Music

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.

 

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.

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)

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.

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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.

California Honeydrops

California Honeydrops

The Honeydrops have come a long way since guitarist and trumpeter Lech Wierzynkski and drummer Ben Malament started busking in an Oakland subway station, but the band has stayed true to that organic, street-level feel. Listening to Lech sing, it can be a surprise that he was born in Warsaw, Poland, and raised by Polish political refugees. He learned his vocal stylings from contraband American recordings of Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Louis Armstrong, and later at Oberlin College and on the club circuit in Oakland, California. With the additions of Johnny Bones on tenor sax and clarinet, Lorenzo Loera on keyboards, and Beau Bradbury on bass, they’ve built a powerful full-band sound to support Wierzynski’s vocals. More like parties than traditional concerts, their shows feature extensive off-stage jamming and crowd interaction. “The whole point is to erase the boundaries between the crowd and us,” Wierzynski says. “We don’t make setlists. We want requests. We want crowd involvement, to make people become a part of the whole thing by dancing along, singing, picking the songs and generally coming out of their shells.”

 

 

Jason Isbell

Jason Isbell

Michael Jason Isbell is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist from Green Hill, Alabama, in Lauderdale County. He is known for his solo career, his work with the band The 400 Unit, and as a former member of Drive-By Truckers for six years, from 2001 to 2007. Isbell has won four Grammy Awards. Wikipedia

“Isbell may not be a household name but he is a songwriter of great depth and intelligence. Blending country, folk, roots and rock, his music is soulful and alive, with deceptively sophisticated lyrics about addicts, runaways, lovers and outsiders. Naturally, his vignettes of the American working class have seen him compared to Bruce Springsteen, though his quieter songs bear the traces of one of his late mentors, the master American songwriter John Prine. On Sunday night, Isbell’s latest album, Weathervanes – recorded with his band the 400 Unit – is up for three Grammys (Best Americana Album, Best Americana Performance, and Best American Roots Song).” Independent – Louis Chilton

Jason Isbell is married to and often performs with Amanda Shires. (Click to visit her site)

Jerry Douglas

THE JERRY DOUGLAS BAND

Dobro master and 14-time Grammy winner Jerry Douglas is to the resonator guitar what Jimi Hendrix was to the electric guitar: elevating, transforming, and reinventing the instrument in countless ways. In addition to being widely recognized as the foremost master of the Dobro, Jerry Douglas is a freewheeling, forward-thinking recording artist whose output incorporates elements of bluegrass, country, rock, jazz, blues and Celtic into his distinctive musical vision. Called “dobro’s matchless contemporary master,” by The New York Times, fourteen-time Grammy winner Jerry Douglas is one of the most innovative recording artists in music, both as a solo artist and member of groundbreaking bands including J.D. Crowe & the New South, the Country Gentlemen, Boone Creek, the Grammy-winning The Earls of Leicester, and Strength In Numbers. Douglas’ distinctive sound graces more than 1500 albums, including discs released by Garth Brooks, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Elvis Costello, Earl Scruggs, and Ray Charles, among many others. Since 1998, he’s been a key member of “Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas”, touring extensively and co-producing and playing on a series of platinum albums. He has produced albums for Krauss, the Del McCoury Band, Maura O’Connell, and Jesse Winchester and is is co-Music Director of the acclaimed BBC TV series Transatlantic Sessions, and his latest solo album Traveler features guest appearances by such notable friends as Paul Simon, Mumford & Sons, and Eric Clapton, among others. (from NPR)

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Eilen Jewell

From: Bernard Zuel – Music Journalist

FULL DISCLOSURE: WHY THE RULES HAVE CHANGED FOR EILEN JEWELL

MAYBE IT’S THE MIDWEST UPBRINGING of politeness and reserve that lay behind it. Maybe it’s the natural defence of someone who already was out and exposed as an artist in a corner of Americana that values the personal as much as the historical. Whatever it might be with Eilen Jewell, in about 13 years of interviewing her, she has always shown herself adept at talking about her songs and her life in a way that deflected personal revelations.

It’s not that she didn’t answer questions, but those answers made the generalities of her characters the focal point and gave just enough to let us see how she’d build relationships to them but not be defined by them. It was politely done of course, and was not without things to chew on given a sharp intelligence and an eye on American culture whether it was her love of Loretta Lyn and Howlin’ Wolf, the pay gap between the sexes, or political resistance as something of a progressive island in a state that’s anything but.

