FolkWorld #73 11/2020

CD Rezensionen

Short & Sweet

Julie Abbé "Numberless Dreams" (CD, Own label, 2020). French folk and jazz singer Julie Abbé has lived in the UK for the past 20 years, and has found herself at home in the English and Irish folk scene. On this album, her French and Jazz background is not particularly noticeable, as she presents traditional Irish songs, three Yeats poems put to music by the singer, plus an original song in English language. Accompanied by Sid Goldsmith on concertina, Double bass and guitar, and on a few numbers by Dominic Hooper on cello. Watch "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" (poem by W.B. Yeats, music by Julie Abbé)!

Matthew Alexander "Soul River" (CD, Caravan Records, 2020). A disciple of the late Artie Traum and folk club headliner way back in the late sixties, Matthew Alexander offers his late works, highlighting his warm vocals and tasteful guitar and including remakes of Gordon Lightfoot's "Steel Rail Blues" and Bob Dylan's "Buckets of Rain".

Alfi "Wolves in the Woods" (EP, Own label, 2020). The debut EP of Irish trio Alfi. The music blends trad Irish with Appalachian influences, featuring banjo, harp and flute/uilleann pipes, with a blend of songs and tunes. The EP features five tracks - two lovely tunes (Trad and O’Carolan) and three songs. A pleasant debut. Check out BandCamp!

Kurt Allen "Whiskey, Women & Trouble" (CD, Titanium Blue, 2020). Genuine and solid blend of rock, funk, blues and soul from a singer-songwriter-guitarist and his kick-ass band who have been rocking stages across the US for more than a decade. Watch "Better Think Twice"!

Dave Alvin "From An Old Guitar: Rare and Unreleased Recordings" (CD, Yep Roc Records, 2020). “If I had a few extra bucks in my pocket, I’d book a day in the studio, call some old (or new) friends, comrades and co-conspirators to join me and see what would happen,” notes Dave Alvin, “no pressure, no expectations, just making music for the transcendental thrill of, well, making music.” This 16-song collection features a mix of folk, blues and country/rock songs recorded over the years, written by Alvin as well as as heroes like Willie Dixon, Bob Dylan, Earl Hooker and Doug Sahm. Watch “Highway 61 Revisited”!

The Reverend Shawn Amos & The Brotherhood "Blue Sky" (CD, Put Together Music, 2020). “When I first played blues,” the Reverend Shawn Amos says, “I had no interest in writing. But I slowly got the bug again. This is the first time I’ve had the space to try to be more of a singer-songwriter within the confines of the blues.” Moreover, “Blue Sky” is a collaboration between the Rev and some old friends. Watch "Counting Down The Days" & Watch "Stranger Than Today"!

Courtney Marie Andrews "Tiny Desk (Home) Concert", "Break the Spell" (Video, 2020). NPR Music's Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future and introducing The Tiny Desk (Home) Concerts, bringing us performances from across the US and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space. Watch Courtney Marie Andrews' Tiny Desk (Home) Concert, as well as recently joining CBS This Morning to perform "Break The Spell"!

FolkWorld Xmas

Kris Angelis "Maybe let's not do Christmas this year" (Single/Video, 2020). Kris Angelis's latest EP release, 'That Siren, Hope', debuted at #1 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart while steadily climbing the Americana radio charts. Then the pandemic came along ... and Kris wonders: "Maybe let's not do Christmas this year!" Check it out, e.g. @ BandCamp & YouTube!

Dustin Arbuckle and The Damnations "My Getaway" (CD, Own label, 2020). The debut album of veteran harmonica player Dustin Arbuckle and his new outfit, The Damnations, has one foot soaking in the blues, one foot dripping wet with Americana, and a third foot with it's toes split between folk and vintage rock. Expect Led Zeppelin and Nick Cave, Laurel Canyon and Louisiana Swamp - all spilled into 11 tracks. Check out "My Getaway" live @ Don Odell's Legends & BandCamp!

German CD Review

Paul Armfield "Domestic" (CD, Pop Up Records, 2020). Based on the Isle of Wight this is already the sixth album of English singer/songwriter and book seller Paul Armfield. On this calm and reflective album in an Americana/Folk style, the songs reflect, in a not particularly political way, about the UK’s political situation Paul, and he makes a point with having a contemporary band of musicians from all over Europe. Watch "You"!

Carley Arrowood "Goin' Home Comin' On" (Video, 2020). Bluegrass singer-songwriter and fiddler Carley Arrowood has spent the past five years as a featured band member with the award-winning duo of Darin & Brooke Aldridge. "Goin' Home, Comin' On" is a lively portrait of a young woman homeward bound for a weekend visit — as illustrated in the first video she has done as a solo artist.

Badi Assad "Around The World" (CD, Ropeadope Records, 2020). Brazilian singer Badi Assad's new release completes the trilogy" "Around the World in 80 Artists", initially launched as a book followed by a show of the same title. The repertoire, recorded only with voice and guitar, is depicting a musical trip around the world with an open view to break down any possible borders and prejudices.

The Avett Brothers "This Land Is Your Land" (Video, 2020). The Avett Brothers Seth and Scott from Concord, North Carolina, combine bluegrass, country, honky tonk and indie rock to produce a unique and particular sound. Watch their take on Woody Guthrie's renowned "This Land Is Your Land"!

Avey Grouws Band "the devil may care" (CD, Own label, 2020). 2018 & 2020 International Blues Challenge Semi-Finalists Chris Avey and Jeni Grouws from The Quad Cities area along the upper Mississippi have cultivated a particular sound all of their own, blending blues and country, roots and blues rock. Watch the title track "The Devil May Care" (Live in Davenport, Iowa at Gypsy Highway on January 4, 2020)!

Article: Gospel

Balsam Range "Grit and Grace" (Single/Video, 2020). "Grit And Grace", the latest single from North Carolina quintet Balsam Range, has reached the No. 1 spot on Bluegrass Today's monthly chart. "Grit And Grace" is an emotional meditation on meeting hard times with perseverance and spiritual courage — “one part moxie and another part mettle.”

The Band of Heathens with Jason Eady "Long Monday" (Video, 2020). Remote Transmission #22 features Jason Eady and The Band of Heathens on John Prine's "Long Monday" from his 1991 album "Fair & Square."[72] "Song choice inspired by one of the greatest of all time. We all miss you, John."

Battlefield Band "Time & Tide" (Video, 2020). For anyone frustrated by travel limitations and lockdowns just now, take a little virtual trip to the North West of Scotland with this Alasdair White tune, "Time & Tide", accompanied by some superb images of the Highlands & Islands. Alasdair was still a teenager when he wrote this tune, and it was recorded for his first album with the Battlefield Band back in 2002.[23]

Erick Beau "Coming Home" (Video, 2020). Montreal artist Erick Beau had signed a production and licensing deal by 18. As a rebellious teen, he refused to embrace the music industry's demands and instead turned to studying law. He continued to write songs in his spare time. Now in his 50s, Beau is ready to circle back to his true love. "If ever you feel the need to discover our planet and life, don't let your fears or your friends or your folks stop you! Getting away from your comfort zone may be necessary to discover who you really are! Just don't forget to come back home!" Watch "Coming Home" off of his forthcoming debut album, "What it Takes" (May 2021)!

Tom Beaulieu "Smoking Out the Luminary" (CD, Own label, 2020). Tom Beaulieu looks and sounds like he has been around forever and has seen it all. He can rock it but he is also able to portray the folksy singer-songwriter. Watch Tom's version of the Hot Tuna 70s bluesrock hit, "I Can See The Light", and the original "Capitan Weed"! For more, visit Tom's Youtube channel!

Ben Bedford "Portraits" (CD, Cavalier Recordings, 2020). Unfortunately Illinois singer/songwriter Ben Bedford had to cancel his 2020 tour. Good news is his new album, "Portraits," a retrospective collection of songs from Ben's first three albums: "Lincoln’s Man," "Land of the Shadows," "What We Lost." Listen to "Land of the Shadows", which remembers Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955.

Charlie Bedford "Good To Go" (CD, Blue Heart Records, 2020). Sallie Bengtson welcomes 19-year-old Australian blues guitarist Charlie Bedford to the Blue Heart Records family: “Charlie Bedford is no stranger to the blues community, having performed in the IBC Youth Showcase in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Mentored by some of the biggest names in Australian blues and beyond, he brings a fresh synthesis of styles to his music.” Check out Charlie Bedford Making a Scene! Watch Youtube channel!

Rick Berthod "Peripheral Visions" (CD, RB Music, 2020). Way back in Los Angeles in 1988, Albert Collins helped Rick Berthod put together a band of the Best of the West. Three decades later, this is a dream team delivering both high-energy and soulful blues on his eighth release, "Peripheral Visions." Listen to "Fly On"!

Laila Biali "Both Sides Now" (Video, 2020). Canadian icon Joni Mitchell[69] turned 75, and singer-songwriter-pianist Laila Biali has launched Joni75 - The Living Room Sessions. "Both Sides Now" is an intimate, stripped down cover of Mitchell's beloved song, illuminating the poignant lyrics. Known for a sound that “masterfully mixes jazz and pop” (Washington Post), Biali has received the 2020 SOCAN Music Songwriting Award and the 2019 JUNO for Vocal Jazz Album. She has toured with Sting and hosts a national radio show on CBC Music.

"Blues Escape feat. Johanna Lillvik" (CD, Paraply Records, 2020). Blues Escape is the result of a magical collaboration between singer Johanna Lillvik and blues band Hill Blue Unit at Alingsås jazz club in 2016. Their repertoire consists of genuine Southern American music with a focus on the musical traditions of New Orleans, in terms of blues, gospel, jazz, soul, latin, boogie woogie, rythm'n'blues, voodoo. Watch Johanna Lillvik live, Ågården 2019!

Paul Boddy & The SlideWinder Blues Band "Friends of Tuesday" (EP, Slide Records, 2020). Now in its fifth year, SlideWinder isn’t just a band, it’s a community, comprised of several regulars of “The Every Tuesday Funk ‘n’ Blues Jam” in the Philadelphia area. Five tracks make up “Friends Of Tuesday”, hitting hard with its own brand of Texas and Chicago driven contemporary blues. Check out the SlideWinder's YouTube channel!

Xavier Boderiou, Sylvain Barou, Antoine Lahay "Liamm" (CD,, 2020). This project of the three Breton musicians particularly celebrates the Great Highland Bagpipes, played by Xavier, in a Breton context, interwoven with the sounds of biniou (Breton pipes) and flutes (Sylvain) and guitars and effects. The tunes are composed by Xavier inspired by Breton, Irish and Scottish music traditions. As a bonus, sheet music of all the tunes is included in the booklet so that keen musicians can try the tunes themselves. Check out Liamm album teaser!

German CD Review

Joe Bonamassa "Why Does It Take So Long To Say Goodbye" (Video, 2020). Blues rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa announces his new studio album "Royal Tea," ten original tracks inspired by British blues music in his dad’s vinyl collection: Cream, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, ... Watch "Why Does It Take So Long To Say Goodbye", "Royal Tea" & "A Conversation With Alice"!

German CD Review

Kjell Braaten "Ferd" (CD, By Norse Music, 2020). The title Ferd means “journey”, “travel”, and “to explore”. The album's primary focus is to honour those who travelled the world, thus expanding knowledge and facilitating cultural exchange. Says Kjell Braaten (percussionist of Wardruna fame):[63] "Much of our culture (as many musical instruments) was brought back from the far east. There is endless evidence of how vital part this trade has played in Scandinavia's cultural development. To underline the cultural exchange, I have used only instruments based on accepted finds from around Scandinavia, some with its origin in the middle east. The rhythms and scales used in this composition are from both cultures." Watch: "Østavind"!

Luke Brindley "Thin Spaces" (CD, Own label, 2020); "The Devil's Drum" (CD, Own label, 2020). Washington DC based fingerstyle guitarist and singer-songwriter Luke Brindley has released two new records, "Thin Spaces" & "The Devil's Drum". He made simple lyric videos for songs, "Love Your Family"! "The Devil’s Drum", & "Salvation Blues"! American Songwriter named both records in the Top 12 Indie Albums of 2020. Luke recorded solo guitar arrangements of some of his favorite Christmas songs three years ago offers them for FREE (pay what you can). Download @ Bandcamp!

"The Bromberg Experience - A Mini Documentary" (Video, 2020); "The Show On The Road – David Bromberg" (Podcast, 2020). With his 1971 self-titled debut release, folk-blues singer-songwriter David Bromberg[58] emerged as a kind of wunderkind of American roots music. Watch "The Bromberg Experience - A Mini Documentary"! Listen to "The Show On The Road – David Bromberg"! Stick around to the end of the episode to hear David Bromberg play a new acoustic tune called “Buddy Brown’s Blues.”

Joshua Burnell "Flowers Where the Horses Sleep " (CD, Misted Valley Records, 2020). York-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joshua Burnell’s music has been described as ‘folk baroque‘n’roll’, a mix of English folk, contemporary classical and vintage pop-rock. Recorded before the world went into Covid-19 lockdown, the album has a pertinent theme: “The songs were all inspired by people, past and present and explore humankind’s remarkable ability to find beauty, even in the hardest of times.” Watch "Le Fay"!

