John Cowan is an American soul music and progressive bluegrass vocalist and bass guitar player. He was the lead bass player for the New Grass Revival. Cowan became the band's bassist in 1972 after the departure of original bassist Ebo Walker and was noted as being the only member of New Grass Revival not to come from a bluegrass background. After the breakup of the New Grass Revival, Cowan released a soul record of covers, called Soul'd Out, on the Sugar Hill Records label in 1990. Cowan appeared as a duo with Sam Bush on the PBS series, Lonesome Pine Special in 1992, appeared with other artists on the program. From 1988 to 1996 Cowan teamed with Rusty Young of Poco, Bill Lloyd of Foster & Lloyd and Pat Simmons of the Doobie Brothers in a band called Four Wheel Drive, changed to The Sky Kings. Several singles were failed to chart well. Two albums were recorded but not released by RCA until 1997 after the group's demise as the Sky Kings, "Out of the Blue". Thanks in part to his collaboration with Simmons in Four Wheel Drive, Cowan found himself the bass player for The Doobie Brothers from 1993 to 1995.
His song "Can't Stand To Lose", co-written with Rusty Young, was featured on the Doobies' 2000 album Sibling Rivalry. In addition, throughout the 1990s, Cowan picked up session work singing harmony vocals and/or playing bass on recordings of Travis Tritt, Steve Earle, Garth Brooks, Wynonna. From 1996 through 1998, Cowan was the harmony vocalist in Sam Bush's touring band; the new century brought a blues record from Cowan. By 2002, his projects on Sugar Hill turned more to his "newgrass" stylings. Cowan performed on two bluegrass tribute albums for the British rock band The Moody Blues: Moody Bluegrass: A Nashville Tribute to The Moody Blues, Moody Bluegrass TWO... Much Love. In 2006, Cowan went to the independent label Pinecastle Records. In 2008, Cowan was chosen to participate in a movie on the life of Billy Graham, Billy: The Early Years. In May 2010, Cowan rejoined The Doobie Brothers as their touring bass player after their regular bassist, suffered a stroke. 1986: Soul'd Out! as Johnny "C" 2000: John Cowan 2002: Always Take Me Back 2006: New Tattoo 2009: Comfort and Joy 2010: The Massenburg Sessions 2014: Sixty 2009: 8,745 Feet: Live at Telluride 1975: Fly Through the Country 1977: When the Storm Is Over 1977: Too Late to Turn Back Now 1979: Barren County) 1981: Commonwealth 1981: The Live Album with Leon Russell 1984: Live 1984: On the Boulevard 1984: Deviation with Béla Fleck 1986: New Grass Revival 1987: Hold to a Dream 1989: Friday Night in America 2000: From Out of the Blue 2014: 1992 1978: Bryn Haworth - Grand Arrival 1978: John Prine - Bruised Orange - vocals on track 10, "The Hobo Song" 1987: Foster and Lloyd - Foster & Lloyd - vocals 1988: Steve Earle - Copperhead Road - vocals 1989: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two - vocals 1992: Wynonna Judd - Wynonna - backing vocals 1996: Kathy Chiavola - The Harvest - vocals 1999: Jesse Winchester - Gentleman Of Leisure - vocals 1999: Leftover Salmon - The Nashville Sessions - vocals 2000: The Doobie Brothers - Sibling Rivalry - bass, vocals 2001: Candlewyck - Candlewyck - vocals 2003: Wayne Benson - An Instrumental Anthology 2014: Rodney Crowell - Tarpaper Sky - vocals 2014: Candlewyck - Play - vocals 2016: Frank Solivan - Family, Friends & Heroes Official site John Cowan collection at the Internet Archive's live music archive John Cowan at AllMusic John Cowan discography at Discogs
Sarah Borges is a rock and roll musician from Taunton, Massachusetts signed to Sugar Hill Records. Her music has been described as "walking that fine line between punk and country". Borges grew up in a city south of Boston in the third generation of a Portuguese family, she was interested in musical theatre as a youth, majored in the subject while a student at Emerson College. On the strength of a performance at the South by Southwest Festival in 2004, Borges earned a record deal with Houston's Blue Corn Records, her first record, 2005's Silver City earned praise for showcasing "an unusual knack for mixing alternative rock with country". Allmusic compared Borges to Maria McKee of Lone Justice, admired how her songs "balance some fierce guitar licks with heartfelt twang". After much national touring and opening for noted acts such as Dave Alvin and her band, The Broken Singles, were signed by Sugar Hill Records; the title of her 2007 release Diamonds in the Dark is a line from the song Come Back to Me, by one of her favorite bands, X.
