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Odetta Visits 'Morning Edition'

December 30, 2005

In 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr. called Odetta "The Queen of American Folk Music." With her deep, rich voice she has carried blues, gospel and songs of America throughout the world, bringing listeners together through music. Odetta stopped by the National Public Radio (NPR) studios in Washington to celebrate her 75th birthday while on tour in support of her new CD, Gonna Let it Shine. Steve Inskeep's interview includes impromptu singing from Odetta and is very emotional (I cried - but I'm an easy touch). Odetta's tour continues through next year with stops in the U.S., Canada, Latvia and Scotland.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 3:54 PM | Comments (5)

Matt Watroba Returns to WDET

December 28, 2005

Michigan DJ Matt Watroba is back on the air at Detroit's WDET. His program, "Folks Like Us," ran for nearly 18 years before it was cancelled in favor of WDET's attempt at adult-alternative music programming in Sept. 2004. Now, the music format has been scrapped for all-talk and Watroba's back in business on Saturdays. A group of listeners, angry at the loss of daytime music, has filed a class-action lawsuit against the station and its license holder, Wayne State University, citing fraud. Welcome back Matt!

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 5:07 PM | Comments (5)

Roots Music "Scores" Golden Globe Noms

December 13, 2005

Americana, rootsy soundtracks earned two Golden Globe nominations for original song from a film - A Love That Will Never Grow Old by Emmylou Harris from the alt-cowboy flick, Brokeback Mountain, and Travelin' Thru by Dolly Parton from the alt-road trip movie, TransAmerica. While the western theme of Brokeback lends itself to music by Steve Earle and Willie Nelson (and songs by Rufus Wainwright for the "alt" part), it's nice to see roots-based artists - like Lucinda Williams, Jim Lauderdale, Ralph Stanley, Old Crow Medicine Show, Heather Myles and Larry Sparks - making their voices heard in the buzzed-about Felicity Huffman vehicle. And anytime acoustic music makes it onto a non-traditional, international stage, it's a good thing for folk music in general.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 4:04 PM | Comments (3)

Canadian Folk Music Awards Presented

December 12, 2005

The first-ever Canadian Folk Music Awards were handed out Saturday in Gatineau, Quebec. The awards honored work created in the past year. Here is a list of winners:

Best World Artist - Alpha Yaya Diallo
Best Album, Traditional - Les Amants du Saint-Laurent (Le Vent du Nord)
Best Album, Contemporary - Jimson Weed (Nathan)
Best Singer, Traditional - Ian Robb
Best Singer, Contemporary - Lynn Miles
Best Songwriter-English - Lynn Miles
Best Instrumental-Solo - J.P. Cormier
Best Instrumental-Group - Beyond the Pale
Best Ensemble - Genticorum
Best Emerging Artist - Karla Anderson
Producer of the Year - Steve Dawson (for work with Jenny Whiteley) and Jordy Sharp (for work with Harry Manx)
Pushing the Boundaries - Creaking Tree String Quartet
Best Solo Artist - Harry Manx
Best Vocal Group - Nathan

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 4:42 PM | Comments (4)

Grammy Nominations In

December 9, 2005

The Recording Academy has announced nominees for the 48th Grammy Awards. Prizes will be doled out on Feb. 8 at the Staples Center in LA. Of the 108 categories (no wonder they have to hand out so many off camera!), several include artists familiar to Folk Alley fans. Here are just a few:

Best Traditional Folk Album:
Live from Dublin: A Tribute to Derek Bell - The Chieftains
Come on Back - Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Fiddler's Green - Tim O'Brien
Live in the UK - Tom Paxton
Cajun Mardi Gras! - Jo-EL Sonnier

Best Contemporary Folk Album:
Chavez Ravine - Ry Cooder
The Outsider - Rodney Crowell
Why Should the Fire Die? - Nickel Creek
Fair & Square - John Prine
Devils & Dust - Bruce Springsteen

Best Bluegrass Album:
Marbletown - Blue Highway
Cherryholmes - Cherryholmes
The Grascals - The Grascals
The Company We Keep - The Del McCoury Band
Ragin' Live - Rhonda Vincent and the Rage

Best Country Instrumental Performance:
I'll Fly Away - Charlie Daniels
Who's Your Uncle - Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush & Bela Fleck
Unionhouse Branch - Alison Krauss & Union Station
Scotch & Chocolate - Nickel Creek
Time Warp - Brad Paisley

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 4:08 PM | Comments (2)

Links for Seasonal Music on Folk Alley

Here are links for artists and CDs mentioned in the Dec. (can it really be December already?) Folk Alley Chat story about holiday music. Happy holidays (and I mean that sincerely - there, now I've taken care of my entire Christmas card list)!:

