Signup for a folk alley account


Starbucks Takes Over the Music Universe

July 31, 2007

Ah, the world, coffeshop waitresses have been replaced by baristas and the most talked-about musical hub favors a caffeine buzz over beer or other mind altering substances. Sure, Paul McCartney's Memory Almost Full is only 34 on this week's Billboard album chart, but this is a CD released by a coffee place. I don't recall ever seeing a Victoria Secret CD that high on the list. Ms. Joni Mitchell has just signed a 2-CD deal with Starbucks' Hear Music label with the first album, Shine, scheduled for a late September release (The Grateful Dead also have a CD on Starbucks shelves now, but since the band doesn't exist anymore, it's hard to dig up details). Not on Hear Music, but enjoying an exclusive distribution deal is the Dave Matthews Band. Their most recent Live Trax CD will be available in Starbucks restaurants in the U.S. and Canada beginning today (7/21) - this is the first time they have not released a Live Trax only through the Dave Matthews web site. The CD will be promoted on a new Starbucks-branded channel on XM satellite radio - as well as XM's new Internet streaming service. So, tell me, how is their coffee?

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 12:43 PM | Comments (16)

Chris Talks Cropredy in the Podcast

July 30, 2007

fairport.jpg
I was working out this weekend while listening to the AlleyCast podcast for July. The sound you hear in the background behind Simon Nicol as he talks about the upcoming Cropredy Festival is Chris' head spinning around and exploding from excitement. Folk Alley lore has it that Chris was a card carrying member of the KISS Army and a serious metal fan until he heard Fairport Convention - the band's music literally changed his life. Not to be mawkish, but he is thrilled to be heading off to England (for the first time) to live the Cropredy experience. He's taking sometime Folk Alley blogger Huw Pryce with him, so it really will be All Folk Alley. All the Time. Keep an eye out for Chris' blogs, pics and interviews. He's ponying up his own dough for the trip, so I'm sure he'd accept friendly offers of lilbations (or dry socks, we hear there's been some rain) when he's "off duty." Speaking of the AlleyCast, if you have any ideas of bands to spotlight in the "obscure folk" segment (and I don't mean your cousin Larry who plays concertina upside down while wearing a dress), let us know. Cheers!

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 4:11 PM | Comments (15)

The Best Thing About Nickel Creek at Cain Park...

July 20, 2007

house_clr.jpg
Was that we recorded the show (with help from Cousin Jimmy Wilson) for later broadcast in Live From Folk Alley. The stop at Cain Park was part of Nickel Creek's Farewell for Now tour and they brought along Glen Phillips (who they worked with in the Mutual Admiration Society - he was also in Toad the Wet Sprocket). We had a Folk Alley table there and handed out lots o' goodies. I don't know if it was because the band is planning on taking an extended break after this string of shows is done, but they played a real mix of material - band stuff from all of the albums, things with Glen Phillips, solo pieces from Chris, Sean and Sara (I didn't know Sara even had solo stuff, and it was really good) and even a Radiohead cover. Phillips opened with a 45 min. set and then the band went two hours. I think they would have gone longer if it hadn't been for the curfew at the venue (it's outdoors and in the middle of a city neighborhood). I bought the Sean Watkins CD that I didn't already have and I'm very happy with it. If you have the chance, this is definitely a tour worth checking out (they're finishing through August with Fiona Apple as the opener).

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 12:04 PM | Comments (10)

Cookin' with New Releases. Here's What's on the Stove, But You Might Want to Read This Before You Try Some.

July 16, 2007

beoga.jpg
BEOGA, MISCHIEF
Where has this group been hiding? County Antrim in Ireland, apparently. They've toured Germany with Solas, and they now have an American release on Compass (and you know how picky CEO Alison Brown is). Beoga does not eat at ordinary Irish restaurants with apologies to the potato. Sean Og Graham and Damian Mckee add spice with duel accordions, and guests surprise with a touch of hot sauce in the form of trumpet or flugelhorn - just enough to add flavor without overwhelming you. Fiddler and singer Niamh Dunne has joined them, recreating "Factory Girl" and surprising us with Steely Dan's "Dirty Work." Four-time all-Ireland bodhran champ Eamon Murray and pianst Liam Bradley round out the group. This is how Irish music should taste!

