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

Robert Pete Williams ~ Free Again

10 12 2008

rpwagaini looked for this record, originally recorded for Prestige Records in 1961, for many years, having had it loaned to me by a professor of mine while at school. between that prof and a harp-blowing friend i made during my brief residence in Ottawa, i was introduced to the whole world of the blues. all of the tapes i made of those records were long ago played right out, or left in a box of obsolete technologies. eventually i gave up the active search and was overjoyed last night to discover it all zipped up and ready for download at Blues Town.. and on a post almost a year old no less!

the son of Louisiana sharecroppers, Williams was jailed in 1956 for killing a man in a club (he claimed in self defense). he was discovered – and recorded – in Angola Penitentiary by Dr. Harry Oster and Richard Allen: ‘ethnomusicologists’ of the sort that really were ultimately responsible for the folk music explosion in the 60s (though they weren’t the only ones, by any means.)

as far as i’m concerned if you look up country blues in the dictionary, it should read something like: 1. Robert Pete Williams. 2. Sonny Terry. 3. Mississippi Fred McDowell. see also: Rev. Gary Davis.

DOWNLOAD Robert Pete Williams ~ Free Again

VISIT the illustrated RPW discography

BUY RPW records from Fat Possum Records and Arhoolie Records.

[via Blues Town]

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.