April 8, 2009 by barbmstein@aol.com

k.d. lang brought her dancing shoes and a brand new five-piece band to the Benedum Center for the WYEP 35th Anniversary concert.  Sometimes lang played the guitar and even attempted playing the banjo, but it was her voice that was her most used instrument throughout the almost 90-minute set, which featured several encores.  The large stage was set up with lighting and a projection screen in the back, with the band near the middle; allowing lang plenty of space to dance and interact with her band and audience.  Some of the band members were multi-instrumentalists.  Despite pleas from the audience, lang did not remove her shoes (she apparently usually performs without them) and she proved she’s very light on her feet.  An early highlight was lang’s version of Neil Young’s “Helpless”.  The first standing ovation came after she did a song from “Hymns of the 49th Parallel”, the Leonard Cohen penned “Hallelujah” in which lang showcased her extraordinary voice.  lang did vintage tracks like “Miss Chatelaine” as well as “I Dream of Spring” from her most recent release “Watershed”.  Of course lang sang “Constant Craving”, perhaps her most well known song.  During one of the encores, lang referred to Tony Bennett as her mentor.  The final song was “Lock, Stock and Teardrops” from “Shadowland”.

Fellow Canadian Meaghan Smith opened the show and this leg of the k.d. lang tour.  Smith was joined center stage by her husband Jason Mingo on guitar and harp pedal and their friend Austin Nicholsen on upright bass.  She was on stage for about 30-minutes, played seven songs and danced a little.  Smith plays guitar and also played the omnichord.  She engaged the audience using the harp pedal to accentuate what people did that day (working and laundry).  The singer song-writer reminded me of a young Linda Ronstadt.  Smith told the stories behind such songs as “Poor”, “You Got Out” and her final song about her parents sending her to bed in the summer when it was still daylight, called “Five More Minutes”.  She shared with us that she does answer her own e-mail.  Smith asked for a photo of herself from the stage with the audience in the background.  I’m sure everyone was smiling. 

Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host

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March 27, 2009 by barbmstein@aol.com

Ari Hest CD

Imagine writing, recording, producing and releasing one new song per week for 52 weeks in a row. In 2008, singer-songwriter Ari Hest did just that. On March 10, 2009 Hest self-released the studio CD, “Twelve Mondays”, containing reworked versions of the 12 fan-selected songs from the ’52’ project.

The independence and freedom has served Hest well. I learned of the ambitious project after the fact and heard the songs on “Twelve Mondays” before downloading all the Songs from 52: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn. Each season contains 13 songs. From the ‘52’; 4 from Winter, 3 from Spring and Autumn and 2 from Summer made the final cut.

The first track on “Twelve Mondays” is also the first track on “Winter.” “One Two” is a deeply textured song that just sticks in your head. The first song of the ‘52’ is one of the best for the whole year. Another stand out is “Dead End Driving”, which was on “Summer”. It’s another catchy song that I keep listening to over and over again.  From “Autumn” is “Cranberry Lake” which teams up Hest with Amy Kuney in a simple duet (he attempted to sing Kuney’s part at his Club Café show). “Spring” contributed the fun sounds of “Binoculars” and “Ride the Brake”.  Other songs that deserve more than a casual listen include the tongue & cheek "I'll Be There", the rhythmic "The Weight", the layering on "Broken Voices" and the catchy "Morning Streets" along with the final track "Reason to Believe" rounding out the CD, like it starts, with one of those songs that just sticks in your head.

You can’t just comment on the final product of “Twelve Mondays” without acknowledging the pool of ‘52’. I did not hear the songs as they came out each week in 2008; instead I listened to them in order over a 5-day period. I feel there is not a weak song in the bunch. Certainly some songs sounded like demos. Some started abruptly or just ended with no warning. There was one instrumental. Many songs had multiple instruments and sounds. Guitar, piano, percussion and harmonies. You could at least hear the potential of what Hest was attempting to do with a particular song. I was impressed by actually how polished many of the songs were.