steve forbert.jpg
STEVE FORBERT STRANGE NAMES AND NEW SENSATIONS
This is mostly a pop album, but not a bad one, and there are 3 songs and one instrumental that crossover. In other words, you normally wouldn't order this at a Folk Alley restaurant, but we all like to eat elsewhere once in a while. "I Will Sing Your Praise" is a touching gift of honesty. If you've ever wanted to say something really nice to someone, but you haven't, play them this song. "Romeo's Tune" is also a simple, straightforward message, and it's genuine. Forbert speaks for all of us when asking another to come to him just to say that they're all right. I don't know what's wrong with Steve's voice; he sounds very raspy. He may struggle to sing, but not to communicate. If his songs were a recipe, perhaps another cook should make the meal? I'm sure that will happen, but this guy has so much goodness, I would try his cookin' - at least a few of the meals offered here.

pines.jpg
THE PINES SPARROW IN THE BELL
The Pines are new, produced by Bo Ramsey (Greg Brown, Lucinda Williams). He was the logical choice since his sons are in the band. They're not the most gifted singers, but they've listened to Dad for presentation and arrangement. The tension and release qualities are everywhere, Bo urges restraint which makes us listen harder, and it forces the lyrics out front. In "Circle Around the Sun" a couple disturbed by world events watch boats in the harbor, feeling fortunate to have each other: "Discount visions of ecstasy, borrowed solitude...Fighting never keeps the very things that fighting won. Throw your arms around me like a circle around the sun" The other two gems are "Horse and Buggy" and "Throw me in the River." The entire CD does not a restaurant make, but I'd recommend these 3 entrees for any meal of the day.

loudon.jpg
LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III STRANGE WIERDOS
I don't know how Loudon comes up with his recipes, but I always have his ingredients in my kitchen. Cumin, for example, is for prolonged heat. Each song we're selecting from this album, and there are six, strike you the first time, and then you can't forget them. Lemon provides just the tart surprise you weren't expecting. In "Can't Fail Me Now," for example, we discover the fear behind commitment. It is indeed a sour experience when you need someone and at that very moment they decide to disappear. "Stange Wierdos" is sweet. If each of us misfits could find another misfit, all misfits would fit. Ya think? "Grey in LA" is salty. Loudon finds joy in rain while everyone else complains. His expressions do poke at us, but otherwise we wouldn't listen. This song is a reminder not to follow the crowd. Every song from Mr. Wainwright is a reminder or a discovery. All of them are either from or are inspired by the film "Knocked Up." I haven't seen the movie, but I've tasted Loudon's cooking several times, and this album will not have you leaving the table hungry.

rani arbo.jpg
RANI ARBO & DAISY MAYHEM BIG OLD LIFE
This album is well titled. Rani Arbo's attitude is positive and I'm sure that's how she recovered from her recent illness. Her group delivers spirited performances and many of the songs are spiritual. "Joy Comes Back" opens the CD and "Shine On" closes it. There is no let down in the middle. Her husband Scott Kessel plays the drumship enterprise which includes a suitcase and a tuna fish can. It's loads of fun to watch him and the sound carries over to this recording just fine. Be sure to pay attention to "Roses," as Rani uncovers a older woman who plants flowers. Almost like John Prine's "Hello In There," we receive another reminder not to pass by seemingly insignificant people. We all have a story and we all should be less selfish with our time. The other can't miss is "Hole in Heaven" as Rani ponders if connections continue after death. If Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem offer to cook at your place, you better open up all the doors, and borrow every table and chair you can because the whole town should come.

grada.jpg
GRADA CLOUDY DAY NAVIGATION
This CD offers two bonuses. First, every offering is a taste treat, and there is a companion DVD so you can watch the group in action. Like Beoga above, Grada mixes up the arrangements so that you hear true medleys - not same sounding sets. They'll vary the pace, change an instrument, or the key, and everybody solos, more like Jazz and less like old time Irish music. The songs are smart too: "Red Civic" is for anyone who chooses reliability first in transportation. Although after the song is over you'll wonder if they're talking about something other than a car... "River" is a song about friendship and the end of rage. The world has grown so hostile and as different as we all are, almost everyone has a favorite river in which to retreat. River's offer peace, they calm us, and they can connect us. How is Grada like a meal? Consistent. Everytime you order from them it'll be good. They give a lot of attention to every song on every CD. There's a reason why Alan Doherty (flute) was chosen to play the melody in the "Lord of the Rings" movies. He simply sparkles. If he's the entree, you don't crave dessert. I seldom make comparisons, but what Irish band is better?

