Lyric of the Week: Jesse Winchester, “Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding”

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The world lost a wonderful songwriter last week when Jesse Winchester passed away at age 69. Winchester never broke through to the mainstream due to a combination of circumstance and his own reticence to deal with the pop machinery. Yet other songwriters were aware of his brilliance, covering his songs and clamoring to work with […]

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R.I.P. Jesse Winchester, A Songwriter Admired By Bob Dylan And Many More

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Singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester passed away Friday morning, after a long fight with cancer. Winchester, who was born in Louisiana and moved to Montreal in 1967 when facing the impending Vietnam war draft, was revered by countless songwriters and musicians, despite never achieving widespread commercial fame. Many of Winchester’s songs, which include standards like “Mississippi You’re […]

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Song Premiere: Esmé Patterson, “Valentine”

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The Artist: Singer-songwriter Esmé Patterson of the band Paper Bird The Song: “Valentine,” from new album Woman to Woman out April 15th. Fun Fact: Each song on Patterson’s album is a response to a popular love song about a woman, showing what the other side of the story might be. “Valentine” was written as a response […]

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Musicians Sing The Praises Of Neil Young’s Pono Player

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On Tuesday, Neil Young launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for Pono, his long-awaited digital music service and player. Young hopes his new invention will put and end to the inferior sound quality of the common CD and MP3. Fans and investors ponied up $800,000 to aid Young’s cause in a mere ten hours. […]

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Elvis Costello & The Attractions, “Peace In Our Time”

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Nostalgia might not be the right word, but the pomp and celebration surrounding the recent Winter Olympic Games in Moscow provided a benign perspective for reexamination of a time when the Cold War was at its iciest and the United States and Russia were positioned as superpower enemies. (So too, for that matter, has The […]

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American Songwriter Presents: The List

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The Top 15 Paul Simon Songs The Top 10 Performances from Bob Dylan: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration 15 Legendary Cover Songs The Top 50 Albums Of 2013 The Top 50 Songs Of 2013 The Top 20 Elvis Costello Songs The Top 25 Morrissey Songs The Top 20 Radiohead Songs The Top 20 Townes Van […]

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Elvis Costello: The American Songwriter Interview

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This story appears in our January/February Legends Issue. “I don’t know what anyone else knows or what they don’t know or what they care about,” says Elvis Costello.“I’m just doing what I’m doing now, and I know what the value of the songs I’ve written is to me. I perceive what certain members of the […]

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Elvis Costello Plays Obscure Nuggets And Prime Cuts in Pennsylvania

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Elvis Costello at the F.M. Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre, PA, November 25, 2013 Early on in the evening at his solo stop at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre, PA, Elvis Costello announced that he was going to play anything that popped into his head. He lived up to that promise, going deep into his seemingly […]

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Jonathan Rice

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Good Graces is the latest release from Scottish-American singer-songwriter Jonathan Rice, and it’s his first solo project in quite a while. Since releasing his second album in 2007, Rice has focused on collaborative work – with Jenny Lewis (the pair became Jenny & Johnny), Elvis Costello, and Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard. He chats with American […]

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Bridge School Benefit To Stream On YouTube Saturday

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The 27th annual Bridge School Benefit Concert, featuring artists like Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Arcade Fire, Elvis Costello, and fun., will be held October 26 and 27 at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA. YouTube will stream the first day of the show on Saturday, October 26. Review: The Bridge School Concerts 25th […]

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Inside The Star-Studded Inside Llewyn Davis Concert

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“This is a show about how folk music gets reinvented” explained actor Garrett Hedlund midway through the three-hour roots music marathon Sunday night at Town Hall. The performance, titled Another Day, Another Time, was produced and organized by Americana mastermind T Bone Burnett. Burnett recruited a wide-ranging cast of artists, spanning genres and generations, to […]

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Elvis Costello & The Roots: Wise Up Ghost

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Elvis Costello & The Roots Wise Up Ghost (Blue Note) Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 Elvis Costello has collaborated with a lot of artists throughout his career, so it carries serious weight to say that his new album with The Roots is the very best of those musical chemistry experiments. Wise Up Ghost is […]

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