Archive for June, 2012

New Music From Iris Dement

June 28, 2012

After a sixteen-year layoff, Iris Dement’s first album of new music will be released on October 2, and she’ll even be touring a bit.

Billboard Magazine is streaming the title track, Sing the Delta, on its website, and her tour schedule is available here.

Here’s a wonderful performance of Let the Mystery Be: the soloists are Russ Barenberg on guitar and the great Jay Ungar on fiddle. Donal Lunny and Molly Mason complete the ensemble. Please enjoy!



The Winding Stream: A Carter Family Film That Needs Our Help

June 24, 2012

Beth Harrington, director of Welcome to the Club: The Women of Rockabilly, started shooting The Winding Stream in 2003. It’s an ambitious project, a documentary looking at the impact of two families – the Carters and the Cashes – on the history of country music. She’s at a crossroads now, and needs money to continue post-production work on the film.

The original Carter Family cut their first records at the epochal Bristol Sessions in 1927. Since then, we’ve heard from at least three generations of Carters. Johnny Cash started his recording career at Sam Philips’s Sun Studios in Memphis, and now his daughter Roseanne and her daughter, Chelsea Crowell are continuing the family business. Those of us who have been listening to this music for most of their lives (my old man sang Carter family tunes as part of his “long car ride repertoire”) often take it for granted, but there are way too many Americans who don’t realize how beautiful, and how important, this music is. The Winding Stream can become an essential and unique document of that importance – but only if it gets released.

Ms. Harrington is trying to raise $50,000 on Kickstarter to get this film through editing and some other post-production work. Abandoning this project now would be a terrible loss – the interviews alone (including one of the last Johnny Cash ever gave) are an irreplaceable resource.

Please, go over to The Winding Stream’s Kickstarter page and, if you can, give them some money (the minimum pledge is $1). Since the project is backed by a non-profit organization, all contributions are tax-deductible to the extent of the law, minus, of course, the value of the rewards associated with each pledge level. And while the biggest and best reward is helping this film get made, some of the perks you get for contributing aren’t too shabby, either: a reception with Roseanne Cash? Tickets to the LA, NY or Boston premieres of the film? DVDs of Welcome to the Club? These and other wonders are only a couple of clicks away.

Here’s Beth Harrington’s Kickstarter pitch, including the film’s trailer – Beth Harrington has a great story to tell and needs just a little help to be able to tell it to a much wider audience. As of right now (June 25th, 9:30 PM, EDT) they need about $7,000. They’ve only got three days to get it. Put them over the top, will you? And tell them Harry sent you!

Great Music, Great Cause

June 3, 2012

The Diva Day Foundation has been working since 2008 to raise awareness of domestic violence issues. They have not only raised money for such vital groups as Jane Doe, Inc., The Elizabeth Stone House, Transition House, and On the Rise, but by way of their “house band,” Diva’s Daughters, have been active in the community, making, in their words, “a real impact on the lives of women and girls.” It’s important work.

The foundation’s big annual fundraising event, Diva Day, is coming up this Saturday, June 10, and the theme this year is: One Voice: A Celebration of Women in Bluegrass and Folk Music. Fortunately for us, there will be not one, but many voices on stage come Saturday. Diva’s Daughters will open the festivities, followed by Jan Bell and the Maybelles and the headliners, Red Molly.

If you’ve never seen Red Molly perform, you are in for the proverbial real treat – go visit their website, listen to some of their music and reserve your place at Diva Day. Red Molly has some big events coming up: they’re opening for Willie Nelson at the South Shore Music Circus and Cape Cod Melody Tent later this month, and will be kicking off their Southwest Tour soon after.

The music will (I promise!) be fantastic, but don’t forget the cause – funding for domestic violence shelters has not kept pace with need during these tough financial times – I guess none of them fall into the “too big to fail” category. So it’s up to us to keep them going. Tickets for the show are an amazingly affordable $25: buy them right here., and tell them Harry sent you!

If you can’t show up for Diva Day in person, you can still donate to this more than worthy cause: just click right here and they’ll make it easy for you.

Still need convincing? Watch the video – it’s a great introduction to the women and their music. Please enjoy!