FolkWorld #78 07/2022

CD Rezensionen

Short & Sweet

Fred Arcoleo "We Are Mighty: Sustenance for the Struggle" (CD, Rally Folk Records, 2022). "In the dark times there will be singing..." (inspired by a Bertolt Brecht poem) From the "smoldering cauldron of crisis" the songs from We Are Mighty were born. It is a "tribute album" to the power and resilience of ordinary people in the face of hardship and struggle, and an affirmation to turn tragedy into transformation.

Barney Bentall "Cosmic Dreamer" (CD, True North Records, 2022). Barney Bentall is a Canadian pop/rock singer-songwriter who is most well known for his 1980s/1990s-era band, The Legendary Hearts. He went on to release critically acclaimed solo albums, and recently joined bluegrass-influenced folk group, The High Bar Gang. The 11-track "Cosmic Dreamer" ranges from acoustic Americana to traditional folk, infused with hope with lyrics that focus on love, longing and loss, Watch the title track, "Cosmic Dreamer"!

Gary Cain "Next Stop" (CD, Own label, 2022). Bombast meets social consciousness on Canadian Gary Cain's new album, Next Stop: a one-man power trio. Handling all guitar, bass and drum parts, Cain never walks through the door; he kicks it open. Aggressive, churning guitar riffs open most every track and serve as a vehicle for his pointed, no-nonsense lyrics. Check out Gary's YT Channel!

Article: A Panorama of Calabrian Music

Calabria Orchestra "Live" (CD, ItalySona, 2021). Checco Pallone wanted to set up an orchestra made of representatives of the various bands that populate the musical panorama of the Calabria region in southern Italy. Listen to the Calabria Orchestra's "Live" album! Watch them @ the Radicamenti Mendicino Festival 2019!

Ani DiFranco "Living In Clip (25th Anniversary Edition)" (CD, Righteous Babe, 1997/2022). Rolling Stone magazine named Ani DiFranco's[72] 1997 live album one of "The Essential Recordings of the ‘90s". The title is from a comment made by live sound engineer Larry Berger, indicating that the amplifiers weren't merely being overdriven into clipping occasionally; they were clipping so much that they were "living in clip". Now she is celebrating the "Living in Clip 25th Anniversary Edition", a 2022 remaster available on CD, digital download, and for the first time, on triple vinyl with never-before-seen photos of Ani and crew inside the gatefold.


Feuerschwanz "Das Herz eines Drachen" (Video, 2022). Medieval folk rockers FEUERSCHWANZ are on festival tour in summer 2022 and have released a very personal video for “Das Herz eines Drachen” [The Heart of a Dragon], taken from their #1 studio album Memento Mori! Hauptmann Feuerschwanz mourns his father: "To find words and sounds for feelings for which there are no words is almost impossible, but with the help of my friends from Feuerschwanz I mastered this challenge. What if the world feels so threatening that the nervous system goes into a freeze? Perhaps that's why it's no coincidence that my second profession, as a psychologist, deals with the effects of trauma on our nervous systems. Das Herz eines Drachen is a song that is supposed to bring healing and reconciliation for everything that hurt us when we were young. I have found a new share of authentic strength and connection with my family and to the whole world again through my Dragonheart."

Article: A Panorama of Calabrian Music

Folkatomik "Polaris" (CD, Italy Sona, 2022). POLARIS is the debut album of the Italian electro-folk quartet FOLKATOMIK that was established in Turin in 2019. The quartet blends electronic sounds with traditional music from southern Italy and the Mediterranean. Featuring: Valeria Quarta (vocals), Franco Montanaro (vocals, tambourines), Oreste Forestieri (wind & string instruments), Daniele Li Basi (guitars, synthesizers). Check out the the single "Quant'ave" (How Much) and the Folkatomik Live Teaser S.Martino!

