Wow- this is going to be SO great ! John Cowan and Tiller’s Folly ! See you at the Spot, 114 Knight St., Aberdeen, NC . Doors: 6 pm, show at 6:46 Tix at the door : $25 cash or check.
June 2 Missy Raines and the New Hip, Casey Dreissen
Music is immediate. A few seconds in and you know whether you like a band or not. Missy Raines & The New Hip hits the downbeat. The riff and rhythm of electric guitar and the kick of acoustic bass and drums carry you across the first few changes. Then Missy’s clear, intimate voice tells the story. You lean in and listen. Casey Dreissen will kick things off with his amazing red shoes and incredible fiddlicity ! Fiddle clinic Sunday afternoon. Call Janet 944-7502
June 9 Doug and Telisha, Daniel Smith opens
The Williams bringing a burning energy to every show they play. They mean it. They live it. We will celebrate their new cd with pie !
June 16 Red Clay Ramblers, Cackalacky Sisters open
North Carolina’s Tony winning string band !!! And Janet’s best gal pals opening- what a show !!!!!
June 23 Robin and Linda Williams
Folk musicians from Virginia known internationally for their harmony singing and songwriting talents. From Prairie Home to LA.
June 30 the Rigney Family Band, Alice Gerrard and Laurelyn Dossett
Simply put, Alice Gerrard is a talent of legendary status. In a career spanning some 40-plus years, she has known, learned from, and performed with many of the old-time and bluegrass greats and has in turn earned worldwide respect for her own important contributions to the music. She comes to the Spot with our own Laurelyn Dossett on a co bill with bluegrassers extraordinaire, the Rigney Family.
John Cowan and Tiller’s Folly
Sunday May 19
The Rooster’s Wife
Tickets available online
Sunday May 12
at The Rooster’s Wife
Tickets available online
“A lot of my favorite music is that way. The very first time I hear it, I think, ‘Hm. There’s something wierd about that.’ And then I find myself obsessed.”
When it comes to a top five records list, David Jacobs-Strain prefers the stripped down style of early innovators, like Mississippi Fred McDowell. The song-craft lyric tricks of Robert Johnson and Gillian Welch. Tom Petty’s rock and Taj Mahal’s roll.
We put it all together in a Spotify playlist so you can get ready for the show Sunday. Below, David explains why the following five are a core part of his road curriculum.
Meantime, give his new record “Geneseo” a listen. Someday you’ll probably see it on somebody’s top five.
Mississippi Fred McDowell
“Standing at the Burying Ground, Recorded Live at the Mayfair Hotel, London in 1969.” They asked him if he wouldn’t mind wearing overalls and a straw hat to the show. They put out a straw bale for him to sit on, and he showed up with an electric guitar and ordered them to clear the stage. Promoters had this very patronizing fantasy of what it meant to be a blues singer. And he showed up, “Nope. I’m an entertainer. I’m a class act. Get rid of this stuff. That’s your fantasy.”
It’s just a wonderfully raw portrait of his music. Fred McDowell has this slightly punk undertone to his music, this driving edge that I love and very modal kind of blues.
“The Natch’l Blues.” Taj Mahal was the first person I ever heard live play the blues. Taj is not just blues, it’s blues, it’s reggae and R&B and he puts it together in this way where it’s Taj and it’s not anybody else. That’s been a huge inspiration for me. I probably heard Taj 17 years ago or something and (that experience) still has a big influence on me. It’s hard for me to pick one of his records, but that’s definitely one that I listen to over and over again.
“Hell Among the Yearlings” (not available on spotify). I’ve been obsessed with her latest record, “The Harrow and the Harvest,” but the record of hers that really turned me on was “Hell Among the Yearlings.” Gillian’s music is uncompromising. And that record in particular is extremely minimal. It’s pretty much just her and David Rawlings, and they play a lot of these, if not modal, very carefully-voiced chords and harmonies. The songs are dark and haunting. To me it’s like you almost have to slow your heart down to listen. Or, her music slows your heart down until you’re at the speed of the music.
There’s a great compression of language too, there’s a lot of meaning in relatively simple words. And I hear that in great blues, too. It’s not always just the double entendres, and I think it’s something that’s missing in a lot of contemporary blues, too: songcraft.
“The Complete Recordings of Robert Johnson.” One of the things Robert Johnson did is to take the best ideas and verses floating around the Mississippi Delta and put them together into coherent songs. Robert Johnson is always referred to as the King of Blues, but one of the reasons that people love his music - and one that’s often unmentioned - is that he knew how to make 2-to-3 minute songs into a coherent story, with a solo, so that it all fits together. As far as acoustic blues goes, he was the master of the two-minute single.
Whereas his mentors, like Charlie Patton, they grew up playing unamplified, country dances where they would have played for hours and hours. And they were great, and they would have been awesome to listen to live, but Robert Johnson took those songs and made the forms coherent, he made them into songs.
“Wildflowers.” The record that’s totally not a blues record, but had a big impact on me. I think it’s one of the great songwriter records. Fifteen songs and every one is good. It’s not a record that has his biggest singles on it, but it’s got such a good vibe. It’s a record that’s really tightly produced, and yet, he said, he wanted to make a record that sounded like it could have been made in a weekend. It doesn’t sound like that to me but it’s believable. It’s a big production that’s non-self indulgent, and I just think the songs are so beautiful.
David Jacobs-Strain & Bob Beach
Sunday, May 5
Tickets available online
Howard Levy and Joe Craven want to help you get your Monday out of the gate.
But the emphasis on this album is more on old-time than his previous albums. There’s much here for true-blue old-time music heads, like the shifty fiddling on “Rattle Down the Acorns” from lesser-known fiddler Delbert Hughes, Molsky’s softly sublime clawhammer banjo playing on classic tune “Johnny Booger”, and a sweet version of the chestnut “Bonaparte’s Retreat” from the fiddler in John Dilleshaw’s wonderfully named band “Seven Foot Dilly and his Dill Pickles.”
- Posted by Hearth Music
Back in May.