Folk

Episode 410: Jessica Pratt's 'Quiet Signs'

Episode 410: Jessica Pratt's 'Quiet Signs'

On her new LP Quiet Signs, Jessica Pratt continues to perfect her chilly yet hopeful update of English folk music, and her efforts – this was Pratt’s first album recorded in a proper studio – more than pay off. Quiet, contemplative, chilly, yet supremely comforting, Quiet Signs is Pratt at her very best.

On a new episode of Discologist, we’re discussing this unique artists latest, the future of folk in the modern era, much more.


Episode 347: By The Way, I Forgive You - Brandi Carlile

Episode 347: By The Way, I Forgive You - Brandi Carlile

On her latest LPBrandi Carlile isn't so much returning to her roots as she is challenging the idea of what folk and Americana can be, and maybe should become. Sonically and stylistically diverse, the Dave Cobb produced By The Way, I Forgive You is a seemingly unconnected collection of songs that, taken together, packs an emotional wallop unlike anything in Carlile's career. 

PLUS! Eduardo goes crate digging and comes back with a killer track from Italian singer/songwriter Pino Daniele that Steely Dan fans are gonna love!


Episode 340: See You Around - I'm With Her

Episode 340: See You Around - I'm With Her

All it took was an off-the-cuff show back in 2014, and the trio of Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O'Donovan knew they had something special. Formalizing this new union under the name I'm With Her, the three powerhouses have spent the past few years sporadically touring the group around, releasing an EP, and now they are releasing their much-anticipated debut full-length, See You Around.

Built on a foundation of tradition, intimate confessionalism, and expert musicianship, See You Around owes as much to the musician's past as it seems like a logical waypoint on their journey through song. We're going in on the supergroup's debut to find out if I'm With Her has got legs or if we're going to be seeing them around for a long time to come.

PLUS! Kim Ware's The Good Graces is back with The Hummingbird EP, and we've got it's charming AF leadoff track for you to put in your earholes!


Episode 263: Mount Royal - Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge

Episode 263: Mount Royal - Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge

PledgeMusic is a crowdfuning platform that aims to help artists of every genre and creed achieve their dreams. Every artist except Wheeler Walker, Jr. it would seem. In an unprecedented move, the artist friendly org recently cancelled the country star/comedian's campaign to raise funds for his upcoming sophomore album, and we've got some questions.

On their second album as a duo, guitarists Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge (Punch Brothers) are travelling down well worn musical paths, but still manage to kick up some dust along the way. We journey deep into Mount Royal and find out where the music they're making is taking bluegrass and folk, and contemplate a new dawn of acoustic music in a super-untz age.

PLUS! Son Volt is BACK. Crank up "Back Against The Wall" off of their new LP, Notes Of Blue, and be ROCKED.


Episode 189: Laura Gibson

Episode 189: Laura Gibson

In March of this year, singer/songwriter Laura Gibson released Empire Builder. Not only was it her strongest record to date, but it is undeniably one of 2016's finest releases.

Around that time, we invited Laura (and her band) over the morning after an exhilarating performance at Iota Club and Café to talk about the new album, her transition to becoming a (mostly) full-time New Yorker, higher learning, and much much more. 

PLUS: Our friend Jonny Grave drops by to talk about his new album and the release show on June 7th for said album where he aims to prove its mettle to ya.

This is podcasting at it's fullest potential. 


Josh Ritter @ 9:30 Club - 2/23/16

Josh Ritter @ 9:30 Club - 2/23/16

Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter released his eighth album, Sermon on the Rocks, last fall, leaving behind much of his familiar stripped-down acoustic style for a fuller, more instrumentally dense (and energetic) sound that he’s hinted at in the past but never so fully developed. The album has been well received, leading him to play two packed nights at the 9:30 Club last week.


Episode 130: Marian McLaughlin and Ethan Foote

Episode 130: Marian McLaughlin and Ethan Foote

This week on the podcast singer/guitarist/composer Marian McLaughlin returns and is bringing her collaborator Ethan Foote with her to talk about their upcoming album, Spirit House. Equal parts folk, chamber music, and magic, Spirit House is the evolution of the work Marian began on 2014’s Derive taken in directions she only hinted at previously. In this return to the basement, Kevin sits down with the duo to discover more about the albums inspirations, its many collaborators and how it changed the people who made it.

PLUS! Check out new track from The Low Lows Monk Parker off of his debut solo album, How The Spark Loves The Tinder, on Episode 130 of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast!


Laura Marling @ 9:30 Club - 7/31/15

Laura Marling @ 9:30 Club - 7/31/15

If it surprises you to hear that British folk music can sell out the 9:30 Club, you probably weren’t there on Friday night. That night the room was transformed into an English folk club – or at least as close as the design of the venue would allow – as three singers took to the stage to perform for a packed crowd of fans.

Opening the show was Marika Hackman, playing songs from her debut album, We Slept at Last. She was followed by actor-turned-musician Johnny Flynn, performing a solo set of songs from his three albums. Though he has recently appeared to be concentrating more on his acting (since releasing his most recent album Country Mile in 2013, he has appeared in the British sitcom Scrotal Recall and the movie Song One, amongst other roles), he played one new, as-of-yet untitled song mid-set. To round out his set, he was joined by Laura Marling for their duet on his song “The Water” (easily one of the highlights of the night), and then the pair were joined by Hackman and by Marling’s band to perform a raucous sing-along of “Tickle Me Pink” from Flynn’s debut album A Larum.


