Harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite’s life reads like a classic blues song: born in Mississippi, raised in Memphis and schooled on the South Side of Chicago. A groundbreaking recording artist since the 1960s, Musselwhite continues to create trailblazing music while remaining firmly rooted in the blues. His worldly-wise vocals, rich, melodic harmonica playing and deep country blues guitar work flawlessly accompany his often autobiographical and always memorable original songs. Living Blues says, ‘Musselwhite’s rock-solid vocals creep up and overwhelm you before you know it. He plays magnificent harp with superb dexterity and phrasing. The results are amazing.’ Over the last 43 years Musselwhite has released over 30 albums. Three of those ‘ 1990s Ace Of Harps, 1991’s Signature and 1993’s In My Time ‘ were recorded for Alligator Records and remain among his best-selling titles. Now, Charlie Musselwhite returns to Alligator with The Well. With musical flavors from Mississippi to Memphis to Chicago, The Well is steeped in the music of Charlie’s youth ‘ country and city blues as well as rockabilly and gospel ‘ the music that inspired his signature sound. The fresh, new songs speak from his decades of experience, hard living, and his triumph over adversity.
Ever since man made his first mark on a cave wall to announce his existence, the figure has been a continual source of renewed discovery and inspiration. It has always been a point of departure for the artist to explore and express the wide range of human feelings and emotions. How the figure will be interpreted next – by present artist or later on by future artists – we cannot predict. But we can foresee that the figure with its inherent potential and richness will retain its fascination as an art form.
Lauren deSerres Kelischek
Stacy Latt Savage
Ellen Lewis Watson
Twenty albums now, and none before like this. ‘It’s emotional for me, and it’s personal, and it makes my heart pound, thinking I’m going to be totally exposed here,’ says Nanci Griffith, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Intersection is not an album of resolution or closure; it’s an album about difficulties, about anger, about things that slip away and things that explode. ‘I’ve had a hard life, and I write it down,’ Griffith sings on the title track, and that line serves as a statement of fact and purpose, and as a gentler way to explain her near-shouted musical exclamation, ‘Hell no, I’m not alright.’ Intersection is an examination of a particularly difficult time for Griffith, fraught with personal bust-ups, with family turmoil, with hard miles and tears and habits to break. ‘Sometimes making the best is doing the worst to yourself,’ she sings here. ‘At some point, you have to get it out,’ she says. ‘I couldn’t walk around with the anger. I didn’t write these songs to punish anybody. I thought I wrote them to get these things off my chest. But now I’ve taken them on the road, and every night when I sing, ‘Hell no, I’m not alright,’ and I see my audience come to their feet, I understand exactly why I wrote this.’
It’s rare for a young musician to earn comparisons to the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis. It’s even harder to find an artist who has entirely redefined an instrument by his early thirties. But Jake Shimabukuro (she-ma-boo-koo-row) has already accomplished these feats, and more, in a little over a decade of playing and recording music. As the San Francisco Gate recently posited about the Hawaiian musician: ‘The sounds the boyish 33-year old wrings from his ukulele’are unlike anything else in the history of the instrument.’ Yes, the ukulele. In the hands of Shimabukuro, the traditional Hawaiian instrument of four strings and two octaves is stretched and molded into a complex and bold new musical force. On an album like his new ‘Peace Love Ukulele,’ Jake and his ‘uke’ effortlessly (it seems) mix jazz, rock, classical, traditional Hawaiian music and folk, creating a sound that’s both technically masterful and emotionally powerful’and utterly unique in the music world. For Shimabukuro, his life has always centered on the ukulele.
Inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s legendary shortest of short stories (‘For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn’), writer and editor Larry Smith issued a challenge to fans of his Web publication, Smith Magazine, to describe their lives in six words. An interactive exhibition in the Narrows Caf?? Gallery challenges our visitors to do the same. We ask you to pick up a piece of chalk, become a memoirist, tell your story and inspire us all.
For over 30 years, Steve Forbert has been of the most compelling songwriters on the planet. Steve is an insightful lyricist with a unique view on the world we live. He is touring behind his latest release ‘The Time and The Place.\\’
In a career that has already spanned a half-century, Jorma Kaukonen has been the leading practitioner and teacher of fingerstyle guitar, one of the most highly respected interpreters of American roots music, blues, and Americana, and at the forefront of popular rock-and-roll. He was a founding member of two legendary bands, The Jefferson Airplane and the still-touring Hot Tuna, a Grammy nominee, a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the most in-demand instructor in the galaxy of stars who teach at the Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp that he and his wife operate in picturesque Southeastern Ohio.
A Narrows favorite. Funky, countrified, soulful and down right rocking aptly describe The Wood Brothers sound. They have recently added a drummer to flesh out their sound. They will be touring in support of thier great cd ‘ Smoke Ring Halo’.
Pegi initially came to the public\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’s attention through her longstanding role as backup singer with Neil Young, her husband of three decades. But Foul Deeds — whose first 5000 copies will also include the bonus live DVD Love Like Water, directed by noted filmmaker Jonathan Demme at the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia — makes it clear that Pegi\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’s iconoclastic creative voice is very much her own. Her uncanny knack for cutting to the heart of thorny emotional issues drives such indelible originals as \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’Broken Vows,\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’Starting Over,\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’Who Knew\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’ and the rueful title track. Another highlight is the dusky, lilting \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’Traveling,\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’ which appears on the album in two versions, one spare and dreamy, and the other performed with a full band.