Sunday, March 8, 2015

Tuomas Logrén

I'm listening to a great mix of American roots music. There's some bluegrass, some Cajun, some old-time front porch music, and a couple of traditional cowboy songs. And it comes from Finland. Yes. Finland. Tuomas Logrén is the guitarist for the fiddle-heavy Finnish ensemble Frigg. I think of Frigg as a Nordic ensemble; they draw from Finnish folk music supplemented by the traditions of Sweden and Norway. That's what I was expecting to hear on Yövesi, which is also the name of a lake in eastern Finland, home to a number of threatened species like the Saimaa ringed seal and the Arctic Char. Sounds Finnish so far, right?

Read my full review of Yövesi on RootsWorld.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Favorites of 2015 (Early Favorites)

We're just a couple of months into 2015, but a couple of records have really caught my ear.
  1. Robert Earl Keen - Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions
  2. Dengue Fever - The Deepest Lake
Here's a playlist to get us started. I'll add to it as the year progresses.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ione Love Thielke

Gary Eller from the Idaho Songs Project and Cheryl Oestreicher from the Boise State University's Special Collections and Archives came on my radio show, Ramblers' Retreat, to talk about the new collection of the music of Ione Love Thielke, "The Musical Poem Recorder of Cascade, Idaho." Listen to this interview about the music of Ione Love Thielke archived on Mixcloud.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Mardi Gras

Here's a Mardi Gras playlist to get you through the weekend.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Favorites of 2014

Here is my "official" list of my favorite recordings of 2014.
  1. Hurray For The Riff Raff: Small Town Heroes
  2. Sam Amidon: Lily-O
  3. Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn: Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
  4. Willie Watson: Folk Singer Vol. 1
  5. Luke Winslow-King: Everlasting Arms
  6. Anaïs Mitchell: Xoa
  7. Cahalen Morrison & Eli West: I'll Swing My Hammer With Both My Hands
  8. Flaco Jiménez & Max Baca: Legends & Legacies
  9. Chris Smither: Still On The Levee
  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.

There were very few changes in my list over the past month. A few records moved up or down, but nothing new was added.

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

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Himmerland

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.