Review: Various, Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis

Inside Llewyn Davis

I think when the producers of Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis decided to put the concert, and subsequent documentary and record, together they were expecting to capture lightning in a bottle, the same way the O Brother Where Art Thou? concert Down from the Mountain had done over ten years previously. And they had every right to as all the elements were there: a Coen Brothers film jam-packed with T Bone Burnett produced folk music, performances from some of contemporary folk and acoustic music’s biggest names and a reference point to a music, time and place that is beloved by millions.

But somehow they didn’t quite hit the mark.

Not to say this isn’t a great album – it certainly is. There are a lot of highlights throughout. But it’s not the kind of album I can enjoy from start to finish, not the way I can with Down from the Mountain or even the Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack (the intentionally terrible “Please Mr. Kennedy” aside). And I think it’s for a number of reasons.

Firstly there’s too much Americana and Bluegrass music. I never thought I’d hear myself say that but it’s true. So much of the Greenwich Village folk revival was centred around traditional music from England, Scotland and Ireland and while bluegrass and country music was a part of the scene (and no doubt influenced many of the singers and songwriters of the time) it wasn’t the focus – if anything blues was more of an influence at the time. The movie soundtrack itself only really has nods to this kind of music and instead focuses on traditional music plus traditionally inspired songs from the time like Ewan MacColl’s “The Shoals of Herring” or Brendan Behan’s “The Auld Triangle”, and I think the live album should have gone the same way.

Secondly it takes 10 songs before we even hear a track from the movie and even then it’s the aforementioned intentionally terrible “Please Mr. Kennedy”. Similarly there seems to be too many originals on the album – albeit from amazing artists like Punch Brothers, Gillian Welch, Jack White and more – to claim to be “Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis”.

And finally there are some glaring misses in the programming of the concert. I love Conor Oberst to death but his inclusion here is misplaced – his waspish voice just doesn’t seem to fit with the tone of the concert. Similarly I’m not sure we needed three tracks from a ho-hum Avett Brothers when the brilliant Keb’ Mo’ only gets one.

But all of this aside there is a lot to like about Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis. Having the Punch Brothers acting essentially as the house band on many of the tracks elevates so many of the songs. The second half of the album which showcases a lot more of the songs from the actual movie – “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me”. “Green, Green Rocky Road”, “The Auld Triangle”, “Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song)”, etc – shows just how well these songs (and their singers) stack up live. Oscar Isaac, the actor who played Llewyn Davis in the film is surprisingly solid as is Marcus Mumford who is relegated to backing vocals and drums on a lot of the tracks but comes to fore in the final four songs to prove just how good a singer he is.

Once again Rhiannon Giddens is an absolute standout. Her version of the Gaelic “S iomadh rud tha dhith orm/Ciamar a ni mi ‘n dannsa direach” is the only track I just had to go back and listen to twice on my first time through the album, it was so good. And then of course there’s Joan Baez, proving exactly why she’s a legend, outclassing Elvis Costello on a duet of “Which Side Are You On?” and absolutely killing it on “House of the Rising Sun” and “Give Me Cornbread When I’m Hungry”.

I think my advice with this album is not to go in with any pre-conceptions – either from the O Brother Where Art Thou? and Inside Llewyn Davis or from Down from the Mountain. Instead listen to Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis in isolation, pick and choose the individual tracks you want to buy (you’ll want more than you’ll leave behind) and enjoy the music as is sounds like the live audience did.

Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis is available now on iTunes

Details of the Inside Llewyn Davis Live Album

Inside Llewyn Davis

I’m going to admit right here that after all the hype I ended up feeling pretty “meh” about the Coen Brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis. I have a love-hate relationship with the Coen Brothers – I absolutely love their quirky comedies but their existential dramas can get lost on me, especially when their lead characters are unlikeable like the case was with Inside Llewyn Davis. So I was a little bit disappoted with the film, but the soundtrack I absolutely lobe.