The quality and integrity of Ari Hest’s music is evident. In one review, Hest was compared to John Mayer, Bruce Springsteen and Dave Matthews. I don’t think those comparisons do justice to the depth of the songs Hest has produced over his young career (Hest will be 30 in June). To me, Ari Hest sounds like … well, Ari Hest. He is unique. Maybe in the future other artists will be likened to … Ari Hest.

On 2006’s “The Green Room Sessions EP”, Hest covers Fleetwood Mac’s “Little Lies”. It’s hard to believe it’s one person singing that song, but Hest pulls it off brilliantly.

Ari Hest has recorded almost the equivalent of a whole career worth of music in one year. What an incredible accomplishment! Well done, well done! To date, “Twelve Mondays” is my favorite CD of 2009!

www.arihest.com

Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host

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March 23, 2009 by kyle@wyep.org

ELVIS COSTELLO’S NEW ALBUM ‘SECRET, PROFANE & SUGARCANE’ will be out on JUNE 2nd. The recording is Produced by T BONE BURNETT in Nashville.

Joining Costello were Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Mike Compton, Jeff Taylor, and Dennis Crouch. These guys are some of the most highly regarded recording artists and musicians in traditional American country music, Bluegrass and beyond.

The album includes ten previously unrecorded songs. “Sulphur to Sugarcane” and “The Crooked Line”, were co-written with T Bone Burnett while, “I Felt The Chill” marks Costello’s second recorded songwriting collaboration with Loretta Lynn.

I'm fairly certain that is the same group of musicians that helped create 'Raising Sand' with Plant & Krauss. Looking forward to this release !

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March 17, 2009 by barbmstein@aol.com

I discovered singer-songwriter Ari Hest on the 2008 Cayamo cruise.  I only had the chance to see him briefly then, but he made an immediate impression on me.  At Club Cafe, 29-year old Hest was the early show.  He was backed by Ron Calder on bass, Thad Debrock on guitar and Doug Yowell on drums.  The band also co-produced Hest's latest release "Twelve Mondays", from which he performed many tracks.  The concept, as Hest explained it, was that he wrote and shared on his website 52 songs in 2008.  He wrote a song a week and the 12 best, voted by the fans, made it on to this CD.  All sounded like winners to me.  Hest is quite tall, and seems comfortable on stage.  Even though I wasn't familiar with most of the songs, after 1 hour and 15 minutes, I didn't want the show to end.  I wanted to hear all 52 songs and then some.  The music and performer were engaging.  www.arihest.com

Tim Brantley opened the show with about a 35-minute set.  He's a singer-songwriter out of Atlanta who plays the guitar and keyboards.  He seemed like he would be more comfortable with a backing band.  He has a great voice and is very personable, making a lot of eye contact with the audience.  Brantley is releasing his first CD next month "Goldtop Heights" http://www.myspace.com/timbrantley

P.S.:  I'm going to attempt to do my first CD review.  Actually my first five, as I've been listening to Ari Hest's Songs from 52:  Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn and the CD "Twelve Mondays" released on 03.10.09, which is a 'best of' the 52 songs.  Review is here: http://musicblog.wyep.org/2009/03/27/%e2%80%9ctwelve-mondays%e2%80%9d-%e2%80%93-a-cd-review/

Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host

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March 13, 2009 by kyle@wyep.org

 

 

We've heard from many WYEP listeners so far, but the deadline is fast approaching for you to enter your favorite 20 songs. This listener generated list will be counted down in May, don't miss your chance to have your selections counted. The dealine for voting is Friday, April 10th.

http://www.wyep.org/events/contests/index.php?id=51

 

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March 13, 2009 by kyle@wyep.org

Bonnaroo

Stay tuned to 91.3fm WYEP.  We'll soon have a chance for you to enter to win a pair of passes to this years Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TN taking place June 11th to June 14th.

www.bonnaroo.com for the complete lineup

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March 8, 2009 by barbmstein@aol.com

On Day 7 we were scheduled to be at Great Stirrup Cay, a private island in the Bahamas.  Due to the windy weather we couldn't tender off the island, so instead we docked at Nassau.  No one seemed upset at the change.  What a beautiful city!  I will always remember the ship pulling away from Nassau in the sunset, with the picturesque lighthouse.

