RIP: Allen Toussaint

The New Orleans legend died today after suffering cardiac arrest following a concert in Spain. He was 77.

Composer of Working in the Coal Mine, Ride Your Pony, Fortune Teller, Brickyard Blues, Southern Nights, Get Out of My Life, Woman, and a few others….

Arranger of horns for all sorts:

Recommended: His 2013 release Songbook captures the breadth and vitality of his life’s work. It features live recordings from Joe’s Pub in NYC, which he adopted as his musical base after Katrina.

I’m a Josh Ritter fan. Simone Felice impresses me at least as much

Simone Felice – Don’t Wake The Scarecrow

This Yellow Brick Road leads to trouble. Vid is from a solo show, but Don’t Wake The Scarecrow is also on his new album, From The Violent Banks Of The Kaaterskill, which I highly recommend. He holed up in a studio in the Catskills with some musical friends and recorded a live-takes career (half career more like; he’s only 40) retrospective of his solo material and collaborative work in The Felice Brothers and The Duke & The King.     About Simone

I’d feel offal not signing up to be an organ donor, so here’s this:

I’ve been wanting to share Garbage Time with you. It’s grown from a webcam in Katie’s bedroom to a home studio with real gear, and has just emigrated from the internets to broadcast TV. More of this and less ex-jocks in suits would be fine with me.

Katie Nolan rounds up the week that was in the sports world and beyond in a loose and lo-fi setting where unfiltered sports talk meets late night comedy.

hockey organThe clip I chose marks organ music week on RR  and requires a short trip to the nearest hockey arena. Katie wants to drive the Zamboni and I want to show you the organ in the rafters, played in snippets during stoppages in play. DJs have replaced organs at most basketball and baseball arenas, but in hockey superstition dictates that the fat lady doesn’t sing at the end. Just the start.

Mark Erelli on the seemingly daily mass shootings in America: You can learn to live with anything/When it happens by degrees

I’ve seen talking heads shout back and forth/across a great divide
Against a map of red and blue/Points of view so cut and dried
When you look into the mirror/What kind of country do you see?
Where you can learn to live with anything
When it happens by degrees
Two big surprises about this song:
1. It’s a well-crafted song, not a dry lecture (See, Mr Bragg, songwriters write songs)
2. For inspiration he likes to “take regular walks in the woods and listen to as much Tom Petty as I possibly can.” (Where’s TFD?)
By Degrees is a free download. Erelli encourages you to share it.

Taylor Swift & Ryan Adams: Songs half empty or songs half full?

@glasshalfempty (see what I did with the headline :) ) courageously included the Taylor Swift song Style on his RR 10th anniversary CD; I say courageously because she’s supposedly  just another lightweight pop sensation. Some, however, hear serious songwriting chops beneath that MTV sheen – among them the ever-melancholy Ryan Adams, an alt-country former bad boy – and it is now becoming hip to like her (saying you always knew bleh, bleh, bleh) … as long as Adams sings them. He has just released a cover of her entire new album, 1989, not because he needs the attention (which he doesn’t), but because he loves the songs.

A good reminder to trust your instincts and like what you like without shame.

Taylor SwiftStyle

Ryan AdamsStyle (Taylor Swift cover)