Signup for a folk alley account


Video Premiere: Gregory Alan Isakov, "The Stable Song"

August 30, 2016

by Kelly McCartney (@theKELword) for FolkAlley.com

Thumbnail image for gregory_alan_isakov4_400x400by-blue-caleel_wide-8b534600d6c0ffd89e0b2b9a21fc9088b985f8b2-s900-c85 copy.jpgMore so than many of his peers, Gregory Alan Isakov has a magical, mystical way with a folk song. There's a tenderness to his approach that never tips into the abyss of corniness that befalls so many others. His new collaborative album, Gregory Alan Isakov and the Colorado Symphony, is a perfect example, as the orchestra so easily floats under, around, and above his compositions.

"One of the things we were really going for, making this record, was a symphonic element that allowed the songs to breathe and maintain a sense of space," Isakov says. "And I love how it came out -- so many hands were involved with the arrangements, scores, mixing, artwork, and video work."

On its own, "The Stable Song" epitomizes what sets Isakov apart. Add on the Colorado Symphony and a throwback video, and the die is cast. Isakov turned to his bassist, John Grigsby, to make the video using a combination of vintage footage and live "actors" folded into each other through animation and editing. As Isakov tells it, "John Grigsby is one of the most creative animators and musicians I know. I love how our collaboration with this video took shape. I think that's why I love playing with John in the band, as well. Songs, for me, don't really exist in the literal world. I love how this video allows the viewer to dream up their own take on the song."

###

Gregory Alan Isakov and the Colorado Symphony is out now and available at iTunes and Amazon.com

Upcoming Tour Dates


Posted by Linda Fahey at 10:32 PM

PLAYLIST: Folk Alley nationally syndicated radio show #160825

August 28, 2016

Thumbnail image for Folk-Alley-Logo_medium.jpgPLAYLIST: Folk Alley nationally syndicated radio show #160825. Aired between Aug 26 - Sept 1, 2016. Hosted by Elena See

Artist - Title - Album - Label

(Hour ONE) - featuring our in-studio session with Ani DiFranco from the 2016 30A Songwriters Festival

John Prine (feat. Susan Tedeschi) - Color of the Blues - For Better, Or Worse - Oh Boy / Thirty Tigers

Jerry Douglas - Monroe's Hornpipe - Under The Wire - Sugar Hill

Amos Lee - Spirit - Spirit - Republic

Gary Clark Jr. - Take Me Down - Gary Clark Jr. - Warner Bros.

Steve Earle - The Gulf Of Mexico - I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive - New West

Ani DiFranco - Allergic To Water (in-studio) - Folk Alley Exclusive - Live from the 30A Songwriters Festival - Folk Alley Exclusive

Ani DiFranco - Play God (in-studio) - Folk Alley Exclusive - Live from the 30A Songwriters Festival - Folk Alley Exclusive

Ani DiFranco - Binary (in-studio) - Folk Alley Exclusive - Live from the 30A Songwriters Festival - Folk Alley Exclusive

Pete Seeger (w/ B.Bragg,Ani D,S.Earle) - Bring Them Home - SEEDS:Songs of Pete Seeger Vol 3 - Appleseed

Pete Seeger - If I Had a Hammer - Sing-A-Long - Smithsonian

(Hour TWO)

Martin Sexton - Shut Up and Sing - Mixtape of the Open Road - Kitchen Table

We Banjo 3 - Good Time Old Time - String Theory - We Banjo 3

Uncle Earl - Bony on the Isle of St. Helena - Waterloo, Tennessee - Rounder

Norah Jones - Carry On - Day Breaks - Blue Note

The Little Willies - I Gotta Get Drunk - The Little Willies - Milking Bull

Dietrich Strause - Rainy Days - How Cruel That Hunger Binds - Dietrich Strause

Shawn Colvin - Not A Drop Of Rain - Uncovered - Fantasy/Concord

The Foghorn Stringband - Columbus Stockade Blues - Devil In the Seat - Foghorn Music

Anna & Elizabeth - Heap of Horses - Sun To Sun - Free Dirt

O'Connor Band with Mark O'Connor - Always Do - Coming Home - Rounder

Bob Weir - Only A River - Blue Mountain - Columbia/Legacy

Grateful Dead Tribute - Friend of the Devil - Pickin' on the Grateful Dead: Tribute - CMH

Grateful Dead - Monkey and the Engineer - Reckoning - Arista

The Stray Birds - All the News - Magic Fire - Yep Roc

Amy Helm - Good News - Didn't It Rain - Entertainment One




Folk Alley's weekly, syndicated radio show, hosted by Elena See, is produced by WKSU (NPR-affiliate in Kent, OH). The show is available for free to stations via PRX.org or directly from WKSU via FTP for non-PRX members. Stations may air the show as either a one-, or two-hour program. The Folk Alley Radio Show is presently carried by approximately 50 stations nationally. Folk Alley also presents a 24/7 hosted Internet channel available at FolkAlley.com, TuneIn, iTunes and more. :: for more information contact Linda Fahey at 518-354-8077: Linda@folkalley.com