Tré Burt "Under the Devil's Knee" (Video, 2020). Sacramento-based folk singer-songwriter Tré Burt put out an elegy for George Floyd, Eric Garner and Breonna Taylor. Watch "Under the Devil's Knee" featuring Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell and Sunny War: Under the devil's knee oh lord, I'm under the devil's knee / screamin' "I cannot breathe" oh lord, from under the devil's knee / ...

German CD Review

Calexico "Scraping", "Ancienne Belgique Vol. 1" (Download, 2020). While Calexico missed seeing you out on the road this summer, they've added a digital version of two live releases to their Bandcamp channel. "Scraping", originally released in 2002, captures the band at one of their favorite venues on the US west coast, San Francisco’s historic Great American Music Hall, a window into the band’s early touring. "Ancienne Belgique Vol. 1", originally released in 2008, was recorded at the AB in Brussels, a "great hang there whether onstage or in the catering room, where they have some of the best cooking in all of Europe." Get into the holiday spirit with a cover of "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)", originally performed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

FolkWorld Xmas

Mairi Campbell "Merry Christmas Everybody" (Video, 2020). Mairi Campbell[68] and friends on Lismore, Argyll, cover Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody", featuring Davy Clincart (guitar, drums and bass), Charlie Gray (fiddle) and Sarah Campbell and Amy (backing vocals). Mairi is also excited to announce that in 2021 she'll be bringing out some new music.

Caitlin Canty "Where is the Heart of My Country" (Single/Video, Own label, 2020). »Where is the Heart of My Country first sparked for me as I flew home from California and spent most of the flight gazing out the window. At 30,000 feet, the rivers and roads looked like the flowing veins and arteries of our country. The patchwork of quilted farmland and tight-knit cities drove home how connected we truly are as Americans despite the fractured state of our nation. At the time, I’d been trading off between scrolling angrily through the news and reading Woody Guthrie’s autobiography, Bound for Glory, which likely helped direct my rage and sadness into this song. I was aching over our country’s growing division, disheartened by the people stoking the flames and inspired by strong voices raised in protest. This video fills me with longing to hit the road again. I love traveling this country more than almost anything.« (Caitlin Canty) Ft. Brittany Haas, Paul Kowert, Andrew Marlin, Noam Pikelny.

Carolina Blue "Take Me Back" (CD, Billy Blue Records, 2020). North Carolina's Carolina Blue had been formed in 2007 with roots running deep in the tradition of Bill Monroe. The band's repertoire consists of original songs, bluegrass favorites, and gospel, all done in the traditional style. Watch the video to "Too Wet To Plow", shot at the Allison-Deaver frame house from 1815.

Rosanne Cash "Crawl into the Promised Land" (Video, 2020). Classified as a country artist, singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash[57] the eldest daughter of Johnny Cash, draws on many musical genres, including folk, pop, rock and blues. This time Rosanne calls us to "Crawl into the Promised Land" (as usual ft. John Leventhal)!

FolkWorld Xmas

Barbara Cassidy Band "A Winter Frame of Mind" (CD, Suspicious Motives Music, 2020). Just in time for the holidays, Massachusetts based husband and wife team Barbara Cassidy and Eric Chasalow are releasing a contemporary-Irish eight song CD that includes holiday classics ("Wexford Carol" & "Auld Lang Syne"), covers of Paul McCartney, Briege Murphy & Jimmy Webb, a W.B. Yeats poem set to music, and an original inspired by reading many Child Ballad lyrics, in particular "The Cruel Mother." Check out Youtube channel!

The Celtic Kitchen Party "Lobster Tail and Beer" (CD, Own label, 2020). The Celtic Kitchen Party conjures up that down homer feeling where all relatives and neighbors drop by for a traditional kitchen party. The East Canadian outfit plays a mix of traditional Irish and Scottish Music as well as their own contemporary originals with a moderate measure of Pop and Country. Check out a brandnew Interview with Celtic Kitchen Party!

Annika Chambers & Derrick Procell "Rise Up Resist", "Black Man’s Justice" (Single, Catfood Records, 2020). “I wrote ‘Rise Up Resist’ because of what has been going on in our country since Trump took office. He is a dangerous tyrant who only cares about his own self-interest. We need to take action and speak out against his racism. We must stand up to the injustice he is creating and the damage he is doing to our country. Everyone must vote. The soul of America is at stake. James Armstrong hired top Chicago musicians to record it and selected two fine singers, Annika Chambers and Derrick Procell, to interpret the song with the emotion it needed.” “I wrote ‘Black Man’s Justice’ at the suggestion of my wife, Norma Chaparro. I used the music from a song I wrote over 20 years ago called ‘Lone Star Justice’ and came up with new lyrics. ‘Lone Star Justice’ was a Kay Kay and the Rays song that got considerable airplay in Texas. There were many requests for it and, also a lot of complaints. We hope the message is heard during these troubled times.” - Bob Trenchard

"OFFSTAGE Live: Music at the Museum with Chatham County Line" (Video, 2020). Chatham County Line has been a staple of the North Carolina music scene for two decades, embracing an all-acoustic instrumentation. With the 2020 release Strange Fascination, the band pushes its sound a bit more into the modern world. Watch Chatham County Line perform virtually from the North Carolina Museum of Art!

Cinder Well "No Summer" (Video, 2020). Amelia Baker, who performs as Cinder Well,[72] dropped two videos, "No Summer" (Official Video) and "Queen of the Earth, Child of the Skies" (Live). She strips traditional forms to their bones, creating a meditative, trance-like soundscape.

Cowboy Junkies "Open" (Vinyl, Wouldn't Waste Records, 2001/2020). For the first time, Cowboy Junkies'[48] 2001 album Open is available on vinyl. Purists should know that they slightly re-arranged the sequence and needed to drop a song ("Upon Still Waters"). Check out "I'm So Open"!

Ronny Cox "Live at the Kitchen Sink" (CD, Own label, 2020). As an actor, Cox made his debut in 1972's Deliverance, where he backs up a kid playing "Dueling Banjos".[72] At age 82, Cox's are folk songs written from his experiences through various stages of his life, recorded live at the Kitchen Sink Studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico (by Jono Manson, see below). Check out "Live at the Kitchen Sink" @ BandCamp!

Mike Craver "Mould's Undertaking" (CD, Sapsucker, 2020). Singer-songwriter-pianist Mike Craver, formerly of Red Clay Ramblers, draws this song collection from five different musicals, set in the Old West, that he was commissioned to write. He acted too and wrote himself in as Mould and his undertaking trade. Check out Mike's Youtube channel!

Crooked Eye Tommy "Hot Coffee And Pain" (CD, Blue Heart Records, 2020). Brother guitar duos are a special commodity in the music world, and so are Californian brothers Tommy and Paddy Marsh a.k.a. Crooked Eye Tommy. In 2020, they reached the International Blues Challenge finals. Their sophomore album, “Hot Coffee And Pain,” contains nine blues and roots rock tracks, including a duet featuring Teresa James on vocals and piano.[71] Check out Promo Video & Crooked Eye Tommy Making a Scene!

FolkWorld Xmas

Thomas Csorba "Thomas Csorba" (CD, Tone Tree Music, 2020). Born and bred in Texas, Thomas Csorba is ready to bring his voice and songwriting prowess to a larger audience. The self-titled debut LP is a collection of westerns with a touch of the dust bowl blues, moving effortlessly between big country Texas tales and tender bedroom intimacy. Watch "Heartache After Heartache" & "Crooked Kind of Free"! Thomas Csorba has also released "Songs For Christmas", a collection of (you guessed it!) Christmas tunes he recorded exclusively for his Patreon subscribers.

The Mary Jo Curry Band "Front Porch" (CD, Own label, 2020). Illinois singer Mary Jo Curry started as a classically trained singer and pianist before getting struck by the blues a decade ago. “Front Porch,” the new album is made up of ten original songs and one cover, with traditional blues rubbing shoulders with R&B, soul and funk. Watch "Nothin' is Easy"!

Darlin’ Brando "Weeds and Flowers" (Video, 2020). Brandon Goldstein (a.k.a Darlin’ Brando) has released a video for the song “Weeds and Flowers” from his recently released album, “Also, Too… ”: “We've all known someone like this before. So much talent and heart, but they always seem to get in their own way. The character in this song, a singer I met along the way, should be a household name by now as far as I'm concerned. But unfortunately the industry doesn't generally reward folks who have no interest in playing by anyone else's rules but their own…”

Michael Derning, Mia Arends "Rough Magic" (CD, Own label, 2019). Michael Derning and Mia Arends first sat down together to play music 45 years ago. "Rough Magic" re-imagines the music they heard from childhood to the present, mostly interpreted in fingerstyle guitar and voice. Along with 6 originals are songs by Paul Simon, Lennon/McCartney, the Incredible String Band, Blind Willie McTell, and Duke Ellington. Listen to "Rough Magic" @ Bandcamp!

Ani DiFranco "Do or Die" (Video, 2020); Ani DiFranco w/ Zoe Boekbinder, Gracie and Rachel, Diane Patterson "Boundalose" (Video, 2020). "Nothing will stem the tide of suffering from Covid-19, economic crisis, police brutality, mass incarceration, endemic poverty, entrenched white supremacy and misogyny, deportation and detainment, gun violence, fire, flood, disease, pollution, irradiation, exploitation, forced reproduction, gender and sexuality-based violence and oppression, dis-information, propaganda, corruption, and greed... short of a functioning democracy! Let’s harness our outrage and vote. We can do this, if we try, if we do this like it’s Do or Die." "I learned this Woody Guthrie song (featured on the new Resistance Revival Chorus record, This Joy)[73] to sing with the RRC at the DC Women’s March. The song is actually called "All You Fascists Bound To Lose" but my friends and I have come to call it simply Boundalose. It became the theme song of our trip and, in this moment, it feels kinda like the theme song of our country. Or so we hope as we hold our breath and pray for the people of America to rediscover the power and the glory of voting." - Ani[72]

Duncan​C "See No Difference" (Single/Download, 2020). Jersey born indie singer/songwriter Duncan Cassidy has just released his third single ‘See No Difference’ (Spotify, SoundCloud) after his support song ‘Nhs-the Real Heroes’ for the National Health Service and care workers in the UK (Spotify, SoundCloud) and the optimistic and hopeful ‘LDR’ at the start of a long distance relationship (Spotify, SoundCloud). ‘See No Difference’ is about the fact that we are all human and we will only see differences and obstacles in the way if we want too.

Elson Complex "Chill Out Guitar" (Download, 2020). »One half of my family comes from Andalusia, the other half from Catalonia. I was born in Foreign Countries. In other words, a kind of uprooted. Thus, it can hardly be a coincidence that I try to melt the boundaries between Spanish guitar and Classical, Blues, Rock and Folk music.« Juan Martínez Pérez aka Elson Complex is an acoustic fingerstyle guitarist based in Berne, Switzerland, who has just published a new digital album, "Chill Out Guitar". Check out his various single releases, too, especially "Get Me Out, Here", a melancholic, calm and relaxed piece of music to end this very strange year: »For me, it was - like for all of us - a tough year. My guitar often felt like a ship‘s mast to hold on through these troubling times. Music allows transposition. Music has healing power!«

Rusty Ends & Hillbilly Hoodoo "The Last of the Boogiemen" (CD, Own label, 2020). Rusty Ends and Hillbilly Hoodoo are said to be the missing link between 1950s blues and rockbilly and the musical styles of the 21st century. The 12 original songs on "The Last of the Boogie Men" take the blues and genres influenced by them (rock‘n’roll, rockabilly, swing), and blend them together to make a spicy hillbilly gumbo.

Tom Fairnie "Lightning in the Dark" (CD, Own label, 2020). Labelling itself as Celticana, the style of the songs is much closer to Americana and Country than Scotland - in fact you can hardly notice the Celtic angle on most tracks on this album of Scottish songwriter Tom Fairnie. Watch "Sleeping On The Streets OF New Orleans"!

Fairport Convention & friends "Meet on the Ledge 2020" (Single/Video, 2020). Fairport Convention[72] feature on a new ensemble recording of their classic song "Meet On The Ledge", released as a charity single for Help Musicians UK. "Meet On The Ledge" features all five current members of Fairport Convention plus Richard Thompson, Dave Mattacks, Ralph McTell, Moya Brennan, Chris & Kellie While, Emily Barker, Martin Joseph, and others. Most had been due to perform at Fairport’s annual Cropredy festival in August, which was postponed because of the Covid 19 pandemic, and join Fairport on stage to sing "Meet On The Ledge" for the festival's finale. The single is available from iTunes.