The last evening.  On the windy Pool Deck, Oakhurst was joined by Levi Lowery (a very talented fiddler who seemed to sit in with everyone), then Ed Robertson (Barenaked Ladies) and also Shawn Mullins (who did a John Prine song).  I ended up sitting next to Heather Luttrell (who we never got to see perform).

The final show in the Stardust Theater was supposed to be by Buddy Miller (who is recovering from triple-by pass surgery).  Instead it was a show billed as the Know-Buddies.  Since Buddy Miller was our original choice for "Twice as Nice" we were given reserved seating in the 1st 4 rows, for this general admission show.  Wow.  It was a who's who of the performers on the Cayamo Cruise.

Webb Wilder opened up the show, doing two new songs from his upcoming album.  He then did MC duties (he was previously a host of a show on satellite radio) for this tribute to Buddy Miller.  Wilder is a neighbor of Miller and often sees him in the grocery story.  Some performers did Buddy Miller tunes.  The collaborations were amazing. Canadians Kathleen Edwards (violin), Ed Robertson (guitar) and the Denver based banjo player from Oakhurst did "I Hate Winnipeg".  Robertson suggested a mutiny of sorts.  Since the passengers outnumber the crew, he wanted to storm the Sixthman offices at 3 a.m. to take over the ship.  We were all having so much fun, we just didn't want it to end. Edwards teamed up with Tift Merritt and did a bit of a Vegas like comedy act (what a great singing voice Merritt has - she also plays a mean harmonica).  Shawn Mullins lead a super group that included David Ryan Harris and Heather Luttrell.  Ken Block teamed up with Aslyn (both from FL) and a few others on a Tom Petty Song.  Shawn Colvin, Brandi Carlile and Patty Griffin each took turns singing alone and in collaboration.  Wow.

In Gatsby's, we briefly saw Jeff Holmes (Floating Men).  We then went to the Spinnaker and caught Aslyn's last song.  It was a touching tribute to her grandparents.  He grandfather was named Wally (same as my dad) and it was about having a long relationship with the one you love.  It made me cry.  What a lovely way to end the evening.  We wish we had seen more of Aslyn, what a voice, what command of the piano!

We weren't able to see everyone perform, but we made every attempt to at least see a few moments of as many performers as we could.  What an amazing line up of talent.  It would be hard to duplicate anywhere else.  We're ready to sign up for the journey through song, 2010!

Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host

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March 5, 2009 by barbmstein@aol.com

Day 6: It’s a day with a moderate sea and strong winds. They had to cover the equipment once due to a quick rain storm. I was able to access the Internet on the Pool Deck, while listening to Bonepony.  They were followed by The Greencards (re-scheduled from the previous day, due to the weather).  They play quite a variety of music.  Great energy and sound (especially when they did bluegrass)

We both got some sun and despite using 50 SPF, I have some sun burn on my shoulders, chest and neck.

As part of "Twice as Nice" we had our photo taken with Brandi Carlile. It was a nice opportunity, even if it was very quick.  The photo came out nice and it's a good memory of the cruise.

The shows were all running a bit late on the Pool Deck, so we only caught part of Drew Copeland's (Sister Hazel) show.  He's been working with Edwin McCain on his solo effort and you could hear the influence.  We think Marc Broussard also sounds like McCain.

