Dixie Chicks – Wide Open Spaces (1998)

FrontCover1.jpgWide Open Spaces is the fourth studio album and the major label debut of American country music band, the Dixie Chicks. It was their first record with new lead vocalist Natalie Maines, and became their breakthrough commercial success. It received diamond status by the RIAA on February 20, 2003 in the United States, having shipped 14 million units worldwide, while spending more than six years in the Australian ARIA music charts Country Top 20.

At the 41st Grammy Awards, the album was awarded 2 Grammy Awards out of 3 nominations.[5] It was awarded Best Country Album (the first of what would be 4 trophies in this category: they would later win for Fly in 2000, Home in 2003, and Taking the Long Way in 2007) and for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for the song “There’s Your Trouble”. This is an award the Chicks would win 5 times: in 2000 for “Ready to Run”, in 2003 for “Long Time Gone”, in 2005 for “Top of the World” and 2007 for “Not Ready to Make Nice”, a feat only matched by The Judds. In addition, the Chicks were nominated for Best New Artist in 1999.

“Once You’ve Loved Somebody” had previously been recorded by John & Audrey Wiggins on their 1996 album, The Dream. (by wikipedia)

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The Dixie Chicks spent the first half of the ’90s toiling away on the independent bluegrass circuit, releasing three albums on small labels, before sisters Martie Seidel and Emily Robison decided to revamp their sound in 1995, adding Natalie Maines as their lead singer and, in the process, moving the group away from bluegrass and toward a major label with Sony/Columbia’s revived Monument Records imprint. All of this seems like the blueprint for a big pop crossover move and, to be sure, their 1998 major-label debut Wide Open Spaces was a monumental success, selling over ten million copies and turning the group into superstars, but the remarkable thing about the album is that it’s most decidedly not a sell-out, or even a consciously country-pop record. To be sure, there are pop melodies here, but this isn’t a country-pop album in the vein of Shania Twain, a record that’s big on style and glitz, designed for a mass audience. Instead, Wide Open Spaces pulls from several different sources — the Chicks’ Americana roots, to be sure, but also bits of the alt country from kd lang and Lyle Lovett, ’70s soft rock (any album that features versions of songs by J.D. Souther and Bonnie Raitt surely fits this bill), even the female neo-folkies emerging on the adult alternative rock stations at the end of the decade.

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In other words, it hit a sweet spot, appealing to many different audiences because it was eclectic without being elitist but they also had a true star in Natalie Maines, whose powerful, bluesy voice gave these songs a compelling center. Maines was versatile, too, negotiating the twists and turns of these songs without a hitch, easily moving from the vulnerability of “You Were Mine” to the snarl of “Give It Up or Let Me Go.” The same goes for the Dixie Chicks and Wide Open Spaces as a whole: they are as convincing on the sprightly opener “I Can Love You Better” or the bright, optimistic title song as they are on the breezy “There’s Your Trouble” as they are on the honky tonk shuffle of “Tonight the Heartache’s on Me” and the rocking swagger of “Let ‘Er Rip.” It’s a remarkably wide range and it’s effortlessly eclectic, with the Dixie Chicks bringing it all together with their attitude and understated musicality — as debuts go (and this does count as a debut), they rarely get better than this. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Emily Erwin (guitar, banjo, dobro, vocals)
Natalie Maines (vocals, banjo)
Martie Seidel (fiddle, mandolin, vocals)
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Mark Casstevens (guitar)
Bobby Charles, Jr. (bass)
Joe Chemay (bass)
Billy Crain (guitar)
Lloyd Maines (steel guitar)
George Marinelli (guitar)
Greg Morrow (drums)
Michael Rhodes (bass)
Tom Roady (percussion)
Matt Rollings (keyboards)
Billy Joe Walker, Jr. (guitar)
Paul Worley (guitar)
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Tommy Nash (guitar on 12.)
Tony Paoletta (steel guitar on 12.)

