Anne Williams on WNRN
Ease into your day with the best music around, every weekday from 6am until 10am. Hosted by Anne Williams. Anne has been with the station for over 16 years. The Acoustic CD of the Month Club has become a staple of WNRN’s fund drives and grows in members each year.
Anne Williams News & Updates
Hot Thoughts from Spoon is WNRN’s April Electric CD of the Month. Beginning with the charged up “Hot Thoughts” the new Spoon album brings a sexy, sci-fi meets dance vibe that immediately draws you in. “WhisperI’llHearIt” stays low until it is ready to explode into tambourines and guitar solos. The instruments slowly layering atop each other in as a psychedelic storm of synthesizers evolve on “Do I Have to Talk You Into It”.
The focused disco jam of “First Caress” and “Can I Sit Next To You” are some of the tightest songs that Spoon has ever written. Some lovely piano work throughout Hot Thoughts, but I like the emotional and tonal shift found from “I Ain’t The One” to “Tear It Down”.
Hot Thoughts reminds me why I like Spoon so much, they create a world within an album that I want to exist in.
Spoon will be at Sprint Pavilion in Charlottesville on Wednesday, July 19 with The New Pornographers opening.
The outlaw country classic album, Pancho & Lefty, was released by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard in 1983. They got together for more albums, including the most recent in 2015, Django and Jimmie. Haggard passed away last year. Willie Nelson continues on with another solo album to be released at the end of this month. “He Won’t Ever Be Gone” not only captures exactly what we all loved about the working-man’s poet, Merle Haggard, but embodies the best of Willie Nelson’s songwriting and singing.
Kasey Chambers has been on stage since she was 10 years old. At 40, she has released her 11th album. WNRN plays the title track of this double disc set, Dragonfly. Chambers came to prominence in 2000 with her album, The Captain. Fifteen years ago, she brought her passion for well written country songs together with her concerns of being in her 20s with songs like “Not Pretty Enough.” Now she is reflecting on being a mother, separated and middle aged.
For ten years the sister’s duo of The Pierces released several critically acclaimed albums. Allison Pierce will put out a solo album, Year of the Rabbit, with the help of producer, Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne, Paul McCarney), on May 5th. WNRN debuts “Evidence.”
Drew Holcomb and the Neighbor’s newest, Souvenir, is WNRN’s April 2017 Acoustic CD of the Month.
After returning from University of St. Andrew in Scotland with a Masters in Divinity, with a thesis titled “Bruce Springsteen and the American Redemptive Imagination,” Drew Holcomb settled in Nashville, recruited folks from his zip code to form the Neighbors, and started releasing music along with providing tour support to folks like Ryan Adams and the Avett Brothers. Since 2005, they have released a series of full length CDs.
WNRN has championed Holcomb’s music including the recent Medicine, welcomed him to the Red Wing Roots Music Festival, hosted him in the WNRN studio, and placed a version of “Here We Go” on In Studio at WNRN Volume 4.
Souvenir shows Holcomb’s knack for melody, including the sweet “Mama’s Sunshine, Daddy’s Rain” as well as the stompers, “California,” and “Fight for Love.” This recording’s theme is live your life with love and depth through intimate ballads, stadium size anthems, or more conversational songs asking you to love your neighbors. The urgency and exhilaration of the whole album are worth treasuring and will probably end up on many critics “Best of 2017.”
‘Twas right before the holidays, when all through the station
Not a promoter was calling, not even a tour manager;
The top ten lists were hung by the mixing board with care,
In hopes that new year’s music soon would be there;
Apologies for the parody of the old Christmas rhyme, but this is the last installment of the new morning picks until the new year. Blessed holidays to all!
A favorite Austin band, Band of Heathens, will release Duende on January 13! If this new one is anything like their catalog, high energy, excellent harmonies and great songs are on the way with the new release, but we will have to wait and listen to just this one new song from them, “All I’m Asking” in the meantime. They will be at Gypsy Sally’s in DC on January 21.
Girls, Guns, & Glory released Love and Protest in November. No Depression states this is their best effort to date. Ward Hayden, lead singer and songwriter, says each song on the album is journey that explores love and what comes next, including the Graham Parsons cover, “Hot Burrito #1.” The band asked Duke Levine to sit in on live sessions that created this album. 🙂 We are playing one of Hayden’s songs, “Memories Don’t Die.”
John Prine‘s For Better For Worse is the November 2016 Acoustic CD of the Month.
John Prine has released another album of country duets called For Better, Or Worse. Prine teams up with an all-star array of female singers to cover vintage country tunes. In a sense, it is a follow up to 1999’s In Spite Of Ourselves. This album is Prine’s first album since emerging victorious from his second struggle with the cancer. His voice is rougher with time and treatment for the illness, but in this context it serves to make him more like the guy next door.
While other artists use duets or cover albums to a strategically attempt to make themselves commercially relevant again, Prine has been recording for his own label since the 1980s and answers to no one. The cast on this new CD includes a ‘re’-pairing of Prine along with Iris DeMent and Fiona Prine. The talent also includes Alison Krauss, Kacey Musgraves, Susan Tedeschi, Amanda Shires, as well as Miranda Lambert, Lee Ann Womack and Kathy Mattea.
Prine sings one of the three Hank Williams songs with Hank’s granddaughter Holly Williams in “I’m Telling You.” He also takes on the Ernest Tubb/Loretta honky-tonk classic “Who’s Gonna Take Your Garbage Out.” On a happier note, the pairing of Morgane Stapleton and Prine on “Look At Us” reassures us that there can be songs about domestic bliss that fit into this profile of partnership.
Although some fans may miss hearing new songs from Prine, he does use his voice and delivery to bring these songs to life as if they were his own. This fan is grateful for the new role John Prine is playing: curator of classic country music at its best. (Photo: Josh Britt)
Hiss Golden Messenger’s Heart Like a Levee is the Acoustic CD of the Month for October 2016.
Hiss Golden Messenger return on October 7 with Heart Like a Levee, their 7th studio album, the first in two years. WNRN added “Biloxi” this summer and has been anxiously awaiting the whole album.
M.C. Taylor says about Heart Like a Levee, “I wrote these songs during a time of transition and doubt. The process was raw, but also joyous. I spent a lot of time with these words and chords in all types of weather. In the end I learned more about myself making this record than any in the past, and that’s one important way for me to gauge whether an album was worth making.”
The new release was self-produced by Taylor and Bradley Cook and recorded in Durham, NC, with Taylor’s close-knit North Carolina collaborators: brothers Phil and Bradley Cook on piano and bass, respectively; Matt McCaughan on drums; Tift Merritt and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig on backing vocals; and Matt Douglas and Michael Lewis on horns.
There is so much to dig into on Heart Like a Levee. The songs deal with leaving and returning, belief and trust, guilt, honesty, and life on the road. “Say It Like You Mean It” sounds like the next radio single.