Mary Gauthier "Dark Enough to See the Stars" (CD, In The Black, 2022). "July is going to be a great month. I released my tenth studio record, and the release process has felt like I am living in a dream. I do my best every time, but never know how a record will be received. It's been a wild ride this time - we are currently on the THIRD week of Dark Enough to See the Stars as #1 on the NACC Folk Chart. I've never had a #1 record before, much less a #1 record for three weeks. I am grateful for every single DJ who is playing it, and blown away by radio's warm embrace. After decades of doing this work, it's a first, and I'm speechless! Thank you to everyone for your continued support of me and this album. Don't forget, you can grab a signed vinyl or CD in my store here, now to listen yourself! In case you missed it... Check out the music videos for both "Fall Apart World" and "Dark Enough to See the Stars." I love seeing this songs come to life visually. Watch and listen below!" (Mary Gauthier)

Bobby Gentilo "Gentilo" (CD, Blue Heart Records, 2022). Singer-songwriter-guitarist Bobby Gentilo has spent years digging deep into Mississippi Delta and Hill Country Blues as a member The Cornlickers, the backing band for the late Big Jack Johnson. Gentilo now releases his debut album that ambitiously mixes Mississippi blues and roots with Go-Go, the funk, soul, and blues inspired music from his hometown of Washington D.C.: “There were few boundaries. The color of your skin didn’t dictate what music you could or couldn’t play. All that matters is – can you groove?” On the spirited first single and video from the album, "Troublin’", you can hear the boots scuffing on a sawdust covered dance floor on the raucous boogie as Gentilo says “Ain’t no party like a juke joint party.”

Anthony Geraci "Blues Called My Name" (CD, Blue Heart Records, 2022). Boston, Massachusetts-based Anthony Geraci's fifteen Blues Music Award nominations and 2021 win reflect four decades of musical excellence. No doubt you’re in the recorded presence of a consummate keyboardist. Solidly backed, Anthony Geraci offers up ten self-produced originals, half of them instrumentals, which showcase his stunning piano and Hammond organ prowess. Check out Anthony's YT Channel!

Eliza Gilkyson "Don't Stop Lovin' Me" (Video, 2022). New video: “Don’t Stop Loving Me” from Songs from the River Wind?? (“sheer perfection from first note to last…” - No Depression) is a “love song not only to a partner but a place, embracing the expansive vistas and gorgeous sunsets of the West and celebrating the home you expect to be your last. Settling down in the West after a long hiatus, my heart is full and my spirit soars like a hawk — it feels like I’m suspended in a beautiful dream.”

Steve Graves "The Nashville Sessions: Don’t Ever Stop" (CD, Own label, 2022). On the heels of his 2021 Release “All Alone” comes a 5-track EP titled “Don’t Ever Stop: The Nashville Sessions”, recorded at the legendary Ocean Way Studios with a world class Nashville band. Featuring a musical ride from West Coast Rock to Motown the final track is a cover of Jim Croce’s classic hit “I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song”. And that is what everything is about.

The Groove Krewe featuring Nick Drake III "Run To Daylight - Great New Orleans R&B" (CD, Sound Business Services, 2022). The Groove Krewe is a select group of studio musicians assembled by South Louisianan producers Rex Pearce and Dale Murray to back soulful vocalist and funky bass player Nick Drake III of Dumpstaphunk fame, named The Groove Krewe because they play groove music with a New Orleans feel. Check out "Run To Daylight"!

Mike Guldin "Tumblin’" (CD, Blue Heart Records, 2022). Willie Nelson famously sang ”the life I love is making music with my friends,” and Bucks County guitarist Mike Guldin has been living by that axiom for over 45 years. The leader of the two-time International Blues Challenge finalists, Rollin’ & Tumblin,’ has acquired a rich network of friends, who have appeared as special guests on his albums. “Tumblin’” is following that same formula of a collaborative musical funhouse, with thirteen original songs and two covers running the gamut of style from rock to country, blues to soul. Check out Mike's Youtube channel!

