Feb 9, 2013
Los Angeles – We just arrived in LA for the Grammys, so we missed what looks like the coolest event of the weekend, the MusiCares salute to Bruce Springsteen.
Here’s some of what Edna Gundersen wrote in USA Today:
“The night’s entertainment focused more on Springsteen the songwriter than the rockin’ Boss, with artists leaning toward midtempo, reflective material. There were exceptions. Alabama Shakes kicked off the program with a mighty Adam Raised a Cain. Tom Morello and Jim James ripped off the roof with a rough-and-tumble Ghost of Tom Joad. Ken Casey of Dropkick Murphys turned American Land into a punk reel. And Neil Young and Crazy Horse threw some bruising blows into Born in the USA.
Natalie Maines and Ben Harper sang Atlantic City with Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica. Zac Brown and Mavis Staples took My City of Ruins to church. Elton John submitted a dramatic reading of Streets of Philadelphia. Colombian rocker Juanes revised Hungry Heart with Spanish verses. Tim McGraw and wife Faith Hill entwined voices on Tougher Than the Rest. A backlit Mumford & Sons delivered an elegiac I’m on Fire.
Also on tap: Kenny Chesney’s acoustic One Step Up, Jackson Brown and Morello collaborating on American Skin (41 Shots), John Legend’s solo piano version of Dancing in the Dark and Sting’s Lonesome Day.
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Mar 2, 2012
We’ve written about Nashville’s Tommy Womack’s inspired, irreverent and deeply personal music on Sun209 in the past, and Tommy has contributed to the site with a piece on his three favorite Kinks songs.
Still, his unique style is tough to capture in words. Our friend Peter Cooper succeeded with a fine article in today’s Tennesseean.
Cooper wrote about the reaction of Womack’s friends to his last album There I Said It!:
“We worried, because we knew he was singing his truth. He’d written who he was, and he was nervous and fragile and in an unrequited love affair with rock ’n’ roll.
And we worried, because we stood with the rest of his audience members in the middle of his performances, to cheer brave songs about being frightened. Isn’t that the kind of reinforcement that makes a guy want to open up another vein?”
Read the full story here.
Nov 14, 2011
Terry Roland, a fine writer for Sun209.com, recently did a thought-provoking interview for Folkworks with Josh White Jr., son of the legendary and blacklisted folksinger . It appears that courage and compassion are in the Whites’ DNA.
You’ll want to read the entire interview, but we wanted to share Josh’s thoughts on how music can bring people together:
“I admire Nat King Cole because he could find appeal with black and white audiences. My dad did the same thing. And the more I sang, the more my mind went toward what things bring us together. It was in the music. Anywhere he went, my old man could always find a song. He started at the age of seven by leading blind black blues singers through the streets to perform. He saw his father murdered just before that. All of that could have made him a very angry black person. But, he didn’t do it. He didn’t have an education. He couldn’t express things in speaking but he could find a song. We can always find music to express our feelings. Or to sing the feelings of those who don’t have a voice. That’s what feels good about what I do. I touch minds and hearts.”
Sep 5, 2011
The October 2011 issue of Uncut features John Hiatt on its “My Life In Music” page, inviting Hiatt to list the records that helped shape his life and musical tastes.
The first pick, “Elvis Presley’s take on Bill Monroe’s “Blue Moon of Kentucky” particularly intrigued us. (Yes, that’s the B-side of Sun 209.) “I love the way it straddles two worlds, rock ‘n’ roll and country,” Hiatt recalls, offering a pretty good description of his own career.
Among others on Hiatt’s list: Howlin’ Wolf’s “Spoonful,” Gary U.S. Bonds’ “Quarter to Three,” Stevie Wonder’s “Fingertips Pt. Two,” the McCoys’ “Hang on Sloopy” and Bob Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde” album.
Sep 2, 2011
We reported earlier this week on “The 1861 Project,” an Americana music take on the Civil War.Peter Cooper of the Tennessean profiled Thomm Jutz , a songwriter and performer on the f the project, in an article today:
“If you want to know anything about the American Civil War, you should
probably listen to the German guy.
“War swaths over people like a wave, and no matter what, you’re going to be
involved,” says Thomm Jutz, the songwriter and multi-instrumentalist behind a
new, multi-artist album called The 1861 Project: Volume 1, From Farmers to
“You can’t get away from war, even if you aren’t behind the political reasons
behind the war. For me, there’s some kind of connection between growing up in
Germany after the second World War and being here, now, in the South. In some
ways, they are both defeated cultures.”
It’s a good read. You’ll find it here.