“This music (LosTexmaniacs) is not a dusty museum relic, but a vital heartbeat for a group of folks who truly have one foot on either side of the border and live a daily code-switching identity.” —NPR Alt.Latino
On April 7th, GRAMMY-winning artists San Antonio-based Tejano conjunto Los Texmaniacs and Eva Marisol “La Marisoul” Hernández (of LA-based band La Santa Cecilia) will release their next album, Corazones and Canciones, together on Smithsonian Folkways. A 15-song collection of generation-spanning Mexican-American classics from all over the US (Los Canciones), the album celebrates the love, joy, and the ineffable feeling that music can evoke, while simultaneously shining a light on the importance of Mexican-American music within the overall American Roots tradition. This music makes clear that Mexican-American music is American music with life-affirming energy and passion. Ranging in sound from dancehall and conjunto polka-beats to romantic Tejano guitar (all accented by La Marisoul’s booming, soulful vocals, and Los Texmaniacs’ exuberant playing), each song was chosen for its heart, emotional potential, and ability to connect people across age, place, and time (Los Corazones).
While working on Corazones and Canciones, one of the feelings that La Marisoul and Max Baca, Los Texmaniacs’ Albuquerque-born, San Antonio–based leader and bajo sexto maestro, aimed to capture was the sense of belonging that being part of the extended Mexican-American community can bring. Though they are not related by blood, La Marisoul and Baca (and the rest of Los Texmaniacs) were deeply inspired by that specialness of being Mexican-American and that sense of community - of being primos” (cousins). La Marisoul said of her fellow Mexican-American musicians: “They make me feel like I belong to something now. I have my primos, Los Texmaniacs.” Though they may be from Albuquerque, while La Marisoul was born, raised, and lives in Los Angeles, “they mix it up, too, and we’re related, you know? And I love that … I’m a sister from a different mister.” In evoking that sense of belonging, La Marisoul and Baca also made sure to represent the diversity of Mexican-American people and culture, celebrating the idea of a rich community while rejecting that of a monolith. In that sense, at its core, this is an album that is deeply American - emblematic of the Melting Pot nature of a nation of immigrants, and the way that American folk music has developed over time to be an amalgamation of regional styles, languages and dialects, traditional instruments, and more. “There’s borders and things that tell us where we are, but the music is happening here, so it’s just as American as it is Mexican and Tejano and Californiano, and it’s beautiful. I think that’s one of the special things about living in the United States. A lot of worlds can fit here, and it’s built on that. It’s built on muchos mundos, mucha gente de muchos mundos [many worlds, many people from many worlds], so American music can also be in Spanish, can also have a Tejano conjunto swing, you know? In the end, what we’re making is American music.”
When making the selection of which American roots songs to cover on the album, making sure to represent that diversity within Mexican-American music was the easy part. Choosing the songs with the most emotional power, the most heart, was the real work. For Baca, the songs needed to be classics—songs that have been around for generations because they have touched people’s deepest feelings, and people in turn have made them part of their lives and poured their sentiments into them. “Everything that we did in this whole project is done with the heart and soul, because of the passion and love we have for this music. . . . The corazón is the heartbeat; everything comes from the heart. If you’re not doing it from the heart, then you have no business doing it.”
La Marisoul summed up her and Los Texmaniacs’ intentions for the album: “We are storytellers—and provokers. We want to provoke something, like feeling, because we’re human. We need to feel that we’re alive, because, man, that’s all we have—life, you know?”
Corazones and Canciones is the fourth Los Texmaniacs album on Smithsonian Folkways, and the first for La Marisoul.
Portland, OR-based singer, songwriter, and producer John Craigie adapts moments of solitude into stories perfectly suited for old Americana fiction anthologies. Instead of leaving them on dog-eared pages, he projects them widescreen in flashes of simmering soul and folk eloquence. On his 2022 full-length album, Mermaid Salt, we witness revenge unfurled in flames, watch a landlocked mermaid’s escape, and fall asleep under a meteor shower.
