This week, news from the Americana Music Association Awards, bluegrass on a boat (maybe a bluegrass band will cover “I’m on a Boat” [warning: explicit lyrics, about on par for sailors] for the occasion?), some sad news from SingOut! magazine, and more.
Rosanne Cash’s album The List won Album of the Year at the AMA awards. Cash also has a book out, Composed. John Mellencamp, who’s certainly come a long way in the roots music world since starting out as a hard rocker in the late 70s, was the AMA’s 2010 Lifetime Recipient for Songwriting.
The Biscuits and Bluegrass Alaskan Cruise will set sail on August 21st-28th, 2011, aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pearl. The cruise will follow the Inside Passage and visit many ports of call between Seattle, Washington and Skagway, Alaska. There will be music by Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Ronnie Reno & The Reno Tradition, Little Roy & Lizzy, Christy Sutherland, and High Road and cooking demonstrations (biscuits and gravy, of course!) for anyone who can take their eyes off the majestic scenery. [I don’t see any ice where I am, so, unfortunately, it looks like this will not be my rescue boat. -ed] [biscuitsandbluegrass.com]
Singer Susan McKeown is off on a North American tour to support an upcoming CD, Singing in the Dark. The tour includes two Portlands. Find out more here at her website. [susanmckeown.com]
Two organizations founded and operated by fans of the rock band Phish have raised and distributed a combined $1,000,000 for charity. The joint announcement was made by The Mimi Fishman Foundation, which raises funds through online auctions, and The Mockingbird Foundation, which publishes historical information about Phish in print and online. Both organizations are operated on an all-volunteer basis, with no salaries, paid staff, or offices. [www.mbird.org and www.mimifishman.org]
Finally, some sad news today from Mark D. Moss of Sing Out! magazine:
We received the news last night that Irwin Silber, the long-time editor of Sing Out!, passed away [September 8] at 2:30pm P.S.T.
I didn’t know Irwin well, having come to Sing Out! almost 15 years after he had moved on, but was a big fan of his work for the first 17 years of the magazine, as well as his work as Executive Secretary of People’s Songs from the late 1940s, and his work with Oak Publications during the boom years. It was an honor to have worked with him several times through my editorship and to have shared kudos with him and other Sing Out! editors when Folk Alliance honored Sing Out! with a lifetime achievement award early this decade. (Irwin, Happy Traum, Bob Norman and I accepted the award together, and it was really cool to hear the stories about Sing Out!’s early days and folk music’s intertwining with the HUAC hearings and more.) Irwin’s Folksingers Wordbook was something of an inspiration for Rise Up Singing . . . and there’s no question that his impact on the history of our music is immeasurable.
We’ll be running a full obit in the magazine, of course.
Driftwood offers its condolences to Mr. Silber’s family and coworkers.
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[Errata: We originally mistakenly listed Susan McKeown’s new album as Songs in the Dark. The album’s title is Singing in the Dark.]