Tag Archives: Stephen Foster

TW3 – Week 4

Well it’s time for another TW3, That Was The Week That Was, we’re now onto  TW3 -Week 4. So what happened last week on the music front?

I’ll start off with Brand X. I ordered their Nuclear Burn boxed set from Burning Shed records a couple of weeks ago, and it arrived last Thursday. It’s a four CD set, featuring their first five studio albums and first live album , plus 4 tracks from a couple of BBC sessions they did.

Brand X - Nuclear Burn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The five studio albums being Unorthodox Behavior,Morrocan Roll,Masques,Product and Do They Hurt. The live album being Livestock. I already own Product on vinyl, and I’ve been meaning to get some more of their releases for years, so when the Nuclear Burn boxed set came out, it was a no brainer. Having listened to the CDs a few times now, Product is my favorite, but I think that’s more down to familiarity then anything else. Have I ever told you, I’ve seen Brand X live? No, well that will be remedied soon enough, when I start a page going through my past gigs & concerts! Anyway here’s And So to F… from Product by Brand X

At the weekend I downloaded another sampler from Noisetrade, this time from Forty Below Records

Forty Below Records - Vol.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were a couple of familiar names on the sampler, John Mayall and Walter Trout, but the stand out tracks for me were Bright Light of Day by Anne McCue, Sure Thing by Sam Morrow and The Weight of Changing Everything by Tim Easton.

I checked out Anne McCue on Soundcloud and found this great track.

Check out her website as well, it’s got a cool video on the homepage!

I found this on Tim Easton‘s Soundcloud account, which brings back memories of a few festivals!

And here’s Sam Morrow with a live version of Sure Thing.

 

I got another free download at the weekend, again courtesy of Noisetrade, from Slospeak Records

Slospeak - Slospeak in the Sky with Diamonds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a four track sampler of live acoustic recordings, called Slospeak in the Sky with Diamonds. Apparently all four tracks will be on American Airlines in-flight audio, which is pretty neat. All four songs are good, but it’s the first of the four, Hypnotized by Fever Fever which is my favorite. And even better, they’re from Ohio! And here they are:

 

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of attending the American Originals concert, celebrating the works of Stephen Foster, at Cincinnati Music Hall. You can read my review here.

 

Earlier in the week I heard of the death of Demis Roussos. Most Brits remember him for numerous cheesy pop songs in 1970s and 1980s, but prior to that he was a founder member of Aphrodite’s Child, a progressive rock group, who also had a keyboard player by the name of Vangelis. Here’s a great track, The Four Horsemen, from their third album 666: Apocalypse of St John.

Finally, I’ve got to mention the trailer for the new Lord Huron album. I’m a big fan of Lord Huron, so I was well excited when news of this trailer appeared on my Facebook feed. Check it out, I defy you not to be the slightest bit intrigued! If you subscribe to the StrangeTrails.com website, you can download The Night We Met, which I assume is from their next album.

Lord Huron - The Night We Met

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So TW3 Week 4, That Was The Week That Was my week in music!

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American Originals at Cincinnati Music Hall – What a show!

Well I was right to be a “tad excited”, as I said in one of my earlier posts. The American Originals concert at Cincinnati Music Hall more than lived up to my expectations.

American Originals

 

First of all a word about the venue, what a building Cincinnati Music Hall is!

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We arrived there for the doors opening at 1 pm, which gave us a little time to have a wander round the building, and it’s magnificent. We’ll definitely be returning for a tour of the building. We had a look at the timeline, which was fascinating, particularly the list of artists who have performed there.

Another reason for arriving early was to catch Hickory Robot, who were playing in the foyer as we arrived. We caught them towards the end of their set performing a great version of The Band‘s classic, The Weight.

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Our seats were up in the Gallery,and I was somewhat worried about the view when I purchased the tickets, but my fears were unfounded, we had a great view. The set was interesting with a carpet, with a chair and a lamp at each end, with a bust of Stephen Collins Foster, in the middle.

Looking around the audience, it was interesting to see that at the age of 53, I was one of the younger members of the audience! I’m not sure whether that was due to the show being on a Sunday afternoon or whether the American Originals didn’t appeal to the younger generation, which would be a great shame. I have to say this is the first concert I’ve been to where I’ve heard an oxygen tank, three rows behind, being used throughout the performance! Fortunately, it was only noticeable during the interval and the breaks between the songs. I  would have hated to ask the user to turn it off!

As for the show itself, where do I begin, it was excellent from start to finish.

The first half opened with a rousing version of the Battle Cry of Freedom. There were many highlights in the first half of the show ,Over the Rhine‘s take on ,Why No One to Love,was beautiful, with Karen Berquist sounding lovely. Dom Flemons performing Old Folks Home was wonderful. Mind you I’m a big fan of Dom Flemons, so there maybe a slight bit of favoritism there!. Rosanne Cash just blew me away with Beautiful Dreamer, she also performed one of her father’s songs, which for the life of me I can’t remember the title of! The first half finished with another highlight,  Aoife O’Donovan singing Amazing Grace, ably supported by the Comet Bluegrass Allstars.

The second half had even more high spots! Dom Flemons performing Ring, Ring de Banjo was superb. Joe Henry, reclaiming the Love me Tender tune, for Aura Lee, was another high spot. But for me, Rosanne Cash, singing My Old Kentucky Home was the highlight of the old show. I had a tear in my eye and lump in my throat at the end of this and I’m a Brit who’s only just moved to Cincinnati, god know’s what it did for the Kentuckians in the audience!

The show ended with a rip-roaring version of Camptown Races, with all the performers on stage, contributing to a fitting finale. In fact, they performed it again for the encore.

It was an absolutely superb afternoon’s entertainment. I’m no musical expert, but the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, aka Cincy Pops, sounded incredible. I’m afraid I can’t remember the names of all the soloists, only the conductor, John Morris Russell, who did a fine job, not only of conducting the orchestra, but also of hosting the event. One thing’s for sure, this won’t be my last visit to Cincinnati Music Hall and I definitely want to see the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra again!

One last comment, and this will do my “street cred” no good whatsoever, there were buses outside waiting to take people back to their old folks home! That never happens at the Southgate House Revival!

 

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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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