Cellist Serena Jost (Rasputina) To Release Third Solo Set, Up To The Sky

Decades back, an avant-garde electric cello choir trio by the name of Rasputina garnered some attention, enough to get the unusual band a contract with Columbia Records. Rasputina is the band name for Melora Creager, who has remained the force within Rasputina from inception, even today. Since formation, Rasputina has had more than a few members within its eclectic ranks. For the two Columbia albums (Thanks For The Ether – 1996, How We Quit The Forest – 1998), there was Melora, and Julia Kent, while two additional cellists filled in for each album. One of the original members -pre-album period- was an accomplished cellist by the name of Serena Jost.

As an original member of Rasputina before any album recordings by the band, she performed for 4AD band, Ultra Vivid Scene (as Rasputina) along with Melora and Julia on their Rev (1992) album.

Serena Jost released an album back in 2013. The album was called A Bird Will Sing, a follow-up to her 2008 set, Closer Than Far.

On April 6, a new album by Serena Jost will be released. It is called Up To The Sky, and will offer ten new tracks. Up To The Sky will be released on CD and DD formats by Second Kiss Records. For recording info, the album was recorded live inside St. Peter’s Church in Chelsea, NYC under the rafters with a spaced placement of eight microphones.

One of the tracks is a cover of a song by Molly Drake (“Happiness”), who is Nick Drake’s mother.

This is posted for fans of cello music by worthy musicians who are evocative and fresh. I find Serena Jost quite good. But I have been a fan of Rasputina since their beginnings.

John Prine To Release New Studio Album, The Tree Of Forgiveness

The history of John Prine is a long one. His beginnings are in the late ’60s as a folk/rock artist priming his stuff at the cool locations in Chicago. With the exception of the well-received Common Sense (1975), and his 2005 classic, Fair and Square (for which he won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album, his second), much of Prine was largely restricted to the adherents of the folk/rock style, and of those, the US market. In 1984, he started his own label, where he released the rest of his albums after his 1980 Asylum set, Storm Windows.

On April 13, John Prine will release his next album (his 16th studio album, and his first recordings since Fair and Square) on Oh Boy Records. It is calmingly called The Tree of Forgiveness. This new set will feature ten new songs, all self-written or co-authored with Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys), Pat McLaughlin, Roger Cooke, and Keith Sykes.

The first single out by Prine is the gorgeous “Summer’s End” (embedded below). It’s what we have long come to expect from the accomplished singer/songwriter so there are no surprises there, only a luxuriant feel of peace that well-delivered songs like “Summer’s End” can effect.

The Tree of Forgiveness will be released on CD, DD, and Limited Edition 180g-weight Translucent Green vinyl LP (with DD card included).

I can think of no better way to begin a new train of thought than with a new John Prine album.

The Tree of ForgivenessJohn Prine

01 – Knockin’ On Your Screen Door (John Prine/Pat McLaughlin)
02 – I Have Met My Love Today, ft. Brandi Carlile (John Prine/ Roger Cook)
03 – Egg & Daughter Nite, Lincoln Nebraska, 1967 (Crazy Bone)” (John Prine/Pat McLaughlin)
04 – Summer’s End (John Prine/Pat McLaughlin)
05 – Caravan of Fools(John Prine/Dan Auerbach/Pat McLaughlin)
06 – The Lonesome Friends of Science (John Prine)
07 – No Ordinary Blue (John Prine/Keith Sykes)
08 – Boundless Love (John Prine/Dan Auerbach/Pat McLaughlin)
09 – God Only Knows (John Prine/Phil Spector)
10 – When I Get to Heaven (John Prine)

John Prine will engage in a 44-date world tour that begins on April 11 in Woodstock, NY (Levon’s Place), and is planned to end on December 15 in Tucson, AZ (Fox Theatre). If you can, I’d recommend seeing him.