We finally got to see multi-instrumentalist Kathleen Edwards do a whole show.  I had no idea she played the violin.  She said her husband comforted her after her losses at the casino with goodies from the chocolate buffet.  Edwards also freely used "adult language".  She told an entertaining story about making the video to "I Make the Dough, You Get the Glory".

Glen Phillips has some great guys backing him up.  One is Luke Bulla on fiddle (Works Progress Administration), the other is Jonathan Kingham.  Phillips gave each a chance to solo during the set.  Kingham stole the show with a rap during a Bobby Brown song all about the Cayamo cruise experience on the Norwegian Dawn.  He earned a much deserved standing ovation.  Phillips did a song about being present when his father passed on.  Mr. Barb and I could relate.  After his performance I was able to chat with Phillips and get his autograph.  He also kindly posed for a photo with me, doing a 2nd take, as he blinked the 1st time.

The Spinnaker Lounge was perhaps not the right venue for someone such as Webb Wilder.  A tight band, but very loud!  Very good at what he does.  Other artists should watch him and learn how it's done.

Ed Robertson (Barenaked Ladies) was in Dazzles.  The lounge we could never get into, and always had to settle for standing along the fringe.  Roberston is very entertaining and we were glad to catch him performing again before turning in for the evening.

We sailed into the Eastern Time Zone and to the Bahamas. Of course we would lose the hour again when we went back to Daylight Savings Time on Sunday. Oh well. As Glen Phillips said we’re on a cruise, we get back to reality next week and can sleep then.

On a cruise, you can’t help but run into the performers in the hall ways. Lyle Lovett is impeccably dressed even when not on stage. Mr. Barb saw Ed Roland in the bathroom. You just never know. The performers seem open to chatting informally with fans.  I usually was on the look out for performers in the Garden Cafe, like all of us, they had to eat sometime.

Barb S.  – Sunday Mix Host

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March 5, 2009 by barbmstein@aol.com

Another humid, windy day in the 80’s ashore, in the very quaint Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

Shawn Mullins was supposed to play the Pool Deck, but due to rain and 2” of water on the stage and over the wires, his show was moved inside to the Atrium.  Another part of the Cayamo experience is being flexible. Mullins was also joined by guests for his final set, including the banjo player from Oakhurst.  Mullins stuck to his more familiar material.  It was a so neat to see people gathering all around the Atrium, on the spiral staircases, in the glass elevators and in any free space they could find to see Mullins.  Afterwards he signed autographs at the Merch Store.  I finally got the opportunity to get my photo taken with him and I had not showered and was wearing a hat to cover my hair. Mullins was very gracious.

Next we caught Darrell Scott.  Like the others, he had guests join him on stage throughout the show.   After a shower and dinner we went to see Ed Robertson.  He’s quirky. A good quirky and I bet a fun dad.  He did a few Barenaked Ladies songs and had a few guest artists, including a “cruiser” who played a mean harmonica. Before we went to hear more music we went to a chocolate buffet (I drew the line tho on chocolate sushi).  We caught a bit of Edie Carey, Vienna Teng and Beth Woods.  We like all three ladies.  Next we went to see Ed Roland (Collective Soul).  He admitted he was not proficient on the guitar (I couldn’t tell).  He’s working on writing songs for next Collective Soul CD and was looking for some ideas from the cruisers.  It’s obvious he writes more for a group then solo, but it still translated quite well on stage.  We ended the evening with the veteran Cayamo act Oakhurst.

Barb S.  – Sunday Mix Host

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March 5, 2009 by barbmstein@aol.com

Day 4:  St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.  Another humid, windy day in the 80’s ashore.  Our evening entertainment was provided by David Ryan Harris, Joey Ely, Girlyman, Katie Herzig, Jim Bianco and Glen Phillips.

David Ryan Harris was on Cayamo last year when he joined Shawn Mullins and Edwin McCain on the Lido Deck.  I was looking forward to seeing him solo.  Harris is a combination of John Mayer and Prince.  He's a talented singer-songwriter who’s not well known, but should be.

