Thanksgiving is the perfect time to curl up on the couch with your iPad to watch or share cool videos. In honor of the season of sharing, here are our latest obsessions.
Jayme Stone Lomax Project - Susan Anna Girl
Canadian banjo master Jayme Stone has a roving mind, bouncing from project to project, always looking for interesting collaborations. He first made his name through his innovative collaborations with Malian kora player and griot Mansa Sissoko, and has now turned his attention to the huge world of Alan Lomax's field recordings. His upcoming Lomax project brings together some of the best young names in American roots music to re-interpret gems from Lomax's huge collection. I just found this video from the project that features some of these pickers picking on the classic Tommy Jarrell song "Susan Anna Gal". That's the great Brittany Haas on fiddle, Seattle roots man Eli West on lead vocals and octave mandolin, Brooklyn singer Margaret Glaspy, and ex-Punch Bros Bassist Greg Garrison. Acoustic roots music goodness right here, friends.
The Decemberists - Make You Better
This video's been making the rounds on Facebook and with good reason. In addition to a new Decemberists song from their upcoming album, we also get a pretty hilarious skit of a German cable access music show led by a lonesome lothario, played here by the always brilliant Nick Offerman of Parks & Rec. I die every time he pronounces the song "Make You Butter."
Kuhn Narin - Lam Phu Thai #1
We've been super into some interesting global traditions this week and top of the list is the hard-burning, buzzed-out electric phin music of Norern Thailand. The phin is a three string guitar common to the area and often heard in the more popular mo lam music. I've long had a dream of traveling to Thailand to learn the phin; it just seems like such a fun, laid back instrument. But years ago when I was trying to find out more about the instrument, there just wasn't much to be found. Now we have YouTube and the whole world is at our fingertips. Kuhn Narin, an electric phin band from Thailand were discovered by American label Innovative Leisure via the incredible YouTube video we're putting up here. You can read the whole story and background on the music and band HERE, but the gist is that the American label headed out to record and release their international release, and man does it burn hot!
Miss Tess - Queen of the Road
This is a simple little video, but masterfully done. Miss Tess usually tours with her band, The Talkbacks, and her music is a supremely entertaining blend of post-war roots styles, mashin up some New Orleans sass with a rockabilly vibe. Great stuff, and though here she's all by herself, she's lived the road dog life and there's a real knowing weariness to her take on the classic Roger Miller song, "King of the Road." Here she's translated the song to Queen of the Road, and with so many powerful women fronting roots bands and touring harder than most truck drivers, this song goes out to a lot of great artists.