In this interview, Alan Doyle discusses how the dynamics as a solo artist are so different from being the front man for the super group, Great Big Sea. He also talks about his influences and numerous other projects including his collaborations with Russell Crowe and other forays into the world of film and television.
Indie Trailblazer Ani Difranco Making a Long-Awaited Return
The influence of Ani DiFranco on fellow musicians, activists, and indie-minded people the world over is huge. She proudly identifies as a folksinger, but her repertoire is spirited medley of soul, funk, hip-hop, jazz, spoken word and other musical genres.
Over the course of more than 20 albums, Ani has never stopped evolving, experimenting, and testing the limits of what can be said and sung. Her tribe of co-conspirators includes everyone from Pete Seeger and the late Utah Phillips to a new generation of twenty-something artists who grew up with her songs and shows. Of course, there’s also the motley crew of folks like Prince, Maceo Parker, Andrew Bird, Dr. John, Arto Lindsay, Bruce Springsteen, Chuck D, the Buffalo Philharmonic, Gillian Welch, Cyndi Lauper, and even Burmese activist and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, with whom she has crossed paths in myriad ways.
Early in her career, Ani made a choice that was considered brazen at the time – to say no to every record label deal that came her way, and yes to being her own boss. But it is another choice she made early in life – to use her voice and her guitar as honestly and unflinchingly as she could, writing and playing songs that come straight from her own experience, her boundless imagination, her sharp wit, and her ever-more-nuanced understanding of how the world works – that has brought sold-out crowds to her shows around the world, fans debating every nuance of her lyrics, and fellow performers clamouring to work with her.
Ani’s songs deal with contemporary social issues ranging from racism, sexism, sexual abuse, homophobia, and reproductive rights, to poverty and war. Her vocal activism is matched by her actions, whether it’s performing at rallies and protests, or working with her foundation to support grassroots cultural and political organizations on matters ranging from abortion rights to gay visibility.
A diverse, eclectic, authentic and exciting artist, Ani is, above all, an honest-to-goodness folksinger.
Rosanne Cash is our Sunday Evening Main Stage Headliner
The very first artist we are announcing for Mariposa Folk Festival 2014 is Rosanne Cash. We couldn’t think of a better way to begin unveiling what’s shaping up to be one of our best ever line-ups than with this iconic musical figure whose music crosses the genres and the generations.
During her diverse musical career, Rosanne Cash has topped the music charts, gathered loads of accolades and awards, performed or recorded with a veritable who’s who of international stars, and released fourteen albums, with one the way. Though the daughter of a folk-country legend, Rosanne Cash charted her own path in song, drawing upon the folk, pop, rock and blues traditions, and earning a loyal fan base with every step.
With a career in high gear, in the 80s Cash curtailed her work for childbearing and to raise four daughters. She left Nashville and its country music establishment in the early 90s, settling in lower Manhattan with then husband, Rodney Crowell. Cash later married her current musical collaborator, the producer/songwriter/guitarist, John Leventhal, with whom she has one son.
For two and a half years in the late 90s, Cash was unable to sing due to a polyp on her vocal cords. Her musical career was disrupted again in 2007 when she underwent brain surgery for a rare condition. During these musical down times, Cash pursued other creative pursuits including writing, with several books published and numerous articles in prestigious periodicals and collections.
In recent years, Cash released a highly acclaimed album, The List (2009), comprised of twelve songs from a list of the 100 greatest country and American songs given to her at the age of eighteen by her father, Johnny Cash. That album, which features vocal duets with Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Jeff Tweedy, Rufus Wainwright and Neko Case, was named Album of the Year in in 2010 by the Americana Music Association.
Cash’s highly anticipated follow-up album due in January 2014, The River & The Thread, has also received critical, pre-release praise. Inspired by swampy Delta blues, gospel, Appalachian folk, country and rock, it tells the stories of a colourful, multi-generational cast of characters from the south through a collection of contemporary songs.
In addition to her own recordings, Rosanne Cash has made guest appearances on albums by the likes of Guy Clark, Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Chieftains, and others, as well as on children’s albums. She has also appeared on tribute albums to The Band, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Jimi Hendrix, Yoko Ono, Tammy Wynette and more. Recently, Cash was featured in a global Americana tourism promotional campaign performing her composition, Land of Dreams.
Rosanne Cash with be the headlining act on Mariposa’s Sunday Evening Main Stage, closing the festival with what promises to be one of those concerts that sticks in your mind long after its over. Staring in January, we will begin announcing a few artists per week until the whole fantastic line-up for Mariposa Folk Festival 2014 is unveiled.