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New Music for June

In celebration of Bob Dylan’s 70th birthday, a group of folk scene stars – Lucy Kaplansky, John Gorka, Hot Tuna, Storyhill, Eliza Gilkyson, Jimmy LaFave, The Pines, Meg Hutchinson and others – contributed to A Nod to Bob 2. The tribute CD revisits the groundbreaking songwriter’s journey from Minnesota to world domination.

Blackie & The Rodeo Kings’ newest, Kings and Queens, is also a group effort. The CD took three years to make with Colin Linden, Stephen Fearing and Tom Wilson joined by a different female singer on each song. "Queens" include Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Sara Watkins, Patti Scialfa and Exene Cervenka.

I’m a big fan of the cross-over. Call it throw-back, fusion, blender sound, musical gorp – bands that have the confidence to be true to themselves in a uniquely mixed up way make me smile. The Farewell Drifters start off with bluegrass instrumentation, but their sound takes off from there in many unexpected directions. With Echo Boom, the band uses a variety of song structures to explore their generation (with delightful results).

If singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn was born in the U.S. instead of Canada, he would probably be much more famous. For four decades, he has consistently produced quality songs about the truth of life in the modern world. His extensive travels have influenced his work as well, commenting on everything from soldiers in Kandahar to the common frustration of waiting for a return phone call. Cockburn’s latest release is Small Source of Comfort.

More new stuff from the Folk Alley universe:

Steve Earle – "I’ll Never Get Out of this World Alive"

Amanda Shires – "Carrying Lightning"

Matraca Berg – "The Dreaming Fields"

Blame Sally – "Speeding Ticket and a Valentine"

Chris Thile & Michael Daves – "Sleep with One Eye Open"

Zoe Muth & the Lost High Rollers – "Starlight Hotel"

Bela Fleck & The Flecktones – "Rocket Science"

Sierra Hull – "Daybreak"

Joel Mabus – "American Anonymous"

Lori McKenna – "Lorraine"

Marti Jones & Don Dixon – "Living Stereo"

The Greencards – "The Brick Album"

Brian Wright – "House on Fire"

Tim Grimm – "Thank You Tom Paxton"

Jeffrey Foucault – "Horse Latitudes"

The Sweetback Sisters – "Looking for a Fight"

Pat Donohue – "Nobody’s Fault"

James Lee Stanley and Cliff Eberhardt – "All Wood and Doors"
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