Tag Archives: Amos Lee

October 9 (802) Finding Your Way Home

Sand-Island-Sunset-w-Moon-2-2

Play this show

A Spartan smile and westward stare hold a promise in the air
That’s the way they used to find their own way home
By the stars, on their own
By the stars, on their own

            The Milk Carton Kids “Hope of a Lifetime”

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks since the last Great River Radio, but I’m ready to return to the studio this afternoon with a great list of mostly new music, including that wonderful song from the Milk Carton Kids, two guys from California who opened for Over The Rhine last week. They have a sweet sound that might remind you of Simon and Garfunkel, and their stage presence is clever and smart, and I ended up thinking that Paul and Artie had somehow married the Smothers Brothers.  The music that night was incredible.  The night before, or was it the night after, we saw another duo – Shovels and Rope – husband and wife Michael and Carrie Ann from Charleston, South Carolina and they rocked the house, just the two of them trading off instruments and putting a tremendous energy into the show.

GRR will sample music from those shows and include an actual live track from Ry Cooder’s first live album in 35 years – from his brand new release “Live in San Francisco” with a great band that includes Flaco Jimenez on the accordion.  You’ll love the guitar work on “Crazy ‘Bout an Automobile.”  Amos Lee just released a new record, and we’ll hear something from that one that includes Alison Krauss and Jerry Douglas in the background.

Also, a set of songs about birds from one of our favorite new compilations “Consider the Birds” from House of Mercy recordings here in the Twin Cities – this record is a companion to Debbie Blue’s new and beautiful book Consider the Birds: A Provocative Guide to Birds of the Bible.  More about that during Great River Radio this afternoon.

All that and more from Jack Johnson, Tift Merritt, Sarah Jarosz (my song of the week!), Valerie June, Best Coast and others.

Listen in live this afternoon or later on the blog.

Details:

Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream: http://www.stthomas.edu/ustclubs/kust/KUSTLive.html
Web/Listen Later: https://greatriverradio.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GreatRiverRadio

Playlist

Mississippi-The Griswolds
The Walker-Fitz & The Tantrums
Meet Me in the City-North Mississippi Allstars
This is a True Heart-Julia Holter
Your Head and Your Heart-The Saint Johns
Sonsick-San Fermin
The Only Place-Best Coast
I Got You-Jack Johnson
Finster Saw the Angels-Laura Veirs
Birmingham-Shovels & Rope
Hope of a Lifetime-The Milk Carton Kids
Crazy ‘Bout an Automobile-Ry Cooder
Chill in the Air-Amos Lee
Train Song-Tift Merritt
Simple Twist of Fate-Sarah Jarosz
Somebody to Love-Valerie June
The Dreamer-The Tallest Man On Earth
Lonesome Bird-Jon Rodine
I’ll Follow You-Molly Maher and Her Disbelievers
Awake-John Hermanson

 

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Dec. 7 – Best of 2011 (609)

 

 

Best [best] adjective, superl. of good with better as compar.
1. of the highest quality, excellence, or standing: the best work;
2. most advantageous, suitable, or desirable: the best way.
3. largest; most: the best part of a day.

It’s that time of year again – time to dig out the 1987 red roll-neck sweater you vow to replace every Christmas. Time to brave the shopping masses and dust off your cocktail party vernacular. Time to welcome home friends and family from far and near. And time to indulge in one of our favorite pastimes – browsing through dozens of “Best of” lists to see if our lives might still be relevant.

The Great River Radio staff has been sifting through another year of new releases, ticket stubs and playlists to bring our own twist to the Best of 2011 lists. Be sure to listen today from 4:15-5:45 p.m. CST to hear insightful commentary and select cuts from the lists below. So, strap it on, lock it in and let’s get to work.

Best Live Show
Dan: St. Vincent
Brian: St. Vincent @The Walker, Lucero in Alaska,  My Morning Jacket @Rock the Garden, @Cloud Cult @St. Thomas

Most Disappointing Release
Dan:
Brian: Bjork, Death Cab for Cutie, Rachael Yamagata

Unexpectedly Strong Releases
Dan:
Brian: Wilco, Ryan Adams, Joe Henry

Trends in 2011
Drumming and too many bands with the word “Black” in the title – Black Box Revelation, Black Lips, Black Kids, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Black Eyed Peas, Sounds of Blackness. Only one band matters in the club: The Black Keys

Best Artists You Didn’t Know About Before This Year
Dan: Other Lives
Brian: Gary Clark Jr, Ólafur Arnalds, Alabama Shakes

