SORM Playlist #15-09: Finger Pointin’ Songs
(airing the week starting 2-25-15)

Topical songs have been a major component of American folk music for many years. This week we’ll hear some of the classic songs about warfare, railroads, coal mining and unions. Music from The Almanac Singers, Big Bill Broonzy, Guy Carawan, Paul Robeson and many more. LISTEN: http://singout.org/audio/sorm/sorm1509_podcast.mp3 To subscribe via … → read more

THE VAGABAND: Medicine for the Soul

Medicine For The Soul

          THE VAGABAND Medicine for the Soul Eggsong 002 www.thevagaband.co.uk   This is the sophomore project from the United Kingdom’s eight-piece, Norfolk-based, ensemble The Vagaband that is helmed by singer-songwriter and guitarist Jose McGill along with pianist and songwriter Greg Cook. They are currently one of … → read more

IAN ZACK: Say No To The Devil: The Life and Musical Genius of Reverend Gary Davis

Say No To The Devil

          IAN ZACK Say No To The Devil: The Live and Musical Genius of Rev. Gary Davis University of Chicago Press www.press.uchicago.edu   When someone like Bob Dylan says he’s “One of the wizards of modern music,” pay attention. And if you’re a blues aficionado, you … → read more

GURF MORLIX: Eatin’ At Me

Eatin At Me

          GURF MORLIX Eatin’ At Me Rootball www.gurfmorlix.com   Gurf Morlix won mainstream recognition during his time as Lucinda Williams’ guitar player, musical director and producer. After they had a falling out over the band’s musical direction, Morlix moved on and became a freelance producer. Since … → read more

Which Side Are You On? – Coal and Blood, Part 2

Twice in recent weeks I’ve delved into Hazel Dickens’s work to find songs that walk the line between life and death in America’s coal fields. “Black Lung” is no murder ballad, but we saw how it used Primitive Baptist singing and a narrative structure similar to some cautionary murder ballads … → read more

Playing Favorites

WFDU-FM’s TRADITIONS Playlist for February 22, 2015 With the annual WFDU-FM fund drive coming to an end, my co-host Bill Hahn and I shared a number of listener favorites and requests on this week’s broadcast. We aired these songs partially as a “thank you” for all the generous donations we received … → read more

SORM Playlist #15-08: Legacy of Leadbelly
(airing the week starting 2-18-15)

Smithsonian Folkways is releasing a massive 5CD collection of the music of Leadbelly on February 24th. On this week’s edition we will listen to some of the songs on that great collection. We’ll also hear some classic renditions of Leadbelly songs by a variety of folk musicians past and present. … → read more

The Legend of Lead Belly Continues to Grow

WFDU-FM’s TRADITIONS  Playlist for February 15, 2015 Huddie Ledbetter, best known to the world as Lead Belly, passed away in December 1949, a few short months before the Weavers recording of  his “Goodnight Irene” entered the Billboard best seller chart. The song remained there for 25 weeks and reached #1 … → read more