FolkWorld #70 11/2019
© Walkin' T:-)M

German Book Reviews

T:-)M's Night Shift

Allison Moorer

Artist Video Allison Moorer @ FROG

Allison Moorer, Blood: A Memoir. Da Capo Press, 2019, ISBN 978-0306922688, pp320, US$34,-

Allison Moorer, Blood. Autotelic Records/Thirty Tigers, 2019

Kim Sanders' Music. 2019

The Gabe McVarish Collection of Traditional and Contemporary Melodies from Scotland, Ireland and Maritime Canada.

Suggested Reading ...

1986, Mobile, Alabama. A fourteen-year-old girl is awakened by the unmistakable sound of gunfire. On the front lawn, her father has shot and killed her mother before turning the gun on himself.

Allison Moorer would grow up to be an award-winning musician, with her songs likened to "a Southern accent: eight miles an hour, deliberate and very dangerous to underestimate" (Rolling Stone). Now, Allison turns her lyrical storytelling powers to recount the events leading up to the moment that forever altered her own life and that of her older sister, Shelby Lynne.

Blood: A Memoir is a detailed account of Moorer and her sister’s childhood growing up in a troubled home in Southern Alabama. For years Moorer had avoided going into the traumatic details of the abuse, alcoholism, intimidation, poverty and neglect, that existed prior to the deaths. Moorer also addresses the fact that there was so much more to her family than tragedy, darkness and what people thought they knew. There was love, there was a protective mother, there was the bond of sisterhood and there was music.

The companion album Blood serves as a song cycle featuring ten tracks that directly connect to the people, emotions, trauma, and state of mind that are all detailed in the memoir. Moorer addresses depression and heartbreak, terrified young sisters clinging to each other for support, unfulfilled voids that resides within and the emotional finish line she hopes to reach one day.

The much awaited launch of the magnificent new book containing scores, arrangements, biography and photos of the great late world music innovator Kim Sanders has been at Camelot Lounge (Marrickville, New South Wales, Australia) on October 27. Kim Sanders' Music was put together by Kim's long-time partner Linda Dawson. The scores reflect a variety of arrangement models from lead sheets to 6-part band arrangements.

Kim Sanders died in 2013. He was an important figure in Australia’s early multi-cultural or ‘World’ musical development. Kim often performed music from several different cultural groups (particularly Balkan, Turkish, Indonesian & West African), however, the book contains only his original compositions. They are equally informed by those key cultures and his other great loves and major musical influences – jazz and improvisation.

Kim Sanders

Artist Video Kim Sanders @ FROG

Gabe McVarish

Artist Video Gabe McVarish @ FROG

Amy Geddes

Artist Video Tannas @ FROG

Steve Howell

Artist Video Steve Howell @ FROG

The Camelot concert featured many of the musicians that worked with Kim over his lifetime. Members of legendary world jazz ensembles Brassov and Kim Sanders & Friends joined together for one night to play Kim’s wild and haunting music and celebrate his life’s work as a composer, writing chiefly for these two bands. The stellar line-up featured original members of both ensembles, including jazz and world music luminaries Sandy Evans, Llew Kiek, Boyd, Mark Szeto, Peter Kennard, Chris Field, Stuart Vandegraaff and James Greening as well as special guest Ivailo Karamanliev on kaval.

The Gabe McVarish Collection is a collection of over 170 tunes from the Celtic musical traditions of Scotland, Ireland and Maritime Canada, compiled (and in many cases, penned) by renowned fiddle player, Gabe McVarish (of Dàimh fame).

The tunes encompass a wide range of genres from Gaelic ‘Song Airs’ to Waltzes Marches, Strathspeys, Reels and Jigs. These provide a rich cross-section of the kind of tunes one is likely to hear in a music session in the North West Highlands of Scotland, but also preserve a link to the places and people that have shared these melodies from Scotland to Ireland to Cape Breton and elsewhere.

All the tunes have been recorded as clearly and accurately (to the transcriptions) as possible. Recorded in 4 sections, the first section demonstrating Scottish tunes from the Collection with guitar accompaniment from Euan MacPherson, the second with Irish tunes accompanied by Aaron Jones on the cittern and the third exhibiting Maritime Canadian repertoire with Mac Morin playing piano. The fourth section features sets combining tunes from all 3 genres with all 3 accompanists representing their respective styles along with me on the fiddle.

Amy Geddes is at the forefront of contemporary Scottish Fiddle playing as a performer, teacher and composer. Her style has developed over the years through playing with musicians not just at home (e.g. with Tannas) but in places such as Ireland, Norway, Canada & India. This results in an assured sound firmly rooted in Scotland but enhanced by an increasingly broad wealth of musical experience.

