Sunday, February 19, 2012

fROOTS magazine review


Dudes, some of this review is embarrassing (the part about the pathetically out-of-date website), but mostly it rocks because...well, the words crikey, copasetic, and croonette are used.  To describe my music?!  Wanted to share.  If you want to pick up a copy (this issue also includes an interview with Gillian Welch) go here: http://www.frootsmag.com/

And I always like to include a little gratuitous photo-ing:
The back of my Mac (of course now I have wiped it off and painted something new on--it's just acrylics).


ELIZABETH LAPRELLE
Birds' Advice
Old 97 Wrecords

As a pretty hard and fast rule, fRoots doesn't review anything that we weren't sent for that purpose and we certainly don't buy things to review. But every now and then even the hardest fastest rules need breaking and this one deserves it.

Elizabeth LaPrelle is a young - 24, if her Facebook page isn't lying - Appalachian style traditional singer from a musical family in Virginia, who was winning singing competitions at the age of 11. She's got that classic hard, high, nasal Appalachian style down to a T. On unaccompanied tracks such as Locks And Bolts (like a number of songs on here from the Maud Karpeles collection), The Cuckoo and Mathey Groves she just pins you to your seat in chilled wonder, goosepimples all over, as she completely inhabits the songs. I'd be hard put to think of any young singer in this tradition (and that includes Tim Eriksen) who is this good and I'm continually struck by the thought that Peter Bellamy would have loved her to death. On other tracks she duets with her mother Sandy, or is accompanied by friends on guitar, banjo and fiddle, on material from impeccable sources like Clarence Ashley, Texas Gladden, Horton Barker, the Carter Family and Doc Watson. We've heard lots of good young old-time players from the States in recent years, giving the impression that they're beginning to have a traditional music renaissance like we've had in England this past decade or more, but singersŠ she's something else. She is, as they used to say, one copasetic croonette!

SoŠ word had reached us on the grapevine and I checked out some of her stuff online. Crikey! I promptly emailed via her record label website: no response, but then it hasn't even been updated for this album, and nor has her MySpace pageŠ In the end I just ordered this from CD Baby and when it turned up it blew me away like I hoped it would. (Finally, I managed to make contact via her Facebook page, so watch out for a future feature.)

Friday, February 10, 2012

My Waking Dream



I guess part of growing up is realizing that no; it's not that you only like stuff that is good but not cheesy.  It's that for each person there is a cheesy that you like, a sentimentality that pricks you.
The first time I heard this song I was in college and I saw this woman Laura play it on the dulcimer.  Laura is so pretty; one time I was playing "what spirit animal belongs to your friends" and she was a dove, I thought.  Four years later I would be surprised by a dusk canoe trip with a person I really admire, to this day, at a time when I felt like crap (some people call that time "finals").

I just read this great book.
It makes me think of The Winding Stream as really sad.  Or did I think that before?  Or am I sad that all my experiences don't have the purity of canoe-ing a lake in Virginia?

Listen to them singing, though.  They got me.