Slothrust’s Week in Pop
Upon Slothrust’s announcement of their March tour dates, we invited Leah Wellbaum to share the following exclusive Week in Pop guest selections:
Oh, hello! I didn’t see you there. It’s me—Leah from Slothrust. When I am not on tour I like to spend my time working on other peoples’ music. Here are some videos of songs I have been thinking about and working on recently:
“My Funny Valentine” as performed by Chet Baker
I have been working on arranging a version of this song for solo guitar. There are so many ways for it to be performed. I really enjoy this one by Chet Baker because it is simple. He doesn’t do anything athletic with his voice, he just sings the song. It makes me want to sing it too.
“Honeysuckle Rose” written by Fats Waller, as performed by Tommy Emmanuel & Martin Taylor
I recently learned the melody of this song on guitar. Sometimes I play along to this video. It is fully of joy. Tommy Emmanuel and Martin Taylor are two of the best living guitar players and watching them play together is such a treat! There is laughter in this performance and I think it is perfectly suiting for a playful song such as “Honeysuckle Rose,” written by the late, great Fats Waller.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
“Bohemian Rhapsody” is probably the most complicated song that so many people can sing through in its entirety. This song is bizarre, magical, and unafraid of its own journey. On New Year’s Day of this year I decided it was time for me to learn the guitar solo, written and performed by Brian May. There are so many bends in this solo and because I prefer to play my guitar with low action, it actually bottoms out and I am unable to hit all of the notes. Prank.
“Freight Train” by Elizabeth Cotten
Elizabeth Cotten is amazing. I first heard her music freshman year of college and it blew my mind. She played her guitar backwards and upside down because she is left-handed, thus playing the alternating bass-line typically played with the thumb with her pinky. Her music, along with John Fahey’s, inspired me to learn finger-picking. This song is about escape, death, and transcendence. She is rumored to have written it at age fifteen.
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Catch them on their following tour dates:
01 Boston @ Brighton Music Hall
02 Albany @ The Hollow
03 Brooklyn @ Rough Trade
04 New York @ Mercury Lounge
06 Philly @ Johnny Brenda’s
07 Washington DC @ Black Cat Backstage
09 Detroit @ Marble Bar
10 Chicago @ Schuba’s
11 St. Louis @ Duck Room at Blueberry Hill
12 Kansas City @ Tank Room
15 Denver @ Larimer Lounge