Tuesday, December 23, 2014


They start with Danish folk music and in their words turn it into “new music across styles, cultures and frontiers.” Those words won't come as a surprise to anyone who has seen photos of the band, a quintet with member of different ages, genders, and races, which is refreshing in every way. Three members come from Denmark, one comes from Ghana, and another was born in Poland. They bring to Himmerland their various musical ideas and styles.

Read my full review of The Spider In The Fiddle on +RootsWorld.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hurray For The Riff Raff

It has been a very long time since a single track hit me like this one has. The song: "The Body Electric." The songwriter: Alynda Lee Segarra, bandleader of +Hurray for the Riff Raff. The subject: a twist on murder ballads like "Banks of the Ohio" and "Tom Dooley." The album: Small Town Heroes.

Read my full review of Small Town Heroes on +RootsWorld.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

James Coberly Smith & LeAnne Town

In early December, James Coberly Smith and LeAnne Town came by the KRBX studio to appear on my radio show, Ramblers' Retreat. Listen to this live performance by James Coberly Smith and LeAnne Town archived on Mixcloud.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Favorites of 2014 (December Update)

Here we are in the last month of 2014, and here are my favorite recordings of the year so far.
  1. Hurray For The Riff Raff: Small Town Heroes
  2. Sam Amidon: Lily-O
  3. Willie Watson: Folk Singer Vol. 1
  4. Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn: Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
  5. Luke Winslow-King: Everlasting Arms
  6. Anaïs Mitchell: Xoa
  7. Chris Smither: Still On The Levee
  8. Cahalen Morrison & Eli West: I'll Swing My Hammer With Both My Hands
  9. Flaco Jiménez & Max Baca: Legends & Legacies
  10. Boulpik: Konpa Lakay
Small Town Heroes by Hurray For The Riff Raff, an Americana band from New Orleans led by Alynda Lee Segarra, remains my record of the year, and Segarra's song "The Body Electric" is still my song of the year.

New on the list this month are two more musicians from New Orleans, the bluesy Luke Winslow-King and the great songwriter Chris Smither. The rest of my list is a mix of old-time, conjunto, and twoubadou.

You can compare this to the lists I made in July and November.

Here's a playlist with songs from these albums and a few more favorites of 2014.