FolkWorld Issue 36 07/2008
|++ Trio Bravo+ ++ Utah Phillips ++ Jeff Healey ++ Jimmy Faulkner ++ José Antonio Ramos ++ Stuart Adamson ++ Dick Gaughan ++ Peter Paul & Mary ++ Indies Scope Records ++ Alloway Auld Kirk & Graveyard ++ Robert Coltart ++ Nòs Ùr Song Contest ++ Sex and the City ++ European Bluegrass Awards ++ Pete Seeger ++ Bob Dylan ++ No Depression ++ Folkwoods Festival ++ Tønder Festival ++ John Wright ++ China/Tibet: Shi Tao, Jamyang Kyi ++|
Trio Bravo+ @ FolkWorld: FW #36
Berlin based Trio Bravo+ stubbornly ignores any labels and tags that are customary in the music business. It may embarass some promoters from time to time who do not know what to announce on the posters. 3 plus 1 musicians from 3 countries - Mark Chaet (violin), Giorgio Radoja (piano), Sergej Sweschinskij (double bass), and Adam Tomaszewski (drums, marimba) - result in a unique sound blending eastern European roots with western influences. The musicians Trio Bravo+ put music to silent films such as The Battleship Potemkin and People on Sunday, and various TV thrillers. Besides the Trio Bravo+ there is the theatre production Balagan and the Balagan Band, a bigger line-up with a brass section and vocalists.
Thanks to the German based band Trio Bravo+ and Ozella Music we are able to raffle off two Trio Bravo+ DVD's, featuring an irresistable blend of east European music with classic and jazz elements. Competition closed!
I wouldn't want to elevate anybody to inappropriately high heights, but for me, Utah Phillips was a legend. I first became familiar with the Utah Phillips phenomenon in the late 80's. I had recently read Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, and had been particularly enthralled by the early 20th Century section, the stories of the Industrial Workers of the World. So it was with great interest that I first discovered a greasy cassette there in the kitchen by the stereo, Utah Phillips Sings the Songs and Tells the Stories of the Industrial Workers of the World.
As a young radical, I had heard lots about the 1960's. But the wildly tumultuous era of the first two decades of the 20th century is now (and pretty well was then) a thing entirely of history, with no one living anymore to tell the stories. To hear Utah tell the stories of the strikes and the free speech fights, recounting hilariously the day-to-day tribulations of life in the hobo jungles and logging camps, singing about the humanity of historical figures such as Big Bill Haywood, Joe Hill or Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, was to bring alive an era that at that point only seemed to exist on paper, not in the reality of the senses. But Utah didn't feel like someone who was just telling stories from a bygone era -- it was more like he was a bridge to that era.
Hearing these songs and stories brought to life by him, I became infected by the idea that if people just knew this history in all it's beauty and grandeur, they would find the same hope for humanity and for the possibility for radical social change that I had just found through Utah. It was a couple years later that I first really discovered Utah Phillips, the songwriter. I heard an eloquent and current voice of opposition to the American Empire and the bombing of Iraq, rolled together seamlessly with the voices of deserters, draft dodgers and tax resisters of the previous century.
Traveling around the US in the 1990's and since then, it seemed that Utah's music had, on a musical level, had the same kind of impact that Zinn's People's History or somewhat earlier works such as Jeremy Brecher's book, Strike!, had had in written form -- bringing alive vital history that had been all but forgotten. With Ani DiFranco's collaboration with Utah, this became doubly true, seemingly overnight, and this man who had had a loyal cult following before suddenly had, if not what might be called popularity, at least a loyal cult following that was now twice as big as it had been in the pre-Ani era.
In any case, for those of us who knew his music, whether from recordings or concerts, for those of us who knew Utah from his stories on or off the stage, whether we knew him as that human bridge to the radical labor movement of yesterday, or as the voice of the modern-day hobos, or as that funky old guy that Ani did a couple of CDs with, Utah Phillips will be remembered and treasured by many. He was undeniably a sort of musical-political-historical institution in his own day. He said he was a rumor in his own time. No question, one man's rumor is another man's legend, but who cares, it's just words anyway.
Bruce "Utah" Phillips (May 15, 1935 – May 23, 2008) was a labor organizer, folk singer, storyteller, poet and the "Golden Voice of the Great Southwest". Born Bruce Duncan Phillips in Cleveland, Ohio, he served as an Army private during the Korean War, an experience he would later refer to as the turning point of his life. Deeply affected by the devastation and human misery he had witnessed, upon his return to the United States he began drifting, riding freight trains around the country. Phillips met folk singer Rosalie Sorrels in the early 1950s. It was Sorrels who started playing the songs that Phillips wrote, and his music began to spread.
