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No Depression Review

Rayna Gellert's Hard Work Pays Off
by Rachel Cholst

January 27, 2017

Rayna Gellert's Workin's Too Hard is a little long to be an EP and shorter than an album, but it says a lot more than most. Gellert is perhaps best known for her work in the roots band Uncle Earl. I don't know too much about this corner of Americana, though, and the seven songs on Workin's Too Hard is enough keep Gellert on my radar.

The album was recorded in a single room with, according to the photo on the inside jacket, with the musicians just inches from each other. This intimacy can be felt throughout the songs. While most of them are slow-paced, the uptempo "I'm Bound for the Promised Land" allows the band to let loose a bunch of energy. However, it's in the first six tracks that they truly spread out and shine. From the get-go with "Workin's Too Hard," Gellert's all-too-human narrators fill us with empathy and warmth, even as we immerse ourselves in their pain. These songs feel timeless but are truly distinctive. It's a beautiful compilation and I'm excited to go deeper into Gellert's catalog.

Speaking of the jacket, if you're into this kind of thing, the design on the physical album is beautiful. From the understated style of the jacket to the dirty fingerprints on the CD itself, the same amount of care and craftsmanship that went into the music can be found in the album. The whole project is intimate, earthy, and human -- things we all need in the coming years.

To see the full review and listen to the track Workin's Too Hard go to: No Depression

Bluegrass Situation Premieres "Grey Bird"

Listen to the track "Grey Bird" from Rayna Gellert's new album Workin's Too Hard.

"We thought the album was done and dusted, ready to master, and then 'Grey Bird' came flying in. Kieran and I, in the instant inspired, finished it sitting in the studio, and then we all chased down the arrangement together. Working with such versatile musicians makes it hard to narrow down the options. But as soon as I heard the octave-mando-and-electric-guitar combination, I knew we'd captured it." -- Rayna Gellert

THE BLUEGRASS SITUATION: The home of everything bluegrass, folk, and Americana

Chaim Tannenbaum Makes MOJO Best Folk Albums 2016 List

Congratulations to Chaim and producer Dick Connette!

Rayna Gellert to Release New Album and Tour UK In January

On Old Light: Songs from my Childhood & Other Gone Worlds, old-time fiddler Rayna Gellert first established herself as a songwriter and vocalist. Workin’s Too Hard (available January 27), her new collection of original and traditional songs, carries that promise forward, along a tradition now of her own devising, and demonstrates how deep immersion in our musical past can point the way toward the future of American music. She developed the album in collaboration with co-producer Kieran Kane, multi-instrumentalist Kai Welch (Abigail Washburn, Bobby Bare Jr.), and drummer Jamie Dick (Rhiannon Giddens, Joan Shelley). Recorded old school live in one room by Grammy-winning engineer Charles Yingling (Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard), the sound of Workin’s Too Hard is as warm, intimate, and deep as the songs themselves.

Workin's Too Hard - UK Tour 2017

Fri 20th Jan - Whitstable Sessions, Whitstable, Kent
Sun 22nd Jan - Victoria Hotel, Menai Bridge, Wales
Wed 25th Jan- Manorbier, Pembrokeshires, Wales 
Thurs 26th Jan - Green Note, London    
Sat 28th Jan - Square & Compass, Worth Matravers, Dorset 
Wed 1st Feb - Strule Arts Centre Omagh  
Thurs 2nd Feb - Council Chamber Hall Bangor   
Fri 3rd Feb - Market Place Theatre Armagh  
Sat 4th Feb - Roe Valley Arts Centre Limavady  
Sun 5th Feb - Black Box Belfast    

Review of Loudon Wainwright III London Palladium Concert

Loudon Wainwright III, London Palladium
The singer-songwriter joyfully hymns five generations of his family (and trashes Trump)
by Jasper Rees

Loudon Wainwright III, a going concern as a singer-songwriter since the start of the Seventies, has long since been occluded by the commercial success of his brood, Martha and Rufus. Their old man is still enough of a draw to pack out the Palladium with just a guitar, a banjo and a back catalogue of cranky songs only he could have composed.

