Bruce Guthro (*31 August 1961, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada). Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Guthro started out performing and recording as a solo artist. In 1998, Scottish folk rock band Runrig began searching for a new frontman, as lead singer Donnie Munro left to stand for a seat in the House of Commons for the Labour Party, and eventually selected Bruce Guthro. Runrig continued until August 2018 when they performed their final show beneath the ramparts of Stirling Castle attended by an estimated 52,000 fans.
Seán Keane (*24 August 1961, Caherlistrane, County Galway, Ireland). Irish singer Seán Keane was born into a musical family, including his renowned sister Dolores (of De Dannan fame). Together with Frances Black and others, Seán Keane was a founder member of the group Arcady. Renowned for his distinctive sean-nós-style voice, he was twice voted Performer of the Year by readers of the Irish Music Magazine in the late 1990s. His repertoire encompasses a mixture of traditional Irish, folk, pop, blues and country music.
Eric Bibb (*16 August 1951, New York, USA). Eric Charles Bibb's father, Leon, was a musical theatre singer, who made a name for himself as part of the 1960s New York folk scene; Eric's uncle was the jazz pianist John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet. Family friends included Pete Seeger, and actor/singer/activist Paul Robeson, Bibb's godfather. When he was 16 years old, his father invited him to play guitar in the house band for his TV talent show Someone New. Aged 19, he left for Paris, and subsequently moved to Stockholm, where he immersed himself in pre-war blues and the newly discovered world music scene. He has been nominated for several Blues Music Awards. He won the award for Acoustic Artist of the Year in 2012 and 2013. In 2017 he won the award for Acoustic Album of the Year for The Happiest Man in the World.
In 2021, Eric Bibb signed to Provogue Records. Three singles from his upcoming album Dear America followed: "Whole World's Got The Blues" featuring blues rock guitarist Eric Gales, "Born Of A Woman" with singer Shaneeka Simon, and "Emmett's Ghost" featuring jazz bassist Ron Carter inspired by the lynching of Emmett Till to coincide with what would have been Till's 80th birthday on July 25.
David Crosby (*14 August 1941, Los Angeles, California, USA). Singer-songwriter David Van Cortlandt Crosby joined the Byrds in 1964. Bob Dylan gave the band their first number one hit in 1965 with "Mr. Tambourine Man". Crosby appeared on the Byrds' first five albums. In 1967 he joined Buffalo Springfield on stage at the Monterey Pop Festival, which contributed to his dismissal from the Byrds. He subsequently formed Crosby, Stills & Nash with Stephen Stills (of Buffalo Springfield) and Graham Nash (of the Hollies). After the release of their debut album CSN won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist of 1969. Neil Young joined the group for live appearances, their second concert being Woodstock, before recording their sophomore album "Déjà Vu." The core trio of CSN remained active until 2016 with CSNY reunions taking place in each decade.
Crosby has released six solo albums, additionally he formed a jazz influenced trio with his son James Raymond and guitarist Jeff Pevar.
Crosby is outspoken politically and has been depicted as emblematic of the 1960s' counterculture.
Phil Leadbetter (1962-2021).
»The entire family at Mountain Home Music mourns the loss of our friend and colleague, Phil Leadbetter, and extends our deepest condolences to Lisa Leadbetter,
Matt Leadbetter and the rest of the family.
“Dad has been so happy being part of the Mountain Home family,” Matt told us shortly before his father passed away, and we were equally happy that he had reached
out to partner with us, beginning with the release of Masters of Slide: The Spider Sessions, the collection he curated and appeared on. Like him, we were eager to
begin work on other projects that would contribute to his enduring catalog of recordings.
Phil made his mark on bluegrass not only as a distinctive and creative resonator guitar stylist, but as an enthusiastic, joyful presence whenever he was called upon
to participate and wherever his love for the music took him. He will be remembered not only as a great musician, but as an inspiration to many and a great friend to
all. Phil Leadbetter, rest in peace.«
— Mountain Home Music Company
Steve Gulley (1962-2021).
»Among all of this year’s IBMA awards nominations, there’s one that stands out as especially meaningful to the Mountain Home Music Company family — not only for the musical merit that it has in common with all of the nominees, but also because it offers an opportunity to give special recognition to one of our community’s leading lights, lost to cancer last summer.
Steve Gulley, who passed away just months after completing Album of the Year nominee Still Here with long-time musical partner and friend Tim Stafford, was widely respected and admired as an immensely talented singer and songwriter — but he was also known in every corner of the bluegrass world for generous heart, ready warmth and abiding faith. Of Steve, it could truly be said that he was a friend to everyone in the community; his absence is still felt on a daily basis, and not only by those to whom he was closest.«
— Mountain Home Music Company
Courtney Granger (1982-2021).
