Martin Anderson’s Top 10: 1. Old Crow Medicine Show - Remedy 2. Hurray for the Riff Raff - Small Town Heroes 3. I Draw Slow – White Wave Chapel 4. Lake Street Dive - Bad Self Portraits 5. Bryan Sutton – Into My Own 6. St. Paul & The Broken Bones - St. Paul & The Broken Bones 7. Hot Rize – When I’m Free 8. Sam Amidon – Lily-O 9. Thievery Corporation - Saudade 10. Curtis McMurtry - Respectable Enemy
With her intriguing blend of Appalachian, jazz and rock, Laney Jones has been winning a string of awards lately, from such corners as the Kennedy Center's American Voices and other festivals, Eddie's Attic, and the Southern Musician Showcase. We enjoyed discovering her with her terrific album called "Golden Road". She and her band The Lively Spirits play Asheville Tuesday, Bristol Wednesday, Knoxville Thursday, Gaffney on the 13th, and Charlotte on the 14th.
Many of us first got to know his music when he sang about WNCW's ARC Overnight show on 2003's "Radio", and his latest album is You Can't Outrun the Radio. But these aren't the only reasons Jonathan is one of our favorite NC songwriters; he shows his great storytelling and melody-making skills throughout so many gems he's written. His shows in our area include Asheville on Thursday, Johnson City Friday, and Charlotte on the 17th.
We celebrate the birthday of this great Arkansas singer/songwriter with her incredible debut from 1992 Monday night. It's hard to fathom that she didn't consider herself a good singer for so long -- the heart-open-wide emotion in her voice can stop you dead in your tracks. And the confessional and inspiring songs here are equally moving. Her devotion to the legacy of the Carter Family can be heard in songs like "Mama's Opry" and her cover of "Fifty Miles of Elbow Room", and there's a lot of mutual admiration between her and John Prine, too.
The Peak of the Week this Thursday evening is actually WNCW's Peak of the Year: the #1 Album pick among WNCW listeners in 2014's Top 100 Countdown (by a surprisingly solid margin). Produced by Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell among others), Simpson weaves swirling, psychedelic instrumentation with his strong Waylon Jennings outlaw country influence, for the best cosmic country soundtrack this side of the otherworld.
It all boils down to time spent. The more time I spent with a record, the more likely it was to make it onto this list. Imagine a Christmas or New Year's party with hundreds of people that you may or may not know, and witness how you gravitate towards some and not others, how circumstance steps in and closes a conversation here but continues one there. An old friend may seem a little disheveled as the evening wears on; a new acquaintance might be most intriguing.
December 30th is the anniversary of the birth of one of WNCW's favorite artists, John Hartford. We've spun his masterpieces Aero-Plain (1971) and Morning Bugle (1972) in past years for The Spindale Cycle; this time, how about this one from 1976. Mark Twang, as you might expect, centers all around riverboats, river men, and other features of Hartford's beloved Mississippi River. It is considered by some to be the pinnacle of his long artistic run (he recorded from 1967 through 2000).
For the first night of the new year, let's feature the artist who is far and away WNCW listeners' favorite, based on previous listener polls, Bob Dylan. However,the artists featured here are actually Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), and Elvis Costello, with producer T-Bone Burnett getting the credit for initiating this collective.