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Tracklist:
01. I Can Love You Better (Hayes/Kostas) 3.54
02. Wide Open Spaces (Gibson) 3.43
03. Loving Arms (Jans) 3.37
04. There’s Your Trouble (Selby/Sillers) 3.13
05. You Were Mine (Erwin/Seidel) 3.37
06. Never Say Die (Ducas/Foster) 3.57
07. Tonight The Heartache’s On Me (Francis/MacRae/Morrison) 3.26
08. Let ‘Er Rip (Crain/Ramos) 2.51
09. Once You’ve Loved Somebody (McHugh/Miller) 3.29
10. I’ll Take Care Of You (Souther) 3.40
11. Am I the Only One (Who’s Ever Felt This Way) (McKee) 3.25
12. Give It Up Or Let Me Go (Raitt) 4.56

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Big Country – Live In Zaandam (NL) (1998)

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Big Country are a Scottish rock band formed in Dunfermline, Fife, in 1981.

The height of the band’s popularity was in the early to mid 1980s, although it retained a cult following for many years after. The band’s music incorporated Scottish folk and martial music styles, and the band engineered their guitar-driven sound to evoke the sound of bagpipes, fiddles and other traditional folk instruments.

And I got this rare item many years ago … and the original uploader wrote:

Second of the 1998 shows I have been working on. I got this in a trade a few years ago and although
I don’t have any lineage details, I reckon this is soundboard. Didn’t do too much to the recording other than bring the levels down a bit and try to take the drums down as they were heavy in the mix (you can still hear this a bit on the first couple of tracks but the engineer changes this later on..

And so I can present another very rare Big County bootleg … in superb sound boards quality !

Recorded live at the De Kade, Zaandam, Netherlands, September 01, 1998

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Personnel:
Stuart Adamson (guitar, vocals)
Mark Brzezicki (drums)
Tony Butler (bass)
Bruce Watson (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. We’re Not In Kansas (Adamson) 7.34
02. You Dreamer (Adamson) 4.54
03. The President Slipped And Fell (Adamson/Brzezicki/Butler/Watson) 2.59
04. Fragile Thing (Adamson/Watson) 5.35
05. Wonderland (Adamson/Brzezicki/Butler/Watson) 6.23
06. Loserville (Adamson/Brzezicki/Butler/Watson) 8.18
07. I’m Not Ashamed (Adamson) 7.22
08. Living By Memory (Adamson/Sutherland) 5.12
09. I Get Hurt (Adamson) 6.33
10. Ships (Where Were You) (Adamson/Watson) 7.24
11. Look Away (Adamson) 5.22
12. Restless Natives (Adamson) 4.55
13. Alone (Adamson) 5.19
14. In A Big Country (Adamson/Brzezicki/Butler/Watson) 6.42
15. Chance (Adamson/Brzezicki/Butler/Watson) 7.34
16. Fields Of Fire (Adamson/Brzezicki/Butler/Watson) 7.21
17. Rocking In The Free World (Young) 6.38

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More from Big Country:

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Pete Gavin & The Life After Blues Band – Live And Guilty (2007)

FrontCover1.jpgPete Gavin might get confused with another musician by the same name, who likewise came out of the British blues scene. That was the drummer Pete Gavin, who worked in bands such as Vinegar Joe as well as backing up the likes of Joe Cocker and Eric Clapton. The drummer Gavin’s professional activities seem to have been winding down just around the time the guitarist decided to go professional, but they still have similarities in their early careers, one Gavin drumming in a blues band led by Long John Baldry while the other Gavin gave his all as a guitarist for bandleader and organist Spencer Davis.

Guitarist Gavin, who is usually featured on some kind of dobro or resophonic guitar, has been based out of Germany for most of his career, and indeed likes to be advertised as “Germany’s own British bluesman.” He is a native of London and began his career on the British folk scene, playing clubs around the Soho area as well as larger festivals. Until the ’80s he worked as a physicist and only dabbled in the music business.

Pete Gavin & The Life After Blues Band:

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Once he threw himself into full-time blues, years of travel throughout Europe, Japan, and the United States preceded the decision to live in Germany. In the ’90s he established the Life After Blues Band with bassist Sir Charles E. Williamson, an American who hails from Connecticut, and Berlin-based drummer Uwe Laemmche. Gavin’s repertoire includes some clever originals such as the instrumental “Spaghetti Eastern” as well as a generous portion of blues warhorses of the “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man” and “Big Boss Man” variety. (by Eugene Chadbourne)

Born in London, Pete Gavin began his career in the folk-blues scene around Soho – playing in Bunjies, The Troubadour, The Marquee and other clubs with musicians such as Spencer Davies (Spencer Davis Group) and Keith Relf (The Yardbirds). Later he played at larger British festivals (Reading, Glastonbury).