Best New Artists (First or Second Release)
Dan: The Civil Wars
Brian: Lana Del Rey, The Weeknd, tUnE-yArDs

Best Young/Neo/Retro Artists
Dan: Alabama Shakes
Brian: Raphael Saadiq, Alabama Shakes

Best Local CDs
Dan: Haley Bonar – “Golder” and 4ontheFloor – “4×4”
Brian: Howler – “This One’s Different EP” and Low – “C’Mon”

Best Albums of 2011

Dan (Alpha Order):
Black Keys – “El Camino
”Haley Bonar – “Golder”
Bon Iver – “Bon Iver”
The Civil Wars – “Barton Hollow”
Dawes – “Nothing Is Wrong”
The Head and the Heart – “The Head and the Heart”
Amos Lee – “Mission Bell”
Lykke Li – “Wounded Rhymes”
Low – “C’mon”
Other Lives – “Tamer Animals”
Over the Rhine – “The Long Surrender”
Paul Simon – “So Beautiful or So What”
St. Vincent – “Strange Mercy”
Tom Waits – “Bad As Me”
Gillian Welch – “The Harrow and the Harvest”
Lucinda Williams – “Blessed”

Brian (top to bottom):
1) Bon Iver – “Bon Iver”
2) Black Keys – “El Camino”
3) PJ Harvey – “Let England Shake”
4) St. Vincent – “Strange Mercy”
5) Washed Out – “Within and Without”
6) Ryan Adams –  “Ashes & Fire”
7) Joe Henry – “Reverie”
8)Girls – “Father, Son, Holy Ghost”
9) Wilco – “The Whole Love”
10) Radiohead – “The King Of Limbs”
11) Low – “C’mon”
12) M83 – “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming”
13) Tom Waits – “Bad As Me”
14) tUnE-YarDs – “W H O K I L L”
15) Wild Flag – “Wild Flag”
16) Raphael Saadiq – “Stone Rollin’”

The Details:
Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream: http://www.stthomas.edu/ustclubs/kust/KUSTLive.html
Web/Listen Later: https://greatriverradio.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GreatRiverRadio
iChat/AIM: kustradio

Brian & Dan

Playlist
Lost In My Mind-The Head and the Heart
Holocene-Bon Iver
Let England Shake-P J Harvey
Dust Bowl III-Other Lives
Seeing Black-Lucinda Williams
Rich Kids Blues-Lykke Li
Cheerleader-St. Vincent
Lucky Now-Ryan Adams
The World and All I Know-Joe Henry
Whole Love-Wilco
Kid October-Haley Bonar
Especially Me-Low
If I Wanted Someone-Dawes
Infamous Love Song-Over The Rhine
Honey Bunny-Girls
Lotus Flower-Radiohead
Eyes Be Closed-Washed Out

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May 18 – Five Years of River Songs


The river to the ocean goes,
a fortune for the undertow.
None of this is going my way.
There is nothing left to throw
of Ginger, lemon, indigo,
coriander stem and rose of hay.
Strength and courage overrides
the privileged and weary eyes
of river poet search naivete.
Pick up here and chase the ride.
The river empties to the tide.
All of this is coming your way .
“Find The River” – R.E.M.

As humans, we are taught early in life to gauge success with tangible tools of measurement – grades, height, wealth, etc. But these measurements rarely take into account the intangible – emotions, happiness, satisfaction, love and friendship. Even music sets a structure of time, rhythm and beat. But the very best music makes us feel something else, something transcendent and beautiful. Today marks the end of the 5th season of Great River Radio. On our best days, we hope you discovered a song or two that made your heart swoon or allowed you to be lost in the moment – if just for a minute or two – during a busy day.

The constant, reliable flow of a river can also conjure up feelings of solace and grace, transporting us to places unexpected. But this spring we are again reminded that rivers can devastate and destroy, too. Perhaps, that is why so many artists are drawn to the river metaphor. Rivers represent a life cycle – often unpredictable – of birth, baptism, life, death and rebirth. Rivers run deep symbolism. For the last five years we have started most of our shows with a “river song.” Not surprisingly, we have had many wonderful songs to choose from. So, to celebrate the close of our fifth year, Great River Radio is pleased to present a very special afternoon of river songs.

Today you will hear deep south river songs by Bessie Smith, Aaron Neville and The Bottle Rockets. Great River Radio favorites Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, John Hiatt, Uncle Tupelo, Cloud Cult and The Decemberists will offer their take on the river song. And we’ll have river tracks from such diverse artists as Los Lobos, Brian Eno, Mavis Staples, Carrie Rodriguez, Robert Johnson and Richard Thompson. An eclectic mix to be sure. But would you expect anything less from the Great River Radio music staff?

