Thursday, December 27, 2012

Uprooted Music Revue's 25 Most Memorable Interviews of 2012

This year Uprooted Music Revue clocked in 86 interview features. Rather than selecting the 25 most popular interviews, I have decided to choose the ones that were most rewarding to compose, as well as the projects that directly turned me onto the work of artists and albums new to me.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Uprooted Music Revue's 15 Favorite Books of 2012

One of the things that already tops my list of "things I miss most about living in Brooklyn" is the reading time during my daily commute. So until moving to Portland this past August, the NYC subway (MTA) is where I have absorbed most of my reading material since I moved there in 2004. Burying my face in a book on the subway was not only a great way to wake up in the morning on my way to work, but it also served as the ideal method of mellowing out on my way home. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Uprooted Music Revue's Favorite Audio Releases of 2012

2012 arrived in hurry and brought with it three monumental events for me, my family, and Uprooted Music Revue: the birth of our son, a new teaching position, and an "uprooted" cross-county move from Brooklyn, NY to Portland, OR. 

So with keeping these joyous, thrilling, and forever life-altering experiences in mind, these are the albums that I have been listening to most as a fan, artist, teacher, writer, husband, and father this year. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Rachel Brooke Recalls "A Killer's Dream"

Rachel Brooke has  a new record out called A Killer's Dream. Her previous records, especially Down In The Barnyard and Bitter Harvest (with Lonesome Wyatt of Those Poor Bastards) have quickly elevated Rachel's status as a storyteller who is just as well-versed in the gothic dark side of American music, the cultural history of bluegrass, the gutsy swagger of rockabilly, as she is in the dusty rawness of old 78s and parlor recordings. Her albums and live performances have established her as "the Queen of Underground Country" (Saving Country Music), has been praised by artists and publications alike, and has landed her appearances at music festivals like Muddy Roots. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Author Bob Kealing on "Calling Me Home: Gram Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock"

The University Press of Florida recently released Bob Kealing's informative and enjoyable work, Calling Me Home: Gram Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock. It is the latest biography of many exploring the life and music of Gram Parsons. What I believe sets Calling Me Home apart is the book's sharp focus on this remarkable artist's life and work, including his southern roots. The biography traces the trajectory of Gram's role in fusing country and rock music like never before, the lasting impressions he made upon his peers and collaborators, as well as his resonant influence on artists and fans alike over the years since his passing.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Rayna Gellert (ex- Uncle Earl) On Her "Old Light"

Rayna Gellert is a North Carolina-based fiddle player who comes from a musical family and has been continuing to grow an extended family of her own over the years, including some really incredible songwriters, musicians, artists, and collaborators. She has a rich history studying and playing rural stringband music, timeless gospel songs, and rich traditional tunes. She was a member of the band Uncle Earl and has worked with such respected musicians as Robyn Hitchcock, Tyler Ramsey, Sara Watkins, Loudon Wainwright III, John Paul Jones, and Abigail Washburn.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst of Shovels & Rope on "O' Be Joyful"

Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent are Shovels & Rope. As solo artists, they came together in 2008 for their collaborative album Shovels & Rope, and have followed it up with this year's much celebrated O' Be Joyful. I recently had the opportunity to chat with Michael and Cary Ann about the evolution of Shovels & Rope and their own solo work.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Jonah Tolchin On Life Before and After "Criminal Man"

Jonah Tolchin mesmerizes audiences with his impeccable musicianship, foot-stomping rhythms, and lyrical original songs. At age fourteen he fell in love with traditional blues and began playing guitar and harmonica.

At fifteen he appeared at Tupelo Music Hall in New Hampshire with blues legend Ronnie Earl. Now he plays everything from roots and Americana music to old time folk & acoustic blues, but likes to settle down in the in-between places. From 2007-2011 Jonah was lead guitarist and vocalist in the New Hampshire band Uncle Fran’s Breakfast, and since then he has been touring as a solo artist, primarily in New England.