Lee Murdock - Christmas Goes to Sea
Various Artists - To: Kate - A Benefit for Kate's Sake
Ricky Skaggs, etc. - A Skaggs Family Christmas
Harvey Reid & Joyce Andersen - Christmas Morning
Alex Bevan - A Child Might Look at Christmas Eve
Odetta - Gonna Let it Shine
Kate & Anna McGarrigle - The McGarrigle Christmas Hour
Kathy Mattea - Joy for Christmas Day
Neal & Leandra - Angels & Fools
NewGrange - A Christmas Heritage
Sloan Wainwright - On a Night Before Christmas
Christopher Williams - Unbrokensong
Robin & Linda Williams - The First Christmas Gift
Windham Hill Artists - The Night Before Christmas
Peter Ostroushko - Heartland Holiday
Leslie Ritter & Scott Petito - This Christmas Morning
Hull & Larson - The Goose is Getting Fat

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 1:25 PM | Comments (2)

Cyril Neville, Willie Nelson, Todd Snider Jump on Board Arlo Guthrie's Katrina Benefit

December 2, 2005

(Sebastian, Fla.) December 2, 2005 -- Cyril Neville, Willie Nelson, Todd Snider are all on board for Arlo Guthrie & Friends: Ridin on the City of New Orleans -- Bringing Back the Music -- Benefiting Victims of Katrina -- if you can’t jump on board you can help from your station by going to the Guthrie Foundation website.

Cyril Neville joins the benefit concerts at the Vic in Chicago, Ill. Dec. 5 and the Lincoln Cultural Center in Kankakee, Ill. Dec. 7.

One of the four Neville Brothers, Cyril Neville was the youngest, born on January 10, 1948, in New Orleans, LA. Cyril picked up his love of music from his parents and his older brothers. Whether you listen to Cyril Neville’s music or soak it in live, prepare to be both educated and entertained.

Willie Nelson with his harmonica-playing sidekick Mickey Rafael joins in in New Orleans at Tipitina's on Dec. 17. Arlo and Willie share the honor of recording the definitive versions of Steve Goodman's song "City of New Orleans."

The iconic Texan is the creative genius behind historic recordings like "Crazy," "Hello Walls," “Red Headed Stranger” and “Stardust.” Willie’s career has spanned six decades. He's earned every conceivable award and honor to be bestowed a person in his profession. He has also amassed reputable credentials as an author, actor and activist.

Nashville songwriter, Todd Snider meets the Train and plays the Memphis concert on Dec. 13 at the New Daisy.

“Todd Snider is proof that not all songwriters lack a sense of humor -- Todd Snider might be the only singer alive whose between-song patter is more entertaining than his songs. That's not a rip on Snider's songwriting ability, which is impressive." --Steven Hyden

Arlo & Friends will start at The Vic Theatre in Chicago on Dec. 5 and arrive in New Orleans to perform at Tipitina’s on Dec. 17th. Arlo, his son Abe with his band, Xavier, and daughter Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion, will hold seven concerts along the route. Some of Arlo’s friends will step aboard along the way, including Guy Davis, Ramsay Midwood, Kevn Kinney with Drivin' n' Cryin', The Burns Sisters, John Flynn, Gordon Titcomb, and now Willie Nelson, Cyril Neville and Todd Snider riding on this “southbound odyssey.”

Focusing on small clubs and venues, Arlo and friends will work with manufacturers and arrange to bring donations to New Orleans. They will help to facilitate the restoration of the musical infrastructure in New Orleans and the surrounding area. MusiCares, The Recording Academy’s safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need, will help distribute “the gear,” along with Tipitina’s Foundation.

“When I think of New Orleans, I think of music,” Arlo said in a public note a few weeks ago. “New Orleans is the city that truly began America’s contribution to the history of music worldwide. (Sebastian, Fla.) When I wonder what they might need in New Orleans to get back on their feet, the stuff that gets ruined under water, I think of all the sound boards, the cables, the lighting, the microphones, the instruments.”

“I am determined to help restore all of those little places and bring the music back as soon as possible,” he continued “I contacted Amtrak to help us take today’s City of New Orleans from Chicago all the way down to New Orleans.”

At you can both purchase concerts tickets and contribute financial support to the cause.

Arlo Guthrie & Friends: Ridin' on the City of New Orleans (Bringing Back the Music -- Benefiting Victims of Katrina) in partnerships with Amtrak, Gibson Guitar, MusiCares, Tipitina’s Foundation, Jay Goldberg Events & Entertainment, a variety of music related companies, and you will help keep this American cultural treasure alive.

Posted by Linda Fahey at 10:57 AM | Comments (1)

The Music World Loses Chris Whitley and Fritz Richmond

Two talented musicians who made their mark in Folk music passed away last week. Singer/songwriter Chris Whitley was only 45 when he died of lung cancer (he had been diagnosed only 5 weeks earlier). His life was hard-fought, with success as performer coming to him when he was already in his 30s and he was just recently hitting his stride. He released Soft Dangerous Shores in July, with another, Reiter In, that will now be released posthumously.

Fritz Richmond also died of lung cancer, at age 66. Richmond was recognized as one of the world's best washtub bass and jug players. He was the house bassist for Boston's famed Club 47 and performed in the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, learning the jug by mimicking old LPs. He also worked as a recording engineer for artists including Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt and is credited for starting the '60s fashion trend of wearing granny glasses with colored lenses. One of Richmond's washtub basses is in the Smithsonian Institution.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 10:45 AM | Comments (2)

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