Monday, December 27, 2010

Q & A With The John Hartford Stringband - "Memories of John"

Last month the Grammy nominations were announced and while most music fans focus on the major categories, there is plenty of excellent music hidden in other categories. One of these is Category 68: Best Traditional Folk Album and the nominees are quite impressive:
We've followed most of these acts over the years, except for The John Hartford String Band (Bob Carlin on banjo, Matt Combs on fiddle, Mike Compton on mandolin, Mark Schatz on bass, and guitarist Chris Sharp) - the last touring band of the late John Hartford. In fact, I never really followed Hartford until two years ago after hearing The Farewell Drifters perform "In Tall Buildings" at Merlefest.  (For the brevity sake, I won't publish a biography but for those interested, start at

On the 10th anniversary of Hartford's passing The John Hartford Stringband released Memories Of John a CD containing 14 tracks "some are well known to John Hartford fans; others are complete renderings of sketches that John Hartford left behind. Guest artist include Alison Brown, George Buckner, Béla Fleck, Tim O’Brien, Alan O’Bryant, Eileen Carson Schatz. And from deep in the Hartford archives audio of the man himself, John Hartford."

To learn more about this project we conducted an email interview with two members of the band, guitarist Chris Sharp (CS) and banjoist Bob Carlin (BC).

1. What was the vision for starting Memories for John?

BC: To honor John on the 10th anniversary of his passing, and to bring attention to his life and music.

CS:  I felt it was time to bring the band back together and make a CD to honor John's music as well as to release some songs that John worked hard on, but never had a chance to record. After seeing how the project was received, and now the Grammy nomination, I believe that we are doing what we set out to do; our part in the effort to keep John's memory alive and well.

2. What were the criteria for selecting the songs for the CD?

BC: Chris asked the fans through the internet, asked the band and asked himself what should be on the CD, There are many great songs that didn't make the CD, but there is only so much room on one disc. 

CS: As Bob mentioned I did a lot of questioning online, band members were asked for their input, I tried to remember songs from stage shows, and looked over every CD I either own or could get to search for material. The band's help was instrumental in deciding the material. I also think that discussing material put us all on the same "steam"boat and caused the band to coalesce, which made the recordings much more heartfelt and meaningful, in my opinion. In addition to all of this I went through a lot of material that John had recorded over the years. This was a wonderful experience and gave us the 2 gems he performs on the CD.

3. Bela Fleck, Alison Brown, Tim O'Brien, Alan O'Bryant and Eileen Carson Schatz: did these artists have previous relationship with John?

CS: Everyone on the CD had strong ties to John. That was a prerequisite when we were thinking of guests to include, and as the band discussed them. John had spent a great deal of time working with many of these performers and each one of them has the utmost respect for John and his music. We chose people who not only had the connection to John but also seemed to fit the particular song they are on. Besides John, I can think of no one other than Alan to sing "Delta Queen Waltz", for example.

4. Obviously there is a market for this CD in the older Bluegrass community - but have you noticed a reception from younger listeners?

BC: Toward the end of our association with John, his audiences were getting younger. I expect we have a good following among the "twenty-somethings" as well as among John's older fans.

CS: Again, Bob's answer is what immediately came to mind on this one. Towards the end of John's career so many young people were being introduced to him. He really was on an upswing overall in his career when he was taken from us, specifically with the younger audience. Many bands have formed in the last decade or so that were in some way, if not outright, inspired by John. Most of the bands I'm referring to have a following made up mostly of that younger generation and they routinely do John's material. They also have a tremendous amount of respect for him and they are also helping to keep his memory, legacy, and music alive. There are also well established acts, such as Tim O'Brien and Sam Bush, who perform John's material and are being followed by younger audiences. I have went the long way around this question but the point is that it's a concerted effort by a lot of people to maintain John's legacy. A large amount of this attention is being soaked up by younger audiences. I hope that "Memories Of John" is reaching to these same people and letting them hear John's material, both old and new.

5. And similarly - although it may be too early to tell, has the Grammy nomination exposed John's music to a wider audience.

BC: Let's hope so, as I mentioned, that is one of our goals.

CS:  I would say the Grammy nomination has done quite a bit to expose John's music to more people. Since the nominations were announced there has been a huge upswing on our personal site as well as on Amazon in sales. To me this would support the notion that the nomination has been extremely helpful in getting the word out. It is the Grammys after all :)

6. There's a lot of competition in the Best Traditional Folk Album - Carolina Chocolate Drops, Ricky Scaggs, Maria Muldaur, Luther Dickinson.  Collectively or as individual musicians, have any of you performed with these artists? 

