TRADITIONS playlist for January 29, 2017

New music from Tom Paxton, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, Bev Grant and John McCutcheon were featured. This week’s show aired in the days following President Trump’s orders limiting immigration and a number of songs were played that dealt with the treatment of immigrants and their role in the building … → read more

How Legends Are Made: Stan Rogers, “The Flowers of Bermuda,” and Air Canada Flight 797

Written in the spring of 1978 by the Canadian singer-songwriter Stan Rogers, “The Flowers of Bermuda” is a disaster ballad on a small scale, telling the story of a ship that founders with nineteen people aboard. We’ve looked at shipwreck songs before at Murder Ballad Monday, especially in this post from … → read more

Podcast: Fleet Fingers Pt. 3 The U.K. and Beyond
Episode #17-03 | airing 1-18-17

The traditional music world lost a champion on January 15 with the passing of Alan Jabbour. Through his 23 years of service for the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Arts he was a wonderful representative of the Folk Arts in America. In addition to his time … → read more

A Survivor’s Reckoning: The Triplett Tragedy

Triplett Tragedy

Blood on the mountain And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? — Genesis 4:9 Truly old Watauga is making for herself a dark and bloody record. — Watauga Democrat, Jan. 6, 1910 On Christmas Day, … → read more

Podcast: Fleet Fingers Pt. 3 The U.K. and Beyond
Episode #17-03 | airing 1-18-17

Bert Jansch

This week we conclude our feature Fleet Fingers and examine fingerstyle guitar styles from the U.K. Like the American players these players borrow from the Blues but apply the techniques to traditional folksongs and tune accompaniment. We’ll hear Dan Ar Bras, Davey Graham, Bert Jansch, Martin Simpson, Martin Carthr and … → read more

We Can Turn this Ship Around

Christine Lavin gets political!

Remember last summer when we couldn’t wait for the election to be over so we could get back to normalcy? Remember our hopes of uniting this country again and finding common ground? With the inauguration of Donald Trump looming this coming week, our lives seem anything but normal. A line … → read more

“Blue Wing” and the Legend of Little Willie John

"Blue Wing," original art by Tom Russell (used by permission)

Prelude On the road for work a few months ago, I was driving between Cheyenne and Denver. I had a chance to meet up with an old friend for coffee on the way. Early in our conversation, I noticed she had some new ink on her left forearm, a cluster of … → read more

Podcast: Fleet Fingers Pt. 2 The Americans
Episode #17-02 | airing 1-11-17

This week we continue our feature Fleet Fingers and examine American Fingerstyle Guitarists. American players take their influence from the Blues players but put the emphasis on softening the melodic quality of their playing while still using many of the components of the Blues. We’ll hear Merle Travis, John Fahey, … → read more