Friday Link Session

Friday Link Session feature

It’s about that time: Bands, if you can’t – or don’t want to – make it to SXSW this year, start getting your submissions ready for the third annual CXCW (Couch by Couchwest), March 10-16. Find submission details here. If you’ll be in the Cleveland area on June 22 and would like to move from the couch to someone’s porch, the 5th annual Larchmere PorchFest is accepting submissions until May 1. Wonderful CXCW alumnus Daniel Knox is playing a residency at the Hideout in Chicago, IL. For a highly interesting read, check out his pre-residency interview with ChicagoMusic.org. Spacehog – yes, the “In the Meantime” band – are preparing to release their first new album in twelve years, As It Is On Earth. They have a fundraiser project for the album, with part of the proceeds going to the David Lynch Foundation. On February 7, Patti Smith received the Katharine Hepburn Medal from Bryn Mawr College. The medal “recognizes women whose lives, work and contributions embody the intelligence, drive and independence” of the great feminist actress. Roots artist Frank Fairfield is selling off some of his record collection on eBay. As you can imagine, there are some unique and fascinating … Continue reading

Down the Old Plank Road: Carolina Chocolate Drops, Frank Fairfield & Blind Boy Paxton

As has been mentioned in a previous post – and as would likely be obvious from the overall content of NTSIB – I am a roots music fan. This used to mean mainly old blues: Robert Johnson, Son House, Howlin’ Wolf. It would be disingenuous to deny the role of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack album in opening me up to more styles of roots, or “old timey”, music, like Southern gospel-style music, string bands, bluegrass, etc., but it was the advent in my musical life of modern string band hustlers Old Crow Medicine Show that led me to discover that there are a number of young artists keeping the basics of the old music alive while also adding their own, up-to-date flair into the mix. One of the most exciting of those acts is the Carolina Chocolate Drops who are bringing the black string band tradition back to the forefront while evolving the possibilities of string band music with the injection of their modern sensibilities. This confluence of old and new is on exhilirating display in their treatment of Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ‘Em Up Style”, performed below during their appearance on WDVX’s Blue Plate Special.     … Continue reading