His day job (as a physicist) kept him away from the music business for a few years, but at the beginning of the 1980s he jacked-in his sinecure and started to travel and make music.

The street became the hard school for his amazing blues-harp and guitar playing, and touring in Japan, USA and Europe helped form his style before he settled in Germany.

Pete Gavin am 11.  Februar 2012 im Gleis 1 in Waldenburg
Now comes a man who, through years of hard on-the-road music making, brings an unrivaled authenticity to your stage.

In his voice swings not only pride and bitterness, but the unrestrained energy of a now-is-the-right-time feeling. On stage, this energy is transformed into music – resolute, at times uncomfortable and melancholy, but always going forwards. Pete Gavin is one of the best slide-guitarists living in Germany – discernable by the full pearly tone he conjures from his instrument. (by perthbluesclub.com)

And this is one of his live album  … and it´s really time to discover the unique word of Pete Gavin and his way to play the Blues an archaic style … he´s one of these forgotten heroes in the European blues scene … Listen !

Recorded live at the
Yorckschlösschen, Berlin (05.11.07)
Nuremburg Volksfest (11.09.97)
Miles Club, Berlin (11.07.98)

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Personnel:
Pete Gavin (guitar, slide guitar, harmonica, vocals)
Uwe Laemmche (drums)
Sir Charles E. Williamson (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Gawain I (Anthony) 1.12
02. Statesboro Blues (McTell) 3.21
03. Fun On The Run (Gavin) 4.30
04. Big Bossman (Reed) 3.25
05. Pater Noster Boogie (Gavin) 3.40
06. You Make My Hair Curl (Gavin) 5.05
07. Kansas City (Littlefield) 3.36
08. Hard Times (Gavin) 3.41
09. Life After Blues (Gavin 3.51
10. Gawain II (Anthony) 0.30
11. Waisting Time Blues (Gavin) 5.49
12. San Francisco Bay Blues (Fuller) 3.23
13. I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man (Dixon) 3.48
14. 634-5789 (Cropper/F’loyd) 3.35
15. Gawain III (Anthony) 0.34
16. Why Love (Gavin) 3.33
17. Make & Shake Boogie (Gavin) 4,08
18. Don’t Mess With Me (Gavin) 4.38
19. Gawain IV (Anthony) 0.34

The four tunes of “Gawain” were play by the Ray Antohny Orchestra

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Renaud Garcia-Fons – Oriental Bass (1998)

FrontCover1.jpgSometimes referred to as “the Paganini of double bass,” Renaud Garcia-Fons is a composer and five-string bass player who was deeply influenced by the brilliant bassist François Rabbath. Garcia-Fons actually started his studies in music at an early age. He began with piano when he was only five, switched to classical guitar at eight, and then to rock in his teens, finally settling on the bass when he was 16. Garcia-Fons lives in Paris and has toured through Germany and Europe performing at festivals. In 1987, he became a member of the Orchestre de Contrebasses. He remained with them for six years, also appearing with the Orchestre National de Jazz during some of that time. ENJA Records released Garcia-Fons’ solo debut, Légendes, in the ’90s. Alboreá was his next release. The album featured his quartet of Jean-Louis Matinier on accordion, Jacques Mahieux on drums, and Yves Torchinsky on bass. Garcia-Fons’ third album, Oriental Bass, which he composed, was released in 1998. Next, he combined talents with accordionist Jean-Louis Matinier on the album Fuera. Garcia-Fons’ music is a rich gypsy mix of global jazz flavored with Indian, Greek, African, flamenco, Latin American, tango, and new musette. On many works he is accompanied by a variety of instruments, including guitar, lute, derbouka, flutes, trombone, and accordion. ( by Charlotte Dillon)

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And this is the third album by Renaud Garcia-Fons:

A student of the legendary Syrian bass player François Rabbath, 5-string virtuoso Renaud Garcia-Fons is of Spanish and French descent splitting his time between both countries/cultures when he is not on the road throughout Europe. He is known as “a bassist with astonishing technique” whose con-arco playing has “a quality more reminiscent of the viola or the cello” (L.A. Times). Influenced not only by jazz and classical music but also by oriental, African and Spanish traditions, Renaud’s unique artistry led to exciting and successful collaborations with such open-minded players as Rabih Abou-Khalil, Nguyen Lê, Gérard Marais, Pedro Soler, Jean-Louis Matinier and Michael Riessler.

