Friday, February 10, 2012

Long Player Late Bloomer

Through some odd coincidence or convergence the library adds the new recordings of three Canadian songwriters this week. Convergence is the latest from Kathleen Edwards a songwriter and singer of singular beauty and sensitivity. Also new is Old Ideas, the newest from Leonard Cohen whose career resurgence and successful touring are enjoyed by as many new fans as old, 40 or so years into his creative life. Ron Sexsmith's Long Player Late Bloomer is the third new disc from a Canadian songwriter and perhaps the most deserving of your attention. Sexsmith is a great writer whose previous ten cds have earned praise from Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Chris Martin and Lucinda Williams but have yet to earn him the wide popularity he deserves. The songs are beautiful, intelligent, melodic and memorable and the performance is folk-rock and rootsy. Sexsmith's delivery is modest and unassuming but his talent is profound. Great stuff.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Judy Collins

Judy Collins has recently published Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music. In this second memoir (the first being more about her response to a personal tragedy), the singer discusses the height of her career in the 1960s, her alcoholism, her love affair with Stephen Stills, and her friendships with Joan Baez, David Crosby, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and others. Interested readers will find recordings by Collins (and many of the people mentioned in the book) in the library's Media department.

Friday, February 3, 2012

New Music Books

Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001) by former Eagles guitarist Don Felder has been out a couple of years now, but we just added a copy to the library's music collection. The Eagles were a big part of the California music scene (and still are as a result of endless farewell tours) and their long run provides a book full of stories for Don Felder to tell. Popularizing the innovations of Gram Parsons and others, the Eagles put country rock on the map and enjoyed great success and popularity for decades. Felder talks about how how things fell apart for the band and how the once equal partnership gave way to tight fisted control by just a couple of members. A major band bio and a must-read for music fans whether fans of the Eagles or not.

Love was a grounbreaking, innovative band that enjoyed mostly critical success, but that remains immensely influential long after its demise. Canadian author John Einarson's new book about Love's leader and founder Arthur Lee explores the turbulent life and career of the creator of the landmark recording Forever Changes, a 1967 recording of sweeping ambition and bold originality that enjoys a reputation as one of rock music's greatest albums. From the heady days on the Sunset Strip to Lee's descent into chaos, Einarson's Forever Changes: Arthur Lee and the Book of Love offers the first fully researched story of this troubled but brilliant musician and his times.