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
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
Diane Izzo, a unique contributor to Chicago's rich musical community, passed away on February 25th at the age of 43 after a lengthy illness.
Diane contributed her haunting and fearless vocal talents to the Pine Valley Cosmonauts "Executioner Last Songs" albums. On Volumes Two & Three, she boldly tackled "Strange Fruit" and on Volume One, her husky version of the harrowing "Oh Death" now takes on added poignancy.
I hold dear the distinct memory her performing this song at the album's release show at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. The crowd was breathless through the performance, as if any movement or sound would tear the thread of the incredible shared moment between audience and performer.
Read THIS Chicago Reader post about her career and hear the song.
All of us at Bloodshot join those mourning her passing.
Hey folks! Here's your belated Bloodshot digest for Wednesday, May 13:
- Mark yr calendars! Jon Langford and his Pine Valley Cosmonauts return to The Hideout on June 11 to perform the Executioner's Last Songs. The show is a fundraiser for Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty, and will feature raffle prizes and very special guests. Buy tix now! This event often sells out.
- Justin Townes Earle visited the venerable public radio station WNYC this week to play live for the station's Soundcheck program. Missed it? Behold! The Internet lets you relive the past: Listen to it here.
- Reminder: our friends at No Depression are hosting a live chat with Justin Townes Earle this Sunday at 2pm PST: Here's how to get involved.
- Best quote yet from the Ha Ha Tonka Tour: "Kings of Leon, beware: your midwestern pootie's getting shoplifted." The Wayward Blog reviews Ha Ha Tonka's KC show.
Recording will commence November '08 for the new PVC record. For this go 'round, PVC will be backing the considerable talents of the Rockabilly Filly Rosie Flores. If you saw them play together at '08's American Music Festival at Fitzgerald's (expecially that version of the Sex Pistols' "Pretty Vacant" you know we're all in for a treat.