RTA

On the Bookshelf – Recent Reads

On the Bookshelf – Recent Reads

Authors without websites from locations around the world.

American Literary Icon who passed away in 2023 – Russell BanksAmerican Spirits

An American treasure whose stories focus on the locales and people in the Adirondacks of upstate New York.  Check out this recent PBS video tribute and a 1995 feature on CBS Sunday Morning which gives an interesting perspective on what young people cared about…30 years ago.

From the 1990’sHenning MankellFaceless Killers

Terrific series taking place in Southern Sweden and featuring Wallender, a main character played deftly on the PBS series by Kenenth Branaugh.

New book from old favorite – Tim O’BrienAmerica Fantastica 

An American Master returns: the author of The Things They Carried and In the Lake of the Woods delivers his first new novel in two decades.

First time author – Nilima RoaA Disappearance in Fiji

What is told as a mystery is really an amazing history lesson of British colonialism, and Indian and native culture in the Fiji Islands off the coast of Australia in 1914.

Joan Osborne

Joan Osborne

also see: Trigger Hippy

Joan Elizabeth Osborne is an American singer, songwriter, and interpreter of music, having recorded and performed in various popular American musical genres including pop, soul, R&B, blues, and country. She is best known for her recording of the Eric Bazilian song “One of Us”, from her debut album Relish. Wikipedia

Recent Video showing her heart and feeling....Great American Cities

News from her website:

Joan Osborne is back with Nobody Owns You, out today on Womanly Hips Records and produced by Ben Rice (Valerie June, Norah Jones). While the Grammy-nominated singer’s highly praised 2020 release Trouble and Strife took a frank and honest look at our socio-political landscape, Nobody Owns You finds Osborne in a very personal place, contemplating life’s major questions. The introspective collection highlights Osborne’s songwriting prowess, and offers inspiration, optimism and hope, surrounded by a rootsy and deeply soulful sound.

As the writer and co-writer on all twelve new songs, Osborne shares her profound personal beliefs but still has much to say regarding the current climate in the US. The first offering off the album is “Great American Cities,” a rebuttal of right wing TV pundits disparaging America’s urban centers.

Osborne shares, “I go to these cities all the time, and while they have issues like anywhere, they are full of life and energy and creativity and joy. This song came from my desire to celebrate America’s big cities and challenge the disinformation that’s being put out about them.” Listen to Nobody Owns You HERE.

 

Nick Petrie

Nick Petrie

Nick Petrie received his MFA in fiction from the University of Washington and won a Hopwood Award for short fiction while an undergraduate at the University of Michigan. His story “At the Laundromat” won the 2006 Short Story Contest in The Seattle Review, a national literary journal.

His first novel, The Drifter, won the ITW Thriller and Barry Awards, and was nominated for Edgar, Anthony, and Hammett Awards. He won the 2016 Literary Award from the Wisconsin Library Association and was named one of Apple’s 10 Writers to Read in 2017.  Light It Up was named the Best Thriller of 2018 by Apple Books. Both Light it Up and The Wild One were shortlisted for the Barry Award.

His books in the Peter Ash series are The Drifter, Burning Bright, Light It Up, Tear It Down, The Wild OneThe Breaker, and The Runaway. A husband and father, he has worked as a carpenter, remodeling contractor, and building inspector.  He lives in Milwaukee, where he is hard at work on the next Peter Ash novel.

If you are caught up on Lee Child, and simply can’t get enough of Jack Reacher, Peter Ash is the answer. From the first page you will be riding in his vintage pick-up truck rather than walking, but if you like heroes, stay on board.

visit site

Steinar Ytrehus

Steinar Ytrehus

This is what is online:

Steinar Ytrehus is a guitarist and recordingartist from Norway. He started out playing the guitar when he was 15 years old, and soon after he started recording music on his Tascam 4track Taperecorder. Since then he has always been making and recording music . Some of his songs were even used on several Norwegian TV shows. The music is a mix of blues, rock, country, jazz and Americana.

For some years he was an active remixer on Indaba music, and he won several contests. When Indaba Music was discontinued he decided to just write and record his own music. Until the end of his remixing career he only made instrumentals, but from now on he started writing lyrics and doing the vocals too.

The result was the release of his debut album Dark Songs in early 2020. The following year he also released 4 singles and he did some collaborations with other artists.

After building up a brand new studio in 2021, he has now finished a new album called “Black Coffee and Sweet Lovesongs” which was released on the 17th of June 2022.

What makes this musician interesting to Roaming the Arts:

Given, he is channeling the sound of other artists, especially Mark Knopfler, but he is writing very good original music, recording and marketing it himself on platforms such as Spotify, and creating a brooding, melancholy sound that is hard to stop listening to. His recent single “Call me King,” is another good example why Steinar Ytrehus deserves, and will be getting more attention well beyond the borders of Norway.

Follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

Suzanne Redfearn

Suzanne Redfearn

Brand new in 2024 – Where Butterflies Wander  — The moving story of a family grappling with grief and a woman with the power to help them through it–or stand in their way. (Goodreads)

Told uniquely by six characters, each have a voice worth hearing. – Ed.

A 2020 favorite – Hadley & Grace —  Two women. Three kids. One unforgettable journey.
One of the characters in the story is based on a special resident of Laguna Beach, Ca. — see article about Skipper Carrillo

Suzanne Redfearn is the award-winning author of Six novels: Hush Little Baby, No Ordinary Life, In an Instant, and Hadley & Grace, Moment in Time, and Where Butterflies Wander. In addition to being an author, she’s also an architect specializing in residential and commercial design. She lives in Laguna Beach, California, where she and her husband own two restaurants: Lumberyard and Slice Pizza and Beer.

