FolkWorld #72 07/2020

German News


Music in the Key of C-19

Korby Lenker

Keep your distance
But stay connected

»Tout le malheur des hommes vient d’une seule chose, qui est de ne pas savoir demeurer en repos dans une chambre.« – Blaise Pascal, 1623-62

»14 Veteran Touring Artists on Life Without Concerts«

»10 Ways to Support Indie Artists Amid Coronavirus Cancellations«

»How Fans Can Support Artists And Music-Industry Workers During The Outbreak«

»How Bandcamp's Fee Waiver Days Are Supporting Musicians In The Pandemic«

»Live Nation Wants Artists to Take Pay Cuts and Cancelation Burdens for Shows in 2021«

Club Weltenklang

Musicians Guide to Online Streaming
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

A Concert A Day | A Nign A Day | Club Weltenklang | Finnish Music | Folks At Home | Grief & Healing Playlist | Paste Happiest Hour | Paste Livestream | Virtual Concerts

Katie Ferrara | Mary Gauthier | Manfred Maurenbrecher | Rodrigo y Gabriela | Ben Sands | Die Strottern | Livingston Taylor | Victoria Vox | Will Woodson & Caitlin Finley | 9bach

When I got back to LA, all my gigs for the rest of the month until September got cancelled within a week. I applied for Music Cares Covid-19 Relief Fund (If you are a full-time musician like myself please check this out) In late April they sent me a check to cover some of the lost income from March. Big shout out goes to them at the Grammy Foundation! Since then, I've applied for more grants but have also shifted gears to performing more online! The money I make from tips is by far not as much as what I've been making from gigs and busking, however each week it's growing more. My goal is to be able to have enough viewers to do this post quarantine so I don't have to be doing 20 gigs a month!

Katie Ferrara

Artist Video Katie Ferrara

Rod Picott

Artist Video Rod Picott

Rodney Crowell

Artist Video Rodney Crowell

James McMurtry

Artist Video James McMurtry

Victoria Vox

Artist Video Victoria Vox

I've also been building my own home studio so I can start recording on my own (high quality demos at least). I think the COVID-19 Quarantine has hit the music community pretty hard these past few months but it's also given many of us an opportunity to learn so much! My friends and I have been taking online courses, reading books and expanding our knowledge base. I can't wait to dive into learning Logic once the studio is set up. I can finally focus on other aspects of my life like spirituality and mental health rather than just playing live all the time and trying to make money.

I find the LA music scene to be a bit toxic and draining because everyone wants to be successful. I got tired of going to songwriter showcase after showcase, showing up and trying to be popular amongst the "cool kids". It just seemed like a repeat of high school. Especially with everyone comparing themselves to each other on Instagram (which stinks of shallowness and fake people - I'm guilty of it too), I'm just glad I'm past wanting that kind of attention. Social media can be really stupid sometimes. Don't get lost in it! It does not replace quality relationships in real life.

I joked around on Facebook last month, this quarantine really is an introvert's paradise! When I think back to every time in my life that I've been unemployed, although I don't have security or an income, I am my healthiest mentally and physically. I think this is funny because it says something about our American culture in what we value. Money can't do shit when your health suffers or you don't have friends. It becomes your metaphorical toilet paper. I guess my point with all of this is to advise y'all to find some hobbies that make you happy every day and give yourself lots of personal attention because when this quarantine is over you will be even more prepared for what's ahead.

Katie Ferrara :-)

Live streaming is simply what we have. Is it a replacement for a live, in-the-flesh, sweaty bar or cramped house concert? No, not by any measure, but it is what we have. There are technical glitches beyond average IQ reasoning. The streaming is seamless one day then chopped like salad the next. I’ve performed many streaming shows over the years, but the shows since the virus spread have been both more challenging and more rewarding. Music lovers and musicians alike are starved for live shows and this is the closest we get right now.

The admitted fog of digital separation keeps us apart and yet somehow manages to bring us closer than ever. It’s counterintuitive. We desire the experience more and so a lesser version connects us on a deeper level. The streaming shows have been my connection to my small but incredibly loyal audience. No audio, frozen camera, chirps and chips, all technical issues possible have and will happen. Through it all, I watch the little icon that indicates the number of viewers and there they are – steady as a stream. The lifeblood of my livelihood and great passion, there for me and me for them, a flawed and beautiful experience of the modern world.

Rod Picott

In a way, the coming of the internet prepared me for life during the COVID-19 shutdown. It’s not well known that the laws passed in 1998 virtually gave digital content providers (YouTube, etc.) carte blanche to profit off of musical compositions without fair compensation for the creator. Pre-internet, I made a grand living as a songwriter. By 2006, it was clear the bottom had dropped out of my profession.

As for the pandemic, having already experienced a financial collapse of sorts, I immediately understood that my family would somehow be ok. And, that putting even one music fan in jeopardy was not worth the price of a ticket to see me perform. Since mid-February, I’ve been gardening, listening to a lot of music, romancing my wife and writing songs for a new album to be released whenever science eradicates the virus or it runs its natural course. My heart goes out to anyone whose life has been negatively affected by COVID-19.

Rodney Crowell

I have been streaming live on Facebook at 2 p.m. central time every Sunday since March. It has been an incredible experience for me to be able to connect with people all over the world, in real time, simultaneously. Never before in human history has this been possible for artists and the possibilities are mind blowing. Every time we go live, I remember my first fax machine and smile. We are in the very early stages here, but the ability to cross borders and play music for people globally in real time without leaving the house is a very big deal. I am very much enjoying it!

Many of you know Michele Gazich, my violin player who lives in Bergamo, Italy. Michele is a very close friend and has been a very important part of my live shows, as well as the Rifles & Rosary Beads record. We have shared stages together all over the world for over a decade. I have been sharing his updates from Italy on my Facebook page over the last few weeks. Michele lives in the red zone of the COVID-19 virus in Northern Italy. He is in a safe place, a cabin away from the city, reporting to me what is happening in Italy. His stories are factual, heart wrenching and necessary. More than ever, I think it's important that we stay in touch with him now, as the rest of the world can learn from what is happening in Italy.

From Michele's Desk, March 22nd:

Michele Gazich & Mary Gauthier

Artist Video Mary Gauthier @ FROG

"To my American friends: It's difficult to write, to say something more meaningful than numbers. Maybe only Etty Hillesum could have something to tell us today: "One moment it is Hitler, the next it is Ivan the Terrible; one moment it is resignation and the next war, pestilence, earthquake or famine. Ultimately what matters most is to bear the pain, to cope with it, and to keep a small corner of one's soul unsullied (7 July 1942)."

