Now Spinning: Blaze Foley – Duct Tape Messiah

Blaze Foley, affectionately referred to as the Duct Tape Messiah thanks to his habit of decorating his outfits with duct tape, toiled in near-complete obscurity during his life but recently his music has had a minor renaissance moment due to a growing underground buzz, with popular culminating in 2018 with the Ethan Hawke-produced biopic, Blaze.… Continue reading Now Spinning: Blaze Foley – Duct Tape Messiah

Now Spinning: The Byrds Sanctuary III

Though The Byrds music was consistently centered around Roger McGuinn's jangly 12-string guitar and folky voice supported by pristine harmonies, few bands can rival their musical creativity, as they jumped between genres and band lineups with ease, spearheading the development of folk rock, psychedelia and country rock. Perhaps there was just too much talent in… Continue reading Now Spinning: The Byrds Sanctuary III

Philadelphia Folk Festival: Building the Future by Learning from the Past

The words above were spoken by Dom Flemons describing his musical approach during his Sunday afternoon set at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, but could just as easily serve as the mantra for the festival itself. Having just wrapped up its 58th year, the longest continuously running festival in the country offers a diverse lineup of… Continue reading Philadelphia Folk Festival: Building the Future by Learning from the Past

Now Spinning: Bluegrass Spectacular Featuring The Osborne Brothers

Inexplicably never released on CD or MP3, this live album finds one of bluegrass' most seminal and innovative groups performing a largely career retrospective set in 1981. The Osborne Brothers are most famous for their quirky bluegrass hit 'Rocky Top' (performed in all its frantic glory here), which has been covered by everyone from Dillard… Continue reading Now Spinning: Bluegrass Spectacular Featuring The Osborne Brothers

Now Spinning: The Resurrection of Elmore James

'Elmore James' got nothin' on this baby'-George Harrison By the time George Harrison shouted out Elmore James on 'For You Blue', James had been dead for seven years and missed the opportunity for the middle-aged breakthrough that Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and others experienced during the 1960's blues revival. Of course, Elmore James is a… Continue reading Now Spinning: The Resurrection of Elmore James

Now Spinning: Gram Parsons – The Early Years Vol. 1

This is a bit of an overlooked oddity in the catalog of Gram Parsons. Considering the near-mythic status Parsons' career soared to in the years following his death, with everything from Byrds outtakes to the International Submarine Band's earliest singles reverently sought out, it's a bit surprising at the lack of popular or critical attention… Continue reading Now Spinning: Gram Parsons – The Early Years Vol. 1

Thoughts on Newport Folk 2019

Having just returned from another year of Newport Folk Festival, here are some scattered thoughts on the 60th anniversary of this legendary festival: NEWPORT CELEBRATES ITS HISTORY Tributes to the artists and mission of the original 1959 festival abounded throughout the weekend in a passing the torch multi-generational diverse lineup demonstrating the ever-expanding definition of… Continue reading Thoughts on Newport Folk 2019

Now Spinning: Maria Muldaur

Though not quite the household name she deserves to be, few if anyone can rival Maria Muldaur's career in music - from her earliest days on the Greenwich Village folk scene with the Jim Kweskin Jug Band to a string of albums in the late sixties and early seventies that serve as some of the… Continue reading Now Spinning: Maria Muldaur

Now Reading: Lightnin’ Hopkins His Life and Blues

I just wrapped up Alan Govenar's biography on one of my favorite bluesmen, the mysterious Lightnin' Sam Hopkins. Despite a personal songwriting style - Lightnin' songs sometimes simply described his day, though with a blurred line between fact and fiction, meaning confirming the facts can be a challenge. And while Govenar concedes the fact that… Continue reading Now Reading: Lightnin’ Hopkins His Life and Blues

Now Spinning: Bukka White

The real Mississippi blues One of those summer nights.... thunderstorms have cooled the day's suffocating humidity down to a near-balmy 80 degrees and I trot out to my backyard for some gardening work, a favorite hobby to pass the time, with the sounds of Bukka White echoing from my turntable inside. It's a Friday night… Continue reading Now Spinning: Bukka White