Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Lucinda Williams seems depressed...or pissed off...or moody...or anything but happy whenever she writes songs. Over the course of a 25 plus year career and 9 albums, including this months' West, we've been treated to a close up of her various bass players, her heart and it's states of brokenness and how she feels about it all. Some critics have been harsh about her recurring and seemingly monotonous themes and moody sounds and production, but I for one, am always impressed by an artist such as she. If someone has actually been through the stuff in her songs, I would say they'd consider themselves lucky to be able to turn it into such creativity (and not throw themselves off a bridge in the process), and plus, she is a damn fine singer and performer. I saw her live a few years back and she played for four and a half hours...So if you don't mind some darkness in your musical taste, along with breathtaking honesty, damn good guitar playing and top notch songwriting, check it out. Here's her site, plus a link to a live show that was on NPR from last year, and one of the more upbeat & sweet songs, I'm guessing an ode to her sweet Mama...
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
M. Ward has always been a bit of a mystery, from the usage of just his first initial to his very moody and ethereal sounds that he's created over the course of 4 albums, including last summer's stellar Post-War. He seems to be hitting his stride now, even going commercial, with his song on the new Cadillac TV spot. But an artist as creative as he is can still be fresh and new
even on other peoples songs, as he does on his new ep, To Go
Home, out this week. The title track is an old Daniel Johnston tune, and also check out the rollicking version of Jimmie Dale Gilmore's "Headed for a Fall". Definitely hope for the future, in music that is. Below are 2 songs and his myspace...so go ahead, open your mind and enjoy.
Monday, February 12, 2007
You could say the Band are an obsession with me. And why not? They were Bob Dylan's original backing band, they had 4 different singers and songwriters(try that kind of multitasking) and they had Martin freaking Scorcese make a movie about them breaking up, the now classic concert/documentary The Last Waltz...and now they are truly legendary as ever. It's sad that we'll never be treated to hearing them play live again, given that Richard Manuel and Rick Danko, two of the most unique voices and talented players, are no longer with us. But we do take solace in knowing that the surviving members and their offspring still make great music today (See Ollabelle) and that one hell of a tribute album has finally been released. Endless Highway-the music of the Band was released a few weeks ago and collects a nice mix of young and old, known and unknown, faithful and reinvented in interpreting this wonderful influential music that needs to be heard. Here are just a few of my faves, classics done by the likes of My Morning Jacket, Jack Johnson & Death Cab for Cutie, in that order...Enjoy.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
I am going to get back to regular posting soon enough, and I thought a proper occasion to do so would be to spread the word about my current musical obsession...Ollabelle. They're based in NYC, and have been around a few years now, having put out their second studio album, Riverside Battle Songs, last summer. They tour relentlessly, and last night made their third trip back to Delaware, playing the historic and cozy Gild Hall up in the village of Arden. It was the second time I had seen them, and they definitely don't disappoint. Whether you're a fan of Americana, folk, rock or just all around amazing musicianship, you should check them out. All five members share singing, playing and songwriting duties, and last night we were treated to a guest spot of 2 legendary locals, harmonica virtuoso Bob Beach and none other than Wilmington violin merchant and musical icon David Bromberg. Altogether an amazing show, mixing originals and various covers, including "Jesus on the Mainline", "John the Revelator" and a rousing version of "Ain't no more Cane" the Dylan/Band classic first played on the Basement tapes sessions by Olabelle member Amy Helm's dad, Levon Helm, the legendary drummer for The Band. Below are links to their website, as well as a video of a recent performance of them.
Enjoy, and catch them live next chance you get.