We sampled a bit of Joe Ely again (The Flatlanders), Girylman, along with a little bit of Katie Herzig in the Atrium, and checked in on Mindy Smith and then Jim Bianco.

Our “Twice as Nice” Show was Brandi Carlile (instead of Buddy Miller, who was unable to join the cruise due to triple by-pass surgery).  Sixthman did a great job of trying to accommodate those of us who choose Buddy Miller.  We were thrilled to see Carlile twice.  We had 4th row center in the Stardust Theater.  Wow.  Brandi, one of The Twins and Josh performed barefoot again.  Since we were close enough, I tried to get some photos of their feet.  Marc Broussard and Vienna Teng were among the performers who joined her on stage.  A large group sang “Let It Be” (Beatles) while holding lyric sheets.  It’s that kind of impromptu atmosphere.  You never know who will turn up on stage.

It was off to the late show of Glen Phillips.  I have to admit here, I was not impressed with Phillips when we saw him with Jonatha Brooke in December at the Rex.  I really wanted to give him another chance, as I had heard he was a good performer.  Well, he won me over.  Mr. Barb and I stayed for the whole show, until 2:15 a.m.  The Spinnaker has very comfortable couches and chairs.  Mr. Barb and I found a couch.  It was ironic, that Phillips talked about the “bumper cars” (couches).  He knew it was late and said was okay if we fell asleep in the bumper cars/couches.  Phillips is still re-learning the guitar after his accident (injuring his hand after it went through a glass table).  The late night show also seemed to affect his memory for lyrics.  But that’s part of the ambiance of this cruise.  It’s very casual and it’s okay to forget the words.  Phillips hit his head on the microphone a few times when he just couldn’t remember anymore of the song.  Mr. Barb and I left the comfy bumper car to move up front to get a closer look. 

 Barb S.  – Sunday Mix Host

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March 5, 2009 by barbmstein@aol.com

Day 3:  Webb Wilder, Hub City Allstars, Tift Merritt, Glen Phillips, Brandi Carlile, Marc Broussard, Shawn Mullins, Ed Robertson, Zac Brown Band.  After a day in Samana, we had plenty of music to come back on the boat for.

Webb Wilder followed by the Hub City Allstars were on the pool deck again.  It’s a perfect location to hear their music.

Tift Merritt started off the night in the Spinnaker Lounge.  She did “Broken” and mentioned watching the “Titanic” before going on the cruise.  We were quite impressed with her performance.  We caught a little bit of Glen Phillips (who noted he was enjoying getting re-acquainted with his wife on this cruise) before going to see our headliner Brandi Carlile.  What a difference a year makes.  Carlile, with Josh on upright bass and “The Twins” in her band were amazing.   She has much more confidence (as she should with that voice and songwriting ability).  Carlile likes to perform barefoot.  She also sang a few new songs from her upcoming new release.  The Indigo Girls joined her on stage. As usual, Marc Broussard was SRO and on again before Shawn Mullins.  Broussard brought his dad on board to accompany him.  Mullins’ changed up his set for his 2nd show of the cruise.  He did a very impassioned version of the James McMurtry song  “We Can’t Make It Here”. While I was seeing Mullins, Mr. Barb checked out Ed Robertson (Barenaked Ladies) – his quirky sound played well in the Atrium, and Mr. Barb recommended we check out his show later in the Spinnaker.  After Mullins’ we stayed around to see the Zac Brown Band (Clay Cook pulling double duty tonight with Mullins & Zac.)  There was a lot of buzz for this band, and their hit “Chicken Fried”.  We only stayed for a few jams, but we were in awe over their sound.  A little bit of everything. 

Barb S.  – Sunday Mix Host

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March 2, 2009 by barbmstein@aol.com

It was very windy, as I sat at a picnic table in the shade, overlooking the Pool Deck, while Brandi Carlile was singing “The Story” … it’s the 2nd day of the journey through song ... we’re somewhere in the Eastern Caribbean.  Carlile and the Indigo Girls teamed up this afternoon. 

