CD: Sarah Jarosz – Undercurrent. Country-tinged US singer-songwriter’s fourth matches musical virtuosity with emotional punch. Review by Thomas H Green.
Think of folk music and you think of acoustic guitars, singing with your finger in your ear and sad, tragic stories of failed romance all washed down with a tankard of real ale. However, there’s quite a bit more to it than that. From the Dust Bowl balladry of Woody Guthrie in the 1940s through to Fairport Convention plugging in and rocking out in the 1960s and Laura Marling’s reinvigoration of the singer-songwriter genre in the mid-2000s, folk is a many textured thing, constantly reinventing itself but always staying true to its roots. Here are the 20 best albums ever to come out of folk.
Excitement over «ace songwriter» (Cosmopolitan) and critically acclaimed, four-time GRAMMY Award nominee Brandy Clark’s new album is building as the singer-songwriter offers Big Day in a Small Town for pre-order available herehttp://smarturl.it/BDSTI «This record is a musical journey that has stretched, inspired and moved me artistically,» Clark said. «I hope that it moves fans when they hear it half as much as it moves me when I play it every night.» Big Day in a Small Town tells the stories of the football star, the father, the homecoming queen and the hairdresser because those are the stories and people that Clark grew up knowing in Morton, Wash.
Big Day in a Small Town Track List – Songwriters:
1. «Soap Opera» – Brandy Clark/Bryan Simpson
2. «Girl Next Door» – Brandy Clark/Jessie Jo Dillon/Shane McAnally
3. «Homecoming Queen» – Brandy Clark/Luke Laird/Shane McAnally
4. «Broke» – Brandy Clark/Shane McAnally/Josh Osborne
5. «You Can Come Over» – Brandy Clark/Jessie Jo Dillon/Mark Narmore
6. «Love Can Go to Hell» – Brandy Clark/Scott Stepakoff
7. «Big Day in a Small Town» – Brandy Clark/Shane McAnally/Mark D. Sanders
8. «Three Kids No Husband» – Brandy Clark/Lori McKenna
9. «Daughter» – Brandy Clark/Jessie Jo Dillon/Jeremy Spillman
10. «Drinkin’ Smokin’ Cheatin'» – Brandy Clark
11. «Since You’ve Gone to Heaven» – Brandy Clark/Shane McAnally
I am releasing a new album and would like to invite you to be a part of it as it happens!
Østfoldingen Trond Andreassen har lenge vært en synlig skikkelse på den norske rockescenen. Som vokalist og frontfigur i band som Ricochets og Navigators har han herjet rundt i mange konsertlokaler og på flere plateutgivelser. På Ingenting hele tiden står han derimot på egne bein med sitt eget navn på omslaget og med norske tekster, riktignok skrevet av Christian Bloom.
Mr. Van Zandt, six foot two
with your sharp voice and guitar sing out the blues
Tales of desperate gamblers, whores and ramblers
about people who try to break free
Songs of love and hate and what’s in-between
Slik går det iørefallende refrenget til «Six Foot Two», en av ti særs stilsikre sanger på Paul Henriksens debutalbum Time To Grow Wings, om den gangen han var så heldig å se Townes Van Zandt varme opp før en av de tre gangene han rakk å se ham. I og med at Henriksen er godt voksen – 48 år gammel – er Time To Grow Wings en kledelig platetittel, og det som dessuten følger med alderen er en fiks ferdig singer/songwriter som har brukt god tid på å skrive og polere et knippe låter som låter deretter. Dette er simpelthen en svært gjennomarbeidet og imponerende debut – av det slaget som kun høres sjelden. Her er det mye å glede seg over for den som setter pris på låtskriverfagets edle kunst. Les mer
Tunge tårer og brunt brennevin
Ut i fra intet gunner Paul Henriksen på med et album som er skreddersydd for Popklikk-redaksjonen. ”Time To Grow Wings” er så vellykket at man skulle tro at vår herre på en god dag bestemte seg for å sende Henriksen innpakket i purpurfarget silkepapir til menneskeheten.
Robert Ellis’s new album, Robert Ellis, comes out June 3.
