Yo La Tengo played a fine gig at the De la Warr Pavilion last night, and one which seems to be getting better in retrospect.
It was excellent in parts – and transcendentally superb in places.
But it was hobbled by their chosen set structure and some of its longeurs left me looking at my watch.
They chose to play the first half mainly sitting down with acoustic guitars. When there were drums, Georgia Hubley used brushes on a…Continue
Added by Peter Wrench on December 8, 2013 at 1:00am — No Comments
"Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of time and besides it annoys the pig." Robert A. Heinlein
Every year about now, I get tempted to engage in some porcine education. From my lofty perch as a sometimes blogger and devoted Americana/Folk fan, I feel the need to explain my music to The Recording Academy voters. It never fails, year after year. The Grammy nominations come out and I think, what the hell were they thinking? How in the world could they have missed that…Continue
A t first glance, the idea of Belgians playing bluegrass makes as much sense as Texans doing Morris dancing - it might happen, but do we really want to see it? In this case - the Belgian one - the answer is a surprisingly definite yes.
The band in question is called The Broken Circle Bluegrass Band, but it's…Continue
5. Daniel Romano, Come Cry With Me
To be honest, I don’t know why I like Romano. There’s the obvious: his voice, songs that reach into earlier eras of country and resurrect the naked, vulnerable emotion of singers like Gram Parsons. Come Cry With Me feels almost hipster self-aware – like Romano knows what he’s doing and who he’s channelling and it could be silly, but it’s the only logical pathway for what he has to say.
4. Kelly Willis and…Continue
Added by Gillian Turnbull on December 7, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments
Next time I see Jc Babb, I am going to shake his hand for awhile and order him a couple of drinks, on me. Babb, you see, sent me a message a couple of weeks ago cluing me in on a dude named Adam Pasion and whereas normally I would pass on recommendations (I am way behind on reviews/articles as it is), when Babb said that Pasion's O Hear the Rattling! album was one of the best albums he'd heard this year if not the best, I couldn't help myself. For one thing,…Continue
Added by Frank Gutch Jr. on December 6, 2013 at 11:30pm — No Comments
This album – with its spooky Nosferatu with a 1940’s cruiser cover -- was released independently in 2006 but, with the passing of the beloved Levon Helm – this album by Bow Thayer deserves another listen.
It’s almost like discovering new music by The Band – which would also qualify the three albums Rick Danko made with Danko / Fjeld / Andersen. But, that’s another review.…Continue
FTB Show #236 features the new album by Blue Rodeo called In Our Nature. Also new releases from 3 "D" bands! The Deep Dark Woods, The Deadfields and Driftwood. Here's the direct link to listen now!
BLUE RODEO - New Morning Sun…Continue
Added by Bill Frater on December 6, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments
Most people know Eddie Spaghetti as one quarter of the self-proclaimed “greatest rock-n-roll band in the world,” the Supersuckers. Known for their raucous performances and hard-hitting style of punk and country-influenced rock music, the Supersuckers have gained a devoted following since forming in 1988. Recently Eddie Spaghetti, the band’s frontman and principal songwriter, decided to branch out with a solo record that blends country twang with dirty rock and roll, making for one…Continue
There is a funny kind of enigma to the music of Yonder Mountain String Band. Are they a jam band with a singer-songwriter mentality or are they a singer-songwriter band with jam tendencies? It doesn't really matter. However characterized, in addition to…Continue
Both great songs and big hits come out of Music City, and the two categories aren't mutually exclusive. By putting his craftsmanship front and center, Trent Dabbs echoes the Nashville ethos that the song always comes first. Dabbs' artistry, though, digs deeper than most big hits ever dare to. He isn't content to sing about drinking beer and driving trucks. On The Way We Look at Horses and, in fact, all of his previous efforts, Dabbs explores the emotional depths of love…Continue
Re- Introducing A Major Italian Rocker's Scorching All-Blues English Album
Released in March 2006 this CD -- in some markets -- passed under the radar but should have been widely heard by aficionados of the blues especially in the United States and other English-speaking countries.