»Sad news that acclaimed Cajun artist Courtney Granger has passed away at 39 years old September 18 of complications from a lifelong battle with
diabetes. Fiddler, singer, and songwriter Courtney Granger, was heir to the Balfa family tradition of Cajun music. He grew up around the music and idolized his great-uncle Dewey
Balfa, who led the 1960s Cajun music revival following his breakout performance at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival. At the tender age of 16, Granger cut his first album
with Rounder Records, produced by Dirk Powell. Un Bal Chez Balfa announced a powerfully talented fiddler and a Cajun singer able to nail the high lonesome vocals of
Cajun dancehall songs with an eerie ability. He later joined legacy band Balfa Toujours on bass, before joining The Pine Leaf Boys in 2008, replacing Creole fiddler
Cedric Watson. He went on to tour the world with The Pine Leaf Boys, playing fiddle and singing with them for the next 13 years, even as his health began to fade from
a lifelong battle with diabetes. He garnered multiple GRAMMY nominations with them and represented his country in US State Department tours of the Middle East and Europe.
In 2016, Granger released only his second solo album, Beneath Still Waters, surprising his Cajun folk music fans with a brilliant album of country covers of his idols
George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Keith Whitely, and more. Though Granger started playing Cajun music professionally at a young age, his first love was old country music
played on the jukeboxes of the bars before his family members set up for the evening dance. Speaking at Pickathon in 2017, Granger reminisced, “I remember crying to
George Jones at 8 years old, and didn’t know what I was crying for.” Rolling Stone Magazine said his album was “an old-timey playlist for a barroom-medicated heartbreak.”«
— Hearth Music
Charlie Watts (1941-2021).
»A rock ‘n’ roll legend has left us (Aug. 24), as longtime Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has died of undisclosed causes. He was 80 years old.
“It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts,” says Watts’ spokesperson in a statement. “He passed away peacefully in a London hospital
earlier today surrounded by his family. Charlie was a cherished husband, father and grandfather, and also, as a member of The Rolling Stones, one of the greatest drummers of his generation.”
Born Charles Robert Watts in Wembley, north London, on June 2, 1941, Watts showed a talent for art, cricket and football from an early age, as well as a love of jazz.
He cited saxophonist Gerry Mulligan’s Walking Shoes, featuring Chico Hamilton on drums, as the album that inspired him to become a drummer.
Watts joined The Rolling Stones in 1963, shortly after their founding, and is the band’s only member aside from Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to have played on all 26 of
The Stones’ studio albums. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Stones in 1989, and voted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2006, Watts is widely regarded as one of
the best (rock) drummers of all time.«
— Paste Magazine
»What a piece of writing this is about Charlie Watts technique…
… I found it in the readers' comments under The Guardian news report announcing his death. It was written under the nom de plume of StatesideAussie. I salute the writer…
and his piece below gives me an irresistible urge to go watch again Damien Chazelle's 2014 masterpiece, Whiplash… one of the three best films I have seen this century.«
— David "Dai" Woosnam
»Tragic, absolutely tragic. Joan Jett's comment, that Charlie "played exactly what was needed, no more, no less", is bang on. Charlie was never one for the fancy stuff. There are entire songs with nary a fill-in. Ask him to play in weird time signatures, or do a single-stroke roll with one hand while playing triplets on the bass drum and eating sushi with his spare hand, and I'm sure he would have floundered. Or walked away in disgust. As a drummer, he could make a statement by leaving notes out, rather than stuffing them in. And yet he was the ultimate stylist, using the most simple ideas to tremendous effect. His hi-hat style was highly unusual, in that he omitted the note which coincides with the up-beat on the snare drum. It seems an unremarkable thing. Yet some years ago a read a quote from Don Was, who often played with the Stones as bass guitarist (following Bill Wyman's departure). I have lost the original words, but he said that when he started playing with the Stones, he realised that Charlie didn't take his cues from the bass part (which is usually how it works). It took him some time to realise that Charlie instead took his cues from the vocal part -- from Jagger. He also used an interesting analogy to describe Charlie's timing. It went something like this: imagine you're standing on one side of a room with a marble in your hand. On the other side of the room, there's a fruit bowl on a table. Where you're standing represents the first beat of the bar (the down beat). The fruit bowl represents the next up-beat. Your objective is to pitch the marble into the bowl. If the marble lands anywhere inside, you're "in time", but there are always the tiniest variations. Most drummers aim for the middle of the bowl, but not Charlie: sometimes he would land the marble at the front (playing slightly ahead of the beat), or at the back (slightly behind), or anywhere he pleased, and he used these variations to vary the feel of the groove. It was also, quite possibly, something that added significance to his hi-hat technique, because by not playing the up-beat on the hi-hat, he left more freedom for the snare drum to "float" around the groove. Ordinarily, the hi-hat is played with a straight repeating pattern in line with the basic time signature, so that in 4/4 time, it is a series of eight evenly spaced notes, and the snare hits on the third and seventh of those notes (representing the up-beats). Since, in this example, the hi-hat rhythm needs to be evenly spaced, and the snare and hi-hat notes need to coincide (it would sound odd if they didn't), the result is a very "straight" beat. That is what Charlie referring to when he says: The challenge with rock ’n’ roll is the regularity of it. My thing is to make it a dance sound – it should swing and bounce. But, by not playing the hi-hat at all on those third and seventh notes, Charlie could take advantage of the entire width of the "fruit bowl": he could vary the timing of the snare hits, and it was this that provided the swing and bounce he referred to. Another contributing technique involved his bass drum: while most drummers use the bass drum to play a repeating pattern drawn from the bass guitar part, Charlie was no slave to this. Listen closely to many of his songs and you'll hear the bass drum part almost constantly changing, sometimes reinforcing the bass riff, sometimes playing around it, sometimes punching holes right through it. His timing, particularly on slower tracks, where there is, in musical terms, an eternity of "space" between the down-beats and up-beats, was truly extraordinary. And always, always, he was sensitive to the needs of each song. Yes, he was a minimalist drummer -- but listen to the title track of Some Girls and he's almost in overdrive, constantly filling in throughout. Why? The song needed it. Another of Charlie's famous techniques was "turning the beat around": this is where he starts off playing the up-beat in one place, before suddenly switching the down-beat and up-beats around. It's hard to describe. But you can hear it loud and clear on the tracks like Little Queenie (from Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out) and Start Me Up: the former begins with a long passage that gradually builds, and the turnaround occurs at the end of that, when the vocals come on. On Start Me Up, it occurs right at the beginning. If I had to nominate just one track that sums up Charlie as a drummer, it would be Sister Morphine from Sticky Fingers. Listen to the way he brings the drums in. Feel the groove he lays down, to the "swing and bounce" he creates. Now tell me you can resist the urge to sway along. I've been listening to Charlie for 50 years, give or take. For a long time, I had no idea of what he was doing. In a world of drummers crashing and banging, he was too subtle. But Charlie used subtlety as a means of enhancing the power of the beat: as if he knew that nothing stands out like a whisper. God bless, Charlie.«
Don Everly (1937-2021).
»The Everlys made a huge impact on all of us singers. Their harmonies were impeccable. They had a huge impact on rock and roll’s early days. Their records are still classic examples of the art of choosing perfect songs that highlighted their talent. Don now joins Phil in rock and roll heaven. Rest in peace, pioneer!«
— T. Graham Brown
»I truly loved their harmony singing. Older brother Don would always stand to the left of Phil, and he would usually let Phil take the tenor part, and himself the baritone. But not always… as here in this clip… they may be standing in their usual positions, but it is Don singing tenor here…
If I had to choose one song of theirs as their high-water mark, it would be them singing this: the English language version of Gilbert Becaud's (co-written) Je t’Appartiens.
This makes me marvel every time I see it… and that genuine "brotherly love" look in Phil's eyes (as he smiles at 2.28) puts a lump in my throat every time, when I consider how much they often hated one another.
This version (an encore, to close their Reunion Concert at The Royal Albert Hall in 1997), is methinks, as close to absolute musical and emotional perfection, as it comes.«
— David "Dai" Woosnam
Tom T. Hall (1936-2021).
»Tom T. Hall loved honest, open smiles, kisses from a child, tomatoes on the vine, and onions. He was the quintessential artist who painted life's portrait with an economy of words, a storyteller with a philosopher's wisdom, and a poet with the common man's heart. I remember one glorious day at Fox Hollow with Tom and Miss Dixie--sitting around their kitchen table sharing stories--hoping that in some crazy way I would absorb even an ounce of his genius. He pulled out an old guitar that day and began to sing "The Homecoming." I was spellbound as he wove his tale of a country music singer standing on his father's doorstep after years on the road. There's a sadness at the finality of Tom's road days coming to an abrupt end, but peace in the fact that he is home for good now still loving winners when they cry, loser's when they try, music when it's good, and life.«
— Tim Atwood
»Back in 1978 when we sang at Mama Maybelle Carter’s funeral a saddened and shaken Johnny Cash walked up to the podium and asked Tom T. Hall to stand with him… Johnny said, “I draw strength from you, Tom!” Thank you Tom T. Hall for the songs and the strength you provided to so many … Rest Easy now and draw strength from the loving arms of Jesus… until the day.«
— Joe Bonsall, The Oak Ridge Boys
Nanci Griffith (1953-2021).
»Singer-songwriter Nanci Griffith died today (Aug. 13) at the age of 68, according to her label Gold Mountain Entertainment. Born in Seguin, Texas, in 1953, the folk songwriter and performer grew up in Austin before releasing her 1978 debut There’s a Light Beyond These Woods and eventually spending time in Nashville.
Her music career included winning a Grammy in 1994 for her ninth album Other Voices, Other Rooms, providing a breakthrough hit for Kathy Mattea in 1986 with the single “Love at the Five and Dime,” getting honored with a Lifetime Achievement Trailblazer Award from the Americana Music Association, and releasing 18 studio albums. Her final release was Intersection in 2012, which Paste’s Holly Gleason called “a more aggressive, full-frontal reckoning from the woman who was once the sugary-voiced sweetheart of Lone Star coffeehouses.”
