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New Mary Chapin Carpenter Due April 27

March 31, 2004

Sony Music Nashville has announced that Mary Chapin Carpenter's new release, Between Here and Gone will hit stores on April 27. The release is Carpenter's first album of new material in three years, following 2001's Time*Sex*Love*.

Carpenter wrote all of the 12 tracks and recorded them in Nashville. Helping out at the sessions were Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Dan Dugmore (steel guitar), and Rob Ickes (dobro). The title track was inspired by the death of the singer-songwriter Dave Carter.

Carpenter told ICE Magazine that the new work, which focuses on the theme of travel and transition, is quieter and more introspective than much of her earlier work. Carpenter played some of the new material for the first time on Feb. 20 in New York City, at a benefit for Housing Works, Inc - a non-profit agency that provides housing, healthcare, advocacy and other services to homeless people living with HIV and AIDS.

Posted by Bob Burford at 4:05 PM | Comments (0)

Raul Malo Presents Nashville Acoustic Sessions

March 30, 2004

Mavericks lead singer Raul Malo has released the Nashville Acoustic Sessions on the CMH Records label. Malo is joined by Rob Ickes on dobro, Dave Pomeroy on bass, and Pat Flynn on guitar. The album includes covers of classic songs by Roy Orbison, Van Morrison, Gram Parsons, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, the Louvin Bros., and others.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 5:04 PM | Comments (0)

Gram Parsons Remembered

March 29, 2004

Influential musician Gram Parsons will be honored with tribute concerts in California on July 9 and 10. Parsons, who died of an overdose at age 26, was an early innovator who brought together rock and country on projects that included his work with the Byrds, Emmylou Harris, and the Flying Burrito Brothers with Chris Hillman. Parsons' daughter Polly is producing the shows titled "Return to Sin City." Lucinda Williams, Norah Jones, Steve Earle, Jim Lauderdale, Dwight Yoakam, and The Mavericks with Raul Malo are among the artists scheduled to perform.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 4:33 PM | Comments (3)

Rivers, Roads & Harvey Reid

March 26, 2004

This Weds. night, I went to hear the incomparable Harvey Reid at the Beachland Ballroom on a rainy night in Cleveland. He began his set with Water is Wide, which set me to thinking how interconnected the folk world is, since that was the last song I heard on Folk Alley before leaving work (a version off of Karla Bonoff's best of collection All My Life that reminded me of Mustard's Retreat, who often sing it in concert).

Harvey Reid plays stinged instruments like it's all he could possibly have been meant to do with his life. Slide guitar blues, fingerpicking that mimicked the uilleann pipes, the autoharp (an instrument that he holds in an intimate caress as he plays) - Jim Blum says that Harvey can literally play anything. It was a brilliant evening with an amazing musician.

Where were you the last time you saw live folk music?

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 3:14 PM | Comments (6)

Quickcovers for Leftover Salmon

March 24, 2004

Bluegrass-jamband Leftover Salmon has released a new album and launched their up-dated web site. The self-titled Leftover Salmon is the band's first new studio release in 5 years and was produced by Little Feat keyboardist Bill Payne. The web site features music and video of Leftover Salmon in all of its glorious live action. The band is currently on tour.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 3:33 PM | Comments (0)

The Alley Gets Wider - Part One, The Singers.

March 23, 2004

Here's a quick rundown on three promising releases added to the stream. Eliza Gilkyson's Land of Milk and Honey ponders isolation, tragedy, and the American infatuation with fossil fuels. As serious as these songs are, I found myself singing along, partly because of the catchy melodies but mostly because I realized that when I sing, I'm speaking out, too. Jack Williams has been impressing audiences in the Carolinas for years, but he's just started to walk down Folk Alley. He sings about Josh White, Birmingham Sunday, a slave turned archeologist, and the simple joy of walking on the album Walkin' Dreams. Vienna Teng is a classical pianist who is quite at ease as a writer. Her life experiences spoke to her in song -- from her passion for nature to seeing love in a child's eyes to the erie Passage, where the victim of a car accident speaks to us from the grave. Teng's release called Warm Strangers also includes a touching Chinese lullabye as a bonus track. These three have found their way to the Alley, but not by walking. Their songs have traveled for them, carrying visions which grasp and inspire.