 

visit site

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real

Lukas Nelson

“In case you didn’t know, Willie Nelson has a son. His name is Lukas Nelson.

Lukas Nelson has long been better known for being the son of a country music legend than for the music he’s made, but that’s changing.

With the release last summer (2023) of their eighth album, “Sticks and Stones,” Nelson and his band, Promise of the Real, are affirming their identity as musicians who can play just about anything, from rock to country.

“I’m discovering more who I am in every album. And this album is completely who I am,” Nelson says in an interview on his website. (Michael Shapiro, The Press Democrat)

Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Dynamic Duo and Supurb Solo…..don’t miss

The Golden Couple

GREER HENDRICKS 

is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. Prior to becoming a novelist, she spent two decades as an editor at Simon & Schuster. She obtained her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Allure, and Publishers Weekly. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.

Visit Greer Hendricks Site

SARAH PEKKANEN 

is the internationally and USA Today bestselling author of eight previous solo novels and the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. A former investigative journalist and award-winning feature writer, she has published work in The Washington Post, USA Today, and many others. She is the mother of three sons and lives just outside Washington, D.C.

Visit Sarah Pekkanen Site

Read: Gone Tonight

Randall Bramblett

Randall Bramblett

Jesup, Georgia native, multi-instrumentalist Randall Bramblett may be known as Southern Rock Royalty for playing on stage with rock heroes like Bonnie Raitt, The Allman Brothers Band, Steve Winwood (16 years), Widespread Panic. And respected for his songwriting – Bettye LaVette, “The Great Lady of Soul” just released an album of 11 of his songs in June 2023. He also penned the title track for the Grammy nominated Blind Boys of Alabama’s album Going Home, adding to a long catalog of songs covered by Raitt, Gregg Allman, Bonnie Bramlett, Hot Tuna, Delbert McClinton and more. But it’s Bramblett’s own career as frontman, creating 12 albums, where his artistry is in full display.

“One of the South’s most lyrical and literate songwriters.”  Rolling Stone 
“Randall Bramblett is the William Faulkner of Southern music”  Hittin’ the Note
“He’s a soulful, poetic badass if ever there was one.”  Marc Cohn

The video featured above is an old one, but a favorite song. (ed.) For more recent video click onto his website below.

visit site

Band of Heathens

Band of Heathens

Performance Video — Heaven Help Us All

When The Band of Heathens decided to dub their sixth studio album of original material Stranger (its first since 2017’s Duende), the veteran band, formed in Austin, TX nearly 15 years ago, had no idea how prophetic that title would turn out to be. Although the name references the famed existential Albert Camus novel and Robert Heinlein’s sci-fi classic Stranger in a Strange Land, it also touches on the “strangers” who make up the band’s loyal fan base, who supported the band during this period with all touring canceled.

As co-founder Ed Jurdi acknowledges, it is certainly an unusual time to release a new album. “The strangest,” he says. “Maybe no time stranger. Since we started, there have been sweeping, revolutionary changes in the music business, but, in this global pandemic, we’re just a microcosm.”
“We’re really fortunate that we have been able to turn directly to our fan base during the pandemic,” adds fellow co-founder Gordy Quist. “The last few months we’ve spent four nights a week live-streaming personal private concerts to fans, and one night a week publicly live-streaming with the whole band Zooming in from their respective homes in California, Texas, North Carolina and Tennessee. At first it seemed very strange until
these walls started coming down and we realized how connected we are by the fabric of music.”

Extending the metaphor of Stranger even further. The Band of Heathens traveled to another city, Portland, OR, with a brand-new producer, Tucker Martine [The Decemberists, My Morning Jacket, Modest Mouse, Camera Obscura], and the result is something different – a more airy, intimate atmosphere, with added emphasis on songcraft and intricate arrangements set in a spacious sonic landscape that reinvents the band’s sound. These are songs stripped of pretense, but teeming with the emotion borne of personal experience, as has been The Band of Heathens’ method from the very start. Stranger moves off into a new place, but still echoes the group’s artful songwriting and multi-layered narrative observations.

The Stranger was released in 2020 and is a top ten roots rock album riding high in the charts.

 

Playing for Change

Playing for Change Foundation

Playing For Change is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music. The idea for this project came from a common belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people.

Playing For Change was born in 2002 as a shared vision between co-founders, Mark Johnson and Whitney Kroenke, to hit the streets of America with a mobile recording studio and cameras in search of inspiration and the heartbeat of the people. This musical journey resulted in the award-winning documentary, “A Cinematic Discovery of Street Musicians.”

In 2005, Mark Johnson was walking in Santa Monica, California, when he heard the voice of Roger Ridley singing “Stand By Me.” Roger had so much soul and conviction in his voice, and Mark approached him about performing “Stand By Me” as a Song Around the World. Roger agreed, and when Mark returned with recording equipment and cameras he asked Roger, “With a voice like yours, why are you singing on the streets?” Roger replied, “Man I’m in the Joy business, I come out to be with the people.” Ever since that day the Playing For Change crew has traveled the world recording and filming musicians, creating Songs Around the World, and building a global family.

Creating Songs Around the World inspired us to unite many of the greatest musicians we met throughout our journey and form the Playing For Change Band. These musicians come from many different countries and cultures, but through music they speak the same language.Songs Around The World The PFC Band is now touring the world and spreading the message of love and hope to audiences everywhere.

The true measure of any movement is what it gives back to the people. We therefore created the Playing For Change Foundation,a separate 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to building music and art schools for children around the world, and creating hope and inspiration for the future of our planet.

No matter who you are or where you come from, we are all united through music.

Watch the embeded video -R.I.P – Robbie Robertson

Support this movement by becoming a Member , and together we will make the world a better place.

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