Saturday, July 22, 2017

Saturday Morning with Mike Regenstreif – CKCU – Saturday July 22, 2017

Saturday Morning is an eclectic roots-oriented program on CKCU in Ottawa heard live on Saturday mornings from 7 until 10 am (Eastern time) and then available for on-demand streaming. I am one of the four rotating hosts of Saturday Morning and base my programming on the Folk Roots/Folk Branches format I developed at CKUT in Montreal.

CKCU can be heard at 93.1 FM in Ottawa and on the web.

This episode of Saturday Morning can be streamed on-demand at

Extended theme – Songs of Joni Mitchell.

Jayme Stone, Dom Flemons & Ron Miles- Buttermilk

Karen Dalton- Same Old Man
In My Own Time (Light in the Attic)
Too Sad for the Public w/Suzzy Roche- Black River Falls

Ben Bullington- Lazy Moon
Lazy Moon (Ben Bullington)
Tim Grimm & the Family Band- Thirteen Years
A Stranger in This Time (Vault)
Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer- I Go Like the Raven
Drum Hat Buddha (Signature Sounds)
Billy & Bryn Bright- Jerusalem Café
Billy & Bryn Bright (Blue Corn)

Joe Jencks- Let Me Sing You a Song
Poets, Philosophers, Workers & Wanderers (Turtle Bear Music)
Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer- Well May the World Go/Letter from Pete’s Banjo
Get Up and Do Right (Community Music)
Pete Seeger w/Arlo Guthrie & Shenendoah- Precious Friend You Will Be There
Precious Friend (Warner Bros.)

Deborah Robins- The Keweenaw Light
Home Fires (Zippety Whippet)
The Malvinas- How Can I Keep from Singing
God Bless the Grass (Soona Songs)
Mason Daring & Jeanie Stahl- River
The Early Years (Daring)
Tom Russell- When the Wolves No Longer Sing

Tom Russell- Up in the Old Hotel
Folk Hotel (Frontera)
Louis Armstrong- I Guess I’ll Get the Papers and Go Home
What a Wonderful World (MCA)

Tom Rush- Tin Angel
The Circle Game (Elektra)
Judy Collins- Chelsea Morning
Forever: An Anthology (Elektra)
Ian & Sylvia- The Circle Game
So Much for Dreaming (Vanguard)
Joni Mitchell- For Free
Ladies of the Canyon (Reprise)
Caroline Herring- Cactus Tree
Golden Apples of the Sun (Signature Sounds)

Dave Van Ronk- That Song About the Midway
Sunday Street (Philo)
Tigger Outlaw- Songs to Aging Children
Alice’s Restaurant soundtrack (Ryko)
Mike Beck- Carey
Mariposa Wind (Reata)
Joni Mitchell- Little Green
Blue (Reprise)
Marjan Cornille- A Case of You
Won’t You Try (Munich)

Robin & Linda Williams- Urge for Going
Back 40 (Red House)
Bob Dylan- Big Yellow Taxi
Dylan (Columbia/Legacy)
Robinlee Garber- Amelia
Resilience (Robinlee Garber)
Joni Mitchell- The Silky Veils of Ardor
Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter (Asylum)
Pete Seeger- Both Sides Now
Young vs. Old (Columbia)

Lynn Miles w/Keith Glass- My Road
Road (Lynn Miles)
Jack Williams- Banks of the Edisto
Far Away, Long Ago (Wind River)
John McCutcheon- Between Good and Gone
Trolling for Dreams (Appalseeds)
Vance Gilbert- Old White Men
Old White Men (Disismye Music)

Jean Ritchie & Sons- My Dear Companion
Mountain Born (Greenhays)
J. Reissner- Drunk Companion
Portrait in Blue (J. Reissner)
Claire Lynch- If Wishes Were Horses
Crowd Favorites (Rounder)
The Sherman Holmes Project- Rock of Ages
The Richmond Sessions (M.C.)
Andy Cohen- Road Be Kind
Road Be Kind (Earwig)

Andy Cohen- Windy and Warm
Road Be Kind (Earwig)

I’ll be hosting Saturday Morning next on August 19. The extended theme will be Songs of Tom Russell.

Find me on Twitter. @MikeRegenstreif

--Mike Regenstreif

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Too Sad for the Public – Vol. 1 – Oysters Ice Cream Lemonade: American Folk Fantasies Written and Arranged by Dick Connette

Vol. 1 – Oysters Ice Cream Lemonade: American Folk Fantasies Written and Arranged by Dick Connette
StorySound Records

For 20 years, since the release of the first CD by Last Forever, I’ve greatly admired the work of composer/songwriter/producer Dick Connette. In Last Forever, he teamed with the late vocalist Sonya Cohen to produce several albums of completely reimagined traditional songs and original songs steeped in tradition. I continue to find great musical riches whenever I return to the Last Forever albums – which I have done often.

Much of the material on Vol. 1 – Oysters Ice Cream Lemonade: American Folk Fantasies Written and Arranged by Dick Connette, his new project – recorded under the group name ‘Too Sad for the Public’ – continues in the vein of Last Forever with original songs based on traditional themes and a couple of fascinating covers of pop songs. The lead vocals are in the capable hands of Suzzy Roche (four songs), Rachelle Garniez (one song), Ana Egge (two songs) and Gabriel Kahane (one song).

All of the vocal songs on the album are entirely praiseworthy. Perhaps my favorite, if I had to pick just one, is “Black River Falls,” sung by Suzzy. The melody and chorus are based on Karen Dalton’s version of the traditional folksong “Same Old Man,” and the verses, each of which stands on its own, are based on Michael Lesy’s book. Wisconsin Death Trap.

Other favorites include “Old Alabama,” sung by Ana, which takes its inspiration from several traditional songs, most notably “Old Country Rock,” a country blues first recorded by William Moore in 1928 (the group name, Too Sad for the Public, comes from a repeated line in this song); and “Orphée in Opelousas,” sung by Gabriel, Dick’s reimagination of the Orpheus legend from Greek mythology which he sets in Louisiana to a score based on traditional Cajun songs.

I also love what he’s done with the two covers. “He’s a Bad Boy,” sung by Suzzy, was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin in the early-1960s. As John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers (and Sonya Cohen’s father) pointed out to Dick, the song is a teenage variation on “Stagger Lee.”

“Young Loves to Love,” sung by Ana, is a medley of two early Van Morrison songs – “Brown Eyed Girl” and “Sweet Thing.” The latter song came from Astral Weeks (my second favorite Morrison album) and the arrangement is reminiscent of it – and prominently features the nylon-string guitar playing of Jay Berliner, whose playing was a key component of Astral Weeks.  

The other theme that runs through the album is a tribute to the late Chuck Brown, a Washington, D.C. guitarist who was known as “The Godfather of Go-Go,” a form of funk music. This is first heard in “Liberty City,” a Jaco Pastorius tune that Brown quoted in one his own tunes. Dick offers three short passages from “Liberty City” as strategic interludes during the album. Then, as the penultimate track, there is the 12-minute go-go instrumental “Chuck Baby,” a direct tribute to Brown, whose intensity never stops swirling and building.

While the go-go tracks might initially seem an odd coupling with the folk-inspired material, Dick Connette and the musicians of Too Sad for the Public bring it all together in a way that just seems right.

Dick variously plays harmonium, piano, bass and bass drum throughout the album. In addition to the singers, he is joined by a core group of five musicians – including Chaim Tannenbaum on harmonica –and 12 other contributing musicians. Dicks arrangements are masterful from the opening notes of the first track until the end of the album.

Find me on Twitter.

And on Facebook.

--Mike Regenstreif