KZGM-FM Kaleidoscope Program 42 Announcer's Transcript
"Hi everybody and welcome to Kaleidoscope - two hours of folk, bluegrass, independent and world music. I'm your host, Butch Kara, and we've got some exciting new albums to sample in all those categories today, so I hope you'll stay tuned.
Even though we've been accused of cultural imperialism, Americans may still be surprised at how many aspects of their culture have a devoted following in other countries. But if you consider how American roots music has always appealed to the aspirations of ordinary people, you hardly need a conspiracy theory to explain its worldwide spread . And that's certainly true in the case of two young Swiss brothers named Jens and Uwe Kruger, who fell in love with bluegrass after their father brought some LPs back home from a business trip to the States.
Jens and Uwe Kruger started off their music careers with Jens playing his mother's accordion and Uwe strumming his dad's guitar, but when Jens turned twelve his brother bought him a real five string banjo, and the duo took off. As teenagers , they left home to try their luck as street musicians, traveling around Europe and calling themselves The Rocky Road Band.
But a major turning point happened in 1982 when twenty year old Jens decided to cross the Atlantic on a pilgrimage to that Mecca for bluegrass music in southern Indiana - Bill Monroe's Bean Blossom music festival. Jens spent that summer studying and living with Bill, then returned to Switzerland to develop his own playing and writing style. Four years later Jens and Uwe decided to get back together and perform under a new name - The Appalachian Barn Orchestra. As fate would have it, it wasn't long after then that a bass player from New York, Joel Landsberg, moved to Switzerland to begin his career as a member of several European country/rock and jazz bands, and of course, found himself bumping into the Kr ger Brothers.
Now a trio, with Jens on banjo, Uwe playing guitar and singing lead vocals, and Joel on bass, the Kruger Brothers began making regular festival appearances in the US, and in 2003, decided to move permanently to North Carolina.
Like other progressive musicians, the Kruger Brothers maintain both a respect for tradition and a willingness to innovate, incorporating elements of jazz , blues and classical music as they've evolved over sixteen albums in the last twenty years.
Their latest albums are Between the Notes and Forever and a Day. I just got copies of both of those, and since the albums are somewhat different, I thought that I'd save Forever and a Day for next week, and begin today's show with Between the Notes. Between the Notes really highlights that synthesis of styles the Kruger Brothers are known for, and you'll definitely hear that in this first number, called Jack of the Wood. Here's the Kruger Brothers....
+++ Jack of the Wood, Watches the Clouds Roll By; Jason
The Kruger Brothers - with a new song based on an old tale - Jason - from the Kr ger Brother's 2009 album Between the Notes. And before that we heard two other tracks from Between the Notes - Watches the Clouds Roll By, and an instrumental piece that would inspire any young banjo player - and probably some older ones too - Jack of the Wood.
One of Irish folksinger Luka Bloom's songs begins: " In the City of Chicago / As the evening shadows fall /There are people dreaming / Of the hills of Donegal." That song describes the generations of Irishmen driven to immigration by the great potato famine, and also encapsulates Bloom's own experience as an Irish singer who came to America to pursue his musical career, while always dreaming of home.
Luka Bloom came to America some twenty years ago after a decade of touring Europe, performing under his given name Barry Moore. And while his identity as Luka Bloom perhaps signaled a shift into new territories - his music over the decades - whether he's singing his own material over a cover of LL Cool J - never strayed far from the realm of folk music.
Luka Bloom's latest album from Compass Records is called Dreams In America - mostly a collection of new performances of his own songs along with some traditionals. And we're going to hear a couple of each, beginning with a song that first appeared as a broadside ballad around 1852. The authorship is uncertain, although it was supposedly written by the widow Sir John Franklin, who led an ill fated expedition to the arctic in 1845 - just about the time of that great potato famine that spawned the wave of Irish immigration. The song was originally published as Lady Franklin's Lament - and it's sung here by Luka Bloom under the simpler title - Lord Franklin....