After selling out shows consistently coast-to-coast and earning acclaim from Rolling Stone, Glide Magazine, No Depression, and many more, his unflinching honesty ties these ten tracks together.
The album comes from the solitude and loneliness of lockdown in the Northwest. Someone whose life was touring, traveling, and having lots of human interaction is faced with an undefinable amount of time without those things. So, he began writing new songs and envisioning an album that was different from his past records. The sound of everyone playing live in a room together was traded for the sound of song construction with an unknown amount of instruments and musicians—a quiet symphony.
Rather than steal away to a cabin or hole up in a house with friends, Craigie opted to set up shop at the OK Theater in Enterprise, OR with longtime collaborator Bart Budwig behind the board as engineer. A rotating cast of musicians shuffled in and out safely, distinguishing the process from the communal recording of previous releases. The core players included Justin Landis, Cooper Trail, and Nevada Sowle. Meanwhile, Shook Twins lent their signature vocal harmonies, Bevin Foley arranged, composed, and performed strings, and Ben Walden dropped in for guitar and violin plucking parts.
“Instruments were scattered around the theater and microphones placed in various spots,” he recalls. “It’s hard to say who all played what exactly.”
As such, the spirit in the room guided everyone. On “Distance,” warm piano glows alongside a glitchy beat as he softly laments, “I could lose you to the loneliness, vast and infinite.” Then, there’s “Helena.” A jazz-y bass line snakes through head-nodding percussion as he relays an incendiary parable of a mother and son in exile. He croons, “She said fire was how we’d make ‘em pay. As I ran across the fields, she would scream, ‘Light it up son’,” uplifted in a conflagration of Shook Twins’ harmonies. Strings echo in the background as his vocals quake front-and-center on “Street Mermaid.”
Elsewhere, the guitar-laden “Microdose” beguiles and bewitches with an intoxicating refrain dedicated to a time where he “Microdosed for months and months, dissolve my ego in the acid.” Everything culminates on the glassy beat-craft and glistening guitars of “Perseids” where he sings, “There’s always a new heart after the old heart. Maybe a new heart is enough.”
During this period, he explored the environment around him “from the Oregon coasts to the waterfalls” and read books about Levon Helm, Billie Holiday, and Ani DiFranco.
“I got time to silence all the noise and chaos of touring and look inward,” he observes.
Craigie had reached a series of watershed moments in tandem with Mermaid Salt. Beyond headlining venues such as The Fillmore and gracing the stage of Red Rocks Amphitheater, his 2020 offering Asterisk The Universe earned unanimous tastemaker applause. Rolling Stone noted, “tracks like ‘Don’t Deny’ and ‘Climb Up’ bridge a Sixties and Seventies songwriter vibe with the laid-back cool of Jack Johnson, an early supporter of Craigie,” while Glide Magazine hailed it as “one of his best records.” Perhaps, No Depression put it best, “For many weary and heavy- listeners hearted, the album might be exactly what they need.” Along the way, he generated over 40 million total streams and counting, speaking to his unassuming impact.
In the end, Craigie offers a sense of peace on Mermaid Salt.
A 'tweener performs 1-4 songs in between mainstage sets at the Ogden Music Festival while our stage crew is switching out mainstage bands. OFOAM looks for high quality local artists and seeks to showcase artists of all ages with an emphasis on young performers. Solo, duo, or trio acts encouraged. Apply by March 24.
Dan Tyminski Band announced for Ogden Music Festival 2023. Full lineup will be announced soon! Tickets on sale now.
