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Kurt Wagner and Cortney Tidwell have posted a music video « Picking Wild Mountain Berries » and a short documentary in anticipation of the recorded debut of Kurt Wagner & Cortney Tidwell present KORT and their debut collaborative album, Invariable Heartache.

The story behind Invariable Heartache is also told in an eloquent and moving mini documentary. ‘Bringing Chart Records Back To Life’, filmed in Nashville, again by Zack Spiger.

previous post about Kurt Wagner & Cortney Tidwell


Equinox, the Peacekeeper - Brotherly Love

Equinox the Peacekeeper (Wouter Buyst) released last year a wonderful album named « We Could Wake Each Other Up », you can listen his music or buy the record on his website. Of course, you will also listen his songs on KOKOMO WebRadio !

While Wouter was on a three day boat from Brasil to Peru on the Amazon river he kindly made a video answering our questions.

An interview with HARUKO

novembre 24th, 2009

Haruko - The Bright Lights
Haruko - Goodbye My Love, Goodbye

Haruko (Susanne Stanglow) is a young lady of 20 years old, living in Bremem Germany. She released one of the most beautiful record of the year « Wild Geese » and kindly answers to our questions:

Haruko, if your music was a landscape ?
It would be a little house in the mountains maybe.

What is the meaning of the name « Haruko »
« Springchild ». It’s Japanese, I’m born in spring.

What’s your story with music ?
I started playing the guitar at the age of 14 because I wanted to play the songs I listened to. My father, who plays the guitar, showed me some chords and we played a lot of songs together, songs by Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones or Jimi Hendrix. I never liked learning new skills on the guitar and I never took a lesson. I always did it just for fun. When I was 17 I started to write songs and had my first concert by chance. After that, I thought « why not? » and kept on making music.

What kind of music did you listen at home when you were a child ?
I don’t remeber much. I think I liked music as a child but I didn’t really care what music I was listening to. But I remember that I’d always ask my father to play « As tears Go by ». I still like his version better than the original.

What are your projects for the up coming months ?
I would like to tour through Europe because I almost only toured in Germany, yet. And I want to record another album and/or Ep.

« I know, dreams often feel better than life, but you cannot hide » Could you explain us your connection with the reality, is your music and dreams a way to get away from our world ?
On some days it’s hard for me to cope with certain situations or problems and then it even is a challenge for me to talk to people or to do my work. So I often try to keep the real life out and image/dream my own world where everything is easier. Of course that doesn’t make anything easier. My music is maybe a way to understand myself and situations better.

haruko forest 1

Did you ever plan to sing a song with someone else, with who would you like or dream to sing as a duo ?
On stage I sing along with Hlynur Gudjonsson. He’s my boyfriend and also a musician. If I could choose without being realistic I would like to sing with Leonard Cohen.

When, how, did you know that a song is successfully completed ?
It just feels like it. Sometimes I start to write a song and I think it’s unfinished but I can’t find an « end ». And then I forget it and continue working at it a few weeks later and suddenly I don’t need to write anything anymore because I feel like it is completed. It also depends on the story of the song. Some lyrics are just thoughts that don’t need a fixed order and some songs are telling stories that need an ending.

Is there a song you wish you had written ?
There are dozens of songs I wish I had written. Like « Milk and Honey » by Jackson C. Frank. But in the end – if I had written the song I’d surely be sick of it by now and wouldn’t have the pleasure to hear it for the first time.

Most ever playing record at home ?
Hard to decide…I listened a lot to Mariee Sioux’s « Faces in the Rocks » and « Ys » by Joanna Newsom. But it’s difficult to tell. There are lots of records I love and that are played a lot.

What are you currently listening to, any recommended records ?
In the last weeks/months I listened to « Lost Wisdom » by Mount Eerie everytime I went for a walk. It is such a beautiful album and I even think one of the most beautiful records I’ve ever heard. Bowerbirds: « Hymns for a dark horse »…Laura Gibson: « Six white horses »

Is there a movie that get a strong influence on you ?
I love watching movies but I don’t know in how far (or if) they ever influenced me. But I think some stories or characters might be a motivation to put yourself in someone else’s position and write about his thoughts and his situation.

