Blues Icon B. B. King Passes

Photo by Jean-Luc Ourlin-1977

Perhaps the best known and definitely the most influential bluesman ever, Riley B. King (we’ll get to the B.B. shortly) was born to sharecroppers in 1925 in Berclair, Mississippi, a crossroads encampment just outside the whistle-stop town of Itta Bena in the Mississippi Delta. After the war, he traveled to … → read more

SORM Playlist #15-22: The Western Swing Spectacular
(airing the week starting 5-27-15)

Light Crust Doughboys

We recently lost fiddler Johnny Gimble a true Western Swing pioneer. This week we honor him with a program focusing on the influences and development of Western Swing. We’ll hear classic music from Benny Goodman and The Boswell Sisters to open the show. Then we’ll trace the musical style from … → read more

MONOSWEZI: Monoswezi Yanga

Monoswezi Yanga

          MONOSWEZI Monoswezi Yanga Tugboat 1090 www.worldmusic.net   The second release from Monoswezi builds on their impressive debut. With a sound built on the unlikely twin foundations of Zimbabwean mbira (thumb piano) and Scandinavian jazz. Fronted by vocalist and mbira player Hope Masike, the material is … → read more

THE KROPOTKINS: Portents of Love

Kropotkins Portents of Love

          THE KROPOTKINS Portents of Love Mulatta Records www.cdbaby.com/large-river-music   Named after the Russian anarchist prince Peter Kropotkin, this New York City and Memphis-based sextet was created in 1994 by singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and neuroscientist Dave Soldier along with adroit percussionist Jonathan Kane after they were exposed … → read more

VARIOUS: Rhythms of Labour

        VARIOUS ARTISTS Rhythms of Labour Cambridge University Press 9781107000179 www.cambridge.org/large-river-music www.rhythmsoflabour.com   Can you imagine it? Noon rolls around and office workers begin to sing: “Boss man called a meetin’ / At a time I should be eatin’ / Didn’t hear a word he said / … → read more

NORMAN BLAKE: Wood Wire and Words

Norman Blake Wood Wire and Words

          NORMAN BLAKE Wood Wire and Words Plectrafone www.westernjubilee.com   Blake opens this album with “Savanna Rag,” a loose, syncopated instrumental that shows off his low key fingerpicking virtuosity. Descending bass runs and meandering flurries of mid-range improvisations give the tune a bright, buoyant feel. His … → read more

LOST LEADERS: Lost Leaders

Lost Leaders

        LOST LEADERS Lost Leaders Lost Leaders www.lostleaders.net   Lost Leaders is a trio of Byron Isaacs, Peter Cole and Justin Guip. Isaacs and Cole split the songwriting almost evenly on the set’s ten songs. Guip is engineer. Isaacs, a veteran of Ollabelle and assorted other projects … → read more