Posted by Linda Fahey at 4:07 PM

Hear It First: Dietrich Strause, 'How Cruel That Hunger Binds'

August 22, 2016

by Kelly McCartney (@theKELword) for FolkAlley.com

Dietrich How Cruel That Hungr Binds 400.jpgWhen Dietrich Strause decided he wanted to make a new record, he recruited a bunch of the most talented folks in the New England indie-folk scene, including Alec Spiegelman, Lyle Brewer, Amy Correia, and Mark Erelli, then got Zachariah Hickman and Sam Kassirer to helm the whole thing at Great North Sound Society in Parsonsfield, Maine. The result, 'How Cruel That Hunger Binds,' is an artistic work that feels simultaneously big and small: It has a broad vision coupled with an intimate execution.

Punctuated with horns here, vibes there, and woodwinds elsewhere, the aural landscape expands and contracts to suit the needs of each piece. Though much of the overarching production credit surely goes to Hickman, it all begins with the songs with which Strause has an intriguing relationship.

"The songs I write are some of my closest friends -- which is why, in the past, recording music was a type of grieving. Committing to an approach or a particular take of a song was saying goodbye to an old friend for the last time, like waving from the window of a car you're not driving," Strause says. "But throughout recording 'How Cruel That Hunger Binds,' I felt like I was making new friends; I was on the other end of the cycle. I didn't dwell on what I was losing, but embraced all that I was gaining. I think it's a fitting musical backdrop for the lyrics, which revolve around desire, love, lust, and adventurous hearts."

Highlights of the set include "The Beast That Rolls Within," "Spring Has Sprung," and "Boy Born to Die." According to Strause, "The album's title comes from 'Boy Born to Die,' but the song that holds the essence of the album is 'Lying in Your Arms.' There's a cruelty in the cycle of our nature -- we destroy to survive. We say goodbye to old friends to make way for new ones. The Beatles sang, 'All You Need is Love,' but I suppose these songs are about how all you need is to love."

###

'How Cruel That Hunger Binds' will be released August 26 and is available for pre-order at iTunes and HERE.

Upcoming Tour Dates

Posted by Linda Fahey at 12:29 PM

A Q & A with Sara Watkins

August 21, 2016

by Kelly McCartney (@theKELword) for FolkAlley.com

Sara Watkins 400sq.jpgA lot of roots music lovers have watched Sara Watkins (and her brother Sean) grow up, personally and professionally, over the past couple of decades. As members of Nickel Creek and the Watkins Family Hour band, the two are bound together in many hearts and minds. But they both have solo careers, as well, and Sara's new set, 'Young in All the Wrong Ways,' does much to establish her singular, crystalline voice, literally and musically. The impressive collection marks a stepping out for her... and a coming of age.

Kelly McCartney: What was different about your songwriting approach on this set?

Sara Watkins: There was a point that I started to become aware that songs were starting to come out, and I could feel that I still had more to say. This led to a chunk of time in which, whenever I could, I'd wake up around 7:30 or 8, make coffee, and -- without looking at my phone to check email, texts or news -- sit outside at a table with a guitar and some paper. I got some good work done out there.

Did you have a sonic vision going in or did that evolve?

The sonic vision was pretty broad strokes. It was more about getting the right musicians in the room together. That was the primary focus. I knew this wouldn't be a solo-heavy record. I knew there wouldn't be a ton of fiddle on it, but wanted it to feel more orchestral.

There are quite a few different styles on this thing, but it comes off as cohesive. What conscious choices did you make to tie them together?

Thank you. This is the first of my records on which I wrote or co-wrote all the songs. I think it helps that the lyrical voice is consistent throughout. Even though the album covers a lot of subjects over time, it all came through me.

"Move Me" feels like the biggest curve ball of the collection. How does it feel to push yourself -- and your voice -- to that edge? And how do people respond to it?

Interesting. I love singing "Move Me." It comes out pretty naturally live. Audiences have been receptive to this new material -- it's been great touring so far and there is much more to do.

Because you regularly collaborate with Sean, do you guys strategize together on the timing of all your various projects, or do you each just go with the flow?

You know, we actually do a little bit. We had to take a five-month break from our monthly Watkins Family Hour residency in L.A. because our tours were directly opposite from each other. He'd come home from his tour and the next day I'd leave for my tour. It was ridiculous. Now we have started to try and coordinate a few breaks here and there in our touring so we can keep the Family Hour fairly consistent.

