January 2011

Ola Belle Reed: Experiencing Some Crazy Storm

A generation of singers was born and would eventually watch its nation work through a depression and a few international conflicts. It’d be difficult to explain a surprising and culture defining set of songs through nothing more than a few shared moments and experiences, but there’s not a better way to understand early twentieth century folk singers. Cobbling together stories and imagery from an undocumented and then quickly disappearing late-nineteenth century, the first handful of modern folk sings who were able to get into a studio – or get recorded live – left latter generations with stunning work.

Hearing the name Ola Belle Reed probably won’t mean too much unless you’re from North Carolina or have an unhealthy penchant for digging up music only existent to most as an historical page marker.

Béla Fleck: Spain to Kentucky

When Bela Fleck’s remembered off in the future, when there’s discussion of him among the pantheon of banjo players, he’ll most likely be remembered as the center of a group called the Flecktones. Initially formed to perform on some televised special during the late eighties, but not aired until a few years later, the show functioned as a proper introduction to a wide audience. The thing is, Fleck had been performing for over a decade by the time that performance hit the air. Regardless of that, the Flecktones, while innovative and interesting in a way, don’t really aptly explain Fleck’s background in bluegrass and its slight derivations.

Blue Mountain Eagle: The Rise and Fall of a Venerable Country Styled Rock Music

The term super-group gets bandied about pretty frequently. In part that seems due to the fact that at this point there are so many bloody musicians kicking about that figuring a line up with folks snagged from sundry better known groups doesn’t present a problem.

Back in the sixties it seems that the process was begun, if nothing else than for marketing. That being said, there were so many skilled players kicking around studios out west who didn’t sport live performance ties to anyone in particular saying someone played on a Beach Boys’ disc and a Monkees’ single probably helped a bit.