New Americana from Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen – Cold Spell!! – I Love his Mandolin!

With thoughts of Rob Ickes swirling in my mind last night, I listened again to Cold Spell, the new release from Frank Solivan andCold Spell Dirty Kitchen, on the way to work at Target last night. Ickes is a guest on the album and as usual provides some great dobro to go with Solivan’s fine mandolin picking!!

Cold Spell is the third release from Frank and his band and with each release the band and Frank’s star has risen!  Back in August, when the band released  Cold Spell rel it rose to No 3 on the Billboard Bluegrass Charts! In addition, Frank and the band have been nominated for the following International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards…..

  • Instrumental Group of the Year
  • Male Vocalist of the Year (Frank Solivan)
  • Mandolin Player of the Year (Frank Solivan)
  • Banjo Player of the Year (Mike Munford)

Frank Solivan now calls Alexandria Virginia home and with Dirty Kitchen they play a blend of acoustic American Roots music with a bluegrass acoustic country base, flavored with blues, folk, swing and jazz! Sounds like my kinda’ music, doesn’t it!! Solivan’s powerful vocals and outstanding mandolin playing are what make the band stand out for me.  But believe you me the rest of the band is powerful, too.  The rest of the band includes Mike Munford on banjo,   Chris Luquette on guitar and  Dan Booth on bass and throw IBMA’s instrumental Group of the Year!!

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“Into the Morning” with Two Bluegrass Masters – Jim Hurst and Rob Ickes – “Going Down that Road Feeling Bad”

This afternoon I was listening to the latest release from Breaking Grass Just as Strong, after listening for a while, I went and found a video of the band seems that the band has everything I like fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, and bass, wait! There’s no dobro! But I listened anyway and they are a damn fine band without the dobro and I will listen to Just as Strong a few more times before I write about it…. but thinking about the dobro got me thinking about Rob Ickes, and then I came across this post and thought I’d post it again!!!

Rob Ickes and Jim HurstSo last night before listening to Cameron Milford again and reading that Rob Ickes had played on his album, I found this video of Rob Ickes and Jim Hurst performing one of my favorite songs “Going Down the Road Feeling Bad”.I was impressed by the guitar picking of Jim Hurst on the video, and of course, I always am impressed by Mr. Ickes! After watching, I went and read a little about Mr Hurst and discovered that he had been a member of Claire Lynch’s band …. From Jim’s biography at his website:

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Today in Music – September 16,1925 – “Blues Boy” Riley King is born!!

B B KingSo today is the 88th birthday of probably the greatest blues musician of all time and certainly the one whose been at the top of his craft the longest, B.B. King!! First, here’s  the obligatory background information from Wikipedia, like he needs and introduction:

Riley B. King (born September 16, 1925), known by the stage name B.B. King, is an American blues musician, singer, songwriter, and guitarist.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at No. 6 on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time (previously ranked No. 3 in the 2003 edition of the same list),[1] and he was ranked No. 17 in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”.[2] According to Edward M. Komara, King “introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that would influence virtually every electric blues guitarist that followed.”[3] King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He is considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname “The King of Blues”, and one of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar” (along with Albert King and Freddie King).[4][5][6] King is also known for performing tirelessly throughout his musical career appearing at 250-300 concerts per year until his seventies. In 1956 it was noted that he appeared at 342 shows. King continues to appear at 100 shows a year.
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“Into the Morning” with the progressive bluegrass of Greensky Bluegrass – “Demons”

One of the albums that has been in my rotation since it’s release last week, is If Sorrow Swims from Greensky Bluegrass. GreenskyIf Sorrow Swims Bluegrass is one of my favorite progressive bluegrass bands. I discovered their music a few years back and loved the album Live at Bells,  on that album the band really displays their musicianship. I liked their last album Handguns, but not as much as the earlier albums. If Sorrow Swims reminds me more of their earlier albums. Here’s a statement from the band’s website about the band…

“There’s this great duality to our band,” reflects Greensky Bluegrass mandolinist, vocalist, and songwriter Paul Hoffman. “We’re existing in a few different places at once: we’re a bluegrass band and a rock band, we’re song-driven and interested in extended improvisation.”

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Exploring the Jazz of Post-Bop Drummer – Elvin Jones – Elvin!

Origianally Posted at FreeWheelin Jazz Safari – Sept 14, 2014

Among the Jazz birthdays on September 9th was post-bop drummer Elvin Jones. Jones was born in 1927 and was best known forElvin_Jones_3 his time with the John Coltrane Quartet.  Jones was born in Pontiac, Michigan and was one of  seven children of Henry and Olivia Jones. His family was very musical and his two older brothers Hank and Thad both became respected jazz musicians. Hank was a pianist and Thad played trumpet and coronet.

After  serving in the Army from 1946-49, Elvin moved to New York to make his way in jazz nusic. He played with a variety of musicians including Charles Mingus, Teddy Charles, Bud Powell, From 1960 to 1966 Jones was part of the John Coltrane Quartet with pianist McCoy Tyner and bassist Jimmy Garrison. It was during this period, that Coltrane recorded the classic album A Love Supreme. By 1966 Coltrane’s music was moving in a direction that didn’t really mesh with Jones drumming style. Coltrane added a second drummer, Rashied Ali and Jones departed.

