Welcome to the 42nd installment of random thoughts, trivial facts. occasional fiction, poetry, haikus, photos, artwork, stories of fleeting fame and dastardly deeds, and videos or tunes that may have caught my attention or fancy of late. As you can see by the picture at the side, I've got dessert on my mind, and in particular...pies.
The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink has this to say about the origin of how pies ended up in America: The surrounding countryside offered the newcomers a rich array of fillings, not only fruits and berries that were akin to those they knew back home but also unknown vegetables and game they discovered with the help of Indians. The Pilgrims brought apple spurs with them as well, and when they matured into flourishing fruit-bearing trees, apple pie quickly dominated the American table because the abundant fruit was easy to dry and store in barrels during the winter.
The first video in the queue is from a band from Vancouver called The Abramson Singers. The namesake of singer-songwriter Leah Abamson, this track is from their most recent and second album that was released last summer called Late Riser. Rudie Humphrey from Americana UK describes their music much better than I could: "Its North American as opposed to ‘Americana’; don’t let that put you off, it’s certainly not heavy on the country influence, again stay with me on this one. From its plinky music box opening to the lacy vocal interplay, choral, even dawn chorus like ‘Liftoff Canon’ it is a stunning record, honestly. Step outside your normal, like a great man once said “that music has lost its taste so try another flavour”, this is exactly that. It’s a root beer record, neither a bottle of beer nor a bottle of roots, but somehow so right, and just as delicious."
Born in Texas, raised in Kentucky and Oklahoma, and turning 29 in June, John Moreland is an amazing songwriter who I first heard on the TV show Sons of Anarchy, and has a voice somewhere between Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen. He also has their poetic and lyrical capabilities in his heart, and his songs will make you hold your breath. Started out playin' in punk bands, and is a DIY, self-produced artist who writes, plays, tours, runs the label, does mail order, packs up the packages and ships them himself. He put out two full length albums and an EP in 2011, and this track comes from his 2013 release In The Throes. There's more videos posted here at ND and lots more on You Tube. He's the man.
Last week I got to see Sam Baker for the first time after listening to his music for almost ten years. Along with Carrie Elkin, who turned in a great opening set of her own, and keyboardist Chip Dolan, Sam played mostly from his latest album Say Grace and it was a small and intimate enough of a setting that he was able to speak conversationally with the audience. This video, shot just a week before by Chrislyn Lawrence who has filmed many other songs of Sams', really captures the same vibe I got to see. Hats off to Carter Smith for bringing Sam to the Hudson Valley as part of the Common Ground Community Concert series.
Speaking of live music just a bit north of New York City, last night I saw the Stray Birds again for the second time in about five months, this time opening for Aoife O'Donavan at the Caramoor Center For Music and The Arts. I've been listening to their covers' EP Echo Sessions and enjoying it, and I'm longing to hear their new album that will most likely be picked up and released sometime later this year. The way this band has been touring throughout the past year, they've got a huge fan buzz and their sound is honed like a knife. This video is from their full length that came out well over a year ago, but it's a favorite and if you haven't seen it, here it is.
We'll close out session # 42 with Hank Snow doing a tune on Perry Como's TV show from the fifties. Born in Brooklyn....Nova Scotia, and with his museum in Liverpool...Nova Scotia, folks tend to forget that although he ended up in Nashville, he was Canadian. Great story and life which you can read about here.