What’s your story with music ?
My dad worked in a record store when I was a kid, so there would always be records playing at home. All kinds of stuff really, but I remember Elvis being played a lot. I love Elvis. But I never had any big dreams of being a musician or songwriter or anything like that. I wanted to make movies, which I guess is kinda naive coming from a guy who’s very disorganized. Anyway, after throwing in the towel on the whole movie thing, to my fortune, my old friend Folke Olsen got me into songwriting and later on singing and performing. I stumble unto it you might say.

What are your projects for the up coming months ?
Well my current project is about 55cm and weighs 4,6 kilos. I’d like to watch him grow for a while before doing anything else.

Is there a new album to come ?
I’m planning to be back in the studio with my band by the end of the year or the beginning of 2010. Peter Von Poehl is gonna help me produce it which I’m very excited about. But I don’t have any release date yet or even a label. Maybe I’ll put it out myself. We’ll just have to wait and see I guess.

Do you have any plans to tour ?
It looks like I’ll be back in the UK in October or November. I would really like to come back to France too, but dont have a booking agent there at the moment.

What are you doing when you don’t play music ?
I try to make ends meet. Kinda like what Charles Bukowski did before he made it. Although I probably dont drink as much as he did.

What are you currently listening to, any recommended records ?
Some one gave me the Allison Krauss/Robert Plant album a while back. There’s some really good stuff on there. Fantastic players and a killer production. The latest Jolie Holland album is a good one too. And Neko Case of course.

Did you ever plan to sing a song with someone else ?
I actually did a duet with my good friend Jason Freeman at Electraphonic Studios in Memphis last year. The Cuckoo Bird it was. Jason is an amazing artist, out of this world really. You should check him out. I’m sure you’ll love his music !

Are you involved in the engineering process of your recordings, do you enjoy and care about sound recording or do you just like playing and singing ?
I think it’s really important to be involved in all aspects of producing a record. I mean, if you’re gonna put up the money and you even have your name on the cover, you have to take it serious. So many records that come out now sound like shit. And they all sound the same too. They have no dynamics. For some reason people think they can let technology do all the work, but if you don’t have a great sounding band you’ll never have a great sounding record. What’s very important too, is you need a good sound engineer. Just because you want to make record doesn’t mean you know how to engineer one. Even though you bought the newest mac computer with all the right plugins and software.

Why do you choose to record your last album in Sweden rather than Nashville or Memphis ?
The studio I used for both Mutineer and Tennessee Theft is only a 45 min drive from Copenhagen, so it was very convenient. Since everybody in my band are danish, it’s easier on the wallet to record closer to home. However I got both those records mastered in the states. Mutineer in California and Tennessee Theft in Memphis. I go to Memphis as much as I can. Memphis is a great town.

Is there a song you wish you had written ?
I don’t think like that, I just write songs. But I must say Pancho and Lefty by Townes Van Zandt is a really powerful song and I guess it was kind of his golden egg too. I wouldn’t mind have a golden egg myself.

Listening to your music, it’s really impossible to imagine that you’re Danish. Is it a reaction, a kind of rejection of your own culture or an immoderate love for american music ?
I don’t reject anything. But like most people in Europe I’ve been exposed to American culture all my life. Some people get into Rap Music, I got into Country, Blues, Rock N Roll and all the rest. And it’s not a new thing either. Look at the Beatles. They grew up listing to all that great stuff that came out of America at the time. Take some one like you own Johnny Halliday. Wouldn’t you say he’s very influenced by American Music?

What do you find & love in the US that you don’t find in Denmark ?
People here in Denmark especially, can’t seem to understand that a Dane or European for that matter, can write and sing in the style that I do, without it being a Bob Dylan rip of. People in America couldn’t care less. If the music is good they like it. That’s what I love about America.

What do you find and love in Denmark that you don’t find in the USA ?
I live in Copenhagen and it’s my home. Most people like their home. So do I.

As an european singing traditional american music, is it difficult to exist as an artist in the USA, is there prejudice against you ?
All I can tell you is, I’ve never had that in the US. Never. Being prejudice towards something is a European thing, not American.

