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Bravery – Poor Nameless Boy

Bravery – Poor Nameless Boy –  Saskatchewan, Canada.

One of the albums in my music rotation over the last week is Bravery from Poor Nameless Boy. Since one of my favorite mystery series is the Nameless Detective series this album immediately intrigued me. The fact that it is a damn good Americana album made, by well, a Canadian! Actually, Poor Nameless Boy does have a name – Joel Henderson. Henderson hails from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

The Music

The Songs of Poor Nameless Boy often tell the stories of both Joel’s own life and the lives of those he’s met along the way.  The songs on Bravery  are straight-to-the-heart style songs, and range from soft and sweet indie-folk numbers to twangy blues-infused cuts.

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Carrie Newcomer’s Music Highlights a Folk Friday

This week I have listened to some music from some artists that have been a staple in my music rotation for a number of years. On Wednesday, the playlist for my morning commute was composed on music from three of my acoustic guitar favorites Acoustic Alchemy, Alex de Grassi, and Brooks Williams. Then on Friday I decided that I would again make it Folk Friday. My choice as the artist for my morning commute was Carrie Newcomer. At some point on Wednesday I heard one of my favorite Carrie Newcomer songs “Holy as a Day is Spent” and I guess that was brought her music to the forefront for Friday.

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Barna Howard – Quite a Feelin’

Singer-Songwriter, Folkie – Barna Howard – Quite a Feelin’

I discovered the music of Barna Howard on the June 2015 Euro-Americana Chart , where his album Quite a Feeling held down the number eight spot. One night when I was going to work at Target I listened to the album for the first time. After listening to the first song “Indiana Rose”, I knew that Mr. Howard and I were going to get along just fine! Barna’s has a sound that harkens back to the folksingers of the 60s. He has a distinctive voice and his accompanying guitar playing is pretty nice also! So the question in my mind was – Who is this Barna Howard!

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Townes Van Zandt – March 7, 1944

Townes Van Zandt – Dean of Americana Songwriting

(March 7, 1944 – January 1, 1997)

On March 7, 1944, Townes Van Zandt was born. I am one of those people who just fairly recently discovered Townes’ music. I knew his name , but it really wasn’t until after Willie recored “Pancho & Lefty that I became aware of his immense talent. The first album that I bought was A Far Cry from Dead which was released in 1999, two years  after his death. Since then I’ve gone back and added several albums to my music library. Some background information from Wikipedia, for those who don’t know Townes:

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Forgotten Folksingers – Paul Clayton

Paul Clayton’s tie to Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”

The other day I was reading Dave Van Ronk‘s autobiography The Mayor of MacDougal Street. In the chapter I was reading Dave wasPaul Clayton sings home-made recalling fellow folksinger Paul Clayton.  Clayton was a graduate of the University of Virginia, He earned a master’s degree in Folklore. A true folksinger Clayton studied traditional music and sang mostly New England sea shanties and ballads and Appalachian songs.

At the point of his career in the mid  to late 1950s, that Van Ronk was writing about Clayton, had already recorded dozens of albums. Most of them revolved around a theme like: Songs of Love and Marriage, Songs of Hate and Divorce. and Waters of Tyne: English North Country Songs & Ballads.  Van Ronk writes: any time Clayton needed money, he would head to the library and look through an obscure folklore collection. Then he would visit Moe Asch at Folkways Records. He’d say “You know Moe. I was just looking through your catalog and I noticed that you don’t have a single album of Maine lumberjack ballads”

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Forgotten Folksingers – Paul Clayton with a tie to Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”

The other day I was reading Dave Van Ronk‘s autobiography The Mayor of MacDougal Street. In the chapter I was reading Dave wasPaul Clayton sings home-made recalling fellow folksinger Paul Clayton.  Clayton was a graduate of the University of Virginia,  where he earned a master’s degree in Folklore. Clayton was a true folksinger studying and singing traditional music mostly New England seas shanties and ballads and Appalachian songs. At the point of his career in the mid  to late 1950s, that Van Ronk was writing about Clayton had already recorded dozens of albums and most of them revolved around a theme like Songs of Love and Marriage, Songs of Hate and Divorce. and Waters of Tyne: English North Country Songs & Ballads.  Van Ronk writes that any time Clayton needed money, he would head to the library and look through an obscure folklore collection. He would then visit Moe Asch at Folkways Records and say “You know Moe. I was just looking through your catalog and I noticed that you don’t have a single album of Maine lumberjack ballads”

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My Summer Folk/Americana Playlist – Check it Out!

So on the left sidebar there is a playlist of some of my favorite songs from a variety of albums, most of which were released in July August and September of 2014. There are a couple that I’ve added from earlier months basically albums that I didn’t get around to writing about but  still really enjoyed! So here’s the list of the albums that the songs were taken from to make the playlist!

Milltowns

1. Milltowns Mark Erelli – September 2014

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Loudon Wainwright III -“I’ll Be Killing You This Year for Christmas”

From Loudon Wainwright’s Album – I Don’t Have the Blues (Yet) 

I missed this song  from Loudon Wainwright III last Christmas. The first time I heard the song “I’ll Be Killing You This Christmas” was last night on my way to work at Target, and as I listened I first thought, OK?  As the songs, continued I soon was smiling and then laughed out loud! The song is included on Wainwright’s new album I Don’t Have the Blues (Yet) and it’s one of the several new treasures , from the folksong master! I have written before that I have never been a big fan of Wainwright but after his last several albums, I have changed my opinion. Of course another reason may be that at 68 years old, Loudon is just slightly older than I am. and many of the songs in his last few albums have dealt with aging, songs like the title of his last album “Older than the Now” which talks about when you become older than your father ever was, and on this album “Brand Ne Dance”. Anyway, I’ve only listened to the album once and I don’t know that I made it all the way through, but as of right now, the Grade for the album is a B+ and rising!!

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Otis Gibbs presents some great – Souvenirs of a Misspent Youth!!

Otis Gibbs’  latest release Souvenirs of a Misspent Youth has been in my rotation for about a week now and the Souvenirs of a Misspent YouthIndiana native, East Nashville resident has crafted another fine album. For my money, Gibbs is one of the best songwriters out there today and this collection of songs may be his best effort yet! Gibbs’ songwriting talents rank right up there with the best, comparisons have been made to Woody Guthrie, TomT.Hall, Kris Kristofferson and Townes Van Zandt. His story-songs tell tales of everyday life.

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Listmania – My Top 10 All-Time Favorite Folk Artists…….

I have tried to stay away from lists on this blog. The main reason is that I find it very hard to rank artists. I think that's because my favorite is always the one that I'm listening to at the moment and also that I know I'm going to forget someone. This list actually is a list of the "Roots" of my folk music listening. These are the artists that have been with me for the whole ride, from vinyl to 8 track, cassettes, CD and the iPod. Should there be a woman or two on the list probably maybe Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins Emmylou Harris, probably but these guys are the core!! This is the first hopefully of several posts that will become pages on my site. Let's see there's the top branches, artist that I love from the 80s and 90s and then the leaves from the 2000s! How about songs?? I don't know if I can go there!! Anyway let me know who I forgot and then maybe I need to expand the list!!