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American Crossroads
Scouring the web for news, views and reviews on American roots music
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Josh Rouse's return to form

Josh Rouse's return to form | American Crossroads | Scoop.it

. . . . And then he seemed lost. There were more albums. More EPs. But the quality was not there. I always gave him a listen - but it didn't ever stick.

A few weeks ago an advance copy of his new album - out this week - arrived. The Happiness Waltz takes me back to 1972 and Nashville, to the best bits of 2006's Subtitulo (about where I left Rouse's music, for the most part) and it reminds me of the best aspects of most of the names I've already mentioned in this post. Gorgeous melodies that feel familiar almost instantly - check out opening track, Julie (Come Out of the Rain) and the closing title track. And, well, you can do the rest of the YouTubing yourself, but Start Up a Family and The Oceanwill tell you if this album is likely to be for you or not.

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Peter Cooper On Music: Seminal ‘Will the Circle Be Unbroken’ gets fresh vinyl pressing

Peter Cooper On Music: Seminal ‘Will the Circle Be Unbroken’ gets fresh vinyl pressing | American Crossroads | Scoop.it

Jeff Hanna looks at the photographs taken nearly 42 years ago, inside an East Nashville studio where long-haired rock ’n’ rollers gathered with un-scruffy elders who were, and still are, legends of country and bluegrass music.

“It was several lifetimes ago,” Hanna says. “There we were, in all our ragged glory, with these amazing folks. And we were all smiling, making music and busting strings.”

Then, as now, Hanna was a member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, a roots-minded rock group that sprung from Los Angeles and that had notched a major radio hit with a version of Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles.”

Inspired by the ecumenical musical visions of group manager Bill McEuen and banjo great Earl Scruggs, Hanna, John McEuen, Jimmie Fadden, Jim Ibbotson and Les Thompson came to Woodland Sound Studios and recorded a three-album song-set called “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” with a cast of guests that included Scruggs, Mother Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, Roy Acuff, Merle Travis and Jimmy Martin.

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New banjos, mandolin from Morgan Monroe

New banjos, mandolin from Morgan Monroe | American Crossroads | Scoop.it
The folks at Morgan Monroe have introduced a number of new instruments which may be of interest to the bluegrass/acoustic market. They are even giving away one of the new banjo models in July from their Facebook page to help spread the word.
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Springtime in New Orleans means music - Tampabay.com

Springtime in New Orleans means music - Tampabay.com | American Crossroads | Scoop.it

Springtime in New Orleans means music
Tampabay.com
In particular, as Mardi Gras recedes in the rearview mirror and April looms large, it's nearly impossible for a fan of American roots music not to ponder a pilgrimage to the Crescent City. Jazzfest . . .

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10 by The Black Keys (Part 2) | RCR | American Roots Music

10 by The Black Keys (Part 2) | RCR | American Roots Music | American Crossroads | Scoop.it
And here's the rest of the story – from the band's major-label debut, Magic Potion, to the Grammy-winning El Camino.
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Mark Lavengood vinyl EP

Mark Lavengood vinyl EP | American Crossroads | Scoop.it
Mark Lavengood, reso-guitarist with Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys, has released a self-titled EP on 7” vinyl. The four tracks on the album cover the two sides of this talented Michigan picker.
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TICKET GIVEAWAY: Greensky Bluegrass @ The Troubadour, LA, CA 3/16/13 - Live Music Blog (blog)

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Greensky Bluegrass @ The Troubadour, LA, CA 3/16/13 - Live Music Blog (blog) | American Crossroads | Scoop.it

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Greensky Bluegrass @ The Troubadour, LA, CA 3/16/13 Live Music Blog (blog) Rising stars of the bluegrass world Greensky Bluegrass are making a swift return to the LA area after burning it up at a sold-out show at The Mint in November...

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Bill Evans presents The Banjo in America on March 9th at the North Columbia Schoolhouse

Bill Evans presents The Banjo in America on March 9th at the North Columbia Schoolhouse | American Crossroads | Scoop.it

"Tracing the banjo from its West African roots to the New World, I perform musical examples from the 1700's to the present day on a variety of vintage instruments," says Evans. The instruments range from an African ekonting to a mid-19th century minstrel banjo, a modern bluegrass banjo and even an electric banjo.