Griffith was also an outspoken activist and philanthropist, traveling to Vietnam and Laos with the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation before dedicating her 2004 album Hearts in Mind to “the memory of every soldier and every civilian lost to the horrors of war.” She was affiliated with the international non-profit Mines Advisory Group, and never shied from speaking up about the injustices she saw in the world, from racism to economic hardship, both in her songs and her life.
“Nanci Griffith was a master songwriter who took every opportunity to champion kindred spirits, including Vince Bell, Elizabeth Cook, Iris DeMent, Julie Gold, Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett, Eric Taylor and Townes Van Zandt,” said Kyle Young, CEO, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. “Her voice was a clarion call, at once gentle and insistent. Her brilliant album The Last of the True Believers is a template for what is now called Americana music, and her Grammy-winning Other Voices, Other Rooms is a compelling guide to 20th-century folk songs. Nanci offered gifts that no one else could give.”«
— Paste Magazine
»I recall being at the 1986 Cambridge Folk Festival and seeing a particularly impressive set from the then 33 year old Nanci Griffith. She has just died at the relatively young age of 68.
Although she wrote a host of decent songs, it was as a performer her real talent lay. She was a very capable guitar player who was blessed with the sweetest voice and smile… and a sublimely relaxed way of talking to her audience… her spoken introduction to her songs were nonpareil.
Here she is in 1998, singing Sandy Denny's best song… and doing nearly as good a job as the late Sandy… and she is here blest with a stellar bunch of backing musicians and singers…!!
Amazing to think that Alexandra Elene MacLean Denny was only 20 years of age when she wrote such a profound song: a song which you'd have thought written by someone three times her age…
And here is Nanci with a sweet version of another song about time passing: this a tribute to its writer, that great soul Kate Wolf … someone whose life was cut short by leukaemia in her mid forties.«
— David "Dai" Woosnam
»Nanci was a lovely person. I worked with her on a TV special we did for PBS TV and on that show, we sang two duets. They were "And I Love You So" and "Raining in My Heart". I never heard anyone sing harmony in a more beautiful way. We should have done an album together. At this taping in Austin, Texas she brought her father to see it. I really loved her spirit it was warm and loving and I'm really sorry to hear she has gone.«
— Don McLean
The Texas Heritage Songwriters’ Association is pleased to announce its 2022 Hall of Fame class of inductee, Nanci Griffith:
»Born in Seguin and raised in Austin, Nanci Griffith is a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, winning Best Contemporary Folk Album for Other Voices, Other Rooms.
With over twenty albums released, some of her greatest hits include Kathy Mattea’s cover of "Love at the Five and Dime" and Suzy Bogguss’s hit with "Outbound Plane.”
Griffith was awarded the Kate Wolf Memorial Award by the World Folk Music Association in 1995, and in 2008 the Americana Music Association awarded her its Lifetime Achievement
IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award: Prucha Banjos
IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards Reveal Nominees, Hall of Fame Inductees Nominees for the 32nd Annual IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards presented by Yamaha were announced today, with Balsam Range, Billy Strings, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Del McCoury Band, and The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys landing in the top category of Entertainer of the Year. Alison Krauss, Lynn Morris, and the Stoneman Family will be inducted into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame during the show as well.
Five people who have made significant contributions to bluegrass music were named as recipients of the IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award: industry leader Nancy Cardwell Webster, broadcaster Lee Michael Demsey, Czech luthier/performer Jaroslav Prucha, musician/performer Cliff Waldron, and Boston Bluegrass Union’s Stan Zdonik.
Behind the creation of PRUCHA BLUEGRASS INSTRUMENTS is Jaroslav Prucha. His obsession with bluegrass music began when he was still a small child on a boy scout camping trip in the woods. At the time, the Czechoslovakian government had banned all country and bluegrass music which was believed to be a symbol of Western culture that dealt with such dangerous topics as freedom, love and patriotism. It was seen as a type of subversive force which might have the power to bring people together. The five string banjo was the driving force of that music and was new and exotic to Czechoslovakians. Jaroslav heard banjo the first time on this camping trip. A band of traveling musicians joined the boy scouts around the fire where one of them played his four-string tenor banjo. Those first sounds instantly found a home in Jaroslav‘s heart and his life was changed forever.He felt driven to learn to play, but there were no banjos to be found in Czechoslovakia in those days.
Instead og giving up, Jaroslav decided to make one for himself. So in 1974, with no blueprints, no experience, and only a few photographe to help, his first five-string banjo was completed. Later, Jaroslav attended a concert of the "revolutionary" Czech bluegrass band The Greenhorns. There he saw another incredible sight - fingerpicks - which were also inaccessible! When he arrived home, he took an old tin can and cut the shape of the fingepicks out. They seemed perfect in every way. After his first banjo was sold, his enthusiasm was so high thad he decided to make another, trying for a better look and sound. Thirty years later, he can see the culmination of his life's work in every instrument that leaves his workshop. He bought back that first banjo and still has it to remind him of how the story all began.
