Keep scrolling down the page for our blog/program guide.
Pics, bios, reviews, album art and more! Learn lots about all the folks on the show!
Sad Songs (Say So Much)”- Elton John- “Greatest Hits- 1970-2002”
Sad Old Song- Pharis & Jason Romero- “Long Gone Out West Blues”
Sad House Big Party- Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives- “Saturday Night/Sunday Morning”
Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad- Bettye LaVette- “Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook”
To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)- Ryan Adams- “Heartbreaker”
I’m So Sad- Ruthie and the Wranglers- “Americana Express”
So Sad (To Watch Love Go Bad)- The Everly Brothers- “The Very Best Of The Everly Brothers”
Hot New Music:
Feels So Good- The Record Company- “Give It Back To You”
In The Pines- Loretta Lynn- “Full Circle”
She Calls Me Daddy- Smooth Hound Smith- “”Sweet Tennessee Honey”
I Only Drink A Little- Corin Raymond- “Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams”
Grassy Water Stomp- Grassy Waters- “Grassy Waters II”
Storms- Reagan Boggs- “Empty Glasses”
I’ll Be Glad- Maria Muldaur- “Steady Love”
Glad Rag Doll (Alternate Version)- Diana Krall- “Glad Rag Doll (Deluxe Edition)”
I’m So Glad- Cream- “Fresh Cream”
I’m Glad There Is You- Claire Martin- “Too Much In Love To Care: Claire Martins Sings With Kenny Barron”
So Glad- Eric Bibb- “Diamond Days”
Glad When I’m Gone- Big Sandy and the Fly-Rite Trio- “On the Go”
Glad All Over- The Dave Clark Five- “The History of the Dave Clark Five”
No Sadness No More- Jaap Dekker Boogie Set- “Honky Tonk Train Arrival”
** Keep scrolling down the page for our informative blog/program guide. Follow along as you listen! **
Sad Songs (Say So Much)”- Elton John
In terms of sales and lasting popularity, Elton John was the biggest pop superstar of the early ’70s. Initially marketed as a singer/songwriter, John soon revealed he could craft Beatlesque pop and pound out rockers with equal aplomb. He could dip into soul, disco, and country, as well as classic pop balladry and even progressive rock. His versatility, combined with his effortless melodic skills, dynamic charisma, and flamboyant stage shows, made him the most popular recording artist of the ’70s. Unlike many pop stars, John was able to sustain his popularity, charting a Top 40 single every single year from 1970 to 1996. During that time, he had temporary slumps in creativity and sales, as he fell out of favor with critics, had fights with his lyricist, Bernie Taupin, and battled various addictions and public scandals. But through it all, John remained a remarkably popular artist, and many of his songs — including “Your Song,” “Rocket Man,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” — became contemporary pop standards.
The son of a former Royal Air Force trumpeter, John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight in 1947. Dwight began playing piano at the age of four, and when he was 11, he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. After studying for six years, he left school with the intention of breaking into the music business. In 1961, he joined his first band, Bluesology, and divided his time between playing with the group, giving solo concerts at a local hotel, and running errands for a London publishing house.
-Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic.com
I think performers are all show-offs anyway, especially musicians. Unless you show off, you’re not going to get noticed. Elton John
When your persona begins to take over your music and becomes more important, you enter a dangerous place. Once you have people around you who don’t question you, you’re in a dangerous place. Elton John
At heart I’ve always been a music fan. That part of me has never changed since I was a little kid, sitting in a room watching a record go round, looking at the colour of the labels. Elton John
I was more ashamed that I couldn’t work the washing machine than the fact that I was taking drugs. Elton John
I am the most well-known homosexual in the world. Elton John
I rarely wear tennis shoes. I’m 5′ 8′, I hate being short. Elton John
Fame attracts lunatics. Elton John
I am the biggest technophobe of all time. Elton John
I am so in the past. I’m such a Luddite when it comes to making music. All I can do is write at the piano. Elton John
Sad Old Song- Pharis & Jason Romero
THEIR CHEMISTRY IS UNDENIABLE, AND THE SONG FEELS LIKE IT’S BEEN ROLLING ALONG A DUSTY PLAIN OUT WEST FOR DECADES, JUST WAITING TO BE PICKED UP AND SUNG.
