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This recording, first released by Folkways founder Moses Asch in 1976 to coincide with the celebration of America’s Bicentennial, was originally recorded by Asch in the 1940s. The collection captures Woody Guthrie at his artistic best with gritty songs about the struggles of the American worker (“Waiting at the Gate,” “The Dying Miner”), unions (“Ludlow Massacre,” “1913 Massacre”), and an ode to a bad man (“Pretty Boy Floyd”). Blues harmonicist Sonny Terry sits in with Guthrie on “Lost John,” and fellow traveling companion and folksinger Cisco Houston contributes his voice, guitar, and a song (“Get Along Little Doggie”).
The Milk Carton Kids’ fifth album , All the Things That I Did and All the Things That I Didn’t Do arrives from ANTI- Records on June 29. The new project marks the first time that acoustic duo Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale have brought a band into studio with them. “We wanted to do something new,” Pattengale says. “We had been going around the country yet another time to do the duo show, going to the places we’d been before. There arose some sort of need for change.” “Musically we knew we were going to make the record with a big- ger sonic palette,” says Ryan. “It was liberating to know we didn’t have to be able to carry every song with just our two guitars.” “Sometimes in singing, we’ll switch parts for a beat or a bar or a note,” Ryan says. “And things start to obscure what is the melody and what is the supporting part.” A third presence rises out of their combined voices. “There are only so many things you can do alone that al- low you to transcend your sense of self for even a short period,” Pattengale says. “I’m the lucky recipient of a life in which for hundreds of times, day after day, I get to spend an hour that is like speaking a language only two people know and doing it in a space with others who want to hear it.”
Magic Ship-a reflection on the joys, follies, and oddities of existence-is the band's second album. The songs on Magic Ship distill eight years of experience since their 2010 debut album, Made the Harbor, of sights seen, pleasures had, feelings hurt, forgiveness extended. "Mountain Man share that rare, innate gift of almost supernatural harmonizing," says NPR. "Hauntingly beautiful."
Recorded in 1958 and released on the Folkways label in 1959, this album introduced American listeners to Joseph Spence’s unique guitar and vocal styles. These field recordings by musicologist Sam Charters capture Spence in a relaxed, expansive mood—only one of the six selections in the set is under five minutes in length. Spence’s guitar style was due in part to the D tuning of his bass string, which produced a lower bass sound. Whereas many critics have called Spence’s vocal style unorthodox, they have found his guitar playing spontaneous and iconic. Some music critics have gone so far as to refer to him as the “Thelonious Monk of folk guitar.”
With their powerful harmonies and imaginative songwriting in full force, Girlpool are making new creative leaps with their new album, What Chaos Is Imaginary. Combining elements of shoegaze, folk, and 80’s postpunk with their own melodic gifts, these two great songwriters come up with a modern classic full of great tunes and sonic surprises. Impressive growth for this already celebrated band.
Freedom Highway, Grammy Award–winner and 2017 Grammy nominee Rhiannon Giddens' follow-up to her highly praised debut album Tomorrow Is My Turn, will be released by Nonesuch Records on February 24, 2017. The record includes nine original songs Giddens wrote or co-wrote while she and her band toured after Tomorrow Is My Turn's 2015 release, along with a traditional song and two civil rights-era songs, "Birmingham Sunday" and Staple Singers' well-known "Freedom Highway," from which the album takes its name. Giddens and the band will tour the U.S. in the spring; details will be announced shortly.
The highly-anticipated album, The Tree of Forgiveness, is Prine's first collection of new material since 2005's Grammy-winning Fair and Square. Rather than going out on a limb, Prine cultivated the themes that have brought international acclaim since the 1970s. For example, he can take a topic like loneliness and make it funny or heartbreaking.
Prine teamed with Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb to record in Nashville's historic Studio A, enlisting friends like Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, and Amanda Shires to sing along. The songs are new, although some had waited to be finished for decades, like a co-write with Phil Spectro called 'God Only Knows'; Another incomplete song, 'I Have Met My Love Today' now celebrates the unexpected spark that leads to lifelong romance -- with a dash of youthful innocence. The musical arrangements may be simpler than on past efforts, yet his unique ability to distill complex emotions into everyday language remains fully intact.
After two years of relentless touring, Colter Wall wanted to make an album about home. Drawing on the stories of Saskatchewan, Canada, the young songwriter's corner of the world takes shape throughout his second full-length album, Songs of the Plains. Produced by Dave Cobb in Nashville's Studio A, the project combines striking original folk songs, well-chosen outside cuts, and a couple of traditional songs that reflect his roots growing up in the small city of Swift Current.
'It's all rock & roll -- no golf!' is how acclaimed singer/songwriter/violinist Amanda Shires describes her electrifying firth album, To The Sunset. She's borrowed a lyric from the effervescent track 'Break Out the Champagne,' one of ten deftly crafted songs that comprise her powerful new recording. The Texas-born road warrior, new mom, and recently minted MFA in creative writing has mined a range of musical influences to revel an Amanda Shires many didn't know existed. 'Isn't it refreshing?' Shires asks. Indeed. Distorted electric guitars, effects pedals, swirling keys and synths, and rockin' rhythms certainly suit Shire's visceral songcraft and lilting soprano.
The eighth album from Marissa Nadler, For My Crimes, is the sound of guilt giving way to truth. The songs stare down the dark realization that love may not be enough to keep two people together through distance and differing needs. By asking these difficult questions about her relationships, Nadler has found a stronger sense of self and a sharper voice as both a songwriter and a vocalist, culminating in her most evocative entry in an already impressive discography. Following the release of 2016’s acclaimed Strangers, Nadler’s new marriage was put to the test as she left the Boston area on tour. She wrote throughout 2017 about this tension, and ended up with three times as many songs as she needed. But after reviewing the demos with her co-producers Justin Raisen and Lawrence Rothman, Nadler wrote a flurry of tight but no less intense new songs in the week before arriving at Rothman’s Laurel Canyon studio, House of Lux, in early January. She considered it a challenge to herself, applying new strategies and structures to the craft of “slow music” she’s honed over the last 15 years. From that group of songs came nearly all of the singles on For My Crimes, some of the most indelible of Nadler’s career. Bolstering the intimacy of these songs is the strong feminine energy that defined their recording. Between Rothman’s fluidity with both gender and genre (as heard on his 2017 album The Book of Law), and Raisen’s track record of successful collaborations with strong women (Angel Olsen, Kim Gordon, Charli XCX), Nadler felt empowered to explore without judgment in the studio. With the exception of a single saxophonist, every player on the album is a woman of notable pedigree and distinct style, many of whom have played with Nadler over the years. In addition to cameos by Angel Olsen and Kristin Kontrol, Sharon Van Etten sings backup on “I Can’t Listen to Gene Clark Anymore” and “Lover Release Me.” Mary Lattimore joins on harp for “Are You Really Gonna Move to the South,” while the great experimental multi-instrumentalist Janel Leppin plays strings throughout the record.