There were no performers who possessed more talent than singer-songwriter Nanci Griffith in the 1980s and early ’90s, when she was at her remarkable best.
By Daniel Gewertz
Nanci Griffith, the Texan “folkabilly” singer-songwriter, died in August at the age of 68, after fighting two different cancers for 25 years. In my decades of writing about contemporary folk music, I’d venture to say there were no performers who possessed more talent than Griffith in the 1980s and early ’90s, when she was at her remarkable best. Her single Grammy win was in the Contemporary Folk category, for OtherVoices, Other Rooms, a guest-star-laden 1993 project of folk gems written by others. That she never won a Grammy for any of her own compositions is an injustice. She was both a stunning songwriter and a savvy song-finder. And as a singer, she gave “precious” a good name.
Boston took to Griffith earlier and stronger than any American city outside her native Texas. I got to interview her for the Boston Herald many times, starting right before she signed with the locally based Philo/Rounder Records in 1984; I felt I knew Griffith as well as a Northern journalist could. She was a tightly wound tumble of conflicting instincts: both forthright and private, both steely and prickly, proud of her achievements and openly hurt that she was not more widely rewarded for them. I saw a lot of gigs, many of them solo. But there was a single show in the mid-’80s that best displayed Griffith’s indomitable strength. It was at the Harvard Square basement room then called Passim Coffeehouse.
Let me set the scene. The late Bob Donlin was introducing her from the tiny Passim stage in his usual charming yet wooden way. Nanci was standing still in the back of the tightly packed little club, aware that most eyes were already upon her. Continue reading →
The death of Chris Barber earlier today, 2 March 2021, has just been announced. Here is the official statement from the Last Music Company:
Born in 1930, Chris Barber was one of the leading figures in European jazz. Together with Kenny Ball and Acker Bilk, he was one of the “Three B’s” who defined traditional jazz in Britain and spearheaded the “Trad” revival of the late 1950s and early 1960s. His interest in jazz began while he was evacuated from London during World War 2, and he began collecting 78 records of his American heroes, becoming an expert on the early days of recorded jazz. He formed his first band in London after the war, playing a trombone that he bought for £5 from the trombonist in Humphrey Lyttelton’s band. His first records were made at the end of the 1940s, but it was when he and the clarinettist Monty Sunshine formed a co-operative band in 1953 under the leadership of Ken Colyer that his career took off. Continue reading →
The 100-year-old had raised £33m for the NHS and had his daughters by his bedside in hospital.
Captain Sir Tom Moore has died with coronavirus.
The 100-year-old, who raised almost £33m for the NHS, was taken to Bedford Hospital after requiring help with his breathing on Sunday.
His daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore said he had been treated for pneumonia over the past few weeks and last week tested positive for Covid-19.
Buckingham Palace said the Queen is sending a private message of condolence to the family of Capt Sir Tom.
The Royal Family tweeted: “Her Majesty very much enjoyed meeting Captain Sir Tom and his family at Windsor last year. Her thoughts and those of the Royal Family are with them.”
The Army veteran won the nation’s hearts by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday.
n a statement, Capt Sir Tom’s daughters Mrs Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear father, Captain Sir Tom Moore.
“We are so grateful that we were with him during the last hours of his life; Hannah, Benjie and Georgia by his bedside and Lucy on FaceTime.
“We spent hours chatting to him, reminiscing about our childhood and our wonderful mother. We shared laughter and tears together.
“The last year of our father’s life was nothing short of remarkable. He was rejuvenated and experienced things he’d only ever dreamed of.
“Whilst he’d been in so many hearts for just a short time, he was an incredible father and grandfather, and he will stay alive in our hearts forever.”
Capt Sir Tom’s daughters said the care he received from the NHS was “extraordinary”.
They said staff had been “unfalteringly professional, kind and compassionate and have given us many more years with him than we ever would have imagined”.
The Army veteran, originally from Keighley in West Yorkshire, came to prominence by walking 100 laps of his garden in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, before his 100th birthday during the first national lockdown.
Capt Sir Tom joined the Army at the beginning of World War Two, serving in India and Myanmar, then known as Burma.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: “This is incredibly sad news. Captain Tom Moore put others first at a time of national crisis and was a beacon of hope for millions. Britain has lost a hero.”
Writer whose spy novels chronicle how people’s lives play out in the corrupt setting of the cold war era and beyond
John le Carré, who has died aged 89 of pneumonia, raised the spy novel to a new level of seriousness and respect.
He was in his late 20s when he began to write fiction – in longhand, in small red pocket notebooks, on his daily train journey between his home in Buckinghamshire and his day job with MI5, the counter-intelligence service, in London. After the publication of two neatly crafted novels, Call for the Dead (1961) and A Murder of Quality (1962), which received measured reviews and modest sales, he hit the big time with The Spy Who Came in from the Cold [ . . . ]