Dispatches from Portland’s OldTime Gathering

PortlandOldtime

Oldtime Music under the Gnostic Symbols in Stained Glass

Heading back from this year’s Oldtime Music Gathering held at the Scottish Rite Masonic Lodge in Portland. This work by the Poet Yeats came to mind :

I made my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat;
But the fools caught it,
Wore it in the world’s eyes
As though they’d wrought it.
Song, let them take it,
For there’s more enterprise
In walking naked.

– W.B. Yeats – A Coat

Happy MLK day.

devilViolin

Violin Scroll carved with the head of “El Diablo”

Masons

The heads of the Masonic Masters of Times Past

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Good Music I Heard this Year

A brief post on my favorite albums of 2013. Heavily weighted towards folk/Americana:

Aoife O’Donovan – Fossils : Those who miss the gothic Crooked Still will be happy to see the debut solo album of lead singer Aoife O’Donovan. While her album Fossils takes more after singers like Neko Case, it still exhibits the same song-writing and evocative themes that made Crooked Still such a gem.

Sarah Jarosz – Build Me Up From Bones : Pretty much every Sarah Jarosz album makes my top list each year. This one is no different. Heartfelt, rhythmic, and dark. Build Me Up From Bones expresses the kind of sound I wish more bands in the modern folk community would embrace.

Patty Griffin – American Kid  : Coming more from the country scene than bluegrass/Americana, Patty Griffin’s lyrics have a haunting quality that is entirely unique. I think this album makes an excellent addition to her discography though the best introduction might still be Impossible Dream

Elephant Revival – These Changing Skies : It’s more low key than most albums in the genre, nevertheless I found myself really liking Elephant Revival’s These Changing Skies. It’s one of the few acts I have yet to hear live but based on what this album offers I’m really looking forward to the experience.

Of course, I heard some good music this year that was not strictly folk. It might be worth it to check out the following albums

Chris Thile – Bach Sonatas and Partitas

Lucius – Wildewoman

Tegan and Sara – Heartthrob

Laura Mvula – Sing to the Moon

Dominican Sisters of Mary –  Mater Eucharistiae

As always leave any suggestions and links for new music in the comments!