– NPR MUSIC – FAVORITE SESSIONS
WITH EFFORTLESS HARMONIES, INTRICATE FINGER-PICKING, AND A REFRESHING VETERAN SPIRIT, PHARIS & JASON’S SECOND ALBUM DISPLAYS A STARTLING PROWESS.
– UTNE READER
… WONDERFUL, ACHINGLY BEAUTIFUL HARMONIES. IT’S ALL PERFECTLY JUDGED, PRECISE BUT NEVER FLASHY PICKING, TANGIBLE CHEMISTRY AND WARMTH BETWEEN THEM AND GRADE A SONGS.
– MAVERICK MAGAZINE
SONGS OF RARE BEAUTY AND TENDERNESS.
– PENGUIN EGGS
RECORD OF THE WEEK… HAS RAISED THE ROOTS BARN DOOR EVER HIGHER… A SUPERB COLLECTION OF SELF PENNED AND TRADITION SONGS WORKED UP IN THE WARMEST OLD TIMEY STYLE WE HAVE HEARD FOR SOME TIME…PERFECT HARMONIES AND DARN GOOD PICKING.
– HOUSE OF MERCY RADIO
LOVELY, WARM AND ENGAGING.
– BBC RADIO ULSTER
Singing vibrant duets, writing deadly songs, playing handmade banjos and loving old acoustic guitars, Pharis & Jason Romero have a classic story. When a matchmaker, some scratchy old records, and a custom banjo led to their meeting in 2007, they quickly knew they were in for the long haul. They’ve since released five records – three as a duo – and toured across North America and the UK. They’ve been featured on NPR Music, CBC, BBC, Folk Alley, and many more, and have performed on A Prairie Home Companion and CBC’s The Vinyl Cafe. They are passionate teachers and believers in many things folk, and their heartbreakingly harmonic live show is an ever-evolving and never-ending quest for good songs and beautiful sounds.
Sad House Big Party- Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives
If you were to give country music an address, you might say it’s at the corner of sacred and profane, two doors up from the blues and folk, and just across the street from gospel, R&B and rock ‘n’ roll. And on a deeper emotional and spiritual level, it resides where Saturday night meets Sunday morning.
No one understands these coordinates better than Marty Stuart. For over forty years, the five-time Grammy winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, photographer and historian has been building a rich legacy at this very crossroads. On his latest release with his band The Fabulous Superlatives, the double-disc Saturday Night & Sunday Morning, Stuart captures all the authentic neon and stained-glass hues of country music – from love and sex to heartache and hardship to family and God – in twenty-three tracks.
“I’ve always thought that country music had a really unique relationship with gospel music,” Stuart says. “It is interesting to me that country stars can sing drinking and cheating songs authentically, then at some point during the evening or the broadcast, take their hats off and say, ‘Friends, here’s our gospel song.’ If it’s the right messenger it seamlessly flows. That’s a time-honored tradition, from Jimmie Rodgers to Hank Williams to Johnny Cash. Rogue prophets and rogue preachers. That is my world.
Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad- Bettye LaVette
Betty Jo Haskins was born January 29,1946, in Muskegon, Michigan. The family moved to Detroit when she was six years old. Her parents sold corn liquor and her living room was oft-times visited by The Soul Stirrers, The Blind Boys of Mississippi, and many other traveling gospel groups of the day. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Bettye did not get her start in the church, but in that very same living room, where there was a jukebox, filled with the blues, country & western, and R&B records of the time. The “5” Royales, Dinah Washington, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Red Foley, …these were her roots.
