Click on the link here for Audio Player – Steely Dan – Live at The Record Plant – KMET broadcast – March 20, 1974
A dose of Americana this weekend. Since I’ve been running bands all week as part of Rock Without Borders, I thought I would give a nod to the homefolks and run this early 70s in-studio radio concert from the legendary Steely Dan, as broadcast over equally legendary (and sadly gone) L.A. FM rock station KMET, on March 20, 1974.
This is actually a milestone gig, as it was part of a promotion ABC-Dunhill Records did in connection with the release of Countdown To Ecstasy, and the string of hits that album spawned. The energy is pretty high and the renditions are pretty fresh, which is what happens when you have new material that hasn’t been played or listened-to to death yet.
So this is a historic gig by a band who were very influential on the American music scene in the early 70s. They have since graduated on to Elder Statesmen Status (Fagan and Becker) and are still very much a presence.
But in 1974 it was a different ballgame. They were on the road to being household names.
One of the major figures in American Classical Music in the 1930s and 40s.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – John Alden Carpenter – Tango from Dance Suite – NBC Orchestra cond. by Henri Nosco – July 6, 1944 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
Some Americana tonight – actually North Americana approximating South Americana by a popular composer of the 1930s and 1940s, John Alden Carpenter who premiered his Dance Suite in 1943. Carpenter was considered one of the more accessible of the Modern composers. His works had an adventuresome spirit, while maintaining an aura of the familiar and he was very popular among the group of Modern American Composers during that time.
This performance, the first broadcast of the 2nd movement, is from July 6, 1944 and features the NBC Studio Orchestra conducted by Henri Nosco, as part of the radio series Music Of The New World. As far as I can tell, there isn’t a commercial recording available of this Suite and certainly no commercial recording of this performance.
So something perhaps unfamiliar and rare, all at the same time.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – 10,000 Maniacs in concert at Sadlers Wells Theatre, London – 1988 – BBC 6 Music
Jumping into the 80s tonight with a concert by 10,000 Maniacs, live in London at the Sadlers Wells Theatre in 1988 and recorded by the venerable BBC 6 Music.
During that lull where New Wave and Techno were in the decline, and Grunge and Madchester hadn’t quite made their entrance, 10,000 Maniacs were an immensely popular band that embraced elements of Folk, Indie, Country and basic Americana. The captivating voice of Natalie Merchant came to epitomize the genre, and even when she pursued a solo career beginning in 1993, she was still indelibly associated with the Roots Rock sound 10,000 Maniacs came to embody.
They were also well liked overseas, and this London concert gives ample proof they were just as popular over there as they were here. The band are still together, having gone through several personnel changes over the year. This concert from 1988 features them at their peak.
If you aren’t familiar, now’s your chance. If you are familiar, I don’t need to pressure you into hitting the “play” button.
- Tunesday-10,000 Maniacs (rendezvouswithrenee.com)
Click on the link here for Audio Player: [audio https://pastdaily.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/hueylewisandthenews1984kabukitheatersanfranciscoca.mp3]
80’s Americana this weekend. The venerable Huey Lewis & The News, in concert in San Francisco at The Kabuki Theater in 1984. This concert coincides with their tour for the newly released and wildly popular Sports album and the audience is suitably happy.
As much as they tried to fit into the “skinny tie/new-wave/post-punk” mold, they were still a pretty basic rock n’ roll band and their appeal was universal. Something not a lot of bands have been able to accomplish in the course of their careers – straddling several genres at once and cutting a wide swath of audience appeal in the process.
And maybe you forgot just how popular they were in 1984 – or maybe you’ve never heard them before.
Either way, here’s a good reminder and and an introduction to a band very much synonymous with the 80s, who are still around and in the process of celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release of Sports.
Suggested playback level: loud.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: [audio https://pastdaily.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/the-band-live-1970-avro-holland.mp3]
Despite many claims that artists like Bruce Springsteen typify the idiom of Roots-Rock/Americana, that distinction has, for me and always will be, the exclusive distinction of The Band. They have represented a true, no-frills, no pretense, straight-from-the-heart/real-deal portrayal of Americana in a way very few, if any bands have duplicated. Okay . . .some of them are Canadian . . .but still . . .
When they first arrived on the scene, there was a lot of excitement and anticipation for the release of their debut album Music From Big Pink. Initially, it was the acknowledged association with Bob Dylan, which was more or less a calling card which added to the buzz. But beyond that was a group of musicians who were unique in what they were all about, and were one of the tightest groups to see perform live. They were always a pleasure to see in concert.
And since this was a suggested request by a reader, I ran across this early live mini-set The Band recorded, oddly enough for the Dutch broadcaster AVRO, in a concert at The Syria Mosque in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania on November 1, 1970.
Going along with the theme of music icons in a live, stripped down setting this week – The Band assumes the perfect fit.
They always did anyway.
Enjoy and get ready for the weekend – it should be interesting.
Leo Kottle – one of the great virtuoso guitarists.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: [audio https://pastdaily.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/leo-kottke-in-session-1977.mp3]
(Still haven’t gotten the player situation resolved – waiting for “the team” to assess what’s going on – bear with us – UPDATE: It’s been fixed)
A dose of Americana tonight by way of the legendary Leo Kottke and a session he did at The BBC in 1977.
Kottke has always been one of the great virtuoso guitarists, whose blend of blues, folk, Jazz and a touch of Classical has made him one of the unique and truly innovative artists performing today.
With an astonishing recorded output, it’s hard not to run across something you may not have heard.This live session is a snapshot portrait of what has made him one of the great musicians of the last 40+ years.
And if you aren’t familiar with him – no excuses; hit the “play” button and get ready for the weekend.
The Roth Quartet – one of the groups most responsible for premiering new American Music in the 1930s and 1940s.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Roy Harris – String Quartet No. 3
Taking a break this week from our perusal of French Radio transcriptions for another dose of Americana, this time by way of Roy Harris, a composer whose work and recognition have been pretty much limited down to one symphony of late – but a composer whose work needs serious revisiting and rediscovery.
This weekend it’s a performance, recorded for Columbia Masterworks on June 13, 1940 and June 6, 1941 by the venerable Roth String Quartet of Roy Harris’ String Quartet No. 3, from 1937.
The Roth Quartet and, to be fair, a few others, were one of the backbone groups working in the U.S. , devoting themselves to unfamiliar and new works. There was a time in the 1930s where, if the Roth’s were going to play your work, you had arrived. So indelible were they in the cause of presenting new music they have hardly been surpassed over the past few decades.
So The Roth String Quartet and Roy Harris were pretty much synonymous for a long time. Harris championed the cause of new Music and The Roths championed the cause of Roy Harris. Both have fallen sadly into neglect of late.
Maybe that can turn around.