Memorial Day in the United States was originally called Decoration Day, instituted to honor soldiers killed in wars. the poster above is from the early 1900s, with a timeless message. More recently the holiday has become the unofficial start to summer vacations, so this video montage (set to the Drive-By Truckers’ “Decoration Day”) is appropriate for the occasion as it juxtaposes picnic footage with cemetery shots:
Mark Bryan of Hootie & The Blowfish has a new passion, his Chucktown Music Group project. Don’t call it a “label” in the traditional sense of that word in the music business, however. At the recent First Flush Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, Bryan told me that the CMG is merely a way to give some talented artists he has been working with a leg up, with management, licensing, and other business-related assistance.
At First Flush, CMG had a side stage of local artists including Mac Leaphart, Amber Caparas, John Wesley Satterfield, and Bryan himself, who spent most of his set bringing up the others to play songs with him. Here are a couple live clips from the sets of Caparas and Satterfield:
Quiet Little Room, the duo’s new album, contains echoes of the Avett Brothers, Townes Van Zandt, Bill Morrissey, and John Gorka, with Marlin providing the songwriting and Frantz her beautiful voice. Songs such as “Wee Bird” have mutiple layers of meaning upon meaning, and are written in such a way as to suggest that perhaps what you’re ascribing to it may be something different than Marlin started out with–that’s the mark of a great song, I think, one that can be different things to different people and still stand up as a melodic structure.
Here’s Mandolin Orange playing “Wee Bird” live:
Want to hear more? Check out the songs on their Myspace
A few years ago, John Wesley Satterfield was tearing up the southeastern United States with the Wilmington-born combo Woodwork Roadshow, their synthesis of bluegrass and rock ‘n’ roll culminating in the excellent In Bricks, In Bones in 2008.
Last year, Satterfield started playing solo gigs, peppering his sets with Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and some more roots-rock sounding originals that were less frenetic but no less powerful than Woodwork’s tunes.
A new EP just released this month is the first indication of what kind of future solo career Satterfield may be capable of–with one song produced by Mark Bryan of Hootie & The Blowfish and four others produced with Jay Clifford (Jump, Little Children, Howie Day, William Fitzsimmons), the songs are crisp and clear statements of purpose from a young but already experienced songwriter. Here’s a clip of Satterfield playing a recent festival show with Mark Bryan in attendance:
For more on Satterfield, check out the feature story I did on him in a recent Columbia Free Times here