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Drinking In the Draught of June


From the New York Times on Sunday, June 5:


"If we could bottle a few days to uncork later in the year - when the wind has got us by the neck and the curbs are full of taxi-slush - these would be the ones: early June, the days of peony and iris. Conifers still wear the green tips of new growth, and a few of the hardwoods, hickories especially, still show a last vestige of May. Otherwise, the trees have cast their pollen and fledged completely. Now come the deep, dark shadows of late summer.


In the city, the pigeons have passed the stage of courtship and settled into a beak-to-beak domesticity full of gratified cooing. The subway platforms are still temperate. In the country, the cool, dry nights are completely silent, none of August's night-rasp. At twilight, the swallows go off watch, and on come the bats. In the dimness you can still make out bumblebees flying bottom-heavy from blossom to blossom. The fireflies have not yet lit up.


Best of all, the day is still growing in length, the solstice still a couple of weeks away. This is the particular poignancy of June. So much has gone by already - fruit blossoms, daffodils, tulips and lilacs - and yet everything feels so young, even as we come to the turning point in the calendar of light, the moment when the year starts waning again. It feels absurdly unsynchronized, and yet it is synchronicity itself.


It would be nice to decant some early June whenever you needed to, when the sun hasn't shone in days, when the temperature reaches triple digits, whenever the weather or anything else gets you down. But all we can do is drink in June while the month is upon us, while the peonies are coming into bloom."


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We're excited to be in partnership with two new companies, Hearth Music and Unbound Booking. 


Hearth Music is a fantastic promotional company in the Pacific Northwest focusing on Roots and Americana artists throughout North America and Canada.  Check them out below!


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 Hearth Music's Blog

 http://www.hearthmusic.com/blog/index.html

Songs We Can't Stop Listening To: Winter 2011

We get a lot of music at Hearth Music HQ, and are currently working on a stack of about 30 CDs up for review. We listen to everything we get, of course, and we've been blessed to have received so much great music recently. Still, some songs stand out. Way out. These are the songs we keep listening to over and over. We keep coming back to them for more. It's not always something we can describe, but this music hits deep and stays in our mind for days, weeks, sometimes months.

 

Thanks to a miserable Winter/Spring (we'd call this blog post "Spring 2011" except we never got a Spring) in the Northwest, we've been listening to lots of dark Celtic and old-time music, so that's seeped into this list for sure. It's now mid-May and still feels like deep winter. Dive into these old, eerie ballads that have been keeping us awake at night.

Susie Glaze: Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender

The high lonesome sound is rarely used to describe women in bluegrass and old-time music, but it's there. It's not as raw and keening as Roscoe Holcomb, but it's a sound that flies over the tops of our heads and nestles in the high rafters of our music halls. Susie Glaze has this sound in her voice, and she knows how to use it.We found this gorgeous cover of the old Childe ballad, "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender," on Susie's tribute album to the music of Jean Ritchie. Ritchie, a seminal bard of the Appalachian mountains, is known for singing unaccompanied ballads. These epic songs are melodically difficult to pull off, especially since tradition forbids the cushioning use of vibrato. So the fact that Susie Glaze would approach this song in the spirit of Ritchie, who grew up deeply immersed in the tradition, is impressive. We love Susie's voice on this song. It's as delicate as a crystal goblet, immaculately shaped and conceived, but too pure to survive anything but the most perfect of moments. There's something magical about her singing here, especially when you consider the deep heartbreak in these ancient words.

 

NOTE: You can hear more from Susie Glaze in Hearth Music's Online Listening Lounge!

http://www.hearthmusic.com/listening_lounge.html

 

Susie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band

The high lonesome sound is rarely used to describe women in bluegrass and old-time music, but it's there. It's not as raw and keening as Roscoe Holcomb, but it's a sound that flies over the tops of our heads and nestles in the high rafters of our music halls. Susie Glaze has this sound in her voice, and she knows how to use it. She lives for the ache of a good bluegrass song, and when joined by her ace band of instrumentalists, the Hilonesome Band, her music is an immediately accessible blend of bluegrass, old-time Appalachian, and Americana influences. Joined by veteran folk songwriter, Rob Carlson, Susie incorporates Rob's songs, the Hilonesome Band's rock-solid bluegrass, and a wide selection of traditional songs into her signature sound. In a fantastically innovative musical landscape, it’s sometimes refreshing to harken back to some pure roots —not reinvented roots, but the real thing. Susie Glaze takes us there. She is Dolly Parton without makeup or glitz, soaring on the high notes like a mountain bluebird.

 

With five CDs released in the past 10 years, Susie's a prolific recording artist and clearly draws a lot of inspiration both from the California bluegrass scene, and from traditional artists across the US. Her newest album, Live at the Freight & Salvage, is a joyous live recording of her music with the Hilonesome Band. She tears through some of the favorite numbers from her repertoire, pausing to tell funny stories and to laugh about the good times. Her previous album, Green Kentucky Blues, was produced by Laurie Lewis and featured a host of hot pickers like Tom Rozum, Patrick and Tom Sauber, and Herb Pederson. Her tribute CD to Appalachian bard Jean Ritchie, Singin' the Moon Up, garnered praise from Ritchie herself: "Her true pitch and the simple honesty of her 'telling the story' with the song is the mark of a real folksinger..." We couldn't agree more! Susie Glaze is a real folksinger and she proves it at every turn.

 

 

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We're happy to have just signed with Unbound Booking for nation-wide library appearances.  Steve and I will present "From Appalachia to Bluegrass" as a touring duo!  Get in touch with Jessica at Unbound Booking and visit their website to find out more:  

 

http://www.unboundbooking.com/UnboundBooking/Home.html

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