Utah Phillips @ FolkWorld: FW#11, FW#32
Phillips drew from influences as diverse as comedian Myron Cohen, folksingers Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, and country stars Hank Williams and T. Texas Tyler. His songs were performed and recorded by Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez, Tom Waits, and others. His recording career included two albums with Ani DiFranco which earned a Grammy nomination.
He was a gifted storyteller and monologist, and his concerts generally had an even mix of spoken word and sung content. When singer/songwriter Kate Wolf grew ill and was forced to cancel concerts, she asked Phillips to fill in. Suffering from an ailment which makes it more difficult to play guitar, Phillips hesitated, citing his declining guitar ability. "Nobody ever came just to hear you play," Kate Wolf said.
Utah Phillips died on May 23, 2008 in Nevada City, California, of complications of heart disease. "He made me understand that music must be more than cotton candy for the ears," said folksinger John McCutcheon. "He was like an alchemist," said Rosalie Sorrels, "He took the stories of working people and railroad bums and he built them into work that was influenced by writers like Thomas Wolfe, but then he gave it back, he put it in language so the people whom the songs and stories were about still had them, still owned them. He didn't believe in stealing culture from the people it was about."
Jeff Healey (1966-2008)
On 2 March 2008, blues rock singer and guitar player Jeff Healey died of cancer
Jimmy Faulkner (1950-2008)
The renowned Irish guitar player Jimmy Faulkner has died on 4th March 2008 in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, after battling with cancer. Jimmy Faulkner was regared as one of Ireland's leading and most gifted guitar players. He could play in virtually any style and was a great traditional, folk, slide, blues, rock and jazz guitarist.
Christy Moore & John Faulkner
Galtee Mountain Boy, 1979
Christy Moore said that Jimmy Faulkner would always be remembered with love, as a close friend and wonderful musician. "I have many musical memories, a long solo he played on Lakes of Pontchartrain, his bottleneck playing on Galtee Mountain Boy ..." Pete Cummins said in his eulogy at Jimmy's funeral Mass, he was struck by the number of people from all walks of life who visited his friend in his final illness. "Here indeed was a man of the people, someone who had given great service and entertainment all his life and who was much loved in return. He wasn't a rich rock star, but he was a star, and everybody who ever played with him, or heard him play, knew it."
The ‘Timple’ is a small plucked string instrument traditional on the Canary islands, from the family of the Baroque guitar, the Portuguese ‘Cavaquinho’ and the Hawaian ‘Ukelele’. José Antonio Ramos (born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, 1969) has been one of the top performers of this instrument during the last 25 years. He died of a heart attack on 4th June at the recording studio where he was working on his latest (12th) CD.
José Antonio learned to play with the timple master Totoyo Millares, but his high musicianship has gone beyond the traditional repertoire, and has explored the fusion with other styles such as flamenco, jazz or Celtic music, collaborating with musicians and bands such as: Carlos Nuñez, Kepa Junkera, The Chieftains, Bela Fleck, Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, Mestisay, Los Sabandeños, Jorge Pardo, Juan Manuel Cañizares, Javier Ruibal, Javier Krahe, Andreas Prittwitz, Taburiente, José Manuel Ramos, Pedro Guerra, Rosana, ….
The Canary Islands, and the whole Spanish folk music community, will miss his friendly personality and talent with the timple, to be followed now by other young ‘timplistas’ such as Domingo Rodríguez Oramas ‘El Colorao’, Benito Cabrera, Belsech, Rodríguez, Pedro Izquierdo, Althay López or Germán López.
Stuart Adamson would have become 50 at April 11th, 2008.
The Scottish singer and guitarist
was best known for his distinctive guitar work, which made the harmonics of two electric guitars sound somewhat like a bagpipe.
His songs too were heavily influenced by Scottish folk music.
Adamson founded the art-punk band The Skids in the 1970s
and the rock group Big Country in 1982.
Big Country recorded several successful albums and toured until the late 1990s.
Afterwards Adamson moved to Nashville and performed with veteran songwriter Marcus Hummon. He died in December 2001.
FW #9, #23, #25, #32, #36
Peter Yarrow, * 31.05.1938, New York City, USA, being the last of the Peter Paul & Mary trio turning 70. Peter Yarrow, Noel Stookey (* 30.12.1937) und Mary Travers (* 07.11.1937) were one of the most successful folk singing groups of the 1960s.