Steve Howell And The Mighty Men "Been Here And Gone" (CD, Out of the Past Music, 2022). East Texan Steve Howell’s new album, Been Here And Gone, closes with a cover of the timeless guitar anthem “Walk Don’t Run,” and that title may best sum up his style and approach. In a musical landscape overpopulated by acrobatic singers and toobusy guitarists, he is deftly employing subtlety instead of bombast. Check out Steve's "Youtube channel!

Lew Jetton & 61 South "Deja Hoodoo" (CD, Endless Blues Records, 2022). Singer-guitarist Lew Jetton & 61 South reflect on 30 years of dive bars, juke joints, honky tonks (some with chicken wire around the stages), festivals, parties, tattoo conventions, biker rallies, hoedowns, throwdowns,... Deja Hoodoo includes many of the bands most requested blues and blues-rock songs. Check out Lew Jetton & 61 South live in Murphysboro, IL (9-11-21)!

Jim Dan Dee "Real Blues (CD, Own label, 2022). Toronto-based blues & rock quartet Jim Dan Dee, led by singer-guitarist Jim Stefanuk, is picking up the torch of Rory Gallagher and Canned Heat, to name a few, who reimagined the works of the original blues pioneers into a heavier, riff-oriented sound and feel. Their sophomore album is Jim Dan Dee's approach to the hundred-year-old blues genre, selecting their "bluesiest" songs from their "Covid Amassed" catalog. Check out Jim Dan Dee's YT Channel!

Seth Kibel "Clarinetflix & Chill!" (CD, 2022). Seth Kibel's ?? new (digital-only) EP, "Clarinetflix & Chill," is available pretty much everywhere music can be downloaded or streamed in the digital multiverse! It features five brand-new original instrumental compositions drawing upon a variety of musical influences, not the least of which are swing and klezmer. Seth pleads, "All else being equal, please download the tracks from the rather artist-friendly platform of Bandcamp!!!" Watch "Rapid Test", "The Gaisin Shuffle", and this year's VERY SPECIAL April Fool's Day video!

Kronos Quartet, Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ, Rinde Eckert "Mỹ Lai" (CD, Smithsonian Folkways, 2022). The Kronos Quartet, Vietnamese multi-instrumentalist Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ (t'rưng - bamboo xylophone, đàn bầu - monochord zither, đàn tranh - 16-string zither) and vocalist Rinde Eckert have released Mỹ Lai, a recording of the renowned opera composed by Jonathan Berger and Harriet Scott Chessman. ?? Mỹ Lai is a poignant, damning reflection on the horrors of the Vietnam War, confronting themes which are still relevant today. The opera tells the story of the Mỹ Lai massacre: On March 16, 1968, the United States Army killed and brutalized over 500 unarmed civilians–men, women, children, infants, and elders–in the small coastal village of Mỹ Lai, Vietnam. This unimaginably horrific act moved helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson to intervene against orders, landing his helicopter three separate times in an attempt to end the violence. Upon his return he was ostracized, branded a traitor, and suffered from PTSD.

Levee Town "Trying To Keep My Head Above Water" (CD, Own label, 2022). 20 years and 9 records in, "The record takes you through moods, that was the idea. I wrote all the songs during lockdown," notes guitarist-singer Brandon Hudspeth about their new sonic organism constructed over an elaborate blues base, but they're also about different people I know, telling the stories through their eyes. I think the way the sequence of the songs goes, it starts sort of light hearted and happy, but the way of the world, the way things have gone, you've gotta put some realism in there and the weight of that is pretty somber."

The Lucky Ones "Slow Dance, Square Dance, Barn Dance" (CD, Own label, 2022). Since releasing their self-titled debut album in 2021, The Lucky Ones have quickly come to be regarded as one of Canada’s finest roots music ensembles. Hailing from the Yukon, the group’s sound is built on a foundation of traditional bluegrass and honky-tonk, albeit expressed through the distinctive songwriting of its core members: “no frills, only honest old-time hillbilly music with a Yukon twist.” Check out their sophomore album, "Slow Dance, Square Dance, Barn Dance"! Watch the single video "A Fifth of You"!