Friday, November 16, 2012

MC Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger on "Lord I Love The Rain"

The last time I spoke with MC Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger for an interview was around the time that the recent reissue of Poor Moon came out (via the Tompkins Square label). Following a recently issued split 7" with Elephant Micah, Hiss Golden Messenger is releasing an interesting mix of material bundled together under the title Lord I Love The Rain. The new album is composed of home recordings, previously unreleased gems, and cover tunes. In addition to these releases, Hiss Golden Messenger has wrapped up a new album, called Haw, that is set to be released next spring.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Author David Menconi Discusses "Ryan Adams: Losering, A Story of Whiskeytown"

Author David Menconi's Ryan Adams: Losering, A Story of Whiskeytown (out now via University of Texas Press) has already stirred up much heated talk regarding the work of Ryan Adams. In a recent book review by Mando Lines on No Depression, a number of comments poured in the message board from fans across the spectrum (ranging from die-hard/ "Ryan-can-do-no-wrong" loyalists to post-Heartbreaker detractors, etc.). Wherever you may fall along these lines between admiration, "burnt-out rock personality disdain", and/ or "Ashes and Fire-salvation" regarding Ryan's work, it leaves room for much conversation.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Producer Scott Pingeton Talks "Long Distance Salvation: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska"

Long Distance Salvation: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska is a song-for song tribute/ charity album to arguably one of the best folk albums of all time. Springsteen recorded Nebraska in 1982 with an acoustic guitar, harmonica, and 4-track recorder. It is an immediate, haunting, and sparsely powerful work that has inspired many artists over the years.

Long Distance Salvation is donating 100% of the proceeds to Project Bread. It is a great record for a great cause. LDS and is available as a $5 download on bandcamp and an extremely limited colored-vinyl edition. The album collects such artists as Trampled By Turtles, Strand of Oaks, The Wooden Sky, Joe Pug, Joe Fletcher, Spirit Family Reunion, David Wax, Roadside Graves, Jonah Tolchin, Adam Arcuragi, Joe Purdy and Garrison Starr, Kingsley Flood, Juniper Tar, and Kyle Morton (Typhoon).

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson Talk "Wreck & Ruin"

The Australian duo of Shane Nicholson and Kasey Chambers have returned with their follow-up to 2008's Rattlin' Bones with their new collection of songs, Wreck & Ruin. In the classic tradition of such greats as Gram and Emmylou and George and Tammy, Kasey and Shane have crafted two rewarding albums that only hint at each of their solo work. Both Rattlin' Bones and Wreck & Ruin are filled with tunes that only Kasey and Shane could conjure out of each other together and give life to together.  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

John Cohen (New Lost City Ramblers) and Eli Smith (Dust Busters) Talk "Old Man Below"

The Dust Busters and John Cohen of The New Lost City Ramblers recently released their new album, Old Man Below, on the legendary Smithsonian Folkways label. I am thrilled to present this interview with John Cohen and Eli Smith (of The Dust Busters) regarding their friendship, admiration for old time music, and musical collaboration together. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Producer Rob Seidenberg on "Lowe Country: The Songs of Nick Lowe"

On September 18th, Fiesta Red Records released Lowe Country: The Songs Of Nick Lowe, featuring Hayes Carll, Chatham County Line, Robert Ellis,  JEFF The Brotherhood, Ron Sexsmith, Lori McKenna, Caitlin Rose, frequent Justin Townes Earle and Jason Isbell collaborator Amanda Shires, and many others.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cahalen Morrison and Eli West West On "Our Lady Of The Tall Trees"

Cahalen Morrison and Eli West recently released their second album Our Lady Of The Tall Trees. As a big fan of their first album, The Holy Coming Of The Storm, I jumped at the opportunity to interview the duo about their musical history together, including the making of their two albums and the inner-workings of their collaboration.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott Share Their Collaborative History Together

Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott are surely considered two of the best songwriters and musicians working today. They each have appeared on numerous recordings, performed with some of the true legends of the bluegrass and string band genres, and have their own impressive discographies. In addition to their own individual careers, Darrell and Tim follow up their intimate, masterful, and casual recording, 2005's Real Time, with a live album called We're Usually A Lot Better Than This.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ian Murray of Poor Moon On Their "Illusion" EP and Self-Titled Debut

Poor Moon is Fleet Foxes' members Christian Wargo and Casey Wescott, along with brothers Ian and Peter Murray. Before there was officially a band or a record, Christian Wargo wrote a series of songs over several years. So in essence, the band came together in response to the songs Christian was writing, as opposed to the more common model of a band getting together first and then writing songs.