Jim Blum

Posted by Jim Blum at 5:38 PM | Comments (0)

Download July's Alleycast

On July's Episode of the Alleycast, hear Folk Alley's exclusive Lucy Kaplansky concert recording. Plus Open Mic artists Wil Maring, The Possum Trot Orchestra and Tracy Newman. Also featured are the obscure sounds of Linda Perhacs and Fairport Convention's exclusive Folk Alley in-studio performance and interview. Download the Alleycast today.

Posted by Chris Boros at 10:38 AM | Comments (2)

Woody Guthire Stream Suggestions

July 2, 2007

Woody Guthrie's birthday is July 14. To honor the man, Folk Alley will be producing a 3-hour side stream in July devoted to the music of Woody. We want your suggestions. We're looking for not only Woody himself but any artsits who have covered Guthrie songs. We have lots in the archive but want your feedback too. Any favorites you'd like to hear in this special stream? Let us know!

Posted by Chris Boros at 12:01 PM | Comments (19)

Support Folk Alley During Our Spring Fund Drive!

 

Recent Topics

Kim Ruehl Talks with Rodney Crowell About Writing and His New Album, 'Tarpaper Sky'
Kim Ruehl Talks Songwriting With Catie Curtis
A Folk Alley Discount for Jonatha Brooke's 'My Mother Has 4 Noses'
New Music for March
Job Opening at WKSU/Folk Alley
Hear It First at Folk Alley - Eliza Gilkyson
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis - Rap Stars or Fine Young Troubadours?
New Music for February
Folk Alley Sponsors a Documentary at the Cleveland International Film Festival
A Q & A with Parker Millsap
Hear It First at Folk Alley - Cahalen Morrison & Eli West
Pete Seeger: Folk Singer, Educator, Banjo Player, Activist, Good Person
Thanks for everything, Pete
New Adds For January
Five Folk Artists to Watch in 2014
Folk Alley's Best of 2013 - Matt Watroba's Top Picks of the Year
Review: 'Live at Caffe Lena: Music From America's Legendary Coffeehouse (1967-2013)'
Review: Elephant Revival - 'These Changing Skies'
Hear It First at Folk Alley - Poor Old Shine
A Conversation with Sarah Jarosz on 'Build Me Up From Bones'
The Best Things About Americana Music Week, Part II: Ladies Night
The Best Things About Americana Music Week, Part I
A Q & A with Alice Gerrard on her new release, 'Bittersweet'
VIDEO PREMIERE: Slaid Cleaves "Without Her"
Three Best Things About the Whole Weekend At Newport Folk Festival
Three Best Things About Day Two at the Newport Folk Festival
Three Best Things About the First Day of Newport 2013
REVIEW: Guy Clark 'My Favorite Picture of You'
Folk Alley New Music Adds
A Q & A with Girlyman's Tylan Greenstein

 

 

April 2014
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30         


April 2014


March 2014


February 2014


January 2014


December 2013


November 2013


October 2013


September 2013


August 2013


July 2013


June 2013


May 2013


April 2013


March 2013


February 2013


December 2012


November 2012


October 2012


September 2012


August 2012


July 2012


June 2012


May 2012


April 2012


March 2012


February 2012


January 2012


December 2011


November 2011


October 2011


September 2011


August 2011


July 2011


June 2011


May 2011


April 2011


March 2011


February 2011


January 2011


December 2010


November 2010


October 2010


September 2010


August 2010


July 2010


May 2010


April 2010


March 2010


February 2010


January 2010


December 2009


November 2009


October 2009


September 2009


August 2009


July 2009


June 2009


May 2009


April 2009


March 2009


February 2009


January 2009


December 2008


November 2008


October 2008


September 2008


August 2008


July 2008


June 2008


May 2008


April 2008


March 2008


February 2008


January 2008


December 2007


November 2007


October 2007


September 2007


August 2007


July 2007


June 2007


May 2007


April 2007


March 2007


February 2007


January 2007


December 2006


November 2006


October 2006


September 2006


August 2006


July 2006


June 2006


May 2006


April 2006


March 2006


February 2006


January 2006


December 2005


November 2005


October 2005


September 2005


August 2005


July 2005


June 2005


May 2005


April 2005


March 2005


February 2005


January 2005


December 2004


November 2004


October 2004


September 2004


August 2004


July 2004


June 2004


May 2004


April 2004


March 2004


February 2004


January 2004


December 2003


November 2003


October 2003


September 2003


August 2003