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a1101_barbara_dane_03Barbara Dane (born May 12, 1927) is an American folk, blues, and jazz singer.

"Bessie Smith in stereo," wrote jazz critic Leonard Feather in the late 1950s. Time said of Dane: "The voice is pure, rich … rare as a 20 karat diamond" and quoted Louis Armstrong’s exclamation upon hearing her at the Pasadena jazz festival: "Did you get that chick? She’s a gasser!"

Career as singer

Moving to San Francisco in 1949, Dane began raising her own family and singing her folk and topical songs around town as well as on radio and television. A jazz revival was then shaking the town, and by the 1950s she became a familiar figure at clubs along the city’s Embarcadero with her own versions of women’s blues and jazz tunes. New Orleans jazz musicians like George Lewis and Kid Ory and locals like Turk Murphy, Burt Bales, Bob Mielke and others invited her onto the bandstand regularly. Her first professional jazz job was with Turk Murphy at the Tin Angel in 1956.

a1101_barbara_dane_01To Ebony, she seemed "startlingly blonde, especially when that powerful dusky alto voice begins to moan of trouble, two-timing men and freedom … with stubborn determination, enthusiasm and a basic love for the underdog, [she is] making a name for herself … aided and abetted by some of the oldest names in jazz who helped give birth to the blues." The seven-page Ebony article was filled with photos of Dane working with Memphis Slim, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Clara Ward, Mama Yancey, Little Brother Montgomery and others.

By 1959, Louis Armstrong had asked Time magazine readers: "Did you get that chick? She’s a gasser!" and invited her to appear with him on national television. She appeared with Louis Armstrong on the Timex All-Star Jazz Show hosted by Jackie Gleason on January 7, 1959. She toured the East Coast with Jack Teagarden, appeared in Chicago with Art Hodes, Roosevelt Sykes, Little Brother Montgomery, Memphis Slim, Otis Spann, Willie Dixon and others, played New York with Wilbur De Paris and his band, and appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson as a solo guest artist. Other national TV work included The Steve Allen Show, Bobby Troop’s Stars of Jazz, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

In 1961, the singer opened her own club, Sugar Hill: Home of the Blues, on San Francisco’s Broadway in the North Beach district, with the idea of creating a venue for the blues in a tourist district where a wider audience could hear it. There Dane performed regularly with her two most constant musical companions: Kenny "Good News" Whitson on piano and cornet and Wellman Braud, former Ellington bassist. Among her guest artists were Jimmy Rushing, Mose Allison, Mama Yancey, Tampa Red, Lonnie Johnson, Big Mama Thornton, Lightnin’ Hopkins, T-Bone Walker, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry.

In her speech to the GI Movement of the Vietnam War Era (whose text can be found in the booklet that’s included in Paredon Records’ FTA! Songs of the GI Resistance vinyl album of 1970), Barbara Dane said, "I was too stubborn to hire one of the greed-head managers, probably because I’m a woman who likes to speak for herself. I always made my own deals and contracts, and after figuring out the economics of it, I was free to choose when and where I worked, able to spend lots more time with my three children and doing political work, and even brought home more money in the end, by not going for the "bigtime." I did make some really nice records, because I was able to choose and work with wonderfully gifted musicians."

Political activism

She continued to weave in appearances as a solo performer on the coffeehouse circuit with her folk-style guitar. She also stepped up her work in the movements for peace and justice as the struggle for civil rights spread and the Vietnam war escalated. She sang at peace demonstrations in Washington, D.C. and throughout the US and toured anti-war GI coffeehouses all over the world. In 1966, Barbara Dane became the first U.S. musician to tour post-revolutionary Cuba.

In 1970 Dane founded Paredon Records, a label specializing in international protest music. She produced 45 albums, including three of her own, over a 12-year period. The label was later incorporated into Smithsonian-Folkways, a label of the Smithsonian Institution, and is available through their catalog.

In 1978, Dane appeared with Pete Seeger at a Rally in New York for striking coal miners.