By 16, Betty Jo had become enamored with showbiz. She decided to change her name to something more dramatic. She knew a local groupie by the name of Sherma Lavett, liked the sound of the name, and thus, Betty LaVette was born. Singer Timmy Shaw brought her to Johnnie Mae Matthews, notorious Motor City record producer. Bettye’s first single was “My Man – He’s a Loving Man.”, in the fall of 1962. The record was quickly picked up by Atlantic for national distribution. The record charted #7 R&B and put her on her first national tour, with Ben E. King, Clyde McPhatter, and another newcomer, Otis Redding.
To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)- Ryan Adams
Mixing the heartfelt angst of a singer/songwriter with the cocky brashness of a garage rocker, Ryan Adams is at once one of the few artists to emerge from the alt-country scene to achieve mainstream commercial success and the one who most strongly refused to be defined by the genre, leaping from one spot to another stylistically while following his increasingly prolific muse. Adams was born in Jacksonville, North Carolina in 1974. While country music was a major part of his family’s musical diet when he was young (he’s cited Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Merle Haggard, and Johnny Cash as particular favorites), in his early teens Adams developed a taste for punk rock and began playing electric guitar.
At 15, Adams started writing songs, and a year later he formed a band called the Patty Duke Syndrome; Adams once described PDS as “an arty noise punk band,” with Hüsker Dü frequently cited as a key influence and reference point. The Patty Duke Syndrome developed a following in Jacksonville, and when Adams was 19 the band relocated to the larger town of Raleigh, North Carolina in hopes of expanding its following. However, Adams became eager to do something more melodic that would give him a platform for his country and pop influences. In 1994, Adams left the Patty Duke Syndrome and formed Whiskeytown with guitarist Phil Wandscher and violinist Caitlin Cary. With bassist Steve Grothman and drummer Eric “Skillet” Gilmore completing the lineup, Whiskeytown (the name came from regional slang for getting drunk) released their first album, Faithless Street, on the local Mood Food label.
The album won reams of critical praise in the music press, and more than one writer suggested that Whiskeytown could do for the alt-country or No Depression scene what Nirvana had done for grunge.
– Mark Deming, AllMusic.com
I’m So Sad- Ruthie and the Wranglers
Azalea City Recordings’ Artists, Ruthie & the Wranglers, play rockin’ American Roots music (also known as FUN!) and are based in the Washington, DC area. After 25 Years of Wrangler Twang, including touring, radio airplay, and releasing six albums, the band remains a cornerstone of the DC roots music scene. From original Americana Country to rousing Surf instrumentals, their clever lyrics, high energy and spritely hillbilly harmonies set them apart from the rest. The band has released 6 CDs, most recently, “Ruthie and the Wranglers LIVE at Goose Creek”
Ruthie and The Wranglers’ albums have consistently ranked high on Americana, Folk and Roots music radio charts around the world. Their clever songwriting skills were penned by Billboard Magazine as “…nothing short of brilliant,” Dirty Linen, No Depression and The Washington Post raved about their previous CD “Americana Express.”
Photo by: Michael G. Stewart
So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)- The Everly Brothers
The Everly Brothers were not only among the most important and best early rock & roll stars, but also among the most influential rockers of any era. They set unmatched standards for close, two-part harmonies and infused early rock & roll with some of the best elements of country and pop music. Their legacy was and is felt enormously in all rock acts that employ harmonies as prime features, from the Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel to legions of country-rockers as well as roots rockers like Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe (who once recorded an EP of Everlys songs together).
Don (born February 1, 1937) and Phil (born January 19, 1939) were professionals way before their teens, schooled by their accomplished guitarist father Ike, and singing with their family on radio broadcasts in Iowa. In the mid-’50s, they made a brief stab at conventional Nashville country with Columbia. When their single flopped, they were cast adrift for quite a while until they latched onto Cadence. Don invested their first single for the label, “Bye Bye Love,” with a Bo Diddley beat that helped lift the song to number two in 1957.
