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May 2016 Acoustic CD of the Month

Andrew Bird’s Are You Serious is the May Acoustic CD of the Month. This is the work of a high-caliber musician.  Known initially for working with Squirrel Nut Zippers, Andrew Bird has been putting our critically acclaimed albums since 2003. All are immaculately written, full of surprise with a different pallet of instruments and arrangements than the average singer-songwriter. But Andrew Bird is not average.

For this new work, Bird issued his own challenge then answered it with this project. Bird said, “That friction between the tone of the music and what the lyrics are saying creates the humor and melancholy that helps us deal with it all. If its dark on dark my eyes glaze over or I think ‘are your serious?’ In fact, that’s what I was thinking of calling this record, I guess because the songs got into a personal territory that, dare I say, are almost confessional, and that naturally makes me a bit uncomfortable.”

In Bird’s personal life since his last album, he has gotten married, had a child — and his wife battled cancer. The single, “Capsized,” sings uncharacteristically in plain terms his experience with a break up. The title track teases that he “used to be so willfully obtuse, semantics like a noose, get out your dictionairies” and declares “this is all non-fiction.” In the duet with Fiona Apple “Left Hand Kisses” confronts love’s charm and vulnerability. Other favorites are “Puma” and “Saints Preservus.”

By |May 1st, 2016|Anne Williams, CD of the Month, Featured|0 Comments

New Morning Music Picks for April 26, 2016

More Charlottesville area music is coming to the mornings at WNRN with the single from the Will Overman Band. They have been instudio with us in the past. WNRN is playing “All I Say” in anticipation of the album release at The Southern on June 4th. The album is self-titled Will Overman Band.

Margo Price wowed us all with her appearance on Saturday Night Live on April 9th. Her debut, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, is on Jack White’s Third Man Records. Although Price’s sound does harken back to classic country singers like Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette, the heartache you hear comes through her own loss and betrayal that she has experienced. WNRN brings you, “Since You Put Me Down.”

Multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter, Darrell Scott, has written country hits, played with Robert Plant in his Band of Joy, and toured and collaborated with others including Tim O’Brien. Digging through the archives he found a majority of these songs already to go. The album features Bill Payne (Little Feat), Guy Clark, and Peter Rowan. We can look forward to the cover, “Midnight Moonlight” when the Couchville Sessions is released on May 13th. Right now, we will enjoy Darrell’s own glorious waltz, “Down By the River.” Darrell Scott will be performing at the Lime Kiln Theater in Lexington on May 21st.

By |April 26th, 2016|Anne Williams, Featured, Miscellaneous|0 Comments

New Morning Picks for April 19, 2016

Central Virginia own, Mary Chapin Carpenter, will be releasing a new Dave Cobb produced CD on May 6th called The Things That We Are Made Of. “Something Wild Something Tamed” sounds like it came from 1987’s Hometown Girl album. The new 14th studio album gets back to what captured fans with her early releases as well as chronicling where she is now and how she is moving forward.

Charlottesville and Lynchburg based Hackensaw Boys worked with Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm) to produce this new project, Charismo. Campbell states, “The Hackensaw Boys have an infectious musical spirit that’s pure and delightful. It was a thrill to get to work with these guys.WNRN featured the new CD during the recent fundraiser and looks forward to playing, “Don’t Bet Against Me.”

Putting together indie folk’s idiosyncratic artists, Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop, results in Love Letters For Fire. Beam is known for his intimate vignettes.  Hoop tends towards more abstract and figurative music.  Here they balance  while adding innocence and mischief.  The single “Every Songbird Says” gives you a taste of this collaboration with sugar on top.

The new project from producer Dave Cobb is his reenvisioning of the 1979 album White Mansions. He invited artists  he produced including Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, Anderson East and others to contribute tracks. The compilation is called Southern Family, capturing the everyday moments of family through the lens of the American South and its culture. Holly Williams (Hank’s granddaughter) gives us “Settling Down.”

By |April 19th, 2016|Anne Williams, Featured, Miscellaneous|0 Comments

Haroula Rose live on WNRN at 9a, April 12

Haroula Rose will perform songs from the recent CD, Here the Blue River, at 9a this morning. She is on tour with Darlingside and David Wax Museum. They will be at the Camel in Richmond tonight.

By |April 12th, 2016|Anne Williams, In-Studios, Miscellaneous|0 Comments

April Acoustic CD of the Month

The April 2016 Acoustic CD of the Month is the new album from Mavis Staples, Livin’ On a High Note. Staples grew up singing in church, with her family’s band, The Staples Singers, joined the Civil Rights movement, and has a 50 year solo career. Rolling Stone calls her “one of the greatest singers of all time.”

Mavis Staples and producer, M. Ward, put out a call for notable, “friends of” songwriters to have a once in a lifetime chance to write for her. The result goes beyond a collection of new songs to add songs to Staples’ canon. These are songs that were tailor made for her range and sense of place in history. The single and title track, “High Note” is by Valerie June. WNRN played several song from June’s critically acclaimed debut, “Pushing Against Stone.” Other notables are Benjamin Booker, Merrill Garbus (tUnE-yArDs), Ben Harper, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Nick Cave and a co-writing effort between Neko Case and Laura Viers.

