Tuesday, March 18, 2014
FOUR CD releases today; sparse live scene tonight, with good stuff ~ Mar 18, 2014
In this edition…
♪ FOUR CD RELEASES TODAY:
. √ ELIZA GILKYSON's NEW CD ARRIVES TODAY
. √ LUTHER DICKINSON (NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS) HAS SOLO ALBUM, OUT TODAY
. √ NEW CD, OUT TODAY, from RUBY THE RABBITFOOT
. √ ME," JO DEE MESSINA's NEW FAN-FUNDED CD, ARRIVES TODAY
♪ LIVE PERFORMANCE ON THE WEB
♪ TONIGHT IN THE VENUES
♪ MUSIC-on-TV (through Friday morning)
NEWS FEATURES: FOUR CD RELEASES TODAY
# 1 News Feature...
√ ELIZA GILKYSON's NEW CD ARRIVES TODAY
by Angie Carlson
"The Nocturne Diaries," on Red House Records, catalog no. RHR-CD-264, releases today, March 18, 2014.
"For me, the challenge today is to remain human when everything around us compels us to shut down," says the ever-expressive Eliza Gilkyson.
Fortunately for all of us, she does not shut down. One of her previous albums, "Land of Milk and Honey," was nominated for a Grammy for "Best Contemporary Folk Album."
Red House Records announced from Austin, Texas, the March 18, 2014 release of "The Nocturne Diaries," the first new album in three years from Grammy-nominated, Austin Music Hall of Fame member Eliza Gilkyson.
Produced and recorded in her hometown of Austin with her son, CISCO RYDER, "The Nocturne Diaries" is a restless, contemplative work inspired by the converging forces of her highest hopes and darkest fears. The songs range from up-tempo country stompers to a haunting version of the folk classic, "Fast Freight," written by her father, famous film soundtrack song specialist TERRY GILKYSON.
Never one to shy away from politics and social issues, Eliza writes about an adolescent on the verge of a rampage in "An American Boy," and looks through the eyes of an abused teenage girl in "Not My Home." In both songs, she delivers the characteristic empathy and insight that have made her one of the most beloved folk artists today.
She closes the album on a hopeful note with the intimate "All Right Here," a gentle ballad about finding the most valuable things close at hand in family and home.
Eliza describes these songs as "torches that illuminated my process over the last year, personal reflections that the nighttime inspired."
"The songs that come in the night are very different than the daylight songs," she says of the collection. "Usually the big themes crop up in the dark -- thoughts of mortality, the state of the world, the plight of mankind, one's failures, losses and fears -- the things we are all too distracted to notice during the day. But the backdrop of shadows also can highlight the faces of the loving people who share your life with you, who care about the world, nature and humanity, who keep the fires of hope, humor and hearth burning bright in this time, who make your life meaningful and worthy of your best intentions," she says.
Indeed, the recording opens with "Midnight Oil," a letter to the future and to Eliza's grandchildren. She'll tell you it's an acknowledgment of the kind of world they have inherited and an encouragement to stay sentient and hopeful, with the possibility that "come tomorrow maybe a new world's born when we ride the old one down."
"Eliza Jane" (the title is a nod to the old fiddle tune "Liza Jane") could be seen as the flipside of the same coin, with Eliza poking fun at her tendency to fixate on the bleakest aspects of current events. It's a fiddle / mandolin / banjo stomp featuring Austin favorites Warren Hood and Rich Brotherton (from Robert Earl Keen's band), with a harmony assist from Red House compatriot LUCY KAPLANSKY and Eliza's son and co-producer, Cisco Ryder.
The next several songs highlight different points of view about the world in which we live today, from the "end times" love song "No Tomorrow" to that stark portrait of an adolescent shooter contemplating his future in "An American Boy."
Eliza follows that with an atmospheric version of "Where No Monument Stands." It's a WILLIAM STAFFORD poem, set to music by JOHN GORKA, about the humble perfection of an untouched field where no battle has ever been fought, where "the unknown solider did not die."
"The Ark" presents the ancient story of the Biblical flood in the Old Testament as a metaphor for our current environmental / economic crises. Using traditional Middle Eastern instruments, Eliza attempts to bring the story to life by imaging "details about the historic ark."