Indies Scope Records For Free
Indies Scope is a direct successor of Indies Records, which was working on the Czech music market since 1990. Right from the beginning Indies Records was focused on supporting original Czech music and till its split it published over 300 CD´s. Its successor Indies Scope follows the same direction. Artists published by Indies Scope are: Gipsy.cz, Traband, Hradišťan, Tara Fuki, Iva Bittová, 100C, Čankišou, Tomáš Kočko, Yellow Sisters etc.
The Indies Scope catalogue includes also some of the CD´s published by Indies Records in the past. Many bands don´t exist any more, or their CD's were published several years ago. That´s the reason why Indies Scope decided to give it away for free to all music fans.
Robert Burns featured the Alloway Auld Kirk & Graveyard in one of his most famous pieces of work, Tam O’Shanter. This is a famous ghost story involving our hero Tam, a Carrick farmer, known to Burns, who enjoys spending market day in an Ayr pub with friends, flirting and ‘getting fou and unco happy’ – much against the better judgement of his wife who nags him on the perils of drink. On this particularly dark night, as Tam returns home riding his faithful grey mare, Meg, he passes the ruins of the Alloway Auld Kirk. It is fully lit and a party is in full swing amidst the gravestones. Tam hides to get a better look and is amazed to see witches and warlocks led in a wild dance by the devil himself. He is particularly taken by a winsome young witch, Nannie, dressed in a short shirt, and can’t resist cheering her on – “Weel done, Cutty-sark! And in an instant all was dark.” On his trusty mare Meg, Tam makes a run for it, closely chased by the spooks led by Nannie. As he crosses the keystone of the Brig O’Doon, Nannie catches Meg’s tail. Fortunately for Tam, Meg’s tail falls off in Nannie’s hands, the spooks are unable to cross the running water, and Tam and Meg escape into the night.
The Alloway Auld Kirk and Graveyard in Ayrshire, Scotland, has been officially reopened, following the completion of extensive conservation and repair work that has been taking place since July 2007. The ruin of Alloway Auld Kirk is the famous setting of Robert Burns' ghostly poem, Tam o'Shanter. Robert Burns' father is buried in its graveyard. The nearby Burns National Heritage Park and Burns Cottage Museum are one of the top visitor attractions in Scotland.
The church, which can be dated to 1516, had fallen into a state of disrepair. Conservation work started last year to make the building structurally secure and slow further deterioration. The overgrown graveyard was then restored with gates, masonry was overhauled and paths constructed. Information boards were also put in place to help visitors understand the historic features of the site.
Restoration and repairs have been completed prior to the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns’ birth, which has been designated as the ‘Year of the Homecoming’ in 2009. The Rt Hon Alex Salmond, MSP, Scotland’s First Minister, said: “The story of Tam O’Shanter is a reminder to every Scot of the wisdom of hurrying home. It is here at Alloway’s auld, haunted kirk that Tam came to appreciate that wisdom. That’s why I’m so pleased to see the kirk and graveyard restored in time for the Year of Homecoming, for all to enjoy. I hope that for those thousands who return to Scotland in 2009 the journey will be less traumatic than was Tam O’Shanter’s!”
See also: The Scots Musical Museum (FW #17)
Robert Coltart Commemorated
The newly-formed Border Voices history group from the Scottish Borders celebrates the memory of the 19th century wool weaver Robert Coltart of Galashiels, who inspired one of the most famous children’s songs of all time. The history group has the ambition to erect a plaque in his honour, build a statue and stage a festival of children's songs.
Ally, bally, ally bally bee |
Sittin' on yer mammy's knee
Greetin' for anither bawbee
Tae buy mair Coulter's candy
Galashiels weaver Robert Coltart earned extra money as a sweets salesman. As an early form of advertisement, Coltart developed a song to help sell his candy. It would alert the children to beg for pennies from their parents. The candy was aniseed-flavoured, but the recipe has been lost following Coltart's death in 1890.
"Coulter’s Candy" - Coltart sounded like Coulter to those who wrote down the song - took off beyond the Borders when a song historian published it in a newspaper in the 1950s and got a great response from readers. It was then recorded by a number of musicians and became the well-known lullaby it is today.
Nòs Ùr Song Contest
A European song contest held in Inverness which focused on Celtic and Scots languages has been hailed as a resounding success. Nòs Ùr, meaning 'new style' in Gaelic, featured 12 acts performing new songs in a host of minority languages. The event at Eden Court
The public vote was won by Gwennyn, a Breton singer/songwriter who performed ‘Bugale Belfast’ (Children of Belfast). The jury, with representatives from Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Brittany voted for Welsh band Yr Annioddefol as the jury winner, a group of teenagers who formed whilst still at school. They performed ‘Drysu’ (Confusion).