You can see Mavis Staples at The Paramount in Charlottesville on April 9th. M. Ward will be at the Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville on April 30th.

By |April 1st, 2016|Anne Williams, CD of the Month, Miscellaneous|0 Comments

Morning Picks March 22, 2016

Peter Wolf’s new CD, A Cure for Loneliness, will be out April 9th. WNRN plays the single from the former J Geils Band frontman, “Wastin’ Time.” Looking forward to hearing the bluegrass version of “Love Stinks” as well as more tunes written by Wolf centered around the theme of change is constant so roll with it.

Hayes Carll works with grammy awarding producer, Joe Henry, on the new CD, Lovers and Leavers. You can hear Henry’s influence and guitar work on “Sake of the Song.” This tune along with a few others are co-written by Darrell Scott. Carll also works with Jim Lauderdale, Jack Ingram and Will Hoge on this set of 10 songs.

WNRN introduces you to The Ragbirds courtesy of the new CD, The Threshold & the Hearth and the song, “Lemon Grove.” The band’s fifth studio album, out March 25, was written and recorded in the wake of the birth of co-founders Erin Zindle and Randall Moore’s first child, and explores the ways in which love and family relationships can weather the storms of life.

By |March 22nd, 2016|Anne Williams, Miscellaneous|0 Comments

New Morning Picks for March 15, 2016

Frank Solivan is a DC bluegrass musician who has never completely embraced the genre’s more traditional side and has been praised for his “new-grass” approach. He was a member of the US Navy Band Country Currents, then emerged in the DC area as a band leader, writer, and dynamic performer. In this new release, Frank Solivan steps further towards Americana integrating a sounds from the Caribbean. Solivan performs is cousin’s song, “You Don’t Write” on the new Family, Friends & Heroes.

On the new Here the Blue River, you will find personal nostalgia to Greek mythology woven into what filmmaker and songwriter, Haroula Rose, uses to create these songs with the help of Jim White. “Moon and Waves” talks about the push and pull of life.

“The Fall” is found on the new CD by Victoria Reed, Chariot. The title refers to the tarot card and its interpretation of triumphing over life’s difficulties. Victoria Reed grew up in a musical household (her father played saxophone for Bob Seger) and saw herself stepping into a music career at some point. After leaving college, she went to New York where she put together this new project reminiscent of Neko Case and Jenny Lewis.

By |March 15th, 2016|Anne Williams, Miscellaneous|0 Comments

New Morning Picks for March 8, 2016

Aubrie Sellers recently stopped by the WNRN studios to talk about the new CD, New City Blues. She played an awesome version of “Losing Ground.” We are going to play the version from the CD produced by her step-dad, Frank Liddell. Aubrie comes from a country music parents. Her mother is Lee Ann Womack. Her father is Jason Sellers. (photo: Ashley Travis)

Dori Freeman‘s newest self-titled release  is produced by Teddy Thompson. He sings backup vocals up on the track, “Where I Stood.” She lists Doc Watson, Louvin Brothers and Rufus Wainwright as influences and lives in Galax. (photo:Kristen Horton)

WNRN has played tracks off from several CDs of the Northampton, Massachusetts group, Winterpills. “Freeze Your Light” comes from the new Love Songs. Phillip Price continues to be the main songwriter for this psychedelic, folk-rock band. (photo: Joanna Chattman)

By |March 8th, 2016|Anne Williams, Miscellaneous|0 Comments

March Acoustic CD of the Month

Lake Street Dive’s release of Side Pony marks a new era for this Boston based group. It is their first on a major label, Warner’s subsidiary, Nonesuch, and was produced by Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, Anderson East). With the help of this new muscle, they are able to bring their own way of writing, singing, and playing that brought them to some prominence with Bad Self Portrait to a wider audience.

On its fourth record, lead singer Rachael Price’s voice leads the way through all the tracks and can turn from vulnerable to sassy on a dime. The bands other considerable powers are the interplay as well as shared songwriting duties.  All of their collective and individual strengths and charm shine on this new release.

You can see Lake Street Dive at the National in Richmond on March 19th or at the Ntelos Wireless Pavilion in Charlottesville on June 11th. (picture, Danny Clinch)

By |March 1st, 2016|Anne Williams, CD of the Month, Miscellaneous|0 Comments

Morning Music Picks for February 23, 2016

Mutual admirers, Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones, first sang together in LA in 2011. Inspired by the work of the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly and Sam Cooke, the Little Windows taps into the joys and sorrows of love as well as including “Never Knew You Loved Me Too” . The album will be out April 1st.

Darlingside released their newest album, Birds Say, on Thirty Tigers last year. They embarked on a series of tours including opening for Patty Griffin. This spring they will be doing two dates with David Wax Museum in central Virginia. Our next song from this CD is “White Horses.” (illustration comes from the New Yorker, Tom Bachtell)

By |February 23rd, 2016|Anne Williams, Miscellaneous|0 Comments