On this past weekend’s episode of National Geographic Weekend, host Boyd Matson interviews Aboriginal Australian Country & Western singer Roger Knox about his latest album Stranger In My Land. His folks, country and rock n’ roll-hybrid songs were written by Aborigine artists – some handed-down over generations, but not widely sung. In their conversation, Roger shares why he loves country music’s ability to tell a story and how many people in Australia’s native populations balk at the concept of being “Australian”.
It's 10 minutes or so, so STOP compulsively reading about the new Royal Baby and LEARN something for a change.
It's full of music streams too. Read/Listen to it HERE
Well, it's NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY, so we thought that while you (like us) are relaxing (or chillaxing, as I'm told they say now) with our fave cocktail, we'd share a BUNCH of goodies that piled in on us the past few days. It's all really good and worth your while. So lick that rim (we're talking about salt---get your minds outta the gutter) and peruse:
---Roger Knox: Some FANTASTIC and in-depth pieces from places putting real effort and consideration into their praise for the album Stranger in My Country:
NoSurfMusic.com Here is a but a sample: "Stranger In My Land is a powerful collection full of pointed commentaries on the state of life for Australia’s Aborigines. Its true brilliance, however, is that these commentaries are presented in such an ear-pleasing manner, within songs that would be enjoyable no matter what their topic. And with a Shakespearean understanding for the timing of comic relief, there are moments of frivolity and nostalgia interspersed throughout, making it an even more entertaining experience. There’s no doubt that Roger Knox and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts’ Stranger In My Land is an important album, but it is also just a great listen that no fan of country music—no matter which hemisphere he or she calls home—should miss."
From the Weld for Birmingham: -“Roger Knox sings with the wisdom and fatalism of one who’s come through the fire. His yearning for “Dreamtime,” the Aboriginal state of grace, echoes back to Blind Willie Johnson and King David’s lyre, reminding us that real country music can come from any country...But the result is no stereotypical country album. Indeed, its eclectic and personable introduction to a hidden culture might well remind you of Buena Vista Social Club.”
and then an interview in the Uprooted Music Revue:
-“Stranger In My Land is sure to appeal to fans of Alan Lomax's field recordings, as well as to the contemporary folk and alt country fans who have an ear for music of the people by the people...This album is incredible, and I am overjoyed to share this man's musical history with you.”
It's an important record for us, and most entertaining as well, we hope you give it a chance.
In other Roger news, he will be appearing on the ABC Radio National show The Daily Planet in his native Australia. It 's next week sometime. Which might be last week here--we're still confused on how all that works. Anyway, HERE is the program listing
---Bottle Rockets: A lengthy piece on Brian Henneman called, lovingly enough, "I'll Puke if That Jukebox Plays John Cougar One More Time," on his early days with Uncle Tupelo and the genesis of the Rockets. Pictures and song streams. Really interesting for you history buffs. Go to Adios Lounge for a peek.
Whew...now, to quote the great philosopher Jimmy Buffett, where IS that lost shaker of salt?
For an entire week, No Depression helped us tell the story of the remarkable new album by Roger Knox and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts Stranger In My Land.
This album features the talents of Sally Timms, Kelly Hogan, The Sadies, Jon Langford, Andre Williams, Charlie Louvin, Dave Alvin and many more and each day ND posted a story by these artists on the recording. They also posted a stream of each song.
HERE are the stories and streams in their entirety
Read all about the how Roger's story and his music affected all the incredible talent Langford was able to pull together for Stranger In My Land and we hope you'll support this once-in-a-label's-lifetime project.
Also: Here's a short (5 minutes) documentary piece that Chicago filmmaker Scott Alexander made on Roger. Features interviews with Roger and Jon Langford and some live footage featuring the Sadies and Sally Timms
The long-time-in-the-making Roger Knox & the Pine Valley Cosmonauts album Stranger in My Land is being released on February 12th. This is a very dear record to us and one of, gasp, cultural significance, so please PLEASE give it a listen!
To whip you into a state of frothy excitement, we're entering all pre-orders into a drawing to win two Jon Langford prints.
Also, you can read an early chunk of praise from acclaimed Canadian First Nations' writer Richard Wagamese HERE.
"When it’s released in early February, this will become the most important country music release of 2013. Why?…This is country music wrought bruised and aching from the dustbowl that is Australia’s Outback. This is Roger Knox bringing an Aboriginal voice to what amounts to Jimmie Rodgers, Lefty Frizzell, Woody Guthrie and Paul Robeson gathered at the billabong singing protest tunes.
These are down-under songs of racial alienation, displacement, the march to civil rights and a collective voice in the wilderness proclaiming that they will not be moved. It is vintage Nashville sung like it should be; honestly, matter-of-fact and evocative as hell...Elegant, suffused with meaning and essential."
Roger Knox, the Black Elvis, the Koori King of Country, has his visa in hand and is coming to the USA from Down Under to play a few dates. The last time he tried to come over a few years ago, the US government denied him entry.
This may be the ONLY CHANCE you'll get to see the man, so DON'T MISS IT!
Read all about his collaboration with Jon Langford and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts HERE. It features Will Oldham, the Sadies, Kelly Hogan, Dave Alvin, Andre Williams and many others.
This is an important record, friends and we want you all to welcome Roger to our land.
Oct 6th in SAN FRANCISCO at the HARDLY STRICTLY BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL at 11am Star Stage w/ The Sadies, Sally Timms, Jon Langford
OCT 10TH in MADISON WI at The Frequency w/ the Waco Brothers, Sally Timms
OCT 11TH in CHICAGO at Old Town School of Folk Music w/ The Waco Brothers, Sally Timms