The album features a cover of this song, many original works, Tom Waits and Greg Cartwright covers. Allmusic commended the album as "grittily brilliant" with songs that are "brilliantly rollicking". Borges' wide variety of influences are noted, they range from Mahalia Jackson, X, Sid Vicious, Merle Haggard, to bubblegum pop. A third album, The Stars Are Out was released in March 2009. Borges commented that the album features more of a straightforward rock n roll sound than her earlier work; the album features five covers of artists ranging from Smokey Robinson to The Lemonheads. Allmusic describes the album as "material grounded in Americana as it morphs from folk to rock and soul" and calls it a "short but sweet collection". Borges was married to Boston-area guitar player Lyle Brewer. After taking a few years off to have a son, Borges released Radio Sweetheart in 2014 on Lonesome Day Records and a follow up EP in 2016, Good & Dirty,which was produced by Eric Ambel. Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles – Official Site Sarah Borges collection at the Internet Archive's live music archive
Guy Charles Clark was an American folk singer, songwriter, recording artist, performer. He released more than twenty albums, his songs have been recorded by other artists including Jerry Jeff Walker, Jimmy Buffett, Lyle Lovett, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner, Rodney Crowell, he won the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Folk Album: My Favorite Picture of You. Clark was born in Texas, his family moved to Rockport, Texas in 1954. After he graduated high school in 1960, Guy spent a decade in Houston as part of the folk music revival in that city, he and his wife Susanna Clark settled in Nashville, where he helped create the Americana music genre. His songs "L. A. Freeway" and "Desperados Waiting for a Train" helped launch his career and were covered by numerous performers; the New York Times described him as "a king of the Texas troubadours", declaring his body of work "as indelible as that of anyone working in the Americana idiom in the last decades of the 20th century". Clark had been a mentor to such other singers as Rodney Crowell.
He organized Earle's first job as a writer in Nashville. In the 1970s, the Clarks' home in Nashville was an open house for songwriters and musicians and it features in the film Heartworn Highways, an evocation of the songwriter scene in Nashville at that time. Numerous artists have charted with Clark-penned tunes. In 1982, Bobby Bare made it to the Country Top Twenty with Clark's "New Cut Road"; that same year, bluegrass leader Ricky Skaggs hit No. 1 with Clark's "Heartbroke", a song that permanently established his reputation as an ingenious songwriter. Among the many others who have covered Clark's songs are Vince Gill, who took "Oklahoma Borderline" to the Top Ten in 1985. Clark is referred to as The Fifth Highwayman. Steve Wariner took his cover of Clark's "Baby I'm Yours" to No. 1 in 1988. Crowell was Clark's co-writer on "She's Crazy for Leavin'", which in 1989 became the third of five straight #1 hits for Crowell. Brad Paisley and Alan Jackson cover Clark's "Out in the Parkin' Lot," co-written with Darrell Scott, on Paisley's Time Well Wasted CD.
Jimmy Buffett influenced by Jerry Jeff Walker's earlier quality cover of "Boats to Build" on 1997's "Cowboy Boots & Bathin Suits" covered Clark's "Boats to Build" and "Cinco de Mayo in Memphis". Clark credits Townes Van Zandt as being a major influence on his songwriting. One of the most famous photos in Country Music history was taken on Clark's porch in 1972 of Clark, wife Susanna, Van Zandt, Daniel Antopolsky by photographer Al Clayton. Clark and Van Zandt were best friends for many years until Van Zandt's death in 1997, Clark has included a Van Zandt composition on most of his albums. In 1995, he recorded a live album with Van Zandt and Steve Earle, Together at the Bluebird Cafe, released in October 2001. Other live material can be found on his album Keepers. In 2006, Clark released Workbench Songs; the album was nominated for "Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album" at the Grammy Awards. He toured with Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely, John Hiatt in 2004, 2005 and 2007. In May 2008, Clark canceled four concerts after breaking his leg.
After two months on crutches, he began to perform again on July 4 at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC, where he appeared with Verlon Thompson. On June 20, 2009, Clark announced a new album titled Somedays the Song Writes You, released on September 22, 2009, it features originals along with a Townes Van Zandt song titled "If I Needed You". In December 2011, This One's For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark was released by Icehouse Music and produced by longtime fan Tamara Saviano; the CD won Americana Album of the Year at the 2012 Americana Music Awards. Clark won the Grammy Award for Best Folk Album in 2014 for My Favorite Picture of You; the final song that Clark completed was co-written with Angaleena Presley and titled "Cheer Up Little Darling". It appeared on Presley's 2017 album Wrangled. Clark was married to songwriter and artist Susanna Clark from 1972 until her death from cancer on June 27, 2012. Guy had Travis Carroll Clark, from his first marriage to folksinger Susan Spaw.
