Americana

New Folk – Stephen Simmons – The Big Show

So let’s see, in 2001  The Superstore the debut album of  Stephen Simmons is released. The album was collection of  earlier songs captured at a live solo show. That was followed in 2004 by Last Call Simmons’ debut album with a band. Now it’s 2011 that’s ten years from the debut album and seven from the sophomore release and Edward finds Stephen’s new album (now Simmons’ sixth) on the Roots Music Reports Folk Chart at number 39. He goes and looks for it on Napster, hum too many 30 second clips. So he settles for Girls Stephen’s 2009 release. He hears some fine crafted songs with lyrics like:

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Thursday Music Mix – Quintus McCormick, Blind Corn Liquor Pickers and Shake Russelld

So some days are diamonds, some days are dirt. Well today was a musical diamond day! I put three albums on the iPod this morning and I really like them all! The first up was a blues album from the Quintus McCormick Blues Band whose latest album Put It On Me  is currently number 39 on the Roots Music Report Blues Chart. When I went to Napster they only had 30 second clips for the album but they did have his debut album Hey Jodie , so that’s what went on the player. and I tell you it’s a great album. According to several reviews and the band’s Myspace page Quintus has been a mainstay of the Chicago blues scene for a long time and has….

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Monday Ramblings and the Passing of Bill Morrissey

Bill morrissey

So the last several days have been hectic around here. My wife has been finding some great deals on Craig’s List on furniture that we desperately need. The furniture we have survived many years of wear and tear of four kids and me! So Saturday we bought a new Thomasville entertainment center, big and heavy and tonight with the help of some co-workers and Peter we got it in the house and standing up! There for a while the standing up part was in doubt! Also my wife bought a laptop, so now I have a computer that’s faster than an abacus! Anyway all that took away time from reading,  listening and writing. I have been listening to some artists though that I will be writing about shortly. One blues artist Eric Steckel, who I heard the other night on Bluesville on XM and then came home and listened to his album Havana. Which I really enjoyed and then I download and have listened to parts of another album.  Also a folk artist Stephen Simmons whose album The Big Show has gotten a few listens!

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Life’s Soundtrack: John Reischman and the Jaybirds and The Wilders

So yesterday began with a trip to Newark’s beautiful Doremus Avenue on the shores of the Passaic River and while the views are not breathtaking, the music was good! The trip started off with the most recent release from John Reischman and the Jaybirds Vintag & Unique. I noticed the album early in the week when I was reviewing the Folk DJ Chart for June. The albums was number 9 on the chart. The album is a good mix of great instrumental and fine vocal tracks! The band and John Reischman are based in Vancover, British Columbia. John is one of the acoustic world’s top-ranked mandolin players and composers and it definitely shows on the album! Vintage & Unique is the bands fifth album and all of the previous albums have been highly praised: After listening to Vintage & Unique I put the fourth album  Stellar Jays on the iPod. Here’s what some folks say about their music!

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Life’s Soundtrack – The Essential Guy Clark

So it didn’t seem too, too hot when I got home from work tonight so I decided to run I picked a course that would give me some shade throughout most of the run, but that also meant that I be going up hill twice! So I put on an album that I
put on the iPod yesterday The Essential Guy Clark and took off.  The run was slow, but that gave me more time to listen to some great songs! According to Wikipedia the album was released in 1997.  RCA first released  the album, Guy Clark – Greatest Hits in 1983. The album included nearly all the songs from Clark’s first two albums. The missing tracks are included on this release In addition, it contains the previously unreleased “Don’t Let the Sunshine Fool You” (composed by Clark, but first released by Townes Van Zandt on The Late Great Townes Van Zandt in 1972).