BC: Of course, we are all well aware of the musical contributions of these peers and that it is indeed an "August" collection of performers this year. I'd like to think that I at lease indirectly helped and influenced the Carolina Chocolate Drops in their formative stage. And, I've had interactions with Ricky's daughter Molly as she was learning the clawhammer banjo style.

CS:  I have personally performed on stage with Ricky Skaggs a few times but out of this lineup he's the only one.

7. How did you get notified about the Grammy nomination - phone call - telephone message?

BC: We just read the lists as they were posted online.

CS:  I was watching the show and checking online at the same time. However, Emilee Warner, of Compass Records, called and told me the news before my search yielded results. (Thanks Emilee!!!)

8. Did John ever receive a Grammy nomination during his lifetime? 

BC: Many. John liked to say he received Grammy's for bluegrass music before there was a category! I believe he received four: two for "Gentle on my Mind", one for the Mark Twang album, and one for his participation in the soundtrack for "Oh Brother Where Art Thou".

9. With the success of this CD, is there a chance for a 2nd effort?

CS: At this time I don't see a second CD coming out. The last song, "Fade Out", was meant to allow John himself to close this particular chapter. I agree with Bob that we have said what we wanted to say with this project and unless something drastic happens to change our minds then I would say this will be the only CD we release as the "John Hartford Stringband".

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Top 100 Americana Albums of the Year

The Americana Music Association announced its year end Top 100 Albums of the Year.  The Top 100 albums are based on those records reported to the Americana Airplay Chart during the period of November 17, 2009 through November 15, 2010. The Top Ten most played albums, as charted on the Americana Airplay Chart are: 

1) Various Artists, Crazy Heart Original Motion Picture Soundtrack / New West

2) Rosanne Cash, The List / Manhattan 
3) John Hiatt, The Open Road / New West
4) Carolina Chocolate Drops, Genuine Negro Jig / Nonesuch
5) Ray Wylie Hubbard, A Enlightenment B Endarkenment Hint There Is No C / Bordello/Thirty Tigers
6) Robert Earl Keen, The Rose Hotel / Lost Highway
7) Band Of Heathens, One Foot In The Ether / BOH Records
8) The Avett Brothers, I And Love And You / Columbia 
9) Patty Griffin, Downtown Church / Credential
10) Reckless Kelly, Somewhere In Time / Yep Roc
11) John Mellencamp, No Better Than This, Rounder
12) Darrell Scott, A Crooked Road, Full Light 
13) Merle Haggard, I Am What I Am, Vanguard 
14) Alejandro Escovedo, Street Songs of Love, Fantasy 
15) Willie Nelson, Country Music, Rounder 
16) Lyle Lovett, Natural Forces, Curb/Lost Highway 
17) Carrie Rodriguez, Love And Circumstance, Ninth Street 
18) Robert Plant, Band of Joy, Rounder 

