Sunday, July 25, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Tears, Lies and Alibis--Shelby Lynne--"I like this record a lot. I spent a year making it and made a lot of decisions and changes during that period," Ms. Lynne writes on her Facebook page.
"It was fun at times, not fun sometimes. But in the end, this is the record I wanted you to hear and the one I thought you would love."
She's celebrating her independence these days because she's created her own label, called Everso Records. "I finally have the creative control I’ve needed to get my vision out there..."
Her vision on Tears, Lies and Alibis is one of heartbreak and, oddly enough, Airstream trailers:
"When the sun hits her right/She'll blind you with her light a beacon of royalty, ooooh/Yeah, she's like a Van Gogh or an old Picasso oh what a sight to see."
This recording, produced by Ms. Lynne herself, won't knock you over at first, like her last project, a tribute to Dusty Springfield, produced by legend Phil Ramone and sporting classics "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me," "Breakfast in Bed," and "How Can I Be Sure." Her vocals, of course, are right on from the first phrase, but the songs, mostly short--she doesn't waste our time--may take several listens before you connect. That's a sign this is going to have a long shelf life--speaking of which, soul organist and songwriter Spooner Oldham backs her on Tears, Lies, and Alibis. You probably first heard him on the 1960s' hit "When a Man Loves a Woman," performed by Percy Sledge.
Shelby Lynne returns to the Narrows August 5. See her perform on the Late Late Show by clicking here.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Steve Bjork (below) opened with a set celebrating
married men at the supermarket, trying to understand what their wives mean when the shopping list says "c. cheese"--so they get Velveeta, a "man's cheese."
The Narrows plans to continue offering comedy shows in the months ahead. So spread the word to comedy fans!
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Whimsical, sort of a Dan Hicks-like approach. Old timey, rootsy. The woman in the photo with the sunglasses, Maryanne Price, was an early member of Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks and performed on the Kinks' Preservation Act II album! That's a huge deal for your humble blogger.
The show was streamed live on mvyradio.com and should be available on that site's archives in a few days, so you can hear more of the group.
Chatted with guitarist Tanner Swain about our heat wave, figuring it was no big deal for a guy used to the torrid summers in the former Republic of Texas. Seems, though, even he felt the discomfort we Northerners have been experiencing because of the record heat over the past several days.
Friday, July 02, 2010
Lifted Off the Ground--Chely Wright--Narrows fans may only be vaguely aware of Ms.Wright's work as a mainstream country artist, with some major hits, including Single White Female, back about 10 years ago. In 2001, she worked with Narrows alum Dr. Ralph Stanley, appearing on his Clinch Mountain Sweethearts album, so members of our bluegrass community may be familiar with her through that. More likely, you know her because in May of this year her autobiography was published, revealing she is leading a life that some think is outside the mainstream country norm. If you want to read about that, here's a link. Let's talk music, instead. Rodney Crowell, whom we hope to have play the Narrows soon, produced the disc, played some guitar on it, and co-wrote one of the tunes with Ms. Wright, who wrote the rest herself. And they're well worth hearing, starting with the first track, a catchy number called I'm Broken:
Why can't you just believe in me?/ Not everyone is the enemy/I'm trying hard I swear I am/I'm doin' the best I can/But I'm Broken.
She's a fabulous singer, the production is tasteful--sometimes even Beatlesque--and Ms. Wright knows how to write a song, which isn't surprising since she's been composing for herself and others for a long time. The CD has apparently not been a success on mainstream country radio, but is picking up support from Americana stations. So she might be getting backlash from the Nashville establishment. Nonetheless, Lifted Off the Ground is a winner. Their loss.
Thursday, July 01, 2010
He and his group made their debut at the Narrows on Thursday night, although the 30-something Ralph had been on our stage backing his dad as one of the Clinch Mountain Boys in the wintertime.
The show included Stanley Brothers tunes, a Fred Eaglesmith song saluting Carter Stanley, and an original or two or three.
Excellent musicianship, harmonizing and arrangements. Note for note, one of the best shows of the year. Look for it in the archives at mvyradio.com.