Happy Halloween from Compass Records

October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween from the Compass Staff:

Compass Staff"Hillybilly" John, Rachel Zoe, M&M’s, "Disco" Thad, Jessie, Kitty Cat, and Woody!


Earle Hitchner Discusses Joe Derrane on Celtic Sojourn

October 29, 2010

Wall Street Journal and Irish Echo writer, Earle Hitchner, will be on NPR Boston’s Celtic Sojourn this Saturday at 4pm. Joe Derrane and John McGann will also be dropping by. The three will be discussing Joe’s newest, Grove Lane. If you are not in the Boston Area, you can hear the broadcast stream here.


Alison Brown in American Songwriter

October 26, 2010

American Songwriter’s Evan Schlansky recently "Caught Up" with Alison Brown to discuss her new DVD Live at Blair. You can read the article here.
 


Special Consensus on the Cover of Bluegrass Unlimited

October 26, 2010

Special Consensus Special Consensus is on the cover of Bluegrass Unlimited’s November issue!  You can read the article here.

Special Consensus’ 35 is available now.


Richard Julian's Grooveable Feast Debuts

October 25, 2010

Grooveable Feast, a new web series hosted by Richard Julian, debuts this month. On it, independent musicians sit down to eat at some of New York’s fun and finer eateries, discuss the highs and lows of living life on their own terms, and perform a few songs. The first episode features Suzanne Vega. You can watch it here.

 

 


Press Round-Up: In the news and blogs at CRG (10/25/10)

October 25, 2010

Hear the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band on this mix from Folk Alley and watch video of Peter jamming with Los Texicaniacs at this year’s Richmond Folk Festival.

Joe Derrane’s Grove Lane is "... a snapshot of the man...enjoying and sharing the enjoyment of creating fresh music as he moves into his eighth decade." (Music Road Blog)

Listen to John Doyle on NPR’s Mountain Stage.

Montclair residents discuss working on Richard Julian’s new web-series Grooveable Feast.

Luka Bloom "hits it big" at Mahwah (PopMatters). Check out this painting of Luka Bloom from artist, and fan, Susan Roux.

Watch video of The Gibson Brothers perform "Hand Me Down My Walking Cane" at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival.

Listen to the Old Blind Dogs on Foot Stompin’ Music podcast.

Heidi Talbot is in the Mahogany Blog.

Enda Scahill discusses the tenor banjo with the Chattanooga Time Free Press.

Colin Hay appreciates custom guitars and his fans appreciate, and take awesome pictures of him. Colin’s Live at the Corner is a "must-have for Colin Hay Fans."

Catie Curtis discusses performing and songwriting with PennLive.com. Reactions to her "It Gets Better" video have been positive. The video has been viewed nearly 5,000 times.

Mick Moloney will discuss the contributions of Irish and Jewish imigrants to America’s vaudville music on Nov. 4th at Delaware County Community College.

Check out Eileen Ivers performance of An Nollaig: An Irish Christmas on Dec, 4th in Helena, AK.

And, "who knew Alison Brown was so funny?" Muncie residents now know.

 

 

News like this and exclusive articles are available on the Compass Records Group’s newsletter Upclose. Upclose readers can receive 20% off titles featured in that month’s newsletter. To receive Upclose click here.


Peter Rowan Review in Relix Magazine

October 19, 2010

Relix MagazineFrom the November issue of Relix magazine:

Peter Rowan’s latest effort is almost like two albums in one. Classic bluegrass romps and soulful renderings that have made Rowan a standout performer for more than 40 years cover half of the disc. The remainder touches on his gospel side with grace and reverence. Legacy opens with a kick thanks to the rousing “Jailer Jailer” and “The Family Demon,” while “The Raven” showcases Rowan’s unmistakable picking and singing style. Tunes such as “The Night Prayer” and “God’s Own Child” resonate in classic old time style, not far removed from his start with Bill Monroe. With guests such as Del McCoury, Ricky Skaggs, Tim O’Brien, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings—and production from Alison Brown—Rowan’s legacy is only enhanced here.

- Glenn Burn Silver

 

Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band’s Legacy is available now.


Press Round-Up: In the news and blogs at CRG (10/15/10)

October 14, 2010

Tim’s Music Journal covers the IBMAs including The Gibson Brothers two wins.

Catie Curtis"It Gets Better" reaches 3,000+ views.

Luka Bloom "dreams about the past" in the Irish Voice, had "a voice, a guitar [and] a great night" at the Swyer Theater and celebrates "twenty years of writing songs" on Dreams in America which is, "...a bit like impressionist paintings: structure created by vivid bits of language and color, a sense of place that weaves in and out of stories that are framed in place..." (Music Road) and, "Alternately brooding, melancholy, introspective, and lushly romantic..." (WRUV Reviews).

