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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Non Comm Wraps Up With Comebacks and Discoveries

Hola from Louisville! Just wrapping up the last night at Non Comm and what a night it's been. The triumphant return of Paula Cole, long awaited new music from Suzanne Vega and a chat with a former Drive By Trucker who wrote some of their best songs are among the highlights.

Paula brought the public radio heads gathered on the 16th floor of the Brown Hotel to their feet this afternoon. She kicked things off with I'M SO ORDINARY from her debut in '95, HARBINGER. She rolled through new songs from her forthcoming disc, COURAGE and played the amazing TIGER, from THIS FIRE. Even though we'll find out more about why she waited so long to make a record again when I play back my chat with Paula for you this week, it's baffling that she was away from music for seven years- her voice, musicianship and passion couldn't be contained!

Suzanne Vega performed at the theater next door to the hotel for the big closing show tonight. I first saw her in '85 at Kraushaar Auditorium at Goucher College...and it dawned on me as she played Tom's Diner, Luka and Left of Center...that it's been twenty two years since I last saw Suzanne and she, and her music, hasn't aged at all. Too bad I can't say the same for me ;)

I talked with Jason Isbell, former guitarist and lyricist for the Drive By Truckers (he wrote DECORATION DAY) and he's looking forward to putting out a Muscle Shoals soul infused album this summer. He's even got some horns on the record.

I wanted to share the story of rhythmic guitarist and soul singer Raul Midon with you. When he was an infant, he and his twin brother were blinded as infants after they spent too long in an incubator without adequate eye protection. He learned jazz at University of Miami...and honed his skills a session singer. He's an absolutely electric performer on an acoustic. Raul's new song about his late Mom, moved a few to tears today. Check out the rhythm and the horn section on this song, SATE OF MIND, and be amazed.

It was personally moving to see so many musicians and those that love and want to share music...interact in this kind of setting. From bands busking in the street, to radio folks talking about their latest discoveries...this amazing experience has been something I hope you'll get a feel for, when I play back conversations from the artists we've met. Artist. You know, everybody had ID badges with their name and station ID that we wore around our neck. But, the musicians wore tags that simply said, "Artist." I hope we bring you closer to them everyday.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for listening. Thanks for loving the music. Good-bye from Louisville. Talk to you Monday morning. Peace.


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