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Podcast: A Conversation with Marisa Anderson

A Conversation with Marisa Anderson:

Marisa Anderson is a great and unique guitarist in her playing, what she writes and her choice of material to cover.

This is from her website:

Combining boundless creative imagination with a deep reverence for American folk, blues and country music, Marisa Anderson’s guitar playing is fluid, emotional, dexterous and original. National Public Radio says Anderson’s playing “exposes and hides the mysteries of American music”. Pitchfork calls her recent record, ‘Mercury’, ”Brilliant” and Wire Magazine says, “Her sound has strength in restless variety…Anderson’s playing is heartfelt and utterly American, free from grandstanding and steeped in respect for the old tradition.” Anderson’s work features improvisations and compositions inspired by Delta blues, West African guitar, Appalachian mountain music, vintage country and western, gospel, noise, rhythm, cycles, mortality, and praise. In performance, Anderson channels the history of the guitar and stretches the boundaries of tradition.

Anderson has walked across the country twice to support a couple of causes, though she describes herself “a musician with strong opinions” and not an activist. Above is “Canaan’s Land.” Below is a “Tiny Desk Concert” from NPR. I’ve set the player to start as Anderson plays her interpretation of “Hesitation Blues,” which she calls “Hesitation Theme and Variation Blues.” The song at the beginning and end of the podcast is “Sinks and Rises.”

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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