New Music for March

New Music for a Happy Spring

Here’s a way to get a lot of people to retweet – use the name Nickel Creek in your post. Much to the joy of its legions of fans, the band has rather improbably reunited for a new CD, A Dotted Line, and is out on tour. Chris Thile, Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins have all had success on their own, but they kept crossing paths, performing together and writing new songs. We’ll just call it throw-back summer.

Speaking of throw-backs (and Sean and Sara Watkins, who appear on this CD), singer/songwriter Jackson Browne is the focus of a new tribute. One of the top artists in the singer/songwriter movement in the late ’70s, Browne wrote tons of top hits – and is still on the road today. Others lending their talents to Looking Into You: A Tribute to Jackson Browne include Jimmy LaFave, Eliza Gilkyson, Marc Cohn, Lucinda Williams, and many others.

Eliza Gilkyson was the very first Live From Folk Alley, recorded in 2005 at the Beachland Ballroom. Since then, she’s released five more albums on the Red House Records label. Her newest collection is The Nocturne Diaries. In the Hear It First Folk Alley hosted earlier this month, Kim Ruehl said, "The album is wrought with raw recordings that sound like the sort of close and quiet tunes you might hear when you wander late night at the Kerrville Folk Festival outside Gilkyson’s hometown of Austin, Tex. Even the instrumental solos – fiddle, parlor piano, musical saw, the occasional distorted guitar – sound like the restrained contributions of friends seeking more to color the spirit of the song than steal the spotlight."

As March comes to a close, there’s still time to get lucky with Classic Celtic Music from Smithsonian Folkways. The album, no surprise from Folkways, is a comprehensive collection of older, traditional performances and contemporary reinterpretations of Celtic songs. Vocal and instrumental styles are both represented. Thanks to music historian, musician, and folklorist Richard Carlin, this album is a worthy number 20 in the Smithsonian Folkways Classics series.

Other springtime additions:

Amy Black – "This Is Home"

Beoga – "Live at 10: The 10th Anniversary Concert"

Canadafrica: Mike Stevens and Okaidja Afroso – "Where’s the One?"

Claudia Schmidt – "New Whirled Order"

Dietrich Strause – "Little Stones to Break the Giant’s Heart"

Flaco Jimenez & Max Baca – "Flaco & Max: Legends & Legacies"

Jamestown Revival – "Utah"

John Gorka – "Bright Side of Down"

Laurie Lewis – "One Evening in May"

Rhonda Vincent – "Only Me"

Robby Hecht – "Robby Hecht"

Robert Sarazin Blake – "Robert Sarazin Blake"

Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers feat. Edie Brickell – "Live"

Teada – "In Spite of the Storm"

The Farwell Drifters – "Tomorrow Forever"

The Infamous Stringdusters – "Let It Go"

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