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Life’s Soundtrack: Chris Bergson Band – Imitate the Sun

So I ran early last evening to avoid the mid-day  heat a fairly good four mile run in under 10 min per mile pace. (I’m just building base mileage, speed will come later, right?). When I got home I was all ready to write about the run and the run’s soundtrack along with some other albums that have been playing on the iPod. But once again after showering and sitting down reading a bit of The Baxter Trust, the lure of the couch was soon calling and napping ensued!  Anyway after waking up I continued reading but not writing.  So here’s the first installment of  a recap of yesterday’s soundtrack!

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Life’s Soundtrack – Black Country Communion

So on  Saturday, the weather was cooler and the knee  wasn’t bad, so I decided to run. Now I needed something to listen to on the iPod, I find that on genre that works well is metal! I love to run to Dragonforce, hard driving amazing guitars. So I turned to an amazing guitarist Joe Bonamassa and his new band Black Country Communion and their new album Black Country Communion 2. When Andrew gave me the album the other day to listen to, thinking that it hasn’t been that long since their debut album, I said, oh they had tracks left over from the first album. He said no that they went back in the studio and recorded new tracks! Anyway it only took the first track “The Outsider” to see that this album is every bit as good as the first album and probably better! The second track “Man in the Middle” keeps up the intensity as Bonham’s drumming provides that strong driving beat, Hughes vocals soar and then Bonamassa does his magic! Bonamassa takes over the vocals for the next track “The Battle for Hadrian’s Wall” and provides good vocals as usual! If the next track “Save Me” has a Led Zeppelin feel that’s because the song was started by Jimmy Page and Jon Paul Jones during their 2007 Reunion show. Jason Bonham kept playing the riff for Hughes and he was intrigued finally he called Bonamassa over to his house and they finished the song and like they say “the rest is history” well at least a great song. Now at this point I was just past the two mile point and my heart rate was climbing, so over the rest of the run I paid more attention to that than the music! I do remember “Smokestack Woman” though and a great blues ballad “Little Secret” and a few more vocals by Bonamassa! All and all it’s a great album and now has moved into the number one spot on the UK Rock album chart!

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Life’s Soundtrack: Jack Ingram to Townes Van Zant

So this morning I had to drive to Ocean County College in Toms River,which is  a little over an hour drive. I had the iPod on shuffle for the start of the trip then  I decided to use the time to listen to some older favorites! I listen to so much new music that old friends get set aside! The first artist that popped into my mind was Jack Williams so keeping the shuffle setting I listened to about 20 minutes of  Jack’s music. The mix included some old favorites like “You’re the One” and “Waterbug”  then came “Me and My Automobile” which includes a reference to Jack’s call into to NPR’s Car Talk! Great song! There was also a great song about New Orleans “Atlantic Goin’ Down” with a great feel for the town and it’s music! When Jack’s twenty minutes was up I went to switch to something else and right there next to Jack was another old friend Jack Ingram. So I went with a mix of Jack’s music. I have five of his albums from his 1995 debut album through 2002’s  Electric and a few tracks from This is It.Anyway several favorites came on including “Make My Heart Flutter” and the mix ended with “Rita Ballou” and since “Rita Ballou” led me to another Texan Guy Clark I decided to make the mix Texas Country music! I’ve been a fan of Guy’s music for a long time, but mostly I must confess from covers by others like Jerry Jeff and Tom Rush who both covered “Desperadoes Waiting for a Train” Anyway The Dark and Workbench Songs are on the iPod and songs from those albums finished out the trip. Songs included “Queenie”s Song” about his dog being shot and a favorite “Tornado Time in Texas”!

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Joe Crookston – Darkling and the Bluebird Jumbilee

So Saturday night I listened to three albums I have already told you about one, Hot Tuna’s new album Stready As She Goes. The second one was Joe Crookston’s new album Darkling & the Bluebird Jubilee. I first listened to Crookston’s music last year and his great album Able, Baker, Charlie and Dog a strong collection of songs that in 2009 was given the “Album of the Year” award by the International Folk Alliance indicating that it received more radio airplay than any other folk album released in 2008! This new album may just receive the same award!

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