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Following his solo recording “Légendes” and the quartet album “Alboreá” (both of which received highest ratings from critics all over the world), Renaud’s east-western synthesis comes to a climax on “Oriental Bass”. Says Renaud: “I had a dream about a bass – half Gypsy, half Mauretanian – that travelled from India to Andalusia passing by the Mediterranean north or south. The bass is neither a traditional nor an oriental instrument. But its range of sonorities and the ways it is played upon – both pizzicato and con arco – seem to make it feel comfortable in the neighbourhood of certain instruments at home in the oriental world. For several years now my work – composing and improvising – has been led by these relationships and by the love the bass brings to all of this music. This is how the idea for this album was born.”

Assisted by a wide variety of musicians and instruments from diverse ethnic background, Renaud’s visionary masterwork “Oriental Bass” is definitely a highlight of 1997’s cross-cultural vintage. “Garcia-Fons’ music exists in a space of its own beyond jazz, world beat or any other category” (by Larry Katz).

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Personnel:
Claire Antonini (lute, théorbe)
Yves Favre (trombone)
Renaud Garcia-Fons (bass, percussion)
Chris Hayward (flute)
Jean-Louis Matinier (accordion)
Vicente Pradal (flamenco guitar)
Bruno Sansalone (clarinet)
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oriental percussion:
Rabah Khalfa – J.-F. Roger – Sam Schlamminger – Anu Yerno

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Tracklist:
01. Oriental Bass 6.38
02. San Juan 8.58
03. Goodjinns 5.24
04. Oryssa 7.18
05. Ghazali 3.01
06. Jullundur 3.55
07. Hommage A Ostat 5.57
08. Bajo Andaluz 3.44
09. Jam Buleria 3.07
10. Djani 7.43

Music composed by Renaud Garcia-Fons

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California Guitar Trio – Pathways (1998)

FrontCover1.jpgCalifornia Guitar Trio (CGT) is a band of three guitar players founded in 1991. The three—Paul Richards of Salt Lake City, Utah, Bert Lams of Affligem, Belgium, and Hideyo Moriya of Tokyo, Japan—met at a 1987 Guitar Craft course, in which Robert Fripp instructed them in the New Standard Tuning (NST). After completing several of Fripp’s Guitar Craft courses, the three toured as part of Robert Fripp and The League of Crafty Guitarists.

Continuing their collaboration then in Los Angeles, they founded The California Guitar Trio in 1991. They continue to play in the New Standard Tuning.[1] Their performances and recordings include original compositions, surf covers, and classical re-workings of classical music. Their influences include European classical music, rock, blues, jazz, world music, and surf music.

In 1992 and 1993 with Fripp and Trey Gunn, they toured and recorded as The Robert Fripp String Quintet.

The Trio’s music was featured during the television coverage of the 1998 and 2000 Olympic Games. It has been featured on CBS, NBC, CNN WorldBeat, and ESPN TV programs.[citation needed] They performed on the 2003 Grammy Awards-nominated track “Apollo” on Tony Levin’s CD Pieces of the Sun.[citation needed] CGT music served as wake-up music for the crew aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavour.

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The California Guitar Trio performed as an opening act for King Crimson, from which bassist Tony Levin and drummer Pat Mastelotto regularly join the CGT for live shows. CGT has shared the stage with many performers, including John McLaughlin, David Sylvian, Tito Puente, Leftover Salmon, Taj Mahal, Steve Lukather, Simon Phillips, Adrian Legg, Adrian Belew, Jon Anderson.