PRUCHA BLUEGRASS INSTRUMENTS is the premier manufacturer of banjos and mandolins in the Czech Republic.
PRUCHA BLUEGRASS INSTRUMENTS is the only company to completely produce all the parts of their hardware for the banjo in its own workshop.
PRUCHA BLUEGRASS INSTRUMENTS are endorsed by professional player in the Czech Republic as well as in US and other countries around the world:
Alison Brown, Gina Furtado, Lluis Gomez, ...
Medal of Honor for Lisardo Lombardía
Lisardo Lombardía Yenes received the Medal of Honor "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres" from the French Government (one of the four major orders of the French Republic) during a ceremony at the Salon d’honneur of Lorient's town hall, October 15th, 2021. He received this distinction from the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, former Mayor of the City of Lorient and former President of the Region of Brittany (from 2004-2007) as well as former Minister of Defense. Among the award's recipients of Spanish Nationality are the singer Luz Casal, the movie director Pedro Almodóvar, the galerist Juana d’Aizpuru as well as the writer and politician Jorge Semprún. Lisard Lombardía is the first Asturian to receive this distinction.
Lisard Lombardía Yenes was born on February 10, 1955 in the Asturian town of Llaviana. He was the director of the Festival Interceltique de Lorient between 2007-2021 and member of Brittany’s Conseil Culturel until 2020. He earned his medical degree at the University of Oviedo and was President of the University of Oviedo’s Choir during its artistically most renowned years. He was the Founder of the Asturian Press Club of the Journal La Nueva España and his Director for 18 years. He actually presides the Belenos Foundation (since 1983).
The distinction is granted by decree in order to « reward the persons who have distinguished themselves by their creations in the domains of culture and communication or made a significant contribution to the arts and literature in France and elsewhere in the world ». Lisard Lombardía Yenes is awarded for his outstanding work in the domains of international Interceltism and Breton culture as well as for his life's engagement for the construction of Asturian and Celtic culture in dialogue with the world.
Don McLean’s American Pie Celebrates 50th Anniversary
Don McLean’s 1971 masterpiece American Pie was released 50 years ago on October 24, 1971. Both the song “American Pie” went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent 4 weeks at #1 in the first two months of 1972. The album also went to #1 for 3 consecutive weeks in January 1972. His many accolades include induction into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, his song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and artists of all genres and generations have covered his songs including Madonna, Fred Astaire, Chet Atkins, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Elvis Presley, Josh Groban, and Perry Como. He recently received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, CA, and "American Pie" was featured in 2021's Black Widow and FINCH. “I can’t believe it’s 50 years to the day when 'American Pie' was released. They say time flies when you’re having fun and I guess that’s right. I’ve had a fabulous life in music and the arts and got to see the world all because of that wonderful album and the many that followed. All because of my loyal fan base throughout the world. All because of the many friends I have and the help they have given me,” remarks Don McLean.
Now, in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of American Pie, UMe has created an official lyric video with Don McLean. The lyrics are sourced from what Don considers the gospel, the original 1971 sheet music for the song down to the correct abbreviations and punctuation. “This video is the first step in a promotion program by my label to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the album and single American Pie. This promises to be a lot of fun and I look forward to everything they have planned. Thank you UM,” adds McLean.
Now, 50 years later, the song "American Pie" has been re-recorded with McLean and vocal group Home Free. “Recording American Pie with Home Free was something that I never imagined I would have done,” says Don McLean. “My manager brought me the idea and I was like ok, but I have never collaborated with anyone before and why would I do this. Then I heard their vocal harmonies and it reminded me of The Jordanaires and then found out they don’t sing at all with instruments. What happened in the studio was great, but what happened when they put it all together was magic! I am honored to have worked with these guys and to win, not just one, but three national Telly awards for the music video is just great!!!” The collaboration’s music video won a Gold Telly in the Best Use of Animation category, a Silver Telly in the Music Video of the Year category, and Silver Telly in the Best Remote Production category.
Don McLean received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6314 Hollywood Boulevard in front of The Pie Hole restaurant (corner of Hollywood and Vine). “This is a very special day for me, awards are given every year on those television programs, and every year a new person is named a favorite, however, this award is forever,” says McLean. “This is an honor I get to share with friends, fans, and whoever walks down Hollywood Boulevard.” Joining in the festivities were Don’s longtime friend "Weird Al" Yankovic, who is a fellow Hollywood Walk of Fame recipient. Yankovic released a parody “The Saga Begins,” that was set to the tune of “American Pie,” which recounted the plot of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, from Obi-Wan Kenobi’s point of view. The song was included on Yankovic's tenth album, Running With Scissors (1999), and went platinum, selling more than one million copies.
“American Pie” makes its way into the new AppleTV+ sci-fi movie Finch starring Tony and Golden Globe Award winner Tom Hanks. Hanks plays “Finch Weinberg,” a robotics engineer who builds an AI sidekick to take care of his companion canine after he’s gone. Finch’s relatable and vulnerable side is revealed as he sings “American Pie” to himself when he is lonely and while making his way through a dust storm that might lead to his death. The song holds a tight grip on viewers as an emotionally commanding theme song heard at both the beginning and end of the film.