From Michele's Desk, April 22nd:

"Once a week, I walk the same pathway. I go down to the village by the lake, where the shops are, to buy some food. I say I 'go down' because I live on the slopes of the mountains, facing the lake. It's my only walk every week in the times of the coronavirus. I respect the rules, because the increase of death in the cities of Bergamo and Brescia where I live is more than 200% (!) than last year. I hate rules, I am an artist. I like to be free. I am free. But I go out only once a week for food with mask and sanitary gloves. I respect the rules because dead people are too many and I respect them. So: this only walk is precious. I focus on every step. I love this pathway. It was built hundreds of years ago, before the cars. It's ancient, like most of Italy...When I enter the pathway, on both sides of it there are dry stone walls. I used to touch these stones with my bare hands. Now I wear plastic gloves and I can't touch them. But I look at the stones and I remember the sensation when I could touch them. I love these walls and I love these stones. I admire the skill of the people that built these walls. It's art. I meet all these unsung artists of the past through their work. I love these people. ...I didn't meet anybody on my pathway, but the truth is that I've met a lot of people. Things aren't mute. The pathway was crowded. Many souls wanted to tell me their stories this morning."

As always, thank you for your support! ~ Mary Gauthier

Dear supporters, As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise we are communicating with our partner artists on a daily basis to ensure they are aware of this rapidly developing situation. According to the CDC, older adults that suffer from chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease are at the highest risk when it comes to COVID-19. Unfortunately, these criteria represent a majority of our partner artists. Not only is the elderly population we work with particularly susceptible health-wise, they are also being threatened economically. Since the outbreak, major music festivals and concerts across the world have been cancelled and things are very uncertain for many of the bookings we have this spring. Missing just a single gig can have a devastating impact for our partner artists.

Yesterday I spoke on the phone with longtime partner artist Alabama Slim, and the concern for him is all too real. This past December Slim was hospitalized with a severe case of the flu, so when New Orleans confirmed cases of COVID-19 late Tuesday he went into high alert. Music Maker is ready to step up for Slim if his situation worsens and he is unable to perform, but that means we need our supporters to step up as well. Through your support, Music Maker can ensure that these important American musicians are kept safe and stable during this tumultuous time. Please give today.

Artist Video Music Makers...

Pat Mother Blues Cohen

Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen Sings the Coronavirus Blues on PBS NewsHour!

Pat "Mother Blues" Cohen is trying to keep a positive mindset about the situation. She was supposed to return to New Orleans for the first time since Katrina as part of the Music Maker Blues Revue and play a festival in Portugal. Both have canceled and the nursing home that she plays a weekly gig at is on lockdown. Music Maker's Sustenance Program is helping Pat get by during these difficult times. "Katrina taught me how to deal. I cried for a year straight after that. So I'm trying to keep my head up and stay positive." (Pat "Mother Blues" Cohen)

Zydeco Legend Chuck Bush Tests Positive for COVID-19. Born in Rosa, Louisiana, Chuck Bush helped redefine Zydeco’s sound in the 80’s and 90’s for a new audience while playing bass behind Beau Jocque and then Terry Dominique. In December 2019, Chuck reached out to Music Maker in desperate need of support due to a slew of health complications. Music Maker stepped up to help this Lafayette based bass legend. Things were looking up for Chuck until the pandemic hit. His gigs got canceled, then he developed a cough and was feeling short of breath. He went to the hospital with a minor case of pneumonia and was tested for COVID-19 which eventually came back positive. Luckily, Chuck's case was mild and he is making a full recovery at home in isolation. Music Maker is having groceries delivered weekly so that Chuck can recover safely in his home and doesn't need to go out and risk infecting others.

As the virus continues to spread and more data is made available, it is clear that there is a racial disparity with regard to who is most impacted by this crisis. 33% of Americans that have been hospitalized are African-American even though they only make up 13% of the total population. Our thoughts and efforts are also focused on our partner artists in New Orleans where the death rate is twice as high as New York City. These statistics, along with the elderly age of Music Maker's partner artists, makes them particularly vulnerable to the disease.

Times are tough right now and the Music Maker staff is hard at work ensuring that our partner artists have groceries and medicine. We wanted to share some ways that you can entertain yourself during these trying times and maybe find some inspiration through the powerful lives and music of these important musicians. Watch our feature length documentary Toot Blues! We've got over 300 videos on our YouTube channel! Check out a digital version of our photography exhibition We Are the Music Makers! Dig into Music Maker's deep catalog of American roots music via BandCamp!

If the blues teaches us anything, it is how to persevere. We need arts & culture now more than ever. Keep The Roots Alive. Donate Today. Sincerely, Timothy Duffy, Music Maker Relief Foundation

This pandemic would be a trial under any president. I fear it’s more of a trial under no president. No one is truly presiding over our government at this time. We don’t have a Roosevelt fighting off fear itself, we don’t have an LBJ with a flashlight under his chin promising help to New Orleans after a hurricane, we don’t have Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter in hazmat suits walking through Three Mile Island to show their faith in the scientists that saved the east coast. We don’t even have George W. Bush, who after cowering in the rabbit hole on 9/11, pulled himself together, crawled up out of the ground, went to ground zero and did his level best to do the job of being president, being there for us.

All we have is a real estate pirate trying to save his businesses and his political future.

Livingston Taylor

Artist Video Livingston Taylor @ FROG

Trump says this country wasn’t built to be shut down, as if any modern country was built for such. There is open talk of having to balance dollars against deaths. It’s true, we might not be able to weather a depression in our time. The last one was weathered by people who were born in the nineteenth century and had seen depression before. The country was largely rural, the supply chains were more localized, but are we to just give up and let people die so their grandkids can waterski?

I must ask you, Mr. Trump: Can our economy and your political ambitions absorb two million dead Americans? Do the math, for once, and ask yourself, “How many people do two million people know?” Two million dead, will leave a lot of living who will remember.

James McMurtry

Greetings! I hope you are doing well and staying safe. Stories of Covid-19 hitting circles of people we know is a reminder than we need to be more careful than ever... especially as things are opening up. Personally, between the increase of horrible drivers and the public's "to wear or not to wear" a mask debate, I think I'll stay in. It's a scary time and there is still so much unknown. Please be vigilant, wash those hands (and wear a mask) :) --- Jack did have a gig on Saturday night (masks were required) and watched a guy take off his mask to bite into his hamburger, lick his fingers, then grab the table's ketchup bottle, and put it back. OMG. Please do not let your guard down.