Peter Rowan discusses his career coming full-circle to the "Ancient Tones" in Connect Savannah before his show in Bloomingdale on Ocotber 16th.
Watch video of Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band on Woodsongs Radio Hour and clips from his performance at the Richmond Folk Festival.
Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band’s Legacy is "the real thing," "a Timeless Treasure," and a "...low-key masterpiece."

The Old Blind Dogs "...continue to distinguish themselves as vital, innovative ambassadors of traditional music." (CelticMusic.co)

"If you love traditional Celtic and roots music, no doubt [Heidi Talbot’s The Last Star ] will already be on your must-have list."

Colin Hay returns to the Coach House and St. Louis’ Old Rock House as part of their Listening Room Series.

Alison Brown invites you to "Alison Brown and Friends" featuring Casey Driessen, Ethan Ballinger, Maro Kawabata, Matt Flinner, and shamisen players Yutaka Oyama and Masahiro Nitta II (Oyama X Nitta) and Nashville, TN’s Station Inn, Oct.19th.

Suite101.com interviews "Bluegrass Music Sensation," Dale Ann Bradley.

 

News like this and exclusive articles are available on the Compass Records Group’s newsletter Upclose. Upclose readers can receive 20% off titles featured in that month’s newsletter. To receive Upclose click here.


Luka Bloom in The Irish Examiner

October 14, 2010

Luka Bloom, Awake And Dreaming 

By Gwen Orel

Luka Bloom is trad great Christy Moore’s younger brother, Kevin Barry. Or, if you like, Christy Moore is the older brother of singer-songwriter Irish folk-rocer Luka Bloom.

He answers to Luka or Barry ("nobody calls me Kevin") - but his songs speak for themselves.

With his CD Dreams in America, out on September 28th, he revisits songs from his career, and his time in New York 20 years ago.

It’s not a pre-packaged nostalgia trip, though-for one thing, as Luka writes several times on his website, he’s "allergic to nostalgia."

For another, he has re-recorded and re-interpreted eleven of his songs in a pared down, man-and-his-guitar style.

If you missed him when he had a residency at the Red Lion in Greenwich Village 20 years ago, this offers a feeling of what he was like then.

He won’t be moving back to New York soon - he lives in County Kilkenny. New York ultimately offered him the world, and the world isn’t giving him back.

He’s touring on the East Coast through October. He’s in New Jersey October 2nd, at New York’s City Winery on the 3rd and the New York Irish Center in Long Island City on the 5th, in the Sellersville Theatre in Pennsylvania on the 7th (full listing with ticket info at www.lukabloom.com/gigs.php).

In Dreams in America, the songs are naked - the poetry, the ache in the melodies, the passion in the voice are unadorned. And the rhythm in the strumming guitar, particularly on his driving rap-meets-beat of his song "The Acoustic Motorbike," breathes through the words.

If you’re new to his music, it’s compelling intro, and a must-have for fans. It gains on repeated listening - a few spare songs that seem bare bones feel hauntingly pure the second and third time through.

The album also includes three songs recorded live at the National Concert Hall in Dublin with the National Concert Hall orchestra - and the full orchestra never overwhelms Luka’s lush melodies.

And the "new" song is pure trad - Luka singing "Lord Franklin." He recorded it, he told me, to honor Micheal O’Domhnaill, whose version of the ballad with Kevin Burke on 1979’s Promenade is unforgettable.

"He was a great friend, and a great man. I would never have dreamt of recording it when he was alive because I loved Micheal’s version so much, but within months of his dying I thought that’s what I would do to honor Micheal, learn this great song and hope that I can do justice to it," he said. Luka’s version has its own shimmering authenticity to it, beautiful guitar ornaments and verses of the sad ballad with contained emotion to it. He often throws a trad song into his sets. Luka began his career by touring with his older brother Christy Moore when he was only fourteen.

He listens to Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill’s Lonesome Touch once a month. "Much of the work that I listen to comes from traditional people - not so much the traditional band form, but musicians. I’m a great lover of traditional songs. Often they are lonely voices in the wilderness not given a lot of attention - but that’s the way it is in Ireland. The reality is I just want to write songs, always be dipping in and out of it, always have been, since a child. I do feel a deep connection with it, particularly in my melodies, that comes from just loving traditional music over the years."

He’s also listening to Tunisian oud player Anouar Brahem right now, and Deva Primal, "Because of the space that they create, they remind me of where I want my voice to go. Everything I listen to I listen to with utter selfishness. I just hear something and if I love it and it moves me I want more of it. It’s from somewhere on the planet and we’re all here together."

That porous approach to genre and borders reflects itself in his name.

