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!
Lanny is a music-obsessed member of the Community Idea Stations' staff. His favorite bands/artists include Phish, The Grateful Dead/Jerry Garcia, Medeski Martin and Wood, Gillian Welch, Mary Halvorson, Bill Frisell, Ween, Tortoise and The Hot Seats. Lanny has been known to play Caribbean melodies on the Irish tenor banjo.
Articles by Lanny Fields
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?
Here are Lanny Fields’ picks for the best albums of the year. This year’s list is marked by the inclusion of several debut and one-off recordings from recently formed ensembles, as well as small-bands featuring just two or three members; although a few old favorites did once again make the cut. Also notable this time around is a turn toward the noisier, freer, more avant-garde side of the musical spectrum, alongside groups representing traditional Appalachian and Irish music.
NPR posted its list of the 50 Favorite Albums of 2013 earlier this week, which prompted me to come up with a list of my own. I didn’t do a whole lot of active searching for new music in 2013, instead I let it come to me. I don’t have 50 worth mentioning, but here are my 13 favorites from 2013. Some are from 2012 but I didn't hear them until this year!
Ballad singer and old-time musician Elizabeth LaPrelle is a shining star in a movement some are calling The New Young Fogies – twenty-somethings who play old Southern Appalachian music in its pre-bluegrass form, the way it sounded deep in the hills and hollers before radio and commercial recordings came about.
It’s rare to hear banjo in a straight-ahead jazz setting these days, which makes the new collaboration between banjoist Béla Fleck and jazz masters the Marcus Roberts Trio all the more interesting. What started as an impromptu jam session at the Savannah Music Festival in 2009 has turned into an hour long album entitled Across The Imaginary Divide, released June 10 on Rounder Records.
Three of the world’s most accomplished players of Irish traditional music - Martin Hayes (fiddle), John Doyle (guitar) and Kevin Crawford (flute/whistle) - will bring the “pure drop” to C'ville Coffee (1301 Harris St. Charlottesville, VA) on Tuesday, May 29th, 7:00 p.m. The trio performs under the name the Teetotallers.
I received a text message from Gene Ween. It said “Muddle up your mind”, which is a lyric from the song “A Man Alone” on his solo debut Marvelous Clouds, recently released on Partisan Records under his given name of Aaron Freeman. The text was a response to a message I had sent him a few days earlier with the word “Marvelous” – my one word review of the album. I’d like to think I’m special but it’s probably the same reply he sends to everyone. You see, Gene, I mean Aaron, has posted his cell number online (609-542-0751