Blues singer and role model

When she was in her late 70s, Philip Elwood, jazz critic of the San Francisco Examiner, said of her: "Dane is back and beautiful…she has an immense voice, remarkably well-tuned…capable of exquisite presentations regardless of the material. As a gut-level blues singer she is without compare." Blues writer Lee Hildebrand calls her "…perhaps the finest living interpreter of the classic blues of the 20’s." In a 2010 profile on Barbara produced by Steven Short of KALW in San Francisco, Bonnie Raitt said "she’s always been a role model and a hero of mine – musically and politically. I mean, the arc of her life so informs mine that – she’s – I really can’t think of anyone I admire [more], the way that she’s lived her life." The interview is archived on the KALW website.

Text from Wikipedia 

 

Barbara Dane – Livin’ with the Blues – 1959 – The whole LP

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Best known as one-third of the female harmony Americana trio Red Molly, Abbie has listened to the sweet sound of high lonesome harmonies since her first bluegrass festival at three years old. Her father, Herb Gardner, is a swing jazz and stride pianist and dixieland trombonist. He introduced Abbie to one of her favorite vocalists, Billie Holiday, and continues to be a big influence on a1042_abbie gardner_03the musician she is and strives to be.

Abbie studied classical flute growing up, but once she started playing Dobro in 2004 she found her main instrument. She traveled to Lyons, CO and Nashville, TN to study with Rob Ickes and Sally Van Meter. Left to her own devices, without many Dobro influences near NYC, Abbie continues to develop her style by listening to other instrumentalists, such as David Rawlings, Ry Cooder and Bonnie Raitt. Always keen on following the vocal part and trying to find the one really perfect note, instead of a dozen okay ones, Abbie is quickly compiling an extensive discography of recording credits.

She recorded three full-length albums and one EP with Red Molly, the last of which spent several weeks in the Top 10 on the Radio & Records Americana Chart (Spring 2010).   In 2008, She released Bad Nights/Better Days a duo record of original material with Anthony da Costa. The album was featured on WFUV’s top 2008 album lists and has been described as a work of staggering emotional power. (Acoustic Live! in NYC, 2008)

 

Abbie’s first full-length recording, My Craziest Dream is an album of jazz standards featuring her father on piano. It earned her an entry in the 2009 Hal Leonard book The Jazz Singers: The Ultimate Guide and she continues to perform with her father, whenever possible.

Abbie has a strong throaty voice that’s reminiscent of Wesla Whitfield’s… she uses it to render evergreens from the 1920s and 1930s with a crew of guys who play like they were around when this music was the cat’s pajamas.  (Cadence Magazine, June 2004)

Her 2006 release Honey on My Grave was her first independently released CD of mostly original music spanning varied genres with consistently strong Dobro, guitar, and vocal performances.  (Chronogram, 2006)

Abbie has been recognized as an award-winning songwriter, as well, with such accolades as; 2008 Lennon Award Winner (folk) for “The Mind of a Soldier” and 2008 American Songwriter Magazine Grand Prize Lyric Winner for “I’d Rather Be”. Her song “Honey on My Grave” was also published in Sing Out! Magazine in 2008.

Abbie continues to tour with Red Molly, currently promoting their third full-length CD James.   Her latest solo CD “Hope” will be released in April 2011.  It features 8 new original songs, 3 covers and three different types of slide!  See the shows page for updates on the CD release tour with Craig Akin on upright bass and Abbie on dobro & National Steel guitar.

In Context

Red Molly is a folk trio consisting of Laurie MacAllister (vocals, guitar, banjo), Abbie Gardner (vocals, guitar, Dobro, lap steel guitar), and Molly Venter (vocals, guitar). They perform original works composed by each of the group members, as well as covers of other songwriters including Hank Williams, Gillian Welch, Mark Erelli, and Ryan Adams. Their fans are known as “Redheads.

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History

Red Molly was formed late one night at the 2004 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. MacAllister, Gardner, and Carolann Solebello, three solo singer-songwriters, were the last ones left at a song circle. They liked the way they sounded together and decided to form a band. The name Red Molly is taken from a character in the Richard Thompsonsong “1952 Vincent Black Lightning.”

Their career started to take off in 2006. They were the top vote getters in the 2006 Falcon Ridge Folk FestivalEmerging Artist Showcase. WUMB in Boston named them Top New Artist of the Year and picked their AlbumNever Been to Vegas as one of their Top Albums of 2006. They have appeared in John Platt’s Under the Radar series in New York, a showcase for up and coming musicians.

In 2007 they toured with Pat Wictor and Ellis, the other winners of the Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist showcase, on the Falcon Ridge Preview tour and performed with them in the Most Wanted Song Swap at the Festival itself.