“Bye Bye Love” began a phenomenal three-year string of classic hit singles for Cadence, including “Wake Up Little Susie,” “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” “Bird Dog,” “(‘Til) I Kissed You,” and “When Will I Be Loved.” The Everlys sang of young love with a heart-rending yearning and compelling melodies. The harmonies owed audible debts to Appalachian country music, but were imbued with a keen modern pop sensibility that made them more accessible without sacrificing any power or beauty.
-Richie Unterberger, AllMusic.com
Feels So Good- The Record Company
“The Record Company have found a way to create a modern take on timeless blues rock.” MSN.com
“Making bluesy music in L.A. that would sound more at home in a sweaty, backwoods Mississippi juke joint.” L.A. Weekly
“The band’s sound is raw, definitely bluesy and reminiscent of some of the best acts of the ’50s and ’60s—like if John Lee Hooker and the Stooges had a well-behaved love child.” Time Out L.A.
“A collection of subtle, funky and well played blues music that hearkens the musical spirits of Morphine and John Lee Hooker.” The Key / WXPN
“Anchored by Vos’ true-blues wail, the Record Company’s take on the timeless genre is unvarnished and affecting.” Buzzbands LA
“This gem of bluesy rock ‘n’ roll is a comfort recipe that never gets old”
The Record Company write and play raw, sincere rock n’ roll. Influenced by the rough honesty of their heroes–bluesmen like John Lee Hooker, early punk bands like The Stooges, and rock greats like The Rolling Stones–their sound incorporates slide guitar, distorted bass, a garage-sale Ludwig drum kit and the heartland-hued voice of Chris Vos, who grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm. The three-man group started in late 2011, hanging up some old mics and recording live in the bass player’s living room in Los Feliz, CA. The Record Company have since played concert halls across North America, opening for acts as diverse as B.B. King, Social Distortion, Buddy Guy, Grace Potter, and Trombone Shorty.
In The Pines- Loretta Lynn
“To make it in this business, you either have to be first, great or different,” says living legend Loretta Lynn. “And I was the first to ever go into Nashville, singin’ it like the women lived it.”
Loretta first arrived in Nashville 55 years ago, signing her first recording contract on February 1, 1960, and within a matter of weeks, she was at her first recording session. A self-taught guitarist and songwriter, Lynn became one of the most distinctive performers in Nashville in the 1960s and 1970s, shaking things up by writing her own songs, many of which tackled boundary-pushing topics drawn from her own life experiences as a wife and mother.
In addition to being “first,” she was also “great” and “different.” Loretta Lynn’s instantly recognizable delivery is one of the greatest voices in music history. As for “different,” no songwriter has a more distinctive body of work. In lyrics such as “Don’t Come Home A- Drinkin’” and “Your Squaw Is on the War Path” she refused to be any man’s doormat. She challenged female rivals in “You Ain’t Woman Enough” and “Fist City.” She showed tremendous blue-collar pride in “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and “You’re Lookin’ at Country.” She is unafraid of controversy, whether the topic is sex (“Wings Upon Your Horns”), divorce (“Rated X”), alcohol (“Wouldn’t It Be Great”) or war (“Dear Uncle Sam”). “The Pill,” her celebration of sexual liberation, was banned by many radio stations. Like the lady herself, Loretta Lynn’s songs shoot from the hip.
As millions who read her 1976 autobiography or saw its Oscar winning 1980 film treatment are aware, Loretta is a Coal Miner’s Daughter who was raised in dire poverty in a remote Appalachian Kentucky hamlet. Living in a mountain cabin with seven brothers and sisters, she was surrounded by music as a child.
