Saturday, December 28, 2013

Best local albums of 2013?

With all due respect to the Boston Globe's learned music critics Martín Caballero, Jon Garelick, Luke O’Neil, Matt Parish, and James Reed, are their selections...


....really the

"Best local albums of 2013"? 

Read the article here.
I see pop, I see hip hop, I see rock, (did I say I see pop?), but to paraphrase Clara Pella, "where's the Celtic / bluegrass / singer-songwriter / folk / jazz / classical", or any other music forms that have large followings in the greater Boston area?


Misters Martín Caballero, Jon Garelick, Luke O’Neil, Matt Parish, and James Reed completely missed it, folks. Here, in no particular order, are several local and extremely worthy Celtic, bluegrass and stringband albums that were released to much national acclaim in 2013 .


NOTLOB'S LOCAL CELTIC ARTIST ALBUM RECOMMENDATIONS:


Fellswater - "Thursday Night"



These are shapeshifters of the first order and yet they are truly always Fellswater, unshakeable in their identity. And seldom has such depth on either side of the pond emerged in strictly instrumental work.
Thursday Night refers to Fellswater's weekly get togethers to produce this sound as natural as it is skilled, and wonderful to hear.
Art Ketchen, Celtic Beat magazine

Fellswater's latest release is full of tight tunes and lush melodies that are sure to get your toes tapping!
If not, you should check your pulse!
Tim Larkin, Celtic Stew, 89.3 WUMD

Celtic music fans rejoice for there is no sophomore slump here!
A march-strathspey-reel-hornpipe medley on the penultimate track has the band at peak operating capacity, featuring dead-on pipes-whistle-fiddle unison for “Devil in the Kitchen” and Ketudat’s flourishes behind Phelps and Sarah MacConduibh on “Heat from the Furnace,” building to a solid finish.
Sean Smith, Boston Irish Reporter
Joey Abarta "Swimming Against the Falls"
Joey Abarta has spent the last ten years of his life touring North America, Europe, and Asia, teaching and performing music on the uilleann pipes. A Los Angeles native, he first received instruction on the pipes from Dubliner Pat D’Arcy, a founding member of the Southern California Uilleann Pipers Club.
His musical skills were further honed on several visits to Ireland, a year-long stint working in Japan, and continuing relationships with master pipers. In August of 2009, Joey’s accomplished playing won him an All-Ireland championship, placing second worldwide at the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.
Currently based in Boston, Joey divides his attention between performance, teaching, and recording. In addition to performing solo, he tours with Mick Moloney and the group The Green Fields of America. While at home, he organizes the meetings of the Boston Pipers Club, teaches for Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann's Boston Music School, and organizes various traditional music concerts and events in the region.


