Welcome to the front door of The Real Easy Ed where each week I curate, aggregate and update news, events, images, ideas, sounds, odds and ends. I consider this simply a speck of dust on the highway; just another place to pause for a few moments and take a break from the surf.
New Music Rising: Hidden Agenda Deluxe.
When I first heard the Pan Alley Fever, the debut album from Hidden Agenda Deluxe, I imagined that they must come out of Georgia or Alabama with their Allman Brothers meets The Band vibe. It appears that I missed the geographic location by about ten thousand miles because when I visited their website this is what I saw:
Wat krijg je als je een aantal Nederlandse drukbezette topmuzikanten bij elkaar zet die allemaal al van echte Americana hielden voordat iemand nog wist wat die term ging inhouden? Juist: Americana Deluxe. Met binnen de gelederen de internationaal gelauwerde singer-songwriters BJ Baartmans en Eric Devries, wekt een samenwerking hoge verwachtingen.
So yeah…Mississippi, right?
This is a collaboration of accomplished and established Dutch musicians that includes the aforementioned Baartmans and Devries, along with bassist Gerald van Beuningen and drummer-vocalist Sjoerd van Bommel. Though not listed as an official band member, Rob Geboers’ Hammond organ is sprinkled throughout.
While you can stream it here in the US on Spotify or download it from Amazon, so far there is little press about these guys and I see only a few one-off gigs booked. Looks like their own solo careers keeps them pretty busy but this album could change that.
Every Picture Tells a Story.
The image at the top of this page was shot by my long-time-we’ve-only-met-online friend Sandy Dyas, who is a visual artist based in Iowa City that I’ve written about often. You can visit her website here and check out her work, books (buy them…really) and blog. And more of her images can be found on this site….like this one.
Had I Blinked I Might Have Missed Sammy Walker For The Second Time.
Were it not for Jim Allen’s story this past week in North Carolina’s Indy Week, there is an excellent chance I would have continued on with my life without ever hearing the music of Sammy Walker. Atfter reading the article and listening to his Folkways and Warner releases from the seventies, my first thought was the whole thing might be a hoax. How could I possibly have missed Walker and what was I doing in 1975….oh yeah…wait…never mind. But seriously, I doubt we’ll ever hear anyone who sounds so close to both Woody Guthrie or the early Bob Dylan than this.
The occasion for Allen’s piece and other media nods is the recent release of Brown Eyed Georgia Darlin from Ramseur Records. A collection of demos that Walker did for Warners, it’s now putting the spotlight back on a man whose backstory is worthy of a screenplay with his connection to a cast of characters that includes Phil Ochs, Moe Asch, Bob Fass, Lee Hayes, Mo Ostin and Harold Leventhal.
Here are the first three paragraphs to Allen’s Once a Leading Candidate to Be the “New Dylan,” Sammy Walker Deserves a Second Listen but I strongly urge you to just click here for the full story. Its a great one.
There should be a long German word for the phenomenon by which we endlessly seek new iterations of an irreplaceable cultural force. You’ll find few better examples than the music world’s desperate quest to anoint a “New Dylan,” starting in the sixties, continuing apace through the late seventies, and, to some extent, still happening now.
Singer-songwriter history is littered with artists who were simultaneously honored with and damned by the designation—Loudon Wainwright III, John Prine, Elliott Murphy, Steve Forbert, a young Bruce Springsteen, and so on.
Arguably, aside from Springsteen, none of these fine songsmiths achieved the same cultural impact as the inscrutable man from Minnesota. But they often ended up earning some cult-hero status—except, ironically, the singer most legitimately daubed with the New Dylan brush, Sammy Walker.
My Broadside Column At No Depression Is A Triple Play of Woody.
This past week I had Woody on the brain. From a new Woody Guthrie project by Del McCoury, a concert with master blues guitarist Woody Mann and another look back at Woody Allen’s Broadway Danny Rose, I neatly tied up some random thoughts into a triple play.
Click here to read my column and here’s some Woody Mann to enjoy. A student of Reverend Gary Davis, this is a song he wrote as a tribute to him.
I Wish I Could Watch The Everly Brothers: Harmonies in Heaven.
For those of us in the US who are not able to tune in BBC Four, we’ll be missing out on a new music documentary that focuses on the career of The Everly Brothers called Harmonies From Heaven. A production from Eagle Vision, it features Don Everly telling their story of how he and his brother Phil rose to fame after appearing as kids on their dad’s radio show in Shenandoah Iowa.
Set to a backdrop of 1950’s Eisenhower-led America, the film examines this troubled and transformative era, the trials and triumphs of this remarkable brotherly pairing, and the innovations and lasting impact of a musically revolutionary duo.
The film also features interviews with Don Everly, Art Garfunkel, Graham Nash, Bonnie Prince Billy, Dave Edmunds, Tim Rice, Jake Bugg, legendary guitarists Albert Lee and Waddy Wachtel, plus archive performances and home movie footage of the Everly Brothers in the recording studio.
Videos You Wouldn’t Know Existed, Unless You Found Them By Mistake.