Our travels from Pittsburgh to our stateroom aboard the NCL Dawn were practically seamless.  I discovered I can function, with some short naps, for 24-hours.  Our day began at 3:30 a.m. in Pittsburgh and ended the next morning about 4:00 a.m. Atlantic Standard Time (yeah, we lost an hour when we went into another time zone).   

Day 1 included performances from Beth Wood, Roddie Romero & The Hub City Allstars, Emerson Hart, Ken Block, Drew Copeland & Ryan Newell (3/5’s of Sister Hazel), Kathleen Edwards (who was introduced by fellow Canadian, Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies), Indigo Girls, Marc Broussard and Shawn Mullins.

Roddie Romero & The Hub City Allstars would sound perfect on the Roots & Rhythm mix (Sundays, 11a-2p on WYEP), with their Cajun Louisiana sound.  Our discovery on Day 1 was the guys from Sister Hazel.  Wow we had no idea how good they were & their CD was the 1st we purchased.  

The Indigo Girls were our 1st headliner show.  Brandi Carlile joined them on quite a few songs, as well as a few other guest musicians.  They just rocked the Stardust Theater.  A great way to begin the journey. 

Despite a sinus infection, Shawn Mullins delivered an amazing performance that began about 12:50 a.m.   Joining Mullins was the multi-instrumentalist and a great singer-songwriter in his own right, Clay Cook. With Patrick Blanchard on guitar.  Mullins started off acoustic, and then invited the musicians up on stage for the remainder of the set.  Mullins is returning to Cayamo and a veteran of four Sixthman cruises. He seemed genuinely happy to be on-board and appreciated those in the Spinnaker Lounge (AKA, The Listener’s Room) being there this late (early?) to attend his show.  Mullins ended his 90 minute set, with his now trademark “House of the Rising Sun” and “Lullaby”. 

My oh wow moment on Day 2 was seeing Glen Phillips.  Mr. Barb and I were having a late breakfast, and Phillips came over to our table to ask us the time.  I didn’t realize who it was at first, until I heard another musician call him Glen.  Neat!  (I might add, he’s nice looking in person). 

On Day 2 we also sampled Webb Wilder, Over the Rhine, Girlyman, Ken Block (whose set started off solo, then he was joined by his Sister Hazel band mates), Girlyman, The Greencards, Kathleen Edwards (we were thrilled to hear her do “I Make the Dough, You Get the Glory”).  Beth Woods introduced a fellow Texan, our headliner for the evening, Mr. Lyle Lovett.  What a performer.  He is the consummate professional.  With a stellar band, impeccably dressed, just first rate.  The artist’s should all come to one of his shows to see how it’s done.  He performed over 90-minutes.  Lovett continues to deliver the goods.  We also checked in on Joe Ely, who performed some new Flatlander’s music. 

It was 78 on our Day at Sea and it’s supposed to be 82 for our Day in Samana, Day 3.  Internet access was spotty on Day 2 of the cruise, so I'm only getting around to posting on Day 3.

 Barb S.  – Sunday Mix Host

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February 27, 2009 by barbmstein@aol.com

During the first week of March, Mr. Barb and I embark on our 2nd journey through song.  The chartered cruise is called Cayamo (pronounced kay-AH-mo) www.cayamo.com.  Last year we sailed thru the Western Caribbean for six days, this year it’s the Eastern Caribbean for seven days.

The headliners are (bold indicates returning from 2008):

Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, Indigo Girls, Brandi Carlisle, and Buddy Miller (* Buddy Miller is recovering from triple-bypass surgery, so he will not be on the cruise. Best wishes to Buddy for a full recovery – Get Well Soon! – We will miss you!)

