Roots

Blues: Chris Dair – Crossroads to Freedom

So two artists that have been receiving lots of air time on my iPod over the last two weeks are Chris Dair and Don Gallardo. Chris Dair is a British guitarist and the album Crossroads to Freedomis his fourth album but his first dedicated to the blues!

Dair started to play guitar at an early age his guitar hero was Manitas De Plata. DePlata ignited Dair’s passion for flamenco guitar. But at age 14 Dair switched passions and feel for the blues and started playing London venues like Ronnie Scotts with John Mayall and John McVie.

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Blues Wednesday – Matt Schofield – Live From The Archive

So the other night I was reading the albums reviews in Blues Revue and came across the following “Who needs a big band when an organ combo sounds just as good?”  Well I didn’t have to read any further, I just went to Napster and found the album Matt Schofield’s Live from the Archive. Yesterday I listened to the album and loved it and today I went to emusic and downloaded and listened to Schofield’s 2009 release Heads, Tails & Aces and who knows tomorrow I may go back for more!!

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Happy Trails versus Undead

So Friday morning I had the iPod on shuffle and “Who Do You Love” from Quicksilver Messenger Service’s (QMS) Happy Trails album came on. Well,  I decided to switch off shuffle and listen to the whole album! Then since I was in a live album mode,  I listened to Ten Years After’s album Undead. Now it’s Happy Trails vs. Undead. So now it’s John Cipollina’s guitar work versus Alvin Lee.

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Caleb Stine – I Wasn’t Built for a Life Like This

Ok so I was going to write a nice long post about a new folk artist that I discovered about a week ago Caleb Stine, then came the NFL Draft and somehow my night has slipped by and the Eagles still haven’t picked! Anyway Stine’s album I Wasn’t Built for this Life has been playing a lot on the iPod and each time I listen “I like the album more! Stine from Baltimore is a great crafter of song spinning tales of life. From his website:   Honest Tune Magazine says that Stine’s music lays,

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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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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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Gettin’ Ready for Folk Favorite: Jesse Winchester

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!

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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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