New Album of the Month “Miss Bix & The Blues Fix – We Don’t Own The Blues” Hits the Really Heavy Rotation.
Big News for Blues lovers.
Radio BluesFlac the new Flagship Flac Blues Station has entered Beta Testing and you can all listen when ever you want. We have waited years to be able to stream in FLAC and thanks to all the great Blues PR companies we have more than enough to fill the playlist 24/7/365.
And we owe it all to Radio Mast for providing the chance to do it.
We are honored to be involved in a very small way with this new venture and looking forward to years of satisfaction with their service.
So how does it work? We play music and you listen. But behind the scenes there is much to do.
Albert of Radio Mast explains it better than I could.
“We’re pleased to announce Ogg FLAC stream hosting is now available from Radio Mast!
With an Ogg FLAC stream, you can finally deliver a perfect audio reproduction to your listeners with zero loss in quality, for the ultimate audiophile listening experience.
Ogg FLAC streams start at just $++/month for +++ listeners, and include all the perks of our standard streams, including global delivery through our CDN, listener statistics, HTTPS streaming, and more.
What is Ogg FLAC?
FLAC is a lossless audio codec that creates a bit-perfect reproduction of your original audio for your listeners, while still being more compact to store or transmit. FLAC is open source, mature, and widely used by music enthusiasts.
Ogg is a container format which packages up the compressed FLAC audio in a format that makes it possible to stream over the internet. Ogg is what makes FLAC streaming possible, so all “FLAC” streams are really “Ogg FLAC” streams.”
WOW our web site editor went over the top with that poster.
With so many great albums albums arriving at the moment the choice for Album of the Month was very difficult so using democracy I decided and the others followed.
We still have not replaced our overly expensive reviewer so if you want to read a great review Google Liza Ohlback – Mercy Train, that’s what Google is for and cheaper than paying for a reviewer. Below are a couple of tracks from album so you can all review it yourselves.
Originally from Tasmania , Liza started out in Classical music playing Cello
and singing in her mum’s Gospel singing group. She grew up in the Blue Mountains
supporting touring bands at a very young age, and then she moved to Sydney where
her love of artists such as Ann Peebles, Gladys Knight and Tony Joe White led her immerse
herself in the Blues, Jazz, Soul and Funk scene.
This triple Chain Award winner has been a force on the Blues Scene for years now, with her distinctive style Of Jazz laced Blues with a Gospel spirit. She has a stunning voice inspired by the great Southern singers including Etta James, Mavis Staples and Aretha Franklin, and her performances are embellished with witty tales and wrapped up with emotionally driven performances like that of a 1940’s Torch singer.
Her last Album “Give you Hell” reached no 2 on the Australian Blues Charts and saw her as a finalist in Australian Blues artist of the year, and got to no 12 in the UK. She has also performed at the Sydney opera House for the Billy Holiday 100 year anniversary and the Ella Fitzgerald 100 year anniversary and played the lead of Janis Joplin in the successful Theatre Rockumentary Pearl – The Janis Joplin Story.
Her new CD”Mercy Train” was released in late November to rave reviews and in 2019 for the rest of the world to enjoy, and is now no 1 on the Australian Blues Charts – a mix of New Orleans Blues/Jazz with plenty of Sass and funk, a wicked Brass section , Gospel style Harmonies and featuring some of the finest musicians around, including Internationally renowned organ Whiz Clayton Doley (Harry Manx) and Rick Melick (Jo Bonamassa) who cowrote some of the songs plus Eric Rasmussen (Heatwave) plus the Mercy Train Gospel singers.
of the world, and is now no 1 on the Australian Blues Charts – a mix of New Orleans Blues/Jazz with plenty of Sass and funk, a wicked Brass section , Gospel style Harmonies and featuring some of the finest musicians around, including Internationally renowned organ Whiz Clayton Doley (Harry Manx) and Rick Melick (Jo Bonamassa) who cowrote some of the songs plus Eric Rasmussen (Heatwave) plus the Mercy Train Gospel singers.
