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Folk

Barna Howard – Quite a Feelin’

Exploring the Music of Singer-Songwriter, Folkie – Barna Howard and his album – 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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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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New Music from an Old Favorite – David Wilcox – blaze!

David Wilcox IIOver the last few weeks, I’ve made reference to listening to David Wilcox’s new album blaze,  today I  listened to it again and I think it’s time i write something about the album! For me David Wilcox has the whole package, he is an intelligent and thought songwriter, a great singer and a terrific guitar player. What more could one ask for? I’ve been listening to David since the late 80s when I heard him on the radio singing and discussing the titled track of his first album “The Nightshift Watchman” Which is a song about those people, who sit in underground bunkers watching the skies for a missile attack knowing full well that if they do their job, their job and the world as we know it may be over!! You can read the lyrics here. Many of David’s eighteen releases can  be found in my music library and I feel that blaze is  one of his best albums.

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Folk from the Texas Hill Country – Possessed by Paul James – There Will Be Nights When I’m Lonely

Possessed by Paul JamesNow maybe if I had caught this quote in No Depression back in 2010

“If I were to make a list of the 20 most important singer/songwriters of our time, Konrad Wert / Possessed by Paul James, would undoubtedly be among those at the very top.”

or this one from The Onion ??? back in 2007…..

“One-man band Konrad Wert grew up in a Mennonite family, raised by preacher father and a piano player mother, which accounts for both the baptized-in-fire-soul and musical versatility heard in his gritty Old World music. Wert’s mix of blues and vintage folk howls with a sense of explosive freedom and latent rage-not unlike an Amish kid emerging from the wilderness to discover America that instills his simple guitar/fiddle/stomp-box arrangements with unusual passion.” – The Onion 2007

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Life’s Soundtrack – An afternoon with the songs of Wyatt Easterling from Goodbye Hello!!

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Wyatt EasterlingSo today I spent time listening to two artists whose albums are currently on the Folk DJ Chart for January. The first was Wyatt Easterling whose album Goodbye –Hello is #33 and the second Steep Ravine and their album Trampin’ On which sits a little higher on the chart at #20. Neither of the artists names were familiar to me.

Hello GoodbyeAfter listening to the really well written songs on GoodbyeHello, especially my particular favorites “Teach Me How to Say Goodbye”, “If A Tree Falls” and “A Soldier Comes Home” I wondered where this new songwriter came from, what I found out is that this young songwriter released his debut album Both Sides of the Shore, on Moonlight Records (Warner Bros.) in 1981. Then he headed off to Nashville to make his way in the music business. To pay the bills, while he searched foe another record deal, he wrote for various song publishers. Then instead of writing songs and performing them, he became head of A&R for Atlantic Records. and that led to a twenty year career as a songwriter, producer, executive and/or session player. That career has been full of chart-topping songs including cuts with Dierks Bentley, Joe Diffie, Billy Joe Royal, Paul Thorn, Neal McCoy, Sons of the Desert, Robbie Hecht But these days, Easterling is embracing the life of a troubadour, focusing his energy on bringing his music and his stories directly to his audience. His new CD, Goodbye-Hello, is rich with wisdom, acceptance and optimism. “I must say it’s the most personal album I’ve recorded to date.”

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Thoughts about Dave Van Ronk “The Mayor of MacDougal Street”

The Mayor of MacDougal StreetSo I want to go and see the Coen Brothers new movie: “Inside Llewyn Davis” and surprisingly my wife does, too. I really don’t think she knows that the story is based on Dave Van Ronk’s memoirs because I don’t think she’s a fan of Van Ronk’s music! Anyway, until we get to go I thought that I’d like to read the book The Mayor of MacDougal Street first.So I used some of the money from a Barnes & Noble gift card that my daughter-in-law;law’s parents gave me for Christmas and bought it the other night. I’m not that far into it yet but I’m loving it already. Van Ronk always has had a flair for telling stories and he puts it to good work in his memoirs!! I’ll tell you more about it as I work my way through it. But tonight though my first thoughts were how about I go look up some videos from some of the musicians that populated MacDougal Street back in the day.One of the first names to pop into my head wasn’t Dylan, but Fred Neil and then I thought, hell, why not Van Ronk. The first music from Dave that came to mind was a piece that I heard every Sunday night back in the 60s and 70s and that would be the “St. Louis Tickle”. I heard it as the Gene Shay Folk Radio Show came in and out of commercial breaks. The song is an old piano rag that Van Ronk transcribed to make it a guitar piece. Here’s a good over of the song.