“Hollywood has been very good to me this year! I recently received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and now the great music supervisors, based in Hollywood, have chosen my song American Pie to be in this movie,” says award-winning singer-songwriter Don McLean. “American Pie is one of those timeless classics that has so many meanings. I just love how multiple generations of music lovers are learning about the song.”
32nd Annual IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards
Billy Strings received the coveted “Entertainer of the Year” Award at the 32nd Annual IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards presented by Yamaha. The Awards show, hosted by the Infamous Stringdusters. was held September 30 at Raleigh, NC’s Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Previously announced inductees into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame – one of the most acclaimed artists in the history of bluegrass, Alison Krauss, trailblazing bandleader/banjoist Lynn Morris, and early bluegrass influencers the Stoneman Family – were honored during the show.
The recipients of the 2021 IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards: ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR: Billy Strings VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR: Sister Sadie INSTRUMENTAL GROUP OF THE YEAR: Appalachian Road Show SONG OF THE YEAR: “Richest Man” – Balsam Range ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Industrial Strength Bluegrass: Southwestern Ohio’s Musical Legacy GOSPEL RECORDING OF THE YEAR (Tie): “After While” – Dale Ann Bradley “In the Resurrection Morning” – Sacred Reunion featuring Doyle Lawson, Vince Gill, Barry Abernathy, Tim Stafford, Mark Wheeler, Jim VanCleve, Phil Leadbetter, Jason Moore INSTRUMENTAL RECORDING OF THE YEAR: “Ground Speed" – Kristin Scott Benson, Skip Cherryholmes, Jeremy Garrett, Kevin Kehrberg, Darren Nicholson (artists) NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Appalachian Road Show COLLABORATIVE RECORDING OF THE YEAR: “White Line Fever” – Bobby Osborne with Tim O’Brien, Trey Hensley, Sierra Hull, Stuart Duncan, Todd Phillips, Alison Brown FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR: Dale Ann Bradley MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR (Tie): Danny Paisley Del McCoury BANJO PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Scott Vestal BASS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Missy Raines RESOPHONIC GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Justin Moses FIDDLE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Bronwyn Keith-Hynes GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Billy Strings MANDOLIN PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Sierra Hull
IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the non-profit music association that connects, educates, and empowers bluegrass professionals and enthusiasts, honoring tradition and encouraging innovation in the bluegrass community worldwide.
Transglobal World Music Chart Best of 2020-2021 Season
TWMC Best Albums and Labels of the Season are the result of the sum of the panelists' votes in the period between September of the previous year and August of the current year. In addition to the list of the 100 best albums, as well as the best albums by regions of the world, this year we also launch the list of the best labels. Enjoy!
BEST ALBUM: Ballaké Sissoko · Djourou · Nø Førmat! BEST LABEL: Buda Musique BEST OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: Ballaké Sissoko · Djourou · Nø Førmat! BEST OF NORTH AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST: Antonis Antoniou · Kkismettin · Ajabu! BEST OF EUROPE: Kapela ze Wsi Warszawa / Warsaw Village Band · Uwodzenie / Waterduction · Karrot Kommando BEST OF NORTH & CENTRAL AMERICA: Omar Sosa · An East African Journey · Otá BEST TRANSREGIONAL ALBUM: Mulatu Astatke & Black Jesus Experience · To Know Without Knowing · Agogo BEST OF ASIA (CENTRAL & EAST) & PACIFIC: Khusugtun · Jangar · Buda Musique BEST COMPILATION: V.A. · Zanzibara 10: First Modern, Taarab Vibes from Mombasa & Tanga, 1970-1990 · Buda Musique BEST OF SOUTH AMERICA: Mateus Aleluia · Olorum · Sesc
TWMC 2020-2021 SEASON BEST ALBUMS: 1. Ballaké Sissoko · Djourou · Nø Førmat! 2. Afel Bocoum · Lindé · World Circuit 3. Antonis Antoniou · Kkismettin · Ajabu! 4. Kapela ze Wsi Warszawa / Warsaw Village Band · Uwodzenie / Waterduction · Karrot Kommando 5. Omar Sosa · An East African Journey · Otá 6. Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (CGS) · Meridiana · Ponderosa Music 7. Mahsa Vahdat · Enlighten the Night · Kirkelig Kulturverksted 8. Mulatu Astatke & Black Jesus Experience · To Know Without Knowing · Agogo 9. Jupiter & Okwess · Na Kozonga · Zamora Label 10. Ammar 808 · Global Control / Invisible Invasion · Glitterbeat ...
TWMC 2020-2021 SEASON BEST 10 LABELS: 1. Buda Musique 2. Glitterbeat Records 3. ARC Music 4. Nø Førmat! 5. World Circuit Records 6. Kirkelig Kulturverksted 7. World Music Network 8. Ajabu! 9. Six Degrees Records 10. Karrot Kommando
The first inductees into the Transglobal World Music Hall of Fame have been:
ARTIST: Caetano Veloso Susana Baca Fatoumata Diawara Janusz Prusinowski Ry Cooder
The Artists category honors solo and ensemble living artists who have achieved lifelong artistic and technical quality or historical significance in the field of world music.
