Jewels and Johnny Nation — Outdoor Boogie

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Rondeau for the Nations

Jewels and Johnny across the nation,
in the sky like a constellation.
The quiet Beatle is in their song;
inspired thusly they can’t go wrong.
Tripping out from station to station,

their sound is rich in good vibration,
resplendent as a meditation.
In your record collection belong
Jewels and Johnny.

Tuning in to a generation,
they seek a shining integration
that will catch you up before too long,
and reel you in with a love that’s strong.
Come join them on this sound migration:
Jewels and Johnny.




Jewels and Johnny Nation website.

Bio:
Johnny Nation’s lead guitar work for the seminal LA cowpunk band, THE JONESES gave him a solid background in the rootsy style later to be recognized as alt-country. THE JONESES inspired and heavily influenced bands like Poison and Guns & Roses and opened for Johnny Thunders, Lords of the New Church and Spinal Tap, culminating in a major label record deal and the release of their charting album “Keeping Up With The Joneses”. He also toured and recorded with punk princess Lydia Lunch, and has played at every legendary temple of rock from the Troubadour to the Whiskey to the Roxy.

Jewels has been singing and dancing professionally since childhood. Originally from New York City, Jewels has acted on Broadway and attended The High School of Performing Arts and worked on the original film version of “FAME”. Later she appeared in film and on television (most notably in Sergio Leone’s classic “Once Upon A Time in America”) and studied improvisation at Second City in Chicago.


Rondeau – Originating in France, a mainly octosyllabic poem consisting of between 10 and 15 lines and three stanzas. It has only two rhymes, with the opening words used twice as an unrhyming refrain at the end of the second and third stanzas. The 10-line version rhymes ABBAABc ABBAc (where the lower-case “c” stands for the refrain). The 15-line version often rhymes AABBA AABc AABBAc.
Together with the ballade and the virelai it was considered one of the three formes fixes, and one of the verse forms in France most commonly set to music between the late 13th and the 15th centuries.
Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Now welcome, summer” at the close of The Parlement of Fowls is an example of a 13-line rondeau.
(From PoetryFoundation.org.)

Lenny Solomon — Under My Hat

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Clerihew for Lenny

Lenny Solomon
is certainly no hollow man.
He sings against fracking
and his guitar licks are never lacking.

 


 

Solomon Cento

Passing night, calm and still in the land of the whippoorwill,
spring’s again upon us, snow’s melting high above.
Whose words are these? I just don’t know.

I’ve been making cars for almost 20 years:
in Susquehanna County we work our fingers to the bone —
it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there.

I’ve played my songs in many old towns,
but it was fate I was waiting by your front gate.
(The cat in the hat had a lover’s look complete with bedroom eyes.)

Here’s the story about Jane and Hal:
She’s the leader of the choir, a teacher at the school.
His grandpa hit the beach on D-Day, his father fought in Vietnam.

Dan was a corporation, an overnight sensation,
trembling desperation in every word he spoke.
The prisoner was in shackles and not the iron kind.

[This poem contains the first line in each of the 15 songs on Under My Hat. All lyrics by Lenny Solomon. — Editor.]



 
Under My Hat available for purchase.


 

Bio: Lenny Solomon began his career in the late 1960s. A fixture at the now defunct Idler Coffeehouse in Harvard Square, Cambridge, he regularly performed there on Friday nights for over eight years. The Idler was a training ground for such music luminaries as Geoff Bartley, Paul Rishell, Spider John Koerner, and Ric Ocasek. During these years as a solo performer he shared bills with many name performers including Chris Smither, Carolyn Hester, Bonnie Raitt, and Spider John. For many years music lay in the background of his life.

From the 1980s through the mid-1990s, Solomon continued to write songs, but rarely performed in public. He chose rather to raise his family and work in environmental research at Harvard University. From 1978 though 2009 he managed a research program that investigated ozone depletion in the stratosphere and more general climate change issues. In 1997 Solomon got back into performing and formed a folk/country band appropriately enough called Solomon. Performing his original material, Solomon has released four CDs.

 


 

Clerihew – A light verse quatrain of two couplets rhyming aabb, invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956). The form parodies both the limerick and the eulogy.
 
Cento – From the Latin word for “patchwork,” the cento (or collage poem) is a poetic form made up of lines from poems by other poets. Though poets often borrow lines from other writers and mix them in with their own, a true cento is composed entirely of lines from other sources. Early examples can be found in the works of Homer and Virgil.