Many thanks Katie (better known as AKA here at TME.fm) for your love in moderation.
Where do I start?!
Pictures tell a good story. Let’s start there.
I Just broke some new ground……
This week, my album was back on the Roots Music Report Charts. This is the chart that all the radio stations report to after graciously spinning my indie made album alongside a bunch of famous people like Ryan Bingham, Michael Franti, Coco Montoya, etc. In looking deeper, I noticed something quite exciting. I am the only unsigned female on this chart of Top 50 RMR CA albums spun this week. Oh look! There’s my pal Jackie Greene!
Blues Matters Magazine out of The UK gave me some love for the second issue in a row, this time in the form of a CD Review. These kindnesses are making my heart explode into a gooey mushy pool of love goop.
NO SPOTLIGHT, NO ALBUM, APRIL WILL HAVE AN ARTIST OF THE MONTH.
Having hit #10 on the Blues Albums Billboard Charts with her 5th album release titled “Take it With You,” Northern California Blues Americana Siren Katie Knipp is equipped with powerful vocals and plays a variety of instruments from boogie woogie piano to slide guitar, to honest harmonica laden stories in between. Her various performance formats from raw solo act to full band captures audiences hearts from her first notes. She has opened for Robert Cray, Joan Osborne, The Doobie Brothers, Tim Reynolds, Jon Cleary, The James Hunter Six, among many others. Her sound has been compared to Larkin Poe, Bonnie Raitt, Joss Stone, Beth Hart, and what the late Taz Digregorio of the Charlie Daniels band once said, “Dylan in a Dress!”
Blues Americana artist Katie Knipp has been on a passionate musical journey her entire life. Always in choir, she was drawn to the piano at the age of 15. Since there was no piano at home, she began teaching herself on every lunch break during high school in the choir room. Beginning college, Katie believed it would be practical to major in medicine. Singing in a choir rendition of Mozart’s Requiem changed her future path. The haunting beauty of the music made tears roll down her face, and she knew that, in order to follow her heart, she would dedicate herself and her studies to music. Attending U.C. Santa Cruz, Katie enjoyed the calm, serene new environment.
Driven to continually grow, she taught herself guitar on the beaches of California’s coast. “The waves would drown out any mistakes I made, so that I wouldn’t be embarrassed by wrong notes,” says Katie. As she dug deeper into her music major, it became clear to Katie that she also wanted to write her own material. Witness to a gruesome on-campus suicide on her 21st birthday, she decide she needed a change of scenery; she transferred to Cal State Hayward, where she would earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Music with an emphasis in vocal performance. The dark experience of the suicide, however, would stay with her, and became one of many events that helped mold her writing into the gutsy, soul-on-a-platter type material. To date, Katie has released four studio albums, a DVD, and played hundreds of venues throughout California. Sacramento News and Review nominated her for Best Blues Artist in Sacramento in 2017.
Readers of The Northbay Bohemian voted her band “Number One Band in Marin County” for two consecutive years. Currently laying down roots in Sacramento, Katie has worldwide radio support, has opened for such acts as Robert Cray, The James Hunter Six, Jon Cleary, The Doobie Brothers, Tim Reynolds and Tommy Castro, and shared the stage as a back up singer for Barry Manilow. Her music can be found on iTunes, many other digital mediums, as well as retail cds on www.katieknipp.com. Katie unflinchingly maintains the goal of being a viable force in the music world. Her success is largely based upon her willingness to take risks, diversify her format and learn from collaboration with others. Katie performs in several formats, from solo to full band. Equipped with a powerful voice, Katie also plays piano, guitar, dobro and harmonica. Her hard work has shaped her into a mature artist, focusing on the organic, free elements that reach people the most. She is also busy raising her two toddler boys as well as teaching piano and voice lessons in Rocklin, California.
