

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Renofest in South Carolina March 27-29

Article written by on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 in Concerts,Contests,Festivals

Hartsville, South Carolina hosts the Renofest Bluegrass Festival each year during the fourth weekend of March. The event is named for the bluegrass banjo player Don Reno. A major element of the festival is a set of contests: the state bluegrass band, guitar and banjo championships. First-place winners will take home a $1500 cash prize, a Sunburst D18 guitar built by Wayne Henderson or a Deering “Terry Baucom” 5-string banjo, respectively.

Performers for this year’s gathering include Church Street Blues (last year’s bluegrass band competition winner), Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, Ronnie Reno and the Reno Tradition, and Claire Lynch. More information on the festival and the artists is available in this article by Nick Hilbourn of the Morning News.

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Temecula Bluegrass Festival Continues Sunday

Article written by on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 in Concerts,Festivals

The Old Town Temecula Bluegrass Festival began today in Temecula, California, and ends Sunday, with free concerts all afternoon. Performers include, among others, This Just In, Claire Lynch and Windy Ridge.  A concert by Scott Gates and Nathan McEuen (son of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s John McEuen) is a recent addition to Sunday’s schedule.

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