++++ Lord Franklin; Black Is the Colour; Be Still Now; Bridge of Sorrow
Luka Bloom, with Bridge of Sorrow, and before that, a song most definitely guaranteed to lift your spirits when things seem hopeless - Be Still Now. Bridge of Sorrow first appeared on Luka's 1992 album The Acoustic Motorbike, and Be Still Now was from his 2004 album Before Sleep Comes. Those new performances are from his latest CD - Dreams In America, along with the traditional Black Is the Colour, and the old ballad we started off with - Lord Franklin.
Here's a string band from downstate New York that combines the sound of an old timey jamboree with the consciousness raising of a lively sixties hootenanny. The band is called McMule. I don't know if they've taken any flack from the burger corporation about that name - but in any case McMule is made up of vocalist Joanne Lediger along with John Anderson on guitar and banjo, Doug O'Connor on bass, Perry Palleta on mandolin and Jim Sterett on harmonica, with all the crew joining in the singing, and each contributing an original song or two. McMule's second and latest album is called Whiskeytalk, and it's got thirteen tracks ranging from gospel to bluegrass to an Irish reel, so there's something for everybody. Here's three of my own favorites from Whiskeytalk, beginning with one called Chester Road...
+++Chester Road ; Deep Dark Places; Floating On the Rubble
Floating On the Rubble. by the New York based string band McMule. Before Floating on the Rubble we heard McMule perform Deep Dark Places and Chester Road - all those from McMule's new CD Whiskeytalk. And if you'd like to find out more about McMule and how to get their music, their website address, is mcmule dot com, and mcmule is spelled m c m u l e .
Singer songwriter James Wesley Haymer is the son of actor Johnny Haymer - who you might remember from the TV series M A S H. And I mention that fact in introducing James, because as the son of a Hollywood actor, James tapped into the children of other Hollywood stars to form his first band Silverspoon. Silverspoon's main claim to fame was its contribution to the soundtrack of Helter Skelter. After the band broke up in the 70's , James continued to write and perform songs in the LA circuit, but he eventually fled the west coast -rumor has it that the Northridge quake of 1994 helped make up his mind - and he ended up in small town Tennesee, not far from Nashville, where he continues to write, sing and collaborate.
James Wesley Haymer's latest album is called Timing Is Everything, and if he's still young at heart, his songs have gotten even stronger with maturity. Here's three of them, beginning with one called Empty Chair...
++++Empty Chair; Waiting It Out; Song for My Sons
A song that's the icing on the cake - that was James Wesley Haymer with Song for My Sons - from his new album Timing Is Everything. Before Song for My Sons we heard Waiting It Out, and started off with Empty Chair.
We're going to a break here, but stay tuned 'cause we've got another hour of music coming up with more new albums by independent songwriters Buzz Cason, Rick Garvin and Rachel Persaud. You're listening to Kaleidoscope.
Welcome back to the second hour of Kaleidoscope.
One of the longstanding names in the Nashville music scene is singer, songwriter and publisher Buzz Cason. Back in the 50s he was a member of Nashville's first rock 'n roll band The Casuals. He went on to back names acts like Elvis Presley, Kenny Rogers and Willie Nelson and His songs have been covered by performers as diverse as The Beatles, Martina McBride , Pearl Jam and Placido Domingo.
Recently, Buzz Cason started putting out a few albums of his own, and his latest is called Working Without a Net. His delivery can range from Dylanesque to Levon Helm, and while I was listening to the songs on Working Without a Net, I actually found myself checking the liner notes just to make sure it was in fact, all him. But you'll see what I mean when you hear some of the great tracks from Working Without a Net - starting off with a song called I Was There When the Deal Went Down. Here's Buzz Cason, along with Colin Whinnery on lead guitar, Parker Cason on electric guitar, Bryan Grassmyer on Bass, and Jim Thistle on drums...
