Known in her heyday as "the blues sensation of the West," the big-voiced Sara Martin was one of the best of the classic female blues singers of the '20s. Martin began her career as a vaudeville performer, switching to blues singing in the early '20s. In 1922, she began recording for OKeh Records, cutting a number of bawdy blues like "Mean Tight Mama." She continued recording until 1928. During this time, Martin became a popular performer on the southern Theater Owners' Booking Association circuits, eventually playing theaters and clubs on the east coast as well. In the early '30s, Sara Martin retired from blues singing and settled in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. While she was in Louisville, she ran a nursing home and occasionally sang gospel in church. Sara Martin died after suffering a stroke in 1955.
Sara Mingardo has been creating quite a stir in baroque circles but this is my first chance to catch up with her. In one sense she may be considered a "typical" baroque singer, in the sense that she uses a completely straight vocal production, from which vibrato has been rigorously excluded, and cultivates a somewhat plangent, nasal sound, with the result that a casual listener might suppose he was listening to a counter-tenor.
Alice Sara Ott's 2008 recording of Franz Liszt's 12 Transcendental Etudes may be the right prescription for jaded listeners who are sure they've heard all they need of this composer. To the extent that any pianist can make Liszt's music sound fresh, innovative, and interesting again, after years of mistreatment at the hands of sentimentalists and show-offs, Ott succeeds brilliantly on all three points.
Esoteric Recordings is pleased to announce the latest release in the Todd Rundgren Archive series, “ALL SIDES OF THE ROXY 1978”. In May 1978 Todd Rundgren performed a series of concerts at The Roxy Theater in West Hollywood, California with a band comprising members of The Hello People (Bobby Sedita, Larry Tasse, Greg Geddes & Norman Smart) along with keyboard player Moogy Klingman, bassist John Seigler & drummer John “Willie” Wilcox. The highlight of this residency was a concert on the 23rd May 1978 which was the largest concert simulcast on American FM radio at that time with an estimated audience of over ten million listeners.
GarciaLive Volume Ten documents the Jerry Garcia Band's May 20, 1990 performance at the Hilo Civic Auditorium in Hawaii. In this relaxed setting, it's no wonder that the music from this show shines so brightly both in Garcia's strong vocals and guitar playing but also the joyful setlist spanning some of Jerry's favorite corners of music Dylan, Motown, Reggae, and Rock & Roll. Spurred on by the ever-steady rhythm section of Dave Kemper and John Kahn, complete with the celestial sounds of Melvin Seals' organ and background vocals of Gloria Jones and Jacklyn LaBranch.