August 20, 2010
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Arvo Pärt returns to symphonic structure and scope, in a new work scored for string orchestra, harp, tympani and percussion: the Symphony No. 4 ‘Los Angeles’. Almost 40 years after his Third Symphony, the Estonian composer wrote his Fourth for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen – and ECM releases their premiere performance, recorded live in January 2009, to celebrate Pärt’s 75th birthday (on 11 September). This is the first symphonic work Pärt has written since developing his “tintinnabulation” style. A composition in three movements, it opens with characteristically shimmering suspended chords, and an extraordinary journey begins. “The symphony is large,” wrote Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times, “and exceedingly beautiful.” You’ll be able to watch a live performance on BBC 4 tonight from 7.30 or hear it by tuning into Radio 3.
August 20, 2010
Some of you, like I, will have seen this duo (in my case with the now departed Ginger) prforming either at some folk event, or possibly if you’re lucky, unexpectedly somewhere in the British countryside. They have the looks of lovable rougues and their simple act of walking around Britain, sometimes for months at a time, singing for their supper and relying on the kindness of strangers might seem curiously out of step with the rest of us. But then there’s also a sense of envy perhaps that makes that seem so. A simple life, unburdened, seems so out of reach for most of us. I was surprised and delighted as I took my ease, settled down for Sunday night in front of the idiot lantern, when they popped up in Secret Britain, the sort of Contryfile extra, revelling in our natural splendour. I’ve been so carried away with multiple news threads that I clean forgot to get the i-player link up and of course it will go down on Sunday but thankfully its up on Vimeo, so here it is.
August 19, 2010
This is another post that’s been buring a hole in my pocket, but with my holiday and other duties I just haven’t got round to. Still better late than never… They were nominated for a Juno, the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy, somewhere back there earlier in the year, but Madison Violet have now won…
for their song The Ransom. The judging panel was made up of a fairly diverse selection of rock and pop glitterati, which makes this all the more impressive. Music Fog have a recording of it, but I’ll leave you to link to that here and instead add their latest video recording of Lauralee because it’s bloody lovely. Mind you so is the award winner!!
August 18, 2010
We haven’t posted blues in a while, so when this landed in my inbox I thought it a great opportunity to share this live video with you that shows Joanne at her best. Shes touring from the end of October through November and word is that there’ll be a new album as well, although no details of that are available at present. Anyway, if the video below is anything to go by (which it is) you’ll be wanting to book your tickets straight away to avoid disappointment. the dates are October 22,23 Jersey -Thelma’s Show Lounge November 9 Scarborough – Blues Club 11 Grimsby -Yardbirds Club 12 Hartlepool –Woodcutter 13 Guisborough – RNB Club 15 Oxford – Bullingdon Arms 16 Chislehurst – Beaverwood Club 17 Exeter – TBA 18 Wolverhampton – Robin 2 19 Aylsbury – Limelight Theatre 20 Devizes – Long Street Blues Club 24 Sheffield – Boardwalk 25 Billericay – Crawdaddy Club 26 Leckhampton – Wheatsheaf 27 Derby – Flower Pot.
August 18, 2010
This is one of those little coincidences. I’d been sitting on this Music Fog video for a few days looking for an opportunity to drop it into the mix following the release of the Stonehoney’s The Cedar Creek Sessions CD last week. Regulars will know I’m a big admirer of Music Fog anyway, so when someone sends me a link I tend to use it, but then the CD went into the player in the office this morning and I found myself foot tapping, enjoying it very much. It’s another corker from Austin’s excellent Music Road Records label that has very quickly become one of my favourites. The bands strength lies in the four man front line, all songwriters and clearly capable singers, as they harmonise very well indeed and Music Road had the confidence to let them recordtheir debut live in the studio without recourse to unecessary trickery, overdubs and so forth. It’s worked a treat as there’s a great sense of energy throughout as this video for White Knuckle Wind seems to amply demonstrate. Hopefully you’ll enjoy this as much as I did…
August 17, 2010
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Released by Drag City in the US and by Navigator in the UK, Alasdair Roberts Too Long In This Condition is out this week. In typically surprising style 10 of the 11 featured tracks are traditional folk songs, delivered with Alasdair’s tradmark dextorous guitar picking and vocal delivery. A pretty dark bunch of tales they are too, which makes the somewhat jaunty backing, provided by some of Glasgow’s finest, all the more potent. Having spent the last couple of months blogging A Folk Song A Day, at least two of these have made Jon’s list and I’m certain there are more to come, but what’s really intriguing is to hear such wildly different interpretations of the same ballads. Anyway, courtesy of the Guardian here are three links to Alasdair a review of the album, a longer feature from The Observer and also a video of him talking about the writing of and then performing the title track from the Farewell Sorrow album. But to clue you in on the new record, here’s an audio of Young Emily, also know as Edward (Edwin, Edmund) Of The Lowlands, that nicely flags up the dark deeds mentioned afore. If you’re interested you can read more about this murderous ballad on the AFSAD site by folowing this link.
Alasdair Roberts & Friends- Young Emily