The anti-heroic American landscape is cluttered with men moving around. John Updike’s Rabbit Angstrom burns down the turnpikes in his shiny American car; John Cheever’s Neddy Merrill «swims the county» in his Northeastern suburb, making his way from swimming pool to swimming pool. These embodiments of postwar anomie were soon joined by a cinematic horde: motorcycle hippies, hitchhikers, criminals and others who took the stories of lost boys nationwide. Bruce Springsteen turned the central observation of those films — «The highway is alive tonight» — into a rock ‘n’ roll myth about migration and masculinity, celebrating the romance of turning escape into a mission. Forty years of steel-horse anthems, cop shows and space operas later, guys are still drifting off into new atmospheres of solitude, via Mars or the rough historic landscapes of The Revenant.
Robert Ellis enters this artistic realm on his self-titled fourth solo album, which considers the tilted fulcrum of a dissolving marriage to confront the allure and the cost of restlessness. In gorgeous arrangements that span a wide range of singer-songwriterly approaches to rock and soul, Ellis builds stories of love pursued, deflected, damaged and submerged — though never totally lost — as a way of confronting the limits human imperfection places on all kinds of intimacy, including self-knowledge. «Why can’t I tell you the way I feel?» he sings in the bluegrass-stained «Elephant,» which is about the boxes lovers, and also artists, construct for themselves. «Like my dishonesty and my ego made a deal.»
Taking a hard look at his ego, Ellis risks making himself appear unsavory throughout this song cycle: alternately jealous and philandering, unable to let go of his ideals about sex and emotion even as he grows angry at what those expectations are doing to the women upon whom he hangs them. «The high road is wearing me down,» he moans in his best Hank Williams tenor in the pensive waltz that bears that title; he’s lamenting the vagaries of artistic success, but he uses the language of morality because he realizes that the search for such set terms compels him, even as he continually violates them.
Robert Ellis is very apparently a breakup album, a challenging endeavor in this year of Beyoncé‘s gauntlet of women’s blues, Lemonade. From a different corner of the musical universe, in an utterly different voice than one Jay-Z would ever employ, Ellis (who, it happens, hails from Beyoncé’s hometown of Houston) speaks for the man who strayed, betrayed and regretted. Instead of returning to the nest, however, he accepts his exile. Other women besides the obvious central one present new problems. The album’s 11 songs confront all kinds of betrayals and misunderstandings, with our antihero accruing wisdom that he discovers he can only fitfully employ. Ellis has pushed the clouds away; he’s more self-aware, but hardly recovered. «Maybe I’m destined to repeat myself,» he snaps. «Don’t you think I’d learn from my mistakes?» There’s no reconciliation here; only more work to be done.
If this sounds like a bitter journey, Ellis’s musical daring and impeccable songcraft render it beautiful. He’s the kind of artist that a descriptive like «Americana» can only partially serve; what he takes from obvious inspirations like Paul Simon, Charlie Richand Joni Mitchell is as much a commitment to musical eclecticism as a facility for storytelling. Songwriters bent on upholding «quality» music can often fall into a pastoral rut; into a refinement that becomes banal. Not Ellis. The restlessness that his characters exhibit also underlies his musical impulses. He’s worked with his band (especially guitarist and occasional co-writer Kelly Doyle) to develop a sound that taps into rock, R&B, bluegrass and country without cutting corners. He’s also found peers who push him further, including Angaleena Presley, Jonny Fritz and Delta Spirit‘sMatthew Logan Vasquez, who all contribute here.
Robert Ellis should put Ellis on the same level as recent guitar auteurs like Sturgill Simpson and Jason Isbell, but his true soulmate might be the L.A. songwriter Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley, The Postal Service, et al), who also grasps the usefulness of an acid tongue, and who’s just as likely to push out of the safe space of simple balladry. In «California,» Ellis puts aside his own urge to ramble and imagines a woman’s instead; she’s packing up plates, remembering fights and dreaming of California. Lewis might have written this song; she might as well be its heroine. Like her, Ellis gets that the unbroken part of the heart will always push its owner toward another border. That’s a hard reality not only antiheroes can grasp.