As always, we are grateful that so many of you are able to tune into Great River Radio – either live or via the website. Please take a moment to join us today for our final show of the season. And have a great summer!

Peace … like a river.

Brian and Dan

Details:
Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream
Web/Listen Later
Facebook
iChat/AIM: kustradio

Playlist
Going Down To The River-Fred McDowell
Backwater Blues-Bessie Smith
Louisiana 1927-Aaron Neville
Get Down River-The Bottle Rockets
A River Runs Through It-Mark Isham
Especially Me-Low
I Follow Rivers-Lykke Li
By This River-Brian Eno
Big River-Johnny Cash
Big Sun Falling In The River-Richard Thompson
Green River-M. Ward
Down On The Riverbed-Los Lobos
High Water-Uncle Tupelo
Down By The Water-The Decemberists
Find The River-REM
Wide River To Cross-Carrie Rodriguez
River Knows Your Name-John Hiatt
Black River-Amos Lee
Harlem River Blues-Justin Townes Earle
Travelling Riverside Blues-Robert Johnson
Many Rivers To Cross-The Walkmen
Ballad Of Easy Rider-The Byrds
Watching The River Flow-Bob Dylan
When Water Comes To Life-Cloud Cult

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April 20 – The Beauty of Imperfection

Why are we drawn to music? It’s a perplexing question, and one we’ve addressed on a personal level on Great River Radio. Is it simply a matter of taste? Or is it a desire to hear or witness perfection? After all, the general public seems to be in awe of the artist who can deliver a “clean” performance. It’s how we judge our athletes, mathaletes, celebrities and even parenting skills. Flawless = success. But there is new evidence that suggests that although we may be impressed with perfection, our emotional connection to a song arrangement may have more to do with the imperfections – or the unexpected – than a perfect rendition of that song. Dr. Daniel J. Levitin has been studying this phenomenon at McGill University in Montreal with the assistance of many of Great River Radio’s favorite recording artists. And the findings are fascinating.

In an interview, the singer Rosanne Cash said the experiments showed that beautiful compositions and technically skilled performers could do only so much. Emotion in music depends on human shading and imperfections, “bending notes in a certain way,” Ms. Cash said, “holding a note a little longer.”

She said she learned from her father, Johnny Cash, “that your style is a function of your limitations, more so than a function of your skills.”

“You’ve heard plenty of great, great singers that leave you cold,” she said. “They can do gymnastics, amazing things. If you have limitations as a singer, maybe you’re forced to find nuance in a way you don’t have to if you have a four-octave range.”

Before you dismiss Levitin as just another academic trying to force all of his “bias and complicated science stuff” on a favorite subject we’d prefer to just experience without thinking about too it too much, you might be interested to know that he once worked as a producer and engineer for rock legends Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Blue Oyster Cult, the Grateful Dead and many others. Not impressed? Well, he’s also played sax with Sting (one of Dan’s favorite artists) and Mel Torme (one of Brian’s), and some guitar with David Byrne. In other words, he comes at this from a performer’s perspective as well as a scientist.

Levitin may just be discovering what many of our most successful artists have always intuitively known: it is the elements of unique character and unexpected notes and rhythms that we often connect with.

Geoff Emerick, a recording engineer for the Beatles, said: “Often when we were recording some of those Beatles rhythm tracks, there might be an error incorporated, and you would say, ‘That error sounds rather good,’ and we would actually elaborate on that.

“When everything is perfectly in time, the ear or mind tends to ignore it, much like a clock ticking in your bedroom — after a while you don’t hear it.”

Perhaps, this is a lesson for all of us? We tend to get caught up in the rhythm of life, humming along in a ceaseless succession of regular tasks, duties and activities. It is only when that beat becomes altered that we pay attention to the music around us.

Take a little time today to embrace the imperfections in our lives – the unexpected moments that give meaning to our day. And tune in to Great River Radio to discover some of those voices who continue to surprise us in unexpected ways.

You can read the full article Levitin’s research in The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/19/science/19brain.html

In a new Great River Radio programming twist, Dan and Brian were engaged in a music-library showdown this week. Brian challenged Dan to come up with favorite five songs from 1966 (the year Brian was born). Dan accepted and volleyed his own challenge, asking Brian to come up with five songs inspired by works of art or artists. You’re going to love the music we’ve come up with for these setlists.