David Lumsden "Rooted in the Blues" (CD, Own label, 2022). The former lead guitarist for acclaimed blues woman Hurricane Ruth has been chasing the guitar hero muse since he got his first guitar at 10 years old in 1965. “Rooted In The Blues” could easily be described as a tribute to those heady days of the British Rock invasion and the Golden Age of Electric Blues, when guitar heroes dominated the airwaves and turntables. Check out David's YT Channel!

Delbert McClinton "Outdated Emotion" (CD, Hot Shot Records/Thirty Tigers, 2022). Four-time Grammy Award winner Delbert McClinton celebrates his coming-of-age musical heroes and influences with his 27th studio album, Outdated Emotion: “I’ve always wanted to do an album of the songs that influenced me the most. Hank Williams songs, Jimmy Reed songs, and songs that I love. And this was the perfect time to do it. It’s important music from another time. It’s music that people need to hear again, or for the first time. Nobody knows about them. Or has forgotten about them. Or was never turned on to them. There is a whole generation, maybe two generations now, who don’t know this music. My whole idea here was to show them how it was and how we got here. Hank Williams, Jimmy Reed, Lloyd Price, Ray Charles. These songs take me to my youth. They are good if not better now than they were then, and they were great then. They are songs people should just get to hear.” Check out Delbert's Youtube channel!

Miss Bix "Bring It" (CD, Blue Heart Records, 2022). It is often considered the work of artists to reflect upon the world around them and use as fuel for their creative process. Singer-songwriter Leslie Letven Bixler (aka Miss Bix) was thrust into a global pandemic, racial and social unrest and climate change catastrophes including the California wildfires, where the Bixler family lost their home. The result was not despair or retreat, but rather a poignant and resolute collection of 14 new songs, exploring textures of North Mississippi Hill Country Blues and New Orleans’ street beats and mixing them with her West Coast style and sensitivity. Check out her YT channel!

Pierre Lacocque's Mississippi Heat "Madeleine" (CD, Van der Linden Recordings, 2022). Madeleine is Mississippi Heat’s 13th album. 12 out of 15 blues songs were written by Pierre Lacocque, who “directs the band with his highly creative, virtuosic harmonica skills, stellar songwriting, and artistic vision” (Chicago Blues Guide). Watch Mississippi Heat performing the title track, Madeleine, at the Montreal Jazz Festival 2022!

The Odd Birds "Tremolo Heart" (CD, Own label, 2022). Jennifer Moraca and Ron Grigsby have been playing and singing together an odd blend of americana, country and folk for over 10 years. Rocking Magpie magazine says, "While so many youngsters buy a buckskin jacket, Gibson Jumbo and wear their fringe like Roger McGuinn they forget they have to have lived their life to the max, before their songs become authentic, and that’s where The Odd Birds really come alive. These songs sound believable..."

Ann Peebles & the Hi Rhythm Section "Live in Memphis" (CD, Memphis International Records, 1992/2022). American singer Ann Lee Peebles gained celebrity for her Memphis soul albums of the 1970s, and co-writing the popular song "I Can't Stand the Rain". She gave up performing after a stroke in 2012. This recording captures Ann Peebles' only known live recording with the Hi Rhythm Section, recorded in February 1992 on a bill with Otis Clay called An Evening of Classic Soul.

Rod Picott "Paper Hearts and Broken Arrows" (CD, Welding Rod Records, 2022). Rod Picott’s ?? fourteenth album, Paper Hearts & Broken Arrows, is a collection of some of the strongest songs he has put to tape: "Although the pandemic emptied out the wheelbarrow of my life as I knew it; I was simultaneously gifted with enormous amounts of time to dig in the dirt pile left behind. There is a song about Sonny Liston’s tragic boxing career and life and a song so intimate and vulnerable, I myself, teared up in the studio when we played it back. There is a song about pure lust as naked as they come and a stomping roaring rocker from the moonshine mountains of Appalachia. There are outlaws, villains, vows of loyalty and pleas to the skies to offer small mercies." Watch "Sonny Liston", "Lost in the South", "Mark of my Father", "Lover", "Dirty T-Shirt" & "Washington County"!

