Tag Archives: Carolina Chocolate Drops

Guesthouse – David Wax Museum

Guesthouse by David Wax Museum is my latest Track of the Day. Like so much of the new music I’ve bought this year, I heard it first on WNKU. And have I ever told you…

Yes, I’ve seen David Wax Museum live! In fact I mentioned them in my last post, I don’t just throw these posts together you know!

I saw them back in 2013 supporting the Carolina Chocolate Drops at the City Varieties Music Hall in Leeds. I don’t remember much about the gig, but I did buy their Knock Knock Get Up album from their merchandise store, so they must have been good!

I’d not heard anything from the band since then until a couple of weeks ago, I heard Guesthouse on WNKU during my drive to work. I wasn’t immediately hooked, but having heard it a few times now, I love it! It’s from the album of the say name, which is now on my wishlist…

So Guesthouse by David Wax Museum is my latest Track of the Day, and here’s a live performance of Guesthouse:

And here’s some links to get hold of the albums from Amazon:

Knock Knock Get Up

David Wax Museum - Knock Knock Get Up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guesthouse

David Wax Museum - Guesthouse

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From Y to Z

We all know about getting from A to B, but how about Y to Z, the Y being York and the Z being Zydeco. Now there’s not an obvious connection between York and Zydeco, but stick with me, as I take you from York to Zydeco.

The tale ends with my most recent addition to my vinyl collection, Boogalusa Boogie by [easyazon_link identifier=”B0000001HJ” locale=”US” tag=”tonnewmus-20″]Clifton Chenier[/easyazon_link]. This is the only Zydeco album to earn a five star review from Rolling Stone, who described it as “Indispensable: a record that must be included in any comprehensive collection.”

Clifton Chenier - Boogalusa Boogie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So how did this Englishman, living in Cincinnati, come to discover Clifton Chenier? Well the clue is on the record sleeve itself. Take a look in the bottom-left hand corner and you’ll see the word Arhoolie. Now until about a year ago, I’d never heard of Arhoolie Records, when browsing through my Facebook feed, I saw a link from Dom Flemons to an article in the Oxford American, which appeared in the winter 2014 Southern Music Issue devoted to Texas.

The article was called, “It’s got ahold of me” and features an interview by Dom Flemons with Chris Strachwitz, the founder of Arhoolie Records. It’s a fascinating read with some great tales of Chris Stratchwitz’s experiences as a field recorder. This led me to buy the documentary DVD, [easyazon_link identifier=”B00RWKN8XM” locale=”US” tag=”tonnewmus-20″]This Ain’t No Mouse Music[/easyazon_link];The Story of Chris Strachwitz and Arhoolie Records. One of the artists appearing on the DVD was Clifton Chenier, hence the interest in Boogalusa Boogie.

So that explains, how I got from Dom Flemons to Zydeco, via Chris Strachwitz and Arhoolie Records, but how did I first come across Dom Flemons. Well I’ve seen Dom Flemons a couple of times since moving to Cincinnati. Firstly I saw him acting as Master of Ceremonies on Pokey LaFarge’s Central Time Tour, which I caught at Middletown, Ohio. During the show he played some tracks off his [easyazon_link identifier=”B00KJFZXIK” locale=”US” tag=”tonnewmus-20″]Prospect Hill[/easyazon_link] album, one of my favorite albums of the last couple of years.

Pokey Lafarge Central Time poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most recently I saw Dom Flemons at the Cincinnati Music Hall as part of the [easyazon_link identifier=”B013SZFMCE” locale=”US” tag=”tonnewmus-20″]American Originals[/easyazon_link] concert, based primarily around of the music of Stephen Foster.

American Originals

 

 

 

 

That still doesn’t explain, how I came across Dom Flemons. Well,the first time I saw him was as part of the Carolina Chocolate Drops at a concert in the City Varieties Music Hall in Leeds, England, during their [easyazon_link identifier=”B002U33GQU” locale=”US” tag=”tonnewmus-20″]Genuine Negro Jig[/easyazon_link] tour. . I’d got the tickets having heard the Carolina Chocolate Drops on one of my favorite radio shows, the Bob Harris Show. The concert itself was excellent and  the support on the night, David Wax Museum, was also superb.

So, that’s taken the story back over the Atlantic to Leeds, England, where does York fit in? York is where this whole story starts, as that is where I met my lovely wife Tara, who goes to most of the gigs with me and who patiently  indulges my love of music. The Carolina Chocolate Drops concert was one of our first gigs as a couple. We loved the Carolina Chocolate Drops that much that we included one of their songs on the CD we gave our wedding guests as a favor.

So there you have it, how I got from York to Zydeco and ended up with the Boogalusa Boogie by Clifton Chenier

 

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American Originals at Cincinnati Music Hall

Okay, I have to confess, I’m just a tad excited. Yesterday I got tickets for the Sunday afternoon performance of American Originals at Cincinnati Music Hall.

American Originals

 

So why so excited? I hear you say

Well, how about this for a line-up:

Rosanne Cash – One of my favorite artists, who’s album The River and the Thread was one of my top ten albums of 2014. I briefly saw her on stage at the end of the Americana Awards show at the Ryman Auditorium  in September 2013 and have been wanting to see her ever since.

 

Americana Awards 2013

Dom Flemons – Formerly with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, who I saw when he was still a member, at the City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds, England in October 2012.  I also saw Dom Flemons late last year when he compered Pokey Lafarge‘s Central Time Tour, which was one of my top ten gigs of last year.

Pokey Lafarge Central Time poster

Over The Rhine – I’ve not yet seen Over The Rhine, but I understand they’re a Cincinnati institution, so it’ll be cool to catch one of my new home town bands.

Aoife O’Donovan – I’ve heard her a few times on Bob Harris‘s Radio 2 show and I’ve been wanting to see her live for quite a while now.

The other two acts on the bill are the Comet Bluegrass Allstars and Joe Henry. I’ve not heard of either of these, so a bit of research is required.

All these acts are going to be performing with the world-famous Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.

The show will be based around the songs of Stephen Foster, who reputedly was America’s first great songwriter. Being a Brit, who’s only been living in the States for just over a year, and in Cincinnati for four months, I’m not fully au fait with Stephen Foster, but being a music fan, I’m obviously aware of the Great American Songbook. I’m also aware of the black face minstrel tradition for which Stephen Foster is known for, as during my childhood back in the UK, there used to be a light entertainment program, on the BBC, called the Black and White Minstrel Show. The show was very popular and ran for 20 year and won a Golden Rose at Montreux for Best Light Entertainment program. However, after numerous complaints it finally was pulled in 1978.

This show introduced me to many of Stephen Foster‘s songs, including Oh Susanna!,Camptown Races,Swanee River & My Old Kentucky Home amongst others. So whilst the manner used, on the Black and White Minstrel Show, of showcasing the songs was abhorrent, it did contribute greatly to my love of music, and Americana in particular.

One added bonus of going on Sunday is that I get to see Hickory Robot again, as they’re providing the pre-concert entertainment. I saw them at the CincyGroove Music Festival last year, where they were excellent, so it will be good to see them again.

Another reason for the excitement is that this will be my first visit to the Cincinnati Music Hall. I’ve been in Cincinnati for four months and have been waiting for the right concert before making my first visit, and the American Originals fits the bill perfectly!

 

 

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