Posted by Jim Blum at 2:58 PM | Comments (1)

MerleFest is a comin'

March 22, 2004

MerleFest takes over Wilkesboro, NC the last weekend in April. In our never-ending effort to tell the world about Folk Alley, we'd like to raise the FolkAlley.com flag. Are you planning on attending? Send me an e-mail at ann@folkalley.com.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 2:21 PM | Comments (3)

Patty Griffin Takes SXSW by Storm

The eighteenth annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Music and Media conference ended yesterday after a successful five-day run. SXSW is based in Austin, TX, and holds the conference as a chance for musicians and music professionals to gather and network with one another. SXSW conducted interviews with Joan Baez and Ani DeFranco among others, but the highlight of the conference was the musical performances. Folk performances included The Mavericks, The Flatlanders and Patty Griffin, who was named Best Folk Musician at the Austin Music Awards March 19.
Griffin, who turned 40 last week, is also preparing for the release of her new album, Impossible Dream. The CD, released on ATO Records, will be in stores April 20. The first single off the album is Love Throw A Line, and is already playing on radio stations across the country.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 10:01 AM | Comments (0)

Allison Moorer Makes Her Sugar Hill Debut

March 19, 2004

Singer/songwriter Allison Moorer has released The Duel, her first release on the Suger Hill label. The younger sister of fellow singer Shelby Lynne, Moorer and husband/collaborator Butch Primm have created a harder-edged follow-up to 2003's live CD Show.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 3:22 PM | Comments (0)

What's the funniest folk song ever?

March 18, 2004

When a lot of people talk about folk music, they'll mention its strong history of documenting the history of the common man (and woman), providing a voice to social progress, and music that values substance, story, and depth. But one type of folk music never gets it propers...the funny stuff.

There is lot of folk music that has a great sense of humor.

Click on the Comment button below and cast your vote for the funniest folk song ever.

Posted by at 3:41 PM | Comments (38)

Dylan Symposium at Museum of TV & Radio

March 17, 2004

On March 23, The Museum of Television and Radio in NYC will host a symposium on Bob Dylan entitled, "1964: The Times They Are A-Changin'." The event, presented by public radio station WFUV, will focus on Dylan's landmark 1964 concert at Philharmonic Hall - including the historical context of the show and the times leading up to it. The panel, moderated by WFUV's Rita Houston, will include noted author Dave Marsh and singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell. The restoration of the historic concert recording will also be discussed.

On March 30th, Columbia/Legacy releases Live 1964: Concert at Philharmonic Hall - The Bootleg Series Volume 6. The double CD will be the first official release of an all-acoustic Bob Dylan concert. The concert's 19 tracks show Dylan at the peak of his powers. The show took just two months after the release of Another Side of Bob Dylan - his last acoustic record before the electricity of Bringing It All Back Home.

Posted by Bob Burford at 2:04 PM | Comments (1)

Sam Bush Releases New Studio CD

Jam-fest favorite Sam Bush has released King of My World, his first new studio solo work in 5 years. The CD, which was self-produced by the mando-master is available on the Sugar Hill label. Disclosure - I really love Sam Bush. That said, when I've seen him live at various jam-band-extravaganzas, I've gotten a bit weary when my favorite songs have twisted on long enough for a young couple to meet, marry, and start a lovely life together. What do you think? How do you like your Sam Bush? PS. Happy birthday Sam Bush!

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 11:56 AM | Comments (0)

Spring, Where Are You?

March 16, 2004

Have pity on us, all you listeners who live in warm weather climes: it's a day of wicked winter weather here in Northeast Ohio. During a harrowing drive to work, listening to the forecast of snow accumulations of 6-9 inches by midnight, I thought, what happened to Spring? I guess it's buried under the snow, along with my budding daffodils.

