Wednesday June 19, 2013
For 20 years, Putumayo World Music has been churning out album after album of great compilations. From Sesame Street to Israel, Brazil to the Delta blues, collections featuring well-known American singers like Bob Dylan and the Indigo Girls... Putumayo has become known as a benchmark starting point for delving into all the various folk traditions of the world. What started as an imports store in New York City, evolved into women's clothing shops where world music was played in the background to augment the atmosphere. Then, founder Dan Storper discovered that as many people asked him about the background music as anything else, so he started making compilations of music from around the world and selling them in his shops.
Now, two decades later, Putumayo is one of the most consistent and reliable resources for American roots and world music compilations. Sold in traditional brick-and-mortar record stores as well as specialty shops, museums, and elsewhere, the label has introduced countless people to music they may not have found anywhere else.
To celebrate their 20 years, Putumayo is releasing Acoustic America (a collection of classic American songs) and American Playground (a collection of American folk music for children). I'll share reviews of those albums later this week. In the meantime, check out my interview with Putumayo founder Dan Storper.
image © Putumayo
Wednesday June 12, 2013
Chances are you know Ruth Moody from her work with the Canadian-based contemporary folk trio Wailin' Jennys. But, with her second full-length solo album out this year (These Wilder Things, Red House Records), Moody showcases her knack for not only good songwriting but also for picking incredibly gifted collaborators.
Recently, following her stint in Alaska, I caught up with Ruth Moody for a quick email interview where she talked about the difference between a Wailin' Jennys record and making a solo disc, the best places to make music, and what inspired her new album. Check out the full interview, my review of These Wilder Things, or this brief bio and profile about Ruth Moody.
image: promo photo
Tuesday June 11, 2013
The Civil Wars shook up the folk/roots/Americana world last fall when they announced they were cancelling the remaining dates on their victory lap US tour, citing personal differences. Of course, they had just recorded a follow-up album to chase the success of their wildly popular debut Barton Hollow. That disc earned them nominations from the Americana Music Association as well as the Grammys and positioned the duo as one of the most meteoric rising artists of the new folk-pop insurgency.
When the tour was canceled, fans near and far started to stir about whether and when the album they'd just released would see the light of day and, well, it's here. That self-titled sophomore release won't drop until Aug. 6, but you can listen here to the first single - "The One That Got Away" - which is out today. What do you think?
Meanwhile a couple of new notable albums are out today including Aoife O'Donovan's solo debut, Fossils, and Jason Isbell's Southeastern - both early contenders for some of the best albums of the year. All in all, a good week for new music!
photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Friday June 7, 2013
Ever since they arrived on the scene with their self-titled debut album on Rounder Records in 2008, Dailey & Vincent have been considered one of the finest bluegrass bands on the national circuit. Their six releases have garnered them dozens of nominations from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass of America (SPBGMA), and the Grammy Awards. With their latest disc, Brothers of the Highway out just this May 7, the duo and their band will be hitting the road this summer for a string of concert dates and festival appearances from the CMA Festival and Ryman Auditorium in Nashville to a Watermelon Festival in Florida and Bill Monroe's legendary Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival in Indiana. Learn more about Dailey & Vincent with this introductory profile, or check below for their full list of tour dates:
June 6 - Nashville, TN - CMA Music Festival
June 7 - Lexington, KY - Festival of the Bluegrass - Kentucky Horse Park
June 8 - Dahlonega, GA - University of North Georgia
June 13 - Bean Blossom, IN - Bill Monroe Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival
June 15 - Milton, WV - West Virginia Pumpkin Park