D-stroying the alphabet one letter at a time…the project continues
Working my way through the library and sharing some stuff you may already know and some you don’t.
Diana Jones has such an interesting story that this whole post could be about her. I’ll condense and allow you to seek it out on her website on your own. She’s a portrait artist, a singer and a songwriter. Two albums released in the nineties, and then ten years later she comes back with two more and at age 41 is nominated as Best Emerging Artist at the Folk Alliance Awards. It leads to tours with Richard Thompson and Mary Gauthier, and to the recordings of her songs by Joan Baez and Gretchen Peters. Her songs are rich and textured but at the same time the instrumentation is simple and stripped down, and there’s an old time mountain music feel to the production of both Better Times Will Come and My Remembrance of You.
I’m still working my way through the catalog of Damien Jurado and it’s a challenge trying to put him into some sort of box and give it a name. More indie than folk and not really alt-whatever, its just plain interesting. Almost ten years ago in ND#33 Timothy C. Davis wrote in a review: “See a grain of sand in the world, write about it, approximate the mood, and move on. However, there are millions of grains of sand in the world, and they’re not always that mesmerizing.” That’s accurate I think in accessing the ten or so albums I have of his but when he does hit, it sticks. I especially gravitate to all the duets with Rosie Thomas and last February’s Hoquiam project with his brother. If you get to his My Space page, he’s throwing up a new song each week in anticipation to next month’s release of Saint Bartlett.
Danny Schmidt is an Austin born and bred singer songwriter who went to college for awhile and then ran off to live at a couple different communes in the Ozarks and then the Blue Ridge Mountains. He found his musical voice in the mid-nineties and he was the winner of the Kerrville New Folk award in 2007. It looks like there are six albums in his catalog and I’ve been listening to last year’s Instead the Forest Rose To Sing and Little Grey Sheep from 2007. A great picker and I’m jealous of his custom made Martin.
Maybe Dehlia Low is a bluegrass band from Ashville North Carolina but maybe they’re not. Their press clippings seem to use terms such as old country, bare bones, string music and acoustic aggregation. Two women and three men who play a bit in the Carolinas (Merlefest this weekend), they’re doing gigs in Tennessee and Colorado. And Pennsylvania for Earth Day last week. Quite a bit of videos posted on the tube, but I don’t like them nearly as much as their full length debut Tellico. If they are a bluegrass band, I like it that they’re coed and younger than seventy.
Drew Nelson out of Grand Rapids Michigan is a singer songwriter folkie (yes, another one) with an EP and two full length releases. I found him somewhere through a recommendation and picked up his most recent Dusty Road to Beulah Land about a year ago. This is much more of an alt-country affair than you’d expect, with a sometimes electric and sometimes acoustic band backing his finger picking and smoky vocals. Seems to do the local club, coffee house, library and house concert circuits with a little twist: spending July playing in the UK. Check him out.