Poor Moon have released their Illusion EP and their self-titled debut album, both via Sub Pop. I'd also recommend fans of Poor Moon, Fleet Foxes, Iron & Wine, and Father John Misty to check out the band's fairly-recent Daytrotter live session here. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Ian Murphy about the band's experiences.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ben Jaffe of Preservation Hall Jazz Band Reflects on 50 Years of Preservation Hall

This week marks the release of two spectacular recordings of very different breadth and scope celebrating the 50th Anniversary of New Orleans' Preservation Hall: The Preservation Hall 50th Anniversary Collection box set and the live album St. Peter & 57th St.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sera Cahoone Returns With "Deer Creek Canyon"

On September 25th, Sub Pop Records released Sera Cahoone's third solo album called Deer Creek Canyon. Inspired by her origins in the Colorado canyons, Sera has crafted a lasting collection of tunes that explore the notion of "home" while digging deeper into personal struggles with love and friendship.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Coyote Grace Share Their Story of "Now Take Flight"

Coyote Grace began as a duo of street performers consisting of Ingrid Elizabeth and Joe Stevens in 2004. The two performed frequently outside of Seattle's Pike Place Market and used their earnings to record and release their first album, Boxes and Bags. Since then the duo has added third member Michael Connolly, and continues to release popular albums with stringband music fans and tour nationally playing theaters, clubs, and festival stages.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Freakwater's Catherine Irwin Disscusses Her New Solo Record, "Little Heater"

On September 18th, Thrill Jockey Records released the new solo album by Freakwater's Catherine Irwin. Little Heater is Catherine's first solo album since 2002's Cut Yourself A Switch, and her first record since Freakwater's Thinking of You (2005).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Author Dr. Kent Gustavson Discusses His Doc Watson Biography "Blind But Now I See"

Over the last couple of years I have been digging into some really great biographies. One of my favorites is Blind But Now I See: The Biography of Music Legend Doc Watson by Dr. Kent Gustavson, who is an award winning author, professor, and musician. The book is the first biography ever written on the life and music of Doc Watson.

Blind But Now I See is now available in its expanded second printing, with a third and even more expansive edition already in the works, that will include many new exclusive interviews and photographs since Doc's passing. I recently had the opportunity to speak with the author regarding his experiences writing a landmark biography on this humble, yet incredibly inspiring artist.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Patterson Hood on "Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance"

This week, Patterson Hood (of Drive-By Truckers) will release his new solo album, Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance. As a fan of both Patterson's legendary band and his own solo albums, I was excited to discuss the making of his new record with him. Given how popular our last discussion was that coincided with the release of DBT's Go-Go Boots in 2011, I am absolutely thrilled to be once again sharing Patterson's own insights and experiences writing and recording, this time regarding Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sean Rowe Tells His Tale Of "The Salesman And The Shark"

Sean Rowe's Magic was one of my favorite records of last year. It was his second full length (his first was his self-produced 27, now out of print) and it marked the true arrival of a singularly unique songwriter with a voice that evokes wonder, mystery, and awe. Not surprisingly, names like Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits often got name-dropped when discussing the album and attempts to describe his live performances. One listen and the uninitiated quickly learned why.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Strand of Oaks (Timothy Showalter) Reflects On His New "Dark Shores"

Timothy Showalter, otherwise known as Strand of Oaks, has recently released his new album Dark Shores. The songwriter has been steadily building a loyal following over the years due to the high caliber of his two previous full length albums, Leave Ruin and Pope Killdragon, as well as his live performances opening for such artists as Joe Pug, Crooked Fingers, and many others.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Zoe Muth Digs "Old Gold"

The word on Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers has been out and gaining considerable momentum with each of their new releases and live performance. Solid, well-written tunes paired with stellar musicianship and Zoe's irresistible voice is what inspired her now-labelmate Eilen Jewell to get Signature Sounds to sign her. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jerry DeCicca of The Black Swans Discusses "Occasion For Song"

The Black Swans’ new album, Occasion for Song, which drops on July 31st via Misra Records, is their fifth full-length, and the follow up to their critically acclaimed Don't Blame The Stars. The new album deals with the death of founding member and violinist Noel Sayre, and the aftermath of memory, shock, and loss it created. This is an album about loss, death, and trying to get to the acceptance at the end of grief.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stevie Jackson (of Belle & Sebastian) Talks "(I Can't Get No) Stevie Jackson"

Stevie Jackson is probably best known as the lead guitarist for the obsessively followed  and highly regarded Scottish band Belle & Sebastian. But with the release of his new solo album, (I Can't Get No) Stevie Jackson, the songwriter is stepping into the spotlight to deliver a richly enjoyable album that transverses the landscape between folk, pop, and rock.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Q and A with Simone Felice: Songwriter, Poet, Novelist, and Father

Simone Felice is an unstoppable creative force. He is a survivor, father, songwriter, poet, novelist,  and artist. I recently had the opportunity to ask Simone about his literary work, his musical history (including his work with The Felice Brothers, The Duke And The King, and The Avett Brothers), as well as his new album called Simone Felice.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ketch, Critter, & Morgan of Old Crow Medicine Show Discuss "Carry Me Back"