Other singer-songwriters on-board will be (bold indicates returning from 2008):

Aslyn, Jim Bianco, Ken Block (Sister Hazel), Bonepony, Marc Broussard, Drew Copeland (Sister Hazel), Antje Duvekot, David Ryan Harris (John Mayer band), Kathleen Edwards, Joe Ely (The Flatlanders), Girlyman, Emerson Hart (Tonic), Katie Herzig (Newcomers Home), Jeff Holmes (The Floating Men), Roddie Romero and the Hub City All-Stars, Tift Merritt, Shawn Mullins, Oakhurst, Over the Rhine, Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket), Ed Robertston (Barenaked Ladies), Ed Roland (Collective Soul), Darrell Scott, Mindy Smith, The Greencards, Vienna Teng, Webb Wilder, Beth Wood, and The Zac Brown Band (with Clay Cook)

I counted 35 (!) artists! Woo hoo!

Our survival kit from Sixthman (who organize these themed cruises, www.sixthman.net) included a 2-CD set of 30 songs from the artists scheduled to be on the 2009 Cayamo cruise.

We’re looking forward to seeing some of the returning artists again (especially Shawn Mullins), and discovering some new artists that we’ve never seen before.

Pacing and power naps will be the key (and with Freestyle Cruising, we can eat at our convenience). Looking at the schedule of performances, to see Shawn Mullins 1st concert, I will have to find time to take a nap, as his show begins at 12:30 AM right after set sail. Mr. Barb said I’m not allowed to sleep during the headliner shows, like I did in 2008. We chose the headliner show time of 8:30 PM (an hour earlier than last year). Our first headline act on the day we sail is the Indigo Girls.

We expect sunshine, happy smiling faces, unexpected impromptu collaborations, and to add to our CD collection. If possible, I will try to blog during the cruise to share our experiences.

Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host

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February 19, 2009 by barbmstein@aol.com

es·sen·tial (ə sens̸həl, i-) uh-sen-shuh l

adjective

1.    of or constituting the intrinsic, fundamental nature of something; basic; inherent

2.    absolute; complete; perfect

3.    absolutely necessary; indispensable; requisite

noun

something necessary or fundamental; indispensable, inherent, or basic feature or principle

Many of the songs on my list are the first release or first “hit” by the artist.  These songs introduced me to their music.  When some of these artists no longer had a home on commercial radio, they were still embraced by independent public radio.  So these songs are essential.  They are necessary, without hearing these songs I would not have discovered these artists and continued to listen to their music, buy their CD’s or download their songs.

 

1.      “Falling Slowly” – Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová (2007-2008)

Having won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2007, to me this song epitomizes that a good song doesn’t necessarily have to be a commercial hit to be recognized.  The movie and soundtrack to “Once” were great examples of the fact that the little guy does sometime come out on top.

2.      “Driving” – Everything But The Girl (acoustic version) (1990 & 1996)

This song just flows.  I love hearing it while I’m driving.  Love how it sounds on the radio.

3.      “Walking in Memphis” – Marc Cohn (1991)

Marc Cohn won the Best New Artist Grammy in 1991 on the strength of this song.  Cohn’s songwriting has only continued to improve, too bad commercial radio all but abandoned him after this hit.

4.      “Lullaby” – Shawn Mullins (1998)

Commercial success may have alluded Shawn Mullins since “Lullaby”, but he’s found his niche as a great story teller.  It’s still a highlight when Shawn sings his “medley” of this greatest hit in concert.

5.      “Solitude” – Edwin McCain (1995)

This is what a great story song should sound like.  Yes, I know you may dismiss this because Edwin McCain teamed up with the lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish, Darius Rucker.  But it’s a testament to McCain’s songwriting abilities.

6.      “No Such Thing” John Mayer (2002)

The 21st century is continuing to introduce us to talented songwriters.  John Mayer co-wrote this song with Clay Cook.  Mayer is still young but his songwriting ability and wisdom are far beyond his years.