Thank you all. Be safe. Take care of each other. ❤️🙏🏻 xo Victoria Vox

Greetings all, This is certainly the stormiest spring I've ever experienced. It's not easy to envision a course back to calm. That said, we are an energetic, resourceful lot and are capable of creative problem-solving. Assured by this truth, we will find our way. I wonder, when we are once again safe and life becomes deliciously predictable; will we be infused with a new clarity? Will we become blue sharp sky after this tempest subsides? We are fully occupied by the monumental task of the uncharted voyage we are on... stand fast my captains, nothing can change the truth that you are strong and brave and deeply loved.......

Livingston Taylor

London Klezmer Quartet

Artist Video London Klezmer Quartet @ FROG


Musicians For Musicians

Artist Video iyatraQuartet

Artist Video justgiving

  A Nign A Day

Dear friends. Greetings from an unusually quiet London. How are you? You are much missed, but I'm here to bring you news of an amazing new klezmer project I hope can bridge the (social/physical) distance between us. In the midst of all this sadness and isolation, I had a sudden longing to connect with my fellow klezmer string players around the world, so last week I dusted off some old manuscripts and came up with an idea for my dream klezmer fiddlers’ lockdown project, provisionally entitled ‘A Nign A Day’.

A nign is a Jewish song without words, and they're so catchy that in no time at all 35 klezmer string players from 12 countries have signed up to video more than 150+ unjustly neglected examples spanning three centures, collected in eastern Europe by Moshe Beregovski (1892-1961). Soulful, rapturous, dramatic, uplifting, reflective Jewish musical gems specifically composed to make you forget your everyday sorrows. And then you'll get a chance to comment, discuss, ask questions – or just sit back and enjoy more music.

More info , who’s broadcasting live and when, audio and visuals:

Musicians: Annette Siebert * Alexsei Rozov * Alex Koffman * Alicia Svigals * Alina Bauer * Amit Weisberger * Anna Lowenstein * Antti Korhola * Ariane Cohen-Adad * Beth Silver * Bob Cohen * Cookie Segelstein * Craig Judelman * Daniel Hoffman * David Brossier * Deborah Strauss * Eléonore Biezunski * Ernie Gruner * Francesca Ter-Berg * Gica Loening * Ilana Cravitz * Jake Shulman-Ment * Johannes Paul Gräßer * Lisa Gutkin * Mark Kovnatsky * Michael Alpert * Mitia Khramtsov * Monika Feil * Nicolaas Cottenie * Olga Baron * Semmy Stahlhammer * Steve Greenman * Vanessa Vromans * Yale Strom * Zoë Aqua


Wishing you and yours good health, and looking forward to seeing you at some point on this new musical journey. Warm greetings, Ilana Cravitz

  Musicians For Musicians

London violinist Amelia Conway-Jones knows the tightrope existence of being a freelance musician. Events in the last 2 months have caused Amelia to take action! On March 25th 2020, Amelia started the Musicians For Musicians fundraising campaign through JustGiving, all proceeds going to the charity Help Musicians. Through the generosity of music makers and music lovers, the page has grown well and raised almost £16,000 so far, including Gift Aid. Amelia’s goal is to reach £100,000.

As Amelia says, “…Since the shut down of the industry in March, Help Musicians have provided urgent financial assistance to 16,700 UK musicians in severe financial hardship and I feel passionately that I want to help them to help even more.”

Musicians For Musicians fundraising campaign will culminate in an album Musicians For Musicians: Many Voices on a Theme of Isolation to be released digitally through BandCamp, on July 3rd, to coincide with BandCamp's next direct-to-artist sale day. It will include tracks from a variety of musical genres (Folk: Jenn Butterworth, Vicki Swann & Jonny Dyer + Urban Folk Quartet; Singer/Songwriters: Chloe Foy, Matthew Robins, Lemon & Paice + Zoe Konez; World Music: Iyatra Quartet): 50% of the proceeds will go towards the performing artists and 50% to Help Musicians.

  Corona Grams & Jigsaw Puzzles

These are strange days, and I miss seeing friends, hugging family members, hanging to watch a music show, and going to share meals at houses and dives. My friend Barbara Nesbitt encouraged me to make what she named Corona-Grams - personalized videos with a message from you and a song from me! - you can send to a friend, a loved one, or a colleague who may enjoy some encouragement during this scary and uncertain time of isolation. I have sent some out, and I LOVE it. Folks have written to me telling me how much they have loved receiving and sending these! If you are interested in sending a Corona-Gram, fill out the form at my website! Stay safe, stay home (if you're able), wash your hands often, and just be nice. XO, BettySoo

Hi friends! I hope everyone is doing well as we continue to navigate these strange new waters. I've managed to find some calm in the storm, taking things a bit easier, lots of long walks and have returned to some things I love that there hadn't seemed time for pre lockdown (realised there's always time if you make something important enough). Jigsaw Puzzles! Thought these could be fun at this time! These 1000 piece puzzles are in production right now! Order here! Sending much love and light. Stay safe. Danni Nicholls

  WOMEX Coronavirus Pandemic Survey

Budapest, Hungary
21 - 25 Oct 2020

Womex @ FROG

“There will be an end to this crisis. We should see this pandemic as an opportunity of sorts and accelerate our movement towards the future.”

WOMEX Survey Report

This is only one of the many inspiring messages we have received while conducting our global survey. The impact of this pandemic on our community has been extremely severe. But one thing remains clear: the WOMEX community is resilient, willing to share and to remain connected and has an inspiring passion to keep moving forward.

Nobody knows how long the on-going situation will continue, together with all the uncertainties and hardships that come with it. At WOMEX, we know that there must be a new industry 'norm' for live events, for the industry as a whole, the artists, managers, stage and sound crews, venues, as well as the existence of live music in a public setting and the culture and energy in which it brings. The 26th edition of WOMEX in Budapest, Hungary, this October will be unlike any other edition, but it will be positive. We will host the live event in these uncertain times because of you and your many positive messages. They spurred us forward into action and we are moving to make it happen. We also have our dedicated local partner to thank for their instrumental and continuous support.

Balázs Weyer of Hangvető, says it best: "It is not because we don't know if we can do everything, that we should do nothing".