If Bruce Springsteen could make bitterness and a loss of hope anthemic, he’d be writing songs like Nate Cook, the leader of Colorado trio the Yawpers. On the Yawpers‘ first full-length album, 2015’s American Man, Cook‘s songs are Americana in the truest sense of the word, full of rugged individualists and widescreen backdrops, but there’s a lot of cynicism and defeat in his perspective on American life, and even when his characters confidently declare they want to get away, the weariness audible in the edges of Cook‘s performances suggests they have a small chance of ever crossing the border into anything better. But Cook spins his tales with passion, force, and unpretentious smarts, and the band explodes like a string of firecrackers, with Cook and Jesse Parmet wailing hard on acoustic guitars that have been cranked up loud enough to send their sound into neighboring states, and drummer Noah Shomberg beating out the rhythms with a lean but unrelenting ferocity. The Yawpers have taken the elements that built rock & roll in the first place, primal blues and country, and reassembled them while hot-wiring them with a few lightning bolts’ worth of electricity, and the results sound by turns epic and feral, while Cook‘s vocals fuse a true believer’s hope with a realist’s knowledge that his questions don’t have simple answers. The Yawpers are one of the few bands that can sound unpretentiously intelligent while playing music that’s this raucous and elemental at the same time. If the Yawpers are trying to make sense of the soul of America in the 21st century, their mind/body balance makes for some powerfully satisfying music, and American Man is an impressive debut from a band that appears to have some very serious potential.
To hear them tell it, the Record Company came together when three musician friends started hanging out once a week to drink beer and listen to vintage blues recordings they’d found at used record stores, swap meets, and the like. Judging from the group’s debut album, the guys in the Record Company probably have plenty of great stuff in their LP stacks; Give It Back to You boasts a casual but muscular tone that’s part Southern groove (think Jimmy Reed and Slim Harpo) and part Chess Records bite (Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Bo Diddley), with a dash of the Black Keys‘ rootsy modernism thrown in for good measure. The Record Company know good music from bad, and they have chops to go along with their taste — Chris Vos‘ guitar work is strong and well focused, while his voice is well suited to the material, and bassist Alex Stiff and drummer Marc Cazorla are an admirably tight and hard-grooving rhythm section who know how to make this kind of music move. However, one thing that separates the Record Company from their influences is their songwriting — while there are a few gems here like the moody “This Crooked City” and the lean and funky “Off the Ground,” there seem to be more clichés than inspired moments in this batch of tunes, and for a band that seems to be striving for a raw and retro sound, Give It Back to You never sounds as dirty or sweaty as it needs to be. Ultimately, this album makes the Record Company sound like guys who learned all they know about the blues from records, and while they’re said to be a powerful live act, they need to bring more of that passion and fire into the studio when they make their second album.
(Religious music, but who am I to judge. They’ve got it. Jasmine)
Willis, VA — Mountain Fever Records is proud to announce the release of the brand new album from International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Emerging Artist of the Year nominee, Mountain Faith. That Which Matters is available everywhere today!
