New publication on Bruce Springsteen’s recent autobiographical projects

My article ‘Brilliant Disguises: Persona, Autobiography and the Magic of Retrospection in Bruce Springsteen’s Late Career’ has been published in the new issue of the open access journal Persona Studies, a themed issue on 'Music and Persona' edited by Charles Fairchild and David Marshall. Abstract Popular musicians with long careers provide rich source material for… Continue reading New publication on Bruce Springsteen’s recent autobiographical projects

ppp: the personal, the political and the piano

The news that today is being celebrated as National Album Day has inspired me to post the following text on Nina Simone’s 1969 masterpiece Nina Simone and Piano! It’s a text that’s being lying dormant for a few years and now seems a good time to do something with it. The concept shouldn’t have been… Continue reading ppp: the personal, the political and the piano

Of Constant Sorrow: Ralph Stanley 1927-2016

Old-time musician Ralph Stanley has died. This morning, I'm too upset by the monumentally stupid decision my fellow Brits have collectively made to say more about Stanley, so I'll just note a deep appreciation of his music and post a link to the chapter I wrote about him for my book The Late Voice. As soon… Continue reading Of Constant Sorrow: Ralph Stanley 1927-2016

Life soundtracker: Guy Clark (6/11/1941 – 17/05/2016)

Another great musician has gone. Unlike many of the other deaths of musicians this year, Guy Clark's passing does not come as a great surprise. Anyone who had been following his progress in recent years knew he'd had a tough time health-wise and that he hadn't been in great shape for a while. Clark was… Continue reading Life soundtracker: Guy Clark (6/11/1941 – 17/05/2016)

Upcoming presentation: ‘A Blank Space Where You Write Your Name’

I will be participating in a panel with Emily Baker, Ian Biddle and Freya Jarman at the EMP Pop Conference in Seattle. Our panel is on Sunday 17 April and my paper is entitled 'A Blank Space Where You Write Your Name: Taylor Swift’s Early Late Voice'. Abstract below. Taylor Swift’s songs invite listeners to… Continue reading Upcoming presentation: ‘A Blank Space Where You Write Your Name’

Thoughts on Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard has died. In a year already rife with notable deaths in the music industry, I felt this one deeply, for reasons both objective and subjective. Objectively, Haggard was a colossal figure in country music, as a singer, songwriter, hitmaker and soundmaker (by which I mean there is particular country sound that is distinctive… Continue reading Thoughts on Merle Haggard

Upcoming keynote lecture: ‘Familiar Futures, Strange Pasts’

I have been invited to deliver a keynote lecture at the thirteenth conference of SIBE (Sociedad de Etnomusicología), which is taking place in Cuenca, Spain from the 23rd to the 25th October. The title of my talk is 'Familiar Futures, Strange Pasts: Popular Music and the Art of Storytelling'. This lecture engages with aspects of… Continue reading Upcoming keynote lecture: ‘Familiar Futures, Strange Pasts’