When it comes to lists of favorite singer-songwriters, it's easy to fill the list with Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, etc. But how about your favorite singer-songwriter that doesn't fill arenas or amphitheaters? Give us your favorite 3-5 singer-songwriters that you can still see in intimate clubs. Mine are:
Micah Schnabel and Shane Sweeney (Two Cow Garage)
Brent Best (Slobberbone, The Drams)
That's easy. I discovered a couple of superb acoustic bands this past summer at the Arootsakoostik Music Festival in New Sweden, Maine. The Ghost of Paul Revere and Dark Hollow Bottling Company are Portland, Maine-based bands that deserve a much bigger audience than they have. I've seen them live twice and enjoyed their sets immensely. I can't say enough about Ghost's excellent debut EP North, which I have reviewed for No Depression, and DHBC's Gone, Gone, Gone album is nearly as good.
Another noteworthy musican from my home county of Aroostook: Travis Cyr (A.K.A. Travis Cyr and the Strings of Calamity).
I just saw Ray Wylie Hubbard in LaSalle IL in a sold out room of no more than 100 people. About 5 years ago I saw him with Hays Carl and Slaid Cleves in a room of about 40 fans in Milwaukee. What a gift it is to sit 5 feet away from one of your favorites and listen to him sing and tell stories for 90 minutes. Thank you Ray!
How about Willis Alan Ramsey?
Petunia and The Vipers
Foghorn String Band
just heard antje duvekot at a house concert in vaughn, wa., and she was terrific. humble, gracious, clever, and funny. the kind of performance that makes you feel right about the world. so rewarding to hear someone with respect for her audience, and a damn fine talent too.
thank you to chris charles who said it all with John Stewart. perfect for this list. so many missed him. when will they do a tribute cd of his great tunes?
Don't understand how this guy has flown under the radar for so long.
Also, John Eddie's "Same Old Brand New Me" has been stuck in my head for a month now. Check it out people!
He has been getting well served with some great reissues recently , a fantastic songwriter who deserves greater recognition. Favourite version of a Newbury song - Jerry Lee Lewis "She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye" although Waylon did a great "Frisco Mabel Joy" as well.
Hands down, it's gotta be LAURA MARLING!
Jamey Johnson's album "Living for a Song, a tribute to Hank Cochran", with his duets with Alison Krauss, Merle Haggard, Leon Russel, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Ray Benson, Elvis Costello, Red Lane, George Strait, Ronnie Dunn, Bobby Bare, Lee Ann Womack, Kris Kristofferson and Hank Cochran. The album was most enjoyable because of Jamey's salt of the earth vocals and harmonizing with his guest artists. The songs are clasics from my childhood and my parent's favorites, which meant they were burned into my brain a certain way and he held true to the songwriter's original vision. I couldn't stop listening. Jamey was new to me when I saw him singe with Willie on "Roll me up and Smoke me when I die" on an awards show a few months ago. Then saw him on the Letterman show. He's starting to get some visibility but remains pretty much true to real country roots music.
On a Regional Note: Dallas' Uncle Calvin's Coffeehouse 30th anniversary concert with Christine Albert and Chris Gage and Teri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines was like a Guy Clark "Coat from the Cold", and they closed with Susanna Clark's "I'll be your San Antone Rose". RIP Susanna!