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A Good Run and Happy Birthday, Greg Trooper!!

So when I turned on my Runmeter app this afternoon, the first thing I saw was my last run – November 18, 2013 and I cringed! I knew it had been a long time since my last run, but I thought that the last one was closer to the end of the month!! It was about the time that the clocks got set back and it started getting dark at 5 o’clock! And then the weather turned nasty and cold and Christmas came along and before I knew it December was gone!! But then I also admit that I am a fair weather runner, when it gets dark and cold, this old body doesn’t really want to go out and run!! But today was nice the high temperature was in the upper 50s and it was sunny with hardly any wind!! I was also off, due to lack of work, (ugh!) and the gave me the opportunity to run in the sun!! I certainly told myself that all I wanted to do was get a 30 minute run in. I didn’t have to set any world speed records and I did a good job throughout the run of slowing down. I often use that trick that if you can talk comfortably you are running comfortably, and I often ask myself (out load) how I am doing and I respond back! If folks are watching they may think I’m crazy,but then again they probably just think I’m on the phone!! Don’t you love that when you are walking along and people come up from behind you and you here their voice and turn to respond only to find that they are talking on the phone!! Happens to me all the time at Target I hear a voice and turn and oh yeah!! But I digress, back to the subject at hand running, or at this point jogging!! So after many thoughts of cutting the run short and mentally figuring where I should turn around I made it to the second mile at between 21-22 minutes and I knew I could make it to the 3o minute mark!! The final distance for the 30:14 minute run was 2.8 miles for an average pace of 10:44 min/mile and I am satisfied with that now I just have to keep going!! The soundtrack for the run was a Prog Rock Album Clessidra from an Italian Prog Band Laviantica. You can read about it at FreeWheelin’ Music Safari Greg TrooperWhen I signed on to Facebook this morning I saw that it was the birthday of one of my favorite Americana musicians, Greg Trooper! Greg was born on this date in 1956 in was born in Neptune Township, New Jersey, and raised in nearby Little Silver. I first listened to Greg’s music sometime around 1999 when his  release Straight Down Rain,found its way into my library. That album was quickly followed by his prior release Popular Demons which had been released  in 1998, on Koch Records and produced by Buddy Miller. His current release Incident on Willow Street is currently number 2 on the Roots Music Report’s Roots Rock chart! Incident on Willow StreetHere’s Greg performing “All the Way to Amsterdam” one of my favorites from Incident on Willow Street! Happy Birthday, Greg!!

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“Into the Morning” with the music of Mark Erelli -“Volunteer”

Mark ErelliSo tonight I was thinking, I would post a song from one of my favorite folksinger songwriters. The first one that popped into my head was John Gorka, thoughts of John were quickly replaced by thoughts of Mark Erelli. I listened to Mark’ most recent release Little Vigils the other night and was reminded of what a great songwriter he is. .So  I thought that I’d post a video, maybe of one of my early favorites songs “They do it every day” but there was no Youtube video,for the song. Then I thought “Compass and Companion”,but then I spotted this video for his song “Volunteer” on Don Was’ My Damn Channel and I listened once again to this powerful song and again was blown away! Here’s what Don Was writes:

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Lunchtime Music – John Gorka – “People My Age” Oh My!

John GorkaOk so on Wednesday, my wife moved closer to that magical life milepost the big 60! I won’t say how close she is because if I did she’d say “Well, I’ll still never be older than you!” And she’s right because as you may know, I passed that mile post a couple of years ago! Anyway over the last couple of weeks I keep flashing back to the folksingers that I have loved over the years. This morning I remembered the said passing of Steve Goodman and on this date but in 1973, Jim Croce died in that tragic plane crash.

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