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June 23, 2010

Kabir, Spirits, & Spices

The Clay Jug

Inside this clay jug there are canyons and pine mountains, and the maker of canyouns and pine mointains!
All seven oceans are inside, and hundreds of millions of stars.
The acid that tests gold is there, and the one who judges jewels.
And the music from the strings no one touches, and the source of all water.

If you want the truth, I will tell you the truth:
Friend, listen: the God whom I love is inside.

- Kabir, trans. Robert Bly

The Unknown Flute

I know the sound of the ecstatic flute,
but I don't know whose flute it is.

A lamp burns and has neither wick nor oil.

A lily pad blossoms and is not attached to the bottom!

When one flower opens, ordinarily dozens open.

The moon bird's head is filled with nothing but thoughts of the moon,
and when the next rain will come is all that the rain bird thinks of.

Who is it we spend our entire life loving?

- Kabir, trans. Robert Bly


Have you heard the music that no fingers enter into?
Far inside the house
entangled music--
What is the sense of leaving your house?

Suppose you scrub your ethical skin until it shines,
but inside there is no music,
then what?

Mohammed's son pores over words, and points out this
and that,
but if his chest is not soaked dark with love,
then what?

The Yogi comes along in his famous orange.
But if inside he is colorless, then what?

Kabir says: Every instant that the sun is risen,
if I stand in the temple, or on a balcony,
in the hot fields, or in a walled garden,
my own Lord is making love with me.

- Kabir, trans. Robert Bly

The Failure

I talk to my inner lover, and I say, why such rush?
We sense that there is some sort of spirit that loves birds and animals and the ants--
perhaps the same one who gave a radiance to you in your mother's womb.
Is it logical you would be walking around entirely orphaned now?
The truth is you turned away yourself,
and decided to go into the dark alone.
Now you are tangled up in others, and have forgotten what you once knew,
and that's why everything you do has some weird failure in it.

- Kabir, trans. Robert Bly

Why Should We Part?

Why should we two ever want to part?

Just as the leaf of the water rhubarb lives floating on the water,
we live as the great one and the little one.

As the owl opens his eyes all night to the moon,
we live as the great one and the little one.

This love between us goes back to the first humans;
it cannot be annihilated.

Here is Kabir's idea: as the river gives itself to the ocean,
what is inside me moves inside you.

- Kabir, trans. Robert Bly

I thought with the sad fate of disappearing blogs, the least I could do is point to a beautiful new blog that's being born:

(and they reminded me how much I like Kabir, and how much I like to do poetry posts)

Saying Farewell to the Riverbank

The best of the blues blogs is gone. Like the oil filling every pore of the caribbean shore, the Muddy Sava Riverbank has perished.

You know, I fancy myself something of a connoisseur/collector/scholar when it comes to acoustic blues music, but every single time I went to the Riverbank, I came back a more educated man.

I Been to the River. I Been Baptized.

I'm quite sure it wasn't a planned disappearance. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but I assume the DMCA had something to do with it.

muddy's old site is still around, though it hasn't been updated in a while.
and Muddy's friends also have a blog for electric blues.

but nothing will replace the old Muddy Riverbank.

muddy, ballas, sussez, zivoin, azzul, bluesbird, dreumis - know this: you have made a tremendous project. we will miss you deeply.

and though nothing can replace it, at least this can remember it.

June 6, 2010

Richard Greene - Duets

I've already introduced Richard Greene here. So I really don't need to say much. You should already be drooling...

This is his first solo album. Each track is just him and one other instrumentalist. Despite that, the sound is amazingly full because Richard's fiddle is able to occupy two octaves at the same time. His playing is so intense!!! Just look at those photos of him. He's lookin' at YOU and his music cuts through whatever ideas you may have had - it's got so much PRESENCE, like a Coltrane wail or a Fahey slide. He honors the beauty of the music, but he never plays it straight. He is a trickster, a maniacal fiddler who knows that the Devil's true gift to humanity is a raised eyebrow and a wicked grin. This is music that takes no prisoners, and leaves an imprint wherever it goes. The best tracks, surprisingly, are the two with Dave Frishberg on organ.