Americana, folk, blues, roots music – nowadays it comes from many more places than just America as this collection attests. Canada, Australia, New Zealand and England…Continue
Added by John Apice on December 5, 2013 at 2:00pm — No Comments
The Velvet Underground and Nico, the group’s magnificent March 1967 debut album, was a million miles from the popular music of the time, which largely explains why it sold only about 5,000 copies (including one to me) in the first few years after its release.
If the group cared, it didn’t exactly show it with the follow-up. White Light/White Heat, which appeared at the end of January 1968, sounds even further removed from anything mainstream America would…Continue
There was a time when I spent hours thinking of clever ways to describe the music of the past year. There's not much need now. A brief description and a video and you can make up your mind whether my taste has soured or not.
So here's what I listened to the most this year, a year that I thought was the best for new music in a long, long time.
Jason Isbell - Southeastern.
This is the sound of a life falling apart and nearly ending and then trying to figure a way back from…Continue
Atlanta-bred singer/songwriter Michelle Malone has lived through more than a few different incarnations in her career. She's been a blues rocker, a torch singer,an Americana troubadour, and, with her upcoming Acoustic Winter record, a folk singer... or as close to a folk singer as the fierce vocalist will probably ever get.
Indeed, this new effort finds Malone stripping down to the basics. In these songs, in this setting,…Continue
Once upon a time, gospel had soul. From the fifties to the early '80s, gospel music was the mothership for soul men and women who started out in church. Since its launch in 1951, Nashville's Nashboro records was the go-to label for many of the artists who favored the jubilee style of gospel, featuring the call and response style that began to be featured in soul and r&b when some gospel singers were starting to cross over from singing about the Lord…Continue
Fans of The Swell Season, Mazzy Star, and even Trinity Sessions-era Cowboy Junkies now have a local band to get behind in Sea Stars. The duo, comprised of Katie Gray and Kurt Baumann, have gathered all the ethereal ambiance they can muster into their new, nine-song release, The Unknown. To put it simply: If Ojai could be compressed into sound, it would probably sound like Sea Stars — one part mystic, one part hipster, one part nature lover. And while the musical…Continue
Added by Kelly McCartney on December 4, 2013 at 3:30pm — No Comments
Robbie Fulks is a prolific artist that continues to be praised and respected by indie-classic-country fans with each new release he drops. His discography, although rooted in sharp-tongued wit and infectious classic country tendencies, almost always transcends expectations by even his most devoted fans, never mind the neat and tidy genre-classifiable record bins.
For his latest album, Gone Away Backward, Robbie Fulks put together a simplified lineup…Continue
Added by Chris Mateer on December 4, 2013 at 2:00pm — No Comments
I’m coming a little late to this release, but decided to write something because I began to listen to it more than once and that’s a sure sign that something's likeable and special here.
Released in October 2013 -- this is a rousing and melodic little collection -- with well-balanced male and female vocals.
The Dancing Hats has an aggressive approach similarly exemplified by bands such as Great Big Sea, the Oyster Band and Spirit of the West. The drums are just an…Continue
Added by John Apice on December 4, 2013 at 1:00pm — No Comments
The Mulligan Brothers self-titled debut album begins with a mournful fiddle supported by the steady undercurrent of bass and drums. As Ross Newell begins his haunting tale of forbidden plantation love, it is clear that the song will end in death and heartbreak, but well-written songs don’t need a catchy chorus or a happy ending to win over an audience or to be played over and over again.
She was born…Continue
Added by The Southern Rambler on December 4, 2013 at 11:00am — No Comments
With much fanfare and even more head-shaking (at least if you're a roots music fan), the 2014 Grammy nominations were announced Friday night.
Here are the nominees in the "American Roots" categories. A mighty fine bunch, but with some glaring (NO JASON ISBELL WTF OMG) omissions, as ever and always:
Best American Roots Song
BUILD ME UP FROM BONES Sarah Jarosz, songwriter
INVISIBLE Steve Earle, songwriter
KEEP YOUR DIRTY LIGHTS ON Tim…