Artist Profiles: Connie Dover

Connie Dover – Photo by Gherig Fry

Connie Dover is an acclaimed singer specialized in the traditional music of Great Britain and Ireland. Her remarkable voice and inspired arrangements have earned her a  place among the world’s finest Celtic singers.

Connie’s best-selling albums: Somebody (1991) The Wishing Well (1994) and If Ever I Return (1997) and The Border of Heaven (2000) were produced by former Silly Wizard multi-instrumentalist Phil Cunningham. They feature instrumentation by excellent traditional musicians from both side of the Atlantic.

Connie began her Celtic music career as a lead singer for the Kansas City-based Irish band Scartaglen. She also performed in a duo with former Scartaglen member Roger Landes. She has toured extensively throughout the USA and Canada appearing on radio television in concert and at nearly every major folk festival in North America.

In addition to her solo recordings Connie contributed songs to seven recordings on the Narada Record label and has been a guest on numerous collections of folk and Celtic music. In 1991 she founded the Taylor Park Music record label to release her own albums which are now distributed worldwide. Her voice can also be heard in film and television soundtracks and she was a music consultant for the Ang Lee Civil War epic film Ride with the Devil.

Born in Arkansas and raised in Missouri, Connie Dover is of English, Cherokee, Mexican, and Scots/Irish descent. She discovered the wealth of the Celtic music tradition as a teenager and began a search that continues to this day devoting her life to the research collection preservation and recording of traditional songs and ballads. Her history degree earned from William Jewell College and her undergraduate work at Oxford University have further enriched her unique perspective of the historical context of folk music and her insightful interpretations bring ancient ballads to life.

When Connie is not touring or recording she spends time working on Wyoming cattle ranches where she is a trail cook during ranch cattle drives (and where she can often be heard singing old-time songs around a roaring campfire to the accompaniment of hoarse cowboys and lowing cattle).

The theme that runs through her work is the exploration of the common ground between British Isles and American folk music and she offers the modern listener a musical experience that transcends both centuries and cultural boundaries and affirms our connection with the past.

Discography:

Somebody (Taylor Park Music TPMCD 11, 1991)

The Wishing Well (Taylor Park Music TPMD 21, 1994)

If Ever I Return (Taylor Park Music, 1997)

The Border of Heaven (Taylor Park Music, 2000)

The Holly & The Ivy (Taylor Park Music, 2009)

Restless Angel – Ranch Girl Love Lyrics (Taylor Park Music, 2016)

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Artist Profiles: Cindy Cashdollar

Cindy Cashdollar – Photo by Chuck Holley

 

American slide guitarist Cindy Cashdollar was born May 25, 1956. She specializes in steel guitar and dobro.

Cindy Cashdollar grew up in Woodstock, New York. She improved her skills playing with bluegrass musician John Herald; blues icon Paul Butterfield; and roots rock musicians Levon Helm and Rick Danko of The Band; and many other artists who lived in the small mountain town in the Catskills.

For eight years she performed with one of the leading western swing bands, Asleep at the Wheel. This opportunity opened the door to collaborations with country music artists such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton and The Dixie Chicks.

 

Cindy Cashdollar – Photo by Dale Haussner

 

Her debut album Slide Show includes an impressive lineup of American roots artists such as Sonny Landreth, Marcia Ball, Mike Auldridge, Redd Volkaert, Herb Remington, Jorma Kaukonen and Steve James.

 

 

Cindy was inducted into the Texas Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 2011 (the first woman to be instated) and The Texas Music Hall of Fame in 2012.

In 2017 she appeared in Mamadou Kelly’s album Politiki (Clermont Music CLE 016CD, 2017)

 

Discography:

Slide Show (Silver Shot Records, 2003)
Slide Guitar Summit (Aquinnah, 2015)

Videos:

Learning Bluegrass Dobro (Homespun Tapes)
Dobro Variations – Explorations in Minor, Swing and Rockabilly Styles (Homespun Tapes)
Learn To Play Western Swing Steel Guitar #1 (Homespun Tapes)
Learn To Play Western Swing Steel Guitar #2 (Homespun Tapes)

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Artist Profiles: Christine Balfa

Christine Balfa

 

Vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Christine Balfa is the daughter of the legendary Cajun fiddler Dewey Balfa. She is also the leader of Balfa Toujours.

She was born on June 28, 1968 and grew up playing triangle with her father Dewey. Christine learned music and language from the flourishing culture around Basile, Louisiana.

Balfa Toujours has become a well-established Cajun music band, recording several albums and performing throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

 

 

Christine Balfa appeared in the movie The Big Easy. She is also the founder and director of Louisiana Folk Roots, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Louisiana traditions.

In 2005, Christine Balfa was one of the founders of Bonsoir Catin, a roots music band based in southern Louisiana.