Richard Greene - Duets

Year: 1977
Label: Rounder

Duets, originally released in 1977, is innovative fiddler Richard Greene's first album as a leader, after lending his considerable talents to Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys, Jim Kweskin and the Jug Band, and the acoustic fusion ensemble Seatrain. On Duets Greene is backed by a who's who of '70s players including bluegrass virtuosos Tony Rice, David Grisman, Tony Trischka and J.D. Crowe and jazz pianist Dave Frishberg, and his playing ranges from beautifully sublime to jaw-droppingly complex, often on the same arrangement.

1 Alabama Jubilee 02:26
2 Methodist Preacher 02:47
3 Danny Boy 02:54
4 The Young Man Who Wouldn't Hoe Corn 02:21
5 Twinkle Little Star 02:26
6 Fish Scale 03:56
7 Little Rabbit 03:42
8 The Tennessee Waltz 03:14
9 Nick's Noodle 04:07
10 Colored Aristocracy 02:27
11 Anouman 04:19

just duet.
vinyl | mp3 >192kbps vbr | w/ cover | 52mb

There are a few items in the Richard Greene discography which I have yet to lay my hands upon. I'd be eternally grateful to anyone who could contribute any of the following albums:
Richard Greene - The Blue Fiddler
The Greene String Quartet - Bluegreene
Richard Greene & the Red Hot Pickers

Thanks in advance!

June 5, 2010

Darol Anger & Mike Marshall

Yeah, you probably saw this post coming. It was only a matter of time before I posted these two alumns of the David Grisman Quintet.

If there were ever two musicians destined to play together, it is Darol Anger and Mike Marshall. Having collaborated for over 30 years, they have something of a psychic connection when it comes to music. They share an aesthetic approach to music, drawing upon a myriad of styles from classical to jazz to rock to bluegrass to world music, and a similar sense of humor and dawged punstery. They anticipate each others' moves. In their hands, mandolin and fiddle become two voices engaged in a dialogue. Though not as deep as Statman, as spacious as Phillips or Wasserman, or as bouncy as Barenberg, they have a grace and comprehensive vision that unites the rests and notes of a hundred different musical whims, drawing them together into a playful and surprising presence. More than anyone besides perhaps David Grisman (and perhaps more than him), they have defined the sound of New Acoustic music. I saw the duo perform with Väsen last summer. Every single person in the audience was a musician. Need I say more?

Darol Anger - Biography by Steve Huey

Violinist Darol Anger has made his mark on new acoustic music with a number of different groups.

From 1975-84, Anger was a key member of new-acoustic pioneers the David Grisman Quintet, whose blend of folk, bluegrass, and jazz virtually defined the new acoustic genre, as well as advancing the harmonic and instrumental frontiers of traditional musics; as a member of the Turtle Island String Quartet in the late '80s and early '90s, Anger also helped bring virtuosic improvisation and boundless eclecticism to what had been an essentially classical, strictly composed musical format. Additionally, Anger co-founded the Montreux Band, a folk- and jazz-influenced group which recorded for Windham Hill in the mid- to late '80s and had an impact on the formation of so-called New Adult Contemporary radio, and with Grisman alumnus Mike Marshall founded the progressive bluegrass outfit Psychograss, which carried on the eclectic Grisman tradition in the 1990s. Again teaming up with Marshall in the late '90s, Anger co-founded the Anger/Marshall Band, which kept him busy into the 2000s alongside his work on the Heritage Folk Music project, his continued appearances with his previous groups, his founding of the American Fiddle Ensemble, and his work as a producer and arranger for other artists.

Mike Marshall - Biography by Craig Harris

Mike Marshall is one of the most innovative players of new instrumental music. Initially rooted in bluegrass, Marshall has consistently explored all the possibilities of his stringed instruments. During the five years (1985-1990) that he was a member of David Grisman's influential Quintet, Marshall toured with Stephane Grappelli, Mark O'Connor, Tony Rice, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas and fellow Grisman band member Darol Anger. Following his departure from Grisman's group, Marshall continued to work with fiddler Anger as a duo and, along with pianist Barbara Higbie and bassist Michael Manring, in a folk/chamber music group, Montreux. Marshall and Anger also collaborated, along with bassist Todd Phillips, banjo player Tony Trischka and guitarist David Grier, in a bluegrass/jazz/classical/folk group, Psychograss. Marshall currently leads the Modern Mandolin Quartet and plays Brazilian music with Choro Famoso. Marshall also periodically collaborates with Edgar Meyer, Jerry Douglas, Mark O'Connor and Sam Bush in a bluegrass superband, Strength By Numbers. Marshall has produced numerous albums including recordings by Laurie Lewis, Alison Brown, Jennifer Berezan and Tony Furtado.

