By their nature, multi-artist collections tend to be uneven affairs. But two new ones are the exception to the rule, primarily I suspect because they both come from atypical record labels that dedicate themselves to releasing quality music rather than to reaching the masses.
The first of these packages is Red House’s Nod to Bob 2: An Artists’ Tribute to Bob Dylan on his 70th Birthday, a 16-track follow-up to a collection released 10 years ago for Dylan’s…Continue
Scandalous, the new album by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, is a record I just kind of heard by accident and haven't quite been able to shake since my first listen. "Livin In The Jungle" opens the tight 39-minute set with soaring horns and funky guitar grooves, and in a burst- Mr. Lewis arrives in full force. The leader delivers smoldering declarations throughout, and together with The Honeybears, the collective oozes out of the speakers with a well-balanced …Continue
The Imperial Rooster are one of those bands, like Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show or Southern Culture on the Skids, who come around once a decade or so. The type of band who can play, sing, and write as well as anybody, but also injects plenty of humor into the mix. Love songs, murder ballads, drinking songs, political anthems. That shit's all well and good, but every band covers that ground. It takes a…Continue
Tara Nevins has been one of the main songwriters and vocalists in the roots band, Donna the Buffalo, for more than two decades, building a collection of fine roots albums and a widespread fan base known as The Herd.
More than a decade after her solo debut, Nevins recently released "Wood and Stone," a stellar collection that moves easily from fiddle music to contemporary folk rock to Cajun. It's an album that sounds familiar, yet new, not an easy feat. Nevins is joined by a…Continue
Two postings, combined into one, on Gil Scott-Heron, dead at age 62, a poet, prophet and spokesperson of the black urban American experience.
A merciless and unsentimental truth-teller when he emerged on the scene in the '70s, by telling Afro-identified kids dancing to Motown and grooving on psychedelic rock that "the revolution will not be televised" Scott-Heron meant that the real…Continue
There are more independent record labels springing up throughout the underground music scenes of the world every year, certainly more than one can keep track of on one's own, let's be honest. Only problem is, most of them are either fly-by-night operations, as ephemeral as they come, or they simply have poor taste and release large quantities of bad music, polluting what would …Continue
By 'Rebel' Rod Ames
I arrived at the Kerrville Folk Festival for opening day on Thursday with my sister/photographer, T. K. Diaz to cover the evening for the blogs I enjoy writing. There is my blog, From Under the Basement and there is, of course, No Depression.
I think Americana fans appreciate and respect all kinds of roots music – blues, folk, honky tonk, bluegrass, outlaw country – So, although Poor Man’s Poem is much different than the last couple of records I expect folks to give it an honest listen. That’s really all I can ask. I’m very proud of it and I hope folks like it as…Continue
Added by Artists Talking Shop on May 30, 2011 at 5:30pm — No Comments
After just one listen to Shawn Pittman's Edge of The World (DeltaGroove, 5/17/11) I was immediately impressed with the band and Shawn's selection of obscure blues covers. Luckily the folks at DeltaGroove had sent a physical disc which meant liner notes allowing me to fact check! First, there wasn't a band. Shawn had played everything except saxophone (Jonathan Doyle). Second, he…Continue
Added by Hal Bogerd on May 30, 2011 at 5:30pm — No Comments
I was on the road in the late Sixties, early Seventies, swept along by the wild ride Freedom takes you on when you're young. Just out of my one tour in the military. Vietnam era but like most of us I never had to fight. This freedom I'm talking about was like going from a babbling brook into dangerous rapids, except that you don't feel the danger. Just the speed.
I wound up in Sausalito sometime in 1970, trying to escape from the aftermath of the Summer of Love.…Continue
Loud Planes Fly Low
You’d think after six albums, the Rosebuds would be better known than they are. Admittedly, the personnel changes that have plagued them from the very beginning – along with an often times frustrating attempt to establish their own identity -- have hamstrung their efforts to entrench themselves in the indie firmament. New album, Loud Planes Fly Low, finds them pulling out all the ammunition in their arsenal to gain the…Continue
Added by Lee Zimmerman on May 30, 2011 at 8:00am — No Comments
Three tributes to the life and music of Hazel Dickens will take place within the next week.
Tonight, May 30, a cavalcade of local will musicians gather at Banjo Jim’s -- the city's embodiment of the Americana music scene --on the lower east side of New York to sing her songs and as many played with her, to share their stories. Led by Danny Weiss and Mary Olive Smith (Reckon So), the house band will include master instrumentalists, Tony Trischka & Barry Mitterhoff as well as…
Added by Amos Perrine on May 30, 2011 at 8:00am — No Comments
Karin Bergquist (half of the husband/wife duo at the core of Over the Rhine since 1991) could sing a grocery list and make it compelling, so just imagine her smoldering vocals and unique phrasing on such lines as "I sing the bebop apocalypse/Lean into you, God's hands on my hips/Grip the midnight microphone/Steel every cell of my flesh and bone/I…Continue
By Jim Simpson
Rare is the album that grabs you from the start -- from the first plucked notes, the initial poetic sentence -- with promises of deeply felt stories and engaging tunes. This album is one of those, and like the proverbial metaphoric onion, the layers are many.
Laserbeams and Dreams, Andy Friedman's third studio release, opens with the…
Added by Awaiting The Flood on May 29, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments
Last night I learned the secret of healthy living and longevity.
I always wondered how so many of the hard-living, hard-luck folks you see in the beyond-dirt-poor areas of the almost-Third World southern states live so stinkin’ long and through so much.
I mean, haven’t you ever seen that: photos of really old folks with weathered faces who’ve persevered in life and lived beyond the normal life expectancy despite considerable odds that would’ve done in folks like…
We've all been there. It usually happens on one of those days when your alarm clock radio wakes you up with Lady Antebellum after which you turn on the TV to find CNN using Nickelback as bumper music. Following this, you click on a Rage Against the Machine video your friend posted on Facebook, only to find that when you get to YouTube they are advertising the premiere of the new Chris Brown video on the side of the screen. Seeking an escape from all the bullshit that constitutes modern music…Continue
Nothing Is Wrong
After an initial album that had critics fawning with admiration, Dawes elevates the anticipation with Nothing Is Wrong, a tellingly titled sophomore set that affirms their quick ascension to the top tier of the Americana underground. A band much loved and admired by all who have a fondness for the Laurel Canyon crowd, specifically the ‘70s sensibilities…Continue
Gil Scott-Heron’s Gone
Turn Around, Turn Around… I’m New Here, Again
He wasn’t like anything you’d think. A raw-voiced truth-seeker, crippled by addiction to where Riker’s Island became a return address. A provocateur working on a template of what came before – the Last Poets and Langston Highes – who broke ground for the hip=hop revolution.
“We Almost Lost Detroit.”
“The Revolution Will Not Be…Continue
Added by Bill Frater on May 28, 2011 at 7:00am — No Comments