The mighty Old Crow Medicine Show drop their new studio album this week called Carry Me Back. From the first listen it is clear that the band is embracing their own fiery stringband roots, while delivering some of their best written tunes yet. The band has gone through some significant changes recently, including the departure of Willie Watson, and the addition of original member Critter Fuqua and new player Chance McCoy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Archivist Jeff Place Discusses "Woody at 100" (Smithsonian Folkways)

In honor of the Woody Guthrie Centennial, Smithsonian Folkways is releasing an in-depth commemorative collection of songs, photos, and essays on one of America’s most treasured 20th-century icons called Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection. I recently spoke with archivist Jeff Place regarding his work and contributions to this beautiful box set.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Uprooted Music Revue's Favorite Streaming Music Films on Netflix

I was recently discussing some of the films I have seen on Netflix via the "Watch Instantly" online streaming service when I realized that some of my all-time favorite concert films, documentaries, and artist biographies are now available for viewing! Now I am the first to admit that the Netflix streaming service is far from perfect, so I thought I'd share some of own discoveries.

So with further ado, here's my 31 reasons (and/ or excuses) to hang inside in the air conditioning and check out some great films this summer:

 I Am Trying To Break Your Heart: 
A Film About Wilco

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Emily Wells Talks Symphonies, Beats, & Her "Mama"

Nearly impossible to classify or define, Emily Wells is an intriguing artist, songwriter, and violinist who not just sidesteps or defies musical genres, but exists completely outside of them. Her work contains elements of folk, blues, classical, and hip-hop that culminate to form a uniquely fresh hybrid that is all her own. Emily's blend of multiple musical approaches is hard to put into words, pin down, or classify. Simply put, her discography is enigmatic and alluring while her live performances just need to be seen to be believed.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jesca Hoop Takes Us Into "The House That Jack Built"

I first heard of Jesca Hoop when I was interviewing songwriter/ multi-instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz last year. She called out Hoop's "Hunting My Dress" as one of her favorite albums at the time. History repeated itself when I was speaking with banjo-master Noam Pikelny (of Punch Brothers) about which recordings he was enjoying, and he mentioned Jesca Hoop while discussing such influential artists such as Tom Waits, Bill Frisell, and Tim O'Brien. Most recently, Hoop's name came up again, this time as the touring act with Punch Brothers!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dave Wilson of Chatham County Line on "Sight & Sound" CD/DVD Box Set

Yep Roc Records has just released Sight & Sound, a collection pairing an audio set and live performance film from North Carolina-based Chatham County Line. Sight & Sound includes 20 live tracks drawing from all five albums of the band’s decade-long career. Nine songs appear on both the audio CD/LP and the DVD; four are exclusive to the DVD, while the CD/LP expands the collection with seven more tracks.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mark Fosson On "Digging In The Dust"

Songwriter and guitarist Mark Fosson grew up in Kentucky, where he began writing songs while he was still in his early teens. In the late '70s he sent some song demos to John Fahey's West Coast-based Takoma Records, and Fahey, impressed with what he heard, offered Fosson a recording deal.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Liam Fitzgerald of The Rainieros Declares "Last Call!"

Started in 2006 by Liam Fitzgerald and Tyler Johnson, Liam Fitzgerald and the Rainieros, is an original honky tonk, western swing, country and western band. Liam Fitzgerald is the song writer for the band. They have played all over the Northwest and have even ventured out to Montana, Utah, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Northern California.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Uprooted Music Revue's Favorite 25 Recordings of 2012 (So Far)

The title says it all. Here are my favorite 25 recordings of 2012 (so far!). These are the ones that have been easily getting the most play and have been nearly impossible for me to file away. I will admit that there certainly are many more fine releases beyond this list that have come out since January, but these are THE ones that, for me personally, continue to keep rising above the rest!

Father John Misty: Fear Fun (Sub Pop)
(Interview with Josh Tillman)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Luther Dickinson On His Three New LPs

Luther Dickinson is a prolific artist, songwriter, and performer that is clearly not content with just investing himself in any one of his musical projects. He is a member of the North Mississippi Allstars, South Memphis String Band, The Wandering, and is a high caliber solo artist in his own right.