Think Spring! Do you have a favorite folk song that exemplifies the hope and promise of this season of new beginnings? One song that comes to mind for me is "First Warm Wind," on a CD by the same name by singer/songwriter Kat Eggleston. What's yours?

Posted by at 4:23 PM | Comments (4)

Bonnie "Prince" Billy performs Bonnie "Prince" Billy

There are--literally--thousands of tribute albums and collections of songs reimagined by others, with several dozen more released each year. Folk music is music of tradition--passing down songs from one performer to the next. Performing and recording the songs of other writers (both known and unknown) is a way of honoring the author by passing their work on to others in a new way.

But have you ever heard of someone recording a tribute album...to themselves?

One of folk music's more "unusual" performers, Will Oldham, has done just that. Throughout his career, he's changed his performing name at least four times. Currently, he calls himself Bonnie "Prince" Billy. Many refer to Oldham/Billy as an Appalachian version of Nick Drake: understated, haunting, and powerfully subtle. His 2003 album Master and Everyone, was one of the most original singer/songwriter albums of the year.

For his current release, Bonnie "Prince" Billy Sings Greatest Palace Music, Oldham/Billy has gathered together a huge group of Nashville players (38 to be exact) to re-record some of his early '90s work with the group Palace (though Palace only had one member--Oldham).

Confused yet?

He is an amazing songwriter, and an arranger with an unusual gift of making beauty appear out of chaotic quietness. As I write this, I realize how hard it is to describe. Jim's playing some cuts from Master and Everyone. Listen for Mr. Billy or take a listen on your own.

Posted by at 3:32 PM | Comments (2)

Alison Goes to Vegas

March 15, 2004

Alison Krauss has been nominated for an Academy of Country Music Award for her duet with James Taylor, How's the World Treating You, in the Vocal Event of the Year category. The song appeared on Livin' Lovin' Losin': Songs of the Louvin Brothers and won a Grammy earlier this year. The Academy of Country Music Awards will be hosted by Reba McEntire live from Las Vegas on Weds., May 26.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 9:19 AM | Comments (0)

King or Queen of Folk?

March 11, 2004

Here's a question for you...

If Elvis is the "King of Rock and Roll" and Michael Jackson is (was) the "King of Pop, " who would be folk's reigning monarch? When you consider the thousands of artists who've written, sung, and performed folk music, it's a tough call. Think of all the artists who've made a contribution to folk music, influenced the music of others, or used their stature in the community to forward social causes and issues. If you could cast your vote for the King or Queen of Folk, who would suggest?

Click on the "Comment" link below and let me know who you'd crown.

Posted by at 2:48 PM | Comments (26)

Lucinda Williams cancels American tour dates

March 10, 2004

Singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams canceled American tour dates after the recent passing of her mother. A performance was scheduled in Nashville March 9 and another in Columbus March 10. However, on March 8, Williams canceled a sold-out show in Charlotte, N.C. just before the performance was set to start. According to an article in the Charlotte Observer, fans took the news of the cancellation well, even though some had flown in to North Carolina just to be part of the more intimate crowd at the Visulite Theater. According to Williams' official Web site, fans can expect the tour dates to be rescheduled sometime in August. Williams is a three-time Grammy award winner. Her most recent win was in 2001 for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 4:19 PM | Comments (0)

Susan Werner Releases 'I Can't Be New'

March 9, 2004

Singer/Songwriter Susan Werner has released I Can't Be New on the Koch Records label. The album follows 2002 effort New Non-Fiction. Werner made a visit to the NPR studios on Wed. for a Morning Edition interview with Susan Stamberg.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 4:22 PM | Comments (0)

David Crosby Busted

March 8, 2004

David Crosby was arrested Saturday when he returned to a Times Square hotel in order to retrieve a suitcase. Found by a hotel employee after Crosby checked out of the hotel, the piece of luggage was opened during a search for an owner's name and contained a handgun, a hunting knife and an ounce of marijuana. Crosby is currently touring with CPR, the band he formed with his son, composer James Raymond, and guitarist Jeff Pevar.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 3:49 PM | Comments (1)

Read All About It!