He changed his name to Luka Bloom when he moved to America in 1987, taking "Luka" from the Suzanne Vega song from the point of view of a battered child, and "Bloom" from Leopold Bloom in James Joyce’s Ulysses. But don’t make too much of that, he says. "I liked the sound of the name. There is no relevance to the song, or to literary aspirations; it’s a pretentious nickname with no significance whatsoever! I liked the sound of it and it’s easy to remember. Barry Moore is who I am; Luka Bloom is what I do,  a brand for my work. It’s an anonymous identity, a band name, a brand name for my work. It’s only added to my life in many ways that I could never have imagine."

Sometimes, in funny ways. "There was a woman who came up to me at a show one time in Canada and said she was shocked because, she thought I was going to be a Jewish woman!" he says with a laugh.

There’s something just a teeny tiny bit disingenuous about the way he doesn’t overthink things - perhaps a desire not to avoid limiting, again, with words. But when you go to his website and read his eloquent and vivid notes on the inspiration for this album, you see he is in fact a natural writer.

The album itself includes liner notes from Michael Hill, from Warner Brothers, who saw Luka perform at the Red Lion on Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village. They are nicely written and interesting, but Luka’s are direct.

And he admits he has been doing some writing beyond songwriting. "I have written a lot of short stories, which probably nobody will ever read. Enough people are on my case about it to consider that maybe in the not too distant future I will do some kind of book."

Last January, he tells me, marks 20 years since the release of Riverside in New York City which transformed his whole professional landscape.

He recorded much of Dreams in America in his living room. Recently, the trad fiddlers the Kane sisters did the same thing. Is it a trend?

Technology has made it possible for musicians to do more intimate recordings if they choose to, he explains. But it depends on the project. For Eleven Songs (2008), he chose to do the exact opposite, record in a studio with many musicians.

Dreams in America called for something different. "It just seemed absolutely right to go back to the kind of setting in which these songs would have been written, and to
give completely different versions, personal, intimate versions of songs that had been recorded with pretty lush versions in the studio."

Each of the songs on the CD has something to say to him now. Some remind him of particular moments. "Bridge of Sorrows," he says, was inspired by his first visit to Switzerland.

He was on tour with the Cowboy Junkies. On a night off, he went to a nightclub and met a bunch of punks who took him around the city, and brought him to a bridge where a lot of young people had jumped off to kill themselves, "quite an epidemic at the time. And it really shocked me and moved me to write this song. And unfortunately there’s a lot of similar activity happening in Ireland at the moment so there’s a song that was written twenty years ago that has become completely current in my country."

Where some of the songs begin with an image or a line, some seem to appear almost fully formed.

The song "Cold Comfort," he says, describes a time of living in New York and the cold winters, missing home, a sense of positivity and beauty living in America but at the same time really missing the people from home. "I love that song, and I love singing it," he says.

It’s particularly beautiful in this incarnation - the music captures the yearning in the lyrics. Even without lyrics, you couldn’t miss the homesickness in the music. "It all happened together, if I remember rightly. There was definitely something poignant in the chord structure that I was able to tap into at the time," he says.

What inspires him when he writes a song could be something somebody said, that moves him, or notes he stumbles on - "the process is about being awake."

A funny thing to say, maybe, for someone who writes about dreams. But not when you think about the fluid, shifting, in-the-moment way that dreams work-the way songs feel, too.

Luka Bloom is so very present that asked what comes next, he says, "I sing in Boston tonight, and that’s as far as I can think right now. I’m booked out with shows until the end of May next year. When my current phase of performing is over I’ll review where I’ve been, look to where I want to be and see where songs and music take me."


Joe Derrane Concert Lineup Announced

October 12, 2010

A CONCERT FOR THE AGES: In Honor of legend Joe Derrane

Featuring:

Mick Moloney, Joanie Madden, Seamus Egan, Billy McComiskey, Seamus Connolly, John Doyle, Brian Conway, Jerry O’Sullivan, John Whelan, Felix Dolan, Brendan Dolan, Tommy O’Sullivan, John McGann, Rose Flanagan, Patty Furlong, Margie Mulvihill, and Irish stepdancers Joe Dwyer and Melanie Deegan, plus surprise guests
 

Emcee: Earle Hitchner

Special Guest of Honor: Joe Derrane


 
One of the most spectacular lineups ever assembled for an Irish traditional music and dance concert in America will be paying tribute to 80-year-old button accordion virtuoso and composer JOE DERRANE at 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 13, 2010, at the Fairfield Theatre Company, Stage One, 70 Sanford Street, Fairfield, Connecticut.