###
'Young In All the Wrong Ways' is out now on New West Records and available at iTunes and Amazon.com.

Upcoming Tour Dates


Posted by Linda Fahey at 10:00 PM

Hear It First: The Stray Birds, 'Magic Fire'

August 11, 2016

by Cindy Howes, FolkAlley.com

The Stray Birds Magic Fire cover400.jpgAnyone worried about the legacy of Levon Helm and The Band need not worry; the first 10 seconds of The Stray Birds' new album, Magic Fire will ease your mind in more ways than one. Produced by Larry Campbell, a man who was actually in Levon Helm's band (and who also has worked with the likes of Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Willie Nelson), the record was created in 10 days in New York State's Hudson Valley. Campbell's studio served as a retreat for the group, who had never worked with an outside producer. His vision aligned with theirs, plus he offered to play on whatever song they wanted. His production-lead and contributions on pedal steel, fiddle, mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar have taken this band to the next level.

Magic Fire - The Stray Birds' fourth full-length album - sees the band expanding and broadening their sound while adding Shane Leonard (drums/percussion/vocals) as a new member. Leonard heightens that rhythmic quality that the group always had and his groove settles right in on record. He'll be bringing it out on the road too, as he's now an official member of the band in concert as well as in the studio.

The first thing that strikes you when listening to The Stray Birds is the voice of Maya de Vitry, who also plays acoustic guitar and fiddle. In the past, her vocal style was the center the band, with Oliver Craven (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, fiddle, slide guitar, mandolin) and Charlie Muench (vocals, upright bass) as important supporting roles. The depths that de Vitry's voice reaches are quite unusual and extremely captivating. You could write an entire essay on the emotions this woman is able to encompass on just one song. However, discounting the contributions of the very talented Craven and Muench would be unwise. Craven's smart writing and sharp playing abilities are incomparable, while Muench's steady bass beat and vocals add to the distinct character of The Stray Birds. This album proves to be their most collaborative release with songwriting contributions from each member, including Muench's first complete composition "Where You Come From."

Something that has remained constant through their change in sound is The Stray Birds sweeping and massive harmonies. The band has masterfully crafted their choruses, which bring to mind those amazing refrains you'd hear from The Band in songs like "The Weight" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." If the late Levon Helm were still around, you know he'd be hosting this young band at one of his famous Midnight Rambles at his barn in Woodstock, NY.

###

The Stray Birds' Magic Fire is out via Yep Roc Records on Friday, August 19 and is available for pre-order HERE!

Upcoming Tour Dates

LISTEN:

Posted by Linda Fahey at 4:17 PM

Support Folk Alley During Our Spring Fund Drive!

 

Recent Topics

Hear It First: Amilia K Spicer, 'Wow and Flutter'
Video Premiere: I Draw Slow, "My Portion"
A Q & A with John Craigie
In Review: Guest DJ Sean Rowe
Album Review: Valerie June, 'The Order of Time'
In Review: Guest DJ, Peter Mulvey
Folk Alley Sponsors 'September 12th' at CIFF 41
Album Review: Rhiannon Giddens, 'Freedom Highway'
In Review: Guest DJ Kelly McCartney from The Bluegrass Situation
Video Premiere: The Steel Wheels, "Scrape Me Off The Ceiling"
Song Premiere: Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, "Rowdy Heart, Broken Wing"
Video Premiere: Phoebe Hunt & The Gatherers, "Lint Head Gal"
In Review: Guest DJ Kim Ruehl previews the Spring Heartland Edition of 'No Depression'
A Q & A with Catie Curtis
Postcards from Folk Alliance 2017, Episode 5
Postcards from Folk Alliance 2017, Episode 4
Postcards from Folk Alliance 2017, Episode 3
Postcards from Folk Alliance 2017, Episode 2
Postcards from Folk Alliance 2017, Episode 1
Hear It First: Blair Crimmins & the Hookers, 'You Gotta Sell Something'
WATCH: River Whyless' Special Video in Support of America's National Wildlife Refuges
In Review: Guest DJ Hour with Kim Ruehl, MLK Day
Hear It First: Rayna Gellert, 'Workin's Too Hard'
Folk Alley's Best of 2016 - Kelly McCartney's Ten Best Singer/Songwriter Records
Folk Alley's Best of 2016 - Elena See's Top 10 Albums
Folk Alley's Best of 2016 - Cindy Howes' Top 10 Albums
A Q & A with Courtney Marie Andrews
Song Premiere: Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, "If We Make It Through December"
Hear It First - 'Christmas On the Lam and Other Songs from the Season'
'HOOT Thursday' Video Premiere: Tracy Bonham, "In the Pines"

 

 

April 2017
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 2017


March 2017


February 2017


January 2017


December 2016


November 2016


October 2016


September 2016


August 2016


July 2016


May 2016


April 2016


March 2016


February 2016


January 2016


December 2015


November 2015


October 2015


September 2015


August 2015


July 2015


June 2015


May 2015


April 2015


March 2015


February 2015


January 2015


December 2014


October 2014


September 2014


August 2014


July 2014


June 2014


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