"Fast Freight," a folk music standard from the 1950s recorded by everybody at the time -- The Kingston Trio, The Brothers Four, Tim Hardin, and Eliza's father's group, Terry Gilkyson and the Easy Riders -- features the slinky interplay of lap steel, Omnichord and harp played by longtime band-mate MIKE HARDWICK (Jon Dee Graham, Kelly Willis) and Red House label-mate RAY BONNEVILLE. The song is a dark look at the pull of the road from the point of view of a woman who has settled down but still longs for her old life, to just "go bum again." Written by her father and with harmony vocals by her daughter DELIA CASTILLO and son CISCO RYDER, the song encompasses three generations of the Gilkyson family.
"The Red Rose and the Thorn," which Eliza describes as a sort of "Hendrix-meets-Rumi-spiritual-quest-for-the-beloved," features, as her label calls it, "her first big guns electric guitar solo ever, set up beautifully by world class Hammond B3 player IAN McLAGAN (Faces, Patty Griffin) and bassist Chris Maresh (Eric Johnson)."
The Carter-Family-inspired "Touchstone" is a song of appreciation and gratitude for the ones we love, while "World Without End" ponders humankind's disconnect -- from not only our potentially disastrous future, but our own mortality, as well.
Ultimately, Eliza lands on a hopeful note with "All Right Here," co-written with Danish songwriter JENS LYSDAL. In it, home isn't so much a physical place, but a place in our hearts. This elegant love song features the pedal steel / Wiessenborne / saw prowess of her musical band-mate from the Santa Fe years, JOHN EGENES. The lyrical core: "But wherever I roam, far from you and our home, I've got it all right here in my heart."
Musically rich and lyrically thought-provoking, "The Nocturne Diaries" is a journey through the dark night of the soul that ends at the light of dawn, arriving with a sense of gratitude, a renewed commitment to care, and a stubborn little ray of hope.
# 2 News Feature...
√ LUTHER DICKINSON (NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS) HAS SOLO ALBUM, OUT TODAY
It's "folk music with juke-joint drums and lots of harmonies," says Luther Dickinson. And that sounds just about right.
In this time of genre-defying music-making, the boundaries of Folk-American are often stretched. When it happens so often that people come to accept it, boundaries are reset and music redefined.
Luther Dickinson's new solo album, "Rock 'n Roll Blues," on New West Records, is rollicking, raw and teeming with palpable punk energy one minute, laid back and burning with the tranquil beauty of a Southern sunset the next. Its release is today, March 18.
Luther is best known as the lead guitarist and vocalist for boogie and blues-rock innovators NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALL STARS. Beyond that, he has recorded with an amazing array of musicians throughout his impressive career -- everyone from Robert Plant, Levon Helm, Beck, Ry Cooder, and Mavis Staples, to Patty Griffin, John Hiatt, Lucero, and Jon Spencer, among others.
Since he first made his recording debut at age 14, playing guitar on The Replacement's "Pleased To Meet Me," he has become widely known both as a talented go-to musician and a producer with five Grammy nominations to prove it.
This new album is more in line with his SOUTH MEMPHIS STRING BAND records, or his two Grammy-nominated solo albums, than with the North Mississippi Allstars releases.
"Rock 'n Roll Blues" is essentially an autobiography set to music. The 10-track LP traces Luther's journey from excitable teen growing up in rural Mississippi to tour-van vet. It showcases his acutely observant songwriting and superb guitar playing.
It's available, starting today, wherever CDs are sold, and online as a disc or download.
# 3 News Feature...
√ NEW CD, OUT TODAY, from RUBY THE RABBITFOOT
Don't pass this by because of that unusual name. This new CD has an intoxicating elixir of humid grooves, glittering guitars, barnacle-sharp piano melodies, and deft turn of phrase.
It's Athens, Georgia-based songstress Ruby The RabbitFoot's beguiling sophomore album, "New As Dew," and it releases today, March 18, on Normaltown Records.
The video for its lead track, "Ways," debuted on "American Songwriter" and it's been climbing up the CMJ chart with the help of early supporters like KCRW's Gary Calamar.
