For the past 30 years Michael Weston King has toured the world as a musician, singer and songwriter. From back street Bootle bars to Las Vegas stages, from folk clubs in Hong Kong to protest festivals in Berlin, Texan honky tonks to Italian opera houses, his songs have taken him to places he would never have imagined going to, and some he wished he hadn’t.
Through his work and travel he has met and collaborated with some of the leading lights in music, literature and theatre of the past 40 years. He has never been a diary keeper – a look back over 20 years of his diaries just shows a series of notes, things to do, gigs to play, places to be but also always lyrics. His songs are his diary.
The one constant throughout his adult years have been the songs, that have documented his journey, his travels, his life. Always a note book in hand, or a Dictaphone inside his jacket pocket, a wallet full of receipts and train tickets with scrawls on, fag packets full of scribbles, ideas and lines that maybe are the start of a new song.
100,000 Words is the story so far, a songwriter’s life’s work, MWK’s first ever collection of lyrics. Each song is individually introduced giving the background story behind it, not an explanation – we need to let the mystery be – but what inspired it to be written, why it was written, what was the influence. For the guitars players amongst you, each song also includes chords and tunings while the main opening introduction to the book is a personal insight into his career as a singer, songwriter, collaborator, working musician and world traveled troubadour.
Here are just some of the people Michael has collaborated with; Townes Van Zandt, Chris Hillman, Herb Pedersen, Jackie Leven, Ron Sexsmith, John Doe, Peter Case, Graham Parker, Kinky Friedman, Ian McNabb, Ian Rankin, Mark Billingham, David Morrissey, Carolyn Hester, Andy White, Rab Noakes, Eric Taylor, Tom Ovans, Mick Thomas, Steve Wynn.
Spending the vast majority of his adult life on the road has seen him tour and perform with Nick Cave, John Cale, Roger McGuinn, Steve Earle, Nick Lowe, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Nils Lofgren, Arlo Guthrie, America, Steve Forbert, Joe Ely, Giant Sand, Los Lobos, Son Volt, Janis Ian, Terry Allen, Joe Henry, Blue Rodeo, Maria McKee, Boo Hewerdine, Johnny Dowd, The Handsome Family, Susanne Sondfor, Mark Olsen, among many others.
Having seen the likes of good friends and great artists such as Townes Van Zandt, and Jackie Leven leave us before a book containing all their collected writings came to pass, MWK sets out to ensure his life time as ‘a slave to the song’ does not go unrecorded by presenting this, his first ever complete collection of lyrics.
The death of Townes Van Zandt in 1997 at the age of only fifty-two robbed the world of a troubled genius as well as one of America’s finest singer-songwriters. Whilst never a ‘best seller’, his reputation and popularity has grown greater by the year, inspiring books, a documentary and renewed interest from the media, passionately loyal fans and contemporaries such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Emmylou Harris, who covered his songs to the upper reaches of the American charts.
In 1974, Townes Van Zandt recorded what would have been his seventh album, Seven Come Eleven. Business issues prevented its release until the recordings surfaced two decades later as The Nashville Sessions. To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of Van Zandt’s turbulent musical career, and launch of a major catalogue reissue programme, Charly has restored and re-mastered The Nashville Sessions to present a stunning document of the folk-blues mater at his absolute peak.
• Restored and digitally re-mastered from producer and manager Kevin Eggers’ original tapes
• Deluxe gatefold sleevepac features original Milton Glaser portrait cover and new artwork
• 12-page fully illustrated CD booklet
• Detailed sleeve notes by Uncut magazine journalist Rob Hughes
• Part of Charly Records Townes Van Zandt 50th anniversary reissue programme
• All original Poppy and Tomato albums recorded at the peak of Van Zandt’s career will be newly re-mastered, restored and lavishly repackaged
At My Window / Rex’s Blues / No Place To Fall / Buckskin Stallion Blues / White Freight Liner Blues / Snake Song / Loretta / Two Girls / Spider Song / When She Don’t Need Me / Pueblo Waltz / Upon My Soul
Kimmie Rhodes puts her gorgeous voice to work on an album of ‘Covers’ covering an array of artists and tracks from the the great and the good of legendary songsmiths both past and present, in a first and a departure from writing and recording primarily her own material the album marks Kimmie’s return to the studio following the passing of her long-time partner and collaborator Joe Gracey in 2011.
The album includes a trio of collaborations, one with Rodney Crowell singing his song Adam’s Song, another with Marcia Ball on the Mark Knopfler penned Cannibals and the third with Delbert McClinton on a Jimmy Reed song Shame Shame Shame, Kimmie has a series of dates lined-up in Ireland during October and is accompanied by Gabe Rhodes & multi-instrumentalist Ruth Trimble for the gigs.
1. Bluebird (L. Russell, C. Buzz)
2. Yesterday (Lennon, McCartney)
3. Moonlight Mile (Jagger, Richards)
4. White Freight Liner (T. Van Zandt)
5. Georgia Lee (T. Waits, K. Brennan)
6. Everything Is Broken (B. Dylan)
7. Birds (N. Young)
Kimmie Rhodes – Birds
8. Stuck In A Moment (Bono)
9. Adam’s Song (R. Crowell)
Duet with Rodney Crowell
10. Don’t Think Twice (B. Dylan)
11. Southern Accents (T. Petty)
12. Shame Shame Shame (J. Reed)
Duet with Delbert McClinton
13. Cannibals (M. Knopfler)
Duet with Marcia Ball
Kimmie Rhodes – Cannibals
14. What A Wonderful World (Thiele, Weiss)
15. Little Help From My Friends (Lennon, McCartney)
Kimmie Rhodes · October 2013 Ireland Tour
Saturday 12 Ballybofey, Co. Donegal, Ire. Balor Arts Centre
Sunday 13 Rathfriland, Co. Down, N. Ire. The Brontë Centre
Wednesday 16 Limavady, Co. Londonderry, N. Ire. Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre
Thursday 17 Belfast The Black Box
Friday 18 Omagh Strule Arts Centre
Saturday 19 Naul, Co. Dublin Séamus Ennis Cultural Centre
Townes Van Zandt must be one of the most covered artists in the world of Americana and over the last few years the subject of a number of tribute albums, now there’s a new album on the horizon that’s out in February next year which features previously unreleased versions and demos of the great mans music.
The double CD release includes work from the High, Low & In Between and The Late Great Townes Van Zandt albums – one disc disc featuring outtakes and alternate takes of tracks from album sessions and the second a set of solo demos. Very much looking forward to this one.
Pre-order at Omnivore Recordings.
CD1 : Studio Sessions
T for Texas
Who Do You Love
Where I Lead Me
Blue Ridge Mountains
Pancho & Lefty
(Alternate 1972 mix without strings and horns)
To Live is to Fly
You Are Not Needed Now
Don’t Take it Too Bad
Mr. Mudd & Mr. Gold
White Freight Liner Blues
Heavenly Houseboat Blues
Diamond Heel Blues
To Live is to Fly
You Are Not Needed Now
Mr. Mudd & Mr. Gold
When He Offers His Hand