What are your relations with music business ?
I don’t really have any relations with the music business. I make my own records and I’m not affiliated with any label. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to. I would. But I just haven’t met the right people to work with yet. As far as money and music goes, it’s easily managed when the only one you have to look after is yourself.

Photo by Mike O’Leary

 Tones: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

 Everyone: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Bob Keal, singer/songwriter of Small Sur gave us an interview:

How could you discribe your music to somebody who never heard you ?
Subtle and minimalist, but textured and pretty.

If your music was a landscape ?
I would say that our music is most like the ocean. It’s as methodical as the tide, but there’s a lot hidden beneath the surface that you won’t find unless you really search for it and let it soak into you.

What’s your story with music ?
I grew up singing in the school choir and playing trumpet in the band, but I never really liked it that much. I didn’t listen to a lot of music growing up, and my parents didn’t really have any tapes or CDs that they listened to aside from some religious ones. I bought a guitar the summer before my first year of college and started playing a bit here and there with friends. In 2004 I started writing songs and I recorded the self-titled EP with some buddies in California. When I moved to Baltimore in 2005 I played my first show and kept writing songs, and I’ve done so ever since.

What are your projects for the up coming months ?
Right now we are working on our second full-length and Andy Abelow (banjo/sax) and I are planning a do Small Sur tour of the West Coast (USA) for late July and early August.

Is there a new album to come ?
« Fall Fur » is the tentative title for our second full-length. We’re working on it right now and it’ll probably have around 10 tracks.

Did you plan touring ?
We have tours planned for the East and West coasts of the USA during July and August. I’ll be traveling through Europe for about three weeks during June and early July, but it’s mostly just a vacation. If anyone would like to set up some shows, however, I’d love to play a few.

Did you have side musical projects ?
The other members of the band play their own music, as well, and a couple of them play in several bands. Jamie (bass) is about to hit the road with Chicago-based « Nomo » for six weeks or so. They’ll be touring all over Europe and the US. Andy Abelow (saxophone, banjo, etc) plays music under his own name and with other projects around Baltimore, and Austin Stahl (drums) has his own band, Private Eleanor, and he plays music under his own name, as well.

What are you doing when you don’t play music ?
When I’m not playing music I love to cook and eat good food and drink wine with friends. I’m also an elementary school teacher.

Could you tell us the story of the song « Tones » ?
When I wrote « Tones » I was thinking about « tones » in terms of all of its meanings, the texture and qualities of one’s voice, the energy behind things we say, and how those tones resonate within our bodies and minds.

Most ever playing record at home ?
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy - Master and Everyone
Little Wings - Light Green Leaves
Grateful Dead – American Beauty

What are you currently listening to, any recommended records ?
Bill Callahan – Sometimes I Wish I Were an Eagle
Washington Phillips – Compilation
Gilberto Gil – Expresso 2222

You can download a free 8 tracks E.P of Small Sur on the Secret Stereo’s website or directly here.

see also : a previous post about Small Sur

Boston singer/songwriter Marissa Nadler just realeased her fourth album: Little Hells. For this occasion she gave an interview to KOKOMO WebRadio :

Marissa, if your music was a landscape ?
A bleak desert landscape, or a very barren dead winter one. The wild wild west. Somewhere far away from Suburbia. Somewhere where I could have a Victorian house to fix up and children to raise. I am a dreamer and an escapist.

Do you know your audience ?
My audience seems to be pretty mixed. Its a lot of young people, a lot of older people. Some gothic people but you know I don’t really look at it that way. I hope that people listen because they dig the music. I am grateful as hell that people are listening!! Its very very exciting to me.

Is there some countries in which you have more audience than in others ?
Europe more so than the United States. Although everywhere it seems to be growing through the years. I think that the US is harder than most places to gain an audience because it is SO big. But I am starting to do very well in the major cities finally, and I love touring Europe !!!

You are on myspace, ilike,, blobspot, are you curious of people on these sociable networks ? what it brings to you ?
Well. I didn’t put myself on iLike or I do like myspace because it really does help connect people. The blog is easier for me to update than my website, which takes me ages to update.

