Caleb Stine has spent the last couple years working as Producer on ellen cherry’s latest album, ‘Please Don’t Sell The Piano’. At long last, the album will be performed and released at An Die Musik in Baltimore (409 N. Charles St.) on Saturday, March 31 and Sunday, April 1. For more information visit ellencherry.com. And for some nice reviews of the album check out The City Paper, The Baltimore Sun, and The Urbanite.
WYPR The Signal producer Aaron Henkin and Maryland Traditions folklorist Cliff Murphy set up a meeting between a few musicians ranging in age and influence but connected by a love for traditional instrumentation and original songwriting. It was a great afternoon with plenty of folly and wisdom, a lot of laughs, and the kind of music that’s been made since the dawn of Man.
To stream the show click the link here:
STREAM PODCAST OF THE SIGNAL: BURTON DEBUSK, HUGH CAMPBELL, AND CALEB STINE
Check out the radio show blog here:
Signal Radio: Burton DeBusk, Hugh Campbell and Caleb Stine
Also, additional music tracks are posted on the Maryland Traditions Facebook Page here:
Maryland Traditions Facebook
And, thanks to Travis Kitchens, several YouTube links capture some of the music:
Caleb Stine’s newest album ‘I Wasn’t Built For A Life Like This’ has received great reviews and has been featured on several 2010 Best Of Lists. Twangville put’s Caleb’s song ‘The Eternal Present’ on a mix right next to Justin Townes Earle and calls ‘I Wasn’t Built For A Life Like This’ “one of the best records released this year (and almost certainly the best self-released record)”; Honest Tune writer Tim Newby slides ‘Built’ into his Top Ten of 2010 list; and, hey!, Alt Country Netherlands gives the album 4 stars saying “In de recensie van Maxim Ludwig is al gewezen op 2010 als het jaar van mannen met baarden” (which Google Translator interprets as ‘The review of Maxim Ludwig has been highlighted as the year of 2010 men with beards’). Beard or no beard, its been a great year and 2011 is stacking up with plenty of shows, challenging collaborations, and exciting projects. Hot dog!
Hard Hittin’ Songs For Hard Hit People
Saturday, October 9th, 6:30pm
St. John’s Church
2640 St. Paul St., Baltimore MD 21218
Caleb Stine hosts Hard Hittin’ Songs for Hard Hit People, a night of roots and folk music straight from the heart. For the sixth year, local and national musicians will band together to raise money for Heart’s Place, an overnight emergency shelter located in St. John’s (2640) that provides a counseling, meals, and a warm, compassionate haven for homeless men, women and children- the only shelter in Baltimore that serves families. The lineup this year includes Michael Patrick Flanagan Smith (Brooklyn), The Baltimore Shape Note Singers, The Mumbles (New Orleans), Channing and Quinn (Nashville), and Caleb. $10 suggested donation to Heart’s Place, all ages welcome. Hope to see you there!
Heart’s Place is a strong force in Baltimore’s fight against homelessness. For more than 20 years it has offered a place for those in need during the Winter months.
In light of the benefit, I’d also like to share a site I came across a few months back. Invisible People TV is a blog site run by a formerly homeless man who documents the face of Homelessness across America. With a compassionate and curious spirit he is able to elicit honest and moving accounts from the people he meets. The result is a collection of unfiltered, raw human stories. It’s a site well worth exploring if you have a few moments.
Here’s one of the profiles of a young working mother, trying to keep her family of 5 off the street:
So you’re a couple dudes who just finished college, you want an adventure. You want to head out on the road. You want to see America. But you want to do it your way. Something new. Something . . . musical.
Meet Dan Elliott and Maj O’Grady. They are biking across the country on a quest to understand American music up close and personal. It’s a journey through local music scenes in the American Heartland as heard from a bicycle. Their couple month quest is being documented on a blog called Bandcycle.
Several weeks ago, my friend Kat Hudson contacted me about some guys who were interviewing local bands from their bicycles, they were in Baltimore, could I help? I thought they needed a couch to crash on so I offered to have them at my place. Turns out they were curious, adventurous dudes (with a couch already pre-lined up further down the road) and they wanted to hear about Baltimore and what this city is offering up musically. You can read their take on our visit here.
They’re still pedaling, and it’s cool to see the adventure unfold. Check them out and write them a little encouragement. (Looks like they’re taking a deserved couple days off right now).
About 8 months ago I was approached to score the music for a documentary. At the time, I knew very little about the film, and accepted mainly because the editor who contacted me, Thom Stromer, is such a high quality dude, I knew any project he was behind had to be worth while. Little did I know how amazing the experience was going to be.