Catering to each member of the WOMEX community lies at the heart of everything that we do. That is why we are currently considering all options to ensure that those who are unable to attend are still able to be a part of the event. It remains too early for details, but rest assured that we are looking into all possibilities and if a realistic and practical way of inclusion can be found on our (and on our local partner's) side, you will be the first to know. We thank you for your patience, your support and your understanding.

Happy Birthday

  Peter Rowan’s Birthday: Live Concert on Instagram

Peter Rowan

Artist Video Peter Rowan @ FROG

Peter Rowan will be celebrating his birthday with you in a special LIVE virtual concert on Instagram. Peter is anxious to perform for you, his many fans. We will be back in touch with more details. There will be a Venmo and Zoom link for you to buy tickets.

Listen: Peter Rowan Facebook BandPage

Where:  Friday July 3, 2020
Show Time: 8:00pm   EST 

Peter Rowan is a singer-songwriter with a career spanning over five decades. From his early years playing under the tutelage of Bluegrass veteran Bill Monroe, to his time in Old & In the Way and breakout as a solo musician and bandleader, Rowan has built a devoted, international fan base through a solid stream of records, collaborative projects, and constant touring. Rowan embarked on a well-received solo career in the late ‘70s, releasing critically acclaimed records such as Dustbowl Children (a Woody-Guthrie style song cycle about the Great Depression), Yonder (a record of old-time country music in collaboration with ace dobro player, Jerry Douglas) and two extraordinarily fine bluegrass albums, The First Whippoorwill and Bluegrass Boy, as well as High Lonesome Cowboy, a recording of traditional and old-time mountain music with Don Edwards and Norman Blake. Rowan’s recent releases- Quartet, a recording with the phenomenal Tony Rice and Legacy with the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, coupled with a relentless touring schedule have further endeared Peter Rowan to audiences around the world.

Dáithí Sproule

Artist Video Dáithí Sproule

Frances Black (*25 June 1960, Dublin, Ireland). The Irish singer is the youngest of five siblings, of whom sister Mary is the most prominent and had achieved international success. Frances came to prominence in the late 1980s when she began to play with her family's band, The Black Family, performing a mix of traditional and contemporary Irish music. She joined the band Arcady in 1988, (with former De Dannan member Johnny McDonagh) and teamed up with singer Kieran Goss. One of their songs, "Wall of Tears", was featured on the compilation album A Woman's Heart. Frances Black was elected to Seanad Éireann as an independent candidate in 2016. Her daughter Aoife Scott is also a well known singer and songwriter.
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Kevin Dempsey (*29 May 1950, Coventry, England). The English guitarist had been the co-founder of progressive folk act Dando Shaft. When the band broke up in 1972, Kevin Dempsey spent time in India before heading to the USA, where he joined jazz/funk outfit Blue Aquarius signed to Stax Records. Upon returning to Britain, he went on to perform with a variety of acts such as Swarb's Lazarus, Whippersnapper and Uiscedwr. In 2019, his duo with fiddle player Joe Broughton marked their 20th anniversary. In 2020, Dempsey and Jacqui McShee released the album "From There To Here."

Calvin Vollrath

Artist Video »World Famous
in Alberta«

Dáithí Sproule (*23 May 1950, Derry, Northern Ireland). As a teenager Dáithí Sproule met the Uí Dhomhnaill family during trips to the Gaeltacht area of Rann na Feirste in Co. Donegal and they formed a band, Skara Brae, who would go on to have a great effect on Irish traditional music in the early 1970s. Dáithí was one of the first guitarists to adopt the DADGAD guitar tuning for Irish music: "It just seemed to instantly gel with Irish music. The nature of the tuning meant that you didn't really produce anything that was terribly, drastically, offensively wrong to people. I was always a singer, but when I started playing with instrumentalists in sessions and pubs, I was able to develop a style by just playing along with them quietly and tactfully." In 1992 he joined Irish group Altan with whom he sings and plays guitar. He recorded several solo albums and teaches DADGAD guitar and traditional songs at the Center for Irish Music in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Bill Whelan (*22 May 1950, Limerick, Ireland). The Irish composer is best known for composing a piece for the interval of the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest. The result, Riverdance, was a seven-minute display of traditional Irish dancing that became a full-length stage production, which won him a Grammy and spawned a worldwide craze for Irish dancing. Bill Whelan has been involved in many ground-breaking projects in Ireland since the 1970s. As a producer he has worked with U2, Van Morrison, Kate Bush, The Dubliners, Planxty, Stockton's Wing and fellow Limerickman Richard Harris.

Daniele Sepe

Artist Video Daniele Sepe

Chuck Brodsky (*20 May 1960, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA). Chuck Brodsky is an American musician and singer-songwriter currently living in Asheville, North Carolina. He is particularly known for his often humorous and political lyrics, as well as his songs about baseball. Several of his songs have appeared in films and documentaries.

Calvin Vollrath (*16 May 1960, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). The Canadian fiddler and composer is one of the few European-Canadian fiddle players playing professionally in the Métis style, i.e. a mixed First Nations, Scottish and French-Canadian style marked by the percussive use of the bow. Calvin Vollrath is an inspiration and a mentor to many Canadian fiddlers, including April Verch, Patti Kusturok and Samantha Robichaud. Jerry Holland has composed a tune in his honour, named "Calvin, Fiddler's Idol". Vollrath was commissioned to compose five fiddle tunes for the Vancouver Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies in 2010. The tunes were meant to represent the various styles of fiddling Canada has to offer.

Alan Reid (*2 May 1950, Glasgow, Scotland). The multi-instrumentalist and songwriter was a founding member of the Battlefield Band in 1969, which combined traditional and new Celtic material. One of his many accomplishments is the use of keyboards in a Scottish folk band starting first with a pump organ, then moving to electronic keyboards. Alan Reid travelled the world with the band, being the "father and son", and had been involved in over 30 albums. He left the Battlefield Band in 2010 to concentrate on his duo with Rob van Sante who had been the group's sound engineer for a number of years.

Daniele Sepe (*17 April 1960, Naples, Italy). Daniele Sepe is an Italian musician, known internationally for interpreting protest songs from around the world. His first instrument was the flute, he soon, however, became more interested in jazz and he learned to play the saxophone. His band varied from purely wind instruments to big bands. He also composed music for theatre, cinema and ballet.

