Songwriting

The Troubadour Blues Roadshow, a unique blend of film, poetry, acoustic songs and plugged-in rock & roll, visits three cities in Tennessee this month. The show features singer-songwriters RB Morris and Nancy Apple, roots-rockers the Tim Lee Three, and a special preview of the film Troubadour Blues (which will be on sale at all shows). We’ll be at the Pilot Light in Knoxville on Thursday, Oct. 10, the Family Wash in Nashville on Friday, Oct. 11 (with special guests Amelia White and Julie Christensen), and Kudzu’s in Memphis on Saturday, Oct. 12. Click the links for details.

Troubadour Blues Roadshow poster.

Hope to see you there! We’ll be undertaking similar mini-tours in other parts of the country over the fall and winter, with a rotating roster of great performers.

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Mine is definitely the one with the longest title:

The Man with the Blue Post-Modern Fragmented Neo-Traditionalist GuitarBlue Guitar, for short.

I was with Peter the other night in Carrboro, NC, when he played, back-to-back, two of the 10 classic songs on that album — which has been in and out of print for a long time; I included the link to Amazon.com because they list used copies available. The lighting was just right, the sound was good and the crowd was small but appreciative.

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It’s customary as December rolls around for the music industry to shower awards on the singers, players, producers, albums and individual songs that are judged the “best of” the preceding year.

This being America, the only standard we know by which to judge art is the almighty dollar. So, in practical terms, award season means that we honor those who already made ridiculous amounts of money selling bazillions of albums, singles and concert tickets.

Here at Troubadour Blues, we’re starting a different tradition this year: The Troubie Awards.

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Mary Gauthier is on tour right now, doing about the most courageous thing I’ve ever seen an artist do. She gets up on stage in front of a roomful of strangers night after night, reaches down deep into her soul and unflinchingly tells her life story: a litany of abandonment, resentment, trouble and pain, ending on notes of hope and redemption.

No words can adequately describe the feeling of watching Gauthier reach down deep into her soul and sing the ten songs that comprise her autobiographical album, The Foundling.

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About the Film

Troubadour Blues is a feature-length documentary that explores the fascinating world of traveling singer-songwriters. We see them in a variety of situations: impromptu performances, concert stages, formal and informal interviews and songwriting sessions. This is a story that needs to be heard. In our media-saturated age of instant pop stardom, there is real danger that the tradition of the itinerant working musician -- the tradition of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly -- is being diluted or lost. Troubadour Blues explores the hidden corners of our culture, where honest, authentic songs reflecting the human experience are still being made up and sung.

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