March 5, 2004

Michael Sangiacomo from the Cleveland Plain Dealer was also in San Diego and wrote this story about Jim and the other Ohio type folks at Folk Alliance. The boxes finally arrived and we are slowly but surely adding in all of the links we collected. We're also working through a mountain of CDs, which is something like Christmas, opening all of the shiny packages to find happy surprises.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 3:34 PM | Comments (2)

Links R Us

March 4, 2004

FolkAlley.com is all about the music so lots of our listeners may not have looked around our Web site. One area to visit is "Site Links," with links that include artists and other folk music Web sites.

We are constantly adding links to this section of Folk Alley and what really makes our day is a site that links back to us. One site that recently linked to Folk Alley is Acoustic Music Across the Pond, a Web site of acoustic music resources in the UK.

Do you have a favorite folk music artist or other folk music site that we don't have listed in "Site Links?" Send your suggestions for links to me at donna@folkalley.com. And if you see the Folk Alley logo or link on another site, please let us know!

Posted by at 4:25 PM | Comments (3)

Norah Jones Tops Billboard 200 Again

For the third straight week, the number one spot on The Billboard 200 belongs to Norah Jones for Feels Like Home. The sales figure this week is 280,000 copies in the U.S., bringing the three-week total for Home to 1.7 million copies. In January 2003, Jones' first album Come Away with Me grabbed the top spot on the Billboard 200 LP after 46 weeks on the chart.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 12:51 PM | Comments (0)

Robin and Linda Williams go 'Deeper' with new release

March 3, 2004

In their 30th year performing together, Robin and Linda Williams released Deeper Waters on February 24. Iris Dement, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Sissy Spacek along with her daughter Schuyler Fisk join the Williams' on an album full of great acoustics. Deeper Waters was released on Red House Records, the Grammy-winning home of several major American roots-based singers and songwriters including John Gorka and Lucy Kaplansky.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 2:49 PM | Comments (3)

Folk Alley Chat in Your Mailbox

The March issue of the newly named Folk Alley Chat is now in your e-mailbox. This month's issue is shorter due to February's recently sent extra newsletter. We are not planning on making extra issues a habit, but the timely nature of naming the newsletter forced our hand. If you have not received the March issue, and you have not sent us a request to remove you from our list, please check any spam catcher you may have activated and white list our address. Thanks! Ann

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 9:22 AM | Comments (1)

A Few Final Thoughts on Folk Alliance

March 1, 2004

Yesterday morning we packed up our boxes and left Southern California for Northeast Ohio (after a night of showcases that included David Francey, KITKA, Billy Joe Shaver, and Jeremy Kittel). It was a mind-blowing experience with an unbelievable mass of folk music professionals joining together in fellowship to do the good work. We spoke the truth of Folk Alley to anyone who would listen and many did. By the end of the conference, there were musicians from around the world carrying instrument cases proudly emblazoned with FA stickers; t-shirts, postcards, and FAN buttons spread to the four corners; and much interest and love expressed about the notion of 24-hour streaming of folk music on the internet.

I've added more pictures of my life in the exhibit hall and the private showcases that filled many hotel rooms (with only one resulting in a serious fire) in the photo gallery. Remember, I am not a professional photographer. Now, I need a nap.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 6:18 PM | Comments (0)

Bob Dylan Unplugged

Bob Dylan fans are anxiously awaiting the March 30 release of his "MTV Unplugged" DVD. The DVD is full of special features, including previously unreleased footage. The original broadcast was in 1995, but the new DVD includes four songs that were not seen on TV. Also on the DVD is Dylan's performance of "Love Minus Zero"/"No Limit."

Columbia is releasing the DVD the same day it puts on the shelves the sixth volume of Dylan's "Bootleg Series." The two-disk set is called "Live 1964: Concert and Philharmonic Hall," and was recorded Oct. 31, 1964.

Meanwhile, Dylan has been busy preparing for a North American tour, which starts tonight in St. Louis. So far, he has dates planned through a June 11 show at the Bonnaroo festival in Manchester, Tenn.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 4:43 PM | Comments (0)

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