 

Discography:

Pop tu me parles toujours, with Balfa Toujours (Swallow 611, 1993)
A vieille Terre Haute, with Balfa Toujours (Swallow 3121, 1995)
Deux Voyages, with Balfa Toujours (Rounder CD 671, 1996)
Allons danser, with Bois Sec Ardoin (Rounder CD 681, 1998)
La Pointe, with Balfa Toujours (Rounder CD 686, 1998)
Live at Whiskey River Landing, with Balfa Toujours (Rounder CD 696, 2000)
Plays the Triangle (Valcour Records, 2009)
Blues à Catin, with BonSoir Catin (Bridgetown Records, 2006)
Vive L’Amour, with BonSoir Catin (Valcour Records, 2009)
Light the Stars, with BonSoir Catin (Valcour Records, 2014)
L’Aurore, with BonSoir Catin (Valcour Records, 2017)

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¡Globalquerque! 2017 Announces First Acts

Xabier Diaz & Adufeiras de Salitre

World music festival ¡Globalquerque! has announced the first set of acts set to perform this year. The festival is scheduled for September 22 & 23, 2017 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Confirmed performances:

Bideew Bou Bess (Senegal)
Debashish Bhattacharya & Derek Gripper (India / South Africa)
Xabier Diaz & Adufeiras de Salitre (Spain)
Iberi Choir (Georgia)
Hong Sung Hyun’s Chobeolbi (Korea)
Pascuala Ilabaca (Chile)
Betsayda Machado & La Parranda El Clavo (Venezuela)
Puerto Candelaria (Colombia)
Trad.Attack! (Estonia)
Trio da Kali (Mali)

More acts will be revealed in the next weeks. More at www.globalquerque.org

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Reggae Star Max Romeo to Appear in Africa Oyé’s 25th Anniversary Festival

Max Romeo

Music festival Africa Oyé has announced that roots reggae legend Max Romeo will be performing at its 25th Anniversary festival. Africa Oyé 2017 takes place Saturday, June 17-18 at Sefton Park, Liverpool. Admission is free.

Max Romeo has had top 10 hits throughout Europe and has been sampled by artists like Jay Z and The Prodigy. Max Romeo’s career started when he signed a contract with Bunny Lee, one of the biggest producers of his time in Jamaica in the 1960s. Hits such as ‘Chase The Devil’ lead to international success and to performances across the world.

After working with producer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Romeo’s style evolved from a typically Jamaican ska towards to pop reggae.

Other artists scheduled to perform include Mokoomba (Zimbabwe), Jupiter & Okwess International (DR Congo), Dobet Ghanore (Ivory Coast).

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Artist Profiles: Chris Thile

Chris Thile

 

Chris Thile was born in Santa Mónica (California) on February 2, 1981. He’s a renowned mandolin virtuoso who has performed since a very young age with some of the biggest names in contemporary bluegrass. Chris was a founding member of The Grass is Greener with Richard Greene and David Grier and also a member of Nickel Creek together with Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins.

 

 

Thile began playing the mandolin at the age of 5 and started performing at California bluegrass festivals. At the age of 12 he won the prestigious national mandolin championship at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas in 1993. That same year Thile began recording his first solo album with mostly self-penned songs.

His third solo album Not All Who Wander Are Lost featured guest appearances by Dolly Parton, The Dixie Chicks and Edgar Meyer. Later, Thile teamed with mandolin master Mike Marshall for an album of duets called Into the Cauldron that included jazz, world music and the music of Bach.

 

Chris Thile in 2013 – Photo by Brantley Gutiérrez

 

When you grow up with something you can become so familiar with it that you start to take it for granted ” Chris Thile said about his 2006 album How to Grow a Woman from the Ground. “And especially when you grow up playing it at a time when quite frankly you have nothing to express it’s easy to ignore as a more mature musician the expressive possibilities of that particular musical aesthetic—and they are great they are many. So I came to see that bluegrass was something that I was unfairly dismissing about my musicianship.

“Part of it was getting divorced and realizing that I was singing bluegrass heartbreak songs. That’s what would really resonate with me; those were the songs I was singing—’Bury Me Beneath The Willow ‘ ‘More Pretty Girls Than One.’ And another part of it was living in New York because for me at least New York demands that you find what it is about you that’s unique. There are so many talented people—exceptional people—that to stand out you either have to be completely average or really really different. And having been trained in the ways of bluegrass as a kid I realized how much that meant to me. I felt you can’t fight yourself—any time you’re fighting yourself you might not lose but you just can’t win. And I realized I do that well because that’s what I grew up with. So it signifies a return of sorts; I’m realizing what a meaningful part of my life that music is.”

How to Grow a Woman from the Ground included young musicians with a great reputation in bluegrass music, including fiddler Gabe Witcher whom Thile had met at the Follows Camp festival; banjo virtuoso Noam Pikelny; guitarist and singer Chris “Critter” Eldridge; and bassist Greg Garrison.

 

Chris Thile and Edgar Meyer

 

In the following years, Chris Thile collaborated with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, bassist Edgar Meyer, guitarist Michael Daves, Stuart Duncan and many other musicians. He also started a new band called The Punch Brothers.

