In the 1970’s, Danny O’Keefe put out a string of albums that cemented his reputation as being among the best songwriters of his generation. These days, casual fans know him best for his Top Ten hit “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues” or Jackson Browne’s version of “The Road” from the classic Running On Empty album. But the story didn’t end in the 70’s. He recorded “The Day To Day” in 1985 with the two Top Twenty Adult Contemporary songs “Along For The Ride” and “Someday”. Working with Bob Dylan’s company, Special Rider Music, he co-wrote “Well, Well, Well” with Bob and other songs successfully recorded by artists like Nickel Creek, Alison Krauss, and Alan Jackson.
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Three-time Grammy Award winner, Lucinda Williams has been carving her own path for more than three decades now. Born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Williams had been imbued with a “culturally rich, economically poor” worldview. Several years of playing the hardscrabble clubs gave her a solid enough footing to record a self-titled album that would become a touchstone for the embryonic Americana movement – helping launch a thousand musical ships along the way.
While not a huge commercial success at the time Lucinda Williams (aka, the Rough Trade album) retained a cult reputation, and finally got the reception it deserved upon its reissue in 2014. Jim Farber of New York’s Daily News hailed the reissue by saying “Listening again proves it to be that rarest of beasts: a perfect work. There’s not a chord, lyric, beat or inflection that doesn’t pull at the heart or make it soar.”
For much of the next decade, Williams moved around the country, stopping in Austin, Los Angeles, Nashville, and turning out work that won immense respect within the industry (winning a Grammy for Mary Chapin Carpenter’s version of “Passionate Kisses”) and a gradually growing cult audience. While her recorded output was sparse for a time, the work that emerged was invariably hailed for its indelible impressionism — like 1998’s Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, which notched her first Grammy as a performer.
The past decade brought further development, both musically and personally, evidenced on albums like West (2007), which All Music Guide called “flawless…destined to become a classic” and Blessed (2011), which the Los Angeles Times dubbed “a dynamic, human, album, one that’s easy to fall in love with.” Those albums retained much of Williams’ trademark melancholy and southern Gothic starkness, but also exuded more rays of light and hope. This all lead to the 2014 release of Williams’ first double studio album Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone. The album received overwhelming praise from the media and fans, thus proving that Williams’ songwriting is as strong and important as it has ever been.Post Views: 843
For those who have followed McNally’s nearly twenty year career the thing that most sticks with the listener about her, is the timeless effortlessness that she brings to all she does. With a long catalog and longer list of peers with whom she has written, recorded and toured, McNally continues to turn out great music that defies blatant genre-fication.
At home across the American (Americana) music spectrum, the Grammy nominee who’s live music career began on the jam band circuit of the 1990’s with bands like Robert Randolph and Derek Trucks, writes as well as she interprets the songs of others, has a top tier musicality to her craft, a soul stirring voice that immediately grabs one by the heart strings and a troubadour’s wanderlust, not to mention as it turns out, she is also an excellent electric guitar player.
Note: Embedded video goes back a few years to Shannon’s Bobby Charles Tribute recording. With so much new McNally music since and readily available online we thought this video might be missed. Enjoy.Post Views: 366
I’m With Her
I’m With Her is a band rooted in a rare alchemy: three celebrated songwriters coming together to create music that reveals entirely new possibilities in their distinct and deep-seated talents. Since forming in 2014, Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan ,(also of Crooked Still) have imbued their songs with a sharply detailed lyricism, graceful musicianship, and—perhaps most powerfully—mesmerizing harmonies that endlessly reflect their extraordinary chemistry.
Check out their performance: NPR Tiny Desk ConcertPost Views: 1,325