Celebrating the art of great music

 

Music is a powerful tool. It can inspire new ideas, express old ideals, move us to tears, challenge us to love others, make us laugh at ourselves, and sometimes, music forces us to keep things in their proper perspective.

I went through a range of emotions last week when the Arts Alliance presented The Annie Moses Band. Not only was I moved by the fact that these six very talented siblings could write, sing and play stunning music together, but that they had a mission to tell the story of their family history, and the history of America and her music, in a very compelling way.

The message was clear; America had a rough childhood, and only succeeded through the sweat and toil of thousands who sacrificed everything to make our country grow and prosper. To forge a piece of metal into a half-pipe, cover it with fabric, put it on a wagon, throw everything you own into that wagon — and go west pioneer, go west. Their stories were expressed through the weaving of classical, bluegrass and American roots music, into a fabric we don’t see much anymore in the musical world. And, these musicians, by the way, are young people who refuse to let us forget about our ancestors, which makes me admire them even more.

If we were to weave a fabric from most music we hear on the radio today — what would it look like? I’m sorry to say, it’s not something I could address in a public newspaper.

At one point, Annie told the audience that their new album, and PBS special was titled “The Art of the Love Song.” She remarked, “They just don’t write songs like they used to,” and then went on to sing a song written in 1969 by Don McClean, “And I Love You So.” It was sweet, sad, heartfelt and beautifully moving. It reminded me that writing a good song is truly an art form.

Should it concern us that art seems to be disappearing more and more every day from our music? Is music art anymore? It depends on your perspective. If music today, and art in general, is a reflection of our culture, what is art saying about us right now? Don’t get me started — I could climb on that soapbox and talk for days.

The bottom line is, the more I hear distasteful music, the more it makes me appreciate great music.

 I appreciate the talent, the commitment, the integrity and the heartfelt transparency of artists like The Annie Moses Band. And as they travel across this globe that seems to be in the middle of an identity crisis, I hope they inspire many others, who hear their hearts cry, to use the power of music to shape and reflect what’s good and noble about the land in which we live.

Our next show is “The Hot Sardines” on April 5, taking us back to the jazz of the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. Visit angelinaarts.org for more information.

Tracy Pinkerton is the executive director of the Angelina Arts Alliance. Her emailaddress istpinkerton@angelina.edu.

"The Art of the Love Song" Is Now Available Everywhere!

The Art of the Love Song is out now in stores everywhere on CD, DVD and Blu-Ray!  If you haven't purchased your copy, go ahead and visit your local bookstore or click over to Amazon or iTunes

The PBS special begins airing March 5. If you love what the Annie Moses Band does, be sure and watch and pledge! You'll get live tickets and other great Art of the Love Song gifts when you do. Most importantly, it lets PBS know that you value beautiful, family-friendly programming like The Art of the Love Song.

Check out the March 5 airings for The Art of the Love Song below!  We'll be updating the airings as they come in.

MARCH 5:

California

    San Diego    KPBS HDTV    KPBSDT     1:30PM

    Cotati      KRCB HDTV    KRCBDT    7:30PM    

Delaware

    Wilmington    WHYY HDTV    WHYYDT     8:00PM    

    Seaford    WHYY HDTV    WDPBDT  8:00PM

Florida

    Fort Myers    WGCU HDTV    WGCUDT    8:00PM

Illinois

    Jacksonville    Network Knowledge HDTV    WSECDT     7:00PM

    Macomb    Network Knowledge HDTV    WMECDT    7:00PM    

    Quincy    Network Knowledge HDTV    WQECDT     7:00PM

    Urbana    WILL HDTV    WILLDT     10:30PM        

New Mexico    

    Las Cruces    KRWG HDTV    KRWGDT    8:30PM    

Ohio

    Oxford    ThinkTV 14 HDTV    WPTODT    9:00PM

    Toledo    WGTE HDTV    WGTEDT     3:00PM    

    Toledo    WGTE Family    WGTEDT2     3:30PM    

Pennsylvania

    Erie    WQLN HDTV    WQLNDT     5:00PM    

    Erie    WQLN HDTV     WQLNDT     9:30PM 

    Scranton    WVIA HDTV    WVIADT    9:00PM

    Harrisburg    WITF HDTV    WITFDT    10:00PM

Tennessee

    Memphis    WKNO HDTV    WKNODT 6:30PM

    Memphis    WKNO HDTV    WKNODT    9:30PM    

Texas

    Houston    KUHT HDTV    KUHTDT    5:30PM    

Virginia

    Roanoke    Blue Ridge HDTV    WBRADT 10:30AM    

    Marion    Blue Ridge HDTV    WMSYDT     10:30AM    

    Norton    Blue Ridge HDTV    WSBNDT     10:30AM    

 

 

    

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

    

"Rhapsody in Bluegrass" Premieres on Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy

“Rhapsody in Blue” was the classical-pop crossover of its day, so it’s fitting that George Gershwin’s 1924 composition served as the starting point for the new album “American Rhapsody” by the Annie Moses Band. The six-piece sibling group premieres a video for “Rhapsody in Bluegrass,” their version of Gershwin’s tune, today on Speakeasy.

The Nashville sextet substitutes viola for the sinewy clarinet that opens the original piece, and they inject an element of chugging pop into the arrangement that Ferde Grofé orchestrated for bandleader Paul Whiteman, who commissioned Gershwin to write “Rhapsody in Blue.” The camera pans around the Wolaver siblings (they named the group for their grandmother, Annie Moses) as they perform in formal wear on a columned stage, looking as rapturous as the title implies.
— Eric R Danton, Wall Street Journal

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"Psalm of Life" Premieres on Utne Reader

The Annie Moses Band have made a name for themselves as pioneers of contemporary classical music rooted in…americana influences. Today they are sharing their video for “Psalm of Life”, a song whose gorgeous arrangement puts both the band’s technical skill and musical versatility to the test.
— Utne Reader

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"Summertime" Premieres on Southern Living

When I was a little girl I loved to hear my mother sing it, so reinterpreting the song as the Annie Moses Band was something I had always wanted to do. The sultry sounds of our jazzy strings and vocals make the song sizzle like a long hot summer.
— Annie

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