Serenity Now: Music And A Conversation With Joan Shelley

The Hobbledehoy is vey much looking forward to hearing Joan Shelley perform in Boston on Friday night. Though she hails from Kentucky, Joan’s music borrows quite a lot from British traditional folk sounds, and English vocalists like June Tabor, who she frequently cites as a major influence. Give a listen to NPR’s All Songs Considered interview below.

In this All Songs Considered guest DJ session, Joan Shelley talks about her latest album, Like the River Loves the Sea and shares songs by some of the other artists who’ve inspired her over the years.

Joan Shelley makes music that lulls my soul. Her new album, Like the River Loves the Sea, is a serene experience. It’s music with a deep connection to British folk music from the ’60s and ’70s but with influences from this side of the world and her home of Louisville, Kentucky.

On this edition of All Songs Considered, Joan Shelley is joined by her musical partner and Louisville companion, guitarist Nathan Salsburg to play DJ. You can hear the roots of the music they make in the songs they chose to share, from American banjo legend Roscoe Holcomb to English folk singer June Tabor and the contemporary music of Bonnie “Prince” Billy.

Joan Shelley tells the story of recording Like the River Loves the Sea in Iceland and how they had to forgo adding banjo to the album because they couldn’t locate one in Iceland. We also hear Joan Shelley’s early trio called Maiden Radio, Joan and Nathan’s new collaboration with Bonnie “Prince” Billy and how she met him at an ugly sweater party in Kentucky [ . . . ]

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW with JOAN SHELLEY at: Serenity Now: Music And A Conversation With Joan Shelley

Richard Thompson Tears It Up On Two New Songs

One of the greatest living guitarists, Richard Thompson has shared two new brilliant songs from his just-announced album 13 Rivers.

I’m thrilled to have two new songs from one of our greatest living guitarists and songwriters, Richard Thompson. His just-announced 19th solo album, 13 Rivers, still finds him brimming with bursts of guitar magic and storytelling. It’s a trademark sound that has been incredibly influential since the days when he electrified British folk music in the 1960s as part of Fairport Convention and, later, some of the most brilliant records of the 1970s with his wife at the time Linda Thompson. But Richard Thompson is not stuck in any one era and his solo records continue to influence younger musicians with it’s deft playing and the way he spins a tale.

 

The two new songs today continue his tradition of turning life’s journey into song. “The Storm Won’t Come” tackles the desire for change and comes to the conclusion that you can’t hurry it. In an email, Richard Thompson wrote to say it’s “a song about change – out with the old, in with the new. In spite of your efforts, you cannot synthesize change, it is a natural process.”

The second song we have from 13 Rivers is a stuttering, fast-paced tune called “Bones of Gilead.” Richard Thompson says “this is about an impending crisis, but it’s a good crisis. It’s an uncomfortable process to go through, one you may barely survive, but it brings knowledge and growth and love.”

What’s my name? My name is heartbreak
Heartbreak of the giving kind
I will come and whisper sweetness
Sweetness that will dawn your mind
No rib cage can hold me
No loving cup
I don’t fit your wise world
I tear it up

And tear it up he does on these cuts and the other 11 on the 13 Rivers. The self-produced album was recorded and mixed by Clay Blair at Boulevard Recording, an old, famed studio in Hollywood. “It used to be Hollywood trendy, but it fell into total disrepair,” says Thompson. “It’s still got some gaps in the walls. I like studios that are honest. It’s about the décor of the sound, and there’s a specific sound to Boulevard.”

These songs were written at what Richard Thompson describes as a dark time in his life without being specific. These songs came “as if they’d been channeled from somewhere else. You find deeper meaning in the best records as time goes on. The reward comes later.”

13 Rivers will be out on New West Records September 14.

Source NPR: Richard Thompson Tears It Up On Two New Songs : All Songs Considered : NPR



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