As an artist who has withstood the test of time, Americana musician Kate MacLeod brings music to you through her original songs, instrumentals, and creative renditions of traditional and popular music. In concert, you might hear her singing her own songs, a Scottish ballad, or, A Horse With No Name. Since her first recording, produced by Charles Sawtelle of Hot Rize, her songs have been recorded by other artists from California to the Czech Republic, including musicians such as Laurie Lewis and Mollie O'Brien. Kate has toured in the United States, Canada, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, and the UK. She was chosen for the Best of the West Award, 2019, by the Far-West division of Folk Alliance International. In addition to her Americana/Folk music, she is a versatile composer and received the 2019 Alfred Lambourne Friends of the Great Salt Lake Award for an original violin duet. In February 2022, Kate released Uranium Maiden, a 2-CD compilation of original music inspired by the Utah region. Kate is a singer and songwriter inspired by American roots music, and an award-winning fiddle player specializing in Scottish, Irish, American Old-Time, and improvisational fiddling. She shares her residence time between her Salt Lake City home, and Harpers Ferry, WV where she looks after her 97-year-old mother. Joining Kate on stage will be some of the musicians who are featured in the music of the Uranium Maiden recording.
Pompe n’ Honey is a tightly knit acoustic swing band out of Salt Lake City that came together over a love of obscure, early 20th-century swing and folk music. Breaking down the wall between high-brow sophistication and raw artistic expression, they are comfort food for your ears. Specializing in classic country swing and gypsy jazz, Pompe n’ Honey play a healthy dose of original tunes, American Songbook standards, and quirky pop covers to make a dynamic and positively toe-tapping good time. Be ready for banjos, guitars, dobros, fiddles, basses, salty solos, tasty harmonies, and an irresistible urge to boogie!
The West Road is a local family bluegrass band made up of brothers Hank and Charlie Hansen. Hank is 15 and plays guitar and Charlie is 13 on the mandolin. They picked up their instruments during the COVID shut down and haven’t stop playing since. They love to play and listen to traditional bluegrass, and the older the tune the better. They have played in bluegrass festivals right here in Utah, and all the way from California to Texas. Give them a follow on Instagram @thewestroad or check out their YouTube channel @thewestroadbluegrassband
“Maybe America’s Newest Musical Treasure”–No Depression
“It’s joy filtered through the lens of Americana, and that simplicity in approach should be celebrated.”–Popmatters
Emotional, gut-wrenching, but still incredibly hopeful, National Park Radio’s music reverberates important themes about life, love, and difficult choices, all while echoing the enduring beauty of the band’s deep-seated roots in the Ozark Mountains. Formed in Northwest Arkansas in 2012, National Park Radio, headed by singer/songwriter Stefan Szabo, has infused the surrounding region (and many others as well) with their unique brand of indie-folk music. Emerging from the shadows cast by giants Mumford & Sons, The Decemberists, and The Avett Brothers, NPR offers the indie folk world something a little different: An outstanding blend of incisive songwriting and organic Americana charm, alongside a heritage in genuine mountain music.
Szabo (lead vocals, acoustic guitar) self-produced the band’s EP back in 2013, and National Park Radio has never looked back. Initially, the music spread like mountain wildfire throughout the region, earning the band a substantial and incredibly loyal following in their home region. After facing some of the challenges in the music industry while creating their first full-length album The Great Divide (2016), Szabo’s wife Kerrie joined the band with the release of their quick follow-up album “Old Forests” (2017), bringing beautiful harmonies and a unique chemistry that created a sense of family at the core of the band. They have spent the last few years touring and gaining fans throughout the country, building a passionate fan base that is inspired by their songs. Their most recent release The Road Ahead (2020) is now available and demonstrates the next step in the evolution of where National Park Radio’s music is headed.
Hailed as “the hottest band in the Wasatch” by the Intermountain Acoustic Music Association, Pixie and The Partygrass Boys is composed of lifelong professional musicians drawn together by a common love of bluegrass and skiing in the Wasatch. Featuring soulful, often harmonic vocals and solid strings and rhythm, this tight-knit crew was born out of the belly of a warm cabin after a long day on the slopes- drinking whiskey and singing into the night. With a high energy sound and a love for silly outfits, they travel the land spreading the gospel of whiskey, chickens, and fun for everyone.