Saturday, May 28, 2005
The Strawbs, those 1970s folk-rockers, are back at it - The Register-Guard
What started as a bluegrass band named after Strawberry Hill - in Leicester, England - and evolved into one of the pioneering folk-rock acts of the 1970s has been reborn as an acoustic trio.
The Strawbs - featuring founding member David Cousins, Dave Lambert and Chas Cronk - are on the road in support of their 2004 album 'Deja Fou.' The tour leads to Cafe Paradiso, 115 W. Broadway, at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Devendra Banhart | Young God Records
I first heard the crude home made recordings of Devendra Banhart, then a homeless, wandering, neo psych/folk hippie artist and musician, not yet 21 years old. We released these recordings on YGR because we'd never heard anything quite like them, ever. His voice - a quivering high-tension wire, sounded like it could have been recorded 70 years ago - these songs could have been sitting in someone's attic, left there since the 1930's. The response was astounding . Devendra soon moved here to NYC (from SF), where he lived in squats, couch-surfed, and finally found himself a home (very recently), suddenly riding a tidal wave of press acclaim, 3 or 4 US tours, tours in Europe, a special feature on NPR (for God's sake) – in short, a seismic shift in his fortunes. He's the most genuine, least cynical and calculated artist I've ever known, and he deserves every bit of the good things now coming his way. He's also one of the most innately talented, magical performers I have ever heard. Period. He GIVES. This kind of generosity and breadth of emotion is all too rare these days. Whether the songs are pained, twisted, whimsical, or even sometimes weirdly silly, aside from being fantastically musical and expertly played, they are also utterly sincere, and devoid of a single drop of post modern irony. In short, he's the real thing.
'You had to hold on to the furniture when Sandy sang'
The life, death and reputation of Sandy Denny are a perfect case in point. Equipped with an incredible voice and an immense songwriting talent, she was none the less plagued by the chronic insecurities that led her into excess. Her drinking partners included the late Keith Moon and John Bonham; the folk-tinged milieu from which she came also included Nick Drake. She died aged 31, in 1978 - but whereas lesser talents have been posthumously feted, she remains a decidedly cult interest.
For some, that's a sign of her singular talent. 'The thing that always amazed me about Sandy,' says her friend and contemporary Linda Thompson, 'was that she thought she actually could appeal to the masses. Of course she couldn't - and who would want to? If you're writing songs that people can shoot themselves to, you know you're not going to be in the charts. Sandy's music was uncomfortable. It demanded too much.'
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Maartin Allcock News
And musician Maartin Allcock will no doubt be paying a visit to his parents, who still live on Langley, before appearing at the Bury Met this Saturday.
Maartin - he started spelling his name with two 'a's after an Irish musician remarked on his north Manchester accent while introducing himself - plays lead guitar with one of his many bands, Blue Tapestry, at the Met this weekend.
A great friend of broadcaster, musician and comic Mike Harding, Maart was in the vanguard of the Harding-inspired re-introduction of the folk music scene to Middleton in the early 1970s, principally at the Ring o' Bells in St Leonard's Square.
Since those early days Maartin Allcock, now aged 48, was catapulted to the top of the music pile, becoming a member of folk icons Fairport Convention for 11 years, and later Jethro Tull, for four years.
Richard Thompson News : Plans Album, Box, Live Releases
Revered singer/songwriter/guitarist Richard Thompson has an impressive slate of releases planned throughout the rest of 2005, including a new studio album, a five-disc box set and several live CDs and DVDs.
The new studio work, 'Front Parlour Ballads,' will be Thompson's first solo acoustic album in more than 25 years. Due Aug. 9 through Cooking Vinyl USA, the album boasts 13 songs, with instrumentation largely performed by Thompson and only occasional percussion added by Debra Dobkin (Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt).