Roots Music and Random Thoughts

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

‘Amazing Grace’: A Rant From A Wretch Like Me

As summer has begun, the lazy cable television news cycle of endless chatter about things mostly non-newsworthy has abruptly shifted. A series of …

So how does a turntable work? Find out what keeps the record spinning in this slick video

Capturing the immaculate, vivid sound that can only be produced by a record player (or in an actual recording studio) is not an easy task for many …

Vinyl Records

Bob Dylan obliges annoying fan in Berkeley by actually playing 'Free Bird'

You've seen <i>that</i> guy.<p>He emerges from some dark corner of the audience, maybe drunk, gawkily shoving his way through the crowd as the audience stands contented, mesmerized by the rock god onstage. He leans forward next to your ear, brutishly disturbing your daydream with a shrill, piercing …

Bob Dylan

Put on my Clothes and Look Like Somebody Else

The spirit of Southern outsider music has taken partial possession of many artists through the years—Charlie Feathers comes to mind, as do Link Wray, …

'Where are all the women?' A new Canadian doc looks at sexism in the music biz - Blog | q

On the surface, it seems there are plenty of powerful women in the music biz: from Beyoncé to Adele, Taylor Swift to Celine Dion, and Lady Gaga to …

Black Vaudeville: Tracing the Origins of the Blues

Scholars Doug Seroff and Lynn Abbott have worked together for nearly 40 years researching the history of African-American music. Tracing the origins …

Bluegrass Music

Dreadful things are afoot

I am a registered liberal who mostly toes the party line, but I am not devoted to the idea of big government. I loathe the law in New York state requiring gas pump nozzles to not latch. This means that I must stand beside my vehicle, holding the nozzle lever open, instead of latching it and walking …

National Endowment for the Arts

The Triumphant Return of the Secret Sisters

The Secret Sisters, much like the characters in some of their songs, know a thing or two about surviving.<p>After a meteoric debut in 2010 shepherded by …

make ends meet

Songs from the Gut

John Prine, the original “new Dylan,” has always written songs with a deep heart and a strong empathy for the people who go unseen. Veterans ensnared …

Bob Dylan

Andy Warhol Hosts Frank Zappa on His Cable TV Show, and Later Recalls, “I Hated Him More Than Ever” After the Show

Had Andy Warhol lived to see the internet--especially social networking--he would have loved it, though it may not have loved him. Though Warhol did …

Frank Zappa

Peggy Seeger: A Life of Music, Love, and Politics

Peggy Seeger will be 82 on June 17, 2017, and she has no plans to retire. At present, a new album is in the works and a multi-city tour of Britain is …

Music

Ella Fitzgerald at 100: Her role in the era of "jazz cigarettes"

In the 1930s - just as singer Ella Fitzgerald was getting her start - jazz was under fire for its purported ties to drug culture.

Jazz

The Past And Present of Nashville Music

If popular music has a Holy Grail, it is safeguarded in Nashville. The city's music roots run deep, having birthed talents the likes of Elvis …

Hank Williams

John Moreland is the New Face of Folk Rock

The whiskey-and-cigarettes sound and literary ballads of his last three albums helped John Moreland figure out who he is. It's about time you know him (and his music), too.<p>Photographs by<p>To begin to understand singer-songwriter John Moreland, you have to start with the hands that write his songs. …

AJ Lee: A Flower Blooms in the California Bluegrass

When I reached out to Betsy Riger-Lee and asked her to give me a rough idea of how many views her daughter AJ Lee has had on YouTube, she came back …

Music

Steve Earle: 'My wife left me for a younger, skinnier, less talented singer'

After seven marriages and a near fatal heroin habit, the great singer-songwriter is now single, sober and interested only in caring for his autistic son. He talks about death threats, blowing $1,000 a day on drugs – and being an incorrigible romantic<p>Steve Earle has never been so busy. The …

Hank Williams

Join the Love Crowd for the Ecstatic Intimacy of “Monterey Pop”

An exultant documentary of the beginning of the Summer of Love<p>Of the holy triad of Aquarian Age rock-concert docs, D.A. Pennebaker’s <i>Monterey Pop</i> …

Music

Flashback: Watch Linda Ronstadt Croon 'Blue Bayou' With the Muppets

Swampy segment from a 1980 episode of the musical variety series finds singer backed by a frog chorus on pop-country classic<p>By 1977, Linda Ronstadt …

Music

Beloved Idaho folksinger Rosalie Sorrels dies; memorial will be held in Boise

Rosalie Sorrels, an Idaho icon with six decades of performances, died Sunday night, “surrounded with love and music,” her family announced via …

Steve Earle, Praises/Defends Colter Wall, Slams Richard Buckner in Crazy Interview

In what starts off to be a rather innocuous local interview with a reporter in in Canada after a show in Toronto, Steve Earle begins by highly …

Music

10-Story High Mural of Muddy Waters Goes Up in Chicago

If you find yourself near State and Washington streets in Chicago, look up and you'll see a mural of bluesman Muddy Waters rising 10 stories high. It …

Music Festivals

First Listen: Steve Earle, 'So You Wannabe An Outlaw'

Steve Earle has always kept at least a foothold in his outlaw country roots, but he's seldom embraced them as explicitly as he does on <i>So You Wannabe an Outlaw</i>. Over the past couple of years, Earle's been enmeshed in specialized projects — the 2015 bluesman's holiday <i>Terraplane Blues</i> and 2016's …

Waylon Jennings

Wilco Sell Pencil Set Engraved With Album Titles

Wilco have released some new merch—pencils! The “Case in Point” Wilco pencil set features 10 graphite pencils packaged neatly in a red cardboard box. Each one is engraved with the name of each different Wilco album. The band designed the set with Impact Merchandise; they’re available for pre-order …

Music

Soul of the ’60s: Otis Redding’s Short Life and Long Reach

<b>OTIS REDDING</b><b><br>An Unfinished Life</b><br>By Jonathan Gould<br>Illustrated. 533 pp. Crown Archetype. $30<p>Fifty years ago this month, the rock community held its first large-scale gathering at the Monterey Pop Festival. For several of the performers — Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Who — the event marked the moment …

Music

How A Trucker's Protest Anthem Became A '70s Hit

That the 1976 song "Convoy" was created by a fictional musician is perhaps the least interesting thing about it. Attributed to singer-songwriter C.W. McCall — a character originally invented and performed by advertising executive Bill Fries for a bread company's ad campaign — the song tells a tale …

Revolution

Excerpt from new book on Newport Folk Festival details folk music’s rise in a racially tense America

<i>The Staples Singers with George Wein, photo by​ Ken Franckling</i>​​Newport Folk Festival recently announced its full lineup for 2017. Fleet Foxes, …

Music

Grateful Dead Musical Is in the Works

Attention all Deadheads According to an Equity casting notice, a Grateful Dead musical is in the works.

Music

Before There was the Blues Man, There Was the Songster

It's the early 20th century, and an African-American musician is standing on a street corner, his nimble fingers coaxing melodies out of a fiddle, …

Kentucky's WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour is headed for 47 million front porches

The WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour has been added to the lineup at RFD TV, a cable and satellite channel available to more than 47.3 million homes.<p>RFD …