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It's Time - Ho, Ho, Ho!

November 29, 2004

Today I officially launched my holiday season by playing the Kingston Trio's classic Last Month of the Year (beloved by me as a child as much for the cover shot of the group with their fingers in each other's ears on the way to the doorbell as for the music). There have been so many great suggestions for holiday music from all of you that I thought I would recap some of the albums with links that allow you to purchase CDs from Amazon. Anything bought from Amazon through a Folk Alley link will also send some "Christmas Cash" our way, money that goes straight to our bottom line, so I encourage shopping (mmm... shopping!).

From me: Ann Hampton Calloway - This Christmas
Cherish the Ladies - On Xmas Night
John Denver - Rocky Mountain Christmas
From Christine Taylor: Emmylou Harris - Light of the Stable
From Steve Pawlowski: Harvey Reid - The Heart of the Minstrel on Christmas Day
From Lisa Liscoumb, Barb Paegelow & others: John Denver & the Muppets - A Christmas Together
From Pam Parkinson: Hipsters' Holiday
From Joseph Ruback (sort of): Putumayo Presents: Christmas Around the World
From Garrett Fitzgerald: Nat King Cole - The Christmas Song
From Rick Brown: John Fahey - The New Possibility
From Melissa Langnes: Roger Whittaker - Christmas Album
From Dan Moss: Maggie Sansone - Sounds of the Season
From Jenna Fickes: Burl Ives - Have a Holly Jolly Christmas
From David Kirkham: Peter, Paul & Mary - Holiday Celebration
From Tom Pavlidis: Jewel - Joy - A Holiday Collection
From Jeff Chambers: John Fahey (lots of John Fahey fans) - Christmas Guitar

There, that's just a sampling (I could have listed individual songs, but I have to buy a tree tonight). Feel free to add more suggestions.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 4:14 PM | Comments (8)

25,000 - Whoo Hoo!

November 24, 2004

Thanks to all of you who have discovered Folk Alley in the past 14 months - who have E-mailed your friends - who have worn T-shirts and distributed stickers! Thanks to everyone who has helped us reach 25,000 registered users (there are more listeners who shyly listen via a media player - but we're working on them). When I return to my desk after our traditional Thanksgiving Day holiday, I want to tell the world about Folk Alley's latest milestone. If anyone knows a folk-friendly press type, please let me know. I love mailing press releases! Also, keep in mind any ideas you have for site improvements. We're still working without a full-time web designer (the job is listed on the web site if you're interested), so I can't promise anything right away, but we've had some great suggestions lately and this site is for you, so it might as well be what you want. To our U.S. listeners, Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 10:16 PM | Comments (12)

Alison Krauss & Union Station Release 'Lonely Runs Both Ways'

November 23, 2004

Fresh off of her CMA Award for her duet with Brad Paisley ("Music Video of the Year!" and "Musical Event of the Year!"), Alison Krauss is back with the unbeatable Union Station with their new effort, Lonely Runs Both Ways. The Rounder release is the band's first collection of original songs since 2001's Grammy Award-winning New Favorite. In the meantime, Krauss produced Nickel Creek's This Side, Krauss & Co. (and esp. Dan Tyminski) picked up numerous awards for their work on the soundtracks for Cold Mountain and O Brother, Where Art Thou and Jerry Douglas released his solo effort Lookout for Hope. Not to mention the live album, Live. Watch for Alison Krauss & Union Station to make the late night tv rounds in support of the new CD in the coming weeks.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 6:18 PM | Comments (2)

Folk Alley Live in Kent, Ohio

November 19, 2004

Tonight, for the first time, Folk Alley comes alive as Folk Alley 'Round Town fills bars, restaurants and other not-so-tradtional venues with folk music throughout Kent, OH as part of the 38th Kent State Folk Festival. The evening features a wide-range of artists and musical styles all performing from Noon til past Midnight to prove to the world that folk music is alive and well in Northeast Ohio. The KSFF concludes tomorrow (11/20) with free workshops and the mainstage concert featuring Doc Watson and David Holt.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 7:09 PM | Comments (7)

Rufus Wainwright "Want"s 2

November 17, 2004

Folk scion Rufus Wainwright has released his follow-up to last year's Want One, the cleverly titled Want Two, as a CD/DVD package. Wainwright, son of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, conceived of both CDs as a single project. With the demise of Dreamworks music subsidiary, the album was released on Geffen. Rufus also appears on the soundtrack for the new Bridget Jones movie.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 3:39 PM | Comments (1)

Only 10 More Days Til I Load Up the Xmas CDs

November 16, 2004

For those of you who barely make it through the holidays without trying to strangle a mall Santa, don't worry - I mean at home, not on Folk Alley. We will be sprinkling in some holiday flavor, but for me, the day after Thanksgiving means it's all Christmas, all the time in my automobile (which has been a little touchy lately - nothing a giant helping of nog won't fix). I have a large collection of music, some more beloved than others. Nothing is worse than looking forward to a CD and having it end up being only pedestrian. The bad thing about holiday music is that there are only so many songs to go around - so there are many repeats in my rotation. BTW, my family is not religious, but my dad lives for Christmas (go figure) so the music just makes me feel safe and happy. When I'm feeling down, sometimes I'll sneak a listen to the forbidden sounds in months that don't end in -er.

