No Song is Safe From Us

No Song Is Safe From Us - The NYFOS Blog
 |  Michael Barrett

I’m ending this weeks posts where I started with Rhiannon Giddens. I’m drawn to this voice. It’s honest, and vulnerable and strong at the same time. I’m shedding some of my musical snobbery thanks to her. Simplicity can be a beautiful thing. I don’t need all my music to be complicated to satisfy my musical […]




 |  Michael Barrett

Today’s post isn’t so much about one song. It’s really about a musical force of Nature – Sister Rosetta Tharpe. She is brand new to me. But she seems too forceful, too full of musical life to ignore. A voice made of power and muscle and devotion. She came out of the gospel tradition which […]




 |  Michael Barrett

Tom Waits has got to be one of the most original balladeers alive. His raspy voice doesn’t pretend to be anything except for the experienced and world weary vehicle for his poetry. I find his music amazing in how his songs capture something that feels so specific. I can’t really put my finger on it. […]




 |  Michael Barrett

I started talking yesterday about Country Music. As I said, I’m really not down with classifications. A good song is a good song. It tells you something about yourself, or at a minimum shows you another epoch or slice of humanity in a way you can understand. Ideally one that touches your heart. Here is […]




 |  Michael Barrett

NO SONG IS SAFE FROM US. That’s a slogan we invented soon after we started NYFOS nearly 32 years ago. We’ve had some musical and lyrical adventures that have taken us to places we didn’t even know existed, and we have been blessed by the treasure trove of songs we’ve discovered. Sometimes there are great […]




 |  Michael Barrett

We’ve been in Spain, or thereabouts, all week on Song of The Day. Here is something I would call Flamenco style. Or at least this arrangement is. Talk about an entrance! This is a song that Garcia Lorca loved. Our Lorca concert will be April 24th in NYC.




 |  Michael Barrett

We at NYFOS know Jean Ritchie as the author of “Now Is The Cool Of The Day”, a song we’ve performed many times. It’s a great song that reminds us we are in control of our planet. And that the day of reckoning is at hand. Did we keep the grasses green and the water pure? But Jean Ritchie was known more as a folk singer and dulcimer player. Here she is in an old American tune.




 |  Michael Barrett

At our last NYFOS concert we presented a huge song cycle by composer Roberto Sierra. I was drawn to this music’s dark side, and its exploration of uneasy human emotion. Maybe that’s one reason I seem to be drawn to this marvelous music from Spain. Here is some flamenco as sung by Pepe Marchena.




 |  Michael Barrett

La Bien Pagá as sung by Miguel de Molina. A spaniard, he ended up in Argentina. These old musical films are delicious with their emotional drama. This one is about his ex- the “well paid” woman. And she seems so amused! The musical style is like an old zarzuela aria, complete with orchestral interludes between verses, and even a spoken verse toward the end. But it’s Molina’s strange tenor voice, full of melismas and pain that makes this song so interesting to me.