Virtual, Digital, Wonderful: Kid Pan Alley, John Paul White & Rosanne Cash, New West & Polyvinyl, dBs & NRBQ

There are so many great-hearted project happening nowadays. Too many to mention all of them. But I wanted to mention a couple of them.

One upcoming benefit is for the organization Kid Pan Alley, which does songwriting programs, typically with kids in school but also senior citizens. They have done a couple albums of songs performed by pros and written by children in these songwriting programs. Their album Kid Pan Alley Nashville is ranks right of the top of my top family CDs, and features performances by Raul Malo, Amy Grant, Delbert McClinton, Suzy Bogguss, and Nashville Chamber Orchestra (the song “Little Drop of Water,” sung by Beth Nielsen Chapman is still one that pops into my head on a regular basis). Here’s a video of Malo singing “Whispering In Spanish”:

This year, they have organized an online live musical festival called Together Again, with Tom Paxton, Kathy Mattea, Ysaye M. Barnwell, John McCutcheon, and Darrell Scott among those scheduled to perform as will KPA staffers. The event is happening May 4 from 7-9 pm ET on Facebook – – it’s free to watch but please consider a donation.


Omnivore Recordings have a pair of digital releases via omnivore recordings to benefit the Musicares Covid-19 Relief Fund. One is by two of my all favorites, Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey. Their Our Back Pages is an 11-track set of mainly acoustic versions of dB’s tunes recorded around the time they were making 2009’s Here and Now. However, there are naturally some twists to this concept, such as “Picture Sleeve” (a song that they remembered by name only so they wrote lyrics for it as part of a 2011 Record Store Day release. There also is a version of “Nothing Is Wrong” whose origin is 2008 dB’s rehearsal.

Cult superstars NRBQ, meanwhile, are sharing “Do The Primal Thing (Extended Version).” And “Extended Version” is something of an understatement. This mega-jam freak-out runs over 11 ½ minutes. Recorded live in 2014 at the Fairfield Theatre Company (that’s Fairfield, Conn.), it features current Q-sters Terry Adams, Scott Ligon and Casey McDonough along fabled drummer Bobby Lloyd Hicks, tenor sax-man Klem Klimek and trombonist Carl Querfurth. Its opening line “When you find yourself in a world of adversities” is all too apropos today. Head to to purchase either or both of this unique releases.

Grammy Award winners John Paul White and Rosanne Cash have teamed up for the new single “We’re All In This Together Now” with all proceeds benefiting the Music Health Alliance, which today announced its partnership with the Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief project. Spotify will match donations to its partner organizations dollar-for-dollar up to a total Spotify contribution of $10 million. You can find the song by going to you can watch a poignant video that Michael Kessler directed to accompany the song at


Two great labels have put together special compilations to support their stable of artists. New West Records a fun sampler of sampler of B-sides, rarities, live sessions, and never-released tunes from their artists. Here’s American Aquarium performing “Darkness On The Edge Of Town”

The full New West tracklist is:

  1. Nikki Lane – Funnel of Love
  2. Justin Townes Earle – Rocket 88
  3. The Texas Gentlemen – Dream Along (Bonnaroo Haybale Session)
  4. Jaime Wyatt – I Miss Drinkin’
  5. Ron Gallo – Always Elsewhere (Bonnaroo Haybale Session)
  6. Andrew Combs – You’re Like The Country
  7. Sammy Brue – Before It Gets Good Again
  8. Seratones – State Trooper (Live on WFUV)
  9. Robert Ellis – Heartbeat
  10. Kacy & Clayton – The Gallery
  11. Dan Luke and The Raid – Be Good
  12. Caroline Rose – More Of The Same (Bonnaroo Haybale Session)
  13. Sam Doores – True To My Luck
  14. American Aquarium – Darkness on the Edge of Town (Outlaw Session)
  15. Lilly Hiatt – No Good
  16. Pokey LaFarge – Oval Room
  17. Naked Giants – SLUFF (Live in Seattle)

Polyvinyl Records also has a similarly-minded collection filled with previously unreleased music, demos, and covers. Among the nuggets you will find on Stay Home are Owen covering The 1975’s “Me”, Palehound performing “”Something On Your Mind” by Karen DaltonSquirrel Flower’s rendition of Emmylou Harris’ “”Icy Blue Heart” and Hazel English singing The Mamas & The Papas’ “California Dreamin’” Go to Btw, English’s new album, Wake UP! is terrific – give it a listen!


Here’s Stay Home’s tracklisting:

1.  Owen– “Me” (The 1975)
2. Yumi Zouma – “Mirror To The Fire” (HGP Version)
3. of Montreal – “Peace To All Freaks” (Demo)
4. Chris Farren – “Green Eyes” (Previously Unreleased)
5. Palehound – “Something On Your Mind” (Karen Dalton)
6. Anna Burch – “Every Feeling” (from If You’re Dreaming – out now)
7. STRFKR – “Never The Same” (Demo)
8. Squirrel Flower – “Icy Blue Heart” (Emmylou Harris)
9. Radiation City – “Port Townsend” (Previously Unreleased)
10. Pedro The Lion – “Model Homes” (from Phoenix – out now)
11. Post Animal – “Post Animal” (from Forward Motion Godyssey – out now)
12. The Get Up Kids – “Satellite” (Trashy Demo No Bass)
13. Hazel English – “California Dreamin’” (The Mamas & The Papas)
14. Xiu Xiu – “Haenim” (Kim Jung Mi)
15. Kero Kero Bonito – “When The Fires Come” (from Civilisation I – out now)
16. Anamanaguchi – “Sunset By Plane” (from [USA] – out now)


About Michael Berick

I am a longtime writer, and lover, of music and pop culture. I have written for Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, Cleveland Scene and more places (that I wouldn't take up more of your time mentioning now).
This entry was posted in Music, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s