Tag Archives: WMVY

NEWPORT FOLK: Jonathan Wilson

“Desert Raven”

Well, I’ve been asking around, and nobody seems to know where June went…but believe it or not, the Newport Folk Festival is just three weeks from today!

My boss at mvy just started asking me if I had heard of some of the acts who will perform at Fort Adams this year. As always, Newport keeps us on our toes with their lineup. When heading to check out some of Jonathan Wilson’s music, I had no idea what to expect. I found myself furrowing my brow in confusion at the start of this video…but then once the music kicked in – wow! I dig his “psychedelic folk” and I can’t wait to see him live!

Jonathan Wilson
NEWPORT FOLK 2012

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SONG: Weather Report

“Birdland”

After a very stressful mishap on-air tonight that was truly a technical problem and nobody’s fault, this song lifted my spirits. I played a bunch of songs tonight, and aside from that one Bruce tune that directly talked about our country, this one felt the most celebratory. Enjoy :)) Happy 4th!

Weather Report

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Album Of The Week

Ingrid Michaelson – Human Again

At the very start of  Human Again I’m  struck by urgent sounding strings and piano…but before even a full minute into the song, a dance-like drumbeat joins in to make a sound that I’m not totally familiar with. Track two follows suit with guitar and drum tracks creating epic beats that echo. At this point I’m taking off my headphones and listening through the speakers because I’m not used to this. Am I hearing it right?

Ingrid Michaelson was right when she said fans of her cute voice and stripped down ukelele sound could be disappointed with this album. It’s big. It’s layered. A lot of it’s clearly computer generated. I can’t say that particular sound is my favorite, but I’m excited for the evolution.

Track 4, “I’m Through” [*below] seems to be the first song to really grab me. It’s mostly piano and vocals…and that’s when I start to think maybe I’m actually one of those disappointed fans who misses stripped-down Ingrid.

“Black and Blue” has a playful beat and gets me more intrigued for the second half of the album. Right away, “Ribbons” is a bit different than the rest, but maybe the most pop sounding so far. Then I’m pulled in by “How We Love” because of its sparseness [*listen below]. Ingrid’s beautiful lyrics soar over repetitive guitar plucking and not much else:

“We hate the rain when it fills up our shoes
but how we love when it washes our cars
we love to love when it fills up the room
but when it leaves oh we’re cursing the stars”

But then it’s back to poppy beats and repeating, call and response vocals on “Palm Of You Hand” – probably the one track I’ll be sure to skip over on my next listen. I’ve grown fond of track 10, the single “Ghost”…I think she really comes off as honest and open on this particular song [*great live version below].

Track 12, “Keep Warm”,  surprises me by joining the lush, produced sound with a simpler sounding melody…I feel like this middle of the road approach is incredibly successful and this might be my favorite track on the album [*check out the tune below]. “End Of World” (fittingly) ends the album but unfortunately this is another track I’d probably not revisit…I don’t care for the harsh, high pitched vocals.

All in all this album seems to be sort of a mixed back sonically. I’ll have to listen more, but initially, the less produced tracks are more appealing to me. But I do always appreciate an artist taking chances and experimenting…pushing themselves and their music to different places…out of the comfort zone. That’s when the magic can really happen.

“I’m Through”

“How We Love”

“Ghost” [live]

“Keep Warm”

Tune in to hear this album in its entirety,
TONIGHT at 9pm
at mvyradio.com

Ingrid Michaelson

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Album Of The Week

Dawes – Nothing Is Wrong

The music from this four piece out of LA has an amazing way of sounding like something you’ve heard before, but somehow with a newness about it. Their tunes have been called “authentically vintage” and I really think that description is right on.

Right away the lyrics are noticeably simple but brilliant. Singer/songwriter Taylor Goldsmith has clearly been inspired by Neil Young, Crosby Stills & Nash, and Jackson Browne (who sings background vocals on one track).

The single, “Time Spent In Los Angeles”, opens the album and is fittingly catchy and almost sweet sounding [*video below]. Track #2, “If I Wanted Someone”, has a bit of a Tom Petty vibe to me. “My Way Home” slows things down a bit and then heats up with some amazing guitarwork and belting vocals towards the end – a perfect segue into “Coming Back To A Man”, which is upbeat and drum-driven with a touch of harmonica.

