Wednesday, February 11, 2009

By And By
Odetta was called by Martin Luther King Jr. "The Queen of American Folk Music." She died in December, but performed to the end of her life with an extraordinaryness, a voice that was gentle but commanding, folksy and connected to the stories of everyday life in this country, and part of a spirit of a common struggle for justice that shouldn't go away.

Pastures of Plenty

Odetta on the Johnnie Cash Show 1969

Buy Odetta at Amazon

Monday, February 09, 2009

So after a bit of a hiatus...
After scouring the world for a bit in search of the most wondrous artists to expose to you, I turned up Aaron Nazrul. Partly astonishing, with just enough embarrassing mixed in to make it interesting, he's got a debut album with a number of really blow you away tracks (and then the occasional awkward attempt to rhyme "Cambodia" and "know ya.") He's got a rich and ragged voice, and an experimental braveness that is great to hear. One of my favoritest tracks--and one not terribly representative of the rest of the album is the sprawling "Butterfly Man," which is something the Rolling Stones might have made in 1976 if they lived in Vancouver.

Butterfly Man

Lay Low (Live)

Aaron Nazrul on MySpace

Buy Aaron Nazrul at Amazon