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Valentine's Day Music Stream Help

January 30, 2008

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OK - Folk Alley fans. I need your help. For Valentine's day, we're putting up our two special side-streams for the holiday. You may remember last year, the Love stream and the Alt-Love stream. The Love Stream will be devoted to happy, dappy, lovey, dovey, sappy, pappy, love songs. The Alt-Love stream will be devoted to break-up songs, losing you songs, I can't belive you dumped me songs, and I hate your guts/can't stand your face songs. So - here is the challenge. We need your suggestions for these two side streams. Respond to this blog with your favorite Love and Alt-Love songs and we'll do our best to make them appear magically in the stream. What songs should we play? Send us your suggestions before mid February and thanks. We Love You! OK - we like you.

Posted by Chris Boros at 3:13 PM | Comments (27)

Remembering John Stewart in Video

January 26, 2008

John Stewart, member of the famed influential folk band The Kingston Trio (1961-1967,) passed away on January 19th. Over the weekend I came across a number of videos showing John at various stages of his esteemed career, and thought I'd post them here. Rest in peace, John.

Andy Williams presents The Kingston Trio (1966)

John Stewart with John Hartford (1970) on Something Else.

John Stewart - performs "Gold"(1979) with Stevie Nicks.


John Stewart sings "Daydream Believer" (2007)

John Stewart Talk About the Kingston Trio

John Stewart performs "Walk On the Moon" recorded at the Turf Inn in Scotland (2001)

Posted by Linda Fahey at 9:10 AM | Comments (1)

Folk Performances Live On YouTube

January 24, 2008

YouTube is a wonderful thing. Type almost anything in the search box and three hours later you're watching something completely different and you wonder where your day went. Folk Alley General Manager Al Bartholet has been searching for folk artists and he's found some gems. Soon, we'll have a little archive set up. In the meantime, feel free links to your favorite vids (no skiing squirrels, please!) below. Here's what Al had to say:

"Fans and artists all pursue songs that they have fallen in love with - songs that you never get tired of hearing 25 years later. Angel from Montgomery shows up in the strangest places, like in the movie Courage Under Fire with Meg Ryan and Denzel Washington (Ryan sings the song under duress in a combat situation in the first Iraqi war). The song continues to be passed down from generation to generation. We start off with John Prine the writer, who gives some insight into the song and then performs it as he appears to be standing in a river. And then, of course, Bonnie Raitt who popularized the song in the '70s and on to Susan Tedeschi."

John Prine sings:


Angel from Montgomery performed by John Prine and Bonnie Raitt:

Bonnie Raitt performs:

Vintage Bonnie performance with Jerry Portnoy:

Susan Tedeschi with Sonya Kitchell:

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 3:33 PM | Comments (5)

Cookin' With New Releases (Better Read this before you order)

January 16, 2008

Frank Vignola ~ Kong Man
Never heard of Frank Vignola? Chances are you HAVE heard him even if you haven't heard OF him. He has played with Wynton Marsalis, Mark O'Connor, Les Paul, Leon Redbone, David Grisman, and Ringo Starr. Frank's specialty is "Gypsy Swing" and he pioneered the Django Rheinhart revival that has launched dozens of bands. Other releases by Vignola are more straight ahead jazz, but Kong Man really swings. His arrangements often feature trade-offs with young mandolin phenom Josh Pinkham. They offer several originals, a few classics and even attempt a few crossovers - Black Sabbath and Frank Zappa. At one point he even plays a fly swatter, but that's only because he has tackled the guitar completely. Vignola (pronouned "vin-YO=lah") can really play, and this album challenges the mind as it entertains the heart.