Their album Love and Other Tragedies reached number 15 on the Americana Charts on June 30, 2008. James reached number 4 on the same chart in May 2010. Light In The Sky was released on October 4, 2011.

On June 15, 2010 Red Molly announced that Carolann Solebello would be leaving the group and replaced by Molly Venter. On July 24 Solebello announced to the crowd at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival it was her last show with the band and concluded: “I know about 75% of you by face, and I wanted my last show to be with my friends here at Falcon Ridge, not at some small club in some country I didn’t know anybody.” Solebello continues to perform as a solo artist and released her third solo album “Threshold”, in June 2011.

Molly Venter’s debut with the trio was on August 6, 2010 at the Lunenburg Folk Festival.

Text from abbiegardner.com & Wikipedia

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851_ritaRita Eriksen is a Norwegian singer who, in addition to periodic solo efforts, is joined by her brother, Frank Eriksen (vocals, guitar), in the roots music duo Eriksen, which released a series of popular albums during the early to mid-’90s.

Born on May 26, 1966, in Sola, Norway, she made her solo debut in 1988 with Back from Wonderland, an English-language pop album laden with well-known standards. Little commercial success came of that effort, however, and four years passed before Rita and her brother made their album debut as Eriksen in 1992 with Two Blue. The brother-and-sister duo’s album debut was a tremendous success, reaching the Top Ten of the Norwegian albums chart and garnering critical acclaim with a 1992 Spellemannprisen award for best Norwegian roots & country music album of the year.

Rita Eriksen with another great favourite, the late Hilde Heltberg

Subsequent Eriksen albums The Water Is Wide (1994) and Alt Vende Tebage (1995) were similarly successful, reaching numbers six and three respectively on the Norwegian albums chart. Rita then collaborated with Irish singer Dolores Keane on the album Tideland (1996), a collection of traditional music that was another big hit.

A subsequent full-length effort by Rita and her brother, Blåmandag (1998), was a disappointment, however, and there would be no forthcoming Eriksen output for a decade’s time, not until the chart-topping best-of collection De Aller Beste in 2009.

In the meantime, Rita withdrew from the album marketplace for several years. She eventually returned first with a low-key collaborative effort with the Queen Bees, From the Fountain (2005), before unveiling Hjerteslag (2008), her second-ever solo album. Released 20 years after her solo album debut, Hjerteslag was a major comeback success, reaching number six on the Norwegian albums chart and warranting the release of the aforementioned chart-topping Eriksen retrospective, De Aller Beste, soon afterward.

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780_dolores keane_01Dolores Keane (born 26 September 1953) is an Irish folk singer and occasional actress. She was a founding member of the successful group De Dannan, and has since embarked on a very successful solo career, establishing herself as one of the most loved interpreters of Irish song.

Background

Keane was born in a small village called Sylane (near Tuam) in rural County Galway in the west of Ireland. She was raised by her aunts Rita and Sarah Keane since the age of four, who are also well-known sean-nós singers. Keane started her singing at a very young age, due to the influence of her musical aunts. She made her first recording for Radio Éireann in 1958, at the age of five. This early start inevitably meant that Keane would have a career in music. Her brother, Seán, also went on to enjoy a successful music career.

Musical career

De Dannan

In 1975, she co-founded the traditional Irish band De Dannan, and they released their debut album Dé Danann in that same year. The group gained international recognition and enjoyed major success in the late 1970s in the US. Keane went touring with the band and their single “The Rambling Irishman” was a big hit in Ireland. In early 1976, after a short two year spell, Keane left De Dannan and was replaced by Andy Irvine, who recorded live with the band on 30 April 1976, during the 3rd Irish Folk Festival in Germany. Soon thereafter, she married multi-instrumentalist John Faulkner, with whom she would subsequently record three albums of folk music (see next section).

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Solo career

The newly married Dolores and John decided to move to Britain. While there, the pair worked on a series of film scores and programmes for the BBC and formed two successful bands, The Reel Union and Kinvara. During this period Keane recorded her first solo album, There Was a Maid in 1978. This was followed by two other releases, Broken Hearted I’ll Wander (1979) and Farewell 780_dolores keane_04to Eirinn (1980), which gave credit to Faulkner. She returned to Ireland in the mid-1980s and rejoined withDe Dannan and recorded the albums Anthem and Ballroom with them.

