News / Arts & Entertainment

2013: The Year in Roots Music

Slaid Cleaves (credit: Karen Cleaves)
Slaid Cleaves (credit: Karen Cleaves)
Katherine Cole
As we close out 2013, it's time to share some highlights of American Roots music highlights for the year.

They include Slaid Cleaves’ 10th release-“Still Fighting The War.” The original inspiration for the song  came to Cleaves from a series of Pulitzer Prize-winning photos of Iraq War veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s a song that ended up taking him four years to write.  

“I’d seen stories in the news about Vets coming back and having a hard time and you know, frankly, I knew…I remember writing down in a notebook when we went to war in Iraq… I said ’10 years from now, we’re going to have Iraq War Vets on every street corner, they’re going to be homeless," Cleaves said. "They’re going to be having a hard time adjusting. It’s going to be the Vietnam situation all over again.’ I wanted to write a song that kind of told their story. Not to advocate or anything. But just tell their story-that people are having a hard time coming back.”

2013: The Year in Roots Music
2013: The Year in Roots Musici
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

Other discs receiving widespread acclaim this year include “American Kid,” the seventh release by Austin singer-songwriter Patty Griffin, “The Ash & Clay”-- a disc showcasing great harmonies by indie folk duo The Milk Carton Kids -- and “Build Me Up From Bones,” which earned Sarah Jarosz two Grammy nominations.

Jason Isbell performs at the 54th edition of the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island, July 27, 2013.Jason Isbell performs at the 54th edition of the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island, July 27, 2013.
x
Jason Isbell performs at the 54th edition of the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island, July 27, 2013.
Jason Isbell performs at the 54th edition of the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island, July 27, 2013.
It has also been a big year for Nashville-based singer, songwriter and guitarist Jason Isbell. “Southeastern,” Isbell’s first album since quitting drinking, getting married and, as he puts it, “straightening my life out” has landed on many music critics’ “Best of 2013” lists.

Isbell creates vivid characters in his songs, blending country, rock and soul.  After spending much of this year touring the U.S., Canada and Europe, Isbell just announced that in 2014 he will make his first ever tour of Australia and New Zealand.

It was a good year for bluegrass, too.  Country star Alan Jackson talked for 15 years about making a bluegrass record and finally did, calling on many of Nashville’s best pickers to play with him.

Perennial favorite The Del McCoury band was back with “The Streets of Baltimore.” McCoury, who will turn 75 in two months, has been playing bluegrass and touring for more than half a century. The new recording finds the band covering Bobby Bare’s 1966 hit on the title track and the jazz standard “Misty,” They even bring in some honky-tonk piano as they tackle Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Once More With Feeling.”

Steve Martin and Edie Brickell (Photo by Mark Seliger)Steve Martin and Edie Brickell (Photo by Mark Seliger)
x
Steve Martin and Edie Brickell (Photo by Mark Seliger)
Steve Martin and Edie Brickell (Photo by Mark Seliger)
Other bluegrass albums of note this year include “Carry Me Home” by Old Crow Medicine Show and “Love Has Come for You,” the disc of original songs by Edie Brickell and the actor-comedian-author-and-musician Steve Martin.

The International Bluegrass Music Association named New York based quintet The Gibson Brothers “Entertainer of the Year” for a second straight year. They also named Eric Gibson “Songwriter of the Year” and "They Called it Music," which Gibson wrote with Joe Newberry, “Song of the Year.”

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”