I met Mark in 2012 on a two-week tour from Montreal to Kentucky. He had just released a set of home recordings from 1976 called Digging in the Dust on the Tompkins Square label, and we had a great time driving around and getting to know each other.
“I think violence is inherited, it’s taught, and some of the characters are born into bad blood. …The characters are raped and so is the land.”
“Making music work to the lyric, and making the lyric work to the note.”
Thanks to his son, Harrod Blank, the filmmaker’s forty-year-old documentary on musician Leon Russell is finally released.
On All Hell, Daughn Gibson uses the tools of the contemporary electronic singer-songwriter, but, unlike his counterparts, he is influenced by classic country and dark Americana.
Howe Gelb has jet lag. In fact he spends so much time touring and traveling between Europe and his hometown of Tucson that he has taken up residence in his wife’s native Denmark four months a year.
Bill Frisell and I have some things in common. We both play guitar differently than other boys and girls. And, before Bill moved to Seattle, we both were “downtown guitarists.”
What can I say? Robert Earl Keen played my wedding party last Christmas time—on CD, alas—and inaugurated the prancing with “Gringo Honeymoon,” in which the newlyweds cross over the Rio Grande and encounter a cowboy “running from the DEA.”
Once you’ve listened to Lucinda Williams a few hundred times, she begins to seem like the older sister (or girlfriend) you always wanted—tough, traveled, knowing about unknowable things, out there.
Steve Earle’s get-down, down-home sounds cross the line from Rock to Country, and his album Washington Square Serenade, snagged a Grammy in 2008. In this 1998 interview, David Gates finds a man as complex and concise as his music.
When D.H. Lawrence wrote in Studies in Classic American Literature, “The furthest frenzies of French modernism or futurism have not yet reached the pitch of extreme consciousness that Poe, Melville, Hawthorne, Whitman reached,” he could also have been invoking the maverick American artists…