The film, ‘Healing Neen’ documents the assent of Tonier ‘Neen’ Cain from a childhood of abuse, neglect, and violence, through a journey of drugs, prostitution, and prison, into a life-changing trauma-treatment program where she turned her past around. She is now a world-traveling mental health advocate, working to better the lives of the people she used to sleep with, under bridges. It’s a tale too dramatic to be made up, and Tonier herself is a character too full of life to be dreamed.
There were nights as I sat and recorded music for certain scenes when I was brought to tears, just realizing the power of this woman. She exudes a love and passion that can be felt through the screen. And the wisdom she has gained from traveling through the depths is the pearl of great price. There is no ‘after-school special’ moral to the film, instead it breaths and moves in a very human way. The scenes with her mother are some of the most heartbreaking I’ve seen. And the moments captured with her own daughter, now 6, make you nearly melt.
Probably one of the most meaningful compliments I’ve ever gotten came to me in an email late one night, returning from a gig. I sat down and opened up a message from Laura, the beautiful, insightful director of ‘Healing Neen’. She said that Tonier had just heard the end credit song I wrote for the film, and that Tonier was crying to her on the phone relaying how perfect the song was. She said she couldn’t believe she’d come to a point in her life where she now had a theme song! How amazing! It was wonderful that she liked it, ’cause it was sort of a big leap for me stylistically, but I just had this gut feeling that it was what the story was calling for. And it worked.
I know that the story is still unfolding for Tonier, and once you meet her, I’m sure you will agree with me when I say that she can go anywhere from here.
If you’re interested in seeing the film, please come out to the premier Thursday, April 29th at 7:00pm at The Creative Alliance. The website, Healingneen.com has info and will keep you up to date on future screenings. Also, The Signal just ran a feature on Tonier, and you can listen to it here.
Spurred on by a City Paper posting, a friend suggested on Sunday that we head over to the Easter Parade on Pennsylvania Avenue. According to the article, the parade was on a hiatus for over 20 years, and has been resurrected by the churches of the neighborhood as “[a]n opportunity for people who are leaving church to extend their Sunday finery by taking part in a tradition.”
And what a joyous tradition! The enthusiastic drumming of an all-woman Brazilian percussion group, Batala, lured us over to an elementary school playground where they warmed up and set the tone for the parade. The Baltimore Arrabers were well represented with their horses and buggies, and I felt a special kinship with the lone rider who had on the same cowboy hat as me. Several cheerleading troops and dance squads kept spirits high. And a slow rolling display of beautifully kept cars made me eye up a ride other than my Honda Accord for the first time in years.
It reminded me of so much that I love about Baltimore. The joy of life. The mix of traditions. Rhythmic, from-the-gut music. Vibrant crowds. Dance. Neighborhood pride. The elders and the young tussling in the same circles. A constant re-invention of the city in ways that brings out our own best strengths. Seeing people you know every where you go.
It was a beautiful Sunday, and I was so glad that my friend had pulled me out to a parade. Not having heard about it, I would have missed it otherwise.
Also, having just spent time in Toronto, the idea of ‘city’ is very much on my mind. I’ve been on heightened Baltimore-awareness-mode the past week. (Which is always one of my favorite parts about traveling: the perspective it gives you on your arrival home, seeing your everyday life as something that could be just as magical as the place you just left).
Here’s what I love about Baltimore — it’s American in all the best and worst ways possible, but it’s alive and fighting and struggling, and the stakes are high. People from so many diverse fields are attracted to this city because of the fight and the vibrancy, and the life-or-death stakes.
Hopkins; Baltimore Club; dealing drugs: political scrappiness; old-school corruption; hard hitting football players; television shows about The War On Drugs; “a long-time powerhouse in the world of college chess”; Wham City; men selling fruit and vegetables out of a horse-drawn buggy because it’s tradition and, hey, why not?!, let’s slow down to horse-and-buggy-speed every so often; Wye Oak; Healthcare For The Homeless; 2640 Space; still-standing warehouses and factories to remind us of the not-too-distant past when everything from complex machines (my newly acquired upright piano) to the clothes you wore (and they probably fit better) were made within 20 miles of where you slept; friends, friends, and always a new friend to be made around the corner; violence, threats of violence and allegations of violence hovering in the air; a history-making, visionary symphony orchestra director; good water; fox, cardinals, and squirrels all seen a few blocks from my row-house; John Waters; Billie Holiday; Tupac . . .
Risk. Passion. Uncertainty. Heart. Challenge. Baltimore has it.
And on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at the beginning of April, Baltimore was just boiled down to a fun neighborhood parade, laughing with a friend, and soaking the perfect feeling of the air into my skin (knowing that the humidity is coming, so I better enjoy every semi-non-sticky day while I have it!).