For subject matter Wainwright has tended to commute, he cheerfully conceded, along a well-trodden path between “shitty relationships” and “death and decay”. There was a bit of both here – a compulsory outing for “Unhappy Anniversary” and his medical comedy song “The Doctor”. Both themes mordantly combined in “The Morgue” from his most recent release Haven’t Got the Blues (Yet). The song gleefully pictures the deceased on the slab, slain by “a guilty conscience and a broken heart”. How we laughed.

But most of this set was a loving and epic paean to family spanning five generations from grandparents to grandchildren. In winks and glances, it even told the story of the North American century. In “Half Fist”, reflecting on the grandfather he never met, Wainwright rhymed “Loudon” with “World War One” and “shotgun”. There was a lovely story about the tour of Alaska recently undertaken by a bunch of Wainwrights, segueing into “The Wainwright Family Adventure” in which Rufus’s switch in sexual preference was scrunched into a couplet: “once was a tit man/Now checks pecs out at the gym”. “What family isn’t insane?” crooned the clan patriarch in “All in the Family”, reflecting on parental failures.

The figure who loomed over the evening was Wainwright’s father, who in his time was an eminence at Life magazine. His fame was “kind of a drag”, grumbled his son, whose patricidal instincts have mutated into fond respect for a master craftsman. Three times the singing stopped as Loudon Wainwright III allowed Loudon Wainwright Jr to step forward and speak again through him via long stretches of his Life column “The View from Here”. The first was about birth – the singer’s own in hospital on the same night as a much older expectant father heard that his own first child was stillborn. The last was an immensely touching paean to the family pooch. 

With his face an ever-changing canvas of writhing grimaces and wacko tongue wags, Wainwright’s instinct is to make his audience chortle like coyotes. “Election Song” was a typically surreal assault on Donald Trump, who in a nightmare vision makes “My Ding-a-Ling” the national anthem and carpet-bombs Montreal (where Wainwright’s kids were brought up by their mother Kate McGarrigle). But he can also conjure up melancholy without his old man’s help. “I’m Back in Your Town” opened the set and established an undertow of sorrow beneath the jaunty veneer. There was a lovely elegy to an old Carolina troubadour in “Charlie’s Last Song” and a thoughtful memorial to Hank Williams in “Hank and Fred”.

As for the music, Wainwright made light of his touch. “Don’t know what I’m worried about,” he said as he tuned his guitar. “You can’t tell.” His Grammy for best traditional record he modestly dismissed as “category 57 behind best poker record”. But he picked and strummed folk tunes of bracing originality, mingling blues swoops and country licks and, when his hilarious long-term sidekick Chaim Tennenbaum sauntered on, sprinkles of bluegrass banjo plus gorgeous close harmonies.

This was a lovely memoir in song and spoken word. In his dotage, is the old man growing sentimental? “We’re too old to die young,” he said, “but we can dream, can’t we?” May he dream on and on.

Chaim Tannenbaum To Play London In November

At the conclusion of his UK tour opening for Loudon Wainwright III, Chaim Tannenbaum will play a solo show Friday, November 11 at Proud Camden in London.  The show presented by The Nest Collective will feature Chaim performing songs from his selt-titled debut album with special guests Kate St. John, Neill MacColl and Dick Connette. 

