Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Wordy-Gurdy on the radio, July 2017

We shaped a half-hour round bluegrass maestro Peter Rowan's new album My Aloha!.

As he says: ‘From old missionary hymns, ragtime jazz, the blues, and what Jelly Roll Morton called the Spanish “tinge”, bluegrass inherited much from Hawaiians and traditional Hawaiian music. And Hawaiians borrowed freely from early country music!’

The man with the golden tonsils certainly brought some aloha to our Wednesday.

‘My aloha (Appalachian mountain home)’ and
‘Jerry in the deep blue sea’, Peter Rowan, My Aloha! (Omnivore Recordings)
‘Yi-Rrana’, Letterstick Band, Lullabies (Putamayo)
‘Going down slowly’, Julian James, Whiskey and the Devil (indie) 
‘Ami ami slack key’, Led Ka’apana and Bob Brozman, In the Saddle (Dancing Cat) 

Listen live here.

'Wordy-Gurdy on the radio' with Helen Jennings on Roots of Rhythm, PBS 106.7FM, 9.30-10 a.m. Wednesday 19 July 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Wordy-Gurdy on the radio, June 2017

Today Americana meets aloha, mission songs meet blues and ballads, words meet chords!

‘Ain’t no grave’, Luther Dickinson, Blues and Ballads (New West)
‘Jerry in the deep blue sea’, Peter Rowan, My Aloha (Omnivore Recordings) – hear this on July show
‘The Irex’ and
‘Now is the hour’, Jessie Lloyd, The Mission Songs Project (indie)
‘New baroque 2’, Tigran Hamasyan, An Ancient Observer (Nonesuch Records)

Jessie Lloyd, Mission Songs Project
Sunday 2 July, 1–2 p.m.
Barangaroo Reserve, Barangaroo 2000

Sunday 9 July 2017, 2–4 p.m.
Monash Winter Concerts 2017
Monash Civic Centre, 293 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley)
Free! Bookings essential (max 4 places per caller) – 9518 3636 until Friday 7 July

Listen live here.

'Wordy-Gurdy on the radio' on Helen Jennings' Roots of Rhythm, PBS 106.7FM, 9.30-10 a.m. Wednesday 21 June

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Wordy-Gurdy on the radio, May 2017

We went head to head with some brilliant versions of songs for an extra-special hour to open Roots of Rhythm's first show for the 2017 PBSFM Radio Festival.

‘Baby, please don't go’, Billy Lee Riley and the Little Green Men (recorded 1958), Oxford American Southern Music, 11th edition
‘A jelly behind woman blows my mind’, Elton and Betty White (recorded1987), Oxford American Southern Music, 10th edition
‘Parchman Farm blues’, Bukka White (recorded 1940), Oxford American Southern Music, 11th edition
‘Gospel train’, the Golden Nuggets (recorded 1973), Oxford American Southern Music, 2013 edition

Listen live here.

Jackey Coyle’s Wordy-Gurdy on Helen Jennings’ Roots of Rhythm, PBS 106.7 FM, 9–10 a.m., Wednesday 17 May, 2017

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Wordy-Gurdy on the radio, April 2017

Guitarists come in many flavours – mysterious to mischievous, bluesy to gravelly, meditative to restorative – as do songwriters!

‘Snowscape’, Daniel Hunter, Refuge (Jazz Family)
‘Open up’, Chris Smither, Leave the light on (Shock)
‘The telephone is ringing’, Pee Wee Crayton, Blues Guitar Masters, disc 1 (Charly)
‘Stay on the ride’, Patti Griffin, Children running through (ATO Records/Shock)
‘Sunflower River blues’, John Fahey, Oxford American 2016 Southern Music CD

John Fahey
Oxford American magazine
Patty Griffin

Listen live here.

Jackey Coyle’s 'Wordy-Gurdy' on Helen Jennings’ Roots of Rhythm, PBS 106.7 FM,
9.30–10am, Wednesday 19 April 2017

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Wordy-Gurdy on the radio, March 2017

What's flamenco got to do with it? We went all Hispanic-tinged after returning from five weeks in Spain. The musical highlights were definitely flamenco – 11 performances around the country really highlighted the regional flavours, from its heartland in the south, all the way up to Madrid and Barcelona.
And catching some jazz and blues gigs just served to remind me of what great events we have here in Melbourne, every night of the week.
We focused on brilliant vocals and guitar from the Americas right through the Pacific, jumping from Spanish poetry and flamenco to New York City to Tex-Mex to Brazil to Hawaii, where the Mexican cowboys introduced guitars.