Steve Tilston

Artist Video Steve Tilston

Brian McNeill (*6 April 1950, Falkirk, Scotland). The multi-instrumentalist was a founding member of the Battlefield Band and played fiddle with the group from its formation in 1969 until 1990. Brian McNeill learnt music on the violin before taking up other instruments including guitar, bouzouki, mandocello, concertina, and hurdy-gurdy. He From 1996 until 2008, he was head of the traditional music course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow. As a novelist he has published several crime and mystery books. McNeill's songs often feature Scottish historical themes, thus he has produced an audio-visual show about Scottish emigration to America. On his 2020 album, "No Silence," he revisited his half century musical career.

Brian McNeill

Artist Video Brian McNeill

Johnny Duhan (*30 March 1950, County Limerick, Ireland). He started his career as a fifteen-year-old front man in Limerick beat group Granny’s Intentions. Despite offers to front other bands, Johnny Duhan turned his back on the popular music industry and started writing folk songs. He subsequently condensed his works over 40 years into a quartet of albums. His songs achieved notability thanks to the covers by the likes of Mary Black or Christy Moore. The latter stated that Duhan's "The Voyage" has been performed at over a million weddings worldwide.

Steve Tilston (*26 March 1950, Liverpool, England). Steve Tilston had been a graphic designer before taking up music in 1971. In the early 1980s, he ran a London folk club with Bert Jansch. In 1988 he became a member of John Renbourn's group Ship of Fools, by the 1990s he frequently performed with Maggie Boyle. His 1992 album, Of Moor and Mesa, garnered positive reviews for two of his compositions, "The Slip Jigs and Reels" and "Naked Highwayman", later recorded by Fairport Convention. His songs have also been recorded by Dolores Keane, Peter Bellamy, Bob Fox, John Wright and others.

In 2010, it was reported that John Lennon had penned a letter of support to Tilston in 1971 which it was never delivered. Lennon had been inspired to write to the then 21-year-old folk singer after having read an interview in which Tilston admitted he feared wealth and fame might negatively affect his songwriting. "Being rich doesn't change your experience in the way you think", Lennon wrote. It was signed "Love John and Yoko." Tilston did not become aware of the letter's existence until a collector contacted him in 2005 to verify its authenticity. It became the inspiration behind the 2015 film Danny Collins.

Rest in Peace

Frank Bey

Artist Video Frank Bey

Frank Bey (1946-2020). Frank Bey began his singing career performing gospel at the tender age of four. Along with his brother and two cousins, their group “The Rising Sons” toured around Georgia making live appearances as well as radio broadcasts. At age 17 he joined the Otis Redding Revue working as the opening act for several years. In the early 1970s, he formed a funk group, but in a record deal gone wrong, it all fell apart. Frank quit singing for 17 years. Eventually, he returned to music and connected with an internationally touring blues band. The feature documentary film about Frank's life, titled "Frank Bey: You're Going to Miss Me," is currently in post-production (

“In a time when American Idol-type vocal gymnastics too often pass for soul, Frank Bey is a perfect reminder of what soul singing is really all about: Communication, warmth, and emotional sincerity.” - Rick Estrin

Lee Gates

Artist Video

Lee Gates (1937-2019). “We are deeply saddened to announce that longtime partner artist Lee Gates has passed away. Born in Pontotoc, MS, in 1937, his tenacity on the electric guitar was matched by his physical presence. Music Maker released three albums with Lee and booked him countless shows over the years.” - Music Maker Relief Foundation

Moraes Moreira (1947-2020). Antônio Carlos Moreira Pires was a Brazilian musician and songwriter, mixing the genres of rock, samba, choro, frevo, baião, and classical. From 1969 until 1975 he played guitar and sang in the band Novos Baianos. Their album Acabou Chorare, released in 1972, has been ranked by Rolling Stone Brasil as the greatest Brazilian music album of all time.

Eric Weissberg (1939-2020). Banjo player Eric Weissberg was a member of the folk group the Tarriers for years, and later developed a career as a session musician. He recorded with leading folk, bluegrass, rock, and popular musicians and groups the entire second half of the 20th century. He is best known for playing the theme music in the John Boorman film Deliverance (1972). "Dueling Banjos" was released later as a single and became a Top Ten hit.

Artist Video

P.S.: "Dueling Banjos" was actually composed by Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith as "Feudin' Banjos" and recorded in 1955. Because he was not credited in the film, Smith sued Warner Brothers, and gained a substantial settlement.

  Oor Vyce - Recognition and Promotion of the Scots language

Iona Fyfe

Artist Video Iona Fyfe @ FROG

Oor Vyce

I thank you all so much for you supporting me and my music. Many people ask what language some my songs are in, and some are intrigued when I say that it is Scots; not English, but not Gaelic either. Scots is the second most spoken language in Scotland - second to English. It is safe to say that without the Scots language, then I would have no degree, no album, no gigs, no repertoire. So it is with great pleasure that I am sharing with you the news that a new campaign has launched demanding official recognition for the Scots language.
- Iona Fyfe

Oor Vyce brings together academics, entertainers, writers and political campaigners who want the Scottish Parliament to pass a law similar to the 2005 Gaelic Language Act to promote The Mither Tongue. In the 2011 Scottish Census, respondents indicated that 1.54 million (30% of Scotland’s population) are able to speak Scots. Scots is recognised by the UK Government as a regional language under the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages, which the Scottish Government supports. But no legislation is currently in place to protect and promote the language in the same way as Gaelic.

“When sae mony folk dinnae see the wey they blether tae yin anither aw the time in their ain country respectit bi politicians, it maks them scunnert an feelin hoo they talk micht somehoo be wrang."

Oor Vyce seeks to level the playing field for Scots speakers by raising public awareness of the need for political action on Scots and working constructively with the Scottish Government to make the case for a new law.

  David Francey: Celebrating 20 Years of Torn Screen Door

David Francey

Artist Video David Francey @ FROG

Greetings! Spring has sprung here in Elphin. The Red-winged blackbirds are back, daffodils are up and blooming and the peas are planted. That being said, things here are also very, very different. Staying at home, social distancing, hand washing and sanitizing anything that comes into our house, missing our loved ones, missing an income, missing all things "normal" are all part of the new reality. The news is scary and no one knows how long we will be living in the Twilight Zone. Life, however, is still amazing, for one thing it turns out we are surrounded by superheroes. Acts of kindness and bravery are happening in every community, every day from people in every walk of life.

Has it really been that long since I took that photo of David in front of our garage in Ayer's Cliff Quebec? David was working full time in construction, We had two teenage daughters and Colin was just 7years old. We would drive to Quebec City to record at the CBC studio on the weekends with the most amazing musicians at the most amazing studio. When it was done I knew Torn Screen Door was a work of art! The lyrics from "Working Poor" are just as applicable today as they were 20 years ago.