To coincide with the release of the film last year the Coen Brothers and musical director T Bone Burnett held a benefit concert featuring music from the film, the 60s folk era and music along the same folk lines at the Town Hall in New York featuring music from the likes of Punch Brothers, Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings Machine, The Milk Carton Kids, Secret Sisters, Lake Street Dive, Elvis Costello, Oscar Isaac, Conor Oberst, Colin Meloy, Joan Baez, The Avett Brothers, Jack White, Marcus Mumford and more.

The concert is now being released as a two disc live album titled Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis and is due for release on the 13th January. The full tracklist for the album is below – can’t wait t have a listen to this one!

Disc 1:
1. Punch Brothers – Tumbling Tumbleweed
2. Punch Brothers – Rye Whiskey
3. Gillian Welch – Will the Circle Be Unbroken?
4. Gillian Welch & David Rawlings – The Way It Goes
5. Willie Watson – The Midnight Special
6. Dave Rawlings Machine – I Hear Them All/This Land Is Your Land
7. The Milk Carton Kids – New York
8. Secret Sisters – Tomorrow Will Be Kinder
9. Lake Street Dive – You Go Down Smooth
10. Elvis Costello, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver – Please Mr. Kennedy
11. Conor Oberst – Four Strong Winds
12. Conor Oberst – Man Named Truth
13. Colin Meloy – Blues Run the Game
14. Joan Baez, Colin Meloy, and Gillian Welch – Joe Hill
15. The Avett Brothers – All My Mistakes
16. The Avett Brothers – That’s How I Got to Memphis
17. The Avett Brothers – Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise

Disc 2:
1. Jack White – Mama’s Angel Child
2. Jack White – Did You Hear John Hurt?
3. Jack White – We’re Going to Be Friends
4. Rhiannon Giddens – Waterboy
5. Rhiannon Giddens – ‘S iomadh rud tha dhith orm/Ciamar a ni mi ‘n dannsa direach
6. Oscar Isaac – Hang Me, Oh Hang Me
7. Oscar Isaac – Green, Green Rocky Road
8. Keb’ Mo’ – Tomorrow Is a Long Time
9. Bob Neuwirth – Rock Salt and Nails
10. Chris Thile, Chris Eldridge, Paul Kowert, Marcus Mumford, Noam Pikelny and Gabe Witcher – The Auld Triangle
11. Gillian Welch, Rhiannon Giddens and Carey Mulligan – Didn’t Leave Nobody But the Baby
12. Elvis Costello and Joan Baez – Which Side Are You On?
13. Joan Baez – House of the Rising Sun
14. Marcus Mumford and Joan Baez – Give Me Cornbread When I’m Hungry
15. Marcus Mumford- I Was Young When I Left Home
16. Oscar Isaac and Marcus Mumford – Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song)
17. Marcus Mumford and the Punch Brothers – Farewell

New Neil Young Album Tipped for March

Neil Young
Image Courtesy of Neil Young

The word on the street is that Neil Young will be releasing his next album this March. The album, titled A Letter Home will be released via Jack White’s Third Man Records and will be, according to the Third Man web site “An unheard collection of rediscovered songs from the past recorded on ancient electro-mechanical technology captures and unleashes the essence of something that could have been gone forever”.

Sounds very interesting! Other details about the album are scant with the blogosphere offering up little more than speculation at the moment. As soon as we know more we’ll let you know!

Listen to Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes) and Ruby Amanfu’s Single for Third Man Records

Brittany Howard and Ruby Amanfu
Image Courtesy of Third Man Records

The latest artists to get the double A side treatment fro Jack White’s Third Man Records will be Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard and longtime White collaborator Ruby Amanfu. The duo have recorded two track for Third Man, “I Wonder” (originally performed by Rodriguez) and a version of Memphis Minnie’s “When My Man Comes Home”.