On May 17, 2016, Clark died in Nashville following a lengthy battle with lymphoma. Heartworn Highways - Documentary, Snapper/Catfish, 1981/2003, with Townes Van Zandt, David Allan Coe, Steve Earle Be Here to Love Me - Documentary, Rake Films, 2004 Heartworn Highways Revisited 2015 Without Getting Killed or Caught: The Life and Music of Guy Clark, by Tamara Saviano, 2016, Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 978-1623494544. Review at Texas Observer Official website Guy Clark at AllMusic
Alison Maria Krauss is an American bluegrass-country singer and musician. She entered the music industry at an early age, winning local contests by the age of 10 and recording for the first time at 14, she signed with Rounder Records in 1985 and released her first solo album in 1987. She was invited to join the band with which she still performs, Alison Krauss and Union Station, released her first album with them as a group in 1989, she has released fourteen albums, appeared on numerous soundtracks, helped renew interest in bluegrass music in the United States. Her soundtrack performances have led to further popularity, including the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, an album credited with raising American interest in bluegrass, the Cold Mountain soundtrack, which led to her performance at the 2004 Academy Awards. As of 2018, she has won 27 Grammy Awards from 42 nominations, ranking her third behind Quincy Jones and classical conductor Georg Solti for most Grammy Award wins, she is the most awarded female artist in Grammy history.
At the time of her first, the 1991 Grammy Awards, she was the second-youngest winner. Alison Maria Krauss was born in Illinois, to Fred and Louise Krauss, her father was a German immigrant who came to the United States in 1952 and taught his native language. Her mother, of German and Italian descent, is the daughter of artists, her older brother, Viktor, is a musician. Krauss grew up in the college town of Champaign, home to the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign where she lived from 1971 to around 1990, she soon switched to bluegrass. Krauss said she first became involved with music because " mother tried to find interesting things for me to do" and "wanted to get me involved in music, in addition to art and sports". At the age of 8 she started entering local talent contests, at 10 had her own band. At 13, she won the Walnut Valley Festival Fiddle Championship, the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass in America named her the "Most Promising Fiddler in the Midwest", she was called "Virtuoso" by Vanity Fair Magazine.
Krauss first met Dan Tyminski around 1984 at a festival held by the Society. Every current member of her band, Union Station, first met her at these festivals. Krauss made her recording debut in 1985 on the independent album, Different Strokes, featuring her brother Viktor Krauss, Swamp Weiss and Jim Hoiles. From the age of 12 she performed with bassist and songwriter John Pennell in a band called "Silver Rail", replacing their previous fiddler Andrea Zonn. Pennell changed the band's name to Union Station after another band was discovered with the name Silver Rail. Pennell remains one of her favorite songwriters and wrote some of her early work including the popular "Every Time You Say Goodbye"; that year, she signed to Rounder Records, in 1987, at 16, she released her debut album Too Late to Cry with Union Station as her backup band. Krauss' debut solo album was followed by her first group album with Union Station in 1989, Two Highways; the album includes the traditional tunes "Wild Bill Jones" and "Beaumont Rag", along with a bluegrass interpretation of The Allman Brothers' "Midnight Rider".
Krauss' contract with Rounder required her to alternate between releasing a solo album and an album with Union Station, she released the solo album I've Got That Old Feeling in 1990. It was her first album to rise onto the Billboard charts, peaking in the top seventy-five on the country chart; the album was a notable point in her career as she earned her first Grammy Award, the single "Steel Rails" was her first single tracked by Billboard, the title single "I've Got That Old Feeling" was the first song for which she recorded a music video. Krauss' second Union Station album Every Time You Say Goodbye was released in 1992, she went on to win her second Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album of the year, she joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1993 at the age of 21. She was the youngest cast member at the time, the first bluegrass artist to join the Opry in twenty-nine years, she collaborated on a project with the Cox Family in 1994, a bluegrass album called I Know Who Holds Tomorrow. Mandolin and guitar player Dan Tyminski replaced Tim Stafford in Union Station in 1994.
