Yup, the fall release calendar is shaping up quite nicely, thank you. Here are just a few that we at Twangville are excited to hear.
Once upon a time there was a band called Scruffy the Cat. I have no idea where the name came from but it somehow fit the boisterous group from Boston. They rocked, rattled and rolled their way across the US for many a year, making a hearty racket wherever they went.
They played the label game and released a couple of albums but never quite found the notoriety that their music deserved. ‘tis a real shame as primary singer-songwriter Charlie Chesterman had a knack for writing infectious roots-based hooks that the band then raved up with reckless abandon.
The band’s legacy is being honored with not one, but two exciting releases in the coming weeks. Time Never Forgets: The Anthology (’86-’88) a 38-track collection of the band’s mid-1980’s recorded output is being released tomorrow.
Then, on Sept 16th, we’ll get The Good Goodbye: Unreleased Recordings 1984-1990. This collection includes 23 tracks culled from throughout the band’s time together.
In keeping with this double release, here is a video with a double dose of the band doing their thing back in the day. If this doesn’t get your foot a tappin’, if not a stompin’, then I don’t know what will.
Woody Guthrie has a storied place in music history. He is one of those touchstones that continues to inspire both musicians and activists around the world. Heck even the
poor souls folks who aren’t familiar with Guthrie have undoubtedly sung a few verses of his seminal “This Land Is Your Land.”
Although he is most often associated with his birthplace of Okemah, Oklahoma and his time spent in California during the 1930’s “Dust Bowl” era, Guthrie spent 27 years living in New York City.
The forthcoming My Name is New York is a three-disc set that chronicles Guthrie’s New York City years through stories and song.
Two of the discs features interviews with folks like Pete Seeger (in one of the last interviews before his passing), Woody’s son Arlo Guthrie, and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott among others. Consider it a verbal walking tour of 19 locations around New York City that were stops along Guthrie’s journey.
The third disc is a treasure-trove of Guthrie gems. These include the first recording of the seminal “This Land Is Your Land” and two home demos. There are also several tracks featuring other artists – including Billy Bragg & Wilco and the Del McCoury Band – performing Guthrie’s music. Proof that the legacy lives on.
Here is Guthrie’s home demo for “My Name Is New York”:
Pete Seeger telling the story behind the song “Tom Joad”:
Photo Credit: Photograph by Alfred Puhn. Courtesy of Tamiment Library at NYU
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April is shaping up as a difficult world in the world of music. This past week we lost Jesse Winchester, whose soft-spoken style belied the power of his songs.
Here are two magical Winchester performances. The first is an early (and often covered) classic “Defying Gravity.” The second is the celebrated appearance on Elvis Costello’s Spectacle show, where Winchester reduced Neko Case to tears with the delicately stunning “Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding.”