Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Inspired by: lady folks

Two weeks ago, I spent a hot Sunday at the Square Roots Festival. I didn't take any photos worth posting, just enjoyed the music and company. The festival is a joint venture between the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce & the Old Town School of Folk Music (where Dane took his accordion lessons!). We soaked in the sounds several great folksy-bluesy-rock bands (including Elephant Revival and Bailey Dee's Rockabilly Roundup), & went to a couple more offbeat programs--the Woody Guthrie sing along provided music and lyrics to about a dozen of his songs and encouraged the audience to bring their own instruments, and the jug band jam may have included the highest energy, zaniest musicians I have ever seen. How zany? The Jewish harmonica player was wearing a Smurf print shirt and matching Smurf print yarmulke.

I have eclectic music tastes, but I really love folk and folk inspired music. Little known fact: I write music as a hobby. I started by putting some Leonard Cohen poems to simple guitar strums a few years ago and grew from there. I haven't written in a while because I enjoy writing music on the piano more than guitar (and my guitar skills are very very basic) and it's difficult to own a piano when you're 25 and rent an apartment. But today during work, a new little piece of lyrics popped into my head, and I may just have to write a little tune to keep them company.

This kind of music is perfect for lazy summer days and driving with the windows down. Here are some folksy musicians I've been Spotifying (I can and will use that as a verb).

Brandi Carlile's new album Bear Creek is one of my favorite recent releases.The songs are so fun and nostalgic, and I love that album artwork.

You may not have heard of Kelly Hogan, but if you're a fan of this folksy kind of music, odds are you've heard her. She's performed and recorded with Neko Case, Andrew Bird, Jakob Dylan, Mavis Staples, and many, many more.

I saw The Head and the Heart at the Metro this past year, and the quintet has to be one of the best live shows I've ever seen (they have a great lady vocalist/violinist, Charity Thielen, so they make the list).

Of course, I'm still listening to my old standbys-- Dolly, June, Emmylou, Linda, and Joan. What's on your current rotation?

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