Keane turned her attention, once again, to her solo career in 1988. It saw the release of the eponymous Dolores Keane album. Her follow-up album A Lion in a Cage, which hit the shelves in 1989, featured a song written by Faulkner called Lion in a Cage protesting the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela. It served as Keane’s second Irish number one and she performed the hit at the celebration of his release. This exposure expanded Keane’s reputation and popularity worldwide. A new facet was added to Dolores’ career when she played the female lead in the Dublin production of Brendan Behan‘s The Hostage, a new translation by Niall Tóibín and Michael Scott, the opening night of which was attended by Mary Robinson, the President of Ireland at the time.

In 1992, Keane was among the many female Irish singers to lend their music to the record-smashing anthology A Woman’s Heart. The album, which also featured Eleanor McEvoy, Mary Black, Frances Black, Sharon Shannon and Maura O’Connell, went on to become the biggest-selling album in Irish history. A Woman’s Heart Vol.2 was released in late 1994 and emulated its predecessor in album charts the world over. Also in 1994, a solo album, entitled Solid Ground, was released on the Shanachie label (available on Dara Records) and received critical acclaim in Europe and America.

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In August, 1995, Keane was awarded the prestigious Fiddler’s Green Hall of Fame award in Rostrevor, County Down, for her “significant contribution to the cause of Irish music and culture”. In that same year, she took to the stage in the Dublin production of JM Synge’s Playboy of the Western World. Dolores contributed to the RTÉ/BBC television production “Bringing It All Back Home”, a series of programmes illustrating the movement of Irish music to America. Dolores was shown performing both in Nashville, Tennessee with musicians such as Emmylou Harris and Richard Thompson and at home in Galway with her aunts Rita and Sarah.

In August, 1997, Keane went to number one again in the Irish album charts 780_dolores keane_05with a compilation album with her most loved songs. And another studio album was released by Keane in 1998, called Night Owl. It saw Keane returning to her traditional Irish roots and it did well in Europe and America. Despite a healthy solo career, Keane went on tour with De Dannan again in the late 1990s, where she played to packed audiences in venues such as Birmingham, Alabama and New York City.

Keane has not released a solo album since 1998 as of 2008, stating that she wanted to take a hard-earned break after twenty-five years of relentless touring.

Musical legacy

Keane is known the world-over for her deep, yet melodic voice. Her recordings of songs such as Dougie McLean‘s “Caledonia“, Frank A. Fahey’s “Galway Bay“, Paul Brady‘s “The Island” and “Never Be the Sun” are regarded as amongst the greatest interpretations of these songs. American singer Nanci Griffith said of Keane: “Dolores Keane, the queen of the soul of Ireland, has a sacred voice“.

Text from Wikipedia

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The Best Of Dolores Keane – 13 Classic Songs
1999
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Celtic/Irish
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The Best Of Dolores Keane – 13 Classic Songs
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579_carolyn hester_05Carolyn Hester (born January 28, 1937, in Waco, Texas) is an American folk singer and songwriter. She was a figure in the early 1960s folk music revival.

Biography
Carolyn Hester’s first album was produced by Norman Petty in 1957. In 1960, she made her second album for the Tradition Records label run by the Clancy Brothers. She became known for "The House of the Rising Sun" and "She Moved Through the Fair".

Hester was one of many young Greenwich Village singers who rode the crest of the 1960s folk music wave. She appeared on the cover of the May 30, 1964, issue of the Saturday Evening Post. According to Don Heckman of the Los Angeles Times, Hester was 579_carolyn hester_01"one of the originals—one of the small but determined gang of ragtag, early-’60s folk singers who cruised the coffee shops and campuses, from Harvard Yard to Bleecker Street, convinced that their music could help change the world." Hester was dubbed "The Texas Songbird," and was politically active, spearheading the controversial boycott of the television program, Hootenanny, when Pete Seeger was blacklisted from it.

After failing to convince Joan Baez to sign with Columbia Records, John H. Hammond signed Hester in 1960. However, Hammond has a different recollection of events. In his autobiography, "John Hammond on Record," he maintains that he passed on Baez "..because she was asking a great deal of money while still a relatively unknown artist." That same year Hester met Richard Fariña and they married eighteen days later. They separated after less than two years.

579_carolyn hester_02In 1961, Hester met Bob Dylan and invited him to play on her third album, her first on the Columbia label. Her producer, John H. Hammond, quickly signed Dylan to the label.

Hester turned down the opportunity to join a folk trio with Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey. With Mary Travers the trio found stardom as Peter, Paul, & Mary. Although Hester collaborated with Bill Lee and Bruce Langhorne, she concentrated exclusively on traditional material. In the late 1960s, unable to succeed as a folk-rock artist, she explored psychedelic music as part of the "Carolyn Hester Coalition", before drifting out of the music industry of the period.

579_carolyn hester_03Hester has disputed David Hajdu‘s depiction of her marriage to Fariña in his book Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña, and Richard Fariña. She also identified supposed exaggerations in his description of the relationships among Dylan, Baez, Hester, and the Fariñas. Hester denies that Fariña was so close to Dylan, as some rock historians claim, and strongly disputes that Fariña was in any way responsible for Dylan’s success, as Hajdu insinuated. Hajdu also suggested that Hester had an ongoing rivalry with Baez and her sister Mimi. To this day, Hester maintains that, on the contrary, she did not and does not know Baez well, and that they never were rivals, personally or professionally.

579_carolyn hester_04In 1969, Hester married the jazz pianist-producer-songwriter, David Blume, the composer of The Cyrkle‘s 1966 Top 40 hit "Turn Down Day." Together they formed the Outpost label. They also started an ethnic dance club in Los Angeles.

In the 1980s she returned to recording and touring. She and Nancy Griffith performed Bob Dylan’s "Boots of Spanish Leather" at Dylan’s Thirtieth Anniversary Tribute Concert at Madison Square Garden in 1992.

In 1997, Hester toured Germany for the first time. Her tour manager was Dirk Stursberg of M&K Management. As a friend, she visited his home and bought a Teddy from his wife’s company, the Teddy Atelier Stursberg. A year later, Hester played in a festival in Denmark.

In 1999, Hester released a Tom Paxton tribute album. She appeared on the A&E television Biography of Bob Dylan in August 2000.

Blume died in the spring of 2006. Hester closed the dance club, Cafe Danssa, a year after her husband’s death.

She continues to perform and tour with her daughters, Amy Blume and Karla Blume. They recorded her latest album, which was released in 2010, We Dream Forever.

Text from Wikipedia 

I have two great records with the Carolyn Hester Coalition, “Carolyn Hester Coalition” from 1969 and “Magazine” from 1970 but they are unfortunately in a format that WordPress don’t allow. This is pure prog rock and completely different from the music in these videos. I’ll see if I can find a converter on the net and post some cuts from these records later on – Ted

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Bert Jansch died today, may he rest in peace
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Herbert “Bert” Jansch (3 November 1943 – 5 October 2011) was a Scottish folk musician and founding member of the band Pentangle. He was born in Glasgow and came to prominence in London in the 1960s, as an acoustic guitarist, as well as a singer-songwriter. He recorded at least 25 albums and has toured extensively starting in the 1960s and continuing into the 21st century.

Jansch was a leading figure in the British folk music revival of the 1960s, touring folk clubs and recording several solo albums, as well as collaborating with other musicians such as John Renbourn and Anne Briggs. In 1968, he joined the band Pentangle, touring and recording with them until their break-up in 1972. He then took a few years’ break from music, returning in the late 1970s to work on a series of projects with other musicians. He joined a reformed Pentangle in the early 1980s and remained with them as they evolved through various changes of personnel until 1995. Until his death, Jansch continued to work as a solo artist Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Time for a few more entries at the “From Liverpool to Wembley” section again. And since this is my blog I continue presenting my own favourites and these two are among my really BIG favourites.

11139_kinks2
The Kinks were an English rock band formed in Muswell Hill, North London, by brothers Ray and Dave Davies in 1964. The Kinks are recognized as one of the most important and influential rock acts of the era. Their music was influenced by a wide range of genres, including rhythm and blues, British music hall, folk, and country.
Bio, Discography and videos here

 

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Maggie Bell (born 12 January 1945, Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland) is a Scottish rock and blues-rock singer, regarded by some as Britain’s answer to Janis Joplin. From a musical family, she sang from her teenage years, leaving school at the age of fifteen, to work as a window dresser by day and singer at night.
Bio, Discography and videos here

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