Reviews and Commentary
The Chicago-based new-music sextet Eighth Blackbird have been an ensemble-in-residence at the University of Richmond since 2004. I had the pleasure of seeing them perform twice this winter/spring: in January when they presented the musically and visually stunning Hand Eye, and again in April with the Matt Ulery Trio for a concert that bridged classical and jazz.
Over its 30 year history, PBS’ American Masters has brought us several documentaries on music icons including B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell and The Doors. Now the legendary Janis Joplin can be added to that list!
The New Mastersounds are a guitar/bass/keyboard/drum quartet from Leeds, England that plays Meters and Grant Green inspired funk/soul music. Their new album The Nashville Session is being released today – April 22 – as a limited edition, 1000-quantity vinyl exclusive pressing. It won’t be available in any other formats until May 27th.
This Saturday, April 16, 2016 is Record Store Day, the most important day on the record-buying calendar. It’s a day to celebrate brick and mortar independent record stores and the music lovers who shop at them. In the months leading up to Record Store Day processing plants are filled with orders for archival live recordings, demos, outtakes from the cutting room floor, reissues, new albums and more… anything that can be seen as special or collectible.
Royal Potato Family is a “farm to table” record label founded in 2009 by musician Marco Benevento and his manager/publicist Kevin Calabro. What started as a means to put out Marco’s music has expanded to include other artists whose musical aesthetic they believe in, with over 30 artists now on the roster.
Virginia has its share of summer festivals and concert series. For my money, the best of these are the multi-day fests with on-site camping. Three that instantly come to mind are Red Wing Roots, FloydFest and Lockn’. Head West!
It's Saint Patrick's Day! Any list of the top Irish traditional music groups is bound to mention the Chieftans and the Pogues, right? Probably also Planxty, the Bothy Band and De Dannan, plus Dervish, Solas and Lúnasa. And don't forget old favorites the Dubliners and the Clancy Brothers. The only problem is the newest of those bands, Lúnasa, will be 20 years old next year. So what's been going on this century, or more specifically, over the last two or three years in Irish music?