Chasing Omie: eighth blackbird and Bryce Dessner’s ‘Murder Ballades’

eighth blackbird (photo by saverio truglia)

Murder Ballades I attended eighth blackbird’s performance of Bryce Dessner’s Murder Ballades few weeks ago, on Good Friday, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Matthew Duvall, eighth blackbird’s percussionist, had mentioned the performance on our Facebook page, and encouraged me to attend the show. eighth blackbird is a … → read more

Making arrangements

The D.K. Wilgus article I mentioned in my first post this week divides the American versions of what it refers to as the “Rose Connoley” ballad into two forms.  The first is what Wilgus calls the “Come-all-ye” form, which normally includes about 12 stanzas, the first beginning with that phrase, … → read more

Sometimes it’s a hard world for the little things

        Holly Hunter and Nicholas Cage in “Raising Arizona”   Watching this pitch-perfect clip from Joel and Ethan Coen’s “Raising Arizona,” reminded me of Pat’s introduction to “Two Sisters” , where he mentions that he first heard Clannad’s version as his wife sang it to calm their infant son. … → read more

Down in the Willow Garden

“Down in the Willow Garden” brings us a tune with slightly different roots, and an interesting story about branches.  It’s the first ballad we’ve taken up with distinctively Irish origins.  For our first post this week, we’ll introduce the ballad a bit, with some of its earliest recorded performances, and … → read more