A native of Pennsylvania, Marshall grew up in Lakeland, Florida. At the age of 18, he won the Florida state fiddle and mandolin championships. After performing with the Sunshine Bluegrass Boys, Marshall relocated to the West Coast. Soon after working with Grisman on the film score of The King of the Gypsies in 1985, Marshall was invited to join Grisman's Quintet.

Marshall has recorded two solo albums -- 1989's Gator Strut, which spotlighted his jazz-meets-bluegrass approach, and 1997's Brasil: Duets, which focused on the Brazilian influences on his music and featured duets with Edgar Meyer, Michael Manring and Bela Fleck. In 2003, Marshall teamed up with mandolinist Chris Thile to release Into the Cauldron, a fine record of duets between the two exploring everything from classical and traditional music to conteporary numbers written with each other.

Darol Anger - Fiddlistics

Year: 1979
Label: Kaleidoscope F8

Review by Wilson McCloy

Fiddlistics includes an all-star cast of new-grass musicians, and in many ways it is a continuation of the excellent David Grisman Quintet album. In fact, there is a slowed-down version of the composition "Blue Midnight" which first appeared on the innovative Grisman album, and the new-grass suite "Megatones" could easily have been from that session. However, the uniqueness of this album stems from its eclecticism. Anger and mandolin legend Tiny Moore joyfully swing through Charlie Parker's "Moose the Mooche," and Anger takes two duets: one quiet and meditative with pianist Barbara Higbie, and the other a traditional bluegrass romp, at first, which slowly becomes more progressive with George Stavis on banjo. Fans of the David Grisman Quintet, Mike Marshall, Tony Rice, or any of the other participating musicians will not be disappointed because this album is well-worth searching for.

Darol Anger
Tony Rice
David Grisman
Todd Phillips
Mike Marshall
Tiny Moore
Barbara Higbie

1 Key Signator
2 Blue Midnight
3 Old Grey Coat
4 Moose the Mooche
5 Ride the Wild Turkey
6 Dysentery Stomp
7 Brann St. Sonata
8 Old Folkies
9 Megatones

pickup sticks.
vinyl, cleaned | mp3 ~224kbps vbr | w/o cover

Mike Marshall - Gator Strut
Year: 1984
Label: Rounder

Review by Ken Dryden

Mike Marshall is much like Mark O'Connor, a virtuoso on several string instruments, an innovative composer and arranger who refuses to be pigeonholed stylistically, and also an alum of David Grisman's band. Numerous Grisman alumni turn up on this 1984 release, including violinist Darol Anger, bassists Todd Phillips and Rob Wasserman, guitarist Tony Rice, and even Grisman himself, along with dobro player Jerry Douglas, Béla Fleck on banjo, violinist David Balikrishan (who would later co-found the Turtle Island String Quartet with Anger), and pianist Barbara Higbie. Marshall sticks primarily to mandolin on this mostly progressive bluegrass date, though he's also heard on mandola, mandocello, violin, and guitar. Highlights include the funky original "Gator Strut," "Ravel" (a solo effort featuring the leader overdubbed on several instruments while adapting a theme by the French Impressionist composer), a joint arrangement with Anger of John Coltrane's infrequently performed "Giant Hornpipe," and a brilliant interpretation of Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight."

Another Review:
In the mood for something a bit unique, random, diverse, spontaneous, and interesting? If so, then check out Mike Marshall’s Gator Strut with Darol Anger and featuring artists like David Grisman on mandolin, Bela Fleck on banjo, and Tony Rice on guitar.

The all-star group travels around music history ranging from classical composers like Ravel and Bach to Jazz masters like Coltrane and Thelonious Monk. They even stop in pop land on one of my all-time favorite Beatles numbers like Because. There are other songs here specifically written by Marshall, who plays mandolin, mandocello, guitar and sometimes violin, while in most cases Darol Anger is on violin or low violin. There are some other talented artists involved as well such as Rob Wasserman on bass, Mike Wollenberg on guitar, Barbara Higbie on synthesizer, Jerry Douglas on dobro, and Todd Philips on bass. With a stack of individuals like this, a vast accompaniment of instruments, and a unique selects of material, this particular recording is unlike any other out there.

