Posts Tagged ‘Songs’

Kerrville- New Folk Nirvana

March 21, 2012

[Excerpted from our Once and Future Songs column in our newsletter.]

In the hill country of west Texas, not far from San Antonio, there exists a haven of Folk Music, yes a conclave of hippie-type, free-thinking, folk singers existing in the shadow of the Bush enclave. Go figure. The Kerrville Folk Festival is held at the Quiet Valley Ranch for almost three weeks at the end of May, early June (beginning on Memorial Day weekend), with a shorter festival over Labor Day weekend.

I have entered two of our new songs in the Kerrville New Folk songwriting contest. Always wanted to do it, but frankly, the competition is stiff. Past winners have included: Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith, David Wilcox, John Gorka, Jimmy LaFave, Tish Hinojosa, Steve Earle, Hal Ketchum, Robert Earl Keen and hundreds of others. If you are not a folk music aficionado, let me explain: WOW!

Before you go off thinking it’s all just Camptown Races and Where Have All the Flowers Gone, let me clarify.

Most of the winners are in a genre called “singer-songwriter” which is a part of the broad category of Americana, which was formed, I think, as an alternative to Nashville, but includes Nashville country all the same. It also includes Folk (old-timey and “new”), Blues, World Music, Reggae, Kitchen, Hillbilly (and Rockabilly), and Alternative (Outlaw) Country , which has put Austin on the map (musically that is.) New Folk and singer-songwriter stop short of “pop” on one end and traditional on the other end, though sometimes can sound old-timey.

Why go through all this? Our new album centers more firmly in the middle of Americana than our first album. Intentionally a little more “rootsy”, the genius at work here is Kyle Harris, who both produced and engineered all the tracks. The key here: he produced each track in the way he thought best exemplified the song. I believe most of the songs would fit comfortably in the New Folk category. I also believe Kyle deserves a Grammy for this album.


Black Hair and Blue Eyes Make a Song

January 20, 2011

[Excerpted from our Once and Future Songs column in newsletter.]

Steve Earle, in The Galway Girl, convinces me he had no choice to fall in love with a girl with black hair and blue eyes. Yep, that’s the only

reason. No need for personality, not even beauty or the ability to speak, just that Irish (Galway apparently has the best market) combo of black hair and blue eyes.

Now I have met a few Irish beauties with black hair and blue eyes, though I must confess I did not fall for them, at least not anymore than I fall for Zooey Deschanel when I see her in a movie— I believe her hair is dark brown, not black. But in the song, the essence of The Galway Girl’s beauty lays manifest in the (presumed striking and unusual) black hair and blue eyes… (blah, blah, blah, you get it, right?)

Right. So anyway, maybe I’ll learn that song.

Btw, Zooey, you can sing with us anytime.

(And I ask you friend, what’s a fella to do? ‘Cause her hair was black and her eyes were blue.)