Country Music

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Phoenix
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Country Music

Post by Phoenix »

It isn't all that often that I get to hear an authentic American country artist live but last night was one of those times. My son Andrew bought me a ticket for my Christmas present but wouldn't tell me what sort of show it was for. All he would say was that my presence was required in London on February 3rd. So I've made a week of it and we went together to Shepherd's Bush Empire to see Nanci Griffith. As is usual on such occasions quite a few old favourites get an airing, and Nanci didn't disappoint, singing among others From A Distance, Listen To The Radio and Love At The Five And Dime, although she omitted her usual reference to the lift bell in Woolworths, a nice, sensitive touch. Her opener was the stunning John Prine number Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness, which set the scene for the rest of the evening. She is actually touring to promote her 2009 album The Loving Kind so she quite naturally included several of its songs in her one and a half hour concert. My personal favourites were the title track and Well, All Right, the Buddy Holly hit, which was the first of her two encores. She closed with the Pete Seeger-sourced If I Had A Hammer, that my group often opened with. Her backing group was barely half of the one that did the American leg of the tour, so I discovered by Googling her this afternoon. The support act was a Yorkshire lass called Edwina Hayes. She has a pleasant and reasonably expressive voice, no Sandy Denny that's for sure though, and while I suspect that she will find plenty of work on the English folk club circuit, America too no doubt with Nanci's influence, her finger picking is run-of-the-mill and unexciting. She needs to get lucky with a hit record. She was very pleasant and bubbly though when I spoke to her afterwards when she signed the copy of her CD that I had bought for a tenner. Any more Nashville Cats out there?

brisey
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Re: Country Music

Post by brisey »

Sort of country but more the Americana end-Willard Grant Conspiracy,Handsome Family,Dixie Chicks.

Brought up on country by my folks-always listen to the Country Show on,I think LBC,on a Saturday in the 70's.All the standard fare Slim Whitman,Dolly,Glen Campbell,Johnny Cash.

The ironic thing about Country is that lots of people scoff but everyone knows the classics

Saw Nanci Griffiths a few years back at Fairfield in Croydon and her support was Edwina Hayes then.

Couple of weeks later I saw another act (cannot remember who) and there was Edwina Hayes again.
Even bought the CD this time and it is pleasant Sunday afternoon stuff.

She is playing a cafe in East Grinstead next month-honest and I might wander down.

http://www.grubonline.co.uk/music.html it seems to have a fair selection of New Country/Folk artists playing.The other site for intimate country is the Twickenham Folk Club.all depends where you live.

Sorry for stream of conscience ramble

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colcool007
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Re: Country Music

Post by colcool007 »

I happened to catch Nanci on the Simon Mayo show and she explained that her new album's title is homage to the couple, Mildred and Richard Loving. They were a mixed race wedding who fought the Virginian legislate who charged the couple with carrying out a criminal act by being a mixed race marriage. A short resume can be found with a very swift search.
I started to say something sensible but my parents took over my brain!

Phoenix
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Re: Country Music

Post by Phoenix »

She did tell us all about the Simon Mayo interview, Colin, during her thorough and quite emotional introduction to that song.

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colcool007
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Re: Country Music

Post by colcool007 »

Cool is the only word for that. I thought that you may have picked up that being at the concert, but the comments were aimed more at those that are not fans of Country Music or do not listen to Senior Moment FM! :D
I started to say something sensible but my parents took over my brain!

steelclaw
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Re: Country Music

Post by steelclaw »

I have a CD/Vinyl collection of around 7-8,000 items I'm sure I have some country in there somewhere but Country Music seems to have passed me by.
I'm open to all genres these days, once upon a time I wasn't
Recommend me some Country Music, I've only heard Tammy Wynette on my KLF 12" record.

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Re: Country Music

Post by Phoenix »

brisey wrote:She is playing a cafe in East Grinstead next month-honest and I might wander down.
The ubiquitous Edwina Hayes, eh? And I hadn't heard of her before last night. If she turns up at East Grinstead it presumably means that she is not going to be on the Australian leg of Nanci's tour.