I run a genny on the back of my truck
And I take my chances
And I trust my luck
Well I may work tomorrow
But I can't be sure
I'm just a common example
Of the working poor  

We are very excited to celebrate the occasion with the release of the vinyl recording of David's wonderful first album, Torn Screen Door. Many of you have asked for one and at long last we have created a music book for Torn Screen Door! Complete with instructional guitar notes by the one and only Dave Clarke, we are happy to offer you this book. Click here to order your copy. We are planning more music books in the future.

Please, stand together but apart! And stay safe! All the best, Beth and David

Artist Video Good Lovelies

P.S.: Bandcamp has been the most supportive platform for musicians since social distancing began, and once a month they waive their fees and give all sales proceeds directly to artists. We won't forget how they stepped up during this time. If you want a dose of our three-part harmony today, we released one of our favourite cover songs Torn Screen Door on Bandcamp.
- Good Lovelies

  Introducing the Phonograph Project

Will Woodson and Caitlin Finley

Artist Video "The Glory Reel"

We are very excited to announce the launch of The Phonograph Project! This new project will take the form of monthly videos and tutorials, which we’re hosting on Patreon.

We first conceived of this project at the start of this year. We started releasing weekly videos in October 2019, and we wanted to transition these videos into a deeper study of our favorite music, as well as a more professional set-up. If you've been listening to our music for a while, you've probably figured out that we are particularly drawn to the golden era of Irish music recorded in the 1920s and 30s. Over the past few years, our musical practice has largely consisted of listening to and learning tunes from 78 rpm records of Michael Coleman, John McKenna, James Morrison, Tom Ennis, Paddy Killoran, Patsy Touhey, Hugh Gillespie, and many others. We love this music, and if you’re not already familiar with it, we think you will too.

This year, 2020, marks the 100th anniversary of the dawn of our favorite era of Irish music. The legendary fiddler Michael Coleman recorded his first two 78 sides in 1920, and within a couple of years the burgeoning recording industry was teeming with some of the finest Irish musicians in history. We are going to document our study of this musical era in the form of videos, tutorials, and historical notes. Each month, we will pick a 78 that was recorded exactly 100 years ago (or as close as we can get). We’ll study the tunes and the style of the musician(s), record a video of us playing the tunes, and create a tutorial that teaches the tunes and captures the setting, style, and spirit of the music as we’ve interpreted it.

Michael Coleman
If you haven't heard of Patreon before, it basically operates on the old-school patronage system of supporting artists (except on a larger scale) by allowing you to subscribe to receive regular content from us. If you sign up for The Phonograph Project, you will become a patron. Depending on the amount you pledge per month, you will gain early access to our monthly videos, as well as access to patron-exclusive content including our tutorials, additional videos, and other bonus material.

Given the current pandemic, this model is one way that we can continue to create and you can continue to have access to the music that you love. In a world without performance and in-person teaching, this project allows us to continue creating and sharing our music, as well as teaching remotely. Meanwhile, our audience gains access to high-quality videos and tutorials during a period of time when they are unable to attend concerts or in-person lessons. For those who haven’t encountered many Irish-American recordings from the 20s and 30s, the project will serve as a musical guided tour; for those more familiar with the era, it’ll provide an opportunity for close study, new musical perspectives, and an opportunity to uncover some forgotten gems.

We hope you'll consider joining us in this new endeavor! - Will Woodson and Caitlin Finley

P.S.: Friday, May 15 marks the one year anniversary of the release of our album! To mark the occasion, we're starting a weekly live stream every Friday night at 9 pm EST. We want to do this for a few reasons -- we miss playing live music, playing fun tunes regularly is great for creativity, weekly tunes on Friday evenings will provide some structure during a time when all of our days are starting to blend together -- but, our main motivation is simply that our first two live streams were so much fun (thank you to those of you who tuned in)! We really enjoyed being able to share music and chat with people in real time. We're going to keep things fairly casual with these -- just some fun tunes and some chatting. We'll play for an hour or two, or until everyone gets sick of us and goes to bed. We'll be hosting these live streams on YouTube and anyone will be able to access them. If you're on Facebook, we'll post a link to our page before we go live each week to remind everyone to tune in. If you're not on Facebook, keep an eye on Will's YouTube page on Friday nights around 9 pm EST. We're very excited to begin playing live music on a more regular basis. We really hope you'll stop by to say hi and chat with us.

  Thomm Jutz inspires hope with song remembering 'The Flood of 2010'

Artist Video Thomm Jutz @ FROG

It’s sometimes said that if history doesn’t repeat itself, it rhymes, and so it’s no surprise that the new single from Mountain Home Music Company recording artist Thomm Jutz — a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter and instrumentalist known for his immersion in the history of the American South — looks back at one event seared into Music City’s memory to find a measure of hope and inspiration, not just for Nashville, but for us all.

Originally written in anticipation of the 10th anniversary, “The Flood of 2010” recalls the devastation that ensued when the city endured a “thousand year flood” at the beginning of May. Released simultaneously in two forms — one, a quintessentially bluegrass version featuring Mike Compton, Mark Fain, Justin Moses and Tammy Rogers, the other an intimate rendition by Jutz alone — “The Flood of 2010” is the first offering from his forthcoming autumn release, To Live In Two Worlds, Volume 2.

As Jutz recalls, “I was playing guitar for Nanci Griffith in 2010. We were stuck in an airport hotel in Oakland when the flood ravaged Music City — no flights were going in or out of Nashville. I was anxiously watching the news from my hotel room given that our house is less than two miles from Percy Priest Lake, but luckily our home was spared. My old friend and co-writer, Charley Stefl, picked me up a couple of days after I finally made it back home and we went to the West Side of town to help some people knock out rotted drywall. It was the right thing to do. The streets were lined with debris, thousands of people showed up and helped complete strangers — we’d never seen anything like it.”

“People used to get news and preserve history through song,” he notes. “To me, that era has never ended; it’s more real to me than anything on TV. In that tradition, Charley, Jon Weisberger and I wanted to write about the flood — from the book of Genesis to the Mississippi flood of 1927 to the Nashville flood of 2010.”

“One day there’ll be songs about the plague that is upon us now,” Jutz continues. “One that doesn’t just affect Nashville, Middle Tennessee or America but the whole world. This time the best we can do is to not show up, to stay at home and wait for Noah’s dove to come back again one day — as surely it will.”