And as always, we have a plethora of great new music. You’ll hear from Haley Bonar’s new LP, “Golder.” We’ll check in again with Lucinda Williams and play new tunes from Marissa Nadler, The Mountain Goats, The Belle Brigade and The Raveonettes.

Join us live this afternoon from 4:15-5:45 (CST) for a great new session of Great River Radio.

Peace,

Brian & Dan

Details:
Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream
Web/Listen Later
Facebook
iChat/AIM: kustradio

Playlist
Black River (Live)-Amos Lee
Where Not To Look For Freedom-The Belle Brigade
Running With The Wolves-Cloud Cult
Kid October-Haley Bonar
I’ll Tag Along-Richard Thompson
War In Heaven-The Raveonettes
Baby, I Will Leave You In The Morning-Marissa Nadler
Fade Into You-Mazzy Star
The Age Of Kings-The Mountain Goats
96 Tears-? and the Mysterians
19th Nervous Breakdown-The Rolling Stones
Eight Miles High-The Byrds
God Only Knows-The Beach Boys
Two Trains Running-Paul Butterfield Blues Band
The Art Teacher-Rufus Wainwright
Painted From Memory-Elvis Costello
In The Gallery-Dire Straits
Art School-The Jam
Painting By Chagall-The Weepies

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Feb. 16 – Who the *&#$ is Arcade Fire?


“what the heck is a r k fire?”

“It’s a weird world we live in when someone called Arcade Fire can win a Grammy n Justin Bieber doesn’t!”

“I cannot believe that unknown artists will earn a world-renowned artists like justin and lady gaga for that cease to believe in the legality of prizes.”

“How can a group I’ve NEVER heard of win album of the year?”

(Unedited – and printable – comments on the new tumblr blog “Who is Arcade Fire?”)

Actually, it is a weird world we live in when the naming of the album of the year winner can ignite a culture war – isn’t music supposed to bring us together?  We’re pretty sure that regular listeners to Great River Radio know who Arcade Fire is, and join the indie music community in cheering their win over Lady Antebellum, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Eminem.  In the other big upset of the evening, newcomer and small seller Esperanza Spalding edged out teen sensation Justin Bieber (and GRR friends Mumford and Sons, we should add.)  Do those upset victories say anything about the music business today?  Are independent artists going to be more widely recognized?  Is quality going to win out over sales?  OK, probably not, but it is nice to see the underdogs win once in a while.

If you’ve forgotten who Arcade Fire is, we’re going to bring you a couple tunes from the award winning album this afternoon.  We’ve packed the show with lots of brand new music from (perhaps but not bloody likely) tomorrow’s Grammy winners.  Great River Radio favorites DevotchKa and Bright Eyes have new albums out; we have an early release from the upcoming album by the Strokes, along with new music from Amos Lee and Roomful of Blues.  We have songs from new (and young) artists Young The Giant and Young Man.  In one of the more interesting collaborations of the new year, we’ll have 50’s rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson performing Bob Dylan’s “Thunder on the Mountain” produced by Jack White.  (We think you’ll dig it, really.)  And from long time collaborators Gil-Scott Heron and Brian Jackson, we’ll close with “Shut ‘Em Down.”

Join us at 4:15 p.m. (CST) today for an entirely Bieber free Great River Radio.

Details:
Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream
Web/Listen Later
Facebook
iChat/AIM: kustradio

Peace,
Brian & Dan

Playlist
Tree by the River-Iron and Wine
Thunder on the Mountain-Wanda Jackson
The Suburbs (cont.)-Arcade Fire
The Suburbs-Arcade Fire
100 Other Lovers-DeVotchKa
Mermaid-Okkervil River
Shell Games-Bright Eyes
Felt-Young Man
This is Why We Fight-The Decemberists
She Walks Right In-Roomful of Blues
Anywhere But Here-Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors
My Body-Young the Giant
Violin-Amos Lee
Lever Pulled Down-Sam Phillips
All the Stars-The Wailin’ Jennys
Under Cover of Darkness-The Strokes
In the Dark Places-P.J. Harvey
Last Night at the Jetty-Panda Bear
Shut Em Down-Gil Scott Heron/Brian Jackson

 

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Feb. 9 – White Stripes R.I.P.

And the rocket’s red glare
a bunch of bombs in the air
gave proof in the night
that we still had our flag.

“Oh say does that big banner still wave
over all that is free.
And the home o’er the land
and the land of the free!”