Track #5 is “So Well”, to me one of the more sad songs on the album…and in the words we hear how the album gets its name… “And she does it so well, I was still falling in love when she said farewell, for long enough to finally tell, that nothing is wrong

We’re picked right back up with a really fun tune – “How Far We’ve Come” – one of my favorites on the album. Then comes “Fire Away”, which starts slow for me, but by the end I’m blown away by the gorgeous vocal harmonies (including Jackson Browne), and again, some seriously great guitar [*listen below, to the end!]. More sadness and heartache with the light, airy “Moon In The Water”, and the brooding “Million Dollar Bill”.

We get a much needed pick me up with track #10 – “The Way You Laugh” – which has a melody that makes you move and even some ooohs thrown in. Finally, “A Little Bit Of Everything” starts up…and it doesn’t take long to realize it’s an astonishing piece of writing. I think it’s the perfect way to end the album…leaving you thinking about life and love and connectedness. [*live version below]

“Time Spent In Los Angeles”

“Fire Away”

“A Little Bit Of Everything” [LIVE]

Dawes

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Album Of The Week

Lisa Hannigan – Passenger

This is mvyradio’s Album Of The Week, so tune in at 9pm to hear the whole thing from start to finish!

I’ve been listening to this album for some time now, and I still usually skip the first two tracks. Don’t get me wrong, they’re good, but what lies ahead (specifically tracks 3 through 7) is so special. The single “Knots” has long been a favorite of mine, with it’s lush instrumentation and building energy (and the video *below* is incredibly charming). The upbeat, fun mood that has been set continues with “What’ll I Do”, which is the ultimate sing along. The words could not be more sweet – “what’ll I do without you around, my words won’t pun, my pennies won’t pound, oh and my frisbee flies to the ground, what’ll I do without you.”

Midway through the album, Ray LaMontagne joins Hannigan for “O Sleep”, which slows things down and gets you prepared for “Paper House” *listen below*. There’s something about this song that just pierces right through me. There’s a sort of pulse musically…and her vocals just soar. Then the strings come in and take my breath away. “Little Bird” is nearly just as stunning, with it’s simple instrumentation and powerful lyrics – “when the time comes, and rights have been read, I think of you often but for once I meant what I said.” It was fitting to shoot a powerful yet simple video for this song, with Hannigan mouthing the words while submerged in water *video below*.

The last 3 tracks are just as thoughtful and gorgeous, with a touch of humor thrown in on “Safe Travels (Don’t Die)”. Passenger ends beautifully and quietly, and I think it leaves you feeling a closeness with the artist herself. I know I’ve been spreading the word about Lisa Hannigan since the first time I listened.

“Knots”

“Paper House”



“Little Bird”

Lisa Hannigan

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mvyradio HOT SEAT: Life Is Good

Tune in tonight at 9pm, when I host THE HOT SEAT on mvyradio. I’ll play music from the artists performing at next weekend’s Life Is Good festival. I’ve also talked with James MacDonald, who’s the producer of the festival, and he had some wonderful background to share about the company as well as the mission of the Life Is Good playmakers. This is more than just a fun festival with a dynamite lineup…100% of festival proceeds go towards helping children in need. Great music and a great cause. Here’s my playlist for tonight:

Ray LaMontagne – “You Are The Best Thing”
Ingrid Michaelson – “Way I Am”
The Hold Steady – “Sequestered In Memphis”
The Avett Brothers – “Kick Drum Heart”
Martin Sexton – “Happy”
Levon Helm – “When I Go Away”
Robert Randolph & the Family Band – “If I Had My Way”
Raphael Saadiq – “Stone Rollin'”
Maceo Parker – “Hallelujah, I Love Her So”
Michael Franti – “Sound Of Sunshine
Dwight & Nicole – “Cry, Cry”
Ryan Montbleau Band – “Glad” [LIVE at Life Is Good]
Ingrid Michaelson – “Everybody”

TONIGHT AT 9PM!
mvyradio.com

LIFE IS GOOD FESTIVAL

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NEWPORT: Did That Actually Happen?

