Old Man Luedecke ~ Just Like A River

1 06 2009

old man luedeckewithin a matter of hours of having restrung my banjo for the first time in well over a year, i was given a copy of Old Man Luedecke’s new record, Proof Of Love, the act itself analagous of every event related to my banjo picking history. suffice to say that his pickin and frailin have been some encouragement to my rusty claw, and the present song is just the kind of thing my ears and mind get lost in over multiple rewinds, and just the way that springtime sounds to me these days. it also carries with it that certain happy-sad strength that somehow inhabits all my favourite blues and folk songs.. not that there was likely any doubt for the early Luedecke’s music, but i guess what i’m saying here is that the Old Man’s young for sounding already like one of the Greats. Definitely one to watch..

DOWNLOAD Old Man Luedecke ~ Just Like A River

VISIT oldmanluedecke.ca and myspace.com/oldmanluedecke

BUY Proof of Love at the Black Hen Music online store.

Happy Birthday, Pete Seeger!

3 05 2009

peteseegermy warmest birthday wishes to Pete Seeger who today turns 90 years old. (and thanks so much for your 5 string banjo instruction book which is both informative and entertaining.)

DOWNLOAD a Pete Seeger Banjo Medley

Kelly Joe Phelps ~ Hattie’s Hat

28 03 2009

kjpWestern Bell, the new record from Kelly Joe Phelps, was released last week and i was pleasantly surprised at this latest offering. it is a different kind of front porch music than i expected; more like listening to him noodling around on his guitar than a collection of songs. not much for beginnings middles and ends, and Hattie’s Hat is just about as country blues as Western Bell gets. it’s closer to KJP’s jazz roots than to the stomp box and gin bottle slide flavour of his early work, and probably more string-virtuoso in a Bill Frisell way than anything else. i do miss the strength and wisdom of his smoky vocals but don’t get me wrong; none of this is a criticism. Western Bell is full of lovely sounds and easy feel..

DOWNLOAD Kelly Joe Phelps ~ Hattie’s Hat

VISIT kellyjoephelps.com/

BUY Western Bell direct from KJP’s online store.

Bill Frisell ~ Wildwood Flower

24 03 2009

frisellGuitar master Bill Frisell’s recent Best Of is a 100% guaranteed delight for your earballs. frankly there is not much more to be said about it but that.. if you haven’t heard his work yet then get this record!

DOWNLOAD Bill Frisell ~ Wildwood Flower (Originally from Ghost Town)

VISIT billfrisell.com/ and myspace.com/billfrisellofficial

BUY The Best of Bill Frisell vol. 1 – Folk Songs and much more direct from Frisell’s online store.

Steve Earle ~ Ben McCulloch

28 11 2008

banjofor several weeks now i have been mixing a musical at the theatre – You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown – which is both a lot of fun and, as always happens when i mix a show like this 8 or 9 times a week, a daily infusion of songs stuck in my head. the mitigating factor has been my iPod which i have lately been using not for beats and bleeps but for songs with words in them in order to have something different – and far less showtuney – in mind. so i will probably be sharing some of the favourites with you in the coming weeks, and frankly, in my library, a lot of this thing is somewhat dated, but worth revisiting anyway, and ranking must-have if you are unfamiliar. to wit:

as a brilliant musician and inspired storyteller, Steve Earle is certainly on par with the likes of Bob Dylan and Tom Waits, though he arguably hasn’t garnered the popular respect they’ve found. no doubt that he has earned it, and i suppose he holds instead a dedicated following of strong pride and quiet faith. if you haven’t listened to anything Earle since, say, Copperhead Road, or his version of the Waits tune/The Wire title track, Way Down In The Hole, then you are sorely missing out. and though he has many more recent releases, the present track is from 1997’s Train A Comin’ which has always been a very favourite of mine. it’s a record that strikes emotions and stomps your feet too.

DOWNLOAD Steve Earle ~ Ben McCulloch

VISIT steveearle.com/ and myspace.com/steveearlemusic

BUY Steve Earle records and swag direct from his store.