Results for renaissance

interviews

Shirley Collins

Of all the English folk revival artists, Shirley Collins was perhaps the most devoted to rural folk traditions. But at the same time, her records were incredibly innovative in their approach. Her 1964 album Folk Roots, New Routes with guitarist Davey Graham fused ancient songs with jazz arrangements, paving the way for bands like Fairport Convention. In collaboration with her sister Dolly, Shirley Collins also recorded with early music instruments and Renaissance ensembles. She even went electric with her acclaimed 1971 album No Roses. After developing a vocal condition known as dysphonia, Shirley gave up recording in 1978. Since then, she's become an inspiration to a new generation of artists, including The Decemberists' Colin Meloy, who covered one of her songs live on Sound Opinions. Now, after a nearly 40 year hiatus, she's returned with a new album, Lodestar. She joins Jim and Greg to explain why she returned to singing and how she chose her rather bloodsoaked repertoire.

In addition to her own recording career, Shirley Collins played an important role in music history when she accompanied legendary musicologist Alan Lomax as he traveled through the American south in 1959. Together, they collected field recordings of traditional working-class artists on farms, prisons, and churches. Their tapes of musicians like Mississippi Fred McDowell, Almeda Riddle, and Hobart Smith were huge influences on generations of artists, including Bob Dylan.

Go to episode 584
reviews
AnastasisAnastasis available on iTunes

Dead Can Dance Anastasis

Next Jim and Greg review Anastasis, the first new record in sixteen years from longtime 4AD band Dead Can Dance. This duo began thirty years ago in Australia. Guitarist Brendan Perry got his start in punk circles, but turned in a more experimental direction after meeting vocalist Lisa Gerrard. Greg says in the eighties, no one sounded quite like Dead Can Dance. The band melded the ancient sounds of Gregorian chant and renaissance music with au courant ambient pop. Since splitting up in 1997, Gerard and Perry have pursued solo careers (Gerard composed the music for Gladiator), but recent brushfires in Australia brought the two together long enough to produce a new album, Anastasis. Are the dead still dancing in 2012? Jim says not nearly enough. He finds Perry's serious, intoned lyrics laughable and Gerrard's compositions plodding and overdramatic. He says Trash It. Greg admits to being a Dead Can Dance diehard back in the day, but even he admits the band's slow tempos on this album aren‘t doing them any favors. Not only are Perry’s lyrics annoying, he says, but they don‘t seem to have anything to do with Gerrard’s beautiful, atmospheric vocals. He gives Anastasis a Burn It on the strength of Gerrard's voice, but calls Anastasis second-rate work.

JimGreg
Go to episode 353