(photo credit : Nicolas Oliier)

You have (and will) travel a lot for touring. Is there one or many places you fall in love and think you could live there ?
Home home home. You know, all the places are lovely. But, I never get to stay at any place long enough to see more than the hotel rooms. So, I find myself lonely on tour and missing someone or something intangible. But, this time I am going to be touring with three guys behind me !! And I won’t be lonely this time, because I will have company and won’t be alone any more. So, It should be entirely more fun. Maybe I will fall in love and move to Paris !!

Have you ever done strange meetings during your tours. Do you remember strange or funny meetings with fans ?
Um. Yes. Many. I have had too many to count. Lets just say that when you tour alone there is nobody to « protect » you against people that are may or may not have an unhealthy obsession with who they think you are. I have had some scary run ins. I don’t want to name names, but have pepper spray and a band now, and some of that is for the reason of being on many unsafe tours.

What did you learned about human being touring around the world ?
Most people are very good at heart. I truly believe that.

What is most beautiful compliment (musically) you ever received ?
I’m not sure, but people are very nice to me. Marry me?

There is in the same time something dark and luminous in your music, that makes it very unique. How could you explain this antagonism, is it a part of your personality ? Tell us about your fears an you hopes.
I am definitely into the dark side on a lot of days. Its part of spinning from emotional ups and downs on a daily basis. I fall in love way too easily, constantly get my heart broken. Then I become miserable and write songs about it. I hope I am not self-defeating any chance of happiness but I just can’t seem to find "the one" and all the little hells of heartbreak- well, they really come out in my songs.

My personality: I am a hard core romantic with unrealistic fairy tale ideals. I do "break just like a little girl."
My nickname is the "iron curtain" because it take a lot to make me laugh. Its not really true. I just have a dirty sense of humor.

Here we don’t stop listening to « Loner », could you tells us more about it ?
That song. I am totally a Loner. There is nothing I can say about it that isn’t in the lyrics. Dave Scher rocked that organ solo in the wee hours of the morning. Its totally crazy. I love it.

Did you ever plan to sing a song with someone else, with who would you like or dream to sing as a duo ?
I would love to score a David Lynch movie. I would love to sing with Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Neil Young. Maybe a record with Nick Cave ? I would love to meet Woody Allen.

Are you involved in the engineering process of « Little Hells », did you enjoy and care, about sound recording or do you just like playing and singing ? and what do you think about those « mp3 » times.
I was very involved in each and every process of the new record. I am completely OCD. And I think mp3s suck compared to real records. Its a shame. They sound like tin can versions of the originals. But, the times are changing. What can we do ?

River Of Dirt

 Marissa Nadler - River Of Dirt: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Marissa Nadler is touring across North America and Europe this spring, don’t miss her shows !

an interview with Brett Barton

novembre 15th, 2008

Brett Barton is leader of Chicago based band Mean Sea Level who just released a wonderful E.P.

Brett answers a few quetions for KOKOMO WebRadio :

How could you discribe your music to somebody who never heard you ?
Familiar and unsettling, maybe like your subconcious.

If your music was a landscape ?
The marsh opposite my grandfathers dock, in charleston. It’s always green and yellow, all times of the year. It seems to be waking and sleeping all at once.

Your music sounds like a mix of English folk, American Folk, pop ; tell us more about your musical influences.
I like folk music, but I don’t think of myself as a folk artist. The finger picking guitar and quiet vocals in my recordings are easily categorized as folk, but I write in a more pop fashion. I’m influenced by artists that have multiple melodic layers in their music: Cocteau Twins, Dungen, Kinks. And I am drawn to the lyrics of John Cale. He has a great way of building a story that is completely open to interpretation.

You really doesn’t sound like others indie folk pop bands, what is your secret ?
I try to write a song that has momentum–bringing in instruments and filling out the arrangement as the music progresses. A hook is important to me, although I don’t believe it has to be melodic. It can be a warped out keyboard, undefined texture in the background or a hard left turn 2/3rds of the way through.

When, how, did you know that a song is successfully completed.
It’s important that a song rarely plateaus. If it does, there is no reason to keep repeating what’s happening. So I often bring instruments in later in the song to present new melodies and widen the music. I stop filling out the song when I feel like there is just enough elements to pull the listener all the way through.

