Listening to New Americana albums from some old friends….
Lately I have had trouble setting down and writing complete album reviews. I tell myself you need to review blah, blah, blah, then I pick up a book, start to read or find something else to do! But even though I haven’t been writing,I have been listening to and enjoying several new folk and Americana albums. What I decided to do, for at least this morning is to create a playlist with some tracks from three Americana albums that I have been in my musical rotation over the last week or so……..the playlist is on the sidebar! Here are the albums
Ain’t in No Hurry – jorma Kaukonen – Jorma is one of my favorite guitarists, electric or acoustic. Throught the years, I love his music whether it was with Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna or his solo albums. From Red House Records…..
The 11 tracks on Ain’t In No Hurry show Jorma at the top of his game. Playing with a confidence and touch that come from a lifetime spent writing and performing, he delivers a batch of originals that already sound like classics, interspersed with soulful interpretations of songs by the Carter Family and more. He includes a weighty version of the Depression Era classic, “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime” and ends the album with a solo acoustic original number, “Seasons in the Field,” a look at the seasons of one’s life, the passing of time and the loss of youth.
“You just can’t go backward. The arrow of time only goes in one direction,” says Jorma. “At this point in my life perhaps I should be in more of a hurry, but for me it’s more important that each piece fits in the right place at the right time. The songs you hear in this album cover a lot of ground for me. Some are very old, and some quite new. From where I came from to where I am today… it is all here. Music does not happen in a vacuum. The orbit of my life is constantly tangential to others and I am richer for it. I am surrounded by friends who help give voice to my dream.” Read More
The four tracks that are on the playlist are all editor’s picks at AllMusic Guide – Allmusic Guide
Tomorrow is My Turn -Rhiannon Giddens – Giddens a great singer and multi-instrumentalist, is best known by me, and most folks, as the front woman of the Americana string band the Carolina Chocolate Drops. The Chocolate Drops music is steeped in the roots music of Rhiannon’s home state of North Carolina While I can’t say that I am a big fan of th Chocolate Drops several of the tracks from their Grammy winning album Genuine Negro Jig are in my music library! Genuine Negro Jig won the Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album. On the album she takes the music of many female American musicians and makes the songs hers. From AllMusic Guide/…..
….she comfortably slips a subdued hip-hop drum loop into “Black Is the Color,” a standard here credited to Nina Simone, and blurs country and soul boundaries on Patsy Cline’s “She’s Got You.” These two are the most overt tamperings with tradition but Giddens is sly throughout Tomorrow Is My Turn, giving Elizabeth Cotten’s “Shake Sugaree” a deceptively lively little lilt and casting Dolly Parton’s “Don’t Let It Trouble Your Mind” as a rolling progressive folk tune that creates an invisible bridge between past and present. Read More
My favorite two tracks on this album after one listen are “Last Kind Words” and Elizabeth Cotten’s “Shake Sugaree”
Happy Prisoner:The Bluegrass Sessions – Robert Earl Keen – I love his music – “his music” are the key words in that statement so I wasn’t sure how I would like Robert Earl covering bluegrass standards, even though his music comes pretty close to bluegrass at times! When I gave the album the 30 second test, by listening to the first part of the opening track “Hot Corn/Cold Corn” still wasn’t sure but when I listened the second time. and made it to “Footprints in the Snow” followed “52 Vincent Lightning” and “99 Years for One Dark Day” I liked the album. From AllMusic….writes after the opening track …..
the fiddles, banjos, and mandolins keep this rooted within the accepted boundaries of the genre, and the players certainly do right by the songs. Just as importantly, Keen sings these numbers with a genuine enthusiasm and a dash of swagger that suit his Lone Star attitude, with a small but meaningful helping of twang (though he dials back the strutting for pathos on numbers like “East Virginia Blues” and “Long Black Veil”). Lloyd Maines, who has worked with Keen many times over the years, produced and engineered Happy Prisoner, and he brings a warm, natural sound to these sessions, which sound like a bunch of pickers circled around a mike in the best of all possible ways. Read More
Anyway I wouldn’t say I love the album, but I really like it. “52 Vincent Lightning” sounds like a Robert Earl Keen song as does “99 Years for One Dark Day” Keen also does a nice job covering “Long Black Veil” a song that fits Keen’s personality!!