Even late in the afternoon when the shadow of Cowee Mountain stretches across the family tire shop, passersby can catch the bright notes of Appalachian bluegrass drifting from the back room of the service station where Mountain Faith – the SPBGMA Bluegrass Music Awards nominated band from Sylva, North Carolina – rehearses between customers. Everybody’s there: Sam McMahan keeping time on bass, Summer McMahan playing the fiddle and singing lead and harmony, Brayden McMahan plucking the banjo and singing harmony, Luke Dotson strumming the guitar and singing lead and harmony, and Cory Piatt picking the mandolin. Although the band has been performing together since 2000, it’s only been in the last few years that the music industry has begun taking note of the talented ensemble. In fact, earlier this month, Summer was awarded the IBMA’s Momentum Award in the Vocalist category. While bluegrass fans may have been on the Mountain Faith “bandwagon” for a few years now, the rest of the country began taking notice of the family band through regular appearances as contestants on NBC television’s popular show, America’s Got Talent, making it through to the semi-finals in New York City. Mountain Faith is winning fans inside the industry including Knee Deep in Bluegrass radio host Cindy Baucom who said, “After spending 30 years in radio and a lifetime around Bluegrass music, Mountain Faith is the kind of group I love to see emerge. I choose songs for radio based on performance quality, production quality and how it fits the genre…and I have no problem including Mountain Faith because they have all those things going for them. I think singer/fiddler, Summer McMahan is poised to take her music as far as she wants to …and I will gladly be in her corner every step of the way!” Band members include Sam McMahan on bass, Luke Dotson on guitar along with lead and harmony vocals, new member Cory Piatt on mandolin, Summer McMahan on fiddle along with lead and harmony vocals, and Brayden McMahan on banjo and harmony vocals. Summer’s strong vocals are a hallmark of the band, putting her squarely in the middle of some of today’s powerhouse young female bluegrass vocalists on the rise. That Which Matters has already drawn excellent reviews from radio and media. The first single, “Emily (It’s Love)” was released earlier this year and John Lawless said, “…here Summer McMahan sings it solo with a slurry, slippery style that is very modern while remaining true to her bluegrass roots. Simply brilliant.” The same could be said about every track on this positive, gospel-tinged project. The album showcases the vocal talents of the entire band with Summer singing most all the lead vocals supported by beautiful, almost haunting in places, harmony vocals. There are plenty of hot licks and high lonesome harmonies to make this a favorite among bluegrass fans while the song selection is carefully thought out with the lead track, “Someone Prayed” setting the tone for a listening experience full of songs of hope, love, celebration and praise. And even though it would be tough to choose just one favorite, the closing track, “There Is A God” is surely a top contender.
The Steep Canyon Rangers have spent much of their career walking a fine line between traditional bluegrass and acoustic music with a strong contemporary pop and country influence, and they’ve blurred the lines between the two sides of their musical personality more than ever before on 2015’s Radio. One of the key differences on Radio is the addition of a sixth Ranger, percussionist Mike Ashworth, and even though his kit primarily consists of just a box played with brushes, his steady pulse subtly but clearly points to the melodic hooks in numbers like “Simple Is Me,” “Blow Me Away,” “Long Summer,” and the title tune, and without having to plug into an amp, the Rangers set themselves apart from bluegrass acts who prefer to pretend it’s still the early ’50s. At the same time, these musicians are remarkably skilled, both as individuals and as an ensemble, and when they do dig into their bluegrass roots, they do so with a clear love and respect for the form, and with “Blue Velvet Rain,” “Looking Glass,” and “When the Well Runs Dry” they show just how fresh they can sound while working within a tried-and-true framework. It’s a thrill to hear a band this good playing together, and Ashworth, Mike Guggino (mandolin), Charles R. Humphrey III (bass), Woody Platt (guitar), Nicky Sanders (fiddle), and Graham Sharp (banjo) are as gifted as any young band in bluegrass, with each member earning his stripes when stepping up for a solo, and coming together with outstanding ensemble work and spot-on harmonies. Produced by Jerry Douglas, who captures the group’s musical interplay beautifully and contributes some fine Dobro work as well, Radio is an outstanding album from one of the most exciting new bands in bluegrass, and if you know them best for their work with a certain talented banjo-playing comedian and actor, you owe it to yourself to find out how much they can do on their own.
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band release their fifth album, So Delicious, on a revitalized Yazoo Records via Shanachie. Yazoo is a storied blues label and it’s a good fit for the Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, a trio from the backwoods of Indiana whose members desperately wish they hailed from the Delta. Such geographical displacement has a long history in American music — in the back half of the 20th century, John Fogerty‘s swamp rock from San Francisco might be the best known — so Peyton and his crew don’t feel like charlatans: they’re Americans who like to live in their ideal fantasy world. The funny thing about So Delicious is that for showing up on a blues label, it can rock pretty hard, something the clattering opening “Let’s Jump a Train” makes plain, but the Big Damn Band aren’t the Black Keys; they don’t pump up and amplify their blues for arenas, but are happy to sit on a front porch during a hot Sunday afternoon. That’s an intimate situation and, appropriately, the group slides some sweetness onto So Delicious, such as the gentle “Scream at the Night” and the ode to family “Pickin Pawpaws” (also quiet is the spectral solo slide guitar of “You’re Not Rich,” but that haunts instead of comforts). Still, the operative order of this record is a bit of full-tilt boogie and good times, an album that acknowledges there’s nothing finer than pot roast and kisses from the one you love. In other words, this is big, burly blues whose heart belongs at home.
