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Music Notes

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On September 11, 2021
I spent last weekend at the Rhythm & Roots Festival in Charlestown, Rhode Island. This is an annual folk festival on the coast near the Connecticut border. I’d never gone before, largely because I am often not around on Labor Day weekend and also because of my general indifference toward festivals. But after having a […]

Music Notes

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On September 4, 2021

Last night, I saw Bonnie Prince Billy and Matt Sweeney at the Columbus Theater in Providence. This was my first indoor show since the pandemic began. There was a vaccination requirement and a masking

Music Notes

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On August 28, 2021

Another week, another major musical death to note here. This time, it’s Don Everly, the remaining half of The Everly Brothers. I don’t have as much to say about Everly as I did last week a

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Music Notes

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On August 21, 2021
This week’s issue of Music Notes will only discuss one issue before we get to reviews, and that’s the death of Tom T. Hall. Tom T. was one of the all-time greats. A true humanist, no one could write a song that got to the heart of the complexity of human beings better than he. […]

Music Notes

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On August 14, 2021

Obviously, the big news of the week is the death of Nanci Griffith. I’ve never been the biggest fan, though I certainly like some of her songs. In fact, I was investing in some archival album pi

Music Notes

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On August 7, 2021

One last point about the Newport Folk Festival, which is its forward looking vision of younger artists. When Randy Newman played, he got great amusement about being old. He played “I’m Dea

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Music Notes

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On July 30, 2021
This week’s edition of Music Notes is dominated by my weekend at the Newport Folk Festival. A few initial words. First, LIVE MUSIC! OH MY GOD LIVE MUSIC! I cannot say in the words I know how wonderful it was just to see live music again. Really, talk about three days of being filled with […]

Music Notes

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On July 24, 2021

This was a couple of weeks with a bunch of notable deaths in the music world, so I guess let’s honor the departed to get started. We lost the great fiddler Byron Berline last week, at the age of

Music Notes

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On July 10, 2021

Been quite awhile since I did one of these posts! I’m not sure why, but there’s a whole bunch of Sun Ra stories appearing. Here’s a nice little profile of the great one in The New Yo

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Music Notes

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On May 22, 2021
As any reader of these musical posts knows, I am a big fan of free jazz. And I am a big fan of Archie Shepp. He’s still around and playing, though in his 80s. He also remains as sharp of critic of the world as ever. And I found this pretty interesting: Shepp, along with […]

Music Notes

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On May 15, 2021

Van, Van is a used up man: Legendary singer-songwriter Van Morrison released a new song on streaming platforms Thursday whose title espouses a classic antisemitic trope. The lyrics of the song, “The

Music Notes

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On April 25, 2021

I watched the entirety of Otis Redding’s Monterey Pop performance this week, as filmed by D.A. Pennebaker. It was great. There were so many artists who died young in the late 60s and early 70s,

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