Why yes, I am posting “blue” songs to celebrate the University of Kentucky’s trip to the Final Four this weekend! Thank you for noticing. Today, we’re gonna go full-on hillbilly with some mighty fine bluegrass — Kentucky is, after all, The Bluegrass State — from “The Mountain,” country-rock icon Steve Earle‘s 1999 collaboration with the Del McCoury Band. Here’s “Yours Forever Blue.” (Wanna check out all the “blue” songs? Click here.)
P.S. This video is weird. No idea what’s going on.
Kelly Joe Phelps and Corinne West will bring their wonderful new duo to Angeline’s Bakery in Sisters next week. Both are well known solo artists on the folk circuit, but they’ve merged their talents. West told The Bulletin why:
We didn’t know quite what to expect other than that we were going to have a great time, which we did. However, we found a mutual bond on many musical levels that took the music places neither of us had been artistically. Very magical. It was an easy decision in the end to continue forward, as the music seemed to form its own life around us, and we both thought it was extremely beautiful. Heartfelt and strong. So many things.
We’ve been amazed by the sound of our voices together — something neither one of us ever expected to find in terms of a true sympathetic companion vocally. Not emotionally, necessarily (even though that does apply as well) but tonally. We’re still amazed by that. And we’ve found a commonality in things like phrasing, vocal or guitar, where we’ll be in the middle of some flight of musical fancy and find ourselves phrasing vocally or guitaristically in the exact same way at the exact same moment. Out of seemingly nowhere. It’s really turning into quite a journey.
Steve Earle performs at Bend's Tower Theatre on June 29. Photo by Rob Kerr / The Bulletin
Alt-country icon Steve Earle played to a sold-out Tower Theatre in Bend June 29. I was there and wrote a review, and here’s part of it:
I was surprised by how few songs Earle did from his new record “Townes,” a tribute to his mentor, the late songwriting genius Townes Van Zandt. He did the man’s best-known tune, “Pancho and Lefty,” and “Rex’s Blues,” as well as one of his own songs, “Ft. Worth Blues,” that’s about Van Zandt. But that was it, unless I missed one.
As he introduced “Rex’s Blues,” Earle described Van Zandt as a “migratory” fellow, and the lyrics of “Ft. Worth Blues” reflect that; besides the title town, Colorado, Tennessee, Texas (and Houston), Amsterdam, London and Paris all make an appearance in the song.
Five minutes later, Earle was plucking his guitar and talking about his sons, two of whom are grown and the other brand new. He dedicated “Little Rock ‘n’ Roller” — a tender lullaby released 25 years ago on Earle’s first album — to his boys, and turned in a genuinely moving performance that exuded a blend of love and regret that any workaholic parent can understand.
Somewhere in there, it occurred to me that “Ft. Worth Blues” and “Little Rock ‘n’ Roller” neatly sum up most of Earle’s oeuvre; almost all of his songs are about motion or emotion. Or both. If he’s not singing about being stuck in this town, getting out of this town, or wandering over to that other town, he’s playing a song he wrote “for what’s-her-name, wherever the hell she is,” as he said in Bend.
I hope you’ll click here and read the whole thing. And click here to see more of Bulletin photographer Rob Kerr’s photos of the show.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Former Men at Work frontman Colin Hay kicks off the Clear Summer Nights series, top-notch folkies Sid Selvidge and Amy Speace play a house show in Bend, The Aggrolites return to town, the Poison Control Center brings ’90s indie rock to Mountain’s Edge, and Silver Moon Brewing has a typically strong week planned, with the Raina Rose Trio tonight, Not An Airplane on Saturday, and a full band show by The White Buffalo on Thursday. As usual, you can find lots more fun stuff to see and hear in The Bulletin’s complete music listing.
Hardcore troubadour Steve Earle put on a great (and long!) show last night for a sold-out Tower Theatre in Bend. Bulletin photographer Rob Kerr was there and came back with these excellent photos of the man doing what he does better than just about anyone else alive.
Just announced by Random Presents: Roots-rock icon Steve Earle will play a solo acoustic show at the Tower Theatre in Bend on June 29. Tickets go on sale “soon,” according to Random’s Web site, and cost $35 and $45. More details here.
Whether you think of him as an alt-country godfather, left-leaning political activist or Walon from “The Wire,” Earle has, over the past 15 years, evolved into one of the most interesting and engaging musicians going.
Here at Frequency, we focus on the music, and Earle’s got a catalog of songs that stack up with anyone’s. From his 1986 breakthrough album “Guitar Town” to last year’s record of Townes Van Zandt — and including an untouchable five-album stretch from 1995 to 2000 — Earle has amassed a long, varied and highly respected body of work that has earned him three Grammys, countless critical accolades, and a great nickname: the “hard-core troubadour.” Personally, my interest in the man’s recorded material has waned a bit in recent years, but this is a great booking and I’m stoked to have such a top-notch performer in Bend.
Click below to listen to some of my favorite Steve Earle songs, and leave a comment and tell me your favorite! (more…)