Feuerschwanz "Das Elfte Gebot", "Die Sieben Todsünden" (CD, Napalm Records, 2020). German medieval rock group FEUERSCHWANZ have released the official music video for their song "Malleus Maleficarum" off their brand new album Das Elfte Gebot which was released in June and landed at #3 on the official German album charts, where it remained for 8 consecutive weeks. »The Witch Hammer (lat. Malleus Maleficarum) is a pamphlet to legitimize the witch hunt and was released by Dominican Heinrich Kramer in 1486. He tried to cement his misogyny religiously and called everyone opposed to the witch hunt heretics! With heavy Black Sabbath- or Dio-esque riffs, medieval bagpipes and hurdy gurdies as well as monks' choirs in the vein of Ghost we show you a bleak world of medieval fake news! The high castle is set ablaze as our kitties won't be oppressed!« Das Elfte Gebot also includes the bonus cover album Die Sieben Todsünden, containing cover versions such as "Hier kommt Alex", originally written in 1988 by punk band Die Toten Hosen inspired by Anthony Burgess' novel "A Clockwork Orange." To celebrate the album release, the band had performed an exclusive online Open Air at Abenberg Castle.

Charley Foskett "Late Bloomer" (CD, Shmusicmusic Records, 2020). Charley Foskett is a veteran A&R man and record producer having worked with two Beatles, one Rolling Stone, one of Led Zeppelin... After two long running battles with cancer, he is about to release his debut folk and roots album. Music has become a vehicle for a message of hope and healing, and in a world racked by a pandemic, he hopes it may comfort those who need it. Watch "Hole In The Clouds"!

FolkWorld Xmas

Article: Ballads Vol. I

Iona Fyfe "Lay Ye Doon Love" (Video, 2020); "In The Bleak Midwinter" (Download, 2020). As part of Global Music Match,[73] Showcase Scotland gave Iona Fyfe[67] the opportunity to record a few live videos at Capture Works in Glasgow. Iona is joined by Graham Rorie (Gnoss) and Jack McRobbie singing Lay Ye Doon Love, from the singing of Jimmy Hutchison. Iona also released a Scots translation of the Christmas carol, In The Bleak Midwinter, and wrote an additional verse.

Abbie Gardner "Burn Me Down" (Video, 2020). "Burn Me Down" was written and performed by Abbie Gardner (dobro & vocals), accompanied by Craig Akin (upright bass), as part of a livestream concert from their New Jersey home in August 2020. Check out the Full Livestream 8/15/20 Show & the Endless Mountain Virtual Music Festival! »I'm going to be starting a Patreon page! For less than a coffee per month, you’ll get to see new songs come to life, be invited to an exclusive monthly Patreon-only Livestream show,... All away from social media! :) With your support I’ll be able to get through this weird time and maybe someday go back on the road armed with all these new songs, a new record, new arrangements, and some killer licks from all the practicing!«

Genna & Jesse "Say OK" (CD, Stars in My Mouth Music, 2020). Retro duo Genna Giacobassi & Jesse Dyen released their fourth album, “Say OK”, blending folk, soul, jazz, blues, country and pop music from the 60's and 70's. Watch Genna & Jesse live!

Rhiannon Giddens featuring Yo-Yo Ma "Build A House" (Video, 2020). From Rhiannon Giddens:[69] "Build A House came knocking about a week ago and I had to open the door and let it in. What can I say about what’s been happening, what has happened, and what is continuing to happen, in this country, in the world? There’s too many words and none, all at once. So I let the music speak, as usual." Jake Blount[72] wrote a piece for NPR Music's Timeline of Protest Music in 2020: "Giddens has woven these threads deftly together, linking today's movement to 400 years of history, both lyrically and musically. Build A House arrives just in time to remind the public that while racism has worn many faces over the years, each has turned on the same neck."

Eliza Gilkyson "Peace in Our Hearts" (Video, 2020). Eliza Gilkyson[36] wrote "Peace in Our Hearts" as a unifying call for courage, action and determination during the US election year. For the video", she wanted to get away from the usual images of marching activists and present something a little more down home and communal, just a sweet bunch of like-minded friends and family from various races, genders, generations and beliefs making music together - with a unified intention to look out for each other and for the Earth, to stand strong and firm in resistance to all systems of dominance and inequality, all the while holding peace in our hearts. "Peace in Our Hearts" features a host of musicians as well as cameos by gospel singer Pastor Sam Butler (5 Blind Boys of Alabama), along with folksinger Cris Williamson and members of the WEWIM choir of Austin (Betty Soo, Charlie Faye, Akina Adderley and Bella Rosa Castillo).

Ben Glover "Sweet Wild Lily" (EP, Proper Records, 2020). Ben Glover's[49] new four-track EP can be downloaded directly from BandCamp. Watch the title track, Sweet Wild Lily: "In the recording of Sweet Wild Lily I feel we dropped into a new sound for me. It has an alt-country, Americana flavour, that maybe even hints at the folk-rock of 1970’s Laurel Canyon." Arguing With Ghosts has been co-written with Gretchen Peters (originally released on Dancing With the Beast).[66]

Jane Godfrey "Imagine We Have Wings" (CD, Own label, 2019). Bittersweet, poignant, and occasionally funny and optimistic folk music. Listen to "Hopeless Ocean Girl" (loss and grief) & "Wounded Bird" (suicide)!

Gogol Bordello "Paste Studios NYC" (Stream, 2020). Gypsy punk/Latin rock/folk fusion band Gogol Bordello[42] has haunted the Lower East Side with their raucous, amped-up performances. A five-piece version of the band came to the Paste Studio to perform (relatively) stripped down versions of songs from their LP "Seekers and Finders," as well as a bonus classic.

Kristen Grainger & True North "The Ghost of Abuelito" (Video, 2020). “My goal is to craft song stories that illuminate extraordinary aspects of ordinary life,” says Kristen Grainger of Americana/bluegrass band True North. The new album’s most powerful song, "The Ghost of Abuelito", gives an account of children forcibly separated from their parents and detained at the US-Mexico border from the kids' point of view. The song came about through Neil Young and Project Amplify’s encouragement to songwriters to speak out about the US government’s inhumanity.

Dave Greaves "Still>Life - The Legacy Collection" (CD, Inbred Records, 2020). Hailing from the North of England, singer-songwriter Dave Greaves had toured with many 70’s top folk artists, such as Sandy Denny, John Martyn and Nick Drake, and also had been the electric guitarist for Texas singer-songwriter Bob Cheevers on his UK tours. "Still>Life - The Legacy Collection" features 22 songs on 2 discs, mainly songs from personal experiences telling poignant stories. Watch Still Life With Piano (on guitar)!

Riley Green "If It Wasn't for Trucks" (EP, BMLG Records, 2020). Born in Jacksonville, Alabama, country music singer Riley Green was raised on the sounds of traditional Country, Bluegrass and Southern Gospel music. Following his full-length debut album, Different 'Round Here, he has released his latest EP, "If It Wasn't for Trucks"!

Grendel's Sÿster "Myrtle Wreath / Myrtenkranz" (EP, Cruz Del Sur Music, 2020). German trio Grendel's Sÿster perform eclectic folk metal, drawing on a wide range of influences (from Warlord to artists such as Triakel and Planxty all the way to classical and renaissance music) without relying on an acoustic instrumentation. "Myrtle Wreath / Myrtenkranz" features both a German and English version of the EP in one package. Stream "Entoptic Petroglyphs" (English Version)!

Jim Gustin & Truth Jones "Lessons Learned" (CD, Own label, 2020). Fresh off their appearance at the 2020 International Blues Challenge semifinals, where they represented their hometown of Santa Clarita, California, Jim Gustin and Jeri Goldenhar, aka Truth Jones, released their third album, “Lessons Learned,” a collection of gritty blues, funky soul, sultry jazz and straightforward rock‘n’roll delivering tales of wild nights in bar rooms, Sunday mornings in church. Check out the Jim Gustin & Truth Jones Youtube Channel!

Hagathorn "Hartwold" (CD, Nordvis Produktion, 2020). US folk musician Will Ott a.k.a. Hagathorn (Old English/Norse for Hawthorn) has released his debut album "Hartwold", evoking an medieval atmosphere inspired by ancient folklore and channeled through archaic instruments. Listen to "Mistfall"!

Rachel Hair "Caoidh Sandy" (Video, 2020). Highland Harper Rachel Hair was one of the artists chosen to “re-imagine" the music of Fraser Shaw as part of the Fraser Shaw Remix project. She is pleased to finally share her solo harp arrangement the haunting "Caoidh Sandy" (Sandy's Lament), written by Fraser after the tragic loss of a close friend. You can order a pdf of the sheet music, with all proceeds going to the Fraser Shaw Trust, used for the advancement of education, arts and culture and for the relief of those living with multiple sclerosis. To view the other films in the Fraser Shaw remix project click HERE (ft. Fraser Fifield, Chris Gray, Sally Simpson, Mary Ann Kennedy, Kevin O'Neill,...)!

Ofra Harnoy "On the Rock" (CD, Analekta, 2020). Cellist and five-time Juno Award winner Ofra Harnoy was inspired to celebrate the sounds and spirit of Newfoundland, that large island off the Canadian east coast nicknamed The Rock. She compiled a selection of songs, jigs and reels she felt connected with and that told a story of what she has come to "know and love about the province." Watch "St John's Waltz" ft. Alan Doyle (Great Big Sea)!

Harrow Fair "Sins We Made" (Video, 2020). Canadian duo Harrow Fair is consisting of Miranda Mulholland and Andrew Penner, delivering both haunting ballads and stomping songs that echo early country and rock'n'roll. Watch "Sins We Made" (Acoustic) from their equally titled second album!

Felix Hatfield "False God" (CD, Fangbite Records, 2020). Portland-based Felix Hatfield once formed his own legendary street jugband, The Kitchen Syncopators, some members of which would go on to join Old Crow Medicine Show[62] (Hatfield wrote songs for OCMS’ 2015 Grammy award winning album, Remedy).[54] "False God" is a greatest hits album taken from his collection of nearly 500 surrealist and dadaist original songs, taking on the pandemic ("Sick with the Flu") and the president ("False God"). Watch also "Nobody For Me", "That Kiss", "Walking Distance", "Seeing Things"!

Robby Hecht "The Ends and the Means" (Video, 2019). Although he originally released "The Ends and the Means" in 2017, Robby Hecht[54] has now released a poignant orchestral version: "This song is probably the most important to me of any that I've written, partly because it took so freakin long to complete. I began writing it when I lived in San Francisco back sometime around 2003, kept coming back to it for 13+ years, and finished it on Donald Trump's inauguration day in January of 2017. I always say, sometimes you can't finish the song until the stuff happens that's supposed to be in the song. It's an exploration of empathy and morality through a series of five vignettes that take place in the 11th century, 2001-2017, and 30ish AD. It's the closest you'll get to finding my 'world view' in my lyrics." Watch solo acoustic performance and listen to its orchestral version! P.S.: Check out his new duet version of "Auld Lang Syne" ft. Betsy Phillips!

Shane Hennessy "Rain Dance" (CD, Own label, 2020). Originating from a background in traditional Irish music, fingerstyle guitar virtuoso and singer-songwriter Shane Hennessy has been described by Tommy Emmanuel as “a brilliant entertainer and an amazing musician who transcends the guitar the same way Muhammed Ali transcended boxing.” He has developed a particular approach blending his native roots with country, blues, jazz, soul, funk, and even hip-hop, classical and miscellaneous ethnic musics. Watch "Rain Dance" (Live)!

FolkWorld Xmas

Christone 'Kingfish' Ingram "Ghost From Christmas Past" (Single, Alligator Records, 2020). Blues guitarist Christone 'Kingfish' Ingram releases his first-ever holiday song, the original "Ghost From Christmas Past", a tale of love gone wrong. According to Kingfish, "I’ve always loved the holiday season. Obviously, this year will be a bit different considering what we all have had to manage. But, I’m hoping my first holiday song can bring people a bit of cheer as we kick off the holidays."

Jim Iseman III "Viduity" (EP, J3systems, 2020). Originally from North Carolina where he trained as an opera singer, Jim Iseman III moved to New York City to become a founding member of the theatrical multimedia performance group, Anonymous Ensemble. 10 years later, Iseman produces ambient soundscapes for video games and releases his debut 4-track EP "Viduity," which blends traditional songwriting with modular ambient synthesis drawing heavily from the works of physicists Richard Feynman, Roger Penrose and Douglas Hofstadter. Watch "Home" (Live Studio Performance)!

FolkWorld Xmas

iyatraQuartet "Break the Dawn" (Vinyl, Own label, 2020); "There is No Rose" (Single/Video, Own label, 2020). iyatraQuartet’s 2020 album "Break the Dawn"[72] has been described as “melding their classical roots with dynamic traditional and improvised music” (Hannah Peel, BBC Radio 3). They are self-releasing it as vinyl, accompanied by a livestream from London’s Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses. iyatraQuartet are also releasing a medieval Christmas carol with all proceeds going to the Brixton Soup Kitchen, "There is no rose of such virtue as is the rose that bare Jesu"

Graeme James "Old Storms in New Places" (EP, Nettwerk, 2020). Native New Zealander Graeme James, who is based in the Netherlands these days, performs as a one-man-band with the aid of a loop pedal to build multi-layered folk music. "Old Storms in New Places" (inspired by PB Shelley) is the first of four seasonal EPs, timed for release with the autumnal equinox. Check out Graeme's Youtube channel!

Sarah Jarosz "Hometown" (Video, 2020). Sarah Jarosz wrote "Hometown" with her own sweet little hometown of Wimberley, Texas in mind — my back porch, the creeks and birds, my family. It’s deeply nostalgic for me to see these images of my town paired with this song, especially since I haven’t been able to travel home in nearly a year. She misses touring and playing music, so to keep herself occupied, she was working on her series “SJ’s Cover of the Week”.

German CD Review

Jim and Sam "Songs from After So Many Days" (CD, Nettwerk, 2020). After a decade of making music together, recently married singer/songwriter duo Jim and Sam from Los Angeles were not the successful band they hoped they’d be. The duo made a decision to play one show every day for a year. With suitcase and guitar, they ventured out for a 365-day tour documented in the feature film "After So Many Days". "Songs from After So Many Days" is the companion album of songs from and inspired by the tour and film. Watch "After So Many Days" (Official Music Video), "After So Many Days" (Movie Trailer)!

Eric Johanson "Below Sea Level" (CD, Nola Blue Records, 2020). Guitarist/singer Eric Johanson had released his debut album in 2017 and recorded an acclaimed album with his cousin Tiffany Pollack, “Blues In My Blood,” in 2019.[69] For his sophomore solo album, “Below Sea Level,” Johanson teamed up with Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars), bringing back to life the 70’s blues rock of the likes of Johnny Winter and Gary Moore. Check out the sing-along "Never Tomorrow", the shuffle "Down To The Bottom" & Eric Johanson Making a Scene!

Joy Mills Band "Echolocator" (CD, Own label, 2020). The Seattle based Joy Mills Band is renewing their soulful country music with a more crisp and modern sound, all the while Joy Mills writes lyrics that explore perspectives in a world overstimulated and bordering on the brink. Watch "Echolocator"!

Sam Joyner "When U Need a Friend" (CD, Own label, 2020). Sam Joyner has made it all around the globe. He even toured the Pacific Islands, where he helped establish the Micronesian Blues Society, still going strong. His own musical journey continues on "When U Need a Friend, an exhilarating mix Chicago blues and New Orleans jazz. Check out Sam Joyner Making a Scene!

Symcha Keller "Z głębokości wołam do Ciebie Panie" (Video, 2020). »Dear friends. Every day we receive information about the next victims of the pandemic. We wanted to create a list of rabbis, community leaders, activists, philanthropists from religious Jewish backgrounds who have passed away. We couldn't make it... Hundreds, thousands of names... Older people, young people, women, children. Faced with all of this, with the coronavirus killing people, climate change, hunger... For all those fighting against Covid-19, Psalm 130. Stay strong and never give up!« (Symcha Keller)[72]

"DIY Musician Stories #2: Amythyst Kiah" (Podcast, 2020), "Harmonics with Beth Behrs: Episode 6, Allison Russell" (Podcast, 2020). Amythyst Kiah got candid about overcoming trauma on the DIY Musician Stories podcast, while also sharing how music became her “emotional vehicle” to process these feelings, what it’s like being a member of Our Native Daughters and more.[69] Just as well, fellow Native Daughter Allison Russell unpacks and explores childhood traumas and music as a tool for healing in another vulnerable, heartfelt episode of Harmonics with Beth Behrs.

Seth Kibel "Doina for Justice Ginsburg", "Flatbush Waltz", "Wild Horses", "Bem-te-vi Atrivedo" (Video, 2020). More Kibel! "Doina for Justice Ginsburg", an improvisation recorded for The Eternal Aria project to honor the life and legacy of the late Supreme Court Justice. "Flatbush Waltz" by Andy Statman, performed by a Sethtet. "Wild Horses" by Jagger and Richards, a swing rendition of a country song by a rock and roll band, with just a hint of klezmer. "Bem-te-vi Atrivedo", a choro composed by Brazilian composer Lina Pesce (1913-1995), another collaborative video between the Music Pilgrim Trio and balalaika virtuoso Alexander Paperny.

Rich Krueger "The Troth Sessions" (CD, RockinK Music, 2020). While the current pandemic prevented Rich Krueger from going back into the studio and greatly diminished the number of live shows he had planned (including his second UK Tour), he is continuing to post his At Home with Rich Krueger series. Meanwhile, he revisited his past, going back through demos he recorded in 2002 with guitar and voice only. Listen to an album medley!

Langhorne Slim "Mighty Soul" (Video, 2020). Welcome to Strawberry Mansion is a collection of 18 songs written from March to May 2020: "The beginning of a new world. The unraveling of an old one. A wildly strange time where we’ve found ourselves collectively holding our breath, learning how best to exhale again. Strawberry Mansion is the neighborhood in Philly that my grandfathers grew up in. It’s become a place of myths for me. A place that’s dirty but sweet, tough but full of love. It’s a mad world indeed but there’s beauty in the madness." Watch "Mighty Soul" (Live Lyric Video, Official Video)!

Elaine Lennon "Uncharted Waters" (Single, 2020). Elaine Lennon was compelled to raise funds for the University Hospital Wishaw's Paediatrics Ward at Lanarkshire Hospital after her youngest son was admitted at five years old with a benign tumour. Elaine’s lead vocals and piano are supported by the backing vocals of Karine Polwart, Boo Hewerdine, Findlay Napier, Siobhan Miller, Yvonne Lyon and Chris While. Check out "Uncharted Waters" @ Bandcamp or Youtube!

FolkWorld Xmas

Matt Litzinger "Home Acoustic Sessions", "Good Christian Men Rejoice" (Download, 2020). Matt Litzinger's "Home Acoustic Sessions", available exclusively on BandCamp, is a collection of previously released songs played live and acoustic with just voice and guitar from his home studio: "I hope listening to these raw, heart-felt takes brings you joy amidst these difficult time." Matt is also excited to share his latest Christmas single; "Good Christian Men Rejoice" will be available through the end of the year on BandCamp as a free download.

FolkWorld Xmas

Rebecca Loebe "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" (Video, 2020). »In late October I began humming a tune under my breath, unsure of why. The song just popped into my head, as songs are wont to do, and then starting pouring of my mouth (as songs are also wont to do). A few bars in, I realized that the tune I was humming was You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch. I posted my cover version on Youtube, and over on Patreon I also posted the audio for download along with a chord chart of my arrangement. In keeping with the spirit of the holidays - and to make sure that 2020 hasn't turned me into a total Grinch - I've made that Patreon post public and free to all!« R.L.

Matthias Loibner "bicycle music" (Video, 2020). Austrian hurdy-gurdy virtuoso Matthias Loibner[59] has been writing from Stuttgart, Germany, where he is busy in a theatre-production of Robin Hood for this winter season at the Staatstheater Stuttgart. While the production is on hold, he is happy to present a video of a walking concert, where he has been playing on a bicycle at Netzhaut Ton Film Festival, Wiener Neustadt.

FolkWorld Xmas

Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets "Winter Wonderland / Let It Snow" (Single, Yep Roc Records, 2020). Following 2013’s Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family,[52] one of the decade’s most acclaimed holiday albums, Nick Lowe[46] teams up with Los Straitjackets for two rocking renditions of holiday classics: "Winter Wonderland" and "Let It Snow.”!

Kate MacLeod "The Secret Forest Lament" (Video, 2020). "The Secret Forest Lament was inspired by my reading the book The Secret Forest by Charles Bowden. The book was published in 1993. The Secret Forest describes the cultural destruction, and the destruction of the landscape itself, of the rare Dry Tropical Forest that grows in the southern area of Sonora, Mexico. The forest has been decimated for economic reasons, leading to native communities losing their grasp on traditional lifestyles that had been for generations tied to the life of the forest. The song is a lament echoing the book itself. Charles Bowden was a courageous journalist, defender of environment and justice. Late in life he was known for his writings on the situation at the US-Mexico border concerning the war on drugs and its effects on the lives of the people in that region." (Kate MacLeod)[42]

FolkWorld Xmas

"A Message From The MacMaster Leahy Family", "Please Please Snow!" (Video, 2020). Canada’s most revered fiddle power couple Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy[61] have announced their revised annual A Celtic Family Christmas *At Home* Tour in partnership with theatres, festivals and performing arts centres across Canada and the US: Helping out the venues is as important to artists as getting themselves back on the road. To browse virtual show dates and get tickets: Check out A Message From The MacMaster Leahy Family! Watch the new holiday video from the MacMaster Leahy Family "Please Please Snow!"!

Malaya Blue "Still" (CD, Blue Heart Records, 2020). For her third full-length studio album, blues singer/songwriter Malaya Blue brought together some of the finest musicians from the UK to equally satisfy fans of blues, R&B and soul. Check out Promo Video, Interview & Channel!

FolkWorld Xmas

Heather Maloney "Sing a Christmas Song Anyway" (Single/Video, Signature Sounds, 2020). »The video for my album single “Sing a Christmas Song Anyway” has just premiered on PopMatters. Writing the song & making the video have been the most meaningful projects of the year for me and I’m so grateful to finally share it with you.« (Heather Maloney) Watch "Sing a Christmas Song Anyway" [Official Lyric Video], read Christmas 2020 Interview @ PopMatters!

Jason Mandell "Soul of America" (Single, 2020). After releasing several albums with his band The Coals, Los Angeles based singer-songwriter Jason Mandell is out on his own. His first single, "Soul of America," is "a lament for our nation’s woes and a prayer for its healing." The song begins as a folk ballad in the tradition of Woody Guthrie but swells into a rousing anthem with mariachi horns and a gospel choir – meant as a musical reflection of the diversity that defines the American experience. Mandell wrote and recorded it before the phrase “soul of America” became a staple of the Biden campaign, but he "hopes the song will stir faith that the inextinguishable American spirit – which transcends politics – will deliver our country through one of its most terrifying hours." Listen on Soundcloud or YouTube!

Mannish Boy "Last Ticket to Rock'n'Roll Land - Redux - Extended Tour Edition" (CD, Paraply Records, 2020). Unfortunatly no extended tour yet! Raised in the 70's with Sweet, Bowie, Lizzy, Beatles & Stones, Mannish Boy from Stockholm, Sweden, has a classic line-up of two guitars, bass & drums who love Gibson and Fender guitars, Marshall amps and the sound that comes with it. Listern to "Rock 'N' Roll Land"!

Jono Manson "Silver Moon" (CD, Appaloosa, 2020). Back in the 1980's/90's, Jono Manson was the godfather of New York City’s famed Nightingale Bar scene, the venue that kickstarted the career of Joan Osborne. His 10th solo album, "Silver Moon", is winding through reflective americana, gritty r'n'b, raunchy rock'n'roll, and elements of pop. “This is an amalgam of the life and music that has defined me”, notes Jono. Watch "Home Again to You", "Loved Me into Loving Again" (ft. Joan Osborne), "Only a Dream" (ft. James Maddock)!

Gregg Martinez "MacDaddy Mojeaux" (CD, Nola Blue, 2020). Singer and trumpeter Gregg Martinez earned his moniker “Mac Daddy” in a five-decade-long career; his vocal style inspired by the soul crooners of the 60’s and 70’s, his music combining New Orleans style R&B, Philly and Memphis Soul and Texas Swing into a churning Swamp Pop gumbo. Watch "Just Stay Gone"!

FolkWorld Xmas

Anna Massie "TwentyPlenty" (Video, 2020). »Now this New Year might not go quite as planned, bumping elbows with your friends instead of shaking hands... Though it hasn't been the perfect year, TwentyPlenty's nearly done and things are looking up my dear...« A Christmas song for 2020 performed by Anna Massie and Angus Lyon (Blazin’ Fiddles),[64] "TwentyPlenty"!

Sean Mathews "Dreaming is allowed" (CD, Own label,2019). Singer / songwriter from the North East of Ireland, presenting his debut album with eight original songs, featuring Instruments played by Sean including guitars and mandolin, as well as unaccompanied singing. New songs steeped in Irish music traditions. Watch "The Commuter Song"!

The McBroom Sisters "Wish You Were Here" (Video, 2020). Durga and Lorelei McBroom are former Pink Floyd backing vocalists. Their album "Black Floyd" offers 6 originals and 7 Pink Floyd covers. "Wish You Were Here" is their modern take on a classic song, featuring guest vocalist Louise Goffin. "I’m so honored to have had the opportunity to sing on this. What a powerful video this is. Black Lives Matter. The human race is the only race." (Louise Goffin)

Sabine McCalla "Baby, Please Don’t Go" (Video, 2020). In spring, when artists, businesses and schools were stepping into a new normal built around public health and safety, New Orleans folk singer/songwriter Sabine McCalla was preparing for a feature on the popular roots music series Western AF. She selected “Baby, Please Don’t Go”: "I wrote this song after I felt very abandoned by my love. I know a lot of people are feeling this way as we hunker down in deep isolation, separated from sweethearts, family and friends unsure of the support we will get from our government. I only hope that we can be delighted with surprises as time goes on. Many many times over again."

Gerald McClendon "Can’t Nobody Stop Me Now" (CD, Delta Roots Records, 2020). Chicago-born singer/songwriter Gerald McClendon, who was a featured singer on the Delta Roots Records’ 2019 release, “Battle Of The Blues: Chicago Vs Oakland”,[70] has earned the moniker “The Soul Keeper” by being one of the most versatile R&B and Soul stylists “The City of the Big Shoulders” has to offer. His latest release, “Can’t Nobody Stop Me Now”, is a song collection about love and lust intended to lure your feet onto the dance floor.