  International Songwriting Competition Announces 2019 Winners

Benjamin Dakota Rogers

Artist Video Benjamin Dakota Rogers @ FROG

The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is pleased to announce its 2019 winners. Established in 2002, ISC is the world’s largest international songwriting competition, receiving over 18,000 entries from 140 countries in 2019. More than $150,000 in cash and merchandise is awarded to 71 winners in 23 categories covering all genres of music. For a complete list of 2019 winners and to hear the winning songs, go to:

In addition to the Grand Prize winner (Australian singer and songwriter Toni Watson known as Tones And I), many other deserving songwriters also share in the prestige and kudos of winning their respective categories in ISC. These winners hail from all over the world (63% of this year’s winners come from outside the USA) and represent diverse cultures while ranging from talented amateurs to seasoned songwriting veterans. The 23 categories include all genres of contemporary music, from Pop/Top 40 to Jazz to Country to Hip-Hop, and more. Entries are now open for the 2020 competition.

El Amir

Artist Video Amir John Haddad @ FROG

Jeff Schroedl (Altered Five Blues Band)
Robert T Wilson (Teresa James And The Rhythm Tramps)
Alastair Moock 
Benjamin Dakota Rogers

  El Amir: Global Music Award

Amir John Haddad - El Amir has been awarded with the GLOBAL MUSIC AWARDS 2020 as a SILVER MEDALIST for OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT with his new single ANDALUCÍA.

New flamenco album “Andalucia” released on February 28th as a tribute to Southern Spain, dedicating each song to each province within Andalusia. After appearing on Hans Zimmer's soundtrack for the Hollywood movie "The Rhythm Section" (Jude Law) released in January 2020 this is now a great highlight in his career. The music industry is celebrating him internationally as one of the innovators of the flamenco guitar.

Sugaray Rayford

Artist Video Sugaray Rayford @ FROG

SKYPE ONLINE CLASSES NOW! Due to global change El Amir has launched a brand new Online “One on One” Premium Guitar Package where he teaches guitar classes directly to students via Skype, Zoom etc. His touring schedule, Guitar Camps and recordings has been so tight and busy throughout all these years, that it has been very difficult to hold up with all the requests of fans and followers to teach online classes. Now it’s the perfect time! El Amir is offering a personalized Guitar Mentoring Package where he will guide the student through the secrets and essence of the flamenco guitar.

  Sugaray Rayford: B.B. King Entertainer of the Year

The Blues Music Foundation presented the 41st Annual Blues Music Awards via virtual ceremony on Sunday, May 3rd, 2020. A rising star in the international blues community, Sugaray Rayford, has won the prestigious B.B. King Entertainer of the Year and for the second consecutive year, nabbed the Soul Blues Male Artist Award. The singer was also nominated in four additional categories.

This past December, Rayford was nominated for a 2020 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album for the critically acclaimed Somebody Save Me, released in March 2019 on Forty Below Records.

Last but not least

  #BlackLivesMatter #TheShowMustBePaused

'Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me 

I once was lost, but now am found,

Was blind, but now I see... '



Music Industry's Black Out
Tuesday Following George
Floyd's Death

5 Roots Artists Who Sing About
Racial Injustice & Oppression:
Rhiannon Giddens, Our Native Daughters,
Jake Blount, Dom Flemons, Adia Victoria

June 19th, nationally recognized as “Juneteenth” is the oldest celebrated day in black history commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, Major General Gordon Granger traveled to Galveston, Texas with news that the enslaved were free. Juneteenth marks the end to centuries of black enslavement in America and the events of 1865 are not forgotten. This year and every year going forward, Blue Élan Records is recognizing Juneteenth as an official company holiday in order to honor, acknowledge, and remember this significant day 155 years ago. We encourage everyone to take this time to learn about and celebrate all that is Black culture. A HISTORY OF JUNETEENTH IN 60 SECONDS

Blue Élan Records

Rhiannon Giddens

Artist Video Rhiannon Giddens

Dom Flemons

Artist Video Dom Flemons

Rebecca Loebe

Artist Video Rebecca Loebe

Bri MUrphy

Artist Video

Dear Music Maker community, when discussing the deaths of George Floyd or Breonna Taylor, our black partner artists clearly express the pain and anguish shared by many of the younger people in their communities. Sadly, they rarely register the slightest shock or surprise as violence and injustice have been all too familiar constants throughout their long lives in America. Through the years we learned of the systemic injustices they had to endure. Piedmont bluesman Cootie Stark told us of the lynching of Willie Earle in 1947 in his hometown of Greenville SC, JW Warren a WWII veteran who took us to the Enterprise, AL county courthouse where it listed the men who served, "Whites" in one column, "Negroes" in another. Guitar Gabriel explaining of growing up when you were not allowed to look at a white woman without fear of reprisal. Cora Mae Fluker, of Meridian, MS lowered the back of her dress to show us the scars of a life-threatening whipping she took for just trying to leave the plantation she grew up on in Alabama as a teenager. Hearing these stories, recording and photographing these artists, Denise and I wanted to do our part, to make sure their voices are never silenced.

We stand with Black Lives Matter and hope to see an end to the violence perpetrated by our institutions of law enforcement. We hope this movement will lead our society to take a deeper dive into examining the many systems that contribute to the oppression of people of color, from our education, health and judicial systems to our banking and hiring practices and more. While better laws and government policies can help increase freedom and equity for all citizens, the bigger challenge is the individual work each of us must do to reckon with the racism, bias and prejudice that we carry within us. This is difficult work and it will take a life-long effort, but it is essential if we are ever to realize the promise of America for ourselves and our fellow citizens of color. None of us can ever be free until all of us are free.

Sincerely, Tim & Denise Duffy (Music Maker Relief Foundation)

Recent events have brought much strife and uncertainty into our daily lives, from the toll of an unprecedented health scare and economic crisis to the tragic injustices and violence that has sparked unrest on our streets. Our community has suffered greatly but no one group has suffered like the Black community. We write today to stand in solidarity with Black artists, musicians and professionals whose contributions to the growth of this nation and our culture are immeasurable. This is not a political issue. It is a human issue and our plea is for an end to injustice, and a call for positive change. We - The Americana Music Association - raise our collective voices to call for an end to the systemic racism that continues to plague our society as a whole. We further pledge to work actively against racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, classist, and other oppressive notions that marginalize, restrict, or destroy any human being simply because of their identity. And moving forward, we commit to making a more concerted effort to push back against hate and to more proactively foster love and solidarity. We encourage our colleagues and friends to join us in standing together as one voice against hate and injustice.

