Sean Lennon, David Schnaufer, Nina Nastasia

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Friendly fire from Sean Lennon; Fragile new folk by Bonnie Prince Billy; The return of folk icon Bert Jansch; Intense evangelical rock from Woven Hand; The late dulcimer master David Schnaufer; The intimate songs of singer Nina Nastasia; Experimental new-folk from Akron/Family.

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Sean Lennon, David Schnaufer, Nina Nastasia

Friendly Fire

Dead Meat

  • Artist: Sean Lennon
  • Album: Friendly Fire
  • Song: Dead Meat

Now 30 years old, the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono has worked with Lenny Kravitz, the Japanese pop duo Cibo Mato and as a solo artist. His debut release, Into the Sun in 1998 was well received by both fans and critics. He follows eight years later now with a sharp new collection of original work called Friendly Fire.

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  • "Dead Meat"
  • Album: Friendly Fire
  • Artist: Sean Lennon
 
The Letting Go

No Bad News

  • Artist: Bonnie "Prince" Billy
  • Album: Letting Go
  • Song: No Bad News

Bonnie Prince Billy (Will Oldham) is considered an overlooked folk icon and the inspiration for other artists like Iron and Wine, Calexico and Devendra Banhardt. Oldham's music is fragile and soulful with warm production and sweet harmonies.

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  • "No Bad News"
  • Album: The Letting Go
  • Artist: Bonnie Prince Billy
  • Label: Drag City
 
The Black Swan

Katie Cruel

  • Artist: Bert Jansch
  • Album: The Black Swan
  • Song: Katie Cruel

British folk singer Bert Jansch got his start in the 1960s. Though he never developed much of a following in the U.S., he was widely regarded as an influential folk icon in his native Britain. Jansch drew a new generation of fans after his music was featured earlier this year in the film The Squid and the Whale.

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  • "Katie Cruel"
  • Album: The Black Swan
  • Artist: Bert Jansch
 
Mosaic

Winter Shaker

  • Artist: Woven Hand
  • Album: Mosaic
  • Song: Winter Shaker

Woven Hand is the recording name for David Eugene Edwards, an evangelical Christian who makes blistering, driving music that's surprisingly experimental. Woven hand refers to hands locked in prayer.

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  • "Winter Shaker"
  • Album: Mosaic
  • Artist: Woven Hand
 
Dulcimer Sessions

Ebeneezer/Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss

  • Artist: David Schnaufer
  • Album: Dulcimer Sessions
  • Song: Ebeneezer/Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss

David Schnaufer, who died Aug. 23 of cancer, is remembered for his legendary dulcimer playing. Originally from Texas, Schanufer relocated to Nashville where he became one of the premier dulcimer session players, often credited with bringing the instrument to contemporary music. Schnaufer recorded with everyone from Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash, and Emmylou Harris, to the Judds, Mark Knopfler, and Cyndi Lauper.

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On Leaving

Bird of Cuzco

  • Artist: Nina Nastasia
  • Album: On Leaving
  • Song: Bird of Cuzco

Nina Nastasia is a New York singer-songwriter originally from Hollywood. Her folky tunes blend spare string arrangements with acoustic guitar, simple percussion and Nastasia's lovely, melancholy voice. She was originally featured on All Songs Considered episode 65.

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  • "Bird of Cuzco"
  • Album: On Leaving
  • Artist: Nina Nastasia
 
Meek Warrior

Gone Beyond

  • Artist: Akron/Family
  • Album: Meek Warrior
  • Song: Gone Beyond

Akron/Family call themselves "four extremely nice, sincere and well-mannered young men from rural America who came to New York City (in 2002) to make music, hoping to find a thread of real magic still winding through this city's music scene." Their music has been called enigmatic "freak folk."

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  • "Gone Beyond"
  • Album: Meek Warrior
  • Artist: Akron/Family
  • Label: Young God
 

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