-Lt. Frank Drebin singing the National Anthem

It wasn’t a particularly good week for music. First, we had the “special” Christina Aguilera rendition of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. Not to be outdone, the Black Eyed Peas came out at halftime to perform in front of the largest television audience in U.S. history … only to entertain us in a completely unintended way. Slash? You may want to have a word with your agent about expectations for future collaborative projects. But hey, we have the 53th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday. What could possibly go wrong with that awards show? (“Paging Kayne West. Mr. West, please report to the stage when the spirit moves you or whenever Taylor Swift happens to win an award.”)

It’s time to bring some sanity back to the radio waves, which is why Great River Radio is thrilled to be back for the spring semester. We have a lot of catching up to do. There are some spectacular new releases on the horizon, and we’ll give you an inclusive listen to new tracks from Lykke Li, Fleet Foxes, Bright Eyes, Glasvegas, and The Pains of Being Young at Heart. We’ll have new singles from The Civil Wars, Gregg Allman (yes, the Greg Allman), Abigail Washburn, Amos Lee and Over The Rhine. We’ll also have a set of music recognizing the brilliance of the White Stripes, as Jack and Meg White have decided to go their separate ways.

So, join us at 4:15 p.m. (CST) today for the spring semester debut of Great River Radio. We’ll be waiting for you!

Details:

Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream
Web/Listen Later
Facebook
iChat/AIM: kustradio

Peace, Brian and Dan

Playlist
I Follow Rivers-Lykke Li
Mississippi Blues-Bob Douglas
The Christian Life-The Byrds
There’s A Higher Power-Buddy Miller
Helplessness Blues-Fleet Foxes
Shell Games-Bright Eyes
Blowin’ InThe Wind-O.V.Wright
Conversation 16-The National
The One-The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
Poison and Wine-The Civil Wars
Little By Little-Gregg Allman
City of Refuge-Abigail Washburn
Seven Nation Army-White Stripes
I Can’t Wait-White Stripes
Portland OR-Loretta Lynn
Runaway Train-Eliza Gilkyson
If I Needed You-Carrie Rodriguez and Ben Kyle
Infamous Love Song-Over The Rhine
Sprawl of Glass-Arcade Fire /Blondie

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Sept. 22 – Harvest Moon

Here on this river
On a course for keeps
After all these years
We’re still here
This river runs deep
(Sonny Landreth)

The harvest moon will occur tomorrow (September 23) and often this autumn moon seems to be bigger, brighter and more colorful than all the other full moons of the year.  We won’t get into the science of that phenomenon, but suffice it to say this is a romantic and beautiful season in the temperate zones and the northland.  The skies are bluer, the nights are cool, and the maple leaves outside our windows are now flaming reds and yellows and oranges.  Some think this the best time of the year in Minnesota.

Living by the river gives us a particularly wonderful perspective on the ending of summer and the beginning of autumn.  We watch the leaves of the trees in the Mississippi gorge change a bit every day, reflected on the water, and we know that this will not last long, and that within weeks, as the turning of the leaves comes to an end, and they fall to the ground, we will soon see snow coming out of gray clouds overhead.

But wait!  It is still September and at Great River Radio, freshly into season five, we are still working through some the new music that has come out in the summer months –  we are, in fact, harvesting the great songs that have been growing and sweetening over the summer.  This week, we have new music from Amos Lee, The Black Ryder, Ryan Bingham, Admiral Radley, our own Roma di Luna, the long awaited Band of Joy disc from Robert Plant, as well as a few songs devoted to moons and harvest.

In case you need reminding, here are the details:

Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream: http://www.stthomas.edu/ustclubs/kust/KUSTLive.html
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Great-River-Radio/112553225462710
iChat/AIM: kustradio

Peace,
Brian & Dan

Playlist
This River-Sonny Landreth
All to All-Broken Social Scene
All That We See-The Black Ryder
Dancing Barefoot-Allison Moorer
Silver Rider-Robert Plant
Listen-Amos Lee
The Poet-Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses
Harvest Time-The Clientele
The Field-Mason Jennings
West of the Fields-REM
Fruits of My Labor-Lucinda Williams
The Moonlight Is Ours-Roma di Luna
Shine On Harvest Moon-Betty Carter
Like Rock and Roll and the Radio-Ray LaMontagne and The Pariah Dogs
Take It Down-John Hiatt
California-Rufus Wainwright
I Heart California-Admiral Radley
California Stars-Billy Bragg and Wilco
Cold War-Janelle Monae
Every Time I Eat Vegetables I Think of You-Ramones

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