folk Archive

Hundred-word Reviews for September, Part 8 of 8

This current round of hundred-word reviews wraps up with four archival/reissue releases from the fine folks at Omnivore Recordings, and a self-released retrospective form an overlooked Nashville group. Raging Fire – Everything is Roses: Anthology 1985-1989 The nexus wherein country and punk styles meet has been explored by a number of noteworthy bands: X and

Rising Appalachia: Making Music with Intention (Part 3)

Continued from Part Three… Leah Song relates that Rising Appalachia have many friends around the country who are involved in art and creative projects. “Many of them,” she notes, “end up being codependent on grants. They call it the Nonprofit-Industrial Complex. We wanted to have that feeling of being independent; and if we’re indebted to

Rising Appalachia: Making Music with Intention (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… In those years, music as a professional pursuit was never a goal. Leah Song says that even when she and sister Chloe Smith did begin making music, “we were just trying to create a project that paid homage to all of our musical influences. It was only later – three or

Rising Appalachia: Making Music with Intention (Part 1)

Sisters Leah Song and Chloe Smith lead Rising Appalachia, a renowned folk/world music group whose music is as intriguing as it is hard to classify. Their eighth album, Wider Circles, has just been released, and the group (also featuring percussionist Biko Cassini and bassist/guitarist David Brown) appeared onstage in their current hometown at Asheville, North

Jeff Daniels’ Fallback Plan, Part 2

Continued from Part One… Bill Kopp: When most people think of well-known actors – or musicians for that matter – we more or less assume that they live in New York City or Los Angeles. You live in Chelsea, the small town in which you grew up, about an hour west of Detroit. This might

Jeff Daniels’ Fallback Plan, Part 1

Not only is Jeff Daniels a screen and stage actor and a playwright, but he’s an accomplished musician with six albums to his credit. He is currently touring in support of his latest, Days Like These. Just ahead of the Asheville NC date, we had a conversation about his music and how it fits into

Rick Wakeman, Cannonball Adderley, and Me

Today I’m going to indulge in a brief change of pace. I’d like to tell you about a pair of reissues with which I am involved. I won’t be reviewing either title – what would be the point? – but suffice to say that if I didn’t think they are superb albums, I wouldn’t have

Album Review: Lead Belly — Lost Radio Broadcasts: WNYC, 1948

In 1948, on a Sunday evening in August, a new radio series premiered. Featuring beloved and renowned folk singer Huddie Ledbetter (aka Lead Belly), The Story of Folklore presented the then-fiftyish Lead Belly doing what he did best: singing songs accompanied only by his acoustic guitar, and introducing the songs with brief spoken interludes. As

Album Review: Sid Griffin — The Trick is to Breathe

In the immediate wake of the excesses brought forth by psychedelia, popular (rock) music took a decided turn toward the simpler, more pastoral. Mere months after Cream were hitting the charts with “Sunshine of Your Love” and Jimi Hendrix was endeavoring to stand next to our fire, groups like The Band were finding success with

Book Review: Wounds to Bind

The 1960s music scene was populated with people who – if they survived – have tales to tell. First-hand witnesses to (or participants in) the social and cultural upheavals that changed the way we looked at the world; movers and shakers in the development of new and groundbreaking musical forms: those are the stories we