 

 

 

In late 2016, Chris Thile became the new host of A Prairie Home Companion, a popular radio theater show featuring music, humor and storytelling that is broadcast by public radio stations across the United States.

 

Discography:

Little Cowpoke, with Nickel Creek (1993)

Leading Off… (Sugar Hill Records, 1994)

Here to There, with Nickel Creek (1997)

Stealing Second (Sugar Hill Records, 1997)

Nickel Creek (Sugar Hill Records, 2000)

Not All Who Wander Are Lost (Sugar Hill Records, 2001)

This Side, with Nickel Creek (Sugar Hill, 2002)

Into the Cauldron, with Mike Marshall (Sugar Hill Records, 2003)

Deceiver (Sugar Hill Records, 2004)

Why Should the Fire Die?, with Nickel Creek (Sugar Hill, 2005)

How to Grow a Woman from the Ground (Sugar Hill Records, 2006)

Live: Duets, with Mike Marshall (Sugar Hill Records, 2006)

Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile (Nonesuch Records, 2008)

Punch, with Punch Brothers (Nonesuch Records, 2008)

Antifogmatic, with Punch Brothers (Nonesuch Records, 2010)

Sleep with One Eye Open, with Michael Daves (Nonesuch Records, 2011)

The Goat Rodeo Sessions, with Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer and Stuart Duncan (Sony Masterworks, 2011)

Who’s Feeling Young Now?, with Punch Brothers (Nonesuch Records, 2012)

Ahoy!, with Punch Brothers (Nonesuch Records, 2012)

Bach: Sonatas & Partitas 1 (Nonesuch, 2013)

A Dotted Line, with Nickel Creek (Nonesuch Records, 2014)

Bass & Mandolin, with Edgar Meyer (Nonesuch Records, 2014)

The Wireless, with Punch Brothers (Nonesuch Records, 2015)

The Phosphorescent Blues, with Punch Brothers (Nonesuch Records, 2015)

Bach Trios, with Edgar Meyer and Yo-Yo Ma (Nonesuch Records, 2017)

Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau (Nonesuch Records, 2017)

Videos:

Essential Techniques for Mandolin (Hal Leonard 2005) 85 Minute DVD or VHS plus music and tab booklet
Bluegrass Journey documentary (Blue Stores, 2005)

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Flamenco Award-Winners Gala in Seville

Alfonso Aroca – Photo by Gloria Nicolás

 

The Flamenco Viene Del Sur 2017 will present winners of the influential Festival de las Minas de la Unión flamenco contest. The artists are set to perform on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at Teatro Central in Seville.

 

Alfonso Aroca (piano)

Although Alfonso Aroca has led soul, funk and music projects around the world, he’s a remarkable flamenco pianist as a soloist and accompanist to flamenco singers and dancers.

 

Antonia Contreras

Antonia Contreras (vocals)

Antonia Contreras started singing flamenco at a very young age. Although she temporarily abandoned her artistic career, she resumed it by convincing himself that cante (flamenco singing) gave meaning to her life.

 

Alba Heredia

 

Alba Heredia (dance)

Alba Heredia belongs to one of the most important dynasties of the flamenco world, Los Maya. She’s the nice of Manolete, Mario Maya and Juan Maya Marote. Alba has danced since her childhood in La Rocío, her grandmother’s famous cave. In 2015 she won El Desplante Award.

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Den Store Stuten Uncovers the Folk Music of Åseral

Mari Ormberg and singer Kari Røyinlid-Song – Den Store Stuten

Mari Ormberg and singer Kari Røyinlid-Song – Den Store Stuten

Fiddler Mari Ormberg and singer Kari Røyinlid have released an album of folk tunes from The Åseral area of Norway. The album, titled Den Store Stuten (Etnisk Musikklubb EM 120) includes a booklet with liner notes that describe the lyrics, the music and the artists.

The Åseral area is where some of the oldest and most authentic techniques, compositions and original tonal types of Norway are found. The earliest melodies can be dated back to the Middle Ages.

Kari Røynlid was born and raised in Åseral. She grew up learning folk music by being a part of the musical environment in the hamlet. She was predominantly taught by Ingebjørg Liestøl, Jens Røynlid and Kari Røynlid (The older).

Mari Ormberg plays hardanger fiddle. She has a bachelor’s degree in (utøvende) folk music. Since she moved to Åseral in 2010, she has been studying the region’s “slåttespel”, the traditional Norwegian fiddle music.

To order the album go to www.etniskmusikklubb.no

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Earth Festival and Roots Music in Northern Castile

The ancient towns of Tabanera del Cerrato and Villahán in the Spanish province of Palencia in northern Spain will host an “earth festival” called Festival De La Tierra on June 3 and 4, 2017.

The events include live music, readings, food, film, rituals, gatherings at a wine cellar, live radio and more.

The artists featured include regional roots music acts Majano Folk, Primitive Groove (ethnofolk jazz), Gritsanda (Leonese folk music), and Los Castos (rural cumbia).

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