The Trio has released 16 albums: seven studio CDs featuring original CGT songs and a variety of other works spanning numerous genres, four live releases, and a Christmas CD with Christmas music. Lams has also made a solo album of Bach preludes titled Nascent.

In August 2004 they released Whitewater, which was produced by Tony Levin. It features mainly original works of the CGT, offset by a puzzle-work arrangement of a Bach lute suite and a mashup of “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky” with The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm.” This was followed in 2008 by Echoes, an album composed entirely of covers, and 2010’s Andromeda, the band’s first release to consist entirely of original material. The 2012 release Masterworks is an all classical music compilation featuring music by Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi, Rossini and Part. Guitarist Fareed Haque played on Vivaldi’s “Winter”, and Tony Levin played upright bass and cello on four tracks. (by wikipedia)

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This is the 3rd album from the California Guitar Trio. Fresh from recent tours with King Crimson and John McLaughlin they have recorded a heady brew of classics and contemporary material. Everything from Beethoven’s 5th symphony, the theme tunes to Pulp Fiction, thought to newly-commissioned avant-grade pieces, all performed on 3 guitars. Track highlights includes: “Arroyo,” “Leap,” “Adagio for Strings (Barber),” “Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven),” and more!

“Pathways” is the California Guitar Trio’s 1998 release and bestselling album to date, featuring original compositions and amazing arrangements of the works of Beethoven. InsideOut, who have released numerous CGT recordings, write, “The California Guitar Trio consists of three revered musicians who aren’t actually natives of the “Golden State.” Actually, two of the members aren’t even from the United States! Bert Lams is from Brussels, Belgium; Hideyo Moriya is a native of Tokyo, Japan; and Paul Richards hails from Salt Lake City, Utah.

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The technical wizardry of the California Guitar Trio is breathtaking, and so is the wide range of instrumental music the group performs — everything from unique originals to dazzling, cleverly arranged reinterpretations of classical, jazz and surf rock pieces. Elements of blues and country are blended into the California Guitar Trio’s style too. Their diversity is unparalleled. There’s simply nothing the California Guitar Trio can’t do musically.”

On “Pathways”, a significant level of performance maturity is clearly in evidence. Thankfully, such maturity has been assigned to a repertoire consisting of classical arrangements along with original, intelligent progressive compositions that match well to their classical sensibility.

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In addition to the guitar trio configuration, a number of tracks include saxophone played by Bill Janssen and Roger Lambson. The touch tapped Warr Guitar, performed by Trey Gunn, is included on a few of the tracks as well.
“Pathways” will serve as a beautiful introduction to the work of the California Guitar Trio. It showcases some of the finest examples of their warmly sensitive musical expression. (jazz-rock-fusion-guitar.blogspot.com)

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Personnel:
Bert Lams (guitar)
Hideyo Moriya (guitar)
Paul Richards (guitar)
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Bill Janssen (saxophone on 03., 07., 09., 10. + 13.)
Trey Gunn Warr (guitar on 03., 07., 09., 10. + 13.)
Roger Lambson (saxophone on 09. + 13.)

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Tracklist:
01. Allegro Con Brio, Symphony No. 5 (Beethoven) 5.26
02. Arroyo (Lams/Richards/Moriya) 3.38
03. Pathways (Lams/Richards/Moriya) 4.27
04. Leap (F’unicelli) 2.51
05. Adagio Opus 11 (Barber) 3.59
06. Great Divide (Lams/Richards/Moriya) 2.32
07. Scramble (Lams/Richards/Moriya) 1.59
08. Classical Gas (Williams) 2.51
09. Kaleidoscope (Moriya) 0.56
10. Ananda  2:49
11 Adagio Sostenuto, Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven) 2:42
12 Presto Agitato, Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven) 4:45
13. Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring (Bach) 2.40
14. Misirlou (Leeds/Roubanis/Tauber/Wise) 1.55

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Stil alive and well:

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Gillian Welch and David Rawlings – Nobody Sings Dylan Like Gill ‘n’ Dave (2019)

FrontCover1.jpgIf you saw Gillian Welch and David Rawlings on the Oscars this year, you know they’re amazing. You may not know they are also amazing interpreters of a certain Nobel Prize-winning singer-songwriter. They were featured often on my 40-volume Dylan cover collection “Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan,” but when I heard that the Dave Rawlings Machine had covered “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts” at a San Francisco concert last year – opening the show with the first half of the song, and closing it with the second half – I decided it was time to give them their own NSD collection. A year later, here it is.

