October 7, 2014

if it gets too lonely, i will follow you ’round in this tune


I’ve been head over heels for Noah Gundersen for a few years now, ever since being completely spun around and knocked to the ground by him live at a few summer festivals, and then really getting into all his recordings, old and new. His songs are a piercing blend of harmony (with his sister, no less) and wide-openness to a world that’s not always easy to be wide open in.

Noah says of this song (and I 100% agree):

Lay Low is one of those songs that has a habit of finding its way into my subconscious and staying there. While driving around on tour, loading up the van after shows, during the rare quiet moments in a green room, the lyrics and the melody would rise up and start repeating over and over in my head.

There is a loneliness throughout it. An admittance of frailty. An acceptance of our small and mortal lives, where we really don’t know what it all means. But through it all, a small yet resounding spark of hope and love. I’m honored to call Michael and Cary Ann friends. I hope this cover does their beautiful composition justice.

Lay Low (Shovels & Rope) – Noah Gundersen

Here is the acoustic version at Pickathon from the original artists, the terrific duo of Shovels & Rope. It was part of my Autumn 2012 mix, and I still often put this version of it on repeat.

Lay Low (live at Pickathon) – Shovels & Rope

I am pretty excited to be welcoming Noah Gundersen to the Ivywild School next weekend, on Saturday October 18, as part of his fall tour in support of the magnificent Ledges. If you’re in Colorado, please come! If not, here are your other tour date options. This kid is the real deal.



[top portrait by Ben Blood]

September 27, 2012

where i can’t hurt no one, and no one can hurt me

I can’t disentangle myself from this Shovels & Rope song this morning. There’s something powerful and affecting in the way that Cary Ann Hearst and her husband Michael Trent’s voices push and relent against each other on this simple rendition of their song under the pines at Oregon’s Pickathon this past August.

I only heard about Shovels & Rope a few weeks ago when a friend raved about their performance at eTown up in Boulder, and I was snagged by their name’s inferences of digging and tying. After looking them up online, I realized I’d heard effusive ravings about Cary Ann Hearst in 2010, oddly enough from my seatmate on a homebound flight from SXSW – Creed Bratton (of The Office and from the Sixties band The Grass Roots). He raved about her to me, and even mailed me a copy of her record, to which I replied that her “take no prisoners wail” sounded like she should be playing shows with the White Stripes. (Funnily enough, Shovels & Rope are on tour opening for Jack White right now).

Another friend told me that she also saw them at the same Boulder show, and that Cary’s presence onstage reminded her of a young and fiery Dolly Parton. That same fearlessness in this stripped-down formation is really killing me. I like fearlessness.

So lay low, baby, just for a little while more
if you can’t keep waiting – I will find my way back to your door

Lay Low (live at Pickathon) – Shovels & Rope

And this song is going to be the second or third track on my Autumn 2012 mix that I am working on, but I just couldn’t wait — so watch for it again soon.

Their record O’ Be Joyful is out now on Dualtone Records, and Shovels & Rope plays Denver’s Ogden Theatre on December 30 and 31. I would like to do that.

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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