CAT STEVENS-YUSUF IN CONCERT
NO SEX, NO DRUGS, NO ROCK AND ROLL—GOT FOLK?
AT THE NOKIA THEATRE—LA LIVE - DECEMBER 14, 2014
England’s greatest mathematician, pacifist and philanderer once said of Austria’s greatest logician and language philosopher: “Ludwig Wittgenstein came to Cambridge and taught the English to speak their own language.” Bertrand Russell, meet Cat Stevens. With his new album Tell ‘Em I’m Gone—from the Lead Belly chain gang song Take This Hammer—English folk singer Cat Stevens has come to the U.S. and taught Americans to sing our own folk songs—black, blues, and even the singing cowboy Gene Autry classic (written by former Louisiana Governor Jimmy Davis) You Are My Sunshine, a song relegated to nursing home sing along song sheets until Cat reshaped it into a modern blues and made it shine all over again—as he did with Lead Belly.
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CONFLICT AND LEGACIES
OK, I’m not sure this is actually news… it seems that Neil Young and David Crosby have had a serious disagreement, and as a result Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young will never perform together again. That’s according to Young. Crosby, though, says the statement is a bit “like saying there are mountains in Tibet,” and that the whole thing will blow over. There’s no mention of the nature of the blowup, but Crosby did take the opportunity to mention that he knew “at least 20” guitar players who are better than Young.
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TITLE: BEYOND THE BLUE
ARTIST: THE DUHKS
LABEL: COMPASS RECORDS
RELEASE DATE: 2014
The Duhks are back...flying higher than ever with their 5th CD, Beyond the Blue. After taking a hiatus of two years, this celebrated Canadian neo-trad folk band demonstrates, yet again, the bold, beautiful, eclectic, exciting and innovative music that has consistently earned them critical acclaim. All of their previous CDs have been nominated for Juno Awards - winning Best Roots & Traditional Album by a Group in 2005, and a Grammy nomination in 2007.
Beyond the Blue is a stunning album, almost addictive in its adventurous rhythms, harmonies and arrangements....mixing a strong Celtic base with a lot of everything else: Appalachian... old-timey....a little blues....a little soul...a French song from Mali...and a lot of driving folk-rock and Afro Cuban rhythms.
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TITLE: ALEXIS ZOUMBAS: A LAMENT FOR EPIRUS 1926-1928
ARTIST: ALEXIS ZOUMBAS
LABEL: LONG GONE SOUND/ANGRY MOM ARCHIVES
RELEASE DATE: APRIL 20, 2014
78-rpm collector Christopher King has a way of making old music seem new. Although he grew up listening to pre-war blues and hillbilly recordings, he focuses now on reissuing 78-rpm recordings from performers outside the American vernacular. What he finds is that the rawness, the spirit and the energy of the early American performers like Skip James or Dennis McGee is evident in ethnic recordings as well. In a sense, he curates the blues and country music of other cultures.
His most recent production, Alexis Zoumbas: A Lament for Epirus 1926 -1928 profiles Zoumbas’ masterful violin adaptations of Greek sheepherding music, now available on a beautiful gatefold LP with artwork by R. Crumb. An immigrant to the States from the Albanian influenced region of Epirus, Zoumbas recorded for Columbia in Prohibition-era New York City. Apart from his recorded works, very little biographical information exists about the exiled performer.
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December 21, 2014
2014 GRAMMY OF INTEREST TO FOLKWORKS READERS
Read more: Blog Entry DECEMBER 21, 2014
THE RHYMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’
TITLE: THE LYRICS: SINCE 1962
AUTHOR: BOB DYLAN
EDITOR: CHRISTOPHER RICKS, LISA NEMROW, JULIE NEMROW
PUBLISHER: SIMON AND SCHUSTER
RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 28, 2014 (NYC)
The most complete collection of Bob Dylan’s lyrics we are likely to see in our lifetime has just been published, and the most notable thing about it is the juxtaposition of Dylan’s lyrical changes in many songs from their original recorded versions to the printed versions to the various live recorded versions, yielding in some cases three rather different texts. Each section is framed by a full-size replica of the original album cover, in full color front and back. The dimensions of the LP determined the size of the book.
As my rabbi pointed out after seeing Dylan’s third concert at the Dolby Theatre (I reviewed the first in these pages) Bob seemed to have altered the lyrics my rabbi knew in both Tangled Up in Blue and Simple Twist of Fate. What gives? He wondered; we are accustomed to hearing different tempos, arrangements, instrumentation, even melodies for many of Dylan’s classic songs in live performance; now must we also get used to different lyrics? At what point do we find it difficult to think we heard the same song?
So I decided to order the $200, 961 page, 13 pound book and find out for myself. It just arrived from Barnes & Noble in NYC and what can I say? Rabbi, Things Have Changed.
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