1 Dance of the Planktons - Marshall - 3:32
2 We Three - Marshall - 4:43
3 Gator Strut - Marshall - 6:07
4 Chief Sitting in the Rain - Traditional - 3:23
5 Assez Vif-Tres Rythme -1:50
6 Giant Hornpipe - Coltrane - 2:41
7 Because - Lennon, McCartney - 2:55
8 Scotch & Swing - Marshall - 3:42
9 Bach Partita No. 3 in E Major for Solo Violin - Public Domain - 4:08
10 Ybor City - Marshall - 3:52
11 'Round Midnight - Hanighen, Monk, Williams - 5:02
12 Gator's Dream - Marshall - 7:37
13 Wake Up - Marshall - 4:01
14 We Three (Reprise) - Marshall - 1:03

mp3 320kbps | w/ small cover

Darol Anger & Mike Marshall - The Duo

Year: 1983
Label: Rounder

Review by Linda Kohanov

Violinist Darol Anger and mandolinist Mike Marshall were pioneers of the New Acoustic Music movement, which brought folk, jazz, bluegrass and world music influences together in an instrumental acoustic setting. Here is their groundbreaking 1983 album The Duo, which highlights their virtuosity, creativity and humor in a wide-ranging selection of breathtaking duets. Darol Anger and Mike Marshall were snatched up by Windham Hill soon after this early Rounder release.

1 Rotagilla - Anger, Marshall - 3:52
2 Lime Rock - Traditional - 2:20
3 Children's Song #6 - Corea - 2:53
4 Golden Slippers - Traditional - 3:35
5 N.K.F. - Marshall - 4:01
6 Wall of Mando Madness - Marshall - 3:47
7 Donna Lee - Parker - 2:24
8 Free D - Marshall - 4:08
9 Bach Partita #3 in E Major for Solo Violin - Bach - 4:07
10 It's Dark - Anger, Marshall - 5:25
11 Gator's Dream - Marshall - 7:37

the duo duel.
mp3 ~224kbps vbr | w/ cover?

if anybody wants to help a pirate out and has any of these albums, do let him know:
Mike Marshall & Jovino Santos Neto - Serenata: The Music of Hermeto Pascoal
Modern Mandolin Quartet - Interplay
Darol Anger/David Balakrishnan/Matt Glaser - Jazz Violin Celebration
Montreaux - Sign Language
Montreaux - Let them Say
Turtle Island String Quartet - Metropolis
Turtle Island String Quartet - A Shock to the System
Turtle Island String Quartet - By the Fireside
Turtle Island String Quartet - Caito Marcondes
Turtle Island String Quartet - Art of the Groove
Turtle Island String Quartet - Danzon


June 1, 2010

An Inquiry about Kenny Kosek & Matt Glaser

Hello Mr Pirate

Damn but you have good taste in music.

Question for you.
I had that Kenny Kosek & Matt Glaser lp years ago but it went the way of all good things when I moved house & had to abandon ship along with some belongings.

There was a song that I thought was on it - but obviously not. So it must
have been another lp - & fairly sure it was Glaser or Kosek or both, or someone remarkably similar - someone Newgrassy but with olde style roots (NOT Mark O'C).

The lyrics were near as damn it:

"They make their song like I make mine
Double shuffle, diesel whine

They make a dollar here & there
At bars and county fairs

So play the songs as best you can

"XXXXXX" & "say old man"
(can't remember the remaining two lines)

It was all out of tempo, sung to an open string double stop violin backing,
then segued into something else.

Any ideas?

Then I could recapture my lost youth.

Best to you

Hmm... I'm at a loss. But maybe in the vast arterial knowledge-base that is my readership, an answer can be found. It sounds like a cool tune! Leads? Anybody? It's a treasure-hunt!

Anonymous Said:

It's called "B-fiddle medley"
(track #6 on Hasty Lonesome)
thanks irate pirate for sharing this gem.

Hahaha! Well it seems somebody wasn't listening very closely...
Actually what it shows is that I don't usually listen to lyrics...

I guess the moral of the story is that whatever you're most desperately seeking, it's probably right in front of you, especially when it's a case of lost youth...

Thanks for the close attention. I'd still like to hear Breakfast Special someday