Sincerely, The Americana Music Association

Nora Jane Struthers

Artist Video Nora Jane Struthers

Janet Robin

Artist Video Janet Robin

Jake Blount

Artist Video Jake Blount

In solidarity with music organizations across the world, IBMA will be observing #TheShowMustBePaused on Tuesday, June 2nd. This pause in every corner of the music industry is intended to be a “day to take a beat for an honest, reflective, and productive conversation about what actions we need to collectively take to support the Black community.” As a commitment to our long held value statement to encourage diversity and inclusion in bluegrass music, the IBMA will add its support of #TheShowMustBePaused by:

Sincerely, The International Bluegrass Music Association

I usually believe that the show must go on no matter what - but not this time. I’m participating in Blackout Tuesday because I support the fight for an equitable and just society. Dr. Martin Luther King said that “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” When you have a responsibility to raise your voice for change. That time has come. There is no place in this world for hate and violence. I urge you to join me in a day of reflection and action, and to find a way to play a role in promoting equality in your community.

XOXO, Nora Jane Struthers

The final thing on my mind is something I've never discussed before: systemic racism and how we, as a group of loving individuals, can help dismantle it. Like many people, I'm ashamed that I haven't been more aggressive in fighting against racist systems in our society. I was raised in a liberal household, I attended diverse schools where I was taught that racism was a thing of the past. I had the privilege of believing it. As an adult, I've tried to be a good friend, a principled business person, and a good ally... but when I take a cold, hard look at it, when I consider the two opposing poles of anti-racism and racism (ie: actively working to dismantle racist systems vs. supporting racist systems through inaction, aka a desire to not rock the boat)... I don't like where I fall on the spectrum. I've spent a lot of time over the past few weeks learning how I can actively work for racial justice, and I'd like to share two resources that I've found to be particularly helpful:

There is a lot of progress being made right now, but there's much work to be done and I'm afraid that once the news cycle moves on people will lose focus. For that reason, I'm setting up weekly reminders for myself to explore these resources and work through each of the items on 75 Things list. Would you be interested in receiving those reminders? If so, please respond to this email with "anti-racism" in the subject line. I'd be happy to have some accountability buddies ❤️ I know that there are people on my list from all walks of the political spectrum, but I truly believe that racial equality is something that we can all agree is necessary for our society to live up to its full potential. I hope this finds you well. I'd love to hear about what you've been doing, how things are looking in your part of the world, and if there's anything I can do to make your day better.

With love, Rebecca Loebe

Hi Everyone... Wow. What a year this has become. I really hope we can all reach some peace soon in this country. With the virus and now the rioting, we of course have a lot of wounds to heal. I lived through the Rodney King riot here in LA. I'm a born and bread LA gal. I don't know if we learned enough from that situation, but we obviously need to learn more. We need to work together more on solutions and take action, talk together more, work on programs with communities. With the risk of sounding cliche, I do truly hope we can find a way to come together and make changes that are long overdue. We are all a part of this amazing planet we live on.

I know one thing is for sure; Music can heal. It's a universal language. I have to keep making music, I hope you will keep listening to it. No live venues for quite a while. Be Safe. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be a great human. Cheers, Janet Robin

I’ve been quiet for several reasons. Perhaps the biggest one is the spotlight on police brutality and the BLM movement in the U.S. We’re at a crisis point here in the country - a “moral moment,” as Cory Booker would say - a time where we all have to do some deep reflection on where we are, and where we need to go, and how we’re going to get there. I spent the weeks reading voraciously, writing every morning, and thinking a lot about grief. I used social media primarily to amplify BIPOC voices. I reflected on what it means to pursue a career as a musical artist, as a woman, and as a white woman, and in Nashville, Tennessee, a city that has a bust of a KKK grand wizard in its capitol building.

One of the biggest questions in my mind: Is art enough? Shouldn’t I go be the lawyer I said I was going to be, or hop on another campaign, or run for office myself? In the middle of a pandemic, I think it was hard to remember that making art is one of the best ways to fight the good fight every damn day. Making beautiful things out of heartbreak, bringing light into the heart of dark times, using my platform to say things that need to be said - these are all things I get to do as an artist every day. Making art is a way to engage generational resilience, and build on the strength of everyone who has suffered before us and come out stronger on the other side.

Everything is uncertain and painful at a national and even global level right now. But we *will* get to the other side of this someday. Then, inevitably, there will be other mountains to climb. I hope you and yours are safe and well. XOXO, Bri Murphy

Following rave reviews and features from NPR Music, Billboard Pride, AV Club, Paste Magazine, Rolling Stone Country, and more, Jake Blount put out a statement about the current protests rocking the nation. He ties some of these ideas to the song "Mad Mama's Blues" from his new album. Recorded in 1924 by blues singer Josie Miles, the song is a haunting, rage-filled desire to burn everything to the ground. It's amazing it was ever made in that era and it echoes what is happening today.

"The purpose of Spider Tales is to chronicle the fury, the resentment and the desperation for justice that have simmered beneath the surface of this nation since time immemorial, and that have been encoded into the traditions passed down to me. It seems only fitting that the record should be released minutes after protesters in Minneapolis breached and burned a police precinct, exacting an incomplete vengeance for the public lynching of George Floyd and ensuring the arrest of his killer. It may be that the past several years' unrest has been the first, scattered sparks of a conflagration for which generations of my ancestors have prayed. I am honored to carry those prayers forward in song -- for my forebears' sake, for my own, and for all of us who want to set the world on fire. The reckoning to come may be grim for us all, but it is overdue. I stand with my people as we struggle for our freedom. Please stand with us..."

Jake Blount

  Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot lyrics, meaning and history: Why is England’s rugby song controversial? – The Sun

I have written at length two or three times down the years in my Daigressing re the absurdity - even obscenity? - of 70,000 almost totally caucasian England rugby fans, singing a song that comes deep from the heart of the descendants of negro slaves.

Does that mean white people cannot sing the song? Of course not. When they know the context, like Joan Baez (who I have seen sing it in live performance on three different occasions), then that is just fine.

But I am with Brian Moore in saying the fans should stop. The most startling thing is the ignorance of Tory politicians... today Boris astonishingly showed he knew nothing about its origins... just like Dominic Raab laughably yesterday seemed to think that "taking the knee" had its origins in Game Of Thrones...

... Truly... YCNMIU, eh?

TTFN, David "Dai" Woosnam

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