Amy Geddes and Donald Knox, Fyne Fiddles Volume 1. 2017, ISBN 978-1-9999134-0-3, pp71

»Fyne Fiddles has grown out of a music writing, arranging & teaching partnership between me & my great pal Donald Knox, who I met while working with Borders community music group, Riddell Fiddles. Donald is brilliant. He is the yin of impeccable planning and presentation to the yang of my utterly scatterbrained impulsive harebrained creative ideas. It works a treat.«

»So since 2014 we have been leading a series of weekend workshops at Ardkinglas House at the head of Loch Fyne. Now, inspired by this beautiful setting and informed by the experiences with our students, we have decided to take it to the next level and create a suite of fiddle lessons in book, audio CD and video/online format.«

»The lessons used in this project are tried & tested - we know that students love playing Donald's arrangements of the tunes and that fiddle players across Scotland are inspired by my lessons, ideas and - I trust - wise words! So we reckoned it was about time to try and spread the word, to make this teaching accessible to folk who don't have time or money to come all the way to beautiful Argyll (although of course they should if they possibly can). Fyne Fiddles Volume 1 is the result.«

»Joking aside, I believe we have something really special that needs to be shared in the wider fiddle playing community. We want to make something that Scottish Fiddle learners can use no matter whether they live - be it on a remote Scottish Island or the other side of the world - be they a millionaire, a penniless musician or a violin teaching colleague looking for ideas and understanding of folk music.«

Steve Howell, Fingerpicking Early Jazz Standards. Hal Leonard, 2018, ISBN 978-1540027238, pp35, US$10,99

»Since I was very young, I have loved the music from the early twentieth century. This has been a constant in my life and been reflected in my repertoire. As a fingerstyle guitarist, I have always loved attempting to arrange great songs for solo guitar and the standards from the early jazz songbook have long been one of my main areas of concentration. I love to take these songs, written by some of the greatest American composers and usually originally done by big bands, orchestras and small groups, and attempt to approach them with Andres Segovia’s attitude of the solo guitar being “the orchestra through the wrong end of the telescope.”«

»Through my lifetime musical journey with the guitar, I have embraced rural blues, jazz, old time Appalachian music, Celtic music, rhythm and blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and Chet Atkins and Merle Travis fingerpicking. Through all of this, my private pleasure and one of my main areas of musical study has been arranging early jazz standards for solo guitar.«

»Hal Leonard Corporation, the largest sheet music publisher in the world, offered the invitation to include fifteen of my fingerstyle arrangements of early jazz standards written between 1910 and 1933 in its series of music folios for fingerpicking guitar under the title Fingerpicking Early Jazz Standards

Songs included in the book (musical notation and tablature): •Blue Skies •But Not For Me •Bye Bye Blackbird •I’ll See You In My Dreams •Lover, Come Back To Me •Mood Indigo •Muskrat Ramble •My Melancholy Baby •On The Sunny Side Of The Street •St. Louis Blues •Some Of These Days •Stormy Weather •Sweet Georgia Brown •When It’s Sleepy Time Down South •You Took Advantage Of Me

Artist Video Dave Connis, Suggested Reading. Katherine Tegen Books, 2019, ISBN 978-0062685254, pp400, US$17.99

Artist Video Gibby Haynes, Me and Mr. Cigar. Soho Teen, 2020, ISBN 978-1616958121, pp256, US$18.99

Suggested Reading: Clara Evans is horrified when she discovers her principal’s “prohibited media” hit list. The iconic books on the list have been pulled from the library and aren’t allowed anywhere on the school’s premises. Students caught with the contraband will be sternly punished. Many of these stories have changed Clara’s life, so she’s not going to sit back and watch while her draconian principal abuses his power. She’s going to strike back. So Clara starts an underground library in her locker, ...

»I write simple folk music with complex layers. I'm influenced by Damien Rice, The Civil Wars, Tycho, Coldplay, Josh Ritter, ... Four years ago, I sat down with the idea to write a book about books, their importance in our world, and their impact on lives.« (Dave Connis)

Part road trip, part coming-of-age, and part redemption, Me and Mr. Cigar takes seventeen-year-old Oscar Lester and his best friend/enforcer/magical pet dog, Mr. Cigar on a journey to save Oscar's sister, Rachel, who has been abducted by a sinister cabal for reasons unknown. Along the way, Oscar encounters ultra-secret technology, agents of the US government, super-wealthy corporate interests, and nefarious art dealers. But his motive to save Rachel always comes back to his dog. Five years earlier, Mr. Cigar bit off Rachel's hand, and she's been estranged from them ever since...

This surreal tale comes from the wild and wonderful mind of Gibby Haynes, front man of the legendary psychedelic rock band, Butthole Surfers, and known as "The Weirdest Man in Showbusiness". Haynes has also fronted the band P with friend and actor Johnny Depp and is a visual artist, original artwork featured as full color endpapers and black and white illustrations throughout the book.

Photo Credits: (1ff) from website/author/publishers.

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