This week on Transmissions, Alan Lomax Archive curator and guitarist Nathan Salsburg joins us from his place in rural Kentucky to discuss his new album of Hebrew devotional music, Psalms, conceptions of the divine, life as a new parent, and much more.
Musician-folklorist-documentarian-artist John Cohen died September 16 at the age of 87. Here, archivist and guitarist Nathan Salsburg offers a remembrance of his life and work.
Diversions, a recurring feature on Aquarium Drunkard, catches up with our favorite artists as they wax on subjects other than recording and performing. The first time I heard “Impossible Air,” […]
With John Renbourn passing into the great unknown this year to join his six-string brother in arms Bert Jansch, it’s a good time to be reminded of the wonderful sounds two acoustic guitarists in joyous communion can make. These […]
On September 13th, Alasdair Roberts releases his new album, The Fiery Margin, via the venerable Drag City label. To mark to the occasion, guitarist and archivist Nathan Salsburg reflects here on “The Evernew Tongue,” the first selection shared from the forthcoming lp: “…a jeremiad against the all-too-familiar ‘mocking whine of demagogues…. quick to mock and slow to bless,’ hollered from amid the revelry of the changing year and among the small comforts of home.”
At this point in her career, we would probably settle for a “pretty good” album from Joan Shelley. But no, The Spur continues an unbroken streak of masterpieces for the Louisville-based artist. It’s a record that features some of Shelley’s very best songwriting, bolstered by sensitive and occasionally surprising arrangements, ravishingly lush at some points, spare and spectral at others. The Spur is a wonder, from start to finish.
We caught up with Joan Shelley on a summer Friday shortly after the Supreme Court upended Roe Vs. Wade, a weird and unsettled time for everyone, but perhaps particularly for a female artist in Kentucky with a new daughter. We talked about making art in a pandemic, the importance of collaboration and the difficulties of doing anything else when you have a young child, as well as the pleasures of listening to music all the way through, the way it was intended.
On Joan Shelley’s fantastic new album The Spur, the singer/songwriter reaches out from a place of solitude, seeking connection. Rooted in Britfolk aesthetics, it’s an album that feels intimate but spacious too, all finger picked acoustic guitars, Richard Thompson inspired electrics, and sparse percussion.
With a career that stretches back to his 1964 glistening debut on Folkways, Michael Hurley has continued to churn out wholly singular albums of interstellar country blues, scattered across decades and labels. Released in December just prior to his 80th birthday, his latest The Time Of The Foxgloves finds a reinvigorated Hurley in a studio for the first time in a while. We recently had a lengthy phone call with Hurley to discuss his new album, the pleasures of listening to the CBC, inspiration and collaboration, what he learned from listening to Duke Ellington, the book he’s working on, and more.
Here it is: our Year In Review 2021. Unranked and sprawling as always. A guide to the music that stuck with us throughout another strange year.
Ahead of hitting the road on tour, Rickie Lee Jones joins us to discuss her incredible memoir, Last Chance Texaco on Transmissions, documenting her rebellious youth in California and Arizona in the ‘70s, her rise to stardom, run-ins with other artists, and much more, with poetic and literary charm.
A good thing: in celebration of Juneteenth this year, Bandcamp is donating 100 percent of their fee share of sales to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund on Friday, June 18. So, you’ll get some new music, support artists, and help a great cause. A win-win-win. In need of a few recommendations? Here are a few recent releases that are worth your time and money…
“Doesn’t belong to me like it used to,” proclaims Rosali Middleman on “Mouth,” the opening track to her new album, No Medium. With members of the David Nance Group soaring behind her, Rosali sheds many a demon on this new work. Her arc on the record is a steep one, confronting addiction, heartbreak, and loss with raw intensity.
We caught up with Rosali at her sister’s place in Michigan to talk about the new record and more.
Will Oldham and Matt Sweeney join us for an exploration into Superwolves, their long-awaited follow up the 2005 classic lp Superwolf.
Freeform transmissions from Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard on dublab. Airing as a four-hour block every third Sunday of the month, RFAD features regular shows, friends, and collaborators. The March broadcast features new episodes of your regular programming Range and Basin and Doom and Gloom from the Tomb, and special guests Ana Gavrilovska of Maggot Brain from Third Man Records and Kaley Evans. Airing March 21st on Dublab from 4—8 PM Pacific.