Purchase tickets HERE

StorySound Live: Excursions Into American Song at The Yard on Martha's Vinyard

StorySound Live: Excursions Into American Song
Featuring the music of Dick Connette, Rayna Gellert, and Chaim Tannenbaum with Kevin Kehrberg, Kevin Kuhn, and Nathaniel Smith
For one night only Friday, September 16 at The Yard on Martha's Vinyard.
Click HERE for more information and tickets

Dick Connette and Folk is led by composer Dick Connette, whose "conceptual vision stands at a crossroads between composed "serious" music and the wide horizons of American folk music," (Sam Sutherland). His works merge American folk and popular music. StorySound Records, founded by Dick Connette, is a small NYC label, focussed on song, rooted in American folk and popular music. Since 2009 it has released 15 CDs, including Loudon Wainwright III’s Grammy-winning High Wide & Handsome. The shows will feature songs by Dick, Rayna Gellert, and Chaim Tannenbaum, all StorySound artists. The group has been assembled especially for The Yard, and all of the performances will be premieres.

Chaim Tannenbaum Four Star Review in The Guardian U.K.

It’s a no-nonsense, charming and compelling affair. At 68, he’s a new folk hero. 4-Stars!

Read the entire review HERE

Chaim Tannenbaum To Open For Loudon Wainwright III On Tour Of U.K.

Chaim Tannenbaum will tour the U.K. this fall in support of his new self-titled release.

October

Thu 13             Cambridge              Corn Exchange      
Fri   14             Manchester             BWH                      
Sat  15             Bexhill                    De La Warr Pav  
Mon 17            Bristol                    St. Georges Hall        
Tue  18            Birmingham           Town Hall              
Thu   20           Milton Keynes         The Stables            
Fri     21           London                   The Palladium       
Sun   23           Liverpool                 Philharmonic                   
Mon   24          Gateshead              Sage                      
Tue   25           York                        Barbican                
Thu   27           Sheffield                 Memorial Hall        
Sat    29           Glasgow                  RCH  
Mon   31          Cork                       Opera House

November

Tue   1             Limerick                 Limetree Theatre
Wed  2             Belfast                   Mandela Hall
Sat   5              Galway                  Seapoint          
Sun  6              Dublin                    Vicar Street      

Chaim Tannenbaum Review in Pop Matters

Chaim Tannenbaum Reinvigorates Traditional Folk with his Compelling Debut.

If you’ve heard of Chaim Tannenbaum before, it’s probably because he’s worked alongside acclaimed singer-songwriters in the world of folk music, such as Loudon Wainwright III and sister duo Kate and Anna McGarrigle before turning out his debut solo record. If you had imagined, though, that at the age of 68 the prolific folk artist would have established a solo effort any sooner than 2016, you’d be mistaken.  With decades in the industry already footed by Tannenbaum, 68 years comes across as an interesting, and certainly off-the-beaten-path, age for a man of his musical pedigree to be turning in his official debut. At the same time, it offers up a tremendous pool of knowledge as it applies to folk music and the world about him.

Read the full review HERE

Judd Apatow-Executive Produced Video for Loudon Wainwright's 'I Had A Dream' Debuts on Funny or Die

The comedy video website Funny or Die premiered Loudon Wainwright's music video for his latest song, "I Had a Dream."  Watch HERE

Throughout his career, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Loudon Wainwright III has occasionally turned his attention to current events, “Social Studies” (1999) and “10 Songs for the New Depression” (2010) for example. This year’s primary season has once again given him something to (ruefully) sing about, so, acting like a one-man Super PAC, he’s rushed to write, record, and release his broadsided stumpsong. Titled "I Had A Dream," the song explores what it would be like if Donald Trump won the presidency. Upon completing the song, Wainwright enlisted famed director Judd Apatow to executive produce the video which premiered today on Funny or Die, co-directed by Myles Kane and Marc Philippe Eskenazi.

Chaim Tannenbaum Interview and Video in The Montreal Gazette

Wainwright/McGarrigle Co-hort Chaim Tannenbaum Releases Album of A Lifetime. 

Those in the know, including Wainwright, have talked about Tannenbaum’s key role in the Wainwright and McGarrigle oeuvre. But the man himself has little time for such praise. “I played a role,” said Tannenbaum. “Wainwright and Kate and Anna, they’re richly creative. They’re rambunctious. Stuff just comes out of them. I had an excellent time on the ride. It was so much fun.”