There is a very beautiful sound on this record, who is the sound engineer for this recording. Tell us more about the recording process.
This album is a collection of songs that had been sitting around on tapes or in my computer for a few years. I was listening through rough mixes of songs one day and chose these because of their similar lyrical themes. They had been recorded in my apartment [vocals, guitar] and I brought them to the Cardboard Sangria project studio to have friends lay down drums, electric guitar and keyboards. We all play together in various groups in Chicago and worked quite well together. Our space has many instruments sitting around and they show up all over the record. I would layer instruments like an out of tune piano with bells, or an organ with whistles. I mixed it myself and it was mastered by Blaise Barton.

What’s your story with music ?
My house was full of music from Neil Diamonds great early albums to the Motown my mother would listen too. No one in my family was a musician, but we did have an over-sized organ in the family room and I started playing it when I was in grade school. It was big enough for a church and my feet couldn’t touch the pedals, so I would sit on the ground and push the pedals with my hands—almost blowing out my ear drums [Ironically, this new album includes hand-played organ bass]. Eventually I picked up the guitar and joined a band where we humiliated every song from Iron Maiden and Def Leopard. I quickly learned that I didn’t ‘rock!’ and moved on to what I’m doing now.

Where did you find your inspiration ?
Inspirations comes from others creations. books, music, paintings……all of it.

What are your projects for the up coming months ?
I’ll be working on some videos for this record and I am already working up new songs for a single.

Did you have side musical projects ?
I often play bass with a band called Singleman Affair that is fronted by Dan Schneider. His first album [“Let’s Kill the Summer”] is beautiful and very haunting and he is about to put out a new album that sounds fantastic. I am recording and mixing a new album for Tiger Trio [on Cardboard Sangria]. The guitar player, Gary Pyskacek, played on a few of my songs.

Is there a song you wish you had written ?
I’m glad that I never wrote the songs I love, or I might not love them. I like writing songs–but the music I enjoy is always someone else’s, never my own.

What are you currently listening to, any recommended records ?
Dungen – 4, Chico Buraque’s “Construcao” and anything from Nina Simone

Nothing Less – Mean Sea Level

an interview with Ed Laurie

octobre 8th, 2008

Ed Laurie release is splendid first album « Meanwhile In The Park » on Dangerbird Records and is currently touring solo in the USA. Those who listen to KOKOMO WebRadio knows that we support this fantastic artist since many years ; « Meanwhile In The Park » was album of the year in 2006 ! and is still on heavy rotation on KOKOMO WebRadio. At the occasion of this official release I have listen to this record again, and I must say that these songs haven’t aged, thats probably how you recognize good songwriters and classic records.

Ed answers a few questions about his music, about him …

How could you discribe your music to somebody who never heard you ?
Hopeful, and open.

Listening to your music, it’s difficult to imagine you live in London, we imagine you in the green beautiful countryside of England.
Perhaps living in London makes me wish for other places, the countryside or the sea… and this comes out in the songs… memories are often a trigger.

If your music was a landscape ?
Probably a dry heat, not far from the sea… it’s in my blood.

You looks found of literature ? do you work a lot on your lyrics ? Tell us more about your pleasure to write !
The lyrics drive the melody as much as the music… just as the music effects the meaning as much as the words.

Who are your favorite writers ?
Albert Camus, Franz Kafka and Primo Levi.

What’s your story with music ?
I grew up with classical music. thereafter i avoided music for many years until i could no longer! I begun to sing privately many years ago; the guitar came later.

What are your projects for the up coming months ?
I am to record a full length record "Small Boat Big Sea". Hopefully i will be playing and travelling with the songs for many years to come. The new album will be quite different from "Meanwhile In The Park"… but as much as you move on from something you remain tied to your "thing"…

Those tracks were recordes 2 or 3 years ago, istnt it difficult to play a record so late after writing songs. If you had to recording those songs again, would you change something ?
I haven’t yet tired of playing these songs live. I improvise more when i play live and look for different ways to play them. You just have to turn them a little to the side and they become almost different songs. I am happy with the record as it is – it is how i felt at the time and i am content with that.

Is there a song you wish you had written ?
No, if i had written such a song i wouldn’t enjoy listening to it as much.