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Loudon Wainwright III from I Don’t Have the Blues (Yet) – “I’ll Be Killing You This Year for Christmas”

I missed this song  from Loudon Wainwright III last Christmas. The first time I heard the song “I’ll Be Killing You I Don't have the blues yetThis Christmas” was last night on my way to work at Target, and as I listened I first thought, OK?  As the songs, continued I soon was smiling and then laughed out loud! The song is included on Wainwright’s new album I Don’t Have the Blues (Yet) and it’s one of the several new treasures , from the folksong master! I have written before that I have never been a big fan of Wainwright but after his last several albums, I have changed my opinion. Of course another reason may be that at 68 years old, Loudon is just slightly older than I am. and many of the songs in his last few albums have dealt with aging, songs like the title of his last album “Older than the Now” which talks about when you become older than your father ever was, and on this album “Brand Ne Dance”. Anyway, I’ve only listened to the album once and I don’t know that I made it all the way through, but as of right now, the Grade for the album is a B+ and rising!!

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High Marks for The High 48s’ Great Northern Railroad – Check them out!!

Yesterday, I was reviewing the Roots Music Bluegrass Chart and way down near the bottom, I came across a band whose

Great norhern Railroad 2name  was unfamiliar with, The High 48s. Their latest release Great Northern Railroad was fittingly #48 on the chart. Since the album obviously had a train song on it, I thought it would be a good album to check out!! So I headed over to Spotify, found the album, listened to a few of the songs, and since my foot hadn’t stopped tapping since the album began, I knew this one was a winner!!

The High 48s were formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2006 and they are winners! They came to the attention of the national bluegrass scene, when they won the Rockygrass Band Competition in Lyons, Colorado, in 2008! The band’s name refers to railroad slang for the boxcars that carried the troops to the front lines during WWI. The cars carried 40 men and 8 horses! The band members Eric Christopher,( fiddle and vocals), Anthony Ihrig – (banjo and Resonator guitar), Marty Marone (vocals and guitar), Chad Johnson (mandolin and vocals) and Rich Casey (bass and vocals)  have all honed their skills playing with the likes of Special Consensus and James King!

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Otis Gibbs presents some great – Souvenirs of a Misspent Youth!!

Otis Gibbs’  latest release Souvenirs of a Misspent Youth has been in my rotation for about a week now and the Souvenirs of a Misspent YouthIndiana native, East Nashville resident has crafted another fine album. For my money, Gibbs is one of the best songwriters out there today and this collection of songs may be his best effort yet! Gibbs’ songwriting talents rank right up there with the best, comparisons have been made to Woody Guthrie, TomT.Hall, Kris Kristofferson and Townes Van Zandt. His story-songs tell tales of everyday life.

On Souvenirs of a Misspent Youth one of the best tracks is “Ghost of Our Fathers” in the song tells the story of a neighbor who was a bare knuckle boxing champion, but the toughest loss was that of his son who was killed in Vietnam. I love the simple chorus….

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How about some Charlie Robison “Barlight” on his birthday? (September 1, 1964) Happy Birthday, Charlie!

Charlie Robison is celebrating one of those big birthday years today, September 1st! He is turning 50 years young today!! Charlie  is one of the TexasCharlie Robison Country music artists that I discovered through the Texas Country Music list on Yahoo in the late 1990s. Among that group were Charlie’s brother Bruce, Jack Ingram and Pat Green…. Some background about Charlie from Wikipedia…..

After an injury in college ended a potential football career, Charlie Robison came to Austin, Texas in the late 1980s and had stints in the bands Chaparral, Millionaire Playboys, and Two Hoots and a Holler.[1] He went solo with his album “Bandera” in 1996. He subsequently signed with Sony and released “Life of the Party” on Sony’s subsidiary Lucky Dog Records. The album gave him three of his biggest hits including “My Hometown.” His next release was a live disc called “Unleashed Live,” which is credited to Charlie, brother Bruce, and Jack Ingram. He then signed with Columbia Records for “Step Right Up” and another live album Read More

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New Music and Video from Ellis Paul – Chasing Beauty – “Wasted” – chase it down!!

Ellis Paul is one of those singer – songwriters whose songs and music I like, and one of those artist whose voice I like better. For Chasing Beautysome reason Paul’s voice just appeals to me, and I assume the majority of his fans. This may sound funny but for many artists I kinda put up with their voice, because their songs are so good. With Ellis Paul I get the best of both!! His new album Chasing Beauty has only been in my music rotation for a few days so I’m not really ready to write fully about the album yet, but from my initial listens it seems that the album is vintage Paul and builds on the great work of his last release The Day After Everything Changed, which is my favorite album from Ellis….no American Jukebox Fables is my favorite…how about The Speed of Trees, Translucent Soul, damn now I don’t know which is my favorite…..Anyway, here’s some background about Ellis…From Wikipedia.
Ellis Paul (born Paul Plissey; January 14, 1965) is an American singer-songwriter and folk musician. Born in Aroostook County, Maine, Paul is a key figure in what has become known as the Boston school of songwriting, a literate, provocative and urbanely romantic folk-pop style that helped ignite the folk revival of the 1990s.[1] His pop music songs have appeared in movies and on television, bridging the gap between the modern folk sound and the populist traditions of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. Read More

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