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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller has made a name for herself appearing with such high-profile artists as Beyonce, Esperanza Spalding, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Tia and her quartet performed music from her CD “Angelic Warrior” on our latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."