Most ever playing record at home ?
At the moment Camaron de Isla and Tomatito live in paris 1987 – it is the most powerful live record i have ever heard.

Thee, Stranded Horse is Yann Tambour, a young french musician playing guitar and kora.

He released last year "Churning Strides", a music with no boundaries.


Yann answers a few questions for KOKOMO WebRadio:

How could you discribe your music to somebody who never heard you ?
The loan translation of the world’s second biggest ebb and flow.

What’s your story with music? How, when did you begin singing, playing guitare / are you from a musician familly ?
I started playing the guitar at the age of 7. I was total crap until the age of 12. I then took sick and had to be locked in for a month or so. I came out a much better guitar player. My family hasn’t got a very musical background, no.

What kind of music did you heard at home when you was a child ?
The only striking thing I remember from my childhood (music wise) is « Les Marquises » by Jacques Brel.

Your last albun « Churning Strides » was widely review and received lots of complimentary critics. After this, do you plan to keep going in this musical direction or do you plan something very different ?
I try to stay away from all that as much as I can. I heard it went alright. I’m currently writing a new album whose arrangements will be roughly along the same lines : just me on the kora/guitar. The songs are written very differently, though. I’m not the best one to ask really, I try to think about these things as little as possible.

Is there a new album to come, when ?
It’s being written as we speak. Don’t know when it’ll be done or out.

You’re back from China where you were touring. How your music was received their ? How did it go ?
It went well, people were sometimes very intrigued, sometimes very loud, haha. Most of the tour went really well except for the Beijing shows. The Olympics had a dreadful effect on the city night life and a lot of the people I met didn’t seem very happy about that. Aside from all this it was a stunning experience overall. I took loads of 20-hour trains with the locals. Ate amazing food. Was most bewitched by the stunning landscape, especially in the south.

If your music was a landscape ? which one ? why ?
The swamps outside my parent’s country house. It’s basically the house I grew up in. They fill up and empty as the tide ebbs and flows. I recorded the album there. The sea plays a big part in the local life. You get the second biggest tides in the world (or the biggest along with some other place… i’m not sure.. damned, gotta get my facts right! ;-) ) and I think that somehow the album reflects that.

Where did you find your inspiration ? nature, journey, love stories, books … ?
All those things, I guess.

What your songs are talking about generally ?
They’re complete nonesense. More seriously, I try not to think about that aspect of things.

I like the sleeve of the record, tell us more about your choice , the painter…
Thanks. My girlfriend made the artwork after an idea I had.

Is there a song you wish you had written ?
That song I’m working on right now, it’s doing my head in. Nah, more seriously again : I’m sure all the good songs have been written by the right people.

Most ever playing record at home ?
Toumani Diabate and Ballake Sissoko’s « New Ancient Strings »

[youtube width="425" height="344"][/youtube]

an interview with Roma di Luna

septembre 14th, 2008

Roma di Luna is a Folk/Country band from Minneapolis, lead by Alexei & Channy Moon Casselle.

Their wonderful last album "Casting the Bones" is of course on rotation on KOKOMO WebRadio.

How could you discribe your music to somebody who never heard the music of Roma di Luna ?
A: I would say its like the Carter Family meets Cat Power. Appalachian style folk with a modern twist.

What your songs are talking about generally ? Where do you find your inspiration ? nature, travel, love stories, books … ?
C: Songwriting for me is rambles of my own memories or unsettled stories of my past mixed with the stories I see in the streets and newspapers around me and the books and poems I’ve read that stay with me. I also credit Alexei with inspiring me to write; The creative energy that lives in our relationship when new songs are being written and sung helps us feed off of each other.

What do each of you two bring to Roma di Luna ?
C: We each bring our different instruments of choice, the music we listened to as children, our different writing styles and voices and even the masculine versus the feminine perspective.

What’s your story with music ? How, when did you begin singing, playing music are you both from a musician familly ?
A: My father is a painter, a singer, a songwriter, a producer and plays multiple instruments but he was not around for a lot of my childhood. My mother is not a musician but is an artist in her own right. I started writing lyrics when I was fifteen because I wanted to be a rap artist. I stuck with that and continue to write and perform hip hop music today. I wasn’t interested in rock or folk music until about five years ago when I listened to Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan. Dylan opened up another world of possibilty and became a gateway to many other artists and perspectives for me. Channy’s father used to be a songwriter and is still a hell of a ragtime piano player.