In Ruby's hometown, the weekly "Flagpole" paper recently profiled her with a cover feature that characterized "New As Dew" by calling it "as convincing a breakout statement as Athens has seen in years."
Ruby the RabbitFoot, aka RUBY KENDRICK, grew-up in South Georgia believing that her aunt was a witch and that she was connected to the world of the occult. When things seemed to go wrong, she felt like a lucky charm, which helps to explain her adopted surname.
Her record label hastens to tell us, "Don't be fooled though, this RabbitFoot is riding on talent, not luck."
# 4 News Feature...
√ "ME," JO DEE MESSINA's NEW FAN-FUNDED CD, ARRIVES TODAY
by Mitch Schneider & Larry Wines
She's a fiercely independent country singer-songwriter, and her Kickstarter-funded new album is the most successful project of its kind to come out of Nashville, to date. JO DEE MESSINA's new full-length album has been much anticipated, and we'll get to all the reasons why.
For starters, today's release is on her own new label.
And this just breaks all of Nashville's stodgy rules. JO DEE MESSINA is a multiplatinum selling, award-winning country singer-songwriter. And she went indie.
Her new album, out today, March 18, has a title that is as in-your-face as it gets. But she says its title, "ME," was chosen by fans.
Either way, the album marks JO DEE’s most personal album to date: 1) she wrote or co-wrote many of the songs; 2) it's on her own newly established label, Dreambound Records, with distribution by eOne Music.
No one else has suggested it, but this looks like a page from RICKY SCAGGS' book. For the first time in her career, JO DEE is able to boldly do things her own way and pave her own path to success.
Spring 2013 found the fiercely independent, outspoken, and driven artist free from a long-term record deal. JO DEE became free to make the album she wanted, so the forward-thinking country star took to the crowd-funding website Kickstarter.com to create a new full-length album -- for her fans, with her fans.
She called her campaign “My time. Our music" and it allowed her backers to be involved with every step that goes into creating and recording an album, offering opportunities for supporters to be rewarded with exclusive content and one-of-a-kind opportunities.
Throughout the process, her fans helped JO DEE surpass her $100,000 goal, making her Kickstarter.com campaign not just the most successful one to come out of Nashville, but at the time of completion, the 15th largest funded music campaign in Kickstarter.com history.
She gushes, "The fans were given a voice."
And that voice was about every aspect, nort just money. Via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Stage-It, her fans selected which songs would be included on the album, submitted artwork for her label logo, selected the album title, "ME," and chose the album’s first single, “Peace Sign.”
Check out a lyric video for that song at:
Following her departure from her record label, JO DEE began reflecting and started putting pen to paper. The feisty song “Not Dead Yet” was born.
“I had been listening to the naysayers around me and thought, ‘I have so much to offer now that I'm free of the restraints I had with my label.’ I then had a conversation with my friend and co-writer saying, ‘I have so much left to do, so much left to say. Goodness! I'm not dead yet!’ And that is how the song was born. It talks about how, if I listened to the small thinkers and naysayers, I might as well throw in the towel. Music is my life, it's a part of who I am. I'm not ready to give up that part of my life. Hell, I'm just getting started!” she says.
The wife and mother of two young sons rhen road-tested a few of the new tracks, and a crowd favorite at every show proved to be “A Woman’s Rant.”
“This song had many more verses,” laughs JO DEE. “It was written in a few minutes. My youngest baby wouldn't sleep longer than two hours. One night I was sick and could barely move so I tried to wake up my husband to get the baby, but I couldn't get him to budge. After feeding the baby, burping him, changing him, I was wide awake. That's when I went downstairs and wrote ‘A Woman’s Rant.’ It's literally a day in the life of me. Ha!”
She performed the song on “The Today Show” this past summer. Watch the video at:
JO DEE has always maintained an honest and personal relationship with her fans. "Me" also allows the public to see and identify with her vulnerable side and insecurities.
“The fans chose ME as the album title. I think it fits, because this record explores many different sides of who I am. The song came about through a conversation with one of my co-writers, Kathie Baillie of Baillie & The Boys, who has a grown daughter. I was feeling the stress of trying to be everything to everyone and asked her how she did it. There is a part of me that thinks when I look in the mirror, I should see Wonder Woman. When I see me, it terrifies me. Can I really pull off all the things I have to be to so many? I don't know. We'll see. This song gives folks a peek at the vulnerable side of me which isn't shown that often.”