A new CD featuring the music from this year's Christmas Revels at Sanders Theater, Cambridge.Our musical journey in "The Road to Compostela" meanders through Spain, with a significant dip into Catalonia, but primarily it explores Galicia, home of the shrine at Compostela. Here we encounter stirring procssionals and swirling dances played on the gaita galega, the indigenous Galician bagpipe. We are transported to the 13th century by a devotional song to the Virgin Mary and a longing plea for a lover to return from the sea. An a capella chorus raises a Renaissance motet high into the arches of the cathedral. A lively band, anchored by guitar and harp and animated by tambourine and castanets, pulls us into boisterous village festivities. The fresh sound of children's voices can be heard in Christmas lullabies and carols. The rugged and generous spirit of the Galician people comes to life through traditional Nativity songs and rituals. The Road to Compostela: A Galician Christmas RevelsA new CD featuring the music from this year's Christmas Revels at Sanders Theater, Cambridge.Our musical journey in "The Road to Compostela" meanders through Spain, with a significant dip into Catalonia, but primarily it explores Galicia, home of the shrine at Compostela. Here we encounter stirring procssionals and swirling dances played on the gaita galega, the indigenous Galician bagpipe. We are transported to the 13th century by a devotional song to the Virgin Mary and a longing plea for a lover to return from the sea. An a capella chorus raises a Renaissance motet high into the arches of the cathedral. A lively band, anchored by guitar and harp and animated by tambourine and castanets, pulls us into boisterous village festivities. The fresh sound of children's voices can be heard in Christmas lullabies and carols. The rugged and generous spirit of the Galician people comes to life through traditional Nativity songs and rituals. A new CD featuring the music from this year's Christmas Revels at Sanders Theater, Cambridge.Our musical journey in "The Road to Compostela" meanders through Spain, with a significant dip into Catalonia, but primarily it explores Galicia, home of the shrine at Compostela. Here we encounter stirring procssionals and swirling dances played on the gaita galega, the indigenous Galician bagpipe. We are transported to the 13th century by a devotional song to the Virgin Mary and a longing plea for a lover to return from the sea. An a capella chorus raises a Renaissance motet high into the arches of the cathedral. A lively band, anchored by guitar and harp and animated by tambourine and castanets, pulls us into boisterous village festivities. The fresh sound of children's voices can be heard in Christmas lullabies and carols. The rugged and generous spirit of the Galician people comes to life through traditional Nativity songs and rituals. Our musical journey in "The Road to Compostela" meanders through Spain, with a significant dip into Catalonia, but primarily it explores Galicia, home of the shrine at Compostela. Here we encounter stirring procssionals and swirling dances played on the gaita galega, the indigenous Galician bagpipe. We are transported to the 13th century by a devotional song to the Virgin Mary and a longing plea for a lover to return from the sea. An a capella chorus raises a Renaissance motet high into the arches of the cathedral. A lively band, anchored by guitar and harp and animated by tambourine and castanets, pulls us into boisterous village festivities. The fresh sound of children's voices can be heard in Christmas lullabies and carols. The rugged and generous spirit of the Galician people comes to life through traditional Nativity songs and rituals. 

NOTLOB'S LOCAL BLUEGRASS AND STRING BAND ARTIST RECOMMENDATIONS:

The Deadly Gentlemen - Roll Me, Tumble Me!
Rounder Records
Rounder Records Has Released Our New CD: Roll Me, Tumble Me! American Songwriter Hosts Music Video Premiere!
Posted on  by Doctor Liszt
BOSTON — Thanks to everyone who came out to our CD release shows in NYC and Boston! The crowds were really inspiring, and it was great to see so many of our talented and wonderful friends.

The big day has come at last: Roll Me, Tumble Me is out on Rounder Records! You can find it at all the big retail outlets.
Our new music video for “Bored Of the Raging” has premiered on American Songwriter. Watch it in all its anarchic glory!You can also find it on YouTube.
Rounder is also offering a free song download of “Bored Of the Raging” for a limited time!








Della Mae - This World Oft Can Be
Rounder Records

On May 28, Boston-based quintet Della Mae will release their debut for Rounder, This World Oft Can Be.  The album, which was produced by Bryan Sutton and mixed by Paul Q. Kolderie (Radiohead, Hole, Dinosaur Jr.)  shows that like the Avett Brothers, Lumineers, and Punch Brothers, these five multitalented young women are respectful of American musical tradition, but not restricted by it, combining centuries’ worth of musical influences with an emotionally tough, undeniably modern songwriting sensibility.This World Oft Can Be’s 12 songs—including such engaging originals as “Empire,” “Paper Prince” “Maybeline” and the feisty title track—showcase the fivesome’s world-class instrumental abilities, lilting harmonies and subtly commanding lead vocals.  Although the musicians’ sublime skills have already won them numerous individual honors, the album’s focus is squarely on the band’s emotionally potent songs and spirited, effortlessly expressive performances.“The identity that we’ve developed as a band is a melting pot of our different personalities and backgrounds,” asserts founder Kimber Ludiker. After having the idea at a summer festival, Kimber hand picked musicians from all over the country: singer Celia Woodsmith comes from a blues/rock background, guitarist Courtney Hartman studied at Berklee College of Music, bassist Shelby Means played with various bands in Nashville, and mandolin player Jenni Lyn Gardner was schooled in traditional bluegrass. Della Mae’s members hail from all over the United States, and the five women each bring impressive musical resumes amassed in their previous ventures.Della Mae recorded This World Oft Can Be at Cash Cabin Studio, Johnny Cash’s former recording base, in Hendersonville, Tennessee. In addition to absorbing the studio’s inspirational vibes, Courtney Hartman played June Carter Cash’s vintage 1933 Gibson L5 Round Hole guitar on “Some Roads Lead On,” while Ludiker had the honor of borrowing John Hartford’s custom carved fiddle on “Letter From Down The Road.”In addition to playing festivals and clubs throughout the United States, Della Mae recently expanded the scale of its touring efforts after participating in the U.S. State Department’s American Music Abroad program.  Selected as cultural ambassadors, the band spent 43 days traveling in Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, where they collaborated with local musicians, taught educational programs for children, and played concerts for local audiences.“It’s been a life-changing experience for us, individually and as a band,” Ludiker says of the tour. “A cool thing about playing music in Central Asian countries is in the lack of distinction their audience places between musical genres.  We found that if music is played with feeling, all people connected to it. They find themselves smiling and relating without even understanding the language.”Indeed, Della Mae demonstrates how effectively music builds bridges and transcends artificially constructed borders, whether they’re national or genre-based.