The Mckee Brothers "A Time Like This" (CD, Own label, 2020). "A Time Like This", the third release from The McKee Brothers, once again spotlights vocalist-guitarist Denis McKee’s ongoing collaboration with prolific songwriter-pianist Bobby West, creating a sophisticated blend of horn-driven blues, soul, gospel and rock. Check 'em out @ BandCamp!

Arlo McKinley "The Solo Sessions" (Stream/Download, 2020). Arlo McKinley is the artist who John Prine called "a great songwriter," though he nearly gave up on music altogether before hitting his stride at 40. He is John Prine's final signing to his label Oh Boy Records, which has released his new record "Die Midwestern" in August. Stream & download "The Solo Sessions" @ NoiseTrade!

"Don McLean Live at The 615 Hideaway" (Video, 2020). "A few weeks ago I was able to get out of the house for the first time since the pandemic and appear on a few television programs and I was glad I remembered the words to my songs," jokes Don McLean.[58] Watch Don McLean Live at The 615 Hideaway! Don McLean has announced plans for a feature documentary, ‘The Day The Music Died: The Story Behind Don McLean’s American Pie,’ set for release at the end of 2021. The project’s producer, Spencer Proffer, is also working on a stage play that will revolve around McLean’s catalog. 2021 will mark the 50th anniversary of his smash hit “American Pie” with a world tour to follow.

Meadow Creek "Pieces of Driftwood" (CD, Paraply Records, 2020). On their new album, Swedish husband and wife duo Meadow Creek metaphorically describe their melancholic Americana songs as driftwood pieces, washed ashore on the beach of memories, and each has their own story to tell. Listen to "Pieces of Driftwood" Playlist!

FolkWorld Xmas

Article: Mean Mary

Mean Mary and Frank "Christmas Special" (Video, 2020). December 5th, The Mean Mary and Frank James Christmas Special will be broadcast live from Mary's home studio in Nashville. Watch Mean Mary and Frank - Christmas Special! (After the premiere, the video will be available on YouTube to watch at your leisure.)

Michael & Nell "Welcome Home" (CD, Roseheart Records, 2020). Nashville's Michael J. August and Nell Levin (formerly of Shelby Bottom String Band) are writing issue songs about the important stories of our time (war, environment, death penalty, gentrification) in the tradition of Joe Hill, Woody Guthrie and Phil Ochs, including Steve Goodman's "Election Year Rag". Watch "Welcome Home" (Official Video)!

German CD Review

The Milk Carton Kids "Live From Lincoln Theatre" (Stream, ANTI-Records, 2014/2020). »I like all of our albums–in different ways, and for various reasons. And I like selling albums. But, Live From Lincoln Theater is the truest representation of what Joey and I have been up to for the last decade. The set list is like a greatest hits album of Milk Carton Kids songs. I’ve never played guitar in the studio quite the way that it comes together on stage. Our voices also communicate something extra for the occasion. In Columbus everything came together the way that it does when audience and performer are in fine form, the energy coalescing into the mystery that drives us musicians to do EVERYTHING we do.« (Kenneth Pattengale) Check out Full Album Stream - The Milk Carton Kids Live From Lincoln Theatre 2013! Seea also The Milk Carton Kids Live at The Lodge Room!

Buddy & Julie Miller with The McCrary Sisters and Steve Earle "Let It Rain" (Video, 2020). Buddy and Julie Miller teamed up with Steve Earle [56] and The McCrary Sisters for a powerful new song titled "Let It Rain": "A beautiful revelation has been jump started in the middle of a pandemic, no less. This is my song of solidarity. And it’s my heart crying with their hearts. Let the revolution live.” — Julie Miller

Siobhan Miller "Now You Need Me" (Video, 2020). Siobhan Miller[72] has been sharing music from artists from around the world as part of a project called Global Music Match.[73] She teamed up with five artists to introduce to her audience: »It’s been a lot of fun and a great way to discover new music at a time then we can’t go to live gigs. I have interviewed all of these artists and you can check out the conversations on my Facebook page. As part of this project I recorded some new music videos, one of these its called Now You Need Me and features Innes White on guitar , Charlie Stewart on fiddle and Euan Burton on bass.«

Bernadette Morris "These Ruins" (Digital Single, 2020). Following the success of her debut album, ‘All The Ways You Wander’,[51] and subsequent release ‘Where the Heart is’, County Tyrone born singer Bernadette Morris has launched a brand new single, ‘These Ruins’. The track was inspired by a trip to Budapest, where ruins have been resurrected as bars and restaurants. The song is about knocking an old house down and rebuilding on the foundations of memories and sentiments that remain from the former residents.

"Peter Mulvey with SistaStrings Live at the Cafe Carpe" (CD, Righteous Babe Records, 2020). »There’s a lot going on these days, most of it dark, and so today I’m glad to offer you my attempt to make something beautiful. My new record... I hope you take courage in it. I don’t know how to fix the world, but we know how to create beauty and joy when we and the audience are together, and by god we’re going to fly this flag at this time.« Watch "You Are the Only One" & "Ingrid Bergman" (by Woody Guthry and Billy Bragg)!

Aaron Nathans & Michael G. Ronstadt "Shadow of the Cyclone" (CD, Own label, 2020); "Rebuild" (Single, Own label, 2020). Seeking refuge from the storm that 2020 has unleashed, guitarist Aaron Nathans and cellist Michael G. Ronstadt (Linda Ronstadt's nephew) present their third album, dark acoustic Americana songs that hint at a sense of just retribution for the troubles we’ve brought upon ourselves and coax a sense of levity and hope while accepting our brutal present. Watch the cello-folk-power ballad, "Come On Sun"! Not featured on the album is a new ballad, "Rebuild", a metaphor song comparing the biblical story of Chanukah to our current world and reflecting the current exhaustion and the need to rebuild after a period of fighting.

Willie Nelson "Vote 'Em Out" (Video, 2020). "If it's a bunch of clowns you voted in / Election day is comin' 'round again." Despite first releasing the song in 2018, Willie Nelson has returned to release an animated lyric video for "Vote 'Em Out" ahead of this year’s Presidential election.

John Németh "Stronger Than Strong" (CD, Nola Blue Records, 2020). "As I look out at my audiences, I see pure joy and radiance beaming from their faces. Music is such a powerful connection. It's what keeps me going. I live to see your love lights shine." Blues harpist John Németh bridging the concert-free gap with a rough and intimate blues & soul session at Electraphonic Recording studios in Memphis, resulting in his 10th album, "Stronger Than Strong." Check out "Bars" (Official Music Video), "I Can See Your Love Light Shine" (Live) & John Nemeth Making a Scene!

Daniel Nestlerode "Windrush" (CD, Clunk & Rattle Records, 2020). A US citizen married to a French national living through Brexit in Cambridgeshire, Daniel Nestlerode exited the UK for northern France during the recording process of his third album. The new locale had an instant effect on the sound: Where the UK is full of bouzoukis, fiddles, melodeons, and acoustic guitars, France is full of rock bands. Thus you get to hear more electric mandolin and a breadth of acoustic keyboard sounds. Watch "White Flower Waltz", an expression of appreciation for a friend who has been particularly supportive!

Danni Nicholls "Goodbye" (Video, 2020); "Live At The Water Rats" (CD, 2020). Danni Nicholls: "'Goodbye' (Steve Earle) has been swirling round my head so I thought I'd sing it for you! I first heard it on Emmylou's 'Wrecking Ball' Album and it has been a firm fave ever since. It's a sad'un but a good'un." "April 12th, 2019 was the album release show for 'The Melted Morning'[68] in London. It turned out to be one of the best nights of my life and perhaps my all time favourite gig! There was magic in the air I tell ya! Luckily, the whole show was recorded and now I'm thrilled to be able to share it with you! I love to hear how the songs have shifted, changed and come into their own from the studio to live stage. During a time when I and I'm sure many of you are missing live music so much, I'm gladder than ever to have these musical moments captured. Here's a sneak preview of 'Live At The Water Rats'!"

"Shout & Shine: Lizzie No (Episode 1)" (Video, 2020). In 2017, Shout & Shine began as an interview series dedicated to exploring identity, advocacy, and marginalization, along with the ways these paradigms filter into music and art. Taking today’s civil unrest and righteous rebellions into account, the Bluegrass Situation has purposefully refocused this column’s mission with the hope of giving a platform to Black musicians in roots music. Harpist and singer/songwriter Lizzie No is the debut guest for the livestream version, which comprises short-form, intimate video performances by underrepresented and marginalized artists in Americana, folk, and bluegrass.

Coco O'Connor "When I Was Your World" (CD, Bonfire Music Group, 2020). Coco O'Connor's latest release is determined to return to her musical roots growing up in rural Alabama. There is a variety of different elements encompassing a combination of Americana, folk, country and even bluegrass influences. Featured on the album's cover is Coco's daughter who is a major inspiration: “It’s important for me to show her that one should never live a life of compromise. We all should be chasing the dreams in our hearts no matter if we are young or old. Life is like a race, but it’s important to run your own race and not someone else’s. It’s less about winning or losing. You win when you persevere.” Watch "When I Was Your World"!

Aoife O'Donovan "Live From The Black Birch" (Download, 2020). Live From The Black Birch, recorded live in front of a socially distanced audience at Black Birch Vineyard in Hatfield, Massachusetts, is exclusively available on Bandcamp. »The cover captures the magic of the evening, a strong summer thunderstorm, followed by a magic hour with a double rainbow illuminating sprawling fields of corn and newly-planted grape vines. Live music filled those skies, and in front of a max capacity crowd (as permitted by the State of Massachusetts), I played my first LIVE concert in over six months. I was joined by my quarantine band, my husband Eric Jacobsen on cello, and my brother-in-law Colin Jacobsen on violin. A portion of proceeds for this release will support the staff at Signature Sounds Presents, the heartbeat of live music in Northampton who made this show a reality.«

Old Moonshine Band "Old Moonshine Band" (CD, Celebration Days Records, 2016). French eight-piece band, Old Moonshine Band, successfully adapts Old Time Music by taking inspiration from genres such as Irish music, blues and 60′s/70′s folk music. Watch "Drunken Sailor" Live @ La Grange à Musique!

The Old Ramblers "Find Me On The Road Somewhere" (CD, Bone Union Records, 2020). From Izmir, Turkey, The Old Ramblers cover pre-war rural blues, post-war urban blues, gospels, spirituals, work songs, ragtime and bluegrass tunes. The musicians are: Sarp Keskiner (vocals, electric guitars, bass), Orhun Keskinbıçak (harmonica), Türker Özer (acoustic guitar). Listen to the first single, "Bourgeois Blues" (Ledbelly)!

Waylon Payne "All the Trouble" (Video, 2020). His father was a longtime picker for Willie Nelson, his mother toured with Waylon Jennings. Country singer-songwriter Waylon Payne himself had been featured in the role of Jerry Lee Lewis in the Johnny Cash movie Walk the Line (2005). Watch "All the Trouble" (Acoustic Video)!

David Philips "Bliss (A Quarantine Song)" (Digital Single, Black and Tan Records, 2020). During quarantine Barcelona went from being a polluted, smelly, noisy tourist trap to a quiet, peaceful, friendly village with clean air and happy wildlife. David Philips invites us to see things through optimistic, if rather idealistic and unrealistic eyes, in this positive take on quarantine and the effects it has had on the environment he lives in. Check it out @ Bandcamp!

FolkWorld Xmas

Grant-Lee Phillips "Yuletide" (EP, Yep Roc Records, 2020). Acclaimed singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Grant-Lee Phillips has unwrapped Yuletide, a four-song EP of Americana-crooning holiday tunes. The EP features Phillips’ original “Winterglow,” popularized by his town troubadour character on the “Gilmore Girls,” and he breathes new life into classics like Nat King Cole’s “Take Me Back to Toyland” and Frank Sinatra’s “An Old-Fashioned Christmas.” The set concludes with his spin on the New Year’s staple “Auld Lang Syne,” adding a topical new verse to inspire hope towards days of peace.

Mehmet Polat "The Promise" (CD, Own label, 2020). With his avanced left hand technique, ud player Mehmet Polat is able to play quite sophisticated pieces. From Africa to India, Persia to the Balkans, Contemporary to Jazz, he has been combining various musical genres with his Alevi Spiritual, Anatolian Folk and Ottoman Classical background. Check out his fifth album, "The Promise"!

Philip Scott Poli "One Sky" (CD, Own label, 2020). Veteran singer-songwriter Philip Scott Poli (of The Fabulous Haircuts) presents his debut solo album and 10 emotionally charged songs, recorded during the COVID-19 isolation with musician friends from several countries. Expect anything from Carter-Family-style mountain music to Willie Nelsonesque country ballads.

Trevor B. Power "Pandemic 2020" (Single, Farm 189 Records, 2020). In 2019, Trevor B. Power finished recording his debut album "Everyday Angel", a compilation of original blues, soul and rock & roll tunes. Regarding the Covid-19 pandemic Power says, "I'm really looking forward to playing it live, and I can't wait for you all to hear it." His new single, "Pandemic 2020", composed during lockdown, is a catchy tune acknowledging the plague and devastating pain of loss: It’s a dirty rotten low-down shame, with all of our money we can’t stop the pain... A new album is set for a February 2021 release.