Late in the year, Krauss recorded with the band Shenandoah on its single "Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart", which brought her to the country music Top Ten for the first time and it won the Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals. In 1994, Krauss collaborated with Suzy Bogguss, Kathy Mattea, Crosby and Nash to contribute "Teach Your Children" to the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Country produced by the Red Hot Organization. In 1997, she recorded vocals and violin on Tommy Shaw's 7 Deadly Zens album. Now That I've Found You: A Collection, a compilation of older releases and some covers of her favorite works by other artists, was released in 1995; some of these covers include Bad Company's "Oh Atlanta", The Foundations' & Dan Schafer's "Baby, Now That I've Found You", used in the Australian hit comedy movie The Castle, The Beatles' "I Will". A cover of Keith Whitley's "When You Say Nothing at All" reached number three on the Billboard country chart. Krauss was nominated for four Country Music Association Awards and won all of them.
So Long So Wrong, another Union Station album, was released in 1997 and won the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album. One critic said its sound was "rather untraditional" and "likely change quite a
Del McCoury Band
The Del McCoury Band is a Grammy award-winning bluegrass band. The band was called Del McCoury and the Dixie Pals with Del on guitar and his brother Jerry on bass; the band went through a number of changes in personnel until the 1980s when the band solidified its line-up, adding McCoury's sons and Robbie on mandolin and banjo, respectively. In 1988, the "Dixie Pals" name was dropped in favor of the current name. Fiddler Tad Marks and bass player Mike Brantley joined in the early 1990s while the band became a national touring act. In 1999 the Del McCoury band was named "Entertainer of the Year" at the International Bluegrass Music Awards. In 2004 they were nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album for It's Just the Night, in 2006 they won that category for The Company We Keep; the band recorded with Steve Earle on "I Still Carry You Around" on his 1997 album El Corazón. They shared co-billing on his 1999 album The Mountain; the band has often performed in recent years with the Lee Boys, with setlists mixing bluegrass and gospel with extended jams on many songs.
The Travelin' McCourys are an offshoot of the Del McCoury Band, featuring all current members of the band minus Del, augmented by guitarist Cody Kilby on live performances. The Travelin' McCourys often play joint concerts with the Lee Boys. Del McCoury - vocals, guitar Ronnie McCoury - mandolin Rob McCoury - banjo Jerry McCoury - bass Mike Brantley - bass Mike Bub - bass Dennis Crouch - bass Alan Bartram - bass Billy Baker - fiddle Tad Marks- fiddle Jason Carter - fiddle 2007: Ronnie McCoury - Little Mo' McCoury 2007: Various Artists: Song of America - "The Times They Are a-Changin'" Discography at Discography of Bluegrass Sound Recordings Official website Del McCoury Band collection at the Internet Archive's live music archive Del McCoury Band at AllMusic Del McCoury Band discography at Discogs
Bluegrass music is a genre of American roots music that developed in the 1940s in the United States Appalachian region. The genre derives its name from the Blue Grass Boys. Bluegrass has roots in traditional English and Scottish ballads and dance tunes, by traditional African-American blues and jazz; the Blue Grass Boys played a Mountain Music style that Bill learned in Asheville, North Carolina from bands like Wade Mainer's and other popular acts on radio station WWNC. It was further developed by musicians who played with him, including 5-string banjo player Earl Scruggs and guitarist Lester Flatt. Bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe characterized the genre as: "Scottish bagpipes and ole-time fiddlin'. It's Holiness and Baptist. It's blues and jazz, it has a high lonesome sound."Bluegrass features acoustic string instruments and emphasizes the offbeat. Notes are anticipated in contrast to laid back blues where notes are behind the beat, which creates the higher energy characteristic of bluegrass. In bluegrass, as in some forms of jazz, one or more instruments each takes its turn playing the melody and improvising around it, while the others perform accompaniment.
This is in contrast to old-time music, in which all instruments play the melody together or one instrument carries the lead throughout while the others provide accompaniment. Breakdowns are characterized by rapid tempos and unusual instrumental dexterity and sometimes by complex chord changes. There are three major subgenres of bluegrass. Traditional bluegrass has musicians playing folk songs, tunes with traditional chord progressions, using only acoustic instruments, with an example being Bill Monroe. Progressive bluegrass groups may use electric instruments and import songs from other genres rock & roll. Examples include Cadillac Bearfoot. Another subgenre, bluegrass gospel, uses Christian lyrics, soulful three- or four-part harmony singing, sometimes the playing of instrumentals. A newer development in the bluegrass world is Neo-traditional bluegrass. Bluegrass music has attracted a diverse following worldwide. Unlike mainstream country music, bluegrass is traditionally played on acoustic stringed instruments.
