Jim Sullivan was an American musician who in 1975 left his wife and son on the West Coast, striking out for Nashville to find success. He didn’t make it there, though—his car was found abandoned and motel room unused outside of Santa Rosa, N.M. In ‘69 Sullivan had released U.F.O., an album backed by the acclaimed Wrecking Crew—session musicians employed by Phil Spector on numerous hit songs. Sullivan and his psych-folk-rock masterpiece went mostly unnoticed until late last year when crate-diggin’ reissue label Light In The Attic rereleased U.F.O. NPR’s “All Things Considered” did a story on the album—listen here. Find out more about Sullivan, listen to audio samples or buy the record here.
A pioneering band in Albuquerque’s Americana scene, the Squash Blossom Boys brings expert musicianship and rollicking energy to standard and original tunes. The squashies have played in various locales—bars, growers’ markets, on tour earlier this year opening for the Meat Puppets, maybe even at your backyard barbecue—and the band’s popularity is on a steady upward climb. But even fans may not know the winding path these bluegrass men have traveled.
Listening to the earthy, earnest songs of The Felice Brothers, it’s easy to hear the band’s roots and the influence of its journey. Palenville, N.Y., is a hamlet of about 1,400 residents, nestled at the base of the Catskill Mountains near the Kaaterskill Falls. The fictional character Rip Van Winkle was supposed to have hailed from the town. It was there that brothers Ian, James and Simone Felice, the poor sons of a carpenter, grew up and began playing music. The brothers often held neighborhood jam sessions and played regularly during family backyard barbecues.
Americana is an umbrella term for roots-based musics native to the states, such as country and Western, bluegrass and folk. Despite vast differences, Americana acts tend to join forces, creating juxtaposed yet cohesive shows. It wouldn’t be unusual to find truck-driving country, indie follk and Emmet Otter’s Jug Band all cozying up under one roof. The appeal—be it pastoral, nostalgic or simply unplugged—crosses demographics, too. The music is usually suitable for grandpas, babies, and everyone in between in almost any kind of venue.
Today there is no longer an argument. Yoga is a cultural force and a booming industry. But is it American? Stefanie Syman, author of the compelling and exhaustive cultural history of yoga in America, The Subtle Body: The Story Of Yoga In America, says yes. She’ll be in New Mexico on Friday, July 30 (details below) to make the case and field questions. Until that times, here’s a few teasers from the depths of yoga-Americana—
This evening’s lineup at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW, 344-9555 ) offers a serious but never solemn slice of local y’allternative music. Read all about it here, ya hear? 8 p.m., $5, 21-and-over.