BARRY OLLMAN – What’ll It Be? (Self Released)

ollmanChances are you’ll never have heard of Barry Ollman. Not unless, that is, you happen to be a music collector. His father a Midwest correspondent for Billboard from 49-75, Ollman grew up immersed in music, not to mention gathering an impressive collection of autographs. This was the spark of what would see him become perhaps the definitive collector of Woody Guthrie, an obsession that has also encompassed the social movements of the time as well as Guthrie’s contemporaries, musical and otherwise. He’s also on the board of the Guthrie Foundation.
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ROSE’S PAWN SHOP set to release DANCING ON THE GALLOWS

Rose’s Pawn Shop dancing on the gallowsSinger-songwriter Paul Givant grew up on the disparate array of popular musical styles any late 20th century kid did. And in that mishmash of rock, punk, country, pop, rap, and all the rest, it was American Folk and Bluegrass music that rooted deepest, transforming him and his songs. Having played in various rock bands since early high school, in 2004 Paul decided it was time to take his growing batch of old style/new school folk songs, and build them into something greater, more ferocious. The songs were there, volatile, almost flammable, but if they were to attain their potential greatness, he was going to need help.

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SMITHSONIAN FOLKWAYS COMMEMORATES WOODY GUTHRIE CENTENNIAL WITH ‘WOODY AT 100’ BOOK with 3CD SET OUT JULY 10, 2012

INCLUDES 150-PAGE BOOK, 57 TRACKS, 21 PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED PERFORMANCES & 6 NEVER-BEFORE-HEARD ORIGINAL SONGS

In honor of the Woody Guthrie Centennial, a year-long celebration of Woody’s 100th birthday, Smithsonian Folkways presents an in-depth commemorative collection of songs, photos and essays on one of America’s most treasured 20th-century icons.

‘Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection’ is a 150-page large-format book containing three CDs with 57 tracks, including Woody’s most important recordings such as the complete version of “This Land Is Your Land,” “Pretty Boy Floyd,” “Pastures of Plenty,” “Hard Travelin’,” “Jesus Christ,” “I Ain’t Got No Home in This World Anymore,” and “Riding in My Car.”  Continue reading SMITHSONIAN FOLKWAYS COMMEMORATES WOODY GUTHRIE CENTENNIAL WITH ‘WOODY AT 100’ BOOK with 3CD SET OUT JULY 10, 2012

JEZ HELLARD & THE DJUKELLA ORCHESTRA – Blood & Honey

Djukella is a Balkan word meaning ‘mongrel’ and is usually applied as an insult. It is, however, an appropriate name for a multi-racial band with a musical philosophy that recognises no boundaries. Balkan, incidentally comes from two words meaning ‘blood’ and ‘honey’ so you can see where they are coming from.

The band’s debut album was recorded in eastern Europe, Canada and the UK and gives the impression of being done on a limited budget. That’s not a criticism, more a statement of admiration. Jez plays guitar and harmonica and shows off the latter with an as-live version of Rory Mcleod’s Continue reading JEZ HELLARD & THE DJUKELLA ORCHESTRA – Blood & Honey

Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Americana

I’ll just admit that when I read the track listing for “Americana,” the first CD by Neil Young and Crazy Horse in 9 years, I sighed.

Yes, I wanted to hear new music from Young but gees, do we really need another cover of American folk classics such as “Oh Susanna,” and “This Land is Your Land?” A few bars into the first track on the album, I would have answered with a heartfelt affirmative that only deepened as I heard more of these beautifully re-crafted songs.

Leave it to Neil Young to create such — let’s say elegant — rock versions of the folk classics many of us learned during elementary school sing a-longs — “This Land is Your Land,” “Tom Dula” and “Clementine.” Continue reading Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Americana

Walter Strauss PLANET SOLITAIRE

Artist – Walter Strauss
Title – PLANET SOLITAIRE
Label – Redstone Records

“Glorious playing!” Bob Harris BBC Radio 2 

“The man is class” fRoots magazine

2011 will see US guitarist and songwriter Walter Strauss releasing PLANET SOLITAIRE, a collection of ambitious solo recordings inspired by a diverse world of influences. There are multilayered instrumentals for the kora, a twenty-one stringed West African harp, rendered fluidly on the guitar, this shown perfectly on the track Djimbaseh. Continue reading Walter Strauss PLANET SOLITAIRE