Event organiser Brian Ó hEadhra said: “The performances and song writing really were of a high quality and featured a variety of music genres, ranging from reggae and punk to folk and indie.”
Both winners now go on to represent the Celtic and Scots languages at a Grand European Final called Liet Lavlut in Sweden this October.
Sex and the City
|The Cast "Greengold"|
European Bluegrass Band Awards
The European World of Bluegrass 2008 Festival (EWOB) in the Dutch town of Voorthuizen featured 41 wonderful bands from 15 countries, including special USA guests, and EWOB's first groups from Norway and Spain.
V/A, 10 Years of Euro-|
pean World of Bluegrass
EWOB 2008 is pleased to announce the winners of the 2008 European Bluegrass Band Awards, chosen by the EWOB 2008 Festival musicians as their reigning champions:
In addition to the professional band awards, the EWOB Festival audience elects its own favorite groups from the showcase performances:
The #1 European Bluegrass Band 2008, Acousticure, is an energetic 4-piece group of impressive multi-instrumentalists from Hungary. Their young spokesman, mandolin-fiddler-guitarist Zsolt Pinter, has spent enough time in the USA to speak English like a native, and has a remarkable command of bluegrass-country vocals. Acousticure's musical vision playfully fuses bluegrass influences from old-time to newgrass, often incorporating their native Hungarian folk music. An example of the latter, Kis Kece Lanyom, can be heard on the European World of Bluegrass 2007 CD from Strictly Country Records. The US bluegrass scene will get a chance to experience Acousticure onstage in Nashville at the International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA) World of Bluegrass convention in October 2009.
Pete Seeger @ FolkWorld:
FW #21, #26, #29, #35
Pete Seeger has been an ambassador for peace and social justice over the course of his lifetime. As a prominent musician his songs, messages and performance style have worked to engage other people, particularly the youth, in causes to end the Vietnam war, ban nuclear weapons, work for international solidarity, and ecological responsibility. He will be 88 years old this year.
Some people think that it is time that a cultural worker receives the recognition that this work has great influence and global reach, that it is not only a medium of entertainment, but of education, compassion and action.
Bob Dylan Receives Honorary Pulitzer Prize
Thanks to Bob Dylan, rock ’n roll has finally broken through the Pulitzer wall.
No Depression Magazine Ceased Publishing
No Depression, the bimonthly magazine covering a broad range of American roots music since 1995, brought an end to its print publication with its 75th issue in May/June 2008. The given main reason is the industrywide reduction in print advertising.
No Depression published its first issue in September 1995 (with Son Volt on the cover) and continued quarterly for its first year, switching to bimonthly in September 1996. No Depression received an Utne Magazine Award for Arts & Literature Coverage in 2001 and has been nominated the award on two other occasions. The Chicago Tribune ranked No Depression #20 in its 2004 list of the nation's Top 50 magazines of any kind.
No Depression will be continuing with their website, and
is happy to announce that they will be teaming up with the University of Texas Press
to present a semi-annual "bookazine." Envisioned as a sort of hybrid between a book
and a magazine, this new creation will make its debut in the fall.
8.-10. August 2008
Folkwoods Festival, Eindhoven, Netherlands, 2008 Line-Up (with artist links): Modena City Ramblers, Faun, Irfan, Ballroom Quartet, Internationaal Folkcomplot, Drea Nasager, Groef, Dommelvolk, Denvis, JW Roy and Friends, Tarujen Saari, Max Pashm, Bright Blue Gorilla, L.Chaim, Perestroika Sound System, Janos en Gilles, Helga Buitelaar, Lenny Kuhr, DJ Eol, Boombal presenteert, Balfolkfabriek, Comas, Leine, Travak, Junkmans Choir, Baka Beyond, The Pine Box Boys, Riccardo Tesi, Fling, Dites 34, Ad van Meurs & The Folksurvival Club ...
