In the â€˜60s, David Wilson was the publisher and editor of Broadside of Boston, one of the founding directors and sometimes editor of Bostonâ€™s underground newspaper, Avatar. He started a record distribution company, Riverboat Records, left it for several years and and later returned to be its manager. He also managed at one time or another two Boston coffeehouses, CafÃ© Yana and The Odyssey and a short lived video theater, The Video Frontier. He was director of Folk Music for MITâ€™s FM station, a writer for WGBH TVâ€™s â€œFolk Music USA,â€œ and the Peabody winning â€˜Whatâ€™s Happening Mr. Silver?â€ He has an abiding interest in the field of traditional, Americana, roots and folk music while still finding much to his liking in many other forms as well. Off and on, these days, he works at developing his concept of video as gallery art.
Blues in the city.By: - Dec 15th, 2014
As Blues performers moved into urban areas, style and technique became more dominant, all too often at the expense of taste. Not so for these four grand albums that reflect many of the variations of the urban hybrids and pay tasteful homage to the adaptability and the complexity of the root forms.
Homage to RootsBy: - Dec 14th, 2014
Here are four recent releases that honor the roots of the Blues. Each of them would make a worthy addition to the cd shelves of eclectic listeners of music and most Blues fans.
This, Too Long Left UnsaidBy: - Feb 02nd, 2014
2013 got a bit complicated at its end and I find myself struggling to catch up with writing of those events, sorting out the ones on which I want to comment and deciding which deserve sharing.
We're All Brothers And We're Only Passing ThroughBy: - Feb 02nd, 2014
I have few if any idols in my pantheon, but if there is anyone that I admired enough to put there, Pete Seeger might well be the one.
String Madness and AccordBy: - Nov 25th, 2013
I generally avoid reviewing cd’s that are void of singing, so it is with some trepidation that I approach these two releases, and would with even greater hesitation were it not that each of them delights, astounds and begs me to listen to them repeatedly and often.
The Sweetback Sisters, The Boxcar Lilies, The Carper FamilyBy: - Nov 11th, 2013
I am attracted to any group, male, female or mixed that effectively use vocal harmonies. Only rarely in my limited attempts to sing along with others have I found myself able to find that sweet harmonizing position. I have great respect for those who seem to effortlessly slip in and out of it.
We Listened, Tasted, and Smelled the Smoke.By: - Oct 21st, 2013
It had a lot going in its favor not the least of which is a $5 ticket for three and a half hours of solid blues performances each day and an opportunity to sample a variety of BBQ. We make a point not to miss the annual Greenfield’s Green River Music Festival.
A Fable Of The Cambridge Folk CommunityBy: - Oct 20th, 2013
Alarik's credentials are extensive and diverse. He has been a performer, a songwriter, has written folk music commentary for the Boston Globe and published an earlier collection of his writings, â€œDeep Community: Adventures in the Modern Folk Underground.â€ His renown as a chronicler of the folk scene leaves me green with envy.
Sidi Touré, Beggar's Ride and The Boxcar LilliesBy: - Oct 07th, 2013
An old friend of mine once noted, "You can always tell who in an audience was at a Pete Seeger concert for the first time." "You can?" I queried. "Sure," she said. "They are the ones who look annoyed when other audience members start to sing along with Pete."
Anne Hills' The Things I Notice NowBy: - Sep 29th, 2013
Earlier this spring I spent a few hours with Tom Paxton hashing over old memories, talking a bit about how singer-songwriters changed the face of what we once called folk music.
Notable Folk Scheduled Across MassBy: - Sep 22nd, 2013
Back from life in a Nova Scotian tent, I proffer upcoming events of uncommon interest to myself and hopefully to many of you scheduled this fall in a number of MA venues.
CDs by Darlingside, Alistair Olgivy, Joe JohnsonBy: - Jul 14th, 2013
When I write anything, be it an email or an installment in this series, my primary purpose is, as I presume is that of most writers, to clearly as possible express my ideas for you to consider. I would suppose that a songwriter has the same purpose, expressing clearly their ideas within the reinforcing framework of melody, rhythm and instrumental accompaniment.
