Music News 12/9/2020


Sturgill Simpson, CUTTIN’ GRASS VOL. 1: The Butcher Shoppe Sessions (30 Tigers, $13.98) – Sturgill Simpson got some of the best Nashville pickers around to play some hot bluegrass renditions of some of his own songs. Sierra Hull (mandolin), Tim O’Brien and Mark Howard (guitars), Scott Vestal (banjo), and Stuart Duncan (fiddle) burn it up on renditions on songs like “Long White Line,” “Living the Dream,” and “Turtles All the Way Down.” Some sterling performances… 

Kacy & Clayton/Marlon Williams, PLASTIC BOUQUET (New West, $13.99) – The Canadian duo of ethereal vocalist Kacy Anderson and ace guitarist Clayton Linthicum have reinvigorated the sound of 1960s English and American folk-rock. Last year, the duo Canada collaborated with New Zealand folk singer Marlon Williams and created a wonderful new album.  


Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott, SONGS OF COMFORT & HOPE (Sony, $16.98) – A new selection of duets for our troubled times: cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Kathryn Stott. Familiar tunes are all are here, among them, “Amazing Grace,” “Shenandoah,” “Goin’ Home,” “Scarborough Fair,” and “Over the Rainbow.” 

Daniil Trifonov, SILVER AGE (Deutsche Grammophon, 2 CDs, $21.98) – An exploration of Russia’s cultural Silver Age, with many of the works associated with impresario Sergei Diaghilev. Trifonov (along with the Mariinsky Orchestra, conducted by Valery Gergiev) plays Scriabin’s Concerto for Piano and OrchestraProkofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2  and Piano Sonata No. 8; and Stravinsky’s Three Movements from Petrushka, and Serenade in A

Bertrand Chamayou, GOOD NIGHT! (Erato, $18.98) – Pianist Bertrand Chamayou plays lullabies by Chopin, Liszt, Grieg, Brahms, Balakirev, Lyapunov, Alkan, Bonis, Busoni, Janácek, Martinu and Villa-Lobos, Lachenmann and debuts a world premiere, Bryce Dessner’s “Song for Octave.” 

FREDERIC RZEWSKI: SONGS OF INSURRECTION (Coviello, $18.99) - Pianist Thomas Kotcheff takes on composer Frederic Rzewski’s suite of songs, Songs of Insurrection (2016) which is a sequel to his powerful work from 1975, The People United Will Never Be Defeated,” recently recorded by Igor Levit. Included in the suite are variations on “Aint Gonna Le Nobody Turn Me Round.”  Mr. Kotcheff discussed the project in a recent New York Times article


Gramophone Magazine is the premier showcase in England for classical music reviews and profiles. There have been distribution problems during the Covid shut-downs, and we have recently ordered issues directly from England. The shipment have arrived: we now have copies of the October, November, and the special Awards issues in stock. They are displayed in the classical CD section.