As always, thanks to the tapers – they are the true heroes of the ROIO world – and to Gill and Dave for daring to test their mettle on these incomparable songs. As you might remember, in the summer of 2015 Gill ‘n’ Dave did a 50th anniversary tribute at the Newport Folk Festival to the historic show at which Dylan first plugged in. Surprisingly, it has never turned up on any of the download sites I frequent, though there is a barely listenable/watchable version on YouTube. If you have a better version to offer, please do; if you don’t want to bother with the nuts and bolts of uploading, let me know and I’ll do it for you.

A few of these songs are featured on other NSD sets, but these are different versions. Finally, please allow me to dedicate this collection to my friend and fellow Dylan fan Erik, who first introduced me to Gill ‘n’ Dave’s music in 1996 by giving me a copy of “Revival” and telling me I’d love it. I did, and I still do. (jeffs98119 at dime)

Various dates and venues. Mix of audience and soundboard recordings
between 1996 and 2018

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Dave Rawlings & Gillian Welch (Oscar 2019)

Personnel:
Dave Rawlings Machine (on 01., 03., 05., 07., 11. + 13.)
The Esquires (on 02. + 09.)
Gillian Welch & David Rawlings (on 04., 06., 08., 10. + 12.)

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Tracklist:
01. Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts (1) (Mar 1, 2018, Fillmore, San Francisco, CA) 7.36
02. Gotta Serve Somebody (Sep 27, 1999, Radio Cafe, Nashville, TN) 7.31
03. I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight (Oct 4, 2007, Tangier Restaurant, Los Angeles, CA) 5.00
04. I Dreamed I Saw St Augustine (Aug 21, 1996, Acoustic Coffee House, Nederland, CO) 3.42
05. As I Went Out One Morning (Sep 24, 2014, Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA) 5.32
06. Billy (Nov 18, 1998, Off Broadway, St. Louis, MO) 6.13
07. Oh, Sister (Mar 8, 2018, McDonald Theater, Eugene, OR) 5.10
08. Goin’ to Acapulco (Oct 13, 2004, McDonald Theatre, Eugene, OR) 5.53
09. Quinn The Eskimo (Sep 27, 1999, Radio Cafe, Nashville, TN) 3.29
10. Odds And Ends (Aug 2004, WXPN Studios/World Café session, Philadelphia, PA) 2.58
11. Queen Jane Approximately (Jun 20, 2014, Town Park, Telluride, CO) 10.28
12. Mr Tambourine Man (Oct 3, 2015, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA) 6.07
13. Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts 2 (Mar 1, 2018, Fillmore, San Francisco, CA) 5.05

All songs written by Bob Dylan

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Sonya Varoujian – Seven (1998)

FrontCover1.jpgSonya Varoujian has been involved in music from a very early age. Sonya plays guitar,oud, keyboard, sings, and composes her own music and lyrics in both Armenian and English. Her music is an expression of the soul – a celebration of life, love, and homeland. She believes music is a gateway that allows people to share and experience truth and emotions that are normally left untapped.

During her formative years Sonya achieved numerous awards and recognition for her singing such as being selected in the New York All-State Choir. She has performed in Select Ensembles as well as in Armenian choirs under the direction of Jean Almouhian, the maestro of the Arax Argentinian Armenian Choir.

At an early age Sonya was inspired by folk vocalists such as Joan Baez and as a result learned to play the guitar at the age of 15. She recorded her first album entitled “All in All” which is a compilation of original songs with guitar and keyboard in London in 1991. Sonya expresses her love for life, nature, and human relationship in her music. Her songs are courageous, honest, and earthy. She formed her first band “Raindance” in London 1993 where she increased her repertoire and worked with musicians from Portugal and Thailand.