Ear Say- CDs by Deanna Bogart and The Mannish BoysBy: - Jun 30th, 2013
Here I unburden my soul regarding some of the shortcomings I perceive in the cultural memory of contemporary artists, or maybe I am just making mountains out of molehills. After that, I share my pleasure in my cd discovery of Deanna Bogart and The Mannish Boys.
CDs by The Deadly Gentlemen, Ian Tyson, Eric Bibb and Hayley ReardonBy: - Jun 16th, 2013
Each month of late as my contact with recording artists expands, I am more and more often asked if I prefer a cd or a download. I generally prefer the experience of a physical cd in my hand. There is something more organic about finding the package in the mailbox, reading the return address and trying to guess what is inside and what pleasure the contents might bring. I like, while listening, having access to track listings and descriptions, personnel and even lyrics when they are included. On top of that, I find a cd is always easier to manipulate and access when driving, no doubt the result of years of practice.
Plus new CDs by, Jack (Jackie Washington) LandrÃ³n & Spider John KoernerBy: - Jun 02nd, 2013
So here is my take on the final performance of the 2012-13 Eagle Hill Cultural Center season and two exceptional recent recordings.
Old Town School of Folk, Kirsty McGee, Karine Polwart and Maeve GilchristBy: - May 27th, 2013
These cds have become embarrassments sitting on my â€œTo be reviewedâ€ shelf and staring at me with accusatory intensity. So, I made a pledge to devote myself over the next month or so of clearing up the backlog and every other installment will be dedicated to bring these gems, (and make no mistake these are gems not castaways) to your attention.
Iris Live at Bull Run and Nora Jane's New CDBy: - May 19th, 2013
Although I did not know it was she or even know of her, I first heard the voice of Iris Dement while watching the final episode of Northern Exposure on July 26th, 1995.It was several years before I heard that voice again. In a live performance at Bull Run in Shirley I noted that while her vocal instrument has neither great range nor exceptional clarity, it does, however, embody a tapestry of tones that are conduits for a greater variety of passions and emotions than any other voice I know.
Amazing Things Are Happening in Our World.By: - Apr 28th, 2013
The two artists whose recordings I comment on below are interesting in their comparisons and their contrasts. Both cds garnered considerable praise and attention in 2012. Oklahoma’s John Fullbright and his release were nominated for a Grammy, and Ewan McLennan’s was one of those selected in the UK’s best of the year lists.
Another Best of 2012 and an Echoing Refrain from Decades Past.By: - Mar 17th, 2013
In this posting the pairing may seem unlikely at first. One artist is male, a senior citizen, an experienced artist with a well developed aesthetic while the other is female with the 21st century making up the majority of her life, little experience in comparison yet an aesthetic that while still evolving is already firmly anchored in the soul of a visionary artist.
Providing Arts To The Arizona CommunityBy: - Feb 20th, 2013
In the last three years in which I have returned to reviewing performances I have seen a number of different nonprofit venues each different from any other. But this month, I confess, I came upon one whose origin I find stranger than most. It all started when I was working on my recent review of the latest Good Lovelies CD .
The Haunted Windchimes and BellowheadBy: - Feb 04th, 2013
Two wild extremes each in their own way quite satisfying CDs comprise the pair we report on today. One hails from the mountains of Colorado and the other from the British Isles.
Seinn and Kin Deserve Your NoticeBy: - Jan 20th, 2013
Once again we examine choices for best roots or traditional genre recorded and /or released in 2012. These two, certainly stretch the boundaries of the category and in quite diverse directions thematically and geographically. And let's hear it for and from Rosanne Cash. Take a listen.
A Nod toBy: - Jan 13th, 2013
Now anyone who can claim to have listened critically to all of the output in a 12 month period is clearly blowing hot air because if they did they would have no time for sleeping, reading or for other pursuits to which the younger and nimbler are prone.
Live At The RevolutionBy: - Jan 05th, 2013
Live At Revolution is the best CD that The Good Lovelies have yet produced. It satisfies completely. If it does not win industry notice, nominations and awards I will be amazed.
Delta, Piedmont and Urban Derivatives.By: - Dec 17th, 2012
Here are a few suggestions for holiday gifting to the discerning blues lover in your life, or for your own wish list.