BONUS TRACKS: Sea Chanteys, Willie Nelson, and Some Hope for Fall Concerts
Via Family Hospital Systems on Facebook
Amid all your doomscrolling this week, you likely ran into something about … sea chanteys. These work songs from fishing crews have found new life among those fishing for likes on TikTok, sparking renewed interest and perhaps a new means of connection in these socially distanced times. Here’s music writer Amanda Petrusich’s take on the whole thing (including the origins of sea chanteys and their foundational role in folk music) for The New Yorker. And if you want to stay ahead of the latest #extremelyonline youth trends, always keep your eye on No Depression. After all, our 50 States of Folk columnist Kara Kundert wrote about sea chanteys nearly a year ago …
If you’re looking for a little beacon of hope while staring into a continued stretch of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ when it comes to putting anything on the calendar, Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert, has some glad tidings, as reported by The New York Times. Theaters and other venues could safely reopen “sometime in the fall of 2021,” he predicted in a videoconference with performing arts professionals. That depends on a lot of important things, like COVID-19 vaccinations and ventilation upgrades, and masks might still be required, but gosh, isn’t it lovely to think about?
As the arts world works toward getting back on its feet, a lot of folks are hoping that culture — including music — will be a major part of the Biden administration’s “Build Back Better” approach. This opinion piece from The New York Times looks at the different roles the federal government has had in the arts though American history, and how funding and representation in government could be very powerful now.
Lots of artists tease a song for weeks or even months before finally letting us hear it, but Dolly Parton has taken it to a new level by placing a song in a time capsule to be opened in 2045. The plan, she revealed in her new book Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, as reported by Consequence of Sound, is to unseal the capsule to mark the 30th anniversary of the Dollywood resort where it is buried. The plan is also for Parton, who will be 99 then, to be on hand at the opening, and we hope it is exactly as she wishes.
If you heard a giant whoosh of air Wednesday, it was probably the global sigh of relief at the news that Willie Nelson has received a COVID-19 vaccine dose. “Getting your COVID vaccine is Willie cool,” Austin-area Family Hospital Systems proclaimed in a Facebook post that was accompanied by photos of a masked Nelson giving the thumbs up from the driver’s seat of his Tesla. It was also announced this week that Nelson will give the keynote speech at this year’s SXSW, which will be held online March 16-20. As we get ready to listen to what he’ll have to say for that, we’re happy to take heed of his good advice now: “Get your shot! Take care of yourself and others,” he said in a Facebook post of his own on Wednesday.
WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO
Here’s a sampling of the songs, albums, bands, and sounds No Depression staffers have been into this week:
Even with some great new releases already here and coming soon for 2021, we’ve still got our Best Roots Music Albums of 2020 playlist on heavy rotation. There’s plenty to let go of from last year, but music is worth keeping around!
Jason Hawk Harris – Love & The Dark
Will Hoge – Tiny Little Movies
Maggie Gently – Good Cry
Hiss Golden Messenger – “Sanctuary”
Parker Millsap – “The Real Thing” (from new album Be Here Instead, coming in April)
Fruit Bats – “Holy Rose” (from new album The Pet Parade, coming in March)
Carsie Blanton – “Be Good” (from new album Love & Rage, coming in April)