Katie Knipp is equipped with powerful vocals and plays a variety of instruments from boogie woogie piano to slide guitar, to honest harmonica laden stories in between. She has opened for Robert Cray, Joan Osborne, Jimmie Vaughan, Jon Cleary, The Doobie Brothers, Tim Reynolds, The James Hunter Six, and more. #10 on Blues Albums Billboard and 2019 SAMMIE award winner for best blues artist.
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Mary Gauthier - Rifles & Rosary Beads
Sep 08, 2019
Co-written with U.S. veterans and their families, the eleven deeply personal songs on this album reveal the untold stories, and powerful struggles that these veterans and their spouses deal with abroad and after returning home.
_"You’ll be hard-pressed to hear a more powerfully moving work than Rifles & Rosary Beads this year — or any other.”
Last year we saw the release of Jim Allchin’s Decisions album which garnered good critical review for it’s great songs and musicianship. Allchin returned to the studio this past Spring to once again collaborate with Tom Hambridge and his team. Hambridge has produced Grammy winners before and to make things even sweeter he and Allchin invited Mike Zito, Bobby Rush and The Memphis Horns to join them on this production.
The output of all that is 14 new songs, 3 penned by Allchin alone and the other 11 were collaborations between Allchin, Hambridge and a couple of other folks here and there. In addition to Allchin on vocals and guitar are Bob Britt, Kenny Greenberg and Rob McNelley on rhythm guitar, Hambridge on drums, Kevin McKendree on keys, Glenn Worf on bass, Mycle Wastman on backing vocals and the aforementioned guest musicians.
Peter Rowan has paid his dues, spending more than 50 years in and around bluegrass, sharing the stage with everyone from Bill Monroe and Jerry Garcia. Now, he’s paying tribute.
His new CD on Rebel Records is called Carter Stanley’s Eyes. But the title cut isn’t the only nod to the man many consider the best lead singer in bluegrass. Cut after cut, including two written by Carter, two written by his brother Ralph, and one by Monroe, the songs conjure up memories of the artist who left us far too soon, in 1966.
But the title cut, one of three songs on the CD written by Rowan, seals the deal. The Light in Carter Stanley’s Eyes recounts the day in 1965 when Monroe and Rowan — a member of the Blue Grass Boys who wasn’t yet old enough to vote — visited Carter near the end of his tragically shortened life.
The song includes a spoken part, in which Rowan recalls Monroe telling Stanley that he had been one of his favorite Blue Grass Boys, and his favorite lead singer. It also recounts Stanley asking Rowan if he was “going to stick with it,” which Rowan answered affirmatively. Given that more than half a century has passed between the question and this new project, Rowan clearly kept his end of the bargain.
The song, with it’s built-in oral history of an important moment in bluegrass history, will help make Carter Stanley relevant to new generations of pickers. And it should add momentum to the push to add Carter and Ralph to the Country Music Hall of Fame, an oversight that frankly should have been corrected long ago.
Buddy Guy stands as one of the last true traditional blues legends of his time; an era that predated the rock ‘n’ roll explosion of the mid-1960s. Few remain, and even fewer are still releasing albums that remind us as to why they have enjoyed such a lengthy and illustrious career. The Blues Is Alive And Well is very much one of those albums. As a follow-up to his 2015 release, Born To Play Guitar, and his eighteenth solo studio album, The Blues Is Alive And Well features collaborations with Jeff Beck, Keith Richards, and Mick Jagger, and is certainly one of the best blues records to be released this year.
