BONUS TRACKS: Bruce Springsteen Takes a Break and More Roots Music News
Bruce Springsteen - 2023 - Photo by Peter Dervin
Bruce Springsteen seems like a train that never stops, touring frequently and routinely giving three-hour shows even into his 70s. But even the Boss needs a break sometimes, and Springsteen announced this week he’s clearing his September calendar for treatment for peptic ulcer disease, on doctor’s orders. Among the dates postponed are two in Philadelphia, which already were a reschedule from August, when he had to miss the shows for an illness that was unspecified at the time. Springsteen singled Philadelphia out in his statement about the September shows: “First, apologies to our fabulous Philly fans who we missed a few weeks ago. We’ll be back to pick these shows up and then some. Thank you for your understanding and support.” Read Springsteen’s full statement here, and learn more about his current tour in this coverage from Variety.
If you’ve got some money burning a hole in your offshore bank account, Christie’s has announced a private sale of three more new Bob Dylan recordings made using Ionic technology from T Bone Burnett’s company, NeoFidelity. The first such offering, a new recording of Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind,” sold last summer for $1.8 million. For sale this time are three one-of-a-kind original recordings that Dylan made in 2021 with Burnett: “Masters of War,” “Simple Twist of Fate,” and “Gotta Serve Somebody.” Each is signed by Dylan and Burnett. If you’re interested, check those out here. And while you’re at it, big spender, I know a nonprofit music journalism magazine that gratefully accepts donations and in fact requires them (and subscriptions) to survive. Kick a little of that our way? In return, we’ll keep the Bob Dylan coverage coming.
The talented musicians of the Silkroad Ensemble, led by Artistic Director Rhiannon Giddens, are hitting the modern road for a tour of regions of the U.S. in which railroads have played an important historic and cultural role. Part of the group’s American Railroad project, the tour will pair musical performances with visual and educational elements to tell the story of workers — mostly African American, Indigenous, and immigrant — who built the Transcontinental Railroad but whose stories are often forgotten or ignored. The music will include commissions by Cécile McLorin Salvant, Suzanne Kite, and Wu Man as well as new arrangements from Giddens and Silkroad artists Haruka Fujii and Maeve Gilchrist. The tour will start in November and stay mostly in California, but a second leg is planned for 2024 with stops on the East Coast and Midwest. Learn more about Silkroad and the American Railroad project, which have received support from No Depression publisher the FreshGrass Foundation, here.
Never one to rest on just one project, Giddens, who released new album You’re the One (ND review) last month, announced this week that her next children’s book, We Could Fly, will be published Nov. 7 via Candlewick Press. The book, with illustrations by Briana Mukodiri Uchendu, is based on Giddens’ song by the same name from her 2017 album, Freedom Highway. Learn more about We Could Fly, the follow-up to last year’s Build a House, here.
Valerie June, in addition to being a fine songwriter and musician, is also motivating as heck (if you haven’t checked out her keynote speech from this year’s Folk Alliance International conference, you should!). And she’s sharing that side of herself via an interactive journal titled Light Beams: A Workbook for Being Your Badass Self, to be published Sept. 19 by Andrews McMeel. Through exercises (including “The Zen as F*ck Ritual”), prescriptions, contracts, wishes, and prompts, June leads a journey to harmony and healing. June, a certified yoga teacher, previously published a book of poetry titled Maps for the Modern World and the children’s book Somebody to Love: The Story of Valerie June’s Sweet Little Baby Banjolele. Learn more about Light Beams here.
WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO
A sampling of the songs, albums, bands, and sounds No Depression staffers have been into this week:
Dori Freeman – “Do You Recall,” the title track from her new album, coming in November
Rainbow Girls – “City Slickers,” from their new album, Welcome to Whatever, coming in December
Rachel Sumner – “Radium Girls (Curie Eleison)”
Jolie Holland feat. Buck Meek – “Highway 72,” from her new album, Haunted Mountain, coming in October
Joni Mitchell – “Like Veils Said Lorraine,” a never-before-heard song on a demo from Joni Mitchell Archives, Vol. 3: The Asylum Years (1972-1975), coming in October
Low Cut Connie – “ARE YOU GONNA RUN?”
Anna Elizabeth Laube – “Tree”
Listening Party – “Been a Long Time Comin’”
Brian Dunne and Caitlin Rose – “The Kids Are All Grown”
Jalen Ngonda – “Come Around and Love Me”
Dylan LeBlanc – “No Promises Broken,” from his new album, Coyote, coming in October
Jon Muq – “Runaway”