++++I Was There When the Deal Went Down; Walk Away; Dixie Rain
Three songs by Buzz Cason that showcase his amazingly versatile singing style - that was Dixie Rain, and before that we heard Walk Away, and I Was There When the Deal Went Down. All those from Buzz Cason's new CD Working Without A Net.
You might wonder what kind of album would feature a tune called The Degenerate Song. Well, it's probably not what you think. In fact, it's one of the more humorous and tongue in cheek numbers on Canadian Rick Garvin's new collection of his contemporary folksongs called The Family of Man. Rick's been a regular at folk festivals in British Columbia and Alberta since the 70's, and he's also been a member of groups like Stone Whistle and Jambo Salamo, playing in styles in ranging from folk to reggae to afropop. The theme of Rick's new album is that we're not only all in this together, but that everybody's actually related - and probably more closely than many of us would like to believe - which is what he sings about most eloquently in the title song to this album - The Family of Man....
++++ The Family of Man; Here I Go; Nothing Comes From Nothing
Rick Garvin, along with Wendell Fergusson on guitar, Brad Hardstaff on drums and Mike Kruse on bass with three songs from Rick Garvin's latest CD . We heard Nothing Comes from Nothing, Here I Go, and began with the album's title song - The Family of Man.
Here's another Canadian singer songwriter with a somewhast different background- Rachel Persaud. Rachel trained as a classical singer and has pursued a career on the opera stage. But after returning from Austria in 2005 she realized she wanted to share the songs she'd written with a wider audience, and in the process has put out three albums - Beta, One Little Voice, and Breeze Dancer. Rachel's background as a classical singer shines through on many of these songs, but she also can sing with the warm, bluesy moan that you'd expect from a spiritual, as you'll hear in this first song, called Deep In the River. Here's Rachel Persaud....
+++++ Deep In the River; Close Your Eyes; I Would Go; Ange de mon Coeur
Rachel Persaud with four songs from two different albums- we heard Ange de mon Coeur from Rachel's album Breeze Dancer. And before that I Would Go, Close Your Eyes and Deep In the River, from her first album - Beta. And if you'd like to check out Rachel Persaud's music, her last name is spelled p e r s a u d , and probably the easiest way to find her website is to do a search using her name - Rachel Persaud.
As regular listeners know, we end each episode of Kaleidoscope with Cat Steven's 1971 hit Peace Train, one of the great anthems calling on people to demand an end to a culture of war. Stevens own quest for spiritual peace began when he was stricken almost fatal tuberculosis back in 1969 when he was only 21. After exploring many different religions, he finally converted to Islam, and soon after that brought his music career to a close. Fortunately , he eventually decided that his music didn't have to conflict with his religious convictions, and under his new name, Yusuf - he's once again using music as a way to promote peace and justice.
That powerful social message is delivered beautifully and forcefully with his latest release, Roadsinger, which came out in 2009 . Recently, Yusuf posted on his website that today, as never before, we need to free ourselves from corporate and political forces which want to control our lives, even to the point of telling us when to live and when to die. And for anybody caught up in mass culture who thinks there's nothing they can do to change things, and that there's no cause worth marching for - Yusuf replies - of course there's a cause - "it's called Humanity"....
++++Roadsinger; The Rain; Be What You Must
Three songs from Yusuf's release, Roadsinger.
Well, unfortunately that's all the time we have for this show, but I hope you've enjoyed the music.
Kaleidoscope comes to you from community radio and Pacifica affiliate KZGM in Cabool Missouri. Our theme music is from Peter Rowan's Dust Bowl Children, on Rounder Records.
If you have any questions or comments, I love to hear from you - my email address is butch - that's b u t c h at k z 88 dot o r g .
And if you'd like to see the playlist for this or any other show, just go to our website - k z 88 dot o r g - click on Forums and go to the Kaleidoscope forum. This is show number 42.
I hope you'll join me again next time for more great music - but until then, this is Butch Kara, hoping you have a safe and rewarding week, and that you keep a good tune in your head.
++++ outro Peace Train
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