Becky’s body of work is already vast and impressive, as a songwriter and as artist, and she has the awards and accolades to back it up. But, as Crepe Paper Heart demonstrates, she’s not about to rest on her laurels.
From the opening notes of Another Love Gone Wrong to the closing of Phoenix Arise, the 12 songs will take you on an emotional roller coaster of thrills, tears, longing and loss. The stories are compelling, as her songs tend to be. And the performances are top drawer. Again, that’s no surprise if you’ve followed her on stage and on record. With the collective strength of her band and an all-star lineup of guests, anything less would be shocking.
Heartbreak is never any fun, but it sure seems to be good fuel for the creative process. Nicki Bluhm first found an audience for her rich, smoky voice while making music with her husband Tim Bluhm, who produced her early albums and co-founded their band, the Gramblers. But in November 2015, the Bluhms revealed they were getting a divorce, and their creative partnership ended along with their marriage. Splitting up was clearly not a pleasant experience for Nicki, and she lays out all her hurt and disappointment on her 2018 album, To Rise You Gotta Fall. This is a breakup album if there ever were such a thing, but Bluhm doesn't sound like the experience has weakened her. There are bittersweet moments in "Staring at the Sun" and "Last to Know" where Bluhm reveals her emotional wounds, but more often she sounds clear-eyed in her postmortem of her relationship ("Something Really Mean") or defiant as she moves past the wreckage ("Can't Fool the Fool" and "Things I've Done"). Musically, To Rise You Gotta Fall is steeped in vintage R&B and soul with a dash of country for seasoning, and the bluesy angles of the music are a perfect match for Bluhm's ruminations on a love that used to be. The album was cut in Memphis at the legendary Sam Phillips Recording Studio, and producer Matt Ross-Spang has put together a band that can evoke the sounds of R&B past without sounding dated or falsely nostalgic. And To Rise You Gotta Fall features some of Bluhm's finest vocal work, filled with passion and nuance at the same time, and for all the powerful emotions in play here, she doesn't overplay, and the focus and restraint only make this music more intense. Hopefully Nicki Bluhm won't have to get dumped again for her to make an album this good, but at least she found a way to put her broken heart to good use, and To Rise You Gotta Fall ranks with her best music to date.
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Kinky Friedman - Circus of Life
Sep 08, 2019
Before he was a novelist, and before he ran for governor of the state of Texas, Kinky Friedman was known as a musician. Proof of that can be found in his first new album in close to four decades, Circus of Life, being released on his own Echo Hill label.
As the lead singer of Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys he was responsible for such country classics as “Asshole from El Paso” and “They Don’t Make Jews Like Jesus Anymore”. The band also hold the distinction of being one of the few who were filmed for the famed TV show Austin City Limits but whose segment was never aired. (It is available on DVD if you look hard enough).
While Kinky has mellowed somewhat since those halcyon days, only “Little Jewford” Shelby (piano) still rides with him, and his songs aren’t as in your face as they used to be, none of that impacts on the quality of the material you’ll find on this album. For while the twelve songs on the disc only add up to just over 35 minutes of music, their substance can’t be measured by how much time they take up.
A new album from John Prine is always reason to celebrate, but an album in which he wrote or co-wrote all the songs is an even bigger reason to rejoice. The Tree of Forgiveness is the first album since 2005’s Fair & Square where Prine has written the songs. He has issued albums since then, but like Bob Dylan, they have been albums of cover versions, but this album is Prine and, I would argue, Prine at his best.
Prine co-writes with old friends and longtime collaborators on this album. He even wrote a song with Phil Spector — he started writing the song, “God Only Knows”, decades ago. Pat McLaughlin, Roger Cook, and Keith Sykes have worked with Prine in the past. He has made some new friends too in Dan Auerbach, who co-wrote the brilliant “Caravan of Fools”, and Brandi Carlile, who duets with Prine on the beautiful “I Have Met My Love Today”.
