Americana

Saturday’s Music Mix – Part 1 – Hot Tuna

So with a night off. I was able to do a little music listening last night. The mix was eclectic. The night started listening to the first studio album from Hot Tuna in twenty some years, Steady as She Goe! For those of you who don;t remember Hot Tuna or simply weren’t around Hot Tuna was a side project of Jefferson Airplane. The main members were Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. Their first album Hot Tuna was a collection of concerts performed at New Orleans House in Berkeley  in September, 1969, and released in 1970. According to Wikipedia this album is affectionately known by Tunaphiles as the “breaking glass album”, because of the sound of breaking beer glasses during the recording of “Uncle Sam Blues”. Anyway this is the album and the music I most associate with Hot Tuna. In reading some info about the band there were several albums that were new to me recorded in the mid-70’s that took the band in a more hard rock direction from Wikipedia:

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Sunday Night – Six Pack!

So last night on the way to work and back I had the iPOD on random shuffle and some tunes I hadn’t heard for a while came on. Here’s the list:

“Bottle of Wine” Tom Paxton – The Best of the Vanguard Years. I picked up Tom’s career with album six apply titled Tom Paxton 6 . But I do know thes classics on this album. While this track is a live recording I like the one where he tells the story of being in France and hearing people refer to the song as a French folk song and having to learn the song in French, which he did and does on the track!

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Slaid Cleaves – John Gorka a night with old friends!

The thing I love about writing this blog is finding new musicians to listen to, but what I often don’t take the time to do is listen to the ones I love! So the other night over the last hour of work I listened to two of my old favorites. First Slaid Cleaves and then John Gorka. Like many of the folks I listen to my introduction to Slaid Cleaves came from the Gene Shay Show on WXPN in Philly. It was a Sunday night that I was working and remembered to turn on Gene’s show and caught the end of  “Broke Down”. I didn’t recognize the name but I immediately went out to find the album. It took a couple of trips to my favorite used CD store to find it but it eventually showed up and I’ve been a fan since the first listen! My wife and I have seen him several times here in Philadelphia. The last time was at the Tin Angel for a CD release show for Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away and every time I leave a show a happy man!  The first time we saw him was at the  The Point in Bryn Mawr, Pa (I miss that place) and my daughter went with us. Before the show I saw Slaid at the bar and asked if he’d play my daughter’s favorite song “Lydia”. He said he was going to do it as part of the show. When he started the song he screwed up the lyrics! After the show we got Elizabeth an autographed photo which is in her room somewhere, the signature says “Sorry I messed up your song!!” One year for Christmas My wife sent away for several of Slaid’s earlier CDs and they all came autographed!! Anyway, it was good the other night to hear old favorites like “Broke Down”, “Key Chain”, “No Angel Knows” and “The Ballad of Sandy Gray”! My into to John Gorka was from the album Legacy: A Collection of New Folk Music. It was an  album designed to introduce fifteen young singer songwriters and the group that they collected was pretty great. Here’s what folk radio host for WNEW-FM , Pete Fornatal said in his liner notes for the album:

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Folk Monday: Chuck Cheesman – Imagining Dancers

So last week I saw a name on the Roots Music Chart that I didn’t recognize Chuck Cheesman. So I downloaded his latest album Imagining Dancers and it only took the chorus of the first song “Drummer” for me to say hey this guy writes great songs!

the measure of a man is not the money in his hand,
I believe it’s more the love in his heart,
and the courage when he’s lost,
to swallow the cost,
and go back to the start.

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New Folk – Ellis – Right on Time

So, the other day I came across a name that I’ve seen on several music charts-Ellis.  I have never been able to find her albums on Rhapsody, but I checked out Napster and they had all her albums.  I turned on her latest album Right on Time. I listened to the guitar intro on the opening track and decided this album may be for me, so I downloaded it to the player and I was right! The guitar intro led into a very nice voice and some great lyrics on the opening title track “Right on Time”.

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Todd Snyder-Live-The Storyteller!

So I have been a Todd Snider Fan since I heard his debut album Songs For The Daily Planet. I love “Alright Guy” and all the rest and think that “You think You Know Somebody” is one of the best songs about child abuse EVER! Anyway, I think that the last CD I bought was East Nashville Skyline. Since then I’ve mostly listened to his albums on Rhapsody and The Excitement Plan stayed on the mp3 player for a long while. So when the new CD Todd Snider Live – The Storyteller I quickly went Napster and downloaded it onto my player and thought it would be a good way to catch up with his music. Here’s what Paste Magazine says in their review about the new album:

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Blues and Folks – Loomis, Carroll and O’Connor!

So over the last few days I’ve been listening to two albums from artists that I listened to briefly, decided I really didn’t care for them so I haven’t really listened since then. Shame on me! Both of the artists are from Texas one is a blues man, Hamilton Loomis and the other a folkie, well, actually two folkies Adam Carroll and Michael O’Connor. I listened to Loomis’ 2010 release Live in England and Carroll and O’Connor’s Hard Times.

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New Folk – Shaun Cromwell – Folk-Worn Prose

So I went from being on furlough for a week and a half to working nine plus hours a day outside! Now yesterday was fine and tomorrow looks ok, but today it was damn cold especially in the AM. Now I had a drive to the site, which was in Philly out on Lancaster Avenue, but instead of paying attention to the music playing I had to pay attention to things like traffic, traffic lights and stop signs!! Reminds me of that old Morey Amsterdam joke about walking in New York traffic being musical “you either c sharp or b flat!” Anyway what have I been semi-listening to over the last few days! Well one artist, is the one I am listening to right now and that is Shaun Cromwell , and his new release Folk-Worn Prose. Last month the album was seven on the Folk DJ Chart and over all Shaun was the number four artist!

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