“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!
So the other night I ordered my tickets to go to see Jesse Wnchester at The Tin Angel here in Philly. I’ve been a fan of Jesse’s music since my wife introduced his music to me in the early 70’s. “Yankee Lady” was the first song see loved. Through the years she hasn’t listened to Jesse as much as I have, but I think we’re both going to love the show! So to get ready tonight I’ve been listening to a block of Jesse’s music. Right now “Mississippi, You’re On My Mind” probably my all time favorite song of Jesse’s and one that I think captures a “sense of place” better than almost any song, is on!! In the block I listened to songs from: Gentleman of Leisure: “Club Manhatten”, and “Freewheeler”, and “No Pride at All”, Learn to Love It “Pharoah’s Army” and “Mississippi, You’re on My Mind” Humour Me: “They Just Can’t Help Themselves”, Sweet Loving Daddy” and from his latest album Love Filling Station Jesse’s great cover of Sam Cooke’s “Stand By Man”, “Wear Me Out”, and “Eulalie”. What I’ve discovered is that I’ve never met a Jesse song I didn’t like, I just like some songs more than others!
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:
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.
So tonight I was listening to Greg Trooper’s new album Upside-Down Town and the more I listen the more I like it! I’ve been a Trooper fan since I found his album Straight Down Rain. I’ll write more tomorrow, but here’s a great song from the album, “They Call Me Hank” The song is a 2010 Finalist in the International Songwriting Competition! Go Greg!
So one of the albums that I’ve been listening to over the last several days is johnsmith’s sixth album Gravity of Grace. Now johnsmith is another of those great artist unknown to me! I’ve seen his name over the last year on several charts and the album is currently number 42 on the Roots Music Report Folk Chart and once again shame on me! I really have enjoyed this album more on every listen. Great voice and great lyrics and the folks at Kerrville, Telluride, Rocky Mountain Folks, and Falcon Ridge folk festivals already know that because John has won numerous songwriting awards at those Festivals. The album was co-produced with Tom Prasada-Rao,(another artist who I’ve recently heard in the Village on XM Radio’s rotation) and was recorded in Dallas, TX, A bunch of my artists that I enjoy and have written about helped out on the album folks like: Tim O’Brien,Darrell Scott, Jonathan Byrd, and Jimmy LaFave. In addition Tom Prasada-Rao, Jagoda, Radoslav Lorkorvic, and Ray Bonneville (whose song “Run Juliene,Run” I know from Slaid Cleaves cover of the song) From his website:
So back in the day one of my favorite albums was Livingston Taylor’s self-titled debut album. The albums is chock full of songs that I sang along to and the songs still float around in my head “Pocket of Good Times” is one. Here is Livingston performing one of the songs from that album and in fact the second songs he ever wrote! Followed by a funny piece concerning guitar playing becoming an Olympic sport!
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”.
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: