portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Sunday, May 31, 2020

THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED . . . . . . . . *

Nice work this last couple of days from Voodoo Wagon from one of the gang! Hinterwald to be more accurate! it occurred to me checking out this tribute to the production skills of Hal Wilner that 'Night Music' might well have been the inspiration for Jools Holland's shows from style on The Tube up to the most recent 'Later . . .'  series. 

Here David Sandborn (again who didn't really travel well over here and we didn't know - well I didn't - who he was or is) acts mostly as maitre d' and occasional with guest presenters including Jools doing his schtick from his Brit TV appearances but these are truly extraordinary programmes and the basic premise of getting people to play with the hosts and alongside unexpected side men or collaborators it made for fascinating bedfellows (John Cale Lou Reed and Harry Connick Jnr? John Hiatt and Robert Cray awww its futile check it out) 

Check it out here . . . . . . and part II further down . . . . . . .Hinterwald has made them video access and downloadable via Voodoo Wagon. Extraordinary and I have never see these as we didn't get it over here on this side of the pond . . . . we got Jools! Not that this is a bad thing but it is truly fascinating see the lineups.(see below)

Night Music - A Box of Hal Wilner - Voodoo Wagon

Sonny Rollins sitting in with Leonard Cohen and Was (Not Was) doing "Who By Fire"
- Nick Cave, Charlie Haden, and Toots Thielemans getting together to play "Hey Joe."
- John Cale, Richard Thompson and Shawn Colvin trading verses on Cale's dolorous version of "Heartbreak Hotel" with BJ Cole on pedal steel and Sanborn on sax
- Todd Rundgren, Ellen Foley and Taj Mahal performing a scene from 'HMS Pinafore,' with Sanborn, Pat Metheny, Christian Marclay and the Night Music band all dressed as sailors behind them.
- Conway Twitty singing "It's Only Make Believe" with The Residents dancing behind him in eyeballs.

Night Music - A Box of Hal Wilner - Voodoo Wagon Vol II

Squeeze, Lou Reed and John Cale with Harry Connick Jnr, Lyle Lovett and Fontella Bass, you get it by now . . . . .visit and check it out

seriously  . . . . . . . 

Hal Wilner
Here's the whole deal in one place on vid . . . . . 

Brooklyn Vegan - 32 videos of Night Music

* Robert Frost 
Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.

Saturday, May 30, 2020


lock down musics

"The Old Man"
(from Awkward Annie)

Now there have been eleven of these thus far and the clue is in the title  . . . . . . I don't quite know why I haven't posted these before . . . sheer stupidity I reckon but Kate and Damien have been engaging us with their repertoire from their home studio for several weeks now and only to interrupt with an appearance on the wonderful Folk On Foot Front Room Festival II. She is so engaging and really funny when she introduces their songs and as I keep saying Damien is a somewhat under appreciated guitarist (IMHO)

Enjoy! I did! Crackingly funny song with the age old theme of the battle of the sexes with an 'old man' claiming he can do more work in one day than his wife can in three (never a good idea . . . . . . . .  blood will be spilled!)

This just in . . . . . . .should be interesting  . . . [unless he changes his mind again?] . . . . . . .

Alright With Me :: Neil Young’s Homegrown, Live Through The Years

At long last, Neil Young is finally releasing Homegrown on June 19, 2020. At least he says he is — the man has been known to change his mind. To make a very long story very short, Neil recorded this album in 1974 and 1975, right in the midst of his so-called Ditch period. But ironically, he ditched Homegrown in favor of Tonight’s The Night … and the legend of Homegrown has grown ever since. We’ll have plenty more to say about Homegrown proper in the upcoming weeks. But for now, take a listen to a mix of tunes from the album that have made their way into Young’s live repertoire over the years, plus a few added rarities. Let it ring! | t wilcox

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Front Room Festival II

I had wanted to be able to post what I thought of as my choice of highlights but here's the whole thing and use the guidelines to select the performance you wish to revisit . . . . .see below

I may have said but highlights for me and if you haven't seen them Chris Wood, O'Hooley and Tidow, Kathryn Tickell, John Smith, 'As We Go' The Unthanks' film, Kate Rusby and Damien O'Kane, Johnny Flynn (& family!), Eliza Carthy, Richard Thompson (with Zara Phillips) and the close

I had to catch up with some and the Kate Rusby is a rare spectacular treat from their recording studio the sound is perfect and Kate's voice (and humour) on fine peerless form. Johnny Flynn's section I could watch over and over as it is delightful and he dissembles somewhat with his none techno apparent clumsiness and the wandering in and out of his children which is a true delight and hysterically funny to one of the finest singer songwriters we have IMHO.

UPDATE: As the fundraiser heads toward £80,000 I noticed this list of timings on the YouTube page and hope they work. I keep revisiting several but mostly Kate Rusby and Damien (what a fine guitarist he is!) the delightful Chris Woods in his garden and shed, Johnny Flynn and his adorable children (and his sister!) on backing vocals from Wales!!!) and his lyrics are fascinating me of late (quite mysterious and darker than one might think) and of course it almost goes without saying Richard Thompson (and his partner Zara)

Folk on Foot Front Room Festival II webpoge Timings: 00:00:00 Opening 00:04:04 Chris Wood 00:37:05 O’Hooley and Tidow 01:11:16 Gwilym Bowen Rhys 01:42:03 Kathryn Tickell 02:11:45 Cara Dillon and Sam Lakeman 02:44:40 Duncan Chisholm 03:11:00 Kitty Macfarlane 03:42:13 Rioghnach Connolly and Ellis Davies 04:22:08 John Smith 04:53:23 “As We Go” – a film by the Unthanks 05:23:20 Frank Turner and Jess Guise 05:52:54 Kate Rusby and Damien O’Kane 06:27:32 Johnny Flynn 06:58:19 Eliza Carthy Part 1 07:27:38 Richard Thompson and Zara Phillips 07:51:50 Eliza Carthy Part 2

Tuesday, May 26, 2020


A very happy 79th birthday to Bob Dylan, born as Robert Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota on 24th May in 1941. 

“Though I know that evenin’s empire has returned into sandVanished from my handLeft me blindly here to stand but still not sleepingMy weariness amazes me, I’m branded on my feetI have no one to meetAnd the ancient empty street’s too dead for dreaming”

Monday, May 25, 2020


Well I thoroughly enjoyed the Folk on Foot Front Room Festival II yesterday and think most performances will be available on YouTube. Highlights for me the wonderful Chris Wood in his garden shed, Kathryn Tickell playing a reel down by the river, O’Hooley and Tidow celebrating a factory “hum” dancing with their seven month old son Flynn, Johnny Flynn joined by his children and singing harmony from his sister, (good to see n hear Johnny covering from Hank Williams 'Lost Highway' to Nic Jones), The Unthanks film but got interrupted by the news and by Messrs Cummings and Goin's (sic)

 I also enjoyed discovering new folk previously unknown to me in the excellent John Smith who turns out my son Matt and his wife Elaine have seen several times, Richard Thompson and Zara Philips who are old hands at broadcasting from home. 
Missed a few and a whole batch over tea time which annoyed me as it was split into sections that didn’t allow for streaming the whole thing somehow so need to catch up with a gang of folk previously unknown to favourites like Eliza Carthy part II and Kate Rusby. 

Will try n sort that today! 

Still think we raised nearly £70,000 so that’s good! 

0:00 / 2:44:49

Welcome to the Folk On Foot Front Room Festival 2!

Donate to our crowdfunding campaign and visit the merch tent at https://www.folkonfoot.com/festival

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Folk On Foot 2

Front Room Festival 2

The Folk On Foot #FrontRoomFest 2 kicks off at 2pm tomorrow!

Set yourself a reminder now via the YouTube page (the stream will also be available here on Facebook): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9WJhWoB1s4

Please keep donating to support the artists and Help Musicians at https://www.folkonfoot.com/festival

Donate to make it happen

Half the money we raise will go to the charity Help Musicians – which supports musicians undergoing financial hardship – and the other half will be divided equally between the artists who take part in the Festival. Music is hugely important in lifting our spirits and salving our souls in these troubling times, so please make a donation to support the talented people who create it.

Richard Thompson & Zara Phillips

Johnny Flynn



The Unthanks

Full list of timings here 

Saturday, May 23, 2020


Hello everyone, 
This Saturday 23rd May at 8pm BST, I'm going to premiere a very special concert that happened at Levitt Shell in Memphis in 2017 with all the incredible musicians who were a part of the making of 'Sweet Kind of Blue'.
I'll be watching with you to chat live and answer any questions. 
Hope you can make it!

Emily Barker's photo.

Please join me for this livestream of my 2017 show at Levitt Shell in Memphis. TN

                                                                      Copyright © 2020 Emily Barker, All rights reserved.
This is one show I’ll always remember. Memphis, Tennessee – October 15, 2017. I had been invited to play one of Levitt Shell’s annual Orion series of shows and had jumped at the opportunity to perform the whole of Sweet Kind of Blue with the amazing musicians who recorded the album with me at Sam Phillips Recording Service. I’d asked them if they might be free that night and the answer from all was a resounding yes!
I arrived in Memphis on a warm, sunny October morning, ready for two days of rehearsals. Matt (Ross-Spang, producer of the album) had arranged for us to rehearse at the studio – it felt so good to be back in that room with a group of musicians who had become close friends over the course of two weeks the previous summer.
On the Saturday of the show the weather turned. The temperature dropped dramatically and there was a persistent fine drizzle that settled in and continued for the whole day. The crowd, understandably, was smaller than it might have been on a warmer evening, but nothing could dampen our spirits as the eighty minute set seemed to race by.
I’m so glad we had decided to have the show filmed – a permanent reminder of a very special chapter in my musical life. Memphis, I miss you – and I hope to be able to visit you again soon!
Emily x

Well that was superb what a fantastic live stream and to be joined by Emily alongside with chats was a rare added bonus. Great band. If you missed it and still want to catch up you can now watch here on YouTube

Emily Barker here