• The 40-year-old Music Festival Virgin

    11 Aug 2008, 12:45 by jcshepard

    Thu 7 Aug – Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival

    Cadillac Sky will blow you away. Period. End of Story. I can end my review here. With the beta fiasco I am tempted to….

    I took the plunge and attended my first Outdoor Music Festival. When I moved to Minnesota, KRFC’s bluegrass goddess told me to look into the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old Time Music Association (MBOTMA), and to go see bluegrass band Monroe Crossing.

    MBOTMA’s music series are the main event. This is the 29th Annual summer festival, which has now been joined by a Summer Kickoff at El Rancho Manana just outside St. Cloud, in Minnesota lakes country. They also have 2 winter shows in the Twin Cities (indoors, of course!) and participate in a couple community concert series. It’s a lot of work to bring good Bluegrass and Old Time Music to the scattered masses!

    MBOTMA is a participatory organization I have learned. Bring your guitar, mandolin, banjo, stand-up bass, dulcimer…
  • Mike Ness 5/21/08 @ Park West, Chicago, IL

    22 May 2008, 16:19 by Corvar

    Wed 21 May – Mike Ness, Jesse Dayton

    I really do like Park West for a venue, but I really dislike the parking situation. It seems like everything in Old Town is permit only parking, and the public garage in the neighborhood is sort of scary.

    Jesse Dayton started off the show. Not surprisingly, he is a little bit more country than I usually listen to, but country in the style and attitude of Johnny Cash, so I do like it. It is sort of a shame that the crowd mostly didn't show up in time for Jesse, he put on a good set, and I will be grabbing some of his stuff.

    I have seen Mike Ness as the front man of Social Distortion a number of times, and he is a great performer. Last night was by no means an exception. He played material off of both of his solo releases, and some other stuff. He has at least one new song, so hopefully that means a new album will be coming out sometime soon.

    If I got more sleep last night, I might be able to say more about the show, but I didn't.
  • Concerts Summary - May 2008

    17 May 2008, 06:55 by heatherc

    My plan is to write-up my May shows (of which there are many). I'll just keep revising this so if you do have any interest in what I have to say (and I don't know why you would) you may just want to wait until June to read it. At shows where I took video, I've chosen one song to embed, but typically there are more from that show on my youtube page.

    Thurs, May 1, The Little Ones (w/ Ladyhawk; Neva Dinova) @ Schubas: First, when I bought my ticket Schubas listed this as Ladyhawk headlining and Neva Dinova opening so I wasn't pleased that they changed headliners on me. Though I had been hearing The Little Ones name for a year or two now and was interested in checking them out. I had downloaded and given one listen to the recent Neva Dinova album before the show and from what I recall I liked it. But I thought they were really boring in concert. I guess they've been around awhile as they had several albums for sale, but after my thoughts on their show I need to re-listen to that album to be sure whether or not I like it. …
  • JC's Top Albums of 2007

    28 Dec 2007, 23:29 by jcshepard

    My fav new albums this year are, as usual, little regional things by hard working Americana artists, who in a perfect world would be rich and famous. It's not a perfect world, and these may not be perfect albums, but they're close enough til perfect comes:

    * Barbara Clark's She Won't Wait (self-release)
    * Captain Yonder's Good Bye, Woland! (Strange Midge)
    * Sand Sheff's Cowboyin' Trilogy (Upheaval Dome)

    I've been an Adrienne Young fan since her first Grammy-nominated album. She rode the Americana charts this spring with a worthy effort on Room to Grow. My only beef is the vacant stare on her album cover--sometimes it seems like she's playing the dumb blonde marketing angle and you know, she just doesn't need to play that game.

    Audrey Auld Mezera got kudos from the Freeform American Roots DJs last spring for a solid release (including a near perfect Clinch Mountain Prayer. I'm also intrigued by Jesse Dayton & Brennen Leigh Holdin' Our Own (Stag) that got a top spot…
  • ND#63: Surveying the Past, Present, and Future of American Music

    30 Apr 2006, 02:42 by jcshepard

    No Depression magazine surveys roots music every other month ( and used to bill itself as the home of "whatever that is". The name, as you know, originates with No Depression. 'Tis my Bible of Americana Music such as it is.

    OK, you also know I've done this before. If I'm not careful I'll turn it into my personal meme. Will try to restrain myself in the future, but it's raining out. so her she goes.

    ND#63 has Jon Dee Graham and Alejandro Escovedo on the cover, with top plugs for Buck Owens, Dr. John, Josh Ritter, and Cassandra Wilson. Of these, I'm familiar with all but the last. I will read to become informed.

    Live Show writeups: Van Morrison, Jeff Tweedy, Wilco (are they not one in the same? I know, read to become informed...); Jesse Dayton, Mavis Staples, Ray Davies, Silver Jews. Of these, 1 strike-out with Mr. Davies, tho I don't know that any of the rest show up in my charts.