It's interesting to reflect on local folk scenes. All the artists on the roster you provided a link to are unknown to me, but I imagine that those on the Merseyside scene would draw a blank look from you. I doubt whether there are any essential differences one from another. They all have guest artists, largely professionals, many of whom travel round the country playing the clubs. My current favourite is Allan Taylor. Then there are individuals or bands with a bigger profile who are beginning to play small halls on their way to success, but who will still play a handful of their favourite folk clubs. This group includes a number I have seen over the last couple of years at Pacific Road in Birkenhead such as Show of Hands, who are brilliant, and Beth Orton, who was dire. The support act was better than she was and he was very ordinary. My younger son Russell and I agree that we wasted our money that night, the only disappointment we've had to be fair. Successes that redressed the balance were established names like Peggy Seeger and, separately, Martin Carthy. The Handsome Family also went down well.

My country upbringing inevitably included Slim Whitman and Johnny Cash, who I saw at the Liverpool Empire sometime in the mid-sixties. Glen and Dolly came later. I was into pop at school, The Platters, Elvis Presley, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry etc, but even then some of my favourites I discovered later had a country background of some sort, these being artists like Lonnie Donegan, Buddy Holly and The Crickets, the Everly Brothers and Jerry Lee Lewis. In the years between going to university and getting a job I added Hank Williams, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Hank Snow, Roy Acuff, Hank Locklin, the Louvin Brothers, the Blue Sky Boys, Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers to my favourite country artists, and, at the same time, to my folk favourites I added The Carter Family, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Doc Watson, The New Lost City Ramblers and Tom Paxton. After that, via Billie-Jo Spears, Bobbie Gentry and Dolly Parton, The Kingston Trio, Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul and Mary, I moved towards Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span, and then, in the eighties, I embraced New Country, fuelled by Country Club on Radio 2. These were singers like the Judds, Randy Travis, Vince Gill, the Forester Sisters, the Whites, Ricky Skaggs, George Strait and the sublime Alison Krauss with Union Station. I was never completely convinced by the country crossover artists but I will admit to buying two CDs by Shania Twain.

brisey
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Re: Country Music

Post by brisey »

Saw Handsome Family a few times.

Best one was when he was totally drunk,drank three beers in the first few minutes of the gig.The proceded to answer emails on his laptop,go totally off the set list and have a stand up row with his missus.

Phoenix
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Re: Country Music

Post by Phoenix »

Not totally gone, but giving every impression of having previously had quite a few scoops, a virtually incommunicative Van Morrison on Whispering Bob's Old Grey Whistle Test and Billy J Kramer in concert at The Winter Gardens in Morecambe in 1964 or thereabouts.

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DJDogfart
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Re: Country Music

Post by DJDogfart »

I am the singer in our local bluegrass/hillbilly band 'The Mad Ox Brothers', name after early pioneers 'The Maddox Brothers'. We do mostly covers of old hillbilly songs but throw in a couple of Pogues classics etc..
Only done a couple of gigs so far but really enjoying it, we have a MySpace too:

www.myspace.com/themadoxbrothers

If anyone fancies taking a look.

I was in a rockabilly band back in the early 90's too called the Arkansas Chug-a-bugs after the Wacky Races vehicle of the same name. We did fairly well on the scene, playing around the country back then. Not enough to retire on though!

Hoping to get a CD out soon, oh, and we have badges avaliable if anyone wants one!
Scccrrruunnge

steelclaw
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Re: Country Music

Post by steelclaw »

Phoenix will you be buying this Sandy Denny box set?

Image

New Sandy Denny boxset released this year
Universal will release a new Sandy Denny boxset this year.

"This superb limited edition box set includes 19 CD's, 11 of which feature Sandy's complete studio recordings with Alex Campbell, Johnny Silvo, Fotheringay, Strawbs, Fairport Convention and solo with additional content- outtakes, demos and live recordings. There are 8 CDs of bonus material - unreleased songs, demos, unreleased BBC recordings, alternate takes, live recordings, acoustic versions, and rare radio interviews. This set includes the legendarily 'long lost' Lord Bateman.

