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Music News 07/25/2012
SIGNED BOOKS & CDs BY SHAWN COLVIN & KAT EDMONSON
Last week, Shawn Colvin was at the Birchmere for two nights, with opening act Kat Edmonson. Ms Colvin was kind enough to sign her new book and CD (which were released last month), and so was Ms Edmonson.
Ms Colvin’s new memoir, Diamond in the Rough (William Morrow, $25.99)—titled after one of her best songs—gives the reader the full scope of a life immersed in music. Starting the guitar at age 10, she sang hymns, folk songs and (most importantly) Beatles tunes. She worked more than a decade before her first record was released. Tours, Grammys, and the hard work of making a career followed. Ms Colvin doesn’t gloss over her travails with alcohol, depression, or bad relationships, but these make the joys of songwriting, performing, and in the last 14 years, raising a daughter all the more redemptive.
Ms Colvin has been releasing strong albums for over twenty years, full of great original and cover songs, heartfelt vocals, and her powerful rhythm guitar playing. If you’re not familiar with her work, her new one, All Fall Down (Nonesuch, $17.98), is a great place to start. The tunes are mostly co-written by Shawn, and some wonderful collaborators show up, including Alison Krauss and Emmylou Harris on vocals, and the wonderful backing band which includes producer Buddy Miller plus Bill Frisell on guitars, Victor Krauss on bass, and Brian Blade on drums.
There are interviews (one from the PBS News Hour) and music excerpts at www.shawncolvin.com .
Kat Edmonson released her second album, Way Down Low (Spinnerette Records, $14.98), a few months ago, but it was a revelation to see and hear her live, only accompanied by her guitarist. Her voice is instantly recognizable (with hints of a bygone era, yet very modern); she can sing jazz and pop (check out her performances on YouTube), and she writes wonderful songs. She can also take a modern standard (the Beach Boys’ “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times”) utterly her own. I highly recommend listening to Kat Edmonson. See www.katedmonson.com for more.
NEW CLASSICAL GUITAR
In the last century, Andrés Segovia single-handedly brought the classical guitar onto the concert stage. His students and followers, such as Julian Bream, John Williams, Eliot Fisk, and Sharon Isbin extended the guitar tradition with new commissions and collaborations.
The following two new releases signal the next generation of guitarists.
Xufei Yang honors an important Segovia tradition: transcriptions. On Bach Concertos (EMI Classics, $16.98), Ms Yang transcribes Bach keyboard and violin concertos and sonatas, as well as the opening prelude of the Well-Tempered Clavier, and is accompanied by the Elias String Quartet.
Miloš Karadaglic (or just Miloš, per the CD cover) follows up his best-selling Mediterranéo with Pasión
(Deutsche Gramophone, $13.98), an album of Spanish, Caribbean, and
Latin American pieces and transcriptions, among them Villa-Lobos,
Barrios, Piazzola, and Leo Brouwer.
- András Goldinger