This week’s AotW will feature Guy Clark’s quiet little opus The Dark from 2002. Guy Clark has been writing amazing songs since the early ‘70s and performing regularly up until a few years ago. His extensive body of work defines the genre of music that has come to be known as Americana. He’s recorded 20 albums and his songs are finely honed snapshots of everyday folks and scenarios, real and imagined. Guy Clark’s songs have been recorded by a long list of country music outsiders over the years, including Jerry Jeff Walker, Johnny Cash, Vince Gill, and Ricky Skaggs. He’s also a master luthier, and The Dark is named after one of his guitars. Though The Dark didn’t spawn any breakout songs, it shows Clark at the age of 60 still at the top of his powers as a writer and performer, evoking quiet moments of reflection and observation. Dug Deep is this week's host.
Pieter Pastoor's blog
Thank Your Lucky Stars strikes a notably downcast tone and posture when stacked next to Depression Cherry. There’s nothing about these songs that is outright melancholic, but there’s also nothing that reaches the same shimmering highs as, say, “Levitation” or “Space Song” on the earlier work, either. The closest this record comes to matching that level of majesty is the album opener “Majorette” and the closing track “Somewhere Tonight.”
Sandwiched between those two songs is an array of fantastically subdued and beautifully constructed dreamy psych-pop offerings that each possess their own unique vibe. Beach House has mastered the art of space by this point and seems to have an instinct for how long to drag out a keyboard melody or a guitar line before bringing in another element to keep things from bogging down. This is especially true on “Elegy To The Void,” which is carried along at a meandering pace by the same reverb-drenched guitar melody pattern, shifted into different chords and matched by an atmospheric synth.
STEPHEN MICHAEL POCUS - Musician: keyboard. Do not listen to this episode of LISTENING LYRICS while drinking Red Bull or coffee. Stephen will bring all the energy we need. He has been playing piano since the age of 10, but has been surrounded by music his entire life. He began playing by ear, writing songs and leaning from his parents and siblings. By the time he was 14 he was playing at local Winery’s and Brewing companies doing private parties and events as a solo artist. He also was playing in his high school jazz band and his own side project metal bands with friends. During that time, he was also involved in the San Jose Jazz Society programs going to jazz camps during the summertime and participating in their Advanced Youth Latin Jazz Ensemble and Advanced Youth Jazz Ensemble groups throughout the school year. After graduating high school at 16, he began playing in the college level jazz bands at West Valley Junior College and was working steadily as a work for hire pianist.
Longtime Davis broadcaster Bill Wagman interviews Bay Area quintet Front Country at 3 pm on Friday, October 23rd, live on KDRT. Drawing on a foundation of bluegrass, Front Country's sound incorporates challenging arrangements, unique covers, and original songwriting. Band influences include Bill Monroe, Paul Simon, Prince, King Crimson(!), and the Seldom Scene. Front Country is lead singer Melody Walker, mandolinist Adam Roszkiewicz, guitarist Jacob Groopman, violinist Leif Karlstrom, and bassist Jeremy Darrow. Sake of the Song, their debut album, was released in 2014.
Front Country appears Friday, October 23rd, at the Palms Playhouse in Winters at 8:00 p.m. Visit Front Country on the web: frontcountryband.com
Gary Clark Jr.'s versatility is both blessing and curse. The Austin ace's 2012 breakthrough album, Blak and Blu, shuffle-mixed through blues roots; raw, Hendrix-channeling solos; glossy, modern R&B; and points between, but never quite figured out how to connect the dots. Three years later, his studio follow-up does — mainly by focusing on his unfuckwithable guitar. Clark carves out a Prince-ly room of his own with wah-wah-washed acid rock ("Grinder") and ping-ponging, Bootsy-tinted funk ("Star"). There's also the rap-cadence soul of "Hold On," with echoes of Marvin Gaye and Kanye West; the deep groove of "Wings," a slinky duet with Austin singer Tameca Jones; and "Church," a stripped-down folk meditation à la Taj Mahal that unpacks the drama behind one man's prayers. The playing never stumbles, though the writing occasionally does: Murder-ballad tradition and sexy falsetto notwithstanding, the woman-in-the-crosshairs image in "Cold Blooded" seems questionable in a nation toxic with domestic violence.
The 2nd Friday ArtAbout is a huge favorite in the downtown Davis scene. KDRT is pleased to announce that starting on October 9 we will broadcast LIVE from Armadillo Music for 2nd Friday events. Our host Tim Spangler will interview the performers in between the music. This month's guest will be the Winters band Polyorchids. The show starts at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome.
Rita Hosking will join us in the studio to talk about her new album “Frankie and the No- Go Road” Rita is an American composer and musician based in Davis, California. She plays Americana and bluegrass styles of music with both standards and original songs. She has been performing around the country at concerts, festivals, and other venues.
"Hosking's music isn't like the polished, over-produced music found in pop culture. Hers is a minimalist sound that reflects a simpler time and place: a little country town, rather than a big city."
Leading up to her 2010 performance tour of Great Britain, she received increasing attention on the "East Side" of the pond. Reviewer Paul Kerr of Americana-UK remarked that she is "a very talented artist with the ability to step up to that pantheon of great female country folk singers and writers." Hosking has played to packed venues in England, Wales, and Cornwall. Visit Rita at http://www.ritahosking.com/music
This week Jesse and Pieter feature the debut LP from the Hard Working Americans! This album is Americana at its best, featuring songs rooted in the blues, alternative country, and rock. Hard Working Americans are a super band of sorts, featuring Todd Snider and a group of his friends: keyboardist Chad Staehly (Great American Taxi), guitarist Neil Casal (the Chris Robinson Brotherhood and Ryan Adams & The Cardinals), bassist Dave Schools (Widespread Panic) and drummer Duane Trucks (King Lincoln and Col. Bruce Hampton’s School of Music). Despite Todd Snider’s obvious songwriting abilities, they chose to cover songs from some of their favorite artists, all dealing with day to day struggles of the low-down and down-and-out. Great lyrics, great instrumentation and Todd Snider’s vocals! An anthemic album for those of us on the left side of the tracks. One of my favorite albums from 2014.
Thomas Björkroth visits Listening Lyrics this Friday. Thomas is a music enthusiast who is visiting us from Sweden. He keeps a keen ear to what’s happening music wise in Europe. In fact he has attended the Euro Vision contest for the last 10 years. We will be spinning some songs that are currently on the charts in Europe and also some songs that have made Euro Vision an international spotlight for new talent.
For those outside the listening area, the show will stream live online at KDRT.org at 4:00PM (9/25/15). It will also be available for replays in the show archives or as an podcast on iTunes under LISTENING LYRICS(link is external).
Visit Listening Lyrics on Facebook(link is external) and like to receive information on upcoming shows and behind the scene looks.