Choose one of these two songs and tells us it’s story : « silver dagger » or « these tears ain’t mine »
A: "Silver Dagger" is a traditional folk song that I first heard from an old Joan Baez record. I took to it instantly as it has all the lore and tragedy of old Irish and English ballads. It’s a story told by a young woman who is being courted by some guy, but she’s telling him not to pursue her because her mom keeps a silver dagger under her pillow for just the right ocassion. She also talks about how her father was also a bit of a Casanova in his day, and maybe that’s also why mom keeps the knife. I love these old tales because they are very simple and archaic but I think you can read into them and find all sorts of symbols and metaphors. I think they’re also very telling of age old truths like men being unfaithful to their partners and over-protectiver parents…

Is there a song you wish you had written ?
A: Yes, there are way too many songs I wish I had written.

What do you listen to ?
C: Alexei and I both listen to a wide range of genres and generations of music. Some of our favorites are Elmore James, Robert Johnson and other blues greats of that generation; the Carter Family and Bob Dylan are staples in our home; Gil Scott-Heron and modern groups like the Roots are musicians that inspre us by the truth they speak and their fearlessness to attack America’s racism and other injustices.

Who are Channy Moon’s prefered femal singers ?
There are so many… In general, I gravitate towards the tragic and emotive voices like: Billie Holiday, Texas Gladden, Amel Larieux, Esme Redsepova and other Roma singers out of the Balkans. I like a voice tha brings me to tears.

Since 2 or 3 years there is a revival of American folk music in Europe, is it the same in the U.S ?
A:Yes, there has definitely been a folk/old-timey revival of sorts going on locally and also on a national level, I believe. I think part of it is just some people following a trend since everything goes in cycles, so if enough people get into a style or genre that hasn’t been getting much attention then others will follow, but at the heart of this resurgance is the music itself and love and respect for the people that created it.

For all of us who live far from Minnesota, can you tell us more about Minneapolis ?
A: Minneapolis is a wonderful city. It is very eclectic in its population as well as in its culture and arts. Most people just talk about the winters if they are not used to harsh weather, but we have the joy of every season here. I think Fall is my favorite because there are so many trees that when all the leaves turn colors it is the most spectaclur sight. We have one of the best music scenes in the country; A lot of amazing bands and talented artists that network and collaborate on a grassroots level. There’s great food. I like that it is a major metropolitan city but there are still many small city characteristics about it. I can ride a bike for ten minutes from my mom’s house and be in the woods in one direction, or be in down town the other direction. I was born and raised here and I can see spending most of my life here, although I love to travel and hope to see a lot more of the world in the coming years.

USA is currently living a very interesting period with the next presidential election. What do you think about that ? do you have expectations ?
A: I think it is a very exciting time in our history as the first black man was just nominated to be the Democratic presidential nominee. I am a big fan of Barack Obama. Channy is, too. I think the Repulican ticket is a joke, but unfortunately many people would disagree with me and seem to have forgotten or worse, some how enjoyed the last eight years of George W. Bush and company in the White House. I though that it would be almost unanimous that people would rally behind Obama on the left but there is till a lot of division. The Republican National Convention is taking place in Saint Paul as I write this (the other half of the Twin Cities) and a lot of people on the Left are grouping Obama in with ‘just another politician who talks big but won’t follow through.’ This is disheartening to me because people either aren’t going to vote or they will vote for a third party which is how Bush won the last two elections. I don’t pretend to understand my country and am continuously confounded and frustrated by it but I do love it so I cannot just hold my tongue or leave it to the dogs.

C: I could talk about American politics until I was blue in the face. It infuriates me that Americans might vote Republican after these last 8 years!

An interview with Sister …

septembre 1st, 2008

Sister is 30 years old, she lives in the state of New York, USA.

Her voice is beautiful and fragile but behind the brightness of her wonderful songs is sometimes hide a feeling of sadness and loneliness.

