The final edition of “In Her Words” aired over two hours last night. I cobbled together some short interviews and insights by some of my favorite Women artists. The first hour includes Kaia Kater, Allison DeGroot with Tatiana Hargreaves, Laurie Lewis and Amanda Ann Platt. The second hour features Kate Lorenz, Liz Frame, Letitia VanSant, Pamela Means, Nora Jane Struthers and Christa Joy. Each artist introduces a song or two; most of them speak to some element of Women’s Herstory in their songwriting.
In honor of Women’s Herstory Month, Nine Volt Heart has compiled some of our favorite women artists to feature. In the last few years, I’ve spoken with nearly one hundred women song writers, singers and pickers. In this episode, I’ve culled a few interviews from Amythyst Kiah, Heather Maloney, Emma June, Lindsay Lou, Maya DeVitry, and Dori Freeman. These segments include song introductions and inspirations “in Her Words”.
Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen’s latest album, “If You Can’t Stand the Heat” was nominated for Best Bluegrass album by the Grammy Awards. His mandolin playing earned him nods by the IBMA and his band won “Best Instrumental Group” from the International Bluegrass Music Association as well. My segment with Frank covers a lot of his musical and personal biography from Alaska to playing in the US Navy band. We talk about his highly accomplished band, Dirty Kitchen and his love of cooking. Along the way we listen to three songs he recorded; the Box Top’s “The Letter”, Steely Dan’s “Rikki Don’t Lose that Number” and an original from his latest called “Crave”
Nora Jane Struthers has just released a brand new release called “Bright Lights Long Drives First Words” which documents her brand new dilemma. Nora Jane and band mate and husband Joe Overton have a one year old daughter. While this journey has been long desired, these new songs speak of the potential conflicts of both being a new mom and a touring musician. We talk about these issues and much more in this segment. It also includes the songs, “Nice to be Back Home”, “Band Family” and “A Good Thing” from her latest two releases. She will be appearing at Northampton’s Parlor Room on 3/7th.
Corey Laitman was my guest on Nine Volt Heart on 2/15/20. They are a recipient of 2018 Passim Iguana Fund to help fund their latest project. The songs on their latest release are “lush, compelling and deeply human”We talked quite a bit about songwriting and poetry focusing on their latest release called “Seafoam”released in 2018.
Our set of music included “Marching Band” from Seafoam, a live in-studio version of “Carnival”, “The Well” from the latest release, a gorgeous version of “Tuscon” live. The CD version of “Barn Owl” is followed by a new song on ukele called “Soft as the Mouths”.
Corey is curating a series of live shows at Northampton’s Majestic called “Shut Up and Listen to the Music”; the next one happening on 2/20 along with Sister Jawbone and Julie Cira and the Wake. Corey also appears at Greenfield’s Root Cellar on 2/22,and Cambridge’s Club Passim on 2/25.
Dominick Leslie is one of the bright young mandolinists of his generation. Selected to be one of the Young American Mandolin Ensemble representing in France, Dominick has studied with the very best. David Grisman, Sam Bush, Chris Thile, Andy Statman, Mike Compton and countless others have made him one of the “go to” mando played for many a spontaneous ensemble. Last summer’s Green Mountain Bluegrass and Roots festival included Dom in their all star “Strength in Numbers” tribute, for example. Dominick is a highly sought-after collaborator as evidenced by his numerous side projects including Sam Reider and His Human Hands, Phoebe Hunt and the Gatherers, The Bee Eaters, Missy Raines and the New Hip, Grant Gordy Quartet, and The Deadly Gentlemen.
This month he’s touring with the fabulous instrumental quartet, Hawktail. The band also includes Brittany Haas on fiddle, Paul Kowert on bass and Jordan Tice on guitar. They will be appearing at The Academy of Music’s Back Porch Festival on Saturday 2/29 as part of the bluegrass bill with the Travelin McCoury’s and Della Mae. Hawktail will also be performing a Parlor Session on Sunday 3/1 at Northampton’s Parlor Room.
Our interview includes a trio of tunes from the recently released album “Formations” including Annbjorg,Dandelion and Last One on the Line.
Ari and Mia along with Lucy Wise will be part of the Parlor Sessions Sunday 2/16 along with the Celtic trio KALOS. Mia Friedman was a guest in-studio for this segment and Lucy Wise called in for a short segment from NYC. We talked about their upcoming shows and their latest CD release Sew The City. We include a handful of the trio’s music as well. Give it a listen or better yet; consider attending the Parlor Session on Sunday!
Tim Eriksen is a local treasure in our Pioneer Valley but there aren’t too many chances to see him perform. Next Sunday 2/9 is just such an opportunity at Northampton’s Parlor Sessions. Tim has taught at Amherst College, Hampshire College and presently teaching Shape Note Singing from The Sacred Harp tradition at Smith College. He’s been active in providing music for theater (“Refugee”) as well as documentaries (“Behold the Earth”)recently ; but this work goes back to his role in the Academy Award nominated film, “Cold Mountain” back in 2003.
Tim will bring his music to the Parlor Session for an evening of stories , songs, and Magic Lantern projections from an imaginary New England village. Peter Irvine, long time collaborator from Tim’s Cordelia’s Dad days joins him as well as painter Susan Brearey who is working with the old school technology of the Magic Lantern projections.
Our conversation touches on his work on the film “Cold Mountain”, training the cast including Alison Krauss and Elvis Costello, in the Shape Note tradition. We discuss New England’s role in this traditional style of singing and preview the Parlor Session on next Sunday. The evening also will give tribute to John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers. Tim is a natural born story teller and he gives us a number of fascinating glimpses into what the Parlor Session will be like. The segment includes a handful of Tim’s music, of course, including “Better Days Are Coming” from the Soul of January Hills CD, “Am I Born to Die” from the Cold Mountain soundtrack as well as “Gabriel’s Trumpet” from Josh Billings Voyage.
The trio of celtic wonderlings KALOS were my guests yesterday on my radio show Nine Volt Heart. Jeremiah Mclane on accordion, Ryan McKassen on fiddle along with Eric McDonald on guitar are working on a brand new release as a trio.They will be part of 2/16 Parlor Session in a fabulous series of music designed to chase away the winter doldrums. These gentlemen’s music will surely do that. We had a long discussion of their acculmulated influences and experience and it is broad and diverse. They have experienced a lot in their musical wanderings and this expansiveness is apparent in their music. Our segment includes two recent tunes, “Brooke Leigh” and “Mark the Hard Earth”. Give it a listen or better yet get yourself down to Northampton’s Parlor Room on Sunday February 16th.
Chris Brashear and John Benjamin played an entertaining set of music in anticipation of their hosting duties at upcoming Parlor Room events. John Benjamin and Max Wareham will be hosting the Parlor Sessions for select Sunday shows this winter. Chris Brashear will be teaching a workshop along with Matt Flinner on 2/29 as part of the Back Porch Festival. Chris will also be hosting the Townes Van Zandt tribute night on 2/27 along with a host of singer/songwriters. Details for these events can be found at Signature Sounds Presents website.
Their set of music included “Lil’ Joe”, “The Road to Columbus”,and “The Midnight Special” live as a first time duo! The segment also includes Chris’ “Tell All My Pickin’ Friends Goodbye”, Matt Flinner’s “Inferno Reel”, Townes Van Zandt’s “To Live Is To Fly” as well as a cut from Chris’ collaboration with the Piedmont Melody Makers, “Just Keep Waiting Till the Good Times Come”.