Well, things have changed with the coming record, Get Behind The Wheel. Not only has Jewell written an album that came out of the Covid-era breakup of her marriage to long-time drummer, co-manager, and co-parent, Jason Beek, and some deaths in her wider family, but she has been talking openly, frankly, about her circumstances.

It’s hard to imagine that was a comfortable transition, not least because growing up in Idaho you kept your business to yourself, but you have to wonder if it has been dragged out of her, or did she feel it was inevitable and stopped fighting.

“It is really new for me to talk about anything having to do with my personal life,” the Boise-based Jewell says. “But this time around it seemed like it would be wrong to not discuss it because this album is so, so directly influenced by everything that I’ve gone through in the past couple of years. I just feel like I would be lying if I said ‘oh, I don’t know, it’s just about people and things’ [she laughs].

“Also the pandemic taught me that that there’s something really important about sharing parts of ourselves. That’s what sharing my music is [and] I guess it dawned on me this actually could be a good thing for me, it could open me up to my fans and there’s a chance there could be some cathartic sharing on both sides.”

There probably won’t be any problems getting her fans to share their thoughts next month when she will spend several weeks in Australia (heaven knows we’re not a quiet bunch), but when you put these things out like Jewell is now doing, not only are you exposing yourself but you are setting the agenda for how things are interpreted. And this is before even considering that Beek is still playing in her band and will be on the tour.

How people interpret your songs and your album, and inevitably yourself, will be shaped by these revelations and explanations. Is that a good thing? Was it even planned?

“The label was saying you’ve got to figure out how to talk about this new album, so I was like, yeah, shoot, I’ve gotta decide how much do I want to disclose? How much do I want to set the stage for these songs?,” she says. “Because, yeah, in the past I’ve not done that and thought that the songs should stand on their own and people can interpret them how they want. People are still free to interpret them however, obviously, but this album really did occur at a particular point in time for me. It was a disaster of a moment in my life this album was born out of, beyond anything else I’ve ever experienced, and I felt this album deserved an exception to my normal rule.” It was time? At 43, maybe it’s as simple as that.

“I guess I do want to talk about this stuff, this stuff being the pandemic, the divorce that came out of that, or coincided with it, and then family losses, people near and dear to me – not even Covid-related, but just one after another,” Jewell says. “For the first time in my life it feels cathartic to talk about what was going on behind the scenes. I don’t think it’s necessary information to appreciate the album, but there’s a few Neil Young albums where I gleaned he was going through a particular thing in his life and then read later that in fact, yes that’s happening, and something about that makes me appreciate the album just a little bit more. I have a sense of who he is more.”

From a long low base of knowledge about the album so far – it’s not yet available to media, let alone the public, though we will hear some songs from it at her March shows – a title like Get Behind The Wheel suggests maybe taking control of her life, or at least setting the direction. How did she handle this resetting and reclaiming of control?

“It’s really been a mixed bag,” she confesses. “I think when I wrote that song – the song that contains that phrase ‘get behind the wheel’ is called Alive – I felt so inspired to take control and have agency, it was all very new. I was like, well, so much is crashing down around me but this is an opportunity to just up inside my life in a really authentic way. And that’s still present, but I’m also realising that it’s much harder than it sounds, and sometimes [she laughs ruefully] it’s awful.” No one would blame her for looking away.

“There’s part of me that would just love to drift around and say ‘I don’t know, someone else take the wheel: I’m getting tired already’,” says Jewell. “But I was guilty of some of that for many years, going with the flow with my career, and my personal life too … being cooperative, and they really comes at a cost eventually. You can’t keep whittling your life away like that. Eventually you realise that your heart is not fully in it, and there’s always a reckoning with that.” When she looks at who she was, even three years ago, and who she is now, how does she judge that person?

“I … think … that … person … was … somewhat,” she says slowly, before a long pause. “Somewhat overeager to find distractions. The old me really didn’t want to look at life just as it is. The old me was always kind of looking into the future, thinking about how things will be better or should be better, or the past. The here and now was something that I tended to avoid. “But all we really have is the here and now. The past is gone and the future is a fantasy.”

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