INDUSTRY AND MEDIA EXCELLENCE: Birgit Ellinghaus WOMAD/Real World/Peter Gabriel WOMEX
Industry and Media Excellence celebrates influential music industry and media individuals and organizations who have provided increased visibility and recognition to world music and its multiple subgenres.
IN MEMORIAM: Ali Farka Touré Ravi Shankar Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Alan Lomax Violeta Parra
In Memoriam includes posthumous inductions that honor historically inventive and influential artists or industry professionals who passed away in previous years or decades.
Transglobal World Music Chart (TWMC) is a network of world music specialised journalists, critics, writers, DJs... from all the continents, that produces a monthly chart
(and also an annual one), according to quality criteria, selecting the best recent world music albums from all over the world.
Transglobal World Music Chart is an independent non-profit initiative created and launched in partnership by Mundofonías and World Music Central teams.
Premio Andrea Parodi
Premio Andrea Parodi, the main European contest for World Music artists, has selected the 14th edition finalists, eight artists with heterogeneous stylistic and geographical origins. They are Ayom (from Florence / Lisbon), Francesco Forni (Rome), Matteo Leone (Calasetta), Elliott Morris (London), Sorah Rionda (Havana / Valbrenta), Siké (Cefalù / Syracuse), Terrasonora (Naples), Yarákä (Taranto).
The finalists will perform on 12-13 November at Si' e Boi Theatre in Selargius (Cagliari), and not, as initially planned, from 14 to 16 October in Cagliari. Gianmaurizio Foderaro and Ottavio Nieddu are the assigned presenters, the artistic director is Elena Ledda, and the main media partner is the prestigious Rai Radio1.
The finalists will perform in front of a Technical Jury (professionals, authors, musicians, poets, writers and songwriters) that will assign the mail winner, and a Critical Jury (journalists), that will assign the Critics Award. Both juries, as in previous years, will be composed of authoritative exponents of the sector. The prize for the Winner includes several bonus, plus concerts and performances in some of the partner music festivals in their 2022 editions, as European Jazz Expo (Sardinia), Folkest (Friuli), not forgetting the very same Premio Andrea Parodi 2022.
In addition to the aforementioned, the winners will be entitled to a € 2,500 scholarship. Whereas the winner of the Critics' Awards will have a professional videoclip of their competition song produced, offered by the Andrea Parodi Foundation. More, some partner festival will choose their guests among the finalists (as Mari e Miniere festival).
In the 2020 edition (postponed to May 2021 because of the rules due to the pandemic), Still Life, a Sicilian / Portuguese duo based in Barcelona, formed by the singer Margherita Abita and the violinist João Silva, were noticed by everyone.
The previous editions were won: 2019 by the multi-ethnic group Fanfara Station (Tunisia, Usa, Italia), 2018 by La Maschera (Campania),2017 by Daniela Pes (Sardinia), 2016 by Pupi di Surfaro (Sicily), 2015 by Giuliano Gabriele Ensemble (Lazio), 2014 by Flo (Campania), 2013 by Unavantaluna (Sicily), 2012 by Elsa Martin (Friuli), 2011 by Elva Lutza (Sardinia), 2010 by the Compagnia Triskele (Sicily), 2009 by Francesco Sossio (Apulia).
HebCelt has announced the first names to be heading to Stornoway, Isle of Lewis to finally celebrate its 25th live event from 13-16 July 2022. Scottish alternative rock legends Texas will headline the award-winning Festival’s landmark 25th anniversary celebrations closing the event on the Saturday night. International touring artist Seasick Steve will top the bill on the Friday night of the four-day event, which will run from 13-16 July in Lewis. Festival favourites Tide Lines will return to the stage for Thursday night, a record-breaking fourth successive festival appearance.
Also confirmed for HebCelt 2022 is Julie Fowlis, Skipinnish, Blue Rose Code, RURA, Siobhan Miller, Trail West, Damien O’Kane & Ron Block, Martin Harley & Band and Còig. All of the artists confirmed today were set to play a part in the original 25th celebrations that were cancelled in 2020.
Caroline Maclennan, Festival Director said: ‘We were steadfast in retaining as much of the outstanding programme set in place for our quarter century celebrations as we could. We are grateful to all agents, artists and individuals for their belief in the HebCelt team and retaining their commitment to us. We know that HebCelt 2022 will offer our loyal audiences a truly memorable experience.
This marks the return to the full traditional HebCelt with our main arena gigs and we are planning for shows at An Lanntair and elsewhere which festival-goers will be able to attend in person. We will of course adhere to any Scottish Government pandemic mitigations that may be prevalent at the time of the event and we will be prioritising the safety and well-being of our local community and audience. However, it is enormously positive and important for our community that we are continuing our bounceback from the pandemic.”