28.–31. August 2008
Tønder Festival, Denmark, 2008 Line-Up (with artist links): Tom Paxton, Mary Black, Oysterband, Eddi Reader, Altan, Seth Lakeman, J.P. Cormier, Song Island Revue, The Duhks, Bruce Guthro, Eivør, Guy Davis, Guy Forsyth Trio, C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band, Kris Drever, John McCusker & Roddy Woomble, Shooglenifty, Niels Hausgaard, Harald Haugaard & Morten Høirup, Tim & Mollie O'Brien, Ashley MacIsaac, Madison Violet, Anthony da Costa, Justin Townes Earle, Sierra Noble, Breabach, Valravn, Ross Ainsley & Jarlath Henderson, Caleb Klauder Country Band, Baskery, Seaquins, Neanders Jazzband & Lillian Boutté, Ron Kavana & Brian McNeill, Mads Langer, Jens Lysdal, Nikolaj Busk, Bjarke Falgren og Jacob Falgren, Mathias Grip Folkflok, Gráda, Bob Kerr's Whoopee Band, Bobadavdaw, Jordans Drive, Burich-l'Etienne New Orleans Ensemble, Henrik Jansberg Band, The Band Who Knew Too Much, Allan Taylor, Anna Massie Band, Emily Smith Band ...
A star-studded galaxy of Britain’s top songwriters will pay tribute to the late John Wright (-> FW#35) at a unique Newcastle concert to celebrate his life and music. The list of performers includes Allan Taylor, Steven Knightley (Show of Hands), Kieran Halpin, Chris While and Julie Matthews, Ray Hearne (BBC Radio 2 Ballads), Robin Laing, Thom Moore and former Strawb guitarist Brian Willoughby. A special performance will also be staged by Troy Donockley (Barbara Dickson Band) and former JW Big Band member Maartin Allcock. Of course current members of John Wright’s Band will pay their own special tribute to ‘the Boss’. The line-up will include Pete Abbott, Gregor Borland, Joe Wright and Fraser Speirs. And crossing the channel will be John’s favourite choir – ‘Rolling Home’ – fronted by John’s Dutch agent Dave Tearney.
The concert – "Long Hellos... Short Goodbyes" – will take place on Friday September 5th at the Journal Tyne Theatre, Newcastle. Tickets are now available by visiting www.thejournaltynetheatre.co.uk.
My whole life
Will never get past June
June, when my heart died
When my poetry died
When my lover
Died in romance's pool of blood
June, the scorching sun burns open my skin
Revealing the true nature of my wound
June, the swim swims out of the blood-red sea
Toward another place to hibernate
June, the earth shifts, the rivers fall silent
Piled up letters unable to be delivered to the dead
The poem 'June' by imprisoned Chinese poet and journalist Shi Tao is relaying around the world, country to country, language to language, until it reaches Beijing for the Olympics in August. PEN Centres around the world have translated 'June' to over 60 (and counting) of the world's languages.
Shi Tao is a Chinese journalist, writer and poet, who in 2005 was sentenced to imprisonment for 10 years for releasing a document of the Communist Party to an overseas Chinese democracy website. On April 20, 2004, the Chinese government released the Number 11 document "A notice concerning the work for maintaining stability". In the document, it warned journalists that overseas pro-democracy Chinese dissidents may come back to mainland China during the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 on June 4th, which would affect the politico-social order's stability. It asked all news media to not report anything regarding the so-called "June 4th event", Falun Gong or people calling for politico-social change. Shi used his private Yahoo! email account and sent a brief of the document to an overseas web site called Asia Democracy Foundation. When the Chinese government found out, it demanded the sender's personal information from Yahoo!'s Hong Kong office. Yahoo! turned the information over, Shi Tao was detained and sentenced to prison for ten years. The incident sparked a controversy about the business practices of Yahoo!, whose Hong Kong arm provided technical information connecting the message and email account with Shi Tao's computer. Yahoo! was criticized by Reporters Without Borders for acting as a "police informant".
Wikipedia: Jamyang Kyi|
According to human rights organization Amnesty International,
hundreds of websites are not available in the People's Republic of China.
More than 3,000 security officers are on patrol in the world wide web searching
for keywords such as 'democracy', 'human rights' and 'liberty'.
Everyone who opposes censorship is at risk of punishment.
Technologies that allow the Chinese government to filter contents
and cut off certain webpages are provided almost entirely
by foreign companies such as Yahoo!, Google and Microsoft.
++ FolkWorld NewsFlash ++
© The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld; Published 07/2008
All material published in FolkWorld is © The Author via FolkWorld. Storage for private use is allowed and welcome. Reviews and extracts of up to 200 words may be freely quoted and reproduced, if source and author are acknowledged. For any other reproduction please ask the Editors for permission. Although any external links from FolkWorld are chosen with greatest care, FolkWorld and its editors do not take any responsibility for the content of the linked external websites.