Overall, "ME" is a journey. It’s honest. It’s funny. It’s sad. It’s life. At this point in her life, JO DEE isn’t afraid. She’s a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend and an incredibly gifted vocalist and songwriter who is thankful for all she’s accomplished and looking forward to all that awaits her.
“This album is truly for you, the people who appreciate the creative process, as well as my amazing fans,” exclaims JO DEE. “There’s no question, I wouldn’t be where I am today without your love and support. You’ve been with me since the beginning. This album is a fresh start for me, and I want us to go on this exciting journey together.”
More, and how to get the new album, is at:
♪ LIVE PERFORMANCE ON THE WEB
Tue, Mar 18, on the web:
3-3:30 pm PAPER FLOWERS, the lovely duo of LILY WILSON and RENEE STAHL, perform a live online show on Stage It, at:
Lily says, "You can send us messages while you're watching, and it's totally interactive. There are a limited amount of tickets, so get yours for our acoustic Paper Flowers online concert. How much? What ever you want to pay!"
♪ TONIGHT IN THE VENUES
Tue, Mar 18, in Arcadia:
7-10 pm Weekly "SONGWRITERS SERENADE" brings a lineup of recording artists and host JC HYKE all playing acoustic at Matt Denny's Ale House Restaurant & Bar, 145 E Huntington Dr, Arcadia 91006.
Tue, Mar 18, in SFV (Toluca Lake):
7 pm Weekly "TRADITIONAL IRISH MUSIC SESSION" is a structured jam at Timmy Nolan's Tavern & Grill, 10111 Riverside Dr, Toluca Lake 91602; 818-985-3359.
Tue, Mar 18, in Agoura Hills:
7-10 pm SONGMAKERS monthly "AGOURA HILLS SONG CIRCLE & POTLUCK" Agoura Hills 91301. Info and location, www.songmakers.org
Tue, Mar 18, in Altadena:
8 pm SHOW PONIES, along with CREEKWOOD, play the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena.
Venue impresario Bob Stane raves, "VERY FINE SHOW," and the Guide concurs. The Show Ponies are a 5 piece indie folk band with old tyme country influences. The band features award winning male and female vocalists: Clayton Chaney and Andi Schrock. They are backed by Phillip Glenn on the fiddle, Jason Harris on the guitar and banjo and Kevin Brown on the drums. When you see The Show Ponies be prepared to clap your hands, stomp your feet and sing along.
CREEKWOOD, formed in late 2012 in Nashville, TN when singer-songwriter duo Andrew McBride (guitar, lead vocals) and Cooper Nelson (banjo, vocals) teamed up with Bryan Hall (mandolin, vocals, bass) to form an original group reaching back to the roots of country music. They are truly an Americana band, drawing from styles such as Bluegrass, Old Time Country, Rock, and Blues. McBride and Nelson soon took the group to Long Beach, CA where they teamed up with local musicians Mathias Chaidez (violin, vocals), Levi Duren (drums, vocals), and Rob Orr (bass, vocals). They hit the ground running, releasing their first EP in September of 2013 and playing numerous shows in the Long Beach area. They are currently working towards a full-length album along with bigger and bigger shows.
Tue, Mar 18, in Burbank:
8 pm Two shows: MURPHY'S FLAW plays bluegrass on one stage, and "JOHN PISANO’S GUITAR NIGHT"at on the other, at Viva Cantina, 900 W Riverside Dr, Burbank 91506; 818-845-2425. www.vivacantina.com
Tonight, the jazz legend welcomes BARRY ZWEIG and TED MAYER, both on guitar, plus JOHN PISANO performs on his guitar, with a rhythm section tbd.
Meanwhile, on the venue's other stage in the Riverside Rancho Room, it's the monthly BASC "BLUEGRASS NIGHT" with MURPHY’S FLAW,featuring Arlo Zoos, John Bryan, Hiro Goto, Gary Friedman, Frank Harper, and Buzz Brown, also at 8 pm.
Both shows are no cover.