Fairport’s Cropredy Convention
Fairport Convention announced that their annual music festival, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, has been postponed for the second time. The three-day event had been scheduled to take place on 12-14 August this year. It will now be staged over the weekend of 11, 12, 13 August 2022 on its usual farmland site in Oxfordshire. The organisers hope the current line-up of acts will be carried forward. Artists booked to appear this year have provisionally agreed to transfer their bookings to 2022. Highlights are expected to include Trevor Horn Band, Clannad, Steve Hackett’s Genesis Revisited, Richard Thompson, and host band Fairport Convention.
Festival Director Gareth Williams said: “We’re left with no other choice than to postpone our festival again. We have reached the point where we’d need to spend big money but without any certainty we could go ahead. The dilemma we are facing is simple – proceed and risk potentially going out of business or postpone for a year and live to fight another day."
“So far, despite over six months of lobbying, the government has failed to support any form of Covid-related cancellation insurance scheme for the festival industry,” Mr Williams continued. Also, there has been no guidance on what mitigations might be required post Step 4. This has made it effectively impossible to plan this year’s event. Like the rest of the festival industry, we’ve tried everything we can to keep going but I’m afraid we would be placing Cropredy’s future in serious jeopardy if we were to go ahead.”
Mr Williams said tickets purchased in 2020 and 2021 will be valid for the rescheduled festival. “Ticket buyers who can’t attend next year will be entitled to a refund,” he added, “but we hope people will hang on to their tickets until next year. This will help us keep the festival going throughout the coming months while we prepare a great weekend of music for next summer.”
Additional music names on the programme for Tønder Festival 2022. Among them are The Ballroom Thieves, Cedric Burnside and Katie Pruitt from USA, Scotland’s Red Hot Chilli Pipers and The Henry Girls and Saint Sister from Ireland. Many of these musicians should have been at Tønder Festival in 2020 or this year. Fortunately, they are prepared to travel to Tønder this next summer for a real Tønder Festival. Music-lovers have lots to look forward to in the coming programme, which includes ascendant names from USA, Canada, Scotland, Ireland and Danmark.
Americana, Blues and New Country: Tønder Festival 2022 will once more prove a first mover, presenting a series of young American musicians on their way up, nationally and internationally. This is true of Tønder newbies The Ballroom Thieves from Massachusetts and Nashville darling Katie Pruitt. It’s also true of songwriter Ian Noe, who was here in 2019. On the blues side, we have acclaimed and award-winning singer and guitarist Cedric Burnside. One of Canada’s finest new folk songwriters is in Tønder for the first time: Dave Gunning.
From Ireland and Scotland: The last time Scotland’s Red Hot Chilli Pipers were here, they unleashed an unforgettable party, and they will doubtless repeat their success in 2022, pipes a-blazing. From Ireland come the duo Saint Sister, praised to the skies for their unfettered mix of folk music traditions and electronic sounds, and the trio The Henry Girls, who blend Irish traditional music with americana.
Danish Songwriters to the Fore:
Danish music will be well represented. Signe Svendsen has carved out a niche for herself as an original songwriter and returns to Tønder Festival with her band. Songwriter Rikke Thomsen has been singing in south Jutland dialect since her debut in 2019 and has met with success throughout the land.
The Great Joni Mitchell...
This item is a recent real find. Best thing I have seen on YouTube this year... It has a real appeal for me because I was there... miraculously only about 180 yards from the stage in that incredible biblical multitude... I so well remember the brouhaha erupting, and marvelled at the time on how well Joni handled it. Years later I could even remember the wonderful colour of her dress... whereas you could put a gun to my head and I still could not tell you what Joan Baez and Melanise Safka were wearing... though powerfully brilliant their performances too were. Watch this from the moment it starts... the multitude are getting restless as the scheduled act refused to appear... and the organisers have gone to her caravan and asked her to run up on to the stage early to placate the throng! Watch her actually genuinely run to the backstage area, to try to quell the rising irritation of half a million people...!! She is assisted by festival promoter and main emcee, boxer Tommy Farr’s son Rikki, dressed in black ... helping to push her along. What a brave girl. Joni was 26 years old here...
One of my earliest memories of my friend Christine was us playing Joni's Blue album on her turntable in her old house in Asfordby. And me telling her about the heckling Joni had to put up with just 200 yards away from me in that positively biblical sea of humanity at the Isle of Wight in late August 1970… And Chris and her husband Peter being quite incredulous that such a thing could happen… because following Blue, we all regarded Joni as a goddess. Well… this film of her set and the chaos around her… from the moment 26 year old Joni runs up to the stage, hearing the agitated multitude starting to bellow… is just mesmerically good. Please watch it on your telly rather than tablet. About 15-20 minutes in, she tells folk to pay her some respect and stop behaving like tourists. I remember hearing those words delivered live at us… like it was yesterday… … but amazingly it was over 50 years ago. Incredible… As Sandy wrote and sang… ……"Who knows where the time goes…?"
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