New American Farmers — The Farmacology Sessions

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The Farmacology Sessions
(The Iambic Summer)

we shuffle down this dry heatstroke road
seeking the cool white blocks of cinder
that might grant us passage to a place

like the best summer in all our lives
when everything was golden and true
so we step through the door and into

the soul pharmacy and get ourselves
a dose of nature turning to the
immaculate framed scene before us

a stage infused with amber sunlight
we are in a garden where cut glass
leaves of green gold red dangle from vines

thick with infinite space for the man
and woman singing so deep and free
as brave new american farmers

this is soft time nearly lost to us
but for the scent of lemons drifting
in from groves far out beyond the stage

we can hear monkeys and steel guitars
and a lonesome whippoorwill crying
like a sitar in a gentle rain

for this bright day all we need is to
listen


New American Farmers website


The Farmacology Sessions release date: Oct. 14, 2014.

From the band’s official bio:

Paul Knowles and Nicole Storto aren’t young, but the songs they write and sing are timeless, stories drawn from the heart and soul of ordinary, hard working folks. “We’re late bloomers who are more focused on the music, the mood and the quality of the songs and vocals, than image,” Knowles says. “We’re more concerned about community and survival than the health of our egos. We may be older and producing albums without a glory-filled track record, but we find that there are still those that enjoy our music for what it is.”

The duo has been making genre bending music that spans the spectrum of cosmic country, folk, bluegrass and Americana since they began performing as Mars, Arizona in the late 90s. The Farmacology Sessions, their second record as New American Farmers, is a little bit more folk/rock than previous outings, opening up new vocal and musical territory for the duo to explore. “There are more late 60s, early 70s influences,” Knowles says. “It stretches out more, takes some chances, and we had a blast doing it.”

Ben Glover — Atlantic

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Atlantic

versi sciolti da rima

A long thin scar stretches across water
binding with love two worlds of pain and faith
around a single mic and a bottle.

Atlantic to Delta the spirit flows
from emerald hills to fertile ground laden
with ghosts of past sins, a bright homecoming;

the dark songs more like prayers than dirges,
born of sleepy seasides dreaming of Cash
and of Dylan and the soil of the heart,

a union of those worlds that would become
one with the redemption of all lost souls
riding that long line: the scar that joins us.

Listen.



 

Atlantic, Ben Glover’s fourth album, will be released 1 September 2014 and features songs co-written with Mary Gauthier and Gretchen Peters.

Of the album, Glover says,

“There’s a spirit in the Mississippi Delta that reminds me a lot of Ireland. In both places you get a very strong sense of their history and tradition and you sense how the past has left its scars, both good and bad. These are two parts of the world that have been extremely fertile ground for inspiring phenomenal creativity — be it the blues from the Delta or the music, songs and poetry that have come out of  Ireland.”

 

Mary Gauthier – Trouble & Love

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Trouble & Love

go hand in hand
down the deep worn path of grief
a journey feared for its loneliness
traveled reluctantly yet turning
over and over like a smooth stone
or brittle brown leaf discovered
a season too late for knowing
all too well what we should have
known all along so long goodbye
waving a cigarette in the air
a cold stranger’s eyes that were
once a lover’s and now like
the memory of snow outside
a soul hotel where heartbreak
slumbers beneath blankets
of denial but will soon wake
to the sound of a train far off
and rise to claim the worthy day
to blaze yet again a new path
you need only
listen

 


 

Mary Gauthier’s website

Alt-country singer/songwriter Mary Gauthier exploded onto the scene in 1999 following her self-released sophomore effort, Drag Queens in Limousines. The album, which garnered her a Crossroads Silver Star and a four-star rating in Rolling Stone, had critics comparing her self-described “country noir” to the likes of Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, John Prine, and, not surprisingly, Lucinda Williams. The success of Drag Queens led to main-stage shows at festivals around the country and multiple tours in Europe. Love & Trouble is her eighth album, about which Mary Gauthier says “This album reflects a total human experience. Love, loss, and a life transformed. It’s not a random collection of songs. This record is a story. It’s about trust and faith and believing that there’s a plan and a flow. And the flow is where the good stuff is because there’s wisdom in the flow. At the core, we’re all cut from the same cloth– the same dreams, the same brokenness, the same desire for companionship and family and home. Yeah, we all have that. And if I don’t go deep enough into that, it’s a problem. There’s no such thing as going too deep.”

 

Down Home – Monrovia

DownHome-MonroviaCover

Monrovia

Colorado is as far from Nashville
As Nashville is from Monrovia.
The Ivory Coast is an embattled, ruthless place —
So is Music City, but in a first-world white way.
But aren’t we all the same? All brothers and sisters?
Look deep into my eyes and yours — you’ll see.

Mothers write letters to sons
Whether white or black — a mother’s love is blind.
Two stargazing rebels meet, write, sleep in trucks
And become lost at sea and find themselves beached
On a beautiful coast — sometimes a mess, sometimes brilliant.
The letters still come: Courage. Love. Son of mine they say.

A broken road is not the end of the world
But only the beginning of everything.
Oh my baby, the mother thinks, come on home,
But she does not write this to the son.
He will make it on a ship named Vagabond Blues
Following the siren songs of home. Listen.

