First installment of a round-up of folk/roots/Americana related news. Which incidentally only features female artists (making my own Women’s March over the Digital Realm of Americana.)
When you manage to gather three artists whose name all begin by W, it’s always worth starting a band. Especially when those artists can mix banjo, guitar, trumpet, piano and traditional Chinese stringed instruments like guzheng. That’s the idea behind the Wu Force, the trio made up by Abigail Washburn (banjo/cello banjo/cello), Kai Welch (piano, guitar, trumpet, looping station/vocals) and Wu Fei (guzheng). Their self-titled EP was released on January 27th and is available for preview on souncloud right here. Fans of Washburn have already seen her collaborating with Welch and, she’s already performed with Wu-Fei. Therefore, the Appalachian-Asian mix of the trio shouldn’t feel too surprising.
Blues/folk artists Valerie June picks up her Gold Tone banjo to perform Got Soul, from the latest album The Order of Time on CBS. She also performed a few other tunes from the same album such as Astral Plane or Shakedown. But this blogger is always partial to the banjo.
Once a protest singer…
Recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Joan Baez gave an interview to Rolling Stone about her playing at the Women’s March of San Francisco. She isn’t apparently too fond of Madonna’s speech, as you can read here.
No beer no liquor for miles around
The genius of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings doesn’t need any form of introduction. After releasing a double album of bootlegs of their 1996 debut Revival, they’ve just dropped an adorably quirky stop-motion music video for a song they never released previously, the drinking song Dry Town.
Women and guitars
Although that could be the wet dream of many an Americana aficionado, it’s actually a feature by Acoustic Guitar about female artists, guitar players or luthiers that focuses on their relationship with the guitar.Aforementioned Valerie June and Gillian Welch are interviewed among other Americana leading figures like Rosanne Cash, Melissa Etheridge of Ani DiFranco, and a couple other female artists-luthiers or classical guitarists. They discussed the challenges of making it into the industry and not being pigeonholed due to one’s gender.
Not one to mince her words
If you’ve listened to Midwestern Farmer’s Daughter, you’ll not be surprised that Margo Price is as frank in her interviews as she is in songs like This Town Get Around or Hands of Time. A delightfully honest interview/album review is available on the Independent.