We featured some earlier this week, but we can’t resist featuring more – Steven Taylor‘s fulfillment of the task (Allen had exhorted him, from his death-bed, “Finish The Blake!” – he has done so – & how supremely he has done so!) – Allen’s long-time accompanist (not to mention NAROPA cohort, interview-transcriber, Fug, and much else besides) has just released his eagerly-anticipated CD of their tunings of William Blake – “Songs of Innocence & of Experience – Shewing The Two Contrary States of the Human Soul”, available on Ace Records, out of London (the 29-track CD was released to coincide with the William Blake exhibition currently still up at the Tate Britain (up until Feb 2nd)).
Bob Rosenthal (another long-standing and deep intimate of the poet writes: “Steven’s voice blends Denville, New Jersey with Manchester, England – Highland with Lowland – Bard with Troubadour. Allen pointed out that (Bob) Dylan accentuates the consonants in his lyrics so that his lyrics can always be understood. Steven also nails Blake’s words with a sweet vocal hammer. Hundreds of times! He sang these verses with Allen on stage. Now, Steven has Allen’s exact emotional quaver without imitation..” For more of Bob’s informed and lucid assessment – see here
and here’s one more (focusing on compassion) On Another’s Sorrow
and here’s.. but, hang it all, get yourself the entire CD!
Neal Cassady‘s birthday bash coming up soon (Feb 7 to be precise) and Denver Public Library is now (already) girding up for the annual event. On January 10, Neal Cassady’s Denver, a small exhibit focusing on some of the places Cassady haunted when he was growing up in the Mile High City, as well as spots that Kerouac frequented and later referenced in On the Road, will open. Brian Trembath, special collections librarian, is quoted – “Generally, Neal loved the Denver Public Library and spent lots of time at the old Central Branch…It’s where he met Hal Chase, who was a student at Columbia and thought Neal would be interested in meeting his friend Jack Kerouac, who was also attending Columbia at the time. I think this exhibit will be especially interesting to people who have recently moved to Denver and aren’t aware of all the places with Beat connections that are still around.” More on that exhibition and Cassady plans – here
and check out our recent posting – here
Bob Kaufman’s Collected Poems (“A Neglected Beat Pioneer”) continues to get positive reviews. D.Scott Miller reviews it in the local East Bay Express here and Todd Swindell on the Harold Norse site – here. Swindell also reviews the recent Jack Micheline volume (edited by his brother Tate, who was also one of the co-editors of the Kaufman volume.