Full Circle is no accidental title for this, Loretta Lynn’s first album after a 12-year break. Released as Lynn approaches her 83rd birthday, Full Circle not only deliberately returns the country legend to her Kentucky roots, it’s constructed as a summation of her life. It opens with the first song she ever wrote — a lovelorn waltz called “Whispering Sea” — and runs through old folk tunes she sang as a child, revisits hits she had in her prime, and adds new tunes to her repertoire, all the while acknowledging that she’s closer to the end of her life than the beginning. It’s a weighty concept directed by co-producers John Carter Cash and Lynn’s daughter Patsy Lynn Reynolds, two scions of country royalty keenly aware of the nuances of legacy and tradition.
-Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic.com
Photo by: Peter Nash
She Calls Me Daddy- Smooth Hound Smith
Smooth Hound Smith is a foot stompin’ American roots duo comprised of “one-man-band” Zack Smith (guitars/vocals/foot drums/harmonicas/banjo) and Caitlin Doyle (vocals/percussion). Established in 2012, and currently based in East Nashville, TN, they record and perform a varied and unique style of folky, garage-infused rhythm & blues. Using primal foot percussion, complex, fuzzed-out, finger-picked guitar patterns, warbled harmonicas, tasty harmonies and A LOT of tambourine, they are able to create something rugged and visceral- a modern interpretation of early blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll music that harkens back to the traditions of hazy front porch folk songs as well as raucous back-alley juke joints.
I Only Drink A Little- Corin Raymond
Toronto songwriter Corin Raymond is a troubadour whose robust veracity connects with older folks and children alike. Raymond’s material appeals to other writers as much as to his fans. His songs are covered by Dustin Bentall, The Good Lovelies, The Strumbellas, The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, and a far flung community of roots musicians and enthusiasts. Raymond’s songs, which are slightly apocalyptic and suggest criminal activity, make singing along easy. They have the common touch. Judges quote from his lyrics when handing sentences down. Truckers cry. He has the words you’ve been looking for.
Grassy Water Stomp- Grassy Waters- “Grassy Waters II”
Formed in the winter of 2009, Grassy Waters spawned from three founding members Gootner, Mason, and Uihlien living together. When it was too cold for the beach in those winter months, the three quickly wrote a few album’s worth of material. Once Adrienne and Mike joined to round out the lineup, Grassy Waters was whole. The addition of Adrienne Lueders on Cello gave the band an injection of classical influence and expertise, while Kuzemchak on drums and hand percussion gave the band its groove. Grassy Waters had found its groove! From then on this group became stronger and stronger as a band, finding more and more sounds to explore.
Storms- Reagan Boggs
Wow. Reagan has gone from one with promise to one who delivers. Haunting, evocative story-telling, gorgeously presented. This is someone who has something to say and says it well. I look forward to further listening. Congrats.
– Slaid Cleaves / Americana Singer-Songwriter
“There was a time when the term “commercial country music” didn’t make serious music fans cringe. It was a time when country songs told stories that had some depth and individuality. It was working class, but it wasn’t stupid. Reagan Boggs is exactly what modern country radio is missing.”
– Wayne Bledsoe / Knox News
“Reagan Boggs has the kind of rich, sweet voice that you can’t get enough of. She comes from a place that is steeped in country music tradition and now she’s carrying it on. Like Patty Loveless or Alison Krauss, she’s a country singer who sounds like one.”
– Larry Groce – Mountain Stage
Radio’s best international showcase for new and classic acoustic music “With so much new talent out there it’s tough to stand out from the pack. Reagan Boggs hooked me right away with her amazing, powerful and expressive voice. She also has a gift with catchy melodies. On top of that, she’s a very good songwriter. All in all, Reagan Boggs is a very impressive and talented performer. More people should be aware of her.”
– Larry Weir – KDHX St. Louis
“She’s awesome…what a voice…and the songs are poignant and emotional without being over the top.”
