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In 1984, Robin and Linda Williams were asked to write songs for a musical about General Stonewall Jackson. The end result was Stonewall Country, a show that ran for 20 years at the Lime Kiln Theater in Lexington, Virginia. To mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, Robin and Linda have recorded their songs, which are rich in history – and high-energy bluegrass.
A new CD from Gillian Welch is always an anticipated event. She is one of the few folk artists who can rise to the top of the Amazon.com rankings all on their own. Her latest, The Harrow & The Harvest, was offered by Folk Alley and NPR Music as a first listen before it was released to the general public, so we could enjoy Gillian’s deep, rich vocals one day early. If you listened (or even if you didn’t) and want a copy of your own, you can click on the link above to go to Amazon. Folk Alley gets a little piece of your purchase, which helps support our bottom line.
The Juno Award-winning Jayme Stone is all about the banjo. His curiousity about the instrument led him to Mali in West Africa and now his latest CD, Room of Wonders, features music inspired by folk dances from around the world. And – with entries from Blugaria, France, Italy, Norway and more – he really means "aound the world." He has a group of fine musicians helping him out (including Casey Driessen on fiddle) helping him out. The CD earned a Juno nomination for Best Instrumental Album.
If current technology has made it easier to record a CD, it hasn’t made it easier to secure funding. Or, maybe it has. The trio Hotels & Highways raised money through Kickstarter to produce Lost River. Crowdfunding isn’t new (it’s basically the model that supports Folk Alley!), but it’s been gaining attention as artists turn away from traditional labels and look to the people that already love their music – the fans. To maintain their lowkey approach, Hotels & Highways hunkered down and recorded the album in 10 days in a New York cabin.
More new CDs to take to the beach: