Filtering Tag: Music

Albert Castiglia

Albert Castiglia

“It may be a bit premature to crown Albert Castiglia America’s newest King of the Blues, but there’s little doubt that he at least deserves the title of heir apparent.” — Miami New Times

As most artists will attest, the most unexpected circumstance can spark artistic inspiration. That’s a fact that hasn’t been lost on singer, songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire Albert Castiglia. With his latest album, the aptly named Masterpiece, he celebrates an unforeseen triumph — a connection with a daughter he never knew he had. The result is a work that’s both personal and provocative all at the same time.

Castiglia calls this the most meaningful album he’s ever made. “My daughter finding me and opening up my world to an additional family, including two grandchildren, brought out the deepest material I’ve ever created,” he notes, “along with my wife, they were my muses.” Indeed, songs such as “Keep On Swinging”, “Masterpiece” and “Bring on the Rain” address the unexpected emotions that infused his psyche with the discovery of a family he never knew.

 

Shelby Lynne

Shelby Lynne

Shelby Lynne is an American singer and songwriter and the older sister of Allison Moorer. The success of her pop rock album I Am Shelby Lynne led to her winning the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. She released a Dusty Springfield tribute album called Just a Little Lovin’ in 2008. Wikipedia

2017 Recording with sister Allison Moorer – Not Dark Yet

Josh Ritter

Josh Ritter

Josh Ritter is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and author who performs and records with the Royal City Band. Ritter is known for his distinctive Americana style and narrative lyrics. In 2006 he was named one of the “100 Greatest Living Songwriters” by Paste magazine. Wikipedia

Ritter also penned a novel released in 2012. Check out:

NPR Tiny Desk Concerts

Tiny Desk Concerts

Among the best online options to watch your favorite artists in performance.

An eclectic collection of 3 song sets recorded in the offices of NPR in Washington, D.C. by a wide assortment of well known and soon to be known musical artists. Check out the video of Tower of Power in the office at NPR.

Follow the YouTube channel.

 

Yacht Rock Revue

Yacht Rock Revue

The Yacht Rock Revue is everything the late ‘70s and early ‘80s should’ve been: massive sing-along soft rock hits, tight bell-bottom jeans, impeccable musicianship, polyester shirts, glorious vocal harmonies, sunglasses at night, breezy dancing and sax … lots of sax. “The Greatest Show on Surf.”

 

 

Marti Jones & Don Dixon

Marti Jones Art

Don Dixon

Marti Jones & Don Dixon have been performing together, off and on, for over twenty years. This longtime partnership has resulted in an intimate stage rapport as well as the seamless blending of two of the most distinct voices around today. With over two hundred songs in their collective recorded catalogue, you never know quite what to expect when they hit the stage, but rest assured their performance will feature thoughtful lyrics and heart-felt singing.

Don Dixon has devoted his entire life to the popular song. Whether working as a singer, songwriter, musician or producer, he has always tried to capture the essence of his life in the moment.

He began playing and recording in his mid-teens, co-founding ARROGANCE, a band that helped forge the North Carolina scene which brought the world Let’s Active and The dBs, along with dozens of other bands that followed in their wake. Dixon went solo in 1983 and has released nine cds. He is currently at work on a new recording with his long-time touring band, Jamie Hoover and Jim Brock. After twenty years, Jamie has named the group “Don Dixon & the Jump Rabbits”. The new platter is called “The Nu-Look” and is due in May 2008.

Dixon’s writing, production and session credits include astroPuppees, Baby Shaker, Richard Barone, Jim Brock, Mark Bryan, Kim Carnes, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Caitlin Cary, Joe Cocker, The Connells, Counting Crows, Marshall Crenshaw, Pat DiNizio, The Edison Project, Fetchin Bones, GB Leighton, The Golden Palominos, Guadalcanal Diary, Hootie and the Blowfish, In Tua Nua, Marti Jones, Tommy Keene, Let’s Active, James McMurtry, Moxy Fruvous, REM, The Red Clay Ramblers, The Smithereens, Snagglepuss, Ronnie Spector, The Spongetones, Chris Stamey, Matthew Sweet, The X-Teens and dozens more.

St. Paul and the Broken Bones

St. Paul and the Broken Bones

St. Paul and The Broken Bones is an American eight-piece soul band based in Birmingham, Alabama, United States, that formed in 2012. The band is composed of Paul Janeway, Browan Lollar, Jesse Phillips, Kevin Leon, Al Gamble, Allen Branstetter, Amari Ansari, and Chad Fisher. Wikipedia

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

In September 2014, some 50 years after moving to Los Angeles to form the band Rising Sons with fellow blues musician Ry Cooder and Jessie Lee Kincaid, Taj Mahal hightailed it to Nashville to receive an honor he called “one of the most powerful and wonderful things that could ever happen in my life.” Celebrating decades of recording and touring that have nearly singlehandedly reshaped the definition and scope of the blues via the infusion of exotic sounds from the Caribbean, Africa and South Pacific, the two-time Grammy winning singer, songwriter, film composer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist was feted with the Lifetime Achievement for Performance Award at the 13th Annual Americana Honors and Awards.

Lucinda Williams

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.

John Cleary

Jon Cleary’s love and affinity for New Orleans music goes back to the rural British village of Cranbrook, Kent, where he was raised in a musical family.  Cleary’s maternal grandparents performed in London in the 1940s, under the respective stage names Sweet Dolly Daydream and Frank Neville, The Little Fellow With The Educated Feet  – she as a singer, and he as a crooner and tap dancer.  

As a teen Cleary grew increasingly interested in funk-infused music and discovered that three such songs that he particularly admired – LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade,” Robert Palmer’s version of “Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley,” and Frankie Miller’s rendition of “Brickyard Blues”  – were attributed to Allen Toussaint as either the songwriter, the producer, or both. Cleary’s knowledge of Toussaint’s work expanded significantly when his uncle returned home to the U.K., after a two-year sojourn in New Orleans, with a copy of a Toussaint LP and two suitcases full of New Orleans R&B 45s.

In 1981 Cleary flew to New Orleans for an initial pilgrimage and took a cab straight from the airport to the Maple Leaf Bar, a storied venue which then featured such great blues-rooted eclectic pianists as Roosevelt Sykes and James Booker.  Cleary first worked at the Maple Leaf as a painter, but soon graduated to playing piano there – even though his first instrument was the guitar, which he still plays and has recently reintroduced into his live performances. 

As word of Cleary’s burgeoning talent began to spread around town, he was hired by such New Orleans R&B legends as Snooks Eaglin, Earl “Trick Bag” King, Johnny Adams, and Jessie “Ooh Poo Pah Doo” Hill, while also gaining the respect of the great Crescent City pianists Dr. John and the late Allen Toussaint. Years later, in 2012, Cleary recorded a critically acclaimed album of all-Toussaint songs entitled Occapella.
Today, Cleary’s work pays obvious homage to the classic Crescent City keyboard repertoire created by such icons as Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, Art Neville, Dr. John, and James Booker – while also using it as a launching pad for a style that incorporates such other diverse influences as ’70s soul and R&B, gospel music, funk, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Cuban rhythms, and much more.

Deciding to stay in New Orleans, Cleary recorded his first album of nine, to date, in 1989.  His ever-elevating profile led to global touring work in the bands of Taj Mahal, John Scofield, Dr. John, and Bonnie Raitt.  Cleary has led his own group, the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, for over two decades now, but he still collaborates frequently with these old friends.  At the 2018 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, for instance, Cleary performed alongside Raitt in a heartfelt tribute to Fats Domino.


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