Promoting quality music in Knoxville … by any means necessary.
Fans of Knoxville music, knoxmusictoday.com is once again a proud sponsor of the WDVX Meadow Lark Music Festival to be held this Saturday, June 23 at the Ijams Nature Center. So this week for Free Music Friday, we will preview some of the fine musical guests who will be gracing the stages at Meadow Lark. The festival is one of our favorite days of the year as there will be numerous arts displays and fine food offerings available and the Ijams site is a perfect outdoor venue for the event. So Get Up and Go, people!
And here is the full schedule of music:
1:00 pm – 1:30 pm: Jonathan Maness
1:45 pm – 2:45 pm: Grassroots Gringos
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Ga-Na-Si-Ta
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm: Mary Gauthier
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm: Sam Quinn & Taiwan Twin
8:00 pm: Acoustic Syndicate
Cool Inside Stage
2:00 pm – 2:45 pm: The Caring Committee
3:00 pm – 3:45 pm: Jonathan Maness
4:00 pm – 4:45 pm: Jack Herranen & Band
5:00 pm – 5:45 pm: Celtic Collaborators (Evan Carawan Band)
Performance Schedules Subject to Change.
Meadow Larker Mary Gauthier
Sideshow AND Sweet Words by Mary Gauthier – Every now and again during our research for Free Music Friday, we find some truly inspired writing. Our research of Mary Gauthier this week resulted in the discovery of an absolutely wonderful review of her most recent album, The Foundling, by Doug Heselgrave for No Depression. Here is a portion of the review, but we highly recommend taking the link to read the entire post -
Gauthier’s new CD, “The Foundling” is the product of two years work, and is quite simply the best collection of songs she’s ever recorded. An intensely personal album, “The Foundling” recounts Gauthier’s struggle to find her birth mother after being abandoned by her shortly after her birth in March 1962. In the hands of a less capable artist, a concept album about the search for and ultimate rejection from one’s mother would be doomed to failure. It is an idea that could so easily go awry as to be impossible or embarrassing to listen to. There are so many complex emotions involved that it would be easy to give into the temptation to cheapen them, aim at the lowest common denominator, and go right for the listener’s heartstrings. And, while I would defy anyone to remain dry eyed by the time The Foundling’s thirteen tracks have run their course, Gauthier’s work is too mature and fully formed to settle for being nothing more than a vicarious thrill. The emotions described, explored and eviscerated throughout The Foundling’s tale have obviously ripened over the artist’s lifetime and settled in deeply enough to be explored with precision – if not with detachment.
‘The Foundling’ isn’t easy listening music. It’s often hard to approach as it’s so rare to hear songs that reach as far as these ones do. Time and time again, Mary Gauthier resists every temptation to elevate her suffering and put it into a mythical framework as younger artists so often do when trying to communicate their feelings of loss. These are songs stripped of their filters and protection, and are often so honest as to be artless. Yet, somehow Mary Gauthier’s commitment and fearlessness shine through and she gets away with expressing things that a less mature musician would stumble on. She’s aiming so far left of the top forty that she often ends up in territory that is all but uncharted.
Fanboy, Gun AND River by Sam Quinn – Ahhh, Mr. Sam Quinn. We have featured Sam previously at knoxmusictoday.com with his original band, the everybodyfields. And yes, the voice of Sam Quinn can make music fans weep uncontrollably, as we noted in our write-up for that Free Music Friday with the everybodyfields. It is indeed very rare – as in we may have never done it – that we feature 3 songs by a single artist for Free Music Friday. But we love the last album that Sam released, The Fake That Sunk A Thousand Ships, that much. Here is what Ellen Eldridge had to say about the album for Atlanta Music Guide -
Certainly, The Fake That Sunk A Thousand Ships is an undertaking for those who enjoy getting lost in trying to figure out the words behind such wailing cries; the anguish and passion implied in Quinn’s voice sucks the listener in and forces him to wonder just what hurt so much and just how it will make us each stronger.
North Carolina’s Acoustic Syndicate will be climbing the mountain to get to Meadow Lark
Long Way Round AND Hypocrite Smile by Acoustic Syndicate – In 1992, the members of the McMurry family of Cleveland County, North Carolina formed Acoustic Syndicate. After 6 albums and a few lineup changes, the band currently features Bryon McMurry (Vocals, Banjo, Guitar), Fitz McMurry (Vocals, Drums, Percussion), Steve McMurry (Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin), Jay Sanders (Bass, N/S Stick), and Billy Cardine (Dobro & Electric Resophonic Guitar). Here is a portion of the fine review by Bryan Rodgers for Glide Magazine of the band’s recent show in Carrboro, North Carolina -
Armed with an album’s worth of new material for the first time in nearly a decade, Acoustic Syndicate returned to Carrboro, NC’s Cat’s Cradle for a Saturday night show that turned out to be a showcase for new songs instead of the usual barrage of crowd favorites. The McMurry clan (Steve, Bryon, and Fitz), along with bassist Jay Sanders and Billy Cardine on dobro, are newly committed to making music again, and it’s invigorating for the band and their fans to hear freshly minted songs emanating from the stage. The songs aren’t all that’s new, though. Sanders now utilizes the very beguiling Chapman N/S Stick alongside his standard four-sting, and Bryon McMurry has taken to picking up an off-white Stratocaster between frequent bouts with his banjo. The “acoustic” part of their moniker has never been less indicative of their sound than it is now.