7.      “All I Wanna Do” – Sheryl Crow (1994)

The ultimate catchy pop song.  Sheryl Crow keeps cranking them out year after year after year.

8.      “That Girl Can Sing” – Jackson Browne (1980)

This was one of those songs that stood out while I was in high school.  It seemed so sophisticated and ahead of its time.  It still sounds good.

9.      "Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)" – Enya (1988)

A sound that really was unique and still is.

10.  “One Headlight” – The Wallflowers (1997)

I love listening to this song in my car, in the rain, with the windshield wipers going.  I know it’s one of those “super groups”, but it’s a good song.

11.  “Runaway Feeling” – The Thorns (acoustic version) (2003)

Okay, maybe only the record label was convinced it was a good idea to team up Shawn Mullins, Matthew Sweet and Pete Droge.  But the music they produced was magical.

12.  “One of Us” – Joan Osborne (1995)

A lot of us have a copy of “Relish” and remember Joan Osborne for this wonderful song.

13.  “I Don’t Want to Wait” – Paula Cole (1997)

There’s a reason this song stayed on the charts for almost a full year - I don’t know what more to say, other than I just like this song.

14.  “Marlene on the Wall” – Suzanne Vega (1985 & 1986)

Typical example of the songs Suzanne Vega has recorded over the years that makes it fit in perfectly with the music at WYEP.

15.  “Someday We’ll Know” – New Radicals (1999)

I actually discovered this song on Daryl Hall & John Oates’ CD “Do It For Love“.  Then I heard it on WYEP.  Songwriters surely know a good song when they hear it.

16.  “I Can’t Make You Love Me” – Bonnie Raitt (1991)

Only Bonnie Raitt can make a song sound like this.  Sultry.

17.  Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” – Baz Luhrmann (1999)

Forgive me for including  a “one hit wonder”.  I just think this song has a great message for all of us and you probably won’t hear it on any other radio station.

18.  “River” – Joni Mitchell (1971)

There’s a reason why so many artists have covered Joni Mitchell songs.  They are well written songs that stand the test of time.  “River” is a holiday themed song, that just conjures up so many vivid images.

19.  “Smooth” – Santana (featuring Rob Thomas) (1999)

One of those songs that I never get tired of hearing and I turn up the radio each time it comes on.

20.  “All I Want” – Toad the Wet Sprocket (1992)

Young artists who made a song that gets stuck in your head.

 

A holiday song as an extra:

 

21.  “Driving Home for Christmas” – Chris Rea (1988)

I heard this song years ago on the radio while driving in Canada around the holidays and have loved it ever since.

 

Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host

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February 13, 2009 by kyle@wyep.org

In May we will be having a blast counting down the listener generated 913 Songs list.  Think about your favorite songs that you identify with when listening to WYEP.  Make your list of your favorite 20 songs and vote in WYEP's 913 Essential Songs. http://www.wyep.org/events/contests/index.php?id=51

Here's Beaver County Times writer Scott Tady's Top 20 list to get you thinking.

From Scott:

I've been a regular listener since the early '90s, and I'm prepared to fight for any one of these songs.

Ryan Adams - New York, New York

Beck - E-pro

Billy Bragg - A New England

R.L. Burnside - Someday Baby

Steve Earle - Transcendental Blues

Peter Gabriel - Digging in the Dirt

Grateful Dead - U.S. Blues

John Hiatt - A Perfectly Good Guitar

Indigo Girls - Closer to Fine

Joe Jackson - Breaking Us in Two

The Jam - That's Entertainment

Lyle Lovett - That's Right (You're Not From Texas)

Loretta Lynn/Jack White - Portland, Oregon

My Morning Jacket - I Believe

Rusted Root - Ecstasy

Spoon - Don't Make Me a Target

Richard Thompson - 1952 Vincent Black Lightning

Wilco - Heavy Metal Drummer

Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels on a Gravel Road

and Number 20 will be coming !

 

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