Monday, February 22, 2016

Folks Back Home

I reviewed 19 showcases at the Folk Alliance Conference on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  I’m not particularly enthused by dust bowl ballad revivalists, bluegrass traditionalists or fiddle champions, but I found plenty of international acts, outsider musicians and straight-up rock bands to embrace.  Video links to my ten favorite Folk Alliance acts of 2016 follow.

  1. Lady Maisery (absurdly talented British trio)
  2. Maarja Nuut (visionary Estonian woman)
  3. Tarabband (dance band led by an Iraqi refugee)
  4. Chris Bathgate (Midwestern chamber-rock)
  5. WÖR (the Belgian band goes “back to the 1780s”)
  6. Sutari (enchanting Polish trio)
  7. Birds of Chicago (Joe Henry produced the freaky rock band’s new album)
  8. Twelfth Day (Scottish art-folk duo)
  9. Ben Caplan & the Casual Smokers (Canadian beardos)
  10. Leyla McCalla (a former Carolina Chocolate Drop)

I reviewed Bill Frisell’s concert at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art on Sunday.

I reviewed a concert by Vance Joy, Elle King and Jamie Lawson on Thursday.

reviewed Live at Pilgrim Chapel, the new album by David Basse and Joe Cartwright, for KCUR.

I write weekly music previews for The Kansas City Star and Ink magazine.

Denise Matthews, the woman better known as Vanity, has died.  She was my first celebrity interview.  I met her in a hotel suite as she was promoting the action movie The Last Dragon.  I haven’t forgotten the scent of her perfume and each alluring fold of her bathrobe. 

The EPK about Lou Tavano doesn’t convince me that I need to hear the French vocalist’s album, but her speaking voice… oh man.

Lawrence Brownlee and Jason Moran for the win.

Herlin Riley’s New Direction has a few nice moments.  RIYL: jazz drummers, Roy Haynes, swing.

(Original image of Chris Bathgate’s band by There Stands the Glass.)

1 comment:

bgo said...

I reckon Canadian Beardos is a fabulous name for a band from Mexico who sing in Kurdish.