Roots Music and Random Thoughts

By The Real Easy Ed | No Depression's Easy Ed Provides Daily Music News

Somewhere in middle America, contemplating the lunatics in Charlottesville

Riding on a bus in the middle of the night through Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska, it’s impressive, the sheer volume of traffic, hour after hour. …

Robert E. Lee

Should Musicians Even Bother Making Albums Since Almost No One Is Buying Them?

<i>Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0</i><p>We now live in a singles world, and nowhere is this more obvious than in the recent <b>Nielsen Music Half-Year</b> …

Music

Inside the McClurg Jam, the Heart of the Deep Ozarks Sound

Bill EvansAugust 14, 2017<p><b>From the September 2017 issue of Acoustic Guitar | BY KAREN PETERSON</b><p>Dramamine is in order when driving through the dense oak …

Winter's Bone

Why the Humble Ukulele Could Be Your New Yoga

There was a time when the word “ukulele” evoked images of goofy men in hula costumes joking around, kids plunking away on toy instruments or oddball …

Yoga

Stream 35 Hours of Classic Blues, Folk, & Bluegrass Recordings from Smithsonian Folkways: 837 Tracks Featuring Lead Belly, Woody Guthrie & More

Marshall McLuhan’s chestnut “the medium is the message” contains some of the most important theory about mass media to have emerged in the past …

Music

What NOT to do in Memphis

Photo: Roger Hsu<p>1. Don’t… come for The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.<p>Even just hearing that it’s the largest barbecue competition in …

Travel

Staple Singers - Why Am I Treated So Bad

Translations

Memphis Blues Again

I had never been South before.<p>My brother and I set out for Memphis in a Volkswagen that lost its clutch in Knoxville, and as we got closer, it seemed …

Music

Daughter Pens Memoir of Famed Folksinger & Composer Oscar Brand

Published Spring 2017<p><b>NEWPORT, R.I.</b> - <b>July 1, 2017</b> - <i>PRLog</i> -- When you're growing up as the daughter of famed folksinger and composer Oscar Brand, you …

Music

D.L. Menard, ‘the Cajun Hank Williams,’ Is Dead at 85

D. L. Menard, the Cajun singer and songwriter who wrote “The Back Door,” a ubiquitous bayou standard, died on Thursday at his granddaughter’s home in Scott, La. He was 85.<p>His death was confirmed by Terry Huval, the fiddler and leader of the band Jambalaya, which performed with Mr. Menard during the …

Hank Williams

Atlanta building steeped in music history faces demolition

ATLANTA (AP) — At the edge of downtown Atlanta's historic core, a nondescript brick building holds a little-known 94-year-old tie to music history — it's the spot where a song that many deem the first country hit was recorded.<p>But that physical vestige of Fiddlin' John Carson may be in jeopardy …

Cities

Moby Grape: Americana Lost and Found

God only knows how many ways I've tried to avoid using the term “Americana” in describing the music I love. My go-to response has at times been “it's …

Robert Plant

25,000+ 78RPM Records Now Professionally Digitized & Streaming Online: A Treasure Trove of Early 20th Century Music

Every recording medium works as a metonym for its era: the term “LP” conjures up associations with a broad musical period of classic rock ‘n’ roll, …

Cool Stuff

Ex-'Prairie Home' host Garrison Keillor busy as he nears 75

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Garrison Keillor is not spending his time in retirement baking Powdermilk Biscuits or drinking coffee down at the Chatterbox Cafe now that he's hung up his microphone as host of his popular public radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion."<p>He turns 75 on Aug. 7 and boards a bus …

Entertainment

A Connoisseur of Fine Things: Interim Thoughts on the Life and Career of Chubby Checker

While Bob Dylan was furiously writing “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” Chubby Checker was busy with his Trinidadian dance for the teenybopper diaspora. …

Music

Review: David Rawlings, 'Poor David's Almanack'

<i>Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.</i><p>David Rawlings has made a career out of a sort of unassuming generosity. Though he's led his own band, the Dave Rawlings Machine, …

Music

How to Tune Out the Trump Drama and Reclaim Your Productivity

Expert advice for navigating the new news cycle.<p>Recently, it took me two days to complete a task at work that should have taken, realistically, no …

Productivity

Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Godmother of Rock & Roll, Has Her Story Told Onstage

Born in 1915, Sister Rosetta Tharpe has been called the godmother of rock & roll for her profound influence on a legion of famous vocalists, …

Music

THE GHOSTLY ONES | The New Yorker

<i>The New Yorker</i>, September 20, 2004 P. 78<p>David Rawlings told me Gillian Welch’s life story. She had grown tired of telling it herself. Welch is a singer and songwriter whose music is not easily classified—it is at once innovative and obliquely reminiscent of past rural forms—and Rawlings is her …

Boston

RIP Manny’s: A big piece of NYC music history was just cleared for demolition

It was a favorite shopping spot for famous musicians from Buddy Holly and the Beatles to Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix, and now the building is set to be pummeled into a purple haze.<p><b>The former site of Manny’s Music at 156 West 48th Street in Manhattan has been approved for demolition</b>, according to a …

Buddy Holly

We will survive this

So. We have a vulgar, unstable yo-yo with a toxic ego and an attention-deficit problem in the White House, and now we can see that government by Twitter is like trying to steer a ship by firing a pistol at the waves — not really useful — but what does it all add up to? Not that much, if you ask me, …

Washington Post

With no more income from album sales, a 69-year-old rock legend has to go back on tour

For musicians, it’s the best of times and it’s the worst of times. Streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify are booming, helping the long-suffering music industry grow for the first time in decades.<p>But these new services make very little money for artists, with ephemeral streams paying out …

Music

Steve Earle’s got some opinions about Al Franken, Kid Rock, and our ‘first orangutan president’

Through his long and still vital career, from his 1986 debut <i>Guitar Town</i> through this year’s <i>So You Wanna Be an Outlaw</i>, he’s earned the right to speak …

Minneapolis

Thousands evacuated from Tomorrowland music festival in Barcelona after stage engulfed in flames

A crowd of 22,000 pop fans have been evacuated from the Tomorrowland Unite Spain festival after the stage was engulfed in flames.<p>Fire erupted at one of the world's most popular music festivals which was being held in Barcelona.<p>Fans fled in terror as the inferno took hold, sending smoke billowing …

Festivals

Together Again

There are probably many people who don't remember that OJ Simpson was found liable for murder back in 1997. With all the Hollywood weirdness of the …

OJ Simpson

The Vinyl Fad Appears to Be Over

Though it experienced something of a renaissance over the past half decade, the vinyl industry appears ready for a role reversal. The latest numbers …

Vinyl Records

With 'Sorry Is Gone,' Jessica Lea Mayfield Is Taking Back Her Life

Jessica Lea Mayfield is taking back her life. "Sorry Is Gone," the title track to her next album, is a song of empowerment that finds the singer moving past a difficult period in her life. "I spent the majority of my life around people who treated me like I wasn't important," she says in an email, …

Music

Saving Southern Music

How the bluegrass balladeer and TV host David Holt helps preserve—and move forward—the region’s traditional sounds<p>Much of what we now call “old-time” Southern music was on the verge of extinction when the Texas native David Holt arrived in Western North Carolina in 1969. So many of the South’s …

Western North Carolina

The Elvis Costello Immersion

I’ll admit I’m a bit late to the game on this.<p>I recently sat down and watched Mark Kidel’s documentary <i>Elvis Costello: Mystery Dance</i> that was first …

Elvis Costello