Review: Spanish Folk Ceramics

I came across this treasure at Powells Books in Portland last Fall. I keep it propped up on corner my shelf and flip the page every day. Each image in this book captures the essence of folk potting in the most romantic yet harsh manner. The beauty and hardship of a potting life is aptly represented. If you get your hands on this one never let it go and for heavens sake keep it away from the studio! (That said mainly for my own sake). No matter how authentic and endearing the clay finger prints may be, this lovely number is a gem to be cherished on the coffee table.

The Review: This section will be me reviewing a publication, exhibition, article.

Playlist: Iron and Wine

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Kiss each other clean, the newest album by Iron and Wine, is what I have been waiting for. Iron and Wine’s track record is stellar. Samuel Beam lulled me into a calm subdued mental state with every word and strum on “Our Endless Numbered Days”, my favortie Iron & wine album. He may top that with this album, the first track gives you reverberating guitar, the second saxephones, the third chimes and the four a synth… it goes on and on the album is has a more pop oriented sound but as lyrically sad and eloquent as one would expect from Iron & Wine. The songs more thick and layered (even in simplcity) and varied then ever before. Listen to it.

Playlist: Sarah Harmer


Sarah Harmer is one of those women, one of those strong yet sultry singers. She has a slew of solid albums, all a pleasure to listen to. I was just checking out the play counts on my i tunes and well the song “Oleander” has a wopping 24, I love that song. I can play maybe 5 songs from memory on the guitar and that is one, I even sing along. Not that anyone in their right mind would actually listen, I am not the best singer and rarely take the time to coordinate strumming and singing. I am telling you all this in hope that you realize how much Sarah Harmer has meant to. I have turned more than one potter onto her music through my shameless listening to her and singing along- a conversation starter indeed.

This week Sarah Harmer is on the blog because The Royal in Nelson has brought her to town and the tickets sold out right away, so they booked another show and those tickets are now gone too. I am looking forward to the show and will try not to sing too loudly.

Playlist: The Wailin’ Jennys

These gals sure can wail! They are a Canadian trio that should be on every folk fans playlist. I first heard them on CBC’s Canada Live podacast. Not only do I dig their music but I also dig their red suitcase kick drum traveling ways. Musicians don’t travel light these days and neither do their potters (every potter is slightly jealous of the jewelers at craft fairs with their easy set ups and take downs…). Anyways you can catch the Walin’ Jennys at several locations as they are on tour right now. But why not go see them in Helena Montana and check out the Archie Bray, a potters wonderland.

I too have considered being a traveling artist, but a potter none the less:

Old Crow Medicine Show

These boys sound like home.

The album up for verbal glory on me blog this time around is: Tennessee Pusher (Nettwerk Records). Old Crow Medicine Show released it in 2008 and where as my most favorite song of theirs, Wagon Wheel , is on another album (O.C.M.S., album cover pictured above) Tennessee Pusher is a more cohesive album. It has it all and all of it is in the right order. They start off rocking, take it down a notch, then give you some steam to keep the smooth train running and leave you on a good note (Caroline then end track, a great song if I’ve ever heard one). The album talks about hardships and good times in america hinterlands. They write about life and sing their songs to save their lives with all the passion they’ve got. Methamphetamine is probably my favorite track on the album and as the name implies isn’t any fluffy pop song- “It is going to rock you like a hurricane”.

And in the name of the folk heros never pass a chance up to see them live! Now there would be a show to remember! I mean for Leadbelly’s sake, they have TWO BANJO PLAYERS! Oh, the harmonica. Oh the harmonica!

Check em’ out at their website!

Playlist: The Wooden Sky

Folk songs of modern times. So lovely and they put on a good show. When I was doing a residency in Quebec at MMAQ this Oct. they were all I listened to.

Check them out:

The album up for review is “If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone” (Black Box Records) is one great song after on great song, some danceable some ballads all sing alongable. The Late King Henry is a great track so is When We Were Young and so is Something Hiding For Us In The Night. They all have one catchy line in the song you can yell with pride and assurance you’ll be yelling the right thing. I sing in the studio. “If that mean old city got you down” I suggest you do too.

Oh and on top of being super talented and charming, they are also super gorgeous.

Playlist: Kim Churchill

I was at the Old Bus Depo Market on Sunday here in Canberra and bought some wonderful pizza crust then made a great pizza later that night…

More importantly I bought a new CD from a busker on a whim… A very informed whim, this guy is brilliant! If my I Pod had not been stolen and my I-touch lost I would be able to listen to him via headphones. He makes great studio music!  Sword and Shield, his latest album is full of creative and surf feel blues tacks. The first track on the disc, Running On, sets the feel for the whole album complete with upbeat whistling and cryptic one liners. “Sometimes life pushes you down until you’re on all fours”. Right you are Kim, right you are.

Music in the studio is so important. I was just visiting the Australian potter Greg Daily’s studio and he said “The most important thing in a studio is a good sound system”! A man after my own heart. Many studios have regulations when it comes to who plays what where. I wish all studios were understanding enough to play music through speakers and not just head phones, but there is a place and time and all with in the studio need to be understanding. I think the majority would like Kim.

P.S. Ipod recovered! I left it in a friend’s car the way to EPIC markets two Saturdays past! It is especially special since it was a gift from my mother and in the back she had engraved…

Playlist: I love music and it consequently is in my potting life. It enhances the studio all the time and therefore my process. It is a bit of my life I would like to share. So I will post up an MP3 from the week, links concerning the band, and a personal review of the album. Likewise with the other review categories.