Sonny Landreth Brings Back Levee Town Album

Article written by on Sunday, Apr 05, 2009 in Releases

Louisiana bluesman Sonny Landreth’s Levee Town CD, originally released in 2000, will be reissued April 21 in an expanded format. Jennifer Warnes, Bonnie Raitt and John Hiatt contribute vocals. For reference, here’s a review of the original.

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New Link for Folkways Podcast

Article written by on Sunday, Apr 05, 2009 in On The Web,Releases

In a previous post, Ken described the release of a 1999 Folkways series in podcast form. The web site location for that series has changed, so I just wanted to provide the new link. The series includes interviews and sound recordings from many of those involved in creating, finding and/or preserving what we know as American folk music.

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New Flatlanders Album and Tour

Article written by on Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 in Releases,Tours

This Texas folk trio released its first album in five years on March 31, and is on tour now. The Flatlanders started their journey in Austin last weekend and will be playing in Ithaca, New York today and Albany tomorrow. After performing in New Hampshire and Connecticut, they return to play in New York City and then go on to Massachusetts, Maine and Pennsylvania and make a circle back around the country, visiting a total of 19 states through June. The group will also perform at the Country Rendez-Vous Festival in France in July.

Group members Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely and Butch Hancock are all singer/songwriters. They co-wrote about two-thirds of the tracks on the new CD, Hills and Valleys, released by New West Records. Judging from my own listening to the web site samples, fans won’t be disappointed with the results. Brad Buchholz of The Austin American-Statesman has written a detailed review for the paper’s Austin360 site.

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Scott Valentine Giving Away One Song a Week For a Year

Article written by on Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 in People,Releases

Vancouver Island singer/songwriter Scott Valentine is trying a novel approach to publicize his music. For each of 52 consecutive Tuesdays, he is giving away a music download of at least one song, totaling 57 songs. He began the project March 24, and the songs are from his 4-CD debut album, Seasons.

Valentine’s record label is Thorny Bleeder. His manager, Brian Thompson, has this to say in the label’s press release:

“Scott wrote, performed, recorded, produced, designed and printed the album entirely on his own over a two year period. It’s a culmination of the pains and heartaches of his past and his hopes and dreams for the future; a document of the peaks and valleys of human drama, as seen through his own life experiences.

Seasons consists of 4 CDs (one disc each for Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter) and 1 DVD (Seasons: A Film Journey). 57 songs span across the four seasons, representing a young man’s expanding consciousness through his journey of mortality. The companion DVD, Seasons: A Film Journey, is a visual representation of the album realized in a well crafted, stylish, and professional short film. An extended, four-song, concept music video shot in HD.

Valentine creates an intensely personal feeling with his music that truly penetrates the heart and soul, generating astoundingly beautiful music. With an uncanny sense of melody, Scott’s rich and soulful voice reveal an old-soul with a wisdom beyond his years. Accompanying his soaring baritone is a five-string, open tuned rhythmic guitar style all his own. His songs have an immediate sense of honesty and clarity that’s all but lost in much of today’s music. His natural and effortless folkiness somehow make him impossibly real and familiar, like an old friend delivering a message of hope that’s hard to ignore.

‘I hope Seasons can offer comfort and hope to people who desire something more from their life. I believe that hope does exist and is alive and well, burning just beneath the surface, even if the majority of the music industry has stopped looking to find it.'”

Valentine’s music style is compared to “Eddie Vedder, Ray LaMontagne, Bon Iver, Damien Rice, and Iron & Wine.” Check out the videos on his web site, in addition to the free downloads that are already there.

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Steve Martin to Play Grand Ole Opry

Article written by on Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 in Concerts

We posted in February about Steve Martin’s release of an album of banjo music. Billboard magazine reported Wednesday that Martin has been invited to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee on May 30. Album producer Jon McEuen (of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band fame) will also take the stage, as will several other country musicians.

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Sara Watkins Releases Solo CD April 7

Article written by on Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 in Releases,Reviews

Former Nickel Creek member Sara Watkins has a self-titled CD coming out April 7. The album is produced by John Paul Jones (of Led Zeppelin) and contains material written by Sara, songs written by some of her friends and  songs by other artists whose work she has long admired. The sound is an intriguing combination of folk and pop with a touch of folk blues, as when she covers John Hartford’s “Long Hot Summer Days.” Song samples are available on Sara’s MySpace page.

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Canada’s Juno Awards Presented Sunday

Article written by on Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 in Awards

Awards shows tend to be unpredictable, but some very impressive talents were rewarded Sunday as Canada handed out its annual music awards in Vancouver.

Dallas Green, who performs solo as folk artist City and Colour, received a Juno award for Songwriter of the Year for songs from his album Bring Me Your Love.  Green is also a rock musician with Alexisonfire.

Longtime folk artist and activist Buffy Sainte-Marie won Aboriginal Album of the Year for Running for the DrumJayme Stone, a banjo player from Canada, and Mansa Sissoko, a singer and kora (12-string harp) player from Mali, won World Music Album of the Year for their collaboration Africa To Appalachia. Julian Fauth accepted the award for Blues Album of the Year, for Ramblin’ Son, and the group Doc Walker won Country Recording of the Year for the song “Beautiful Life.”

Banjo picker and singer Old Man Luedecke took home a Juno for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year (Solo) for Proof of Love, and independent folk group Chic Gamine was awarded Roots and Traditional Album of the Year (Group) for its self-titled debut album.

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