The fiddle, five-string banjo, guitar and upright bass are joined by the resonator guitar and harmonica or Jew's harp. This instrumentation originated in rural dance bands and is the basis on which the earliest bluegrass bands were formed; the guitar is now most played with a style referred to as flatpicking, unlike the style of early bluegrass guitarists such as Lester Flatt, who used a thumb pick and finger pick. Banjo players use the three-finger picking style made popular by banjoists such as Earl Scruggs. Fiddlers play in thirds and fifths, producing a sound, characteristic to the bluegrass style. Bassists always play pizzicato adopting the "slap-style" to accentuate the beat. A bluegrass bass line is a rhythmic alternation between the root and fifth of each chord, with occasional walking bass excursions. Instrumentation has been a continuing topic of debate. Traditional bluegrass performers believe the "correct" instrumentation is that used by Bill Monroe's band, the Blue Grass Boys. Departures from the traditional instrumentation have included dobro, harmonica, autoharp, electric guitar, electric versions of other common bluegrass instruments, resulting in what has been referred to as "newgrass."
Apart from specific instrumentation, a distinguishing characteristic of bluegrass is vocal harmony featuring two, three, or four parts with a dissonant or modal sound in the highest voice, a style described as the "high, lonesome sound." The ordering and layering of vocal harmony is called the "stack". A standard stack has the lead in the middle and a tenor at the top. Alison Krauss and Union Station provide a good example of a different harmony stack with a baritone and tenor with a high lead, an octave above the standard melody line, sung by the female vocalist. However, by employing variants to the standard trio vocal arrangement, they were following a pattern existing since the early days of the genre; the Stanley Brothers utilized a high baritone part on several of their trios recorded for Columbia records during their time with that label. Mandolin player Pee Wee Lambert sang the high baritone above Ralph Stanley's tenor, both parts above Carter's lead vocal; this trio vocal arrangement was variously used by other groups as well.
In the 1960s Flatt and Scruggs added a fifth part to the traditional quartet parts on gospel songs, the extra part being a high baritone. The use of a high lead with the tenor and baritone below it was most famously employed by the Osborne Brothers who first employed it during their time with MGM records in the latter half of the 1950s; this vocal arrangement would be the home aspect of the Osbornes' sound with Bobby's high, clear voice at the top of the vocal stack. Bluegrass tunes can be described as narratives on the everyday lives of the people whence the music came. Aside from laments about loves lost, interpersonal tensions and unwanted changes to the region (e.g. the visible effects of moun
Austin Lounge Lizards
The Austin Lounge Lizards are a musical group from Austin, Texas formed in 1980. The band includes founding members Hank Card and Conrad Deisler, along with Tim Wilson and Kirk Williams; the third founding member, Tom Pittman, retired from the band in the spring of 2011. The band started out experimenting with folk but was still country in its style, combining the bluegrass form with which Pittman was familiar with the progressive-themed folk rock Card and Deisler had been accustomed to. Between the members a large number of different instruments have been played, including a rich variety of string instruments such as the banjo and fiddle; the band got its name because, Deisler explained, "I think it was a slang term I'd heard my grandmother use to describe gentlemen of easy virtue who hung around in bars. When we started out, that's just what we were doing—hanging out and playing for beer and tips and stuff like that." The Austin Lounge Lizards began by playing covers, but they wanted to move towards trying to write their own songs.
All the group's members contribute to songwriting, but the two principal songwriters have been Card and Deisler. Card's lyrics rely on clever word plays, double entendres, off-beat but sometimes poignant narratives about ordinary life, his most frequent subject matter is love comically forlorn yearning. Deisler's lyrics, in contrast, focus on the existentially absurd combining absurdly unexpected pairings as well as pitiable, sometimes lovable characters bewilderingly unaware of their own absurdity and oddness. A recurring theme is the inanity of country music clichés, for example the "we were happier when we were poor" trope exaggerated into absurdity in "Love in a Refrigerator Box". Deisler's lyrics marry comedy with a remarkably dark vision of humanity and its future; the sound progressed more to politically aware songs. The songs they wrote tended to be humorous in an off-beat way, in addition to their political nature, in a way reminiscent of Country Joe McDonald's Fixing to Die Rag; these songs tend to have liberal messages, "The Ballad of Ronald Reagan", criticizes the Republican American president, while "Gingrich the Newt" criticizes the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich.
One of their most famous songs, "Saguaro", co-written by Ann Clardy and Michael Stevens, is based on the story of David Grundman, who died from shooting a cactus. Creatures From the Black Saloon The Highway Cafe of the Damned Lizard Vision Paint Me on Velvet Small Minds Employee of the Month Live Bait Never an Adult Moment Strange Noises in the Dark The Drugs I Need Home and Deranged Music of Austin Drugs I Need Austin Lounge Lizards