Sarah Jarosz - Build Me Up From Bones
Sugar Hill Records

A recent graduate from the prestigious New England Conservatory, she will release her third album, Build Me Up From Bones, for Sugar Hill Records on September 24th. Over the past four years, Jarosz, who musically fits comfortably where contemporary folk, Americana and roots music intersect, has covered a remarkable amount of ground thus far. She has toured the United States extensively, as well as Canada and the UK, taped Austin City Limits and the BBC Series The Transatlantic Sessions and appeared on A Prairie Home Companion. Her two previous records (Song Up In Her Headand Follow Me Down) received high praise from outlets includingRolling Stone, New York Times, USA Today, Paste, Mojo, Acoustic Guitar and American Songwriter, and she has received multiple Grammy and Americana Music Association nominations.

Aoife O'Donovan - Fossils
Yeproc Records

Long the face of Boston-based alt-bluegrass outfit Crooked Still, Aoife O'Donovan – also a member of female folk trio Sometymes Why – is finally striking out on her own. The tender-voiced 30-year-old, who in recent years has collaborated with members of the Punch Brothers and world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and has written songs for Alison Krauss, will issue her long-awaited solo debut Fossils June 11th. Recorded over three weeks in Portland with producer Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Neko Case), Fossils is a must-listen blend of bluegrass, folk and back-porch Americana, highlighted by the wistful "Red & White & Blue & Gold."

Rolling Stone

These albums certainly are on Scott Alarik's radar! We miss you, Scott!

By the way Mr. Martín Caballero, Jon Garelick, Luke O’Neil, Matt Parish, and James Reed, the last three albums have been nominated for GRAMMIES® 

3 comments:

Bob Sprague said...

Thanks, Jeff, for pointing out this serious omission in Globe music coverage for 2013. Whatever happened to Scott Alarik? The Globe *used to* report about the folk, etc., scene.

Bob Sprague

Bob Sprague said...

Thanks, Jeff, for pointing out this serious omission in Globe music coverage for 2013. Whatever happened to Scott Alarik? The Globe *used to* report about the folk, etc., scene.

Bob Sprague

notloB said...

Scott was let go from the Boston Globe in 2008 or 2009, about the same time WUMB went pop AAA and the new board of directors came into power at Club Passim, cleaning house/terminating Betsy Siggins, Millie Rahm and Tim Mason.
A triple loss for the Boston-area folk community.

"Scott Alarik covered folk music in the Boston Globe for over 20 years. Pete Seeger calls him "one of the best writers in America" and the Library Journal called his first book, Deep Community: Adventures in the Modern Folk Underground, "an essential primer of the continuing folk revival." Alarik is also a singer-songwriter who toured the national folk circuit and performed regularly on A Prairie Home Companion."
http://scottalarik.com/