Praying for the Rain "Celebrate" (CD, Twin Arrows Music, 2020). Acoustic band Praying for the Rain, fronted by Canadian-Italian brothers Domenic and Vincenzo DeCicco, combine their particular blend of Americana with world music influences of all kind. The album is a celebration of all the years sharing their music, featuring unrecorded live material as well as songs that have never seen the light of day before. Check out BandCamp!

Jose Ramirez "Here I Come" (CD, Own label, 2020). Jose Ramirez is Costa Rica’s premier blues guitarist. His debut album, “Here I Come,” comes hard on the heels of his second-place finish at the 2020 International Blues Challenge. “I wanted to make a blues album influenced by both soul and R&B musicians such as Ray Charles, Teddy Pendergrass and Al Green, with a Little Johnny Guitar Watson in there as well.” Ramirez is going to the source on the title track, a blues shuffle in which he name checks his heroes. Check out Promo!

FolkWorld Xmas

Eli Paperboy Reed "Last Christmas / Merry Christmas To Me" (Single, Yep Roc Records, 2020). Eli Paperboy Reed puts his soulful spin on Wham!’s “Last Christmas” with big band-style horns and an arrangement that makes it sound like it was recorded two decades prior to the original 1984 version. The B-side is an original, “Merry Christmas To Me,” a deeply soulful song that conjures the melancholy feeling of being alone at Christmas, reflecting on a troublesome year, with a gleam of hope that “next year will be better.”

Reely Jiggered "Tricky Terrain" (CD, Own label, 2020). Scottish folk/world rock trio featuring guitar, drums and guitar. The energetic folk rock tunes are built around Alison McNeill’s fiddle playing, whilst the songs are focussed on a powerful diva soprano voice by Fiona McNeill.  Watch "Tricky Terrain" (live)!

"The Show On The Road – Episode 70 Rising Appalachia" (Podcast, 2020). Rising Appalachia’s Chloe Smith has been the latest guest on The Show On the Road podcast, discussing her upbringing in a musical family of traditional string-band players and contra-dance leaders near Atlanta, and touring Canadian islands via sailboat. Rising Appalachia’s latest release, Leylines,[71] mixes the rustic front porch sound of their childhood family jam sessions with a neon-tinted modern backbeat of dancehall electronics. Stick around to the end of the episode for an acoustic version of “Harmonize” from Leylines, and check out Rising Appalachia’s newest single “Pulse”.

Rodrigo y Gabriela "Mettavolution Live" (CD, Rubyworks Records, 2020); Pelé Feat. Rodrigo y Gabriela "Acredita No Véio" (Single, Peléginga, 2020). Since releasing "Mettavolution"[68] in early 2019, Rodrigo y Gabriela started a relentless tour cycle. 'Mettavolution Live' is a journey of that whole year of touring. Watch Rodrigo y Gabriela perform the title track live in The Current studio! Rodrigo y Gabriela also collaborated with former Brazilian footballer Pelé on the occasion of his 80th birthday: 'I've written many books, I've scored many goals, I've fathered children, I've planted many trees. The only thing that's lacking is a musical memento of my life.' Watch Pelé ft. Rodrigo y Gabriela "Acredita No Véio" (Listen To The Old Man)!

Carrie Rodriguez "A Song For You" (Video, 2020). »Even in the midst of a pandemic there have been a few bright spots that I am really proud of…. During the quarantine, my husband Luke Jacobs and I along with our 4 year old son Cruz, have been producing a little music series we call “A Song For You”. Filmed here in our Austin home, we’ve been taking requests and delivering a song or two a week since the middle of March… If you haven’t checked one out yet, watch and please share with your friends!«

FolkWorld Xmas

Josh Rouse "All I Want For Christmas Is You / Angels We Have Heard On High" (Single, Yep Roc Records, 2020). Originally only available on his first-ever holiday album, The Holiday Sounds of Josh Rouse, Josh Rouse’s rendition of Mariah Carey’s classic “All I Want For Christmas Is You” makes its digital debut. The song shifts from big, bright bouncy pop to a softer, gentler vibe, as he delivers the lyrics with a more introspective tone. The B-side is a new version of the traditional "Angels We Have Heard On High.”

David Rovics "Ballad of a Touring Musician (Playing Music In My Living Room)" (Video, 2020); "Concert From My Living Room in Portland, Oregon" (Video, 2020); "Say Their Names" (Digital CD, 2020). "As a touring musician with connections in many different countries, I always thought I had a sort of job security. I also never thought I'd retire, either voluntarily or otherwise...'"Now I only sing for the kids and tupperware lids or for folks out there on Zoom / Playing music in my living room!'" So watch David's Concert From My Living Room! He also released a solo acoustic album, "Say Their Names", covering some of the events that have been taking place in Oregon and beyond from June late September 2020. Watch music video for "Say Their Names"!

Kate Rusby "Three Little Birds" (Video, 2020). In 2008, Cardiff City played Ajax FC. After the game, the announcer was instructed to play music to help keep Ajax fans calm, until the Cardiff fans had left the area, and being a huge reggae fan he chose "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley. Ajax fans started dancing, clapping and chanting, and it became Ajax's anthem. Here is Kate Rusby[70] with her version of "Three Little Birds" done during lockdown; and here are the Ajax fans singing "Three Little Birds" in 2018 with Marley's son Ky-Mani conducting the events.

Russkaja "Energia" (Video, 2020). Napalm Records is proud to announce the re-signing of Russkaja after releasing three full length albums together. Since 2005 Russkaja have been touring their cosmopolitan Austro-Soviet “Turbopolka” enthralling audiences all over the world. Guitarist Engel Mayr says: “Napalm Records is the perfect partner for the album we’re currently working on. This will be a heavy rockin’ Russkaja album, I think it will be the heaviest album we ever made!” Watch "Energia"!

Safari Season "a new future" (EP, Paraply, 2020). "A New Future" is a 4 track EP by Swedish duo Safari Season (Lars Ryen & Anders Lindgren), originally inspired by Californian surf pop. The title track "A New Future" is a six-minute epic dealing with the inexorable progress of time, and we all have to remember the past to build a better future. Watch also "Nowhere On The Run" (Live)!

Rachael Sage "Cave" (Video, 2020). Amidst oft-overwhelming political mishugas, Rachael Sage is happy to share some uplifting & entirely non-partisan news! She has just released a brand new video for her song "Cave" from her critically acclaimed album, "Character."[72] Sage has been touched to receive feedback from fans who have interpreted its stream-of-consciousness lyrics as "reflecting our collective emotional isolation during lockdown." The video is Rachael's first venture into animation, bringing her signature calligraphic handwriting and artwork to life.

FolkWorld Xmas

Carter Sampson "There's Always Next Year" (Digital Track, Continental Record Services, 2020). Covid/Corona Quarantines, however much we dislike them, seem to be good for creative processes. As Oklahoma-based Americana artist Carter Sampson says: "Surprise! I hadn't planned on releasing any new music yet but I wrote you a song and think it's better off heard now. Happy Holidays! Happy Christmas! Happy New Year!" Listen to "There's Always Next Year" @ Bandcamp!

Cina Samuelson "Sing with your Heart and Soul" (CD, Cool Country Music, 2020); Berra Karlsson "Missing You" (Single, 2020). Swedish country musician Cina Samuelson is back with a new album, "Sing with your Heart and Soul", her most personal album to date, e.g. featuring a song about her mother's fight against cancer. Her brother and pedal steel player, Berra Karlsson, has also released a single in his own right, "Missing You".

Phillip Sandifer "Turn This Ship Around" (Video, 2020). "Recently, I was blessed to participate in a project produced by one of my childhood mentors from afar... Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul & Mary. The project is called Hope Rises. Its goal is to use music to contribute to positive societal change. As a believer in the sanctity of all human life, my contribution confronts the horror and sadness of our current immigration policy." "Turn This Ship Around" relates the voyage of the St. Louis, which left Hamburg, Germany for the Americas in 1939 full of Jewish immigrants fleeing the Holocaust. They were not allowed to dock in the Americas and had to return to Europe where many died in the Holocaust.

Saskia "Are You Listening?" (CD, Music Without Measure, 2020). London-based nu-folk singer-songwriter Saskia Griffiths-Moore, previously compared to Eva Cassidy, Joni Mitchell and even Joan Baez, asks Are We Listening?, almost an ode made for these trying times. Check out "Are You Listening?" @ Bandcamp! Watch "Best of You" (Promo Single)!

Danny Schmidt "Black & Bluew" (Video/Download, 2020). Following the release of ‘A Prayer For The Sane’ and ‘2020 Vision’,[72] Danny Schmidt's[70] ‘Black & Blue’ was released on July 4th. »I wanted it to go out into the world on Independence Day, in the footsteps of Frederick Douglass’ approach to celebrating the birth of this country... naming its ideals and principles and then evaluating where we still have much work to do to complete the construction. The tensions underlying the relationship between law enforcement and the black community are deep and complex, and have a long dark history. As much work as has already been done unraveling ourselves from that history, there’s a lot of hard work still left in front of us. This song focuses on the will to do that work.« Check out lyric video (a montage of images taken at the protests and rallies) & free download!

The Sensational Country Blues Wonders! "The World Will Break Your Heart" (CD, S&W Records, 2020). The Sensational Country Blues Wonders! started as a vehicle for Gary Van Miert to replicate the original instrumental lineup of acoustic rhythm guitar, electric lead guitar and upright acoustic bass used on the first rock'n'roll records made by Elvis Presley at Sun Studio. "The World Will Break Your Heart" is his first album of original material: “Classic country music from the 50s and 60s, down-home spiritual songs from the golden age of gospel, and time-honored blues numbers that go back to the greats hailing from Mississippi and Chicago. I combine all these elements to create a one of a kind musical experience.” Watch "Privilege" & "My Baby Stabbed Me With A Steak Knife"!

Amanda Shires & Jason Isbell "White Feather" (Video, 2020). Singer-songwriter Amanda Shires (of country supergroup The Highwomen alongside Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris & Natalie Hemby) and singer-songwriter Jason Isbell (a former member of Drive-By Truckers) perform "White Feather" from Amanda's 2018 album, 'To The Sunset,' live at Carter Vintage Guitars. Jason is playing a 1940 D-28 and Amanda a 1936 Gibson TG-1.

Skinny Lister "Down On Deptford Broadway: 5 Year Anniversary Edition" (CD, Xtra Mile Recordings, 2020). "Embrace your inner Pogue!" (NME) London folk/punk sextet Skinny Lister[58] is celebrating the 5th anniversary of their breakthrough album "Down On Deptford Broadway" with a re-issue on vinyl, plus the entire album in demo form as bonus digital download. With four albums under their belt, Skinny Lister's second contains some of the band's best-loved sing-along favourites. Watch Skinny Lister Live Concert 2019!

Moira Smiley and Seamus Egan feat. Sam Amidon "Days of War" (Video, 2020). "Days of War" has been "written in response to ongoing, violent displays of white supremacy across the United States, this song asks how we can go on... singing, making things, making art and truly listening to each other."

The Smoke Wagon Blues Band "The Ballad of Albert Johnson" (CD, High Fidelity Recording, 2020). Canada's Smoke Wagon Blues Band has graced stages for more than twenty years. Their previous release has won three Independent Blues Awards; the new one is aiming for the stars again with an infectious mix of classic blues and R&B, timeless soul and swamp pop. Watch the Acadian Blues "Lay Say Lay" (Filmed at The Moonshine Cafe, Oakville, Ontario)!

FolkWorld Xmas

Frank Solivan "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (Video, 2020). Holiday music is hitting different in 2020, Frank Solivan's[55] bluegrassy rendition of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" feels especially meaningful: “This holiday season I thought it was important to share a song that reminds us of the Christmas traditions that unite us. Reunions with friends and family, warm memories of olden days, and hope to once again gather together with an embrace and a kiss… I found the lyrics particularly meaningful this year, and I hope it brings some comfort to those needing it. So please, ‘Let your heart be light. Someday soon we all will be together. Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow. So, have yourself a merry little Christmas now.’”

German CD Review

Songhoy Blues "Optimisme" (CD, Transgressive Records, 2020). It is said that Songhoy Blues represent the future of African rock'n'roll. This 11-song, multilingual album is steeped in deep traditions of classic Malian music and desert blues but fused with an urgent and super-charged hard rock sound. Songhoy Blues have shared the track "Badala", Songhoy for “We Don’t Give a Fuck”.

Steep Canyon Rangers "Arm In Arm" (CD, Yep Roc Records, 2020). Over a 20-year career, North Carolina-based Steep Canyon Rangers have released 12 solo albums and three collaborative albums with actor/banjoist Steve Martin.[71] Their thirteenth album, Arm In Arm, follows two 2019 releases that both debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Bluegrass chart: North Carolina Songbook, a live album recorded at Merlefest; and Be Still Moses, a collaboration with the Asheville Symphony.[70] Watch "Every River" & "Take My Mind"!