Breaking the silence…

First off, I apologize. It’s been an entire week since my last post and I’ve felt like a slacker. But I have an excuse! Newport Folk Festival 2011 rocked my world. In my last post, I explained how I’d be spending the festival…mostly working my tail off, and enjoying whatever I could catch here or there. Well, the entire experience was quite stunning…and left me somewhat in a state of shock (and exhaustion). So it took me a week before I could bring myself to log on here, click ‘new post’, and attempt to get my feelings across to you. And here we are.

The strongest feeling I’ve come away with is a sense of pride and accomplishment. I was part of an awesome team who kicked ass covering the festival…bringing the main stage acts LIVE across the radio airwaves in Newport (96.5FM) and on the Cape & Islands (92.7FM) as well as posting recordings of nearly every set of music performed throughout the weekend on our website along with tons of exclusive interviews and photos (and not to mention our stellar Facebook coverage). 

Aside from that, I was also a sponge soaking in every little drop of amazing music that came my way. Even while sitting at my post backstage for almost the entire festival, I witnessed impromptu performances and jams and got to meet many of the artists who came to our tent to be interviewed. I could also hear the Quad stage quite clearly (especially when the louder bands rocked it), plus there was a pair of headphones right next to me with the main stage feed coming through, so I put those on and blissed out pretty frequently. With all of that and a few jogs to catch a song here or there while my files were saving, I experienced quite a bit of musical magic. Here are some highlights:


*photo by Scott Wurster

Meeting Amos Lee was probably one of the best moments of the festival for me. He was super super sweet and SO striking in person. You hear the word SOUL used a lot when talking about music these days…but I think this man is the real deal…his voice is the epitome of SOUL. Listen to Barbara interview him HERE. And listen to his amazing set on the main stage HERE.


*photo by Scott Wurster

I got to hear a good portion of The Decemberists and their set was just dynamite! They played a perfect mix of new and old songs in their catalogue to please every fan. Colin Meloy was hilarious too! I can’t be sure, but I’d like to think that this picture was taken right as he was telling the crowd to scream like they were being eaten by a whale, haha… definitely check out their performance …LISTEN HERE.


*photo by Scott Wurster

Mavis Staples is such an incredible performer AND person. While she’s on stage of course, but also anytime you see or talk to her, she just exudes a light that makes you smile and feel good about the world, and you can really hear that in her interview with Barbara…LISTEN HERE.

 
*photos by Scott Wurster

Although they were probably the farthest from ‘folk’ at the festival, performances from Delta Spirit and Middle Brother were exceptional. I think Delta Spirit has long been one of my new favorite bands and their rockin’ set really sealed the deal for me. Then, put the singers of Delta Spirit, Dawes, and Deer Tick together and you’ve got Middle Brother – one of the best supergroups I’ve seen in several years. LISTEN TO DELTA SPIRIT. LISTEN TO MIDDLE BROTHER.


 *photo by Scott Wurster

When you hear just a few minutes of stage banter and half a song and then you include that in your list of highlights, that’s when you know The Civil Wars are really something special. I was bummed they were playing on the stage furthest away from me at the festival, but when I ran over there quickly I really was struck by how they commanded the stage and the audience’s attention. You could hear a pin drop in the tent as their intoxicating harmonies cut through the quiet, hot air. Hear part of their performance and Barbara’s interview with them in OUR ARCHIVES.

There was a whole lot more over the course of the weekend, but I’ll leave it at that for today. Now that I’ve had some time to process the experience, I hope to keep sharing it with you here. I’ve said it before, and here I go again…Fort Adams is a magical place, and Newport Folk is one of the most incredible festivals I’ve ever attended. The history, the gorgeous setting, the knowledgeable and well-behaved festival goers, the talent, the collaborations…it all makes for such a special, peaceful place to enjoy the music.


*photo by Jess Phaneuf

If you’ve yet to click on any of the above links to the mvyradio archives,
CLICK HERE TO STREAM & DOWNLOAD LIVE SETS FROM NEWPORT 2011

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