Read the full article HERE

Salon Premieres Loudon Wainwright III New Single "I Had A Dream"

Loudon Wainwright turns his acerbic wit on the 2016 presidential election and conjures a bleak dystopian future. Hear Wainwright imagine Donald Trump’s terrifying presidency in this new song I Had A Dream.

Chaim Tannenbaum Record Release Shows In New York, Montreal and Toronto

To celebrate the release of his self-titled debut album, ChaimTannenbaum will play New York, Montreal and Toronto.  Performing with Chaim in New York are Will Holshouser, David Mansfield and Loudon Wainwright III.  For the Montreal and Toronto shows Chaim will be joined by Joel Zifkiin on fiddle and Tom Mennier on accordion and piano.  Click on the dates below for more information or to make reservations. 

Sunday, May 22 at Dixon Place in New York

Thursday, June 9 at Upstairs Jazz in Montreal 2 SHOWS

Sunday, June 12 at Tranzac in Toronto

 

Gabriel Kahane On Tour Opening for The Punch Brothers.

2-May Schermerhorn Symphony Center Nashville, TN
3-May Iron City Birmingham Birmingham, AL
5-May Georgia Theatre Athens, GA
6-May Pisgah Brewing Co. Black Mountain, NC
9-May Keswick Theatre Glenside, PA
10-May Sanders Theatre Cambridge, MA
12-May The Pabst Theater Milwaukee, WI
13-May Thalia Hall Chicago, IL
14-May Thalia Hall Chicago, IL

Gabriel Kahane's albums Where are the Arms, February House and The Ambassador are available from StorySound Records. 

 

Chaim Tannenbaum Track Premiere on CBC Music - Songs You Need To Hear

Listen to "London Longing For Home" from the forthcoming self titled debut album from Chaim Tannenbaum.  LISTEN HERE

Chaim Tannenbaum - Release date: May 27 

Rayna Gellert on SiriusXM The Spectrum - Streaming Now

Dave Marsh interviewed Rayna Gellert on his show Kick Out The Jams on SiriusXM The Spectrum ch. 28. Dave played songs from Rayna's album Old Light: Songs From My Childhood and Other Gone Worlds. 

The program is available to stream now on Sirius XM The Spectrum

Dave Marsh is the former editor/cofounder of Creem Magazine, Marsh has also been an associate and contributing editor at Rolling Stone.  He's authored 25 books including two best-sellers. 

"an extraordinary album" - The Ambassador Reviewed in Drowned In Sound U.K.

On The Ambassador Gabriel Kahane assumes the role of detective, uncovering the often dark underbelly of the ‘city of angels’; peeling back the glossy veneer to reveal its stony foundations. Each track on the album is inspired by individual addresses in Los Angeles and appropriates characters as diverse as Mildred Pierce and Roy Batty for source material. Musically the album also casts a wide net, with no one genre settled on for more than fleeting moments. It’s a tour of the city like no other.  Read the entire review HERE.

Dick Connette on Sirius XM

Today, Sunday February 7 at 10 AM ET tune in to hear Dave Marsh interview Dick Connette on SiriusXM The Spectrum ch. 28. Dave will be playing songs by Last Forever, Margaret Glaspy, Rayna Gellert, The Brooklyn Boogaloo Blowout, Rachelle Garniez and more.

Dave Marsh is the former editor/cofounder of Creem Magazine, Marsh has also been an associate and contributing editor at Rolling Stone.  He's authored 25 books including two best-sellers. 

The program will re-air on Tuesday, February 9 at 12 AM EST. 

Sirius XM The Spectrum

Rachelle Garniez Upcoming New York Area Shows

Date Venue City
7-Jan Barbes Brooklyn
17-Jan Barbes (APAP Showcase)  Brooklyn
4-Feb Barbes Brooklyn
8-Feb Rockwood Music Hall - Stage 3 New York

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