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In 1998 Sonya recorded her 2nd CD entitled “Seven” at Vapor Studios in NYC. At this time she worked with 5 other musicians Oshin Baroyan (producer and keyboardist), Steve Brien (Drums), Hallgrim Bratberg (Lead guitar), Rob Zion (Bass Guitar), and Jessica Hope (Backing Vocals). She regularly performed in the New York City circuit in such venues as CB’s Gallery, Mercury Lounge, The Bottom Line, and The Elbow Room. At this time she developed a good following and fan base and was also invited to play the Armenian American Music Festival in Long Island where for the first time she experimented with fusing her English band with authentic Middle Eastern instruments and collaborated with Michael Gostanian (Qanun), Haik Buchakjian (Oud), and Nshan Akgulian (Dumbek). She was also invited to participate in the PBS documentary the Armenian Americans along with celebrities such as Andre Agasse and Eric Boghosian.

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Following her success with “Seven” Sonya then recorded her third album entitled “Confession” in 2000 and continued to play venues in NYC and received many positive reviews and write ups in publications such as New York Newsday, Good Times Magazine, Stubble, Instant Magazine, Spill Magazine and the Armenian Reporter. Her songs also aired on radio stations such as WDRE 92.7 and WHRU 88.7.

In April 2006 Sonya went to Armenia and record her 4th CD entitled “Janapar” which composes of 12 original Armenian songs. Composer Narine Zarifyan wrote arrangements for her songs and Sonya collaborated with some of Armenia’s most talented musicians such as Hagop Jaghaspanyan (Guitar), Levon Tevanyan (Shvi), Armen Grigoryan (Duduk), Eduard Hartunyan (Percussion), Artyom Manukyan (Cello), Nelly Manoukyan (Flute), Linos String Quartet, Mary Vardanyan (Qanun) and others…

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The result spectacularly brings together her European roots and Armenian descent as Celtic-like haunting melodies together with the Armenian spirit merge into something truly beautiful. Her songs are about life, love, the village in which she volunteered in in Armenia in 2005, Armenia, and her return to her ancestral homeland. Sonya has since performed at the Golden Guitar Music Festival in July 2006 in Yerevan and has also given 3 solo concerts in Yerevan (1 in July 2006 and 2 in October 2006) in which she has performed both her Armenian and English songs. Her concerts have all sold out and as a result she has been invited to numerous television interviews and programs and has had further reviews in journals like “Afisha”, Armenia Now, and Yerevan Weekly. Her music also gets regular airplay on Armenian radio stations worldwide. (by armeniapedia.org)

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Website (now deleted)

And this is her scond album:

“Lead singer Sonya Varoujian has an elegant voice that does a great job of projecting her songs. Her mellow yet powerful tone would leave most listeners extremely impressed.” (Good Times)

“Sonya is a born entertainer who captures her audience with her catchy melodies, meaningful lyrics and incredibly passionate performance.” (Manhasset Press)

“Sometimes the letter grades above these reviews aren’t enough. For Seven, there should be a fourth category: atmosphere. It would get an A+…Seven creates a lush sound over which Sonya Varoujian’s voice soars. It is like aural aromatherapy.” (New York Newsday)

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“Seven is Sonya Varoujian and her evident talents are a promising treat for this constantly changing music business. This girl is strong and independent and there is always room for someone who clearly sings from the heart.” (Instant Magazine)

June 1999 –  “Sonya is a promising and talented artist and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to find her making a fine career out of doing what she loves.” (Spill Magazine)

And yes, this is a very special, a very unique album. a very intimae album … a lost treasure in the history of folk music.

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Personnel:
Oshin Baroyan (keyboards)
Hallgrim Bratberg (guitar)
Steve Brien (drums)
Sonya Varoujian (vocals, guitar)
Rob Zion (bass)
+
Eric Presti (guitar on 02. + 07.)
Carlos Savetman (guitar on 01., 04. – 06.)
+
Jessica Hope (background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Reality 3.29
02. Straight To Somewhere 3.38
03. Remember 3.33
04. Strange 3.12
05. Pleasure 3.20
06. Knowing In The End 5.04
07. Cram 2.58
08. Home 5.28

CD1

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After 2017 the traces of this artist get lost und it is unknown where she is now …

Sonya Varoujian … where are you now ?

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