Music News 11/12/2020


Tonight, Thursday, November 12, at 8 p.m., Peter Guralnick will discusses his newest book, Looking to Get LostAdventures in Music and Writing, in conversation with Rosanne Cash. 

Mr. Guralnick, author of biographies of Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, and Sam Phillips, collects some fantastic profiles, old and new. There are portraits of masters like Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Solomon Burke, Howlin’ Wolf, Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, Merle Haggard, Tammy Wynette, Joe Tex, Skip James, and underappreciated artists like Lonnie Mack, Delbert McClinton, and Dick Curless. There are tributes to songwriters Doc Pomus and Leiber & Stoller, and narratives of recording projects by Willie Dixon, and Allen Toussaint and Elvis Costello. And two profiles of writers: Guralnick reminisces about a teenaged meeting with Henry Green, and his long friendship with Lee Smith. Highly recommended. 

Click here to join the live cast tonight. 


Elvis Costello, HEY CLOCKFACE (Concord, $14.98) – Fourteen brand new songs by Elvis, in three different musical configurations: solo overdubbed with Costello playing all manner of guitars and keyboards; a couple of tracks with guitarist Bill Frisell and multi-instrumentalist Michael Leonhart; and the rest with an unusual combinations of keyboards, saxophones, trumpet, clarinets, and cello. And a heady mix of songs both tender and (sometimes) ferocious. 

Jake Blount, SPIDER TALES (Free Dirt, $15.98) – Jake Blount is a young clawhammer banjo player who’s exploring African American and Indigenous roots of mountain music. “With a history of hardship and resistance coded into the music, Spider Tales brings out centuries of visceral feeling refracted again through the lens of Blount’s own experience as an LGBTQ activist.” He is one of the co-winners of this year’s Steve Martin Banjo Prizes. 


Jacob Heringman, INVIOLATA: JOSQUIN DES PREZ (Inventa, $16.99) – This is one of the most beautiful and calming albums of the year. Lutenist Jacob Heringman focuses in on Josquin’s (1450? – 1521) vocal music arranged for the lute and the vihuela (a small guitar-shaped lute). Specifically, he’s selected tunes dedicated to Mary, with both Marian motets and selections from Josquin’s Missa de Beata Virgine.  

Diana Damrau, TUDOR QUEENS (Erato, $18.98) – The soprano sings arias from Donizetti operas, with the Orchestra and Chorus of the Academy of Saint Cecilia, conducted by Antonio Pappano. 

Emerson String Quartet, SCHUMANN (Pentatone, $15.99) – The three Schumann String Quartets, Op. 41 (1842).