Sister is buiding a boat for love … don’t miss the boarding.

Where did you find your inspiration ?
Inspiration is everywhere. I have been fortunate to live in some beautiful places where the landscape just takes on a life of its own. I lived on a sailboat in the bahamas as a child, lived in the mountains of connecticut as teen, and ran around living in all different places in the states in and after college. For a while there it felt like i moved somewhere new each year. still is that way i guess. There’s always a lonesome feeling in all the change, the newness of each place, never really belonging to anything but the landscape before you. I guess my songs always end up being about longing for the something or someone missing, always about something missing, an empty pit in your gut ; I did write a few tunes inspired by Bronte’s « Jane Eyre » last year.

What’s your story with music ?
There was no musicians in my family. I was interested in music at an early folks wanted me to play piano but i rejected the idea and now i am sorry. five years ago i learned clawhammer banjo in upstate new york and fell in love with old time music. I guess i started toying with writing music then. One day, when i was living in houston, a year later, i wrote my first tune and then i couldn’t stop. I don’t play guitar now, just enough to write and keep time. Lately i’ve been working my first novella and writing tons of songs.

What kind of music did you hear at home when you were a child ?
My stepfather loved Cat Stevens, owned every album, for this i am thankful. Jimmy Buffett was also floating around which i could’ve done without. I guess there was a novelty in him sailing around on a boat listening to Cheesburger in Paradise.

What’s gives you the need to sing, is it a hobby or is it vital, can you imagine your life without singing ?
At first it was a hobby, now i think it balances me out. I am pursuing a pretty traditional graduate degree, living a somewhat straighter lifestyle, and the music lets me live out my imaginative life, turn it into something more tangible. There are times when i need to write music more than others.

What are your projects for the coming months ?
Well, i plan on wrapping up school in the next two years, and also to get a few albums out. I have over a hundred tunes and haven’t had the time or the tools to sit down to record the lot of them. My hope is to finish even half of what i set out to do..not looking for a label, no major plans in the works ; just aiming to settle down soon so i can have a steady band and play out more.

Is there a song you wish you had written ?
Sibylle Baier’s « Forget About »

Most ever playing record at home ?

I can’t honestly answer that ; lately, it’s been Arizona Amp and Alternator (self titled).

Songs on rotation on KOKOMO WebRadio :

Stuck on a note
In vain
Route 79
Forty Days




Shadow and Dust are Joshua Alan and Laura Olivier – You can listen and buy their delicate and wonderful music on their website

Joshua Alan, singer songwriter, answer kindly to our questions …

Who is Shadow & Dust ?  I’m 31 years old, I play guitar, drums, bass, harmonica, keyboards and piano. Laura is my wife, co-producer and adds some electronic sounds to songs…sometimes a little background vocals ; she plays piano, keyboards. We live about 30 minutes outside downtown Los Angeles in a urban area: Fullerton.

How did you start playing/singing ?  I began to play piano and quietly sing around 6 or 7 years old after my mother bought my uncle’s piano… Starting recording my own songs around 12 years old with a analog tape recorder in my bedroom with a Casio keyboard and microphone. 

Where comes from your inspiration ? Your music looks close to nature …  Inspiration comes mostly from my family I have three young children that are amazing musicians you will here about them in a couple of years. We camp a lot as a family in a little mobile trailer …we frequent beach camping and mountain ranges here in the States..Inspiration does come from reflecting on these trips. I would say that my music is a reflection of my internal thoughts on nature, hope, family, love, God, peace, death and personal relationships etc…. I think a lot about our existance and when I sing these spiritual stories just develop from nowhere. In the end my music is the echo of my soul …sounds of a father…. his childrens tears and laughter …and my lovers friendship. 

Where can we find your music ?  For now we plan to only release songs though MP3 downloads on our SNOCAP store as with previous cds we make a couple of hundred cds and when they sell out we don’t make anymore… 

Tracks on rotation on KOKOMO (webradio): 

Searching for answers
Quiet hill asleep
Washed away 
The inside out 
Occupied at the moment
End up beautiful
Shout to be heard
Weighted letter
Hidden Creek
A comfortable resting place
Cold House