The 7″ single will be avaiable from Third Man Records on the 12th March. Listen to “When My Man Comes Home” below:

Falls Festival Feature Review: Lanie Lane

Lanie Lane by Stu BReview by KTBell, photos by Stu B.

Lanie Lane at  The Falls Festival, Lorne VIC
The Grand Theatre, Friday 30 December 2011

For an early timeslot, The Grand Theatre was bustling with an eager audience, evidence that Lanie’s musical ascent in 2011 had not gone unnoticed. She graced the stage in a little black wiggle dress and welcomed us with a ” Hiya beautifuls!” before bounding straight in to the alluring “Jungle Man.” By no means a lazy performer, with the audience attentive, she moved straight in to a slower track, ” The Devil’s Sake” that had the crowd swaying in time. During a brief chat to the crowd, Lane revealled she was in fact recovering from a massive headache and head cold and had woken up with a terrible throat and she was hoping her voice would hold out for Marion Bay the following day. For someone who was feeling woeful, her performance did not hint at it at all. She introduces “Don’t Cry”  as a song about embarrassing yourself in front of a boy you just met and rolled straight in to the song without losing a shred of conviction. An almost a reggae beat opening brought “Like Me Meaner” to life, returning to the album style we are familiar with for the chorus.

“My Man” is the B-side recorded with Jack White (of the White Stripes) and opened on stage ominously, building anticipation then smashing out a thumping beat intro while making way for her signature soulful vocals full of sultry, dark imagery and connotations to take over. Following on through the smoky haze created souly by her style and stage presence,  the huge hit “What Do I Do”, complete with chains on the snare drum, had the entire tent singing along. The crowd swayed in time and continued to grow in numbers. Between songs, Lane took a moment to thank the lighting and sound crew. She is very generous with her enthusiasm and treated the crowd to the very fun and rockabilly bop style hit “Betty Baby”. Given she was under the weather, it was forgivable for her voice to begin to waiver during “To The Horses” and we all hoped it would hold out for her Marion Bay show the next day.

Lanie Lane by Stu BIn her own words, the cheeky and infectious “That’s What You Get Falling In Love With A Cowboy” with it’s slow heady intro, bewitching vocals and her big grin is “a bit of fun, you can’t complain really” speaking of the woes detailed in the lyrics. Moving further towards the end of her set, it really was time for crowd participation as Lane introduced “Bang Bang” and taught the crowd how to sing the chorus summing up with “How easy is it? Just sing the same word lots of times”. She pumped out a rocking rendition and the crowd played their part well. In spite of illness, she certainly looked like she was having fun on stage as she dropped to her knees, jamming with rhythm guitarist and then with the crowd. Throughout the set had been some funky double bass which shone as a mellow cover of Muddy Waters’ “(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man” oozed cool in spite of the temperatures. Lane rounded out the set by switching to an acoustic guitar for the much anticipated single “Ain’t Hungry”. It was clear she really enjoyed performing, her band got right in to it and filled the tent with the honky tonk rhythm and strummy lead guitar while her vocals were smooth as treacle, only occassionally hinting at the struggle with an upset throat.

I left Lanie Lane’s set impressed and satisfied to have finally seen her again live. I found myself humming her hits for days, she is truly an inspired performer and the future will only see her success bloom.

View our Falls Festival Review Part 1 by clicking here.

Listen to Jack White’s Interpretation of Hank Williams

Hank Wlliams

A couple of months ago we brought you the news that a bunch of contemporary artists including Bob Dylan, Jack White, Alan Jackson, Norah Jones, Lucinda Williams and Sheryl Crow would be appearing on the new tribute album The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams featuring 12 previously unrecorded Williams songs.

The album has just been released and you can listen to Jack White’s take on Hank Williams with the wonderful track “You Know That I Know” over at RollingStone.com.