WNMC's insight:

Yet another Bill Evans! (a pianist, two saxophone players, and now, a banjo player). And yet another worthwhile Bill Evans. His CD from last year was very well thought of down here at WNMC. Hopefully this project will spawn a CD.

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Music Review: Gurf Morlix, Finds the Present Tense

Music Review: Gurf Morlix, Finds the Present Tense | American Crossroads | Scoop.it

Gurf Morlix inhabits "the muddy": the fecund reading room of a library of idioms encompassing folk, country, and blues. Morlix sings in a tone somehow both affectless and mournful, as if a shadow of death had already crept in and half-zombified his emotions. Part of the pleasure in his new album, his first of original songs in three years, derives from the contrast between scenery and focus: the suffusive sadness of the melodies, the stark and rootsy Americana sounds, and the mordant lyrics, set against the insistent hint of a residual innocence in Morlix's broad, flat vocal delivery..

WNMC's insight:

In our Alt. Country rotation now!

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Album Review – Son Volt: Honky Tonk [Rounder Records]

Album Review – Son Volt: Honky Tonk [Rounder Records] | American Crossroads | Scoop.it
From the ashes of one of the pivotal harbingers of the late 80′s alt.country movement, Uncle Tupelo, Jay Farrar’s Son Volt has continued to carry the torch of classic country and rock music for seven albums now.
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Lightnin’ Hopkins: The Herald Sessions

Lightnin’ Hopkins: The Herald Sessions | American Crossroads | Scoop.it

Lightnin’ rarely strayed from his unique “yin-yang” approach to the blues. He was a country blues guitarist who learned his craft at the feet of fellow Texan Blind Lemon Jefferson, a true master of the form. Yet he spent much of his career on the streets of Houston, often using stream-of-consciousness lyrics to describe tough characters and situations that were familiar to many urban blacks. And whether he sang or spoke those lyrics, his laconic delivery never seemed to soften the menace of his razor-sharp guitar

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Lindi Ortega - Words and Music - 2013

Lindi Ortega - Words and Music - 2013 | American Crossroads | Scoop.it

Canadian songwriter Lindi Ortega wasn't exactly born into country music, but she can channel her inner Johnny Cash like nobody's business. She's hit her stride on the new album, Cigarettes & Truckstops

 

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Album: Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Old Yellow Moon (Nonesuch)

Harris virtually evaporated into art-Americana steam with Hard Bargain. Here, she's reunited with the songwriter Crowell, and, perhaps more decisively, her old producer Brian Ahern. The result is an album of solid country virtue. Rodders was never much of a voice, and Emmylou's ain't what it used to be, but she can still make "wistful" fly like an angel, when conditions suit. Four songs by Crowell, the rest covers, several by her old pedal-steel player, Hank DeVito.

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Record Store Day 2013 – Americana and Roots Music Picks « Twang Nation - The Best In Americana Music Twang Nation – The Best In Americana Music

Record Store Day 2013 – Americana and Roots Music Picks « Twang Nation - The Best In Americana Music Twang Nation – The Best In Americana Music | American Crossroads | Scoop.it

It’s that time again twangers. Yes, Record Store Day 2013 is upon us. The day when us music fans can snatch up slabs of limited pressing vinyl from our favorite artists and help local independent records store to not become bygone relics. That would stink.

 

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Blues Musician of the Day: Son House

Blues Musician of the Day: Son House | American Crossroads | Scoop.it

All About Jazz is celebrating Son House's birthday today! Son House, the legendary Delta blues singer and guitarist, was an original voice coming out of Depression era Mississippi. He embodied the isolation, poverty and alienation of the Delta, which translated into his visceral and gripping expressions, forming the bedrock of the blues idiom. His influence looms large in the annals of American popular music. House was born on the Mississippi River Delta

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Visualizing American Roots Music: PATSY MONTANA | Field Trip South

Visualizing American Roots Music: PATSY MONTANA | Field Trip South | American Crossroads | Scoop.it

The photo above appears as part of Visualizing American Roots Music, an exhibit presented by the Southern Folklife Collection of twenty rare and unique photographs of iconic musicians. On view in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room of the Wilson Special Collections Library through Dec. 31, 2013.