On May 8th, Luther Dickinson released three new albums: an all-acoustic solo recording called Hambone's Meditations, a new SMSB record called Old Times There, and the full-length debut of his new band The Wandering called Go On Now, You Can't Stay Here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Evolution of Little Rock, AK-Based Songwriter Adam Faucett

A while ago I kept hearing a lot of great things from some very reliable sources that Adam Faucett is an artist I should definitely know more about. After interviewing Cory Branan (who called out Adam's new album, More Like A Temple, as one of his favorite recent releases) and seeing the songwriter top Paste Magazine's 12 Arkansas Bands You Should Listen To Now, I decided it was finally time to get my hands on some of Adam's work. Well, after a few spins of each his three albums, I was captivated. So I decided that I needed to track him down for a chat to discuss his work and to see what makes this fascinating artist tick.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cellist, Composer, and Bicyclist Ben Sollee On His Past, Present, and Future

When it comes to playing the cello and composing music, Ben Sollee is a force that cannot be stopped. In addition to his solo albums, Learning to Bend and Inclusions, he has performed and recorded with such artists as My Morning Jacket's Jim James and Daniel Martin Moore, Cheyenne Marie Mize, Casey Driessen, Abigail Washburn, and Béla Fleck.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Producer Tim Austin On "Foggy Mountain Special: A Bluegrass Tribute to Earl Scruggs"

Earl Scruggs almost single-handedly perfected and popularized the rolling, three-finger banjo technique (“Scruggs Style”) that has become the signature sound of bluegrass. Over a period of a couple of years, many of the best banjo players in bluegrass convened in Nashville to record a tribute to him. The result is the new Rounder Records' release Foggy Mountain Special: A Bluegrass Tribute To Earl Scruggs.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ben and Gio of The Brothers Comatose Talk "Respect The Van"

On the new album, Respect The Van, The Brothers Comatose follow up their first album (Songs From The Stoop) with a fiery set of bluegrass-influenced folk rock. Fans of Trampled By Turtles, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Devil Makes Three: listen up!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Béla Fleck Returns From "Across The Imaginary Divide"

When long time Marcus Roberts fan and banjo virtuoso, Béla Fleck stayed late at a Savannah Music Festival jam session just to hear Roberts play, the last thing he expected was to be up on stage performing with him and his band but “it seemed to work instantly. Marcus seemed to really like it. And the 20 or so people at the jam session seemed to think that something very special had just occurred.”

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Honey Dewdrops Find Their "Silver Lining"

Hailing from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Charlottesville, VA, the Honey Dewdrops are Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish. Together, writing and singing in the veins of folk and old country music, Laura and Kagey have been touring the country over the past 4 years and have appeared on A Prairie Home Companion, gained Folk Radio notoriety with a #1 album and have shared the stage with musical greats such as Carolina Chocolate Drops, Mary Gauthier, and Matt Flinner Trio.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Josh Rosenthal (Tompkins Square Records) Talks The New Michael Chapman Tribute LP

This week the Tompkins Square label is releasing Oh Michael, Look What You've Done: Friends Play Michael Chapman. The collection features an impressive lineup of artists, all paying tribute to the music of Mr. Chapman, while adding their own unique stylistic sensibilities to the source material. Contributors to the project include Meg Baird, Black Twig Pickers, Lucinda Williams, Thurston Moore, Hiss Golden Messenger, D. Charles Speer, William Tyler, and more.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Cory Branan Unleashes "MUTT"

Storyteller, songwriter, and road-blazing troubadour Cory Branan is about to unleash his new album for Bloodshot Records called MUTT. Looking to songwriters such as John Prine and Leonard Cohen, as well as to literary greats such as Raymond Carver and Gabriel García Márquez for inspiration, Cory has fused his influences with his own unique sensibilities to create a singer-songwriter style all his own.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Daniel Martin Moore and Joan Shelley Take Us To Their "Farthest Field"

Daniel Martin Moore started his Kentucky-based record label called Ol Kentuck with the simplistic and genuine mission of sharing some of the incredible music he heard around him with the hope of exposing the artists to a wider audience.

Last month, Ol Kentuck delivered Joan Shelley's excellent new album, Ginko, and seemingly without a moment's pause, the label has just released the stunning new collaboration between the two songwriter-string players called Farthest Field.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Gregory Alan Isakov On His Past And Future

After listening to Gregory Alan Isakov's recent Daytrotter session, I began to wonder what he has been up to since his last album, This Empty Northern Hemisphere . With a few clicks, I quickly discovered that the Johannesburg, South African-born now Colorado-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has some new live dates scheduled and a new full-length album in the works.

In light of Gregory's news, I felt like it was the perfect time to check in with Gregory and share his latest happenings with fans, as well as take this opportunity to introduce his work to new listeners.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Beth Tacular of Bowerbirds Emerges From "The Clearing"

Since releasing their new album, The Clearing, in March on the Dead Oceans label, Bowerbirds have been on the road wooing audiences and refining their adventurous, full band performance. The band recently wrapped up their three-week European tour and will begin playing more shows in the Midwest and Northeast.