Steeleye Span at The Birchmere - 7/17/15

Steeleye Span at The Birchmere - 7/17/15

As one of the founding bands of the British folk-rock movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, Steeleye Span has long been recognized as musical pioneers. Mixing traditional folk music with electric instruments might not seem all that unusual today, but when the band’s first album, Hark! the Village Wait, came out in 1970, it was nearly unheard of. The band has gone through numerous line-up changes over the years – husband and wife duo Gay and Terry Woods left after that first album (performing as a duo for several years; after that, Terry was a founding member of Irish folk-rockers The Pogues, and Gay returned to the Steeleye fold briefly for a pair of albums in the late 90s), then after their third album, Ten Man Mop, Ashley Hutchings left to form another seminal folk-rock band, Fairport Convention. 

In fact, the band that came to The Birchmere on Tuesday night has not (yet) recorded an album together, with only singer Maddy Prior continuing to represent the original group and drummer (and sometimes guitarist) Liam Genockey, who originally joined the band in 1986 rounding up the old guard. New members Julian Littman (guitar and vocals) and Jessie-May Smart (violin) have managed to integrate themselves into the band’s sound, though, and last-minute fill-in bassist Nils Petersen handled the pressure of having to play a whole concert of songs he’d just learned with ease (Prior’s son Alex Kemp, who was supposed to be with the band on bass for this tour, had visa issues and was unable to join them for their US shows).


The Weather Station at DC9 - 7/17/15

The Weather Station at DC9 - 7/17/15

On Friday evening, DC9 hosted an early show featuring two up-and-coming Canadian folk artists, singer songwriters Tamara Lindeman – who performs as The Weather Station – and Andy Shauf. Both touring to support recent releases – The Weather Station’s third album, Loyalty (her first to get a US release, on Paradise of Bachelors), and Shauf’s first full-length, The Bearer of Bad News – the two artists shared a stage and a backing band (Ben Whiteley on bass, Adrian Cook on keyboards and guitar, and Ian Kehoe on drums).

Andy Shauf has been compared to singers like Elliott Smith and Josh Rouse, and hearing him live, it’s easy to understand why. His breathy, often falsetto vocals are reminiscent of both singers, as is his penchant for minor keys. But despite his clear place in a tradition, he’s developing a style of his own, as can be heard in songs like “Hometown Hero” and “You’re Out Wasting.” Live the songs are a bit more sparse and direct, without the layered vocals and additional instrumentation.


Ryan Hobler - "See What You're Doing To Me"

Ryan Hobler - "See What You're Doing To Me"

Sounds Like:

Cosmic folk-pop from the weird side of the tracks; Patrick Watson's poppier neighbor; Bowerbirds; Andrew Bird;  a naturalistic dreamscape that carouses effortlessly with both the wonder AND the dread of it all.

Why You Should Care:  

Hauntingly elegant, this track from  singer-songwriter Ryan Hobler stands out in an already rich album as an example of the power and range that is currently at this New York native’s command.  The Elusive Yes playfully bounces back and forth between Dylan-esque revelry (“Bob vs. Jack vs. The World”), near-Buckley croon (“I Fell Deep”), and [Andrew] Bird-ian musings (“Down Came The Fourth Wall”), but it’s the dive into the darkness of “See What You’re Doing To Me” that makes the most compelling arguments for Hobler’s considerable talents.


BEST OF 2014: Pretty - "Mustache In Your Face"/ Local Customs: Cavern Sound

BEST OF 2014: Pretty - "Mustache In Your Face"/ Local Customs: Cavern Sound

SOUNDS LIKE:

A spirit in the sky that lost itself in a subterranean hole; the shag floor of the grooviest van on the block.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE:

It’s no secret that Chicago’s Numero Group is pretty much the raddest practitioner of audio anthropology this side of, well, EVERYONE, but in 2014 they outdid themselves. Drop Purple Snow, a bootie-shaking anthology documenting the “caveman”-era (read: pre-Prince)  Minneapolis sound onto an unsuspecting public? Groovy, but not enough. Release Separate Oceans (reviewed on THIS podcast), a collection of unsung musical hero Ned Doheny’s best (and not-so-best) smooth jams for all the world to groove to? Simply not enough. A deep dive into the hard-rock underground of the 70's COMPLETE WITH IT'S OWN BOARDGAME? NOT. ENOUGH. 

 


Episode 94: Marian McLaughlin

Episode 94: Marian McLaughlin

In our latest podcast (and last regular podcast for 2014) we sit down with the wonderfully unique Marian McLaughlin. Her sublime work on her debut Dèrive , released early in 2014, has led Marian and her musical cohorts from the smallest of smallest of house shows to being featured on NPR’s acclaimed Tiny Desk Concert series and back again. Kevin sat down with Marian to discuss what the future holds for the talented musician including her artspace/home The Holy Underground in Baltimore, her plans - including her in progress Kickstarter -  for her second album Spirit House, and much much more.

It’s the last regular podcast of the year and we’re going out on a high note on ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast Episode 94!