Celebrating the extraordinary music career of Joe Derrane on stage will be 1999 National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowship-winning singer, multi-instrumentalist, and Green Fields of America founder and leader MICK MOLONEY, Cherish the Ladies leader and All-Ireland whistle and flute champion JOANIE MADDEN, 10-time All-Ireland fiddle champion and Boston College Irish music instructor SEAMUS CONNOLLY, Solas founding member and All-Ireland flute, whistle, mandolin, and tenor banjo champion SEAMUS EGAN, 1986 All-Ireland senior button accordion champion and Pride of New York member BILLY McCOMISKEY, 1986 All-Ireland senior fiddle champion and the 2008 Irish Echo Traditional Musician of the Year BRIAN CONWAY, Green Fields of America member and former Solas singer and guitarist JOHN DOYLE, America’s premier uilleann piper JERRY O’SULLIVAN, seven-time All-Ireland button accordion champion JOHN WHELAN, singer and guitarist TOMMY O’SULLIVAN of Sliabh Notes fame, legendary pianist FELIX DOLAN, Pride of New York pianist BRENDAN DOLAN, guitar and mandolin champion JOHN McGANN, the standout trio of fiddler ROSE FLANAGAN, button accordionist PATTY FURLONG, and flute and whistle player MARGIE MULVIHILL, and champion stepdancers JOE DWYER and MELANIE DEEGAN.

Emceeing the concert will be EARLE HITCHNER, music writer for The Wall Street Journal and Irish Echo.

The special guest of honor will be JOE DERRANE, whose famous 1994 comeback on button accordion at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Va., has led to six acclaimed albums. His seventh, Grove Lane, is due out on October 26 from Compass Records.

Proceeds from the concert will go to the Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society, a not-for-profit organization based in Fairfield, Connecticut.

For tickets to this once-in-a-lifetime, all-star concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 13, at the Fairfield Theatre Company, Stage One, 70 Sanford Street, Fairfield, CT 06824, call 203-259-1036 or e-mail info@fairf[email protected]


The Chapmans have the #1 BMP Hot Single

October 07, 2010

The Chapmans "Love’s Gonna Live Here" is the #1 Hot Single on Bluegrass Music Profiles Top 30 Chart. BMP Top 30 Hot Singles are based on songs receiving the most radio airplay from BMP reporting stations. You can hear "Love’s Gonna Live Here" on The Chapmans’ latest release, Grown Up.


Compass Records Congratulates The Gibson Brothers on Their Two IBMA Wins!

October 06, 2010

The Gibson Brothers on took home two IBMA Awards for Song of the Year and Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year for “Ring The Bell”—the title track to their 2009 Compass Records debut. The Gibson Brothers have the current #1 on the Bluegrass Unlimited National Bluegrass Survey Chart with their single “Farm of Yesterday”. “Ring the Bell” spent eleven months on the Bluegrass Unlimited National Bluegrass Survey Chart, holding the number one spot for three months, and the single has spent thirteen consecutive months on the Bluegrass Music Profiles chart to date. The Gibson Brothers were on the cover of Bluegrass Unlimited in April 2010. Bluegrass Music Profiles listed The Gibson Brothers with a Top 10 Single and Top 10 Album for thirteen consecutive months. Ring the Bell was nominated for Album of the Year, and the group was nominated for Vocal Group of the Year.

Leigh Gibson remembers, "We grew up in a little farm in upstate New York in the Adirondacks, and there wasn’t much to do other than play baseball and bluegrass music." The brothers were especially honored by the Gospel award, noting that their first performances as children were at their church.

Eric Gibson says, “We are thrilled and humbled by our awards and on a high heading into the studio for our second Compass recording. We would like to thank the IBMA, Compass Records, New Frontier Touring, bluegrass radio, promoters of live music, and the good people who come to our shows. What a great year it has been! We promise that we will try to keep it fresh and keep improving all the time. Thank you for this shot in the arm!”
 
The Gibson Brothers will be in the studio this month to begin work on the follow up to Ring the Bell, slated for release in 2011 on Compass Records.

Upcoming tour dates:
Friday, October 15 - The Kentucky Opry - Draffenville, KY
Friday, November 12 - Stone Mountain Arts Center - Brownfield, ME
Saturday, November 13 - Chocolate Church Arts Center - Bath, ME
Friday, December 3 - Pennyroyal Opera House - Fairview, OH
Saturday, December 4 - The Ark - Ann Arbor, MI

 


Press Round-Up: In the news and blogs at CRG (10/06/10)

October 06, 2010

The Bluegrass Blog discusses Legacy with Peter Rowan ("It’s sort of miraculous when you finish a song.") and Memories of John with Bob Carlin ("My goal was always to do something to perpetuate John’s memory and to try to have the String Band go out and perform John’s music.").

Relax and take in the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band at the Richmond Folk Festival which takes places Oct. 8-10 and the 14th Annual Magnoliafest Music Festival on Oct. 21-24.

Legacy is featured on Sanctuary: The Bluegrass Gospel Show and Fiddle Freak Music Blog.

Watch video of the Special Consensus at The Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival.

The Nashville Scene highlights the diverse landscape in bluegrass music in regards to IBMA nominees. The Gibson Brothers won two IBMA awards this year for Best Song and Gospel Performance of the Year.


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