19) Paul Thorn, Pimps & Preachers, Perpetual Obscurity 
20) Los Lobos, Tin Can Trust, Shout! Factory 
21) Jim Lauderdale, Patchwork   River, Thirty Tigers 
22) Cross Canadian Ragweed, Happiness And All The Other Things, Universal Records South 
23) Red Molly, James, Independent 
24) Chip Taylor , Yonkers   NY, Train Wreck
25) Yarn, Come On In, UFO 2
26) John Prine, In Person & On Stage, Oh Boy
27) Tift Merritt, See You On The Moon, Concord
28) Various Artists: Twistable Turnable Man, A Musical Tribute To The Songs Of Shel Silverstein, Sugar Hill 
29) Dave Rawlings Machine, A Friend Of A Friend, Acony 
30) Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Speed Of Life, NGDB 
31) Kevin Welch, A Patch Of Blue Sky, Music Road
32) Johnny Cash, American VI: Ain't No Grave, American/Lost Highway 
33) Elliot Randall & The Deadmen, Caffeine & Gasoline, ER 
34) Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs, God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise, RCA 
35) Shelby Lynne, Tears, Lies & Alibis , Everso/Fontana/CO5 
36) Marty Stuart, Studio B Sessions, Sugar Hill 
 37) Sam Bush, Circles Around Me, Sugar Hill 
 38) Will Kimbrough, Wings, Daphne 
 39) Corb Lund, Losin' Lately Gambler, New West 
 40) Elizabeth Cook, Welder, Thirty Tigers 
 41) Kevin Deal, 7 Seven, Blind Nello 
 42) Allison Moorer, Crows, Ryko 
 43) Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses, Junky Star, Lost Highway 
 44) Eleven Hundred Springs, This Crazy Life, Smith Entertainment 
 45) Guy Clark, Somedays The Song Writes You, Dualtone 
 46) Dierks Bentley, Up On The Ridge, Capitol / Sugar Hill
 47) Patty Loveless, Mountain Soul II,
Saguaro Road
 48) Drive-By Truckers, The Big To-Do, ATO/RED 
 49) Tim O'Brien, Chicken & Egg, Howdy Skies 
 50) Eilen Jewell, Butcher Holler - A Tribute To Loretta Lynn, Signature Sounds
 51) John Fogerty, The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again, Verve 
 52) Suzi Ragsdale, Best Regards & Less Of The Same, Stark Raven 
 53) Various Artists, Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs Of John Prine, Oh Boy 
 54) Great American Taxi , Reckless Habits, Thirty Tigers 
55) Peter Wolf,
 56) Mary Gauthier, The Foundling, Razor & Tie 
 57) Jakob Dylan, Women And Country, Columbia
 58) Two Tons of Steel, Not That Lucky, Smith Entertainment
 59) Norah Jones, The Fall, Blue Note 
 60) Stone   River Boys, Love On The Dial, Cow   Island Music
 61) Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Age Of Miracles , Zoe 
 62) Court Yard Hounds, Court Yard Hounds, Columbia
 63) Delbert McClinton, Acquired Taste, New West 
 64) Jason & The Scorchers, Halcyon Times, Courageous Chicken
 65) Hank III, Rebel Within, Curb 
 66) Will Hoge, The Wreckage, Ryko 
 67) Martin Sexton, Sugarcoating, Kitchen Table 
 68) Cadillac Sky, Letters In The Deep, Dualtone 
 69) John Evans, Lollygaggin', Smith Entertainment 
 70) Steel Wheels, Red Wing, Independent 
 71) Blue Rodeo, The Things We Left Behind, Telesoul
 72) Chuck Prophet, Let Freedom Ring, Yep Roc 
 73) Justin Townes Earle, Harlem River Blues, Bloodshot
 74) Holmes Brothers, Feed My Soul, Alligator 
 75) Tom Russell, Blood And Candle Smoke, Shout! Factory 
 76) Sara Petite, Doghouse Rose, Sweet P 
 77) Doug and Telisha Williams, Ghost Of The Knoxville Girl, No Evil
 78) Radney Foster, Revival, Devil's River 
 79) Nora Jane Struthers, Nora Jane Struthers, Blue Pig Music 
 80) Various Artists, Coal Country Music, Liaison Records 
 81) Somebody's Darling, Somebody's Darling, Shiner 
 82) Cindy Bullens, Howling Trains And Barking Dogs, MC
 83) Infamous Stringdusters, Things That Fly, Sugar Hill 
 84) Fred Eaglesmith, Cha Cha Cha, Lonesome Day 
 85) Joe Pug, Messenger, Lightning Rod 
 86) Keller And The Keels, Thief, SciFidelity 
 87) Matt the Electrician, Animal Boy, Independent 
 88) Bill Kirchen, Word To The Wise, Proper American 
 89) Rebecca Loebe, Mystery Prize, Independent 
 90) Tom Gillam, Had Enough?, Smith Entertainment Records 
 91) Crooked Still, Some Strange Country, Signature Sounds 
 92) James McMurtry, Live In Europe , Lightning Rod
 93) Terri Hendrix, Cry Till You Laugh, Wilory 
 94) Shelley King, Welcome Home, Lemonade 95) Frazey Ford , Obadiah, Nettwerk
 96) Otis Gibbs, Joe Hill's Ashes, Wanamaker Recording Company 
 97) Mavis Staples, You Are Not Alone, Anti 
 98) Eric Bibb, Booker's Guitar, Telarc 
 99) Texas Tornados, Esta Bueno!, Bismeaux Records 1
100) Rosie Flores & The Pine   Valley Cosmonauts, Girl Of The Century, Bloodshot

Current Tracks That Won't Go Away

Over the past few weeks we have received and purchased several recordings from a wide array of artists. We had planned on drafting formal reviews of each - but with the MyJoogTV schedule and added burden of Christmas parties - we have devised a new strategy. Here is a subset of the CDs, as well as links to purchase, that we didn't throw in the back of the bus after the first listen. In fact, we have enjoyed most of these on numerous occasions. And as a bonus we've applied a one sentence buzz phrase commonly used in the industry.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Athens, GA – The Drive-By Truckers announce the first leg of their Go-Go Boots tour. The band will kick of the 15 dates on February 25th with a two-night stand in Chicago, IL at the Vic Theater; they will also do two-night stands in San Francisco, CA and Denver, CO. The Heartless Bastards will support through March 18th.
ATO Records will release Go-Go Boots, on February 15, 2011.  Go-Go Boots is their eleventh record and was produced by their longtime producer, David Barbe (Deerhunter, Bettye LaVette, Sugar). In conjunction with Go-Go Boots, they’ll also be releasing their documentary The Secret to a Happy Ending, directed by Barr Weissman, on DVD.