– Karen Reynolds – WDVX Knoxville
“There’s something about good singer-songwriters’ abilities that make you believe they’ve lived their lyrics. The intimate details of their less-than perfect lives wrapped in engaging melodies that help listeners feel they know the artists are a must. Simply put, if you can’t believe them, then they aren’t doing their job. There is something about the unpretentious voice and style of Reagan Boggs that comes through her tales of complicated relationships and memories both fond and forlorn.” –
-David Brewer – High Country News
Reagan Boggs’ third and current album, Quicksand, reached 35 on the Americana Music Chart in its third week of release. It remained on the chart for 20 weeks. Empty Glasses is a follow-up that proves Boggs is an artist that is here to stay. The album was produced by her long-time guitar player, Dave Coleman. It showcases twelve original songs, and as a daughter of The Crooked Road and resident of the Birthplace of Country Music, she has added a rendition of her favorite Carter Family song, “The Storms Are on the Ocean.”
Lee Zimmerman of No Depression wrote, “Reagan Boggs’s style comes from the same wellspring of heartfelt emotion, bittersweet reflection and bleak back porch desire that birthed great singers like Loretta Lynn, Kitty Wells, Dolly Parton, and Emmylou Harris. Her voice is filtered through a mix of hard wrought emotion and soothing sensitivity, the kind that breeds great balladry and stirs the senses simultaneously.”
She grew up in the tiny town of Pound. Her family’s home was tucked away in a “holler” outside the small mining community in Southwest Virginia. The normal routine of girl-talk and slumber parties were uncommon for Reagan since a social life did not exist. The fact that the home was inconvenient for company wasn’t the sole reason; rather, concerns of an unpredictable, alcoholic father with an angry temper and a violent nature made for a lonely childhood. In the midst of daily brawls between her parents and frequent nighttime escapes with her mother and siblings from her home, she found solace inside music.
I’ll Be Glad- Maria Muldaur
Maria Muldaur is best known world-wide for her 1974 mega-hit “Midnight at the Oasis,”which received several Grammy nominations, and enshrined her forever in the hearts of Baby Boomers everywhere; but despite her considerable pop music success, her 50-year career could best be described a long and adventurous odyssey through the various forms of American Roots Music. During the folk revival of the early ’60s, she began exploring and singing early Blues, Bluegrass and Appalachian “Old Timey” Music, beginning her recording career in 1963 with the Even Dozen Jug Band and shortly thereafter, joining the very popular Jim Kweskin Jug Band, touring and recording with them throughout the ’60s.
In the 40 years since “Midnight at the Oasis,” Maria has toured extensively worldwide and has recorded 40 solo albums covering all kinds of American Roots Music, including Gospel, R&B, Jazz and Big Band (not to mention several award-winning children’s albums). She has now settled comfortably into her favorite idiom, the Blues. Often joining forces with some of the top names in the business, Maria has recorded and produced on-average an album per year, several of which have been nominated for Grammies and other awards.
Her critically acclaimed 2001 Stony Plain Records release, Richland Woman Blues, was nominated for a Grammy and by the Blues Foundation as Best Traditional Blues Album of the Year, as was the follow up to that album, Sweet Lovin’ Ol’ Soul. Her timely 2008 album, Yes We Can!, featured her “Women’s Voices for Peace Choir,” which includes: Bonnie Raitt, Joan, Baez, Jane Fonda, Odetta, Phoebe Snow, Holly Near and others. In 2009 Maria teamed up with John Sebastian, David Grisman, and Dan Hicks. Maria Muldaur & Her Garden of Joy garnered Maria her 6th Grammy nomination, and was also nominated for Best Traditional Blues Album of the Year by The Blues Foundation.
The sounds of New Orleans have always been in Maria Muldaur’s blood and catalog. Dr. John appeared on her first solo album back in 1974 and she arguably hit a career high point on her first full-fledged love letter to the city, 1992’s Louisiana Love Call. She returns to the Crescent City for this 2011 release, employing veteran New Orleans keyboardist Dave Torkanowsky as musical director and “facilitator” and returning to the swampy “Bluesiana music” sound that includes heavy doses of gospel and blues along with touches of jazz, soul, and funk. This is a major shift from her past two acoustic jug band releases and plays to her sultry strengths as a vocalist who can convincingly sing any style of music she feels passionate about.