When Nashville-based singer/songwriter/producer Tom Hambridge decided to pay tribute to the city of New Orleans with this CD, he had no trouble recruiting several of the biggest names in Big Easy music – including Ivan Neville, Sonny Landreth and the late Allen Toussaint — to help him. But that should come as no surprise to anyone who’s aware of the rich legacy he’s already created in the worlds of blues, country and rock.
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., who graduated from Berklee College Of Music and spent three years on the road as the percussionist for guitar legend Roy Buchanan, Hambridge has earned Grammys as a producer of Buddy Guy’s Living Proof and Born To Play Guitar albums as well as more nominations for his collaboration with a who’s who of entertainers, including Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Van Morrison, Johnny Winter, Gregg Allman, Kid Rock, George Thorogood, Susan Tedeschi and many others.
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Mark Knopfler - Down the Road Wherever
Sep 08, 2019
Mark Knopfler’s ninth solo studio album ‘Down The Road Wherever’ features unhurriedly elegant new songs inspired by a wide range of subjects, including his early days in Deptford with Dire Straits, a stray football fan lost in a strange town, and the compulsion of a musician hitching home through the snow. Mark has a poet’s eye for telling details that infuse his songs with his unique psychogeography – ‘where the Delta meets the Tyne’ as he describes it – and his warm Geordie vocal tone and his deft, richly melodic guitar playing are as breathtaking and thrilling as ever.
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JP Harris - Sometimes Dogs Bark at Nothing
Sep 08, 2019
JP Harris doesn’t fancy himself a musician as much as a carpenter who writes country songs. With his forthcoming album, Sometimes Dogs Bark at Nothing (out October 5 on Free Dirt Records), Harris is back after a four-year hiatus to remind us what it's like to actually live the stories we hear so often in country music. Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Harris left home at 14 and traveled the country hopping freight trains, working the odd job, and living without electricity or running water for over a decade. For this record, his third full-length, he tapped a handful of his favorite players and called on the production prowess of Morgan Jahnig (Old Crow Medicine Show) to capture the stories of his stranger-than-fiction life. Dripping with pedal steel and telecaster twang, the record has the rugged edges of outlaw, the danceability of honky tonk, and classic country's beloved emotional candor. After more than a decade in the trenches, Harris is more in love with country music than ever. If he hasn't already, his latest effort will make you a believer.
Steve Forbert’s new album ‘Magic Tree,’ recorded in Meridian (his birthplace in Mississippi), Nashville, New York, New Jersey and Virginia, is a collection of his own songs and the music loses nothing in its quality of production despite the country wide recording venues. Throughout the album his folk roots shine clear, as does his song writing ability honed over his forty years in the music industry.
It might be naive to think you can detect authentic music without being familiar with the particular genre. Paul Thorn’s Don’t Let the Devil Ride, is an incredible gospel and gospel-influenced album that sounds like the real deal: From its production, which sounds like it was recorded inside an old hot wooden church stuffed full of sinning parishioners, to the songs, which make the listener feel like they’ve stumbled into perhaps the South’s most exciting church service. It’s all the more amazing given that Thorn isn’t a gospel artist.
The album kills because it’s intense without being noodle-y. Every song sounds like great musicians trying–somewhat unsuccessfully–to hide just how talented they are. As is often the case with gospel, much of this comes from the organ, which propels many of the songs here. The album kicks off with “Come On Let’s Go,” which is propelled by that organ, as mentioned earlier. An infectious hand-clap keeps the beat, with horns popping in and out of gospel-tinged background vocals. The song builds to a manic climax before collapsing into a swirl of organ. Truthfully, if Thorn had ended the album on that first song, everyone would have felt like they got their money’s worth.
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Sugarcane Jane - Southern State of Mind
Sep 08, 2019
Sugarcane Jane, the Alabama Gulf Coast-based husband and wife duo of Anthony Crawford and Savana Lee have recorded Southern State Of Mind with producer Buzz Cason. The recording starts off with a rousing "Cabin On The Hill", already a favorite with Sugarcane Jane fans. It is followed by "Campfire", the first single. The thought-provoking, fresh and exciting "Man Of Fewest Words" precedes the title track, "Southern State Of Mind", the tale of the joys of Southern living. "Destiny", a raw rocker, is foreshadowed by the inspirational "Rainbow". "Red Flags Warning", a true gem from the pen of Anthony Crawford is cut #7. Savana Lee is featured beautifully on "The One Before Me". "How Do You Know" and "We Can Dream" wrap up this eclectic collection of songs from the duo.