Billy Strings "Watch It Fall", "Uncloudy Day" (Video, 2020). Michigan-born, Nashville-based Billy Strings has been hailed as the future of bluegrass, transcending tradition and genre with his high-velocity, flat-picking guitar technique and complete rewiring of bluegrass with elements of folk rock, punk and psychedelic exploration. Check out "Watch It Fall" off Billy's latest album, HOME. To celebrate his birthday on October 3, The Bluegrass Situation went into the Whiskey Sour Happy Hour[72] archives to bring back a solo performance of "Uncloudy Day". Happy Birthday, Billy! Keep pickin'!

Sunnysiders "The Bridges" (CD, Dancing Bear, 2020). Croatian blues duo Sunnysiders - Antonija Vrgoc Rola (vocals, tambourine) and Boris Hrepic Hrepa (vocals, acoustic guitar, harp) - are celebrating their 10zh anniversary with their fourth album wellcoming a number of musician friends from home and all over the place. Watch "You're Not That Good For Me To Cry" (Official Music Video ft. Yogi Lonich) & Sunnysiders Live!

Adrian Sutherland "Politician Man" (Video, 2019). Politician Man was sparked by contaminated water in singer-songwriter Adrian Sutherland’s remote Cree village Attawapiskat. Fed-up with politicians blaming each other, lack of action spanning decades, and ‘third-world conditions’ for Indigenous Peoples, the frontman of roots rockers Midnight Shine[68] decided to send a message: “Politician Man is about the relationship between people and their politicians, and the need for all of us to start listening to each other, and stop blaming. There is so much turmoil in the world today, and ordinary people often feel like they don’t have a voice. We need our leaders to listen more and play politics less.”

Emma Swift "Blonde on the Tracks" (CD, CRS/Tiny Ghost Records, 2020). "Blonde on the Tracks" marks a new chapter in Music City USA's deep connection with Bob Dylan, encompassing LPs such as BLONDE ON BLONDE, JOHN WESLEY HARDING and NASHVILLE SKYLINE. Emma Swift's “reimagining” of Dylan's songs is smooth and mellow instead of being gravelly. Watch "Queen Jane Approximately", "You're A Big Girl Now" & "I Contain Multitudes"!

Dudley Taft "Cosmic Radio" (CD, American Blues Artist Group, 2020). Cincinnati-based Dudley Taft has been touring in Europe since 2012 and was nominated “best guitarist” by the European Blues Awards 2017. It is said that you hear delta roots mingling with Seattle grunge, a southern twang with a high-octane crunch in his music. The COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown was a real blow, the silver lining was getting to spend a lot of quality time with the family. His daughter Ashley Charmae was quarantined with him, co-writing and taking the lead vocal on ‘Relentless.’ Check out Dudley's YouTube channel & Dudley Making a Scene!

FolkWorld Xmas

Sofia Talvik "This Mess We're In" (Single, Makaki Music, 2020). Swedish folk artist Sofia Talvik has followed the tradition of releasing a Christmas single every year for over 10 years. In 2017 she gathered her songs up till then and released the album, "When Winter Comes". This year she is reflecting on all the hardships of 2020, and those of herself as an artist trying to be creative during a very uninspiring lockdown, "This Mess We're In": "I guess you could call it a doomsday Christmas song, because why not, it’s 2020." She also released a new unplugged Christmas EP, "Notes For Christmas", which contains stripped down versions of her 3 latest Christmas singles as well as a traditional Swedish Christmas song.

Tara Fuki "Kdyby" (Single/Video, Indies Scope, 2020). Tara Fuki[55] are two women, two voices, two cellos and very intimate music. The music video and release of the song "Kdyby" is the first invitation to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of violoncello duo Tara Fuki. Andrea Konstankiewicz and Dorota Barová relate: "On the upcoming album, we continue with the language tradition that has always characterized Tara Fuki. It is mostly in Polish, but this time, three songs in Czech will also appear on it."

Laura Tate "Live From El Paso" (CD, 811 Gold Records, 2020). Laura Tate works her way through a selection of fan favorites from her discography of torch songs, blues ballads and barnstormers, rock reinventions and jazz interpretations that explore the depths of life and love, such as "Hitting on Nothing", then steps into the role of Nancy Sinatra to deliver a Rat-Pack styled reading of the Thin Lizzy hit, "The Boys Are Back In Town".

Lara Taubman "Revelation" (CD, Wolfe Island Records/Continental Record Services, 2020). Lara Taubman grew up in southern Virginia with the formative sounds of Old Time music at her heart. From New York and Ontario, Revelation represents her using music and lyrics as alchemy while working through emotional pain and trauma. »Revelation is about my journey to heal through making music. Following a call to begin singing five years ago led me to a series of fortuitous events that created this album. Music always saved me, now I hope to return the favor.«

Julian Taylor "The Ridge" (CD, Howling Turtle, 2020). Canadian singer-songwriter Julian Taylor, of West Indian and Mohawk descent and formerly associated with rock band Staggered Crossing, is creating genre-free music ever since. He fronts the Julian Taylor Band playing an electrified Americana mix and is performing solo spots at folk festivals. Check out BandCamp & YouTube!

Sean Taylor "Black Lives Matter" (Video, 2020). Due to the ongoing pandemic and new lockdown restrictions Sean Taylor[72] is sad to announce that his winter European tour has been cancelled, but he is excited to bring a new song, "Herd Immunity (Part 2)". In solidarity with the worldwide movement for racial equality and justice, he has also released a new single, Sean Taylor "Black Lives Matter".

Kirsten Thien "Two Sides" (CD, Screen Door Records, 2020). New York City based singer-songwriter-guitarist Kirsten Thien assembled the songs of her new album akin to the A and B sides of vinyl releases, though showcasing more than two sides as she moves effortlessly from rock to blues, from gospel to soul. In this singles-driven era, she challenges us to listen to the whole as well as the parts - like the LPs of yesteryear. Watch the roots rock opener "Shoulda Been" (including a rare slide bass solo), check out Kirsten Thien Making a Scene!

Modou Touré "Touki" (CD, ARC Music, 2020). Senegalese singer Modou Touré, heir of the legendary group Touré Kunda and collaborator with English blues guitarist Ramon Goose,[58] has released his debut solo album "Touki" – A Journey. "Touki" showcases Afrobeat, pop-rock and funk. The title track "Touki" is a groovy auto-biographical story of the journey of a young African man travelling to find a better life. The journey is full of ups and downs and doesn’t always work out as planned.

John Townley "Old Sailor" (CD, The Lollipop Shop, 2020). A professional astrologer, a seafaring aficionado, New York's John Townley had been a member of the folk-rock group The Magicians in the mid sixties and subsequently part of several sea shanty bands. He once again navigates the High Seas with folk'n'blues-pickin' interpretations of some classics and some new original songs. Listen to the title track, "The Old Sailor", being a remake of the classic "Cuckoo".

Tuatha De Danann "The Tribes of Witching Souls" (CD, Trollzorn, 2020). Trollzorn proudly presents the European & Asian Release of Brazilian folk metal pioneers Tuatha De Danann, The Tribes of Witching Souls. According to lead singer Bruno Maia, "It goes back a bit to the more mystical, mythical, hippie and festive side of the band. We highlighted the folk music instruments, the festive atmosphere, the heavy guitars, the crazy atmospheres of the keyboards and the leprachauns screaming typical of Tuatha." Watch "Turn"!

Dan Tuffy "Letters of Gold" (CD, Smoked Recordings, 2020). Australian storyteller and singer-songwriter Dan Tuffy's sophomore album "Letters Of Gold" sees a shift away from the country noir atmosphere of his debut album "Songs From Dan" towards a more groove based approach where bass, electronic and percussive elements come to the foreground. However, the importance of song remains central Dan's rich, warm vocal sound bringing it all home. Watch "Big Man"!

Twisted Pine "Right Now" (CD, Signature Sounds Recordings, 2020). Steeped in traditional music, the Twisted Pine quartet is exploring a sound they call Americana Funk. Bassist Chris Sartori says, "Right Now is easier to feel than describe. We’re rooted in bluegrass, continually inspired by explorers like Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, and Sierra Hull. Right Now takes this heritage into a new dimension. Our bluegrass is jazzy, our indie folk is poppy, our grooves are funky."

FolkWorld Xmas

Fiona Tyndall "The Wexford Carol / Carul Loch Garman" (Song, 2020). Fiona's first album, Deirin De, focused on blending traditional Celtic sounds with some modern treatments. Since moving to New Jersey, she has been dabbling in rock'n'roll, funk and soul with the band Uncle Albert. Because of COVID, she recorded a new arrangement of this 12th century Christmas carol in New Jersey in both Irish and English. Tim Edey recorded multiple melodeons and Spanish guitars in Scotland and Brendan Hayes added guitars, piano and bass in Dublin.

Michael Veitch "Best Of Many Days" (CD, Burt Street Music, 2020). “I wish everyone a very safe and healthy many years and I hope this album helps with the healing, recovery and resurgence." Recorded over several years and around the globe, "Best Of Many Days"” is the culmination of Michael Veitch’s skill as a songwriter with odes to Lisa Marie Presley and Jack Hardy, a co-write with a holocaust survivor and an anti-assault weapon anthemic song. Watch a solo performance of the title track, "Best Of Many Days"!

Sara Vidal "Baile do Ladrão", "Descante aos Noivos" (Single, 2020). All over Portugal it was a tradition called "Descante" to sing to bride and groom getting repaid with food. "Descante aos Noivos" is the third single from singer Sara Vidal's forthcoming album "Matriz," which connects her more deeply with the Portuguese musical tradition from the perspective of the female condition. The previous single, "Baile do Ladrão", is a traditional theme from Porto Santo island in the north of Madeira.

"Concierto del grupo VIGÜELA: Conciertajo (LaborArte 2020)" (Video, 2020). Castillian folk band Vigüela has participated in the LaborArte festival in October with the special online event ConcierTajo. Tajo is the river where Vigüela’s birthplace lies, and "tajo" is a slang word in Spanish which means "work." LaborArte used to take place annually in Madrid, organized by the International Labour Organization, a United Nations agency that aims to promote decent work throughout the world.

Vilma "Andra Ställen" (EP, Own label, 2020). 21 year old Vilma Snygg from Borås, Sweden, recetnly in the finals for the P4 Nästa competition on Swedish radio, has released her 6-track debut EP "Andra Ställen", written as a diary through life spins between warm feelings and cold insights and featuring a warm acoustic sound between First Aid Kit and Melissa Horn. Watch Vilma live in concert!

Vissia "Wild Fig Tree", "If I Told" (Video, 2020). Alt-pop artist Alex Vissia is posting new videos every Friday, performed live off the floor in her basement studio in Edmonton, Alberta. Watch "Wild Fig Tree" off of her debut solo album A Lot Less Gold (2011), "If I Told", a »perfect song« written by Courtney Marie Andrews. »Holy shit, this song makes me feeeeeeel thiiiiiiings...«

Wily Bo Walker & Danny Flam "Ain’t No Man A Good Man" (CD, Mescal Canyon Records, 2020). Originally from Glasgow, Scotland, Wily Bo Walker once again teamed up with multiple Grammy award-winning musician Danny Flam, leader of the New York Brass and recognized for his work with Kanye West and others. “Ain’t No Man A Good Man” defies the conventional blues paradigm, taking listeners on a swinging macabre jazz and blues funhouse ride of thrills and chills. Check out Promo Video & Wily Bo Walker Making a Scene!

The Wallens "This Land is Your Land" (Video, 2020). Americana duo The Wallens from Richmond, Indiana were playing "Songs of America" featuring foundational music from artists like the Carter Family, Lead Belly, Woody Guthrie, and others. There would be no country or rock and roll without the influence of these American greats. As a preview, The Wallens recorded an interpretation of the Woody Guthrie anthem "This Land is Your Land".

Dennis Warner "Pilot Me" (CD, Main Trail Productions, 2020). An audience member once commented that Dennis Warner has a way of singing about observations that seems timley such as racism or homophobia with offending. His Golden Rule: treat each other the way we would like to be treated ourselves! Watch "Potter's Wheel"!

Rupert Wates "Lamentations" (CD, Bite Music, 2020). The carousel of birth and death, seen through the eyes of a child, and the challenge of love in a time of breaking: these are the themes of US-based, London-born folk singer-songwriter Rupert Wates’ latest CD Lamentations. Recorded in a single evening, with no overdubs, and featuring only Wates’ voice and his guitar, the album captures the organic quality of a solo live performance. Check out Bandcamp!

Doc & Merle Watson "Songs Doc Didn't Sing" (CD, FLi Records, 2020). Doc Watson[72] almost single-handedly developed the notion of picking fiddle tunes on the guitar. This selection features instrumental tracks only (though Doc had been a gifted vocalist as well) recorded from 1981-85 with special guests such as Sam Bush.[48] Says then producer Mitch Greenhill, "These recordings encompass the breadth of [Doc's] instrumental vision and the precision of his technique. We also get to revisit Merle Watson's deep blues playing and the great tone of his slide guitar. I never get tired of hearing these two interweave guitar lines, harmony and counterpoint." Check out Youtube Playlist!