 


Nashville-based Down Home debuted in January 2013 in the lounge at 12th & Porter. Down Home has built a following with shows at The Basement, Mercy Lounge and Bootlegger’s on Broadway, where they booked themselves under the pretense of being a bluegrass band.

Down Home website where you can buy stuff.
 


 


 

Andy Ferrell – I Was Born

IWasBorn

I Was Born

The little boy in shorts hugs the guitar,
a future Ishmael he is, a someday Sal Paradise
Boone-born of Blue Ridge near Doc, his hero.
He dreams of the road, of oncoming trains,
everything sounding like a song,
everyone saying “don’t chase such dreams.”
The boy reads, he listens, he dreams, he travels
in his mind.

As a man he seeks the clubs and coffeehouses
on the road to the other side of the world,
a poor boy waiting on the rain,
silver drops from above like spare change.
He lays it down in the saintly ancient city by the sea,
his fresh face tight, intent on the task,
Doc over his shoulder singing softly
the tradition he’s had since birth.

The young man keeps the old ways alive,
the old ways keep the young man alive.
Looking up from his work he says, truly, finally,
“I was born…”
for this, for everything, for Doc — he is in tune.
Can you hear the voice?
Listen.


Andy Ferrell grew up in the small Blue Ridge Mountain town of Boone, North Carolina, not far from the birthplace and home of bluegrass/country/folk music legend Doc Watson. I Was Born is Ferrell’s debut EP.

Andy Ferrell’s website

I Draw Slow – White Wave Chapel

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White Wave Chapel
Brother and sister tell dark tales of trouble, debauchery,
Songs that span oceans, rooted in emerald folklore
Older than mountains, from islands to Appalachia.
There is sanctuary here on the edge of the sea.
The waves speak.

On a hillside the ocean whispers far below, but roars
Out among the wind and waves, while here is peace
Like swans kept afloat on liquid silver.
Look! With brass and bone and glass you see beyond seeing.
The waves speak.

We witnessed in the White Wave Chapel
The scene that made you hide, we could not find you.
Across the sea, bright, deep, shattered, we could not
Go where you had gone. The wind, the waves, the land
All speak. Listen.

White Wave Chapel Redux*
(a found poem featuring the first line of each track)
First you’re in the boathouse — ride, ride ahead of me
Little tiger moth, I can’t imagine.
Leave me for the jeweller of your heart-cut diamond,
I wish I had an eyeglass.
Break in the clouds and the moon hanging still,
Springtime, you know what you gotta do.
Went to the dance looking for a dancer,
In the corner waiting on a girl.
(Everybody hears you singing at the bar:
“Don’t you cry my baby.”)
Hide where I’ll find you.

*All lyrics by Dave and Louise Holden

Formed in 2008, I Draw Slow is a Dublin (Ireland) five-piece, White Wave Chapel is their third full-length album:
Dave Holden – guitar
Louise Holden – vocals
Adrian Hart – violin
Colin Derham – banjo
Konrad Liddy – double bass

I Draw Slow website
I Draw Slow @ Pinecastle Records

Deborah Crooks – Little Bird

Deborah_Crooks_Little_Bird_

Little Bird

Four flights in nine years to India, she said,
A bird in a cage in the darkest corner.
(Is the unconscious mind, she meant.)
She found, at Jack Kerouac’s
School of Disembodied Poetics, the glass
Ceiling of faith and got turned on.
(To the power of songwriting, she meant.)

By the starry plough on High Street near the bay
Her other half, her bittersweet valentine, leaned
His body looking down the road, crying Love and Hope.
(Are ever on my mind, she thought.)
Don’t show me, let me find my way, he said.
(Maybe an earthquake shaking soul to roots, he meant.)
Could he hear the tiny faraway fluttering?

Listen, she said.

 


 

Little Bird is Deborah Crooks’ full-length follow-up to her 2010 EPs It’s All Up To You and Other Halves.

Buy Deborah Crooks’ music on CD Baby.

The Revelers – Swamp Pop Classics

TheRevelers

The Revelers’ Swamp

The Revelers in the black pot of night
Never grow too old to let the good times roll.
Their swamp of red stick and pine leaf roots
Becomes a blue country.

Who’s afraid of Virginia?
The wolf has no reservations,
For his swamp is a lonely room.
Listen.

Founding members of Red Stick Ramblers & The Pine Leaf Boys join as Louisiana supergroup:
The Revelers
New EP out July 15 – Swamp Pop Classics

The Players
Daniel Coolik – Fiddle, Guitar
Glenn Fields – Drum
Blake Miller – Accordion, Fiddle
Chas Justus – Guitar
Eric Frey – Bass, Vocal
Chris Miller – Saxophone