Brooklyn based but with a somewhat nomadic background, Ana Egge is one of those songwriters who seem to hover around the edge of the mainstream. She gets great reviews but she’s certainly not a household name even in the most dedicated of Americana infested households. Her album with The Stray Birds, ‘Bright Shadow’, did cause a bit of a buzz, perhaps down to that trio’s reputation but we can safely say here that ‘White Tiger’ is a much more multi faceted affair than the folky infused ‘Bright Shadow’, bursting as it is with imaginative arrangements adorned with horns and synths.
Tas Cru’s bio begins like this, “Raucous, rowdy, gentle, sweet, eccentric, quirky, and outright irreverent are all words that fittingly describe Tas Cru’s songs and testify to his reputation as a one of the most unique of bluesmen plying his trade today. ”
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Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore - Downey To Lubbock
Sep 08, 2019
DOWNEY TO LUBBOCK was born by immaculate inspiration from live shows Grammy winner Dave Alvin and Grammy nominee Jimmie Dale Gilmore performed together in 2017. Just the two of them were swapping songs and cutting up, each with a guitar and a heart full of soul, musicians who’ve been on the road their entire adult lives. The result is an album of blues, rock and folk inspired tunes that both of their fans will enjoy.
The album contains 12 songs - 10 covers and two originals - and is destined to be a classic Americana album from two Americana legends.
Joyann Parker brings a full range of talent to her performances as an accomplished singer, pianist, songwriter must-hear lead guitarist, currently endorsed by Heritage Guitars in Kalamazoo, MI. She has performed for thousands at major venues and festivals across the country.
For one so young (he was born in 1988), Travis Bowlin has already achieved a hell of a lot. Not only can he play the guitar, he can make them too! At first he made cigar box guitars for his own use but people seeing him use them, created a demand that he now meets through his separate business, Bowlin Box Instruments. Travis was born near Cincinnati and raised in a household full of many genres of music…so he soaked up blues, rock ‘n’ roll, gospel and country. He got his first guitar aged 15 and very soon started to perform around his home and surrounding states. To take his devotion a step further, he moved to Nashville and released his first album in 2014, called See You Again. His influences have a wide range as he cites Led Zeppelin, BB King, Robert Johnson, Prince, Steppenwolf, 3 Dog Night and Albert King amongst others.
He has now released his follow up album called, rather neatly, Secundus, as it means second but can also, apparently, be used to mean ‘lucky’. It contains 12 all original tracks and shows a development from that first outing with its more developed, blues-oriented feeling and manages to cover virtually every emotion a human being can experience. There are many more flavours to be discerned and I can hear jazz and soul in the mix and I even picked up a hint of progginess in a Yes kind of way.
In the past several years, Sideline has jumped from being a literal side project for some bluegrass A-listers to a fully-fledged band working its way to the top of the bluegrass world. With a few of those original “sidemen” on board, as well as the addition of several younger faces, Sideline has continued to up their game with the release of their new Mountain Home album, Front and Center.
Opening track Thunder Dan has captivated radio audiences with its catchy chorus and bluesy, mash-style grass. Penned by Josh Manning, it’s a take on the familiar “mountain man” story, featuring a title character with an itchy trigger finger and strong vocals from Troy Boone. The song hit number one last month and was back at the top spot on the Bluegrass Today chart this past week. Lysander Hayes is another rough character, keeping his mama up worrying and praying while he picks and drinks and runs around. Skip Cherryholmes pulls out the clawhammer banjo for this song, which along with Nathan Aldridge’s fiddle, makes for a nice old-time-with-drive vibe.
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