So here are a few of my (and I stress my) favorites. If I've left something off, make sure and tell me. It's time to start a second wallet of tunes.

Ann's list:
** Kingston Trio - Last Month of the Year (mmm, mmm, good)
** The Roches - We Three Kings (my current favorite)
** Asylum Street Spankers - A Christmas Spanking (naughty)
** Time-Life Treasury of Christmas, vol. 1 & 2 (a little bit of everything)
** The Chieftans - The Bells of Dublin (a gift from my great brother)
** O Christmas Tree (bluegrass for the holidays)
** Ray Conniff & the Ray Conniff Singers - We Wish You a Merry Christmas (spray cheese in a can)
** Dean Martin - A Winter Romance (see above)

Ho, ho, ho, hee, hee, hee!

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 4:59 PM | Comments (30)

Anniversary of the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

November 10, 2004

Nov. 10 marks the 29th anniversary of the wreck at sea of the cargo ship The Edmund Fitzgerald, immortalized by Gordon Lightfoot in song. Twenty-nine hands were lost in rough water on the Great Lakes and it has never been established exactly what brought the ship down. Lightfoot reportedly wrote the song because a newspaper story misspelled the name of the ship and he felt the seamen deserved greater respect. The Edmund Fitzgerald was on its way to Cleveland to deliver its freight when the accident took place and you can experience what it would be like to be aboard a similar steamship by taking a tour of the William G. Mather Museum. Great Lakes Brewing Company has a beer named after the ship.

On another Gordon Lightfoot note, you have until the end of this month to play our fun G.L. quiz (as more than 710 listeners already have) in honor of his new recording, Harmony. Remember, you only have one shot (no using that pesky "back" button either!). Tell your friends!

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 3:58 PM | Comments (6)

Country Music's Biggest Night is Tonight

November 9, 2004

Tonight (11/9) at 8 p.m. EST, America's Country Music Association presents the 38th Country Music Awards on CBS. Faith Hill and Willie Nelson will perform as part of the induction of Kris Kristofferson into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Also, Alison Krauss will perform her nominated duel with Brad Paisley and Patty Loveless will sing. Dolly Parton presents the coveted Entertainer of the Year Award. She is nominated for Musical Event of the Year for her duet with Norah Jones. All participants in the awards show have access to the "Gift Room" offering more than $300,000 worth of swag, including satellite radio systems, jeweled cases, brownies, cookies, dog biscuits, books, air fresheners and more.

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

Folk Alley Coordinator Job Posted

November 8, 2004

When we conducted our recent fund drive, one of the things we really wanted to accomplish was the addition of a full-time coordinator to our staff. This person would be completely dedicated to Folk Alley (at least during working hours). Well, the job has been posted on the Kent State University web site. To view the full job description or apply online, click here, click SEARCH POSTINGS in the top of the lefthand column and then scroll Department for WKSU Radio (it's in frames). The University-friendly title for the job is Manager, Internet Radio Service.

This is how the basic job requirements are written:
Manage the development, implementation, and coordination of Folk Alley, including programming, marketing, public relations, production, integration, and automation.

Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in broadcasting, marketing or other applicable field and 2 to 3 years broadcast production experience to include 2 years project management experience that has provided a strong understanding of online media and Internet marketing strategies and tactics. Must have in-depth knowledge of folk music, demonstrated skill in digital radio production, and understanding of web usability issues.

Search will continue until the position is filled. When applying on line, please submit a cover letter, resume and contact information for three professional references.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 2:48 PM | Comments (4)

Lead Belly Tributes This Weekend

November 5, 2004

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland continues its weeklong tribute to the Life and Music of Lead Belly this weekend with three special concerts. Tonight (Friday, Nov. 5) Oscar Brand and Josh White Jr. play at the Beachland Ballroom. Tomorrow (Sat., Nov. 6) the Beachland Ballroom will host a special concert featuring Jon Langford, the Tarbox Ramblers and a rare grown-up show by Dan Zanes and Friends.

This Sunday Nov. 7, the Ninth American Music Masters Series concludes with the highlight of the week - the Tribute Concert at Severance Hall. Harry Belafonte will open the evening. Performers will include Robert Plant, Los Lobos, Odetta, Dave Alvin, Alison Krauss, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, John Hiatt, Oscar Brand, Josh White, Jr., Tarbox Ramblers and others very special guests. More information here.

Posted by Bob Burford at 2:18 PM | Comments (1)

Iris Dement Releases "Lifeline"

November 3, 2004

The lyrical Iris Dement has released Lifeline, her first album since 1996's The Way I Should. In between, she lent her instantly recognizable voice to projects that included the Songcatcher soundtrack and Going Driftless, a tribute to her new husband Greg Brown. Lifeline is the first CD released on Dement's own FlariElla Records label and is a collection of gospel songs.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 5:21 PM | Comments (4)

Capitol Records Releases John Lennon "Acoustic"

November 2, 2004

Just in time for the holidays, a new collection of acoustic John Lennon recordings (many of them demos or home recordings) has been released on the Capitol Records label. Although many of the songs on Acoustic can be found on the Beatles Anthology, producer Yoko Ono has come up with 7 new non-electric versions of Lennon performing his work.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 6:59 PM | Comments (1)

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