-Hal Horowitz, AllMusic.com
Glad Rag Doll (Alternate Version)- Diana Krall
With her pre-bop piano style, cool but sensual singing, and fortuitously photogenic looks, Diana Krall took the jazz world by storm in the late ’90s. By the turn of the century she was firmly established as one of the biggest sellers in jazz. Her 1996 album, All for You, was a Nat King Cole tribute that showed the singer/pianist’s roots, and since then she has stayed fairly close to that tradition-minded mode, with wildly successful results.
Krall got her musical education when she was growing up in Nanaimo, British Columbia, from the classical piano lessons she began at age four and in her high school jazz band, but mostly from her father, a stride piano player with an extensive record collection. “I think Dad has every recording Fats Waller ever made,” she said, “and I tried to learn them all.”
-William Ruhlmann, AllMusic.com
I’m So Glad- Cream
Although Cream were only together for a little more than two years, their influence was immense, both during their late-’60s peak and in the years following their breakup. Cream were the first top group to truly exploit the power trio format, in the process laying the foundation for much blues-rock and hard rock of the 1960s and 1970s. It was with Cream, too, that guitarist Eric Clapton truly became an international superstar.
-Richie Unterberger, AllMusic.com
I’m Glad There Is You- Claire Martin
Linn recording artist and BBC Radio 3 presenter Claire Martin has spent the last 29 years honing the craft of jazz singing. To worldwide critical acclaim she has established herself as a tour de force on the UK jazz scene gaining many awards, including winning the British Jazz Awards seven times along the way.
Thanks to her jazz-loving parents, Claire grew up in a household full of great music. After leaving stage school she became a professional singer at 19 and two years later she realised her dream of singing at Ronnie Scott’s legendary jazz club in Soho. Signed to the prestigious Glasgow based Linn Records in 1990, Claire has since released 18 CDs with the label, collaborating with musical luminaries including Martin Taylor, John Martyn, Stephane Grappelli, Kenny Barron, Richard Rodney Bennett and Jim Mullen on many of these recordings.
Claire has performed all over the world with her trio and, until his death in 2012, worked extensively with the celebrated composer and pianist Sir Richard Rodney Bennett in an intimate cabaret duo setting both in England and in America where they played to sell out crowds at venues including the prestigious Algonquin Hotel in New York City. Claire is also a featured soloist with the Halle Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the RTE Concert Orchestra, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, the BBC Big Band and the BBC Concert Orchestra. She has co-presented BBC Radio 3’s flag ship jazz program ‘Jazz Line Up’ since 2000 and has interviewed many of her musical heroes such as Pat Metheny and the late Michael Brecker. Her 2009 CD A Modern Art prompted Jazz Times USA to claim: “She ranks among the four or five finest female jazz vocalists on the planet”.
Honored by The National Endowment for the Arts as a 2010 Jazz Master, Kenny Barron has an unmatched ability to mesmerize audiences with his elegant playing, sensitive melodies and infectious rhythms. The Los Angeles Times named him “one of the top jazz pianists in the world” and Jazz Weekly calls him “The most lyrical piano player of our time.”
So Glad- Eric Bibb
A career spanning five decades, 36 albums, countless radio & television shows and non-stop touring has made Eric Bibb one of the leading bluesmen of his generation. A Progressive preservationist, a fiery singer with true soul, gospel and folk roots, enjoyable and accessible, his blues are honest and powerful. One critic wrote: “He has all the ingredients for stardom – handsome good looks, a voice as strong and soulful as they come, the guitar chops to hold his own against the best and he writes compelling, sensitive songs. His blues are clean, beautifully sung, soulful and upbeat”. The weekly syndicated American program “House of Blues Radio Hour” host Elwood Blues (a.k.a. Dan Aykroyd) once declared to Eric: “You are what the blues in the new century should be about.”