DBT will be releasing a series of Go-Go Boots episodes directed by Patterson Hood and Jason Thrasher. The first episode and acoustic version of the song “Go-Go Boots” can be viewed on the band’s web site:
The band is also offering a free download of “Used To Be A Cop”. The track is available via the link above or the embedded code below.

DBT will end 2010 with a bang, playing at Terminal 5 in New York City for New Year’s Eve. For those of you that’s can’t make it to the Big Apple for NYE you can tune in to Sirius XM’s Outlaw Country (Sirius 63, XM 12) and hear the band’s performance live starting around 9:45 pm EST.
The Drive-By Truckers are Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley, Shonna Tucker, Brad Morgan, John Neff and Jay Gonzalez.
Tickets for all dates go on sale Thursday, December 16th at
Go-Go Boots Tour:
Fri Feb 18 Washington, DC 9:30 CLUB
 Sat Feb 19 Washington, DC 9:30 CLUB
 Fri Feb 25 Chicago, IL VIC THEATER w/Heartless Bastards
 Sat Feb 26 Chicago, IL VIC THEATER w/Heartless Bastards
 Sun Feb 27 Omaha, NE SLOW DOWN w/Heartless Bastards
 Wed Mar 02 Reno, NV KNITTING FACTORY w/Heartless Bastards
 Thu Mar 03 Las Vegas, NV SILVERTON CASINO w/Heartless Bastards
 Fri Mar 04 San Francisco, CA FILLMORE AUDITORIUM w/Heartless Bastards
 Sat Mar 05 San Francisco, CA FILLMORE AUDITORIUM w/Heartless Bastards
 Wed Mar 09 Eugene, OR MCDONALD THEATER w/Heartless Bastards
 Thu Mar 10 Portland, OR WONDER BALLROOM w/Heartless Bastards
 Fri Mar 11 Vancouver, BC COMMODORE BALLROOM w/Heartless Bastards
 Sat Mar 12 Seattle, WA SHOWBOX AT THE MARKET w/Heartless Bastards
 Tue Mar 15 Missoula, MO WILMA THEATER w/Heartless Bastards
 Wed Mar 16 Boise, ID KNITTING FACTORY w/Heartless Bastards
 Fri Mar 18 Denver, CO OGDEN THEATER w/Heartless Bastards
 Sat Mar 19 Denver, CO OGDEN THEATER w/TBA
*There will be a limited number of 2-day tickets available for Chicago and Denver. Details will be posted to the band’s site.
Previously announced dates:
 Fri Dec 31 New York, NY TERMINAL 5 w/special guests including acts from the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, David Hood, Kelly Hogan, horns and more!
 Sat Jan 01 Philadelphia, PA TLA
 Thu Jan 13 Athens, GA 40 WATT w/2ND Sons
 Fri Jan 14 Athens, GA 40 WATT w/Don Chambers and Goat and Henry Barbe
 Sat Jan 15 Athens, GA 40 WATT w/David Barbe and The Quick Hooks and The Camp Amped Band
 Thu Jan 20 Ft Lauderdale, FL CULTURE ROOM
 Fri Jan 21 Tampa, FL THE RITZ YBOR
 Sat Jan 22 Orlando, FL HOUSE OF BLUES w/John Bell & Friends, Nickel and the Polar Bears
 Sun Jan 23 Jacksonville, FL FREEBIRD LIVE w/Futurebirds
 Wed Jan 26 Pensacola, FL VINYL MUSIC HALL w/Futurebirds
 Thu Jan 27 Huntsville, AL CROSSROADS w/Futurebirds
 Fri Jan 28 Oxford, MS THE LYRIC w/Futurebirds
 Sat Jan 29 Nashville, TN CANNERY BALLROOM w/Futurebirds

For more information contact: Traci Thomas 615-664-1167 /

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Greencards Coming Back to the Washington D.C. Area

The Greencards will make their debut at The Barns at Wolf Trap,1645 Trap Road in Vienna, Virginia on Wednesday, February 9, 2011. We are very excited about this opportunity for the band to perform in this premier venue known for its warm atmosphere and wonderful acoustics. All seats are reserved and tickets can be purchased now at the box office or online by clicking on this advance ticketing link. Tickets to this show make excellent last minute holiday gifts.