Lavishly packed, this unique collection features all new artwork. It comes with a 72 page 11" square hardback book containing over 100 rare and mostly unseen photographs, Sandy's handwritten lyrics (many of which are unrecorded songs) and fascinating memorabilia. Each CD is housed in an individual gatefold digipack sleeve. The box also contains reproductions of a beautiful original Island press pack, an exceptionally rare A3 promo colour poster for Northstar Grassman And The Ravens, a set of Postcards, the receipt for the purchase of her first piano and one of Sandy's handwritten notebooks."

I have been compiling and researching this set, and many exciting unissued recordings have come to light including demos for the Northstar and Sandy albums. Fans of Sandys more acoustic work will be richly rewarded with unreleased performances that often outstrip their finished versions. The format aims to represent Sandy's complete work, and is the first time this has been done for an artist; more will surely follow. The set will also be released globally on i-tunes.

Phoenix
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Re: Country Music

Post by Phoenix »

steelclaw wrote:Phoenix will you be buying this Sandy Denny box set?
I might well get it, steelclaw, thanks for drawing my attention to it. I love the Art Nouveau style cover on the box. Mind you, you don't mention the price!!!!

steelclaw
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Re: Country Music

Post by steelclaw »

Phoenix wrote:
steelclaw wrote:Phoenix will you be buying this Sandy Denny box set?
I might well get it, steelclaw, thanks for drawing my attention to it. I love the Art Nouveau style cover on the box. Mind you, you don't mention the price!!!!
Amazon Available for pre-order. This item will be released on 4 Oct 2010 at aprice of

£165.99 :shock: It will give you time to save up.

Phoenix
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Re: Country Music

Post by Phoenix »

steelclaw wrote:This item will be released on 4 Oct 2010 at a price of £165.99
Not exactly a bargain basement price, is it? Still, the release date does give me time to assess my financial priorities. :D

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Re: Country Music

Post by Phoenix »

I've now had time to assess my financial priorities, steelclaw, and I have to announce that, with the boxed set priced at £165.99, I'm afraid they do not include Sandy Denny. :sorry:

Now, the Shepherd's Bush Empire gig last Wednesday. The support act was instantly forgettable, which was made easier by the fact that I never found out who she was. No programmes and no merchandise. The main draw, Lady Antebellum, were in a different league altogether. Even my son Andrew was impressed and he'd never heard them before and he isn't actually that keen on country music anyway. They played for an hour and a half, and their programme was essentially the content of their two CDs. Although not well known over here there was nothing amateurish about their set. The tightly-choreographed movement and general presentation were highly professional. But they are singers when all is said and done, and this is where I have to admit to a serious personal caveat. The whole musical balance was wrong and because of this they came over as more of a rock band, almost as though they were desperate to impress and persuade that London audience on their single gig in this country, for which they interrupted a six-month tour of America and Canada, in order to establish instantly a reputation with a view to getting an invite for a full tour in the new year. They succeeded handsomely in that. It was a sell-out and the whole of the ground floor was given over to standing customers who lapped it all up. Perhaps as a test, at points in several songs the group stopped singing and encouraged the audience to fill in the missing phrases. They were not to be disappointed, and during their encore number Hey Jude the entire audience was standing up and waving their arms from side to side. For me though, they are fine singers and their harmonies are special. I know this because I have the CDs and, in any case, most of their output is on YouTube. But on recordings the balance is fine tuned. You can hear the contribution of all the backing instruments but crucially you can hear the three voices clearly. On disc and video they sound, for the most part, like a country band, which is what they are, a new country perhaps but country nevertheless. At Shepherd's Bush the beautiful-sounding Gibson acoustic played by the only member of the trio who plays an instrument had a pickup somewhere about its person and sounded gross. My ears were almost always groping for the harmonies, even though I knew what they were likely to be. The main problem, and the cause of my temporary tinnitus and headache, was the backing group. None of them were really necessary but they had a lead guitar, a slide guitar, a bass guitar, keyboards and drums. I ask you! They are bound to be back, they are that good, but I won't go again. On the other hand, I am convinced that I will buy their future CDs and any DVD they bring out. Some songs like Hello World, Need You Now, When You Got A Good Thing and I Run To You make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

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