West Of Eden "Everywhere" (CD, Own label, 2020). When all plans were thwarted for 2020, gigs and tours cancelled left and right, West Of Eden[70] decided to shine a light on ideas that normally don’t get the attention they deserve. For instance, recording a few songs with the whole band in one room, unplugged and close, just a few mics. They decided to record a cover as well. The result is an intimate rendition with Celtic influences of Fleetwood Mac's "Everywhere".

Bella White "The Hand of Your Raising" (Video, 2020). While traditional bluegrass is usually associated with the American South, the genre has found a safe Canadian home in the form of twenty year-old Calgary-born singer/songwriter Bella White: “I want people my age to hear my music, and think, actually Bluegrass is kind of cool”, she says. Watch ‘The Hand of Your Raising’ from the debut album ‘Just Like Leaving’.

Chelsea Williams "No Justice No Peace", "Beautiful and Strange", "Red Flag" (Video, 2020). »Throughout my life, I have used music as a way to heal, grow and express emotions that are hard for me to put into words. Last month after returning home from a social justice demonstration, my emotions welled up and spilled over. This song was the result. No Justice No Peace expresses my frustration with a system that lacks racial equity and social justice. It expresses my intent to continue to educate myself and work for social change and equality. My hope is that this song might help inspire others like me to follow the same path. To educate themselves and fight back against racist ideas and policies. It is my sincere belief that it will take every last voice rising up and speaking out to truly change things. If I can inspire even one more voice to rise up, it will be well worth the effort.« Watch also The Palomino Sound Sessions, Beautiful and Strange & Red Flag!

Wolf & Clover "Live at the Silvan Sessions" (Digital EP, Own label, 2020). Performing "Irish-ish" or "Hiber-neo-Classical" music since 2016, Wolf & Clover is a quintet from Georgia featuring fiddle, flute, accordion, tenor banjo and guitar. Just as the coronavirus was starting to spread, they played live for a small group on St. Patrick's Day with a single microphone: »We were so happy with the performance that we made an EP with 6 of the tunes. We have not planned to make CDs of this release yet, because there are no gigs, there's very little chance we will sell any...« Watch "After the Battle of Aughrim / Eleanor Plunkett"!

CD Woodbury "World's Gone Crazy" (CD, Own label, 2020). “World’s Gone Crazy” marks a personal victory as blues singer-guitarist CD Woodbury's career was nearly cut short due to wrist surgery two years ago. The bluesman returns with a full dose of high energy blues, rock and soul, insinuating his quartet's powerful live shows. Watch the boogie "South of South Hill" (Live in Studio)!

Wooden Legs "Animali" (CD, Own label, 2020). The listener is greeted by a group of animals on the album cover of this Italian Irish Folk band. Labelled as “extreme Irish music”, there is nothing particularly extreme about the music, just solid Irish folk: Instrumentals featuring flutes, violin, guitar, bass guitar and percussion/ drums, as well as songs - the latter making it obvious that the band’s singer is a big Christy Moore fan. Watch "Big Beaver" (Official video)!

Yola "Tiny Desk (Home) Concert" (Video, 2020). NPR Music's Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future and introducing The Tiny Desk (Home) Concerts, bringing us performances from across the US and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space. Watch British singer Yola in the backyard of her temporary quarantine home in Nashville with acoustic guitar accompaniment from Jordan Tice (Hawktail) @ Tiny Desk (Home) Concert!

Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile "Not Our First Goat Rodeo" (CD, Sony Music Masterworks, 2020). Not Our First Goat Rodeo is the follow-up album to the genre-defying, GRAMMY Award-winning The Goat Rodeo Sessions nine years ago, combining the talents of classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma, bluegrass fiddler/banjoist Stuart Duncan, double bassist Edgar Meyer and mandolinist Chris Thile of Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers fame to create a singular sound that's part composed, part improvised. The music is so complex to pull off that the four likens it to a goat rodeo - an aviation term for a situation in which 100 things need to go right to avoid disaster. Watch "The Trappings" (featuring guest artist Aoife O'Donovan) & Tiny Desk (Home) Concert!

Zoe & Cloyd "Where Do You Stand" (Video, 2020).‘Where Do You Stand’ is a commentary on the state of our national discourse. We had the idea for the line, ‘When all that’s left is left, right, or wrong’ in regards to the hyper-polarization we’ve been seeing for a while and we built the song from there," John Cloyd Miller told The Bluegrass Situation about the song he wrote with his wife and musical partner, Natalya Zoe Weinstein. "We wanted the song and video to be thought provoking and a call to action. Some people will always attempt to pit us against one another for personal and political gain but we can’t let divisive, inflammatory rhetoric win the day. For us to move forward, we must find common ground on which to build a path toward a just and sustainable future."

9Bach "Ar y 9" (CD, Real World Records, 2020). »Of course, playing live again - at least in the same room as an audience - seems such a distant prospect right now and releasing a live album in these times it hits home even harder how much playing live means to us and how we miss it, how we miss being together as a band and seeing all your lovely faces in the audience.« "Ar y 9" is an 8 track live album recorded during the band’s celebratory UK tour of 2019 in support of the 10th anniversary re-release of their debut album. Watch "Anian", featuring footage of 9Bach's last show before the Covid-19 lockdown at Drygate Brewery, Glasgow, as part of the Celtic Connections festival.

Various Artists

"A Living Past: Episode 1 – the Origins of Music Maker", "A Living Past Episode 2: the Story of Etta Baker" (Podcast, 2020). Learn about Music Maker’s[69] partner artists, mostly unknown musicians that have shaped American culture through their blues, gospel and folk music. The first episode of A Living Past, narrated by founder Timothy Duffy, dives into Music Maker’s beginnings. From Jerry Garcia to Bob Dylan, Etta Baker's influence on American music was profound. Born in 1913 in Caldwell County, NC, her style represents the quintessential elegance and technicality of Piedmont Blues.

75 Years of Bluegrass

Various Artists "Artist of the Month: Bluegrass Turns 75" (Playlist, 2020). The Bluegrass Situation's Artist of the Month for September isn't an "artist" at all – it's bluegrass![72] To celebrate 75 years since its inception they've made a playlist of 75 of their favorite, iconic, indispensable grassy songs. Listen to the playlist, Artist of the Month: Bluegrass Turns 75!

Various Artists "Bluegrass Mastery: Instrumentals" (Playlist, Mountain Home Music Company/Organic Records, 2020). Sometimes, it's all about the pickin’ not the singin’! From bluegrass music’s earliest days, many of its musicians have been proud of their instrumental skills and intent on bringing them front and center. It’s an aspect of tradition that’s just about disappeared from most popular music forms, but it’s alive and well in bluegrass. Stream "Bluegrass Mastery: Instrumentals" on Spotify and Apple Music, ft. The Grascals, Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Gina Furtado, Balsam Range, Zoe & Cloyd, and many more.

Various Artists "Damn Straight We've Got The Blues" (Download, New West Records, 2020). A Blues compilation in 60 total tracks, Damn Straight We've Got The Blues, spanning the entire history of New West Records. Ft. Justin Townes Earle, Rodney Crowell, Pinetop Perkins, John Hiatt, Drive-By Truckers, Doug Sahm, Buddy Guy, Sue Foley, Richard Thompson, and many others. "I believe it to be not only comprehensive, but damn good to listen to as well. There are some stretches here, but as far as I am concerned, there is an element of the blues captured in every genre of music, whether it be folk, country, soul, or rock. I end it with The Drams' Wonderous Life. If someone can't hear the blues in this song of down and out debauchery, then they don't know the blues." (George Fontaine, New West Records)

FolkWorld Xmas

Various Artists "Folky Christmas" (Stream, 2020). Songwriter/author Dave Connis[70] has been curating and maintaining his Folky Christmas Playlist since 2014. Every year, he scours the internet for new Christmas albums in hopes to find some gems. »I listen to Christmas music starting Nov 1st. I do it because listening to Christmas music after Thanksgiving is basically like a listening juice box. One sip and it's gone. I want the feels of the season to be with me like that gallon jug of water all the gym bros carry.«

Various Artists "Friends and Legends of Louisiana" (CD, L&M Star Productions, 2019). Lucas Spinosa and Mike David have developed a project that features some of the best musicians in and around Louisiana and includes a variety of sounds and genres to cover the melting pot of musical styles. Songs have been written by Lucas Spinosa, or co-written with Nashville songwriter Billy E. Henderson, respectively. Check out "Friends and Legends of Louisiana" @ Making A Scene!

Various Artists "Greenwich Village Folk Festival 2020 - Sunday, September 6th" (Video, 2020). The Greenwich Village Folk Festival began in 1987 with live concerts at the Washington Square Church in Greenwich Village, New York. This year, Eliza Gilkyson[36] has been live-streaming and joining Peter Yarrow, Rod MacDonald, Pierce Pettis, and others. Watch GVFF 2020 - Sunday, September 6th!

Various Artists "Hanging Tree Guitars" (CD, Music Maker Relief Foundation, 2020). The musical accompaniment for the Hanging Tree Guitars book[72] features songs from the Music Maker archive. This compilation is meant to provide a glimpse into the music that inspired Freeman Vines’ lifelong search for a guitar tone. Ft. Rufus McKenzie, James Davis, Bishop Dready Manning, Guitar Gabriel, Adolphus Bell, John Lee Zeigler, Dr. G.B. Burt, The Glorifying Vines Sisters, Faith & Harmony, Elder Anderson Johnson, Johnny Ray Daniels, Guitar Slim Stephens.

FolkWorld Xmas

Various Artists "Joyeux Noël, Bon Chrismeusse: A Holiday EP from South Louisiana" (EP, 2020). This six-track EP at the end of a rocky year for Bandcamp Friday reinterprets Christmas classics through a Cajun and Creole lens, translating songs - like “Papa Nwèl ap vini o vilaj” (“Santa Claus is coming to town”) and “Je reviens chez nous pour Chrismeusse” (“I’ll be home for Christmas”) into Louisiana French and Louisiana Creole. It features musicians from the South Louisiana music scene, including Chas Justus of The Revelers, Courtney Granger, Kelli Jones, and The Daiquiri Queens. Watch "Je reviens chez nous pour Chrismeusse"!

FolkWorld Xmas

Various Artists "2020 Paste Holiday Sampler" (Download, 2020). This year could use some joy, and Paste magazine is spreading it with the 2020 Paste Holiday Sampler. Paste collected more than a dozen new wintery tunes, from Calexico and Tommy Emmanuel amongst others, to help you get in the spirit of celebration, whether that means Christmas, Hanukkah or just making it to the last month of the dumpster fire that is 2020. Stream or download the 2020 Paste Holiday Sampler!

"Pickathon at Home Sunday: Dom Flemons | Moon Duo | Drive-By Truckers" (Video, 2020). We could’t gather together this year, so Pickathon[69] was bringing their eclectic lineup to your home, featuring high-def, multi-camera livestreamed sets from past festivals. Pickathon already opened up their extensive vaults of content for a 100+ A Concert A Day fundraiser for MusiCares. Watch Pickathon at Home ft. Dom Flemons, Moon Duo & Drive-By Truckers!

Prison Music Project (ft. Princess Shaw and Zoe Boekbinder) "Long Time Gone" (Video, 2020). A video has been made by Audra Brandt for "Long Time Gone", the title track from the Prison Music Project![72] "Long Time Gone" was written by Ken Blackburn and Zoe Boekbinder and features vocals from Zoe Boekbinder and Princess Shaw.

Various Artists "Songs of Protest - Cayamo 2017" (Video, 2017). "One of my favorite things that people have been doing since the world shut down and we've all been starved for live music is posting footage of live concerts from The Time Before. Recently this set I hosted from the 2017 Cayamo Cruise popped up on YouTube. I'm so glad someone videotaped it as it was a real highlight of that week for me. Be sure to check out Barry Walsh's performance of Randy Newman's "Political Science" starting at 37:30." -Gretchen Peters[72] Watch "Songs of Protest - Cayamo 2017"; Stardust show with Amy Helm, Gurf Morlix, Sarah Potenza, Gretchen Peters, Barry Walsh.

"The music must go on! #SOULIDARITY for African musicians" (Video, 2020). Thousands of concerts have been cancelled worldwide due to COVID-19. Hundreds of musicians from the African continent have lost their main income. It is uncertain by when musicians will be able to travel and tour again. The music must go on! #SOULIDARITY is a campaign for musicians from the African continent to make sure they can continue to make music. Watch official trailer, The music must go on! #SOULIDARITY for African musicians! Join #SOULIDARITY and donate @

75 Years of Bluegrass

"The 75th Anniversary of Bluegrass Music" (Livestream/Video, 2020). Bluegrass as we know it today is said to have been born on the Grand Ole Opry stage at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on December 8, 1945: That night Earl Scruggs made his Opry debut with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys that included Lester Flatt. The Grand Ole Opry will celebrate the 75th anniversary of Bluegrass music on Saturday, December 5. Tune in @ YouTube for a special show featuring The Del McCoury Band, The Travelin' McCourys, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, and Sister Sadie. The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) wishes Happy 75th Birthday, Bluegrass!!

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