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Morning Soup is an eclectic mix of folk, jazz, and other music from all over. You can hear it LIVE on BostonFreeRadio.com Saturdays from 10am to noon Eastern, with a re-air Tuesdays at 10am. The archives are at MorningSoup.com, where you can listen to the current week's show as well as previous shows, view playlists, and read program notes for each show.
Originally aired on BostonFreeRadio.com
NEW MUSIC: Robert Plant
Well, this is the first attempt at a coherent radio show -- you'll hear lots of technical problems, especially distortion, throughout. (The DJ screws up a lot, too.) But since this is a new show on a new radio station, we're just starting to figure out what the equipment and software can and cannot do. We'll have the kinks worked out soon enough.
The main purpose of these notes is to provide an extension to the radio program: an outlet for me to blather on and on about particular pieces of music heard on each show. No one would tolerate a radio announcer going into such minutia on the air, but program notes fairly thrive on such matters. So feel free to ignore all this text, if you wish, and simply listen to the music. In any case, I'll just go on about my business.
So, to the music. There is a reason we start off this show with Minnesota guitarist Steve Tibbetts: at the college radio station where I first dipped a toe into the insane world of broadcasting, Mr. Tibbetts was kind of an in-house radio icon. At that time he had two self-released (unusual for the early 1980s) albums of guitar-based instrumental compositions, which were heard on our airwaves consistently -- particularly as music beds (i.e., background music) for the station's pre-recorded announcements. (This piece, Three Primates, was used as the bed for the transmitter ID, I think, which had to be played every night at midnight.) His music was thought of as the ideal introduction to the kind of music we used to call "alternative": innovative, adventurous, creative music, but (in his case) music that was also very melodic and accessible.
[It should be noted that Steve Tibbetts has gone on to record many more albums in the 30 years since these records were made, mainly for the ECM record label. These records generally fall under the category of "difficult listening" -- one of them, for example, is a collaboration with a Tibetan nun singing chants -- so his first two albums sound like bubblegum pop by comparison.]
Bert Jansch is one of my "musical heroes" (at any given time I may have anywhere between a dozen and, say, 30 such heroes) and his music will likely pop up on most any radio show I do. He certainly has written and recorded a good number of songs that have received much acclaim, but I keep returning to this comparatively ignored little piece, A Dream, A Dream, A Dream. It's not hard to see why this song has never garnered much attention: there's almost nothing there, just a quiet little conceit -- a whisper of a song. It is a rare artist who can leave a simple work to stand on its own without expansion or elaboration. And the guitar figure that ends this piece (around 10:50 into the show) just breaks my heart.
I should mention something about two songs on the show played back-to-back: Turning Away by Dougie MacLean and Both Sides the Tweed by Dick Gaughan. The two recordings are taken from the soundtrack to the BBC Scotland television series Transatlantic Sessions, recorded in 1995. The recording sessions took place in a hotel in Ayrshire, Scotland over several days as British and American musicians collaborated on each others' compositions, leading to all sorts of unusual combinations. Both of these pieces by Scottish songwriters feature the extraordinary dobro playing of Nashville veteran Jerry Douglas, as well as the harmony vocals of country singers Kathy Mattea (in the case of Dougie MacLean) and Emmylou Harris (for Dick Gaughan). I consider these recordings to be the definitive versions of these songs.
The soundtrack to the Transatlantic Sessions TV series was finally released in the UK in 2009 as three separate CDs -- they are well worth seeking out. (Subsequently there have been other Transatlantic Sessions television series, but these CDs are titled as being the original series.)
I promise the show will sound better next week.
0:00:04 Steve Tibbetts – Three Primates
0:05:11 Blind Faith – Can't Find My Way Home
0:08:25 Bert Jansch – A Dream, A Dream, A Dream
0:11:56 Bruce Cockburn – Creation Dream
0:15:54 Shawn Colvin – These Four Walls
0:19:20 Jenny Lewis - The Big Guns
0:21:50 Gillian Welch - Elvis Presley Blues
0:27:28 Dougie MacLean – Turning Away
0:31:33 Dick Gaughan – Both Sides the Tweed
0:35:16 John Martyn – Don't Want to Know
0:38:10 Chris Smither – Seems So Real
0:43:26 Solomon Burke – That's How I Got to Memphis
0:46:47 Elvis Costello – Brilliant Mistake
0:50:26 Neko Case – Hold On, Hold On, Hold On
0:53:38 James Hunter – No Smoke Without Fire
0:56:39 Crooked Still – Ain't No Grave
1:00:53 Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris – This Is Us
1:05:25 Juana Molina – Rio Seco
1:09:26 Dan Reeder – Three Chords
1:10:23 Van Morrison – Cleaning Windows
1:14:59 Alexi Murdoch – All My Days
1:20:36 David Francey – Green Fields
1:24:09 Nic Jones – Clyde Water
1:30:23 Eliza Carthy – Rolling Sea
1:36:17 Robert Plant – Angel Dance (new)
1:40:06 Los Lobos – Jenny's Got A Pony
1:45:10 Daniel Lanois – The Maker