Host Jim Blum and Producer Joe Gunderman
We have restarted the tradition of "Ornaments and Icing" for 2006. It's good to be back with new music and tales, assembled for the holidays. This is version four, and follows the same format as the shows from 1999 through 2001. We offered the artists a blank piece of staff paper, if you will, and this show is their response. All the material is new to you, be it newly written or newly adapted, most of it recorded specifically for this program, and some yet-to-be released material was sent for us to share with you as well.
To call this program "folk-based" is both a compliment and a conundrum. Some would define folk music as any music that carries the message of a society, the words of its "folk." Some see it steeped in tradition, and have an image of folk music as a certain kind of sound, usually acoustic based, and story-telling. We do not worry about definitions. Having sprung from the 12 weekend hours of folk music played on WKSU for over 25 years, which has been an evolving blend of acoustic based singer/songwriter, traditional, bluegrass, Celtic, country blues, an almost endless list of influences, we have no rules about what should appear on Ornaments. It simply must be good, and we start from where we've come from, loosely defined as the Folk World.
And so, as is becoming our own tradition, we have everything from Roger McGuinn and Peter Yarrow doing old spirituals, to Nanci Griffith with a new version of a song she penned some years back, to Rio Neon performing a song they wrote specifically for Ornaments, to Raul Malo giving us a lovely version of a descriptive pop song. We've also included a classic cut, another tradition, this time from the 1966 album "Noel" by Joan Baez, introduced by the man who arranged the music, the world's foremost authority on P.D.Q. Bach, Peter Schickele.
We refer to the songs as our Ornaments, and the stories as our Icing. I have adapted a song from the 1940s into a Christmas scene, a few artists offer thoughts on their work, and we continue our fun tradition of having everyone on the show take a line or two in performing The Night Before Christmas.
Each item in the line-up below is a link to a description of that offering, and then a further link to the artist's web page. Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!
--Joe Gunderman, producer
Ornaments & Icing 1999
Ornaments & Icing 2000
Ornaments & Icing 2001
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