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earls psychedelic garden: Anthology of American Folk Music Vol 1

earls psychedelic garden: Anthology of American Folk Music Vol 1 | American Crossroads | Scoop.it
This definitive examination of the roots of America's musical family tree is of monumental importance. It belongs in every music lover's library. 1 1. Henry Lee —Dick Justice 2. Fatal Flower Garden" — Nelstone's Hawaiians 3.
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Arhoolie Records: 50 Years Of Digging For Down-Home Music

Arhoolie Records: 50 Years Of Digging For Down-Home Music | American Crossroads | Scoop.it

Arhoolie Records: 50 Years Of Digging For Down-Home Music

For all that time, the same guy has stocked the store with a treasure trove of American roots music: Chris Strachwitz. He produced many of the records filling Down Home's bins. Strachwitz's Arhoolie label has recorded blues singer Big Mama Thornton, Tex-Mex accordionist Flaco Jimenez, Cajun band BeauSoleil and hundreds of others. He bought the building that houses Down Home Music thanks to the money he earned recording a little-known San Francisco folk musician, Country Joe McDonald, in 1966. The session took place in Strachwitz's Berkeley living room.

WNMC's insight:

NPR pays tribute to a label whose music it very seldom plays and the man behind it. Strachwitz is well worth the attention, but so are the records.

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Northern Redemption – Abrams Brothers

Northern Redemption – Abrams Brothers | American Crossroads | Scoop.it
For fans of popular folk rock bands such as the Lumineers and Mumford and Sons who are looking to get a little closer to the Americana and bluegrass worlds, the new album from the Abrams Brothers might be just the ticket.
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Happy Birthday Townes Van Zandt

Happy Birthday Townes Van Zandt | American Crossroads | Scoop.it
The first time I heard the name Townes Van Zandt my Uncle Tony mentioned playing a gig with him at a private party on the Tohajiilee Indian Reservationa in New Mexico.
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Issues: #55 March/April 2013 | Elmore Magazine | Blues, Roots, Country, Jazz, Rock & Roll, Bluegrass, Folk

Issues: #55 March/April 2013 | Elmore Magazine | Blues, Roots, Country, Jazz, Rock & Roll, Bluegrass, Folk | American Crossroads | Scoop.it

Hailed as one of rock’s best drummers and one of its greatest voices, Levon Helm’s history proves as exciting as his music. A look at his lively life

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Dawn McCarthy & Bonnie "Prince" Billy Sing The Brothers

Dawn McCarthy & Bonnie "Prince" Billy Sing The Brothers | American Crossroads | Scoop.it

One of the most important acts in the development of American music is The Everly Brothers. Phil and Don Everly had that spirited, "genetic" country harmony sound common to country and bluegrass groups, and they transposed that to rock 'n' roll in the Fifties. Virtually every group in rock, country, and folk music featuring harmonies, from The Beatles to Teenage Fanclub, owes them a debt. The duo of alt-country singer Bonnie "Prince" Billy (aka Will Oldham) and alt-folk doyenne Dawn McCarthy (aka Faun Fables) pay tribute to the Brothers, but not in the usual manner. What the Brothers Sang forgoes the Brothers' hits in favor of lesser-known gems in their catalog, highlighting the Everlys as bridges between rock and country, folk and pop

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Robert Belfour - Done Got Old

Robert Belfour live with self comment about when he was young. Hypnotic, yet intricate guitar work, expressive voice, perfect timing. The "unknown" artist in...

Via Vivaldi
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Album: Josh Ritter, The Beast in its Tracks (Yep Roc)

The wholesome singer-songwriter from Idaho has always been one to watch: but it's taken divorce to invest something deeper in his mile-wide-smile delivery style.
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