New: Eric Brace’s “Cartes Postales”

We’ve long admired Eric Brace’s work, from Last Train Home to his solo work and collaborations with Peter Cooper, and his new “Cartes Postales” shows us a new side of his art. The album honors his father’s life and love of music and nine of the ten tracks are sung in French, his father’s home country. The music is beautiful, thanks in part to the many contributions of Rory Hoffman. A sample, taken from Eric’s appearance on Music City Roots:

Preview: Grant-Lee Phillips’ “Widdershins”

By Ken Paulson

One of my projects each year is to put together concerts that celebrate free speech. This year we had a new recruit.

Grant-Lee Phillips turned in great performances in Nashville at the Family Wash on the 4th of July and at the Bluebird Café in September, closing the latter concert with a roaring take on “Rockin’ in the Free World.”

So it makes perfect sense that Phillips’ new album “Widdershins,” set for release on Feb. 23 on Yep Roc Records, reflects his perspective on today’s free world.

“I made a commitment to myself not to sink into despair,” Phillips said in a release. “I’m tracing a longer narrative here. We’ve been through some of this before – not just our country, but the civilization as a whole.”

Here’s a preview track from the new album:

Bill Lloyd interview: “It’s Happening Now”

By Ken Paulson
Bill Lloyd of power pop and Foster and Lloyd fame has a new album out this week and it’s a musical departure. Rather than the Beatles/Byrds-infused sounds of “Set to Pop” and “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants,” “It’s Happening Now” is a refreshing collection of quieter, well-crafted compositions, long on melody and wry observations. We had the chance to catch up with Bill right before a performance in Nashville on Saturday to talk about his career, musical heroes and his new songs, including the only-in-Nashville “Pedal Tavern Girl.” As he notes in the interview, if you’ve liked Bill’s past work, you’ll enjoy “It’s Happening Now” as well. Highly recommended.

Coming soon: John McCutcheon’s “Ghost Light”

“Ghost Light” is John McCutcheon’s 39th album, set for release early next year, and continues his tradition of combining traditional folk with fresh perspectives.
“The Machine,” a reflection on the events in Charlottesville in August, 2017 is particularly compelling. There’s also the sheer joy of “She Just Dances,” about a granddaughter discovering dancing, and “When My Fight for Life Is Over,” a new song built around a fragment of a Woody Guthrie composition. Highly recommended.

The ultimate Woody Guthrie tribute

Bear Records has released an extraordinary document – a better term than box set in this instance- that captures both Woody Guthrie tribute concerts, and includes almost 80 tracks, recorded remembrances and two substantive illustrated books.