Last weekend I walked into my local Berkeley coffee shop and Bob Dylan’s Desolation Row was playing on the stereo. I turned to my friend and asked if he had any way of identifying what verse we were at – but neither of us could place how far into the song we were, or how likely it was the song would still be playing when we left. It was, in fact, still playing when we left. Later that night, I saw Wilco at The Greek Theatre open with One Sunday Morning (Song For Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend) – yet another song with numerous (albeit short) verses, and thus was born this week’s B List. Interestingly, both of those songs, and many listed below, share the characteristic of also not having a chorus.
Hurricane – Bob Dylan
There was a time in high school where I could recite all eleven verses from Dylan’s protest song for boxer and accused murdered Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. If I had time to dig through enough songs, we could probably make a B List of only Bob Dylan songs that have eight or more verses. In addition to the mention of Desolation Row in the intro, Tangled Up In Blue, Lily, Rosemary and The Jack of Hearts, the list goes on and on.
As we’ve previously pointed out all year long, the legacy of Woody Guthrie will be celebrated in honor of the iconic and influential folk singer’s 100th birthday, which would have been tomorrow. Earlier this week, as part of the centennial celebration, Smithsonian Folkways released a new, comprehensive, three-disc 57-track box set entitled Woody at 100: Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection. The set features 21 previously unreleased performances, and six never-before-heard original songs as well as a handful of radio performances. Let’s check out this six minute featurette on the making of this fantastic set…
As we’ve previously mentioned around these parts, 2012 marks the 100th birthday of arguably the most influential singer-songwriter of all-time - Woody Guthrie. With loads of centennial events taking place throughout the course of the year, it’s no surprise that Guthrie’s progeny are also getting in on the act. This summer, three generations of Guthries will hit the road together for a 12-date tour that’s being billed as “The Guthrie Family Reunion.” Led by Arlo, the packaged tour will also feature Woody’s grand-kids Abe, Cathy, Annie and Sarah Lee Guthrie, as well as her husband Johnny Irion, and even his great-grand-kids, performing “Woody’s songs as well as new material written by various family members.” The short run will kick off on July 7 at Lock Live 3 in Akron, Ohio and includes a high profile stop at the Newport Folk Festival, in Newport, Rhode Island on Saturday, July 28.
If the Guthrie Family Reunion tour isn’t hitting a town near you, then maybe you’ll be able to hit one of these recently announced tours…
With all the planned celebrations surrounding Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday this year, it’s no surprise that Billy Bragg would be throwing his hat into the ring to honor the iconic and influential singer-songwriter. The U.K.- based folkie has direct ties to Guthrie, teaming up with Wilco back in 1997, to put music to a collection of unrecorded Guthrie songs. The two acts recorded nearly 50 songs, which have been packaged together as Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions, which will hit stores next Tuesday. Bragg will honor Guthrie’s legacy with his Ain’t Nobody That Can Sing Like Me world tour, that will see the singer perform songs from the aforementioned collection, as well as material from his own socio-political charged songbook, that certainly would have made Woody proud.
If you’re not into a night with Billy Bragg, then maybe you’ll be interested in hitting one of these recently announced tours…
There are justly no shortage of tributes planned around the year-long celebration of Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday. Woody’s centennial is being marked by a series of exhibits, conferences, school programs and tribute concerts all celebrating to the legacy of the iconic and influential sociopolitical singer-songwriter. While these events will likely examine most of his recorded works, New Multitudes features a new set of music composed by Jay Farrar, Jim James, Will Johnson and Anders Parker, culled from Gutrie’s journals from his time living in Los Angeles – two distinct and different periods in his life that saw him live on Skid Row and later in his life in Topanga Canyon.
Let’s check out this in-studio performance of the James’ sung track Talking Empy Bed Blues…
As we previously reported Anders Parker, Jay Farrar, Yim Yames and Will Johnson headed into the studio to record a new batch of Woody Guthrie songs (think Billy Bragg & Wilco – Mermaid Avenue) which will be released on the album New Multitudes.
Now that we received an album release date of February 28, a tour has been announced. It’s unclear if this ensemble is going to get a name, if they are “New Multitudes” or they are simply going to be billed individually. Also unclear is which Showbox venue (The Market or SODO) in Seattle they will play.
March 6 – The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA March 7 – Music Box – Los Angeles, CA March 9 – Crystal Ballroom, Portland, OR March 10 – The Showbox – Seattle, WA March 12 – The Birchmere, Washington, DC March 13 – Union Transfer – Philadephia, PA March 14 – Webster Hall – New York, NY March 16 – The Paradise – Boston, MA
Roughly two and a half years ago we reported that Jay Farrar (Uncle Tupelo/Son Volt), Jim James (MMJ) and Will Johnson (Centro-matic) had headed into the studio to a record a new batch of songs inspired by Woody Guthrie’s unrecorded lyrics, a la Billy Bragg and Wilco’s amazing Mermaid Avenue records. According to Paste, the trio were personally invited by Guthrie’s granddaughter, Nora, to sift through the songwriter’s notebooks and scratch pads to gain insight on the artist and his unfinished work.
On February 28, the trio will help celebrate Guthrie’s 100th birthday, which will be celebrated all throughout 2012, with the release of Multitudes. The majority of the lyrics of the twelve-track set were “culled from Woody’s times in L.A…it’s a part of the story that is still mostly unknown. From Woody’s experiences on LA’s skid row to his later years in Topanga Canyon, they are uniquely intimate, and relate two distinctly emotional periods in his life.”
List Time: Stereogum’s 50+ Most Anticipated Albums Of 2012
Finally, tomorrow marks the opening night of the New York Guitar Festival. To kick off the event, which runs from January 6 – 29 at venues across Manhattan, a free program paying tribute to Brian Eno’s landmark Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks will take place at the World Financial Center’s Winter Garden downtown. The album, which came out 30 years ago, was originally commissioned as the soundtrack to Al Reinhardt’s Oscar nominated documentary, For All Mankind. Phish bassist Mike Gordon, Levon Helm musical director Larry Campbell, David Torn, Noveller and Tortoise’s Jeff Parker will join Brooklyn ambient ensemble Itsnotyouitsme in offering their live interpretation of the album. For more, be sure to read Sam Davis’s interview with NY Guitar Festival producer David Spelman on Relix.com.