Lanie Lane’s Video for “Ain’t Hungry”

Lanie Lane
Image Courtesy of Lanie Lane

Lanie Lane’s latest release from Jack White’s Third Man Records has been getting quite a lot of press around the place, not least of all from us. So we’re very happy to bring you the latest news on the release, that Lane has put together a video for one of the songs, “Ain’t Hungry”. Check it out below and if you’ve haven’t picked up the double single yet make sure you head over to iTunes and do just that right now:

Lanie Lane’s Third Man Records Single Released Next Week

Lanie Lane
Image Courtesy of Third Man Records

It was only three weeks ago that we found out Sydney’s very own Lanie Lane had been given the unique opportunity to record with Jack White’s Third Man Records. Well today we found out that that recording will be next Tuesday 23rd August.

Lane recorded two songs with Third Man, “Ain’t Hungry” and “My Man” which will be released digitally as well in the form of a 7″ vinyl. Vinyl from Third Man is sometimes hard to get a hold of in Australia but according to the label’s website “More info coming your way soon, including the 411 on where and when the Tri-Colors for this release will be available… Suffice to say, Lanie’s hometown is in Sydney so Australian fans/collectors prepare to get happy.”

If you want to hear snippets of “Ain’t Hungry” and “My Man” head over to Third Man Records now.

Unrecorded Hank Williams Songs to Appear on Tribute Album

Hank Williams

Bob Dylan, Jack White, Alan Jackson, Norah Jones, Lucinda Williams and Sheryl Crow are amongst a list of all-star names set to appear on a very special tribute album to the late great Hank Williams featuring previously unrecorded songs.

The album, titled The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams, was conceived by veteran A&R executive Mary Martin after a leather briefcase filled with unrecorded song ideas was discovered after Williams’ death in 1953. Originally set to be a Bob Dylan project The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams has evolved to include recordings by some of the worlds best folk, country and contemporary music stars.

Fans will note the similarity to Bill Bragg and Wilco’s Mermaid Avenue albums which featured unrecorded songs from the late Woody Guthrie.

The album is due for release on the 4th October and the full artist and track listing is below:

1. Alan Jackson – “You’ve Been Lonesome, Too”
2. Bob Dylan – “The Love That Faded”
3. Norah Jones – “How Many Times Have You Broken My Heart?”
4. Jack White – “You Know That I Know”
5. Lucinda Williams – “I’m So Happy I Found You”
6. Vince Gill & Rodney Crowell – “I Hope You Shed a Million Tears”
7. Patty Loveless – “You’re Through Fooling Me”
8. Levon Helm – “You’ll Never Again Be Mine”
9. Holly Williams – “Blue Is My Heart”
10. Jakob Dylan – “Oh, Mama, Come Home”
11. Sheryl Crow – “Angel Mine”
12. Merle Haggard – “The Sermon on the Mount”

More details about the release can be found via Rolling Stone.

Lanie Lane Records with Jack White’s Third Man Records

Lanie Lane
Image Courtesy of Lanie Lane

This has got to be so frigging exciting for our Lanie Lane. Jack White (The White Stripes, The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs) started Third Man Records as a place to personally produce the artists he wanted to work with, both legends from the past that the rising stars of the future. Third Man Records has seen the likes of Wanda Jackson, Laura Marling, Secret Sisters, First Aid Kit, Seasick Steve and many many more walk through its doors. And now it’s our very own Lanie Lane’s turn.

Lane recently visited Nashville, Tennessee where she recorded two tracks with Jack White, “a fuzz bass sassed stomp number, “Ain’t Hungry” and a wailing, waltzing lament to withheld love, “My Man”” according to her blog. The songs will be released as a 7″ vinyl and digital single on the 23rd August.

Lane recounted on her blog: “It was an honour to be asked by Jack to record with him at Third Man. I was so inspired by the whole process and by how raw and instinctively everything happened. I got so much out of the experience and I’m very proud of the end result.”

Lanie Lane will probably stop pinching herself just in time to jump on stage at Splendour in the Grass this weekend. Looks like big things are happening for our favourite country-rock-roots-whatever artist – and she deserves it all!

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