Tue, Mar 18, in Hollywood:
9 pm ASGEIR plays the concert series in the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Ásgeir is Icelandic singer-songwriter Ásgeir Trausti Einarsson, who released the Icelandic version of his début album, "Dýrð í dauðaþögn" (2012), under the name Ásgeir Trausti -- but on the international, English-language version entitled "In the Silence," he's creditd simply as Ásgeir.
Ásgeir may only be 20 years old, but already last summer he made his mark on the Icelandic music scene with his two singles, "Sumargestur" and the smash-hit 'Leyndarmal." Both singles belong to his just released debut album 'Dýrð í dauðaþögn" that was awaited with much excitement in Iceland. A digital presale on Icelandicmusic.com, a week before the release of the album, broke all records and showed clearly that the guy is a star -- at least in Iceland.
Born and raised in the countryside of Iceland, Ásgeir Trausti comes from a family of musicians. He trained on classical guitar but was aiming for a career in sports when he suddenly made a U-turn after being encouraged to take his music more seriously. Ásgeir played (and still does) with the band The Lovely Lion that did very well in the Icelandic Battle of the Bands in March this year.
But it wasn’t until he took some demos of his own songs to producer Gudmundur Kristinn Jonsson, also known as the guitarist in the Icelandic reggae band Hjálmar, that the wheels began to turn seriously. Now, only several months later, his debut album is out, to critical acclaim.
Doors at 8 pm. Show at 9. Free parking on site.
Tix, $25, at:
♪ MUSIC-on-TV (through Friday morning)
Tue, Mar 18, on VHCRW TV:
8-11 pm "THE BLUES BROTHERS" (1980) is the classicly goofy adventure of DAN ACKROYD, JOHN BELUSHI, and most of the blues world on their "Mission from God" for the Penguin and her orphanage.
+ = +
Tue night / Wed AM, Mar 18/19, on Ovation TV:
4-5 am "VERBIER FESTIVAL: JOSHUA BELL" is a performance by violinist JOSHUA BELL, cellist MISCHA MAISKY and pianist EVGENY KISSIN of some of Verbier's compositions at the 2009 festival. (Repeats same time tomorrow. Plus, the final performance from the festival airs 5-6 am tomorrow.)
+ = +
Wed night / Thu AM, Mar 19/20, on Ovation TV:
5-6 am "VERBIER FESTIVAL: 2011" is a performance by violinist GABOR TAKACS-NAGY and pianist LARS VOGT of some of Verbier's compositions at the 2011 festival concludes the series -- for now.
+ = +
Thu, Mar 20, on Ovation TV:
11:30 pm-12:30 am "BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: GLORY DAYS" is a portrait of The Boss through his rise to stardom from humble New Jersey roots.
+ = +
Thu night/Fri AM, Mar 20/21, on Ovation TV:
4:30-5 am ELTON JOHN is profiled on a 2013 edition of "MUSIC MAVERICKS."
+ = +
Early Fri, Mar 21, on Ovation TV:
5-5:30 am PAUL SIMON is profiled on a 2013 edition of "MUSIC MAVERICKS."
+ = +
Early Fri, Mar 21, on Ovation TV:
5:30-6 am TOM PETTY is profiled on a 20143 edition of "MUSIC MAVERICKS."
More, soon, as always.
♪ The Guide will be making CH-CH-CHANGES – turn, embrace the change -- in 2014. Some folks will like some, others will not. There will be points of departure to make room (and time) for the new. We’ll do what we can, because as always, we operate with the editor’s motto, “One does what one can.”
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The ACOUSTIC AMERICANA MUSIC GUIDE endeavors to bring you NEWS and views of interest to artists everywhere, more specifically to musicians and the creative community, and music makers and fans of acoustic and Folk-Americana music, both traditional and innovative. We provide a wealth of resources, including a HUGE catalog of acoustic-friendly venues, and schedules of performances in Southern California venues large and small. We cover workshops and other events for artists and folks in the music industry, and all kids o’ things in the world of acoustic and Americana and accessible classical music. From washtub bass to musical spoons to oboe to viola to banjo to squeezebox, from Djangostyle to new-fangled-old-time string band music, from sweet Cajun fiddle to pre-bluegrass Appalachian mountain music to proto blues.
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