Gary Ferguson ~ Live at Podunk
Here's an album where the sidemen overshadow the leader. With the exception of three well played, thoughtfully arranged instrumentals, every song here is the same pace, about the same thing, and is sung without much energy or style. I was searching for one to choose that would shine above the others, but in the end I only suggested a couple of the instrumentals for inclusion on the Folk Alley stream. The sidemen are multi-instrumentalist Ron Stewart on fiddle who has the ability to play smooth like Kenny Baker, or soulful like Stuart Duncan. Emory Lester plays mandolin, and Mike Auldridge is on dobro. The Auldridge back-up on the slower songs makes you think of the early Seldom Scene, a sound it appears Ferguson is going for. He lacks the material, however, and he really lacks John Starling's stylistic delivery. This album appears to have a recipe and all the spices, but you've had this meal before - from better restaurants.

James Taylor ~ One Man Band
James Taylor loves the Berkshires as much as he loves a good song. That's why he dedicated his energy toward keeping a local theatre alive. Once dark, the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts is now open again and it's a beautiful place to see and to listen to music. Most of this is just James recorded this past summer. The album is somewhat misnamed, as Larry Goldings plays piano on most selections and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus joins them for one classic: Shower The People. You're sure to know many of the songs and a few may be new to you, but the entire recording is a pleasant return to the old days and Taylor is in good form. The live recording is impeccable. Ordering this album is like ordering a favorite meal at a favorite restaurant. You know what you're getting, and you're happy to indulge. Save the surprises for another day.

Rhonda Vincent ~ Good Thing Going
Rhonda Vincent has always followed in Alison Krauss' footsteps even though it was Krauss who entered the music scene because she heard Vincent. Originally part of a family band called "The Sally Mountain Show," Rhonda always stood out and she's been standing up on her own for years now. Like her other albums, this is driving contemporary bluegrass with one exception: World's Biggest Fool, a new song that sounds like an old swing number from the '40s. Her musicians are verstatile and handle it with flair. Like many other singers in the genre, Rhonda has hired a couple studio stars to make sure the songs stand up over repeated plays. I'll bet you can guess the names: Bryan Sutton and Ron Stewart. There are a couple songs where her own band is featured, notably banjoist Kenny Ingram who played with Lester Flatt and Jimmy Martin, I believe. Play this album loud, push the bass-boost button, and start dancing

Jim Blum

Posted by Jim Blum at 12:13 PM

Elana James' Live From Folk Alley Concert

January 15, 2008


Swing fiddle queen Elana James played a concert near Folk Alley headquarters recently, so we recorded it. On January 18 and 20, listen to the main music stream for a special hour-long version of this special concert recording at 4 AM, Noon, 8PM and 11:59PM Eastern US Time.

Posted by Chris Boros at 1:44 PM

Download January's Alleycast

January 8, 2008

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The Alleycast is Folk Alley's monthly Podcast featuring all the newest content on the site. For January 2008, download the episode to hear Folk Alley's exclusive concert recording with the jazz, swing, fiddle sounds of Elana James. Plus, we'll hear Folk Alley's in-studio session recording with Grada. We also listen to a special montage of the Best Folk of 2007, Open Mic artists and the often forgotten sounds of Karen Dalton, who only released two albums in the late 60s and early 70s. Download the Alleycast today.

Posted by Chris Boros at 11:49 AM

Live From Folk Alley - Best of 2007 Program

January 7, 2008

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In 2007, Folk Alley recorded twelve different exclusive concerts including shows from Arlo Guthrie, The Greencards, and Nickel Creek. This week, in the main music stream on Friday, January 11, and Sunday, January 13, listen for a special hour-long program featuring selections from 2007ís Live From Folk Alley concert recordings. In the main music stream: Friday, January 11, and Sunday, January 13 at 4 AM, Noon, 8 PM and 11:59 PM Eastern US Time.

Posted by Chris Boros at 12:43 PM | Comments (1)

The Best Folk of 2007 Music Stream

January 4, 2008


2007 was anaother amazing year for roots and acoustic music. From Richard Shindell's new album of cover songs to new bands like The Infamous Stringdusters, Folk Alley showcases the best folk from last year in our special "Best of 2007 Music Stream." Click the stream now to hear six hours of last year's greatest - unhosted with no artist repeats. Check it out. Bring on 2008!

Posted by Chris Boros at 4:09 PM

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