My original plan with this blog was to post something of substance every Sunday. I'm not sure it will happen today. Although I have been writing obsessively as of late, a lot of that writing has been for professional purposes. I've been working on an essay about Ani Difranco and another about the evaluation of singer-songwriters, with a focus on Jack Hardy. The two essays have been bleeding into each other, which leads me to believe I need to think a bit more about what I want to say.
I'm slowly making my way through all the CDs I bought at Falcon Ridge. At its best, Vance Gilbert's One through Fourteen is excellent. "Waiting for Gillian" and "Eliza Jane" are every bit as good as I remember them being when I heard him play them at Makor back in 2001 or so, there's some pretty good band playing on some of the tracks, and there's a pretty good blues song too. His newest disc is good. At Falcon Ridge, his Tom Waits tribute made more of an impression on me, but on disc, it's the Bruce Springsteen/Steve Earle tribute that hits home. I've also begun making my way through the first CD of the first Jack Hardy box set. It seems that his earlier recordings were closer to straight country music than anything he recorded until Bandolier, although I don't think his voice lends itself as well to the strident singing he does on the early 1970s stuff. I need to listen a bit more, but so far "Go Tell the Saviour" sounds better on the Folk Brothers album. I can hardly wait to play Mirror of My Madness, which has some stuff I've heard live plenty of times but haven't heard on album since I listened to the album five years ago in Harvard Square at the long-gone used CD store on Mass. Ave. Lucy W. R.'s newest is as good as her first, and I'm starting to warm up to Lori McKenna's first while hearkening to hear her newest. I'm still trying to make contact with Jeffrey Foucault's Stripping Cane, and, I'm sorry to say, Tracy Grammer's Book of Sparrows.
More to come.