“In the ‘60’s, Taj Mahal took on the mission of making acoustic blues a locus of black pride”, wrote the Village Voice writer Robert Christgau, “at a time when they seemed corny, country, backwards, and even Tom to the vast majority of young black musicians and almost all young black listeners. For decades no black musician of consequence followed the trail he’d cut”.
But in the ‘90’s, Keb’ Mo’, Guy Davis, Corey Harris and Eric Bibb came into their own, to prove Taj Mahal a prophet.
Born in New York City, Eric is the son of Leon Bibb, a senior figure on the New York folk scene of the 1960’s. Eric’s godfather was actor/singer and activist Paul Robeson and his uncle was the composer and jazz pianist John Lewis, founder the Modern Jazz Quartet His parents’ house was a center of artistic life where “getting to meet Rev. Gary Davis, Dylan, Judy Collins or Odetta had a profound effect on me”, reminisces Eric.
Aged 19, he left for Paris, where a meeting with American guitarist Mickey Baker focused his interest in blues guitar. A few years later he moved to Sweden and settled in Stockholm, where he found a creative environment that, oddly enough, reminded him of his teenage days in Greenwich Village.
Calm, wise, hushed, and elegant, Diamond Days is in many ways the perfect Eric Bibb album. It features his fine acoustic guitar playing and his soothing, nuanced singing, and it shows an increasingly improving songwriter as well, and the whole affair is all wrapped up with a patient, quietly joyous, and ultimately positive vibe. Bibb’s version of the blues has always been like that, patient and positive, and it serves as a reminder that the blues isn’t necessarily always about despair, darkness, and ominous guitar riffs but is also built on the concept of survival and moving forward, on the idea of getting through tough times and reaching brighter days.
-Steve Leggett, AllMusic.com
Photo by: Jan Malmstrom
Glad When I’m Gone- Big Sandy and the Fly-Rite Trio
Authenticity is the key to the music of Rockabilly Hall of Fame members Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys. Although they’ve moved from their rockabilly roots to a sound that encompasses folk, bluegrass, Western swing, Cajun, and mariachi influences, the six-piece Southern California-based band continues to be faithful to the music of the past. Despite their connection with days gone by, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys maintain a foot in the present as well.
Big Sandy (born Robert Williams) grew up listening to his parents’ collection of jump blues records. Inspired by the rockabilly revival of the early ’80s, he began to perform with a variety of neo-rockabilly bands in southern California.
-Craig Harris, AllMusic.com
Glad All Over- The Dave Clark Five
In the early years of the British Invasion, two bands vied for supremacy: the Beatles and the Dave Clark Five. Granted, the Fab Four from Liverpool out-charted the five lads from London, but almost no other band – not the Rolling Stones, Kinks or Animals – came close to the Dave Clark Five’s hitmaking prowess from early 1964 to mid-1966. During that period, the “DC5,” as they were known in fan shorthand, placed 15 consecutive singles in the U.S. Top 40. It is one of the most impressive statistical feats of the British Invasion.
Their historic run began with “Glad All Over” and ended with “Please Tell Me Why.” In between came such hooky, high-energy hits as “Bits and Pieces,” “Can’t You See That She’s Mine,” “Any Way You Want It,” “Catch Us If You Can,” “Over and Over” and “Try Too Hard.” Even after the Top 40 string was broken, when “Satisfied With You” stalled at Number 50, the DC5 continued to make the charts through 1967, hitting the Top 10 once again with “You Got What It Takes.” By the time it was all over, the Dave Clark Five had sold 50 million records.
Photo: Rex Features
No Sadness No More- Jaap Dekker Boogie Set
Piano boogie-woogie out of the Netherlands!
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