Enrique Morente, ‘Aleluya’, Omega: The songs of Federico García Lorca and Leonard Cohen (Universal Music)
Rick Trevino, ‘El Gustito’, The Oxford American Southern Music Issue: Texas (Oxford American)
Diana Clark w/ Doug de Vries, Stephen Grant, ‘Mama Africa’, dc3: Diana Clark Live (indie)
Bruce Clarke w/Andy Iona, Bobby Nichols et al, The greatest guitarists you’ve never heard of vol. 3, The electric guitar takes flight (1932–45) (indie)

Listen live

Jackey Coyle’s Wordy-Gurdy on Helen Jennings’ Roots of Rhythm, PBS 106.7 FM, 9.30–10 a.m., Wednesday 29 March 2017

Monday, 20 March 2017

Spanish stories

Food. History. So many stories layered upon stories. And it wasn't until I had almost gone round the clock on a journey through eastern and southern Spain – beginning and ending in Barcelona – that I started thinking about Spanish writers.

Staying close to a magical area of Madrid known as the Barrio de las Letras (District of Letters), I  came across quotations and dedications embedded in the pavements celebrating the golden age of Spanish literature.

In the Plaza Santa Ana at the top of the hill we found statues of poet Federíco García Lorca and 17th-century writer Calderón de la Barca.

And further down the slope lie the streets where Cervantes and Lope de Vega (1562–1635) lived and were buried.

A contemporary of Shakespeare as well as Cervantes, Lope de Vega was a wildly prolific writer who wrote more than 1000 plays, poems, sonnets, novels, novellas and articles. He clarified the form of plays from four or five acts down to three and made them more accessible to mass audiences, and his plays are still performed today, both at his home where you can take an excellent tour, and at the Teatro Español on the plaza.

Study, Casa Museo Lope de Vega

It may be because of Lope's tempestuous love life that he isn't commemorated with a number of statues, as is Cervantes.
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Plaza de España de Madrid

Contemporary writers

After searching six bookshops, I came to the conclusion that books translated into English are few and far between. This is surprising given the number of Spanish speakers worldwide, and especially in the US market. There's a handful of well-known writers such as Carlos Ruiz Zafón and (women at last!) María Dueñas, whose debut novel The Time in Between (2011) became a word-of-mouth phenomenon that catapulted her to the top of bestseller lists.

I managed to find some titles by Oxford University lecturer Javier Marías, reputed to be one of the best novelists worldwide, Enrique Vila-Matas and Lorca. But there was nothing by journalist and novelist Rosa Montero, one of the generation who spoke out during the Spanish Civil War. At the moment I'm engrossed in a novel set during that terrible time, The Sleeping Voice by Dulcie Chacón (2006).

After finding four books, I would have loved to have room for Madrid Tales, translated by Margaret Jull Costa (2012) published by Oxford University Press, USA, with its map to locate the stories – hopefully available via OUP in Oz.

Editor remembered in Barcelona

On the hill far above Park Güell, I was delighted to find this viewpoint dedicated to a local, Joan Sales i Vallès (1912–83), one of the most famous Catalan novelists of the last century, as well as newspaper editor, publisher, poet and translator.

But who could resist a visit to the Hotel Oriente, with three-time visitor Hans Christian Andersen and reputed to be Ernest Hemingway's favourite place to stay in Barcelona? Although it's been refurbished, it retains the old-world grace of that time.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Wordy-Gurdy on the radio, February 2017

'Wordy-Gurdy' hit the airwaves early this month for a special show celebrating 30 years of Roots of Rhythm!
We also happened to notice, while checking the last time we'd seen Nigel Kennedy play here – an amazing gig at Abbotsford Convent with Allan Zavod (it was a full seven years ago!) – that Wordy-Gurdy's been featured on Roots of Rhythm for 10 years last December!
We revisited the old, with some fave themes and artists from our segment, and the new, with perceptive blues writing and rare tracks.

Nigel Kennedy, ‘Midnight blue’, Blue Note sessions (EMI Classics)
Chuck E Weiss, ‘That kuucklehead stuff’, Red Beans and Weiss (Anti)
Willis Allan Ramsey, ‘Watermelon man’, Willis Allan Ramsey (Shelter)
Scott Dunbar, ‘Memphis mail’and
John Lee Hooker, ‘John Henry’, Oxford American Southern Music CD No.18 (Oxford American)

Quoted text
Jackey Coyle, 'Wordy-Gurdy on the radio', February 2010
Oxford American Southern Music Issue No.18: Visions of the blues:
Maxwell George, Eliza Borné and staff, '"Memphis mail", Scott Dunbar'
Greil Marcus, '"John Henry", John Lee Hooker'

Nigel Kennedy, Australian Open 2017

Listen here

Next show 9.30 a.m. Wednesday, 29 March 

'Wordy-Gurdy on the radio' on Helen Jennings' Roots of Rhythm, PBS106.7FM
9.30–10am, Wednesday, 18 January 2017