Article: A Panorama of Calabrian Music

Quartaumentata "Live 22th Anniversary" (CD, ItalySona, 2021). The 2021 live album celebrates 22 years of revitalizing the traditions of Locride/Calabria in southern Italy, home to the Zampogna bagpipes and the Tarantella dance, enriching it with sounds and rhythms from all over the World. Check out the Quartaumentata 22th Anniversary TV presentation!

The Reverend Shawn Amos "Hollywood Blues - Songs and Stories from the Family Tree" (CD, Immediate Family Records, 2022). From his earliest singer-songwriter days to his recent incarnations as a bluesman, Shawn Amos says, “I’ve always written about my family.” The Hollywood Blues LP is the companion release to his debut semi-autobiographical novel Cookies & Milk, an ode to the strength of family and the power of forgiveness. Watch the Reverend's "Everybody Wants To Be My Friend" lyric video!

Michael Rubin "I’ll Worry If I Wanna" (CD, Many Hats Records, 2022). Having distinguished himself as a sideman for many years, Michael Rubin finally steps into the spotlight on his debut album, I’ll Worry If I Wanna, not only as a harmonica master, but also as a singer-songwriter. Says Charlie Musselwhite: "I’ve just enjoyed listening to Michael Rubin’s new album. It was a fascinating listen…very creative and with humor, too. Every song is interesting with killer tones and phrasings!!! Michael sure knows his way around a harmonica and the backing band is also excellent. Any harmonica player would appreciate this entire album. I ain’t lyin’!” Check out Michael's YT Channel!

Amy Speace "Tucson" (CD, Windbone, 2022). Two decades into an already remarkable career, singer-songwriter Amy Speace ?? has crafted her most personal and intimate record to date and laid herself bare in a way she's never done before - following the Covid pandemic, the death of her father and her old trauma rearing old wounds. Thus, in the summer of 2020 she traveled to the Cottonwood de Tucson center to receive treatment for "trauma, complicated grief and depression." Tucson is supposed to offer a healing space for listeners. Watch "Cottonwood" & "Why I Wake Early"!

Vaneese Thomas "Fight The Good Fight" (CD, Blue Heart Records, 2022). The powerful voice of Vaneese Thomas returns for her ninth album “Fight The Good Fight.” Beyond her vocal prowess the collection of a dozen new tracks showcases her songwriting skills. The breadth of style and theme reflects her career with a cross section of soul, gospel, blues, country, and Americana flavors with themes of romance, socio-political discourse, spirituality, celebration, and love. Watch the smoldering "Same Blood Same Bone", paying tribute to her hometown Memphis and to everyone that worked to give birth to Soul music.

Matty T Wall "Live Down Underground" (CD, Hipster Dumpster Records, 2022). From sweet blues to gritty, stomping, blues-rocking beats, the Western Australian Matty T Wall band returns to the stage more motivated and addictively electric than ever. Through his reverence for historic musical forms, Matty is not emulating, but redefining the blues. "The guy is a picker," says Eric Gales. Watch "Broken Heart Tattoo" (live @ The Duke Of George in Fremantle, Western Australia) & "Burnin Up Burnin Down" (The Scene TV show)!

Brad “Guitar” Wilson "Brad “Guitar” Wilson" (CD, Cali Bee Music, 2022). When the guitar kicks off on the opening track, you might think you’re about to hear a John Lee Hooker cover. But no, “Ballad Of John Lee” is both a Wilson original and an all-out tribute. And what better way to honor him than to frame it in Hooker’s trademark boogie rhythm and sprinkle it with some of the bluesman’s lowdown “how-how-how” vocalisms. Brad Wilson pays homage to four more blues legends, namely Muddy Waters. He completed his first European tour of the Netherlands in 2019 and will return in May and October 2022. Check out Brad's YT Channel!

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