================ About The Greencards ============

This  critically acclaimed Austin-formed / Nashville-based band’s love and respect for Americana, bluegrass and country brought them together in 2003. The Greencards have:

  • Toured multiple dates with Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Rosanne Cash, Kasey Chambers and Tim O'Brien just to name a few;
  • Earned the Americana Music Association Award in 2006 for “Emerging Artist of the Year”; and
  • Landed Grammy nominations for 2008 and 2010.
Originally from Australia, an urge to challenge themselves and test the limits of any established genre has guided singer / bassist Carol Young, and mandolin master Kym Warner (accompanied by fiddle and guitar) on their first three albums.

The Greencards released their fourth album in April 2009. Fascination is the band’s most daring project to date. Meticulously crafted arrangements serve as springboards for exhilarating improvisations. While technically breathtaking and acoustically driven, The Greencards have consistently moved towards a sound of their own.

The Greencards appeared at several festivals in 2009 such as Austin City Limits, Telluride, Walnut Valley (Winfield), MerleFest, Lollapalooza and the Cayamo Cruise. They were at MerleFest again in 2010 as well as Grey Fox and Winfield.

Visit The Greencards' CD Baby page to hear samples from of their various projects. You can also join them on Facebook at


Friday, December 10, 2010

MyJoogTV Episode 7: Tom Principato at the Mad Fox Brewing Company

This episode of MyJoogTV features Washington-based bluesman Tom Principato in a discussion of beer and blues with Mad Fox Brewing Company head brewer and proprietor Bill Madden. We've been following Principato's career ever since listening to Blazing Telecasters - Danny Gatton & Tom Principato way back in the early 90's. He is now releasing a new CD, "A Part of Me", which includes "some of the Washington D.C. area's best musicians who I've been recording and performing with for years: Steve Wolf, Tommy Lepson, Josh Howell and Jay Turner". Principato is considered a "Master" of the Fender Telecaster and Statocaster and he explains the difference. The bluesman also just returned from a successful European tour so in anticipation to that trip, we sampled a few European-styled brews crafted by Madden. We also learned about Madden's voyage from being a student brewer to now, an accomplished brewer owning a restaurant and a judge in the Great American Beer Festival. The episode concludes with the Tom Principato Band performing "Down in Lou'siana", a track from "A Part of Me" at the Second Chance Saloon in Columbia, Maryland. Cheers.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Futuristic Blues: Devon Allman's Honeytribe Band @Bangkok Blues

For those of us in the Washington DC area, Friday December 10th provides us with a unique opportunity to witness four of our favorite blues and americana acts. For those in the city, Eli Cook brings his Eli's Double-Barrel Blues Show to the quirky Madam's Organ.  And on the other side of Northwest D.C.,two of our favorite bands, Railroad Earth and Hackensaw Boys are playing together at Nightclub 9:30. We have video clips of both bands over at MyJoogTV and we will be releasing an episode soon with the Hackensaw Boys Live at  Veritas Vineyards.

But, even with these temptations to head into the city, we are staying close to home in the burbs, since a little, local blues joint, Bangkok Blues landing a heavy weight - Devon Allman’s Honeytribe. The band is fronted by Gregg Allman's son Devon and includes George Potsos on bass and Gabriel Strange on drums. The trio released a new CD this fall titled Space Age Blues - Devon Allman's Honeytribe which also contains appearances by Huey Lewis on harmonica and Ron Holloway on tenor saxophone.  Here's how Allman describes the new CD - see you at Bangkok Blues:

"Anyone gets a debut record, but with your sophomore record it's time to go from the sand box to the beach," Allman was quoted at NAMM show in Anaheim, CA while debuting his signature "Devon Allman" amp with Fuchs Audio Technology. "I really envisioned a futuristic blues, sort of a Darth Vader meets could piss off the purists but I really just hope at the end of the day, people enjoy listening to where the blues can go once it's out of it's typical I,IV,V pattern....I mean, I'm totally down with the I, IV, V ...let's just twist it up a bit and sprinkle some cosmic dust on it, man." "I think there's some classic sounds on this record that I'm very pleased with , you'll hear a lil' Floyd , a lil' Zeppelin, there's a gospel number and even a ballad with a string's pretty diverse and way vibey, it's definitely a night time record"