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…
David Berkeley epitomizes what was once commonly referred to as a traveling troubadour. Having made his home in a variety of places both here in the States and overseas -- we’re talking Corsica specifically -- he’s not only experienced a vast expanse of terrain with his family in tow, but also gathered enough inspiration to fill five studio album -- a sixth, a live recording, completes his canon to date -- and a book, 140 Goats and a Guitar, which accompanies his earlier…Continue
Added by Lee Zimmerman on December 3, 2013 at 3:00pm — No Comments
With the end of the year upon us now in a matter of weeks, the time has come to cast your vote for the best albums of 2013.
Each year, we turn the spotlight to you folks, to come up with a Top 50 list of the No Depression Community's favorite releases. While most folks in this community are likely to focus on Americana/roots music, in the past we've received and counted votes for artists as varied as Lady Gaga, Patti Smith, and Adele. If you're interested in pitching in for this…Continue
In 1994, St. Louis' Bottle Rockets sang about that “angry fat man on the radio (who) wants to keep his taxes way down low” in “Welfare Music,” one of the band's finest songs. Almost 20 years later, that radio guy is, if anything, fatter and angrier, and the Bottle Rockets, thankfully, are still a working, blue-collar, roots-rock band.
Chicago's Bloodshot Records has reissued the band's first two out-of-print albums, the self-titled “Bottle Rockets” (1993) and its 1994…Continue
If you missed it go back and read Neil Ferguson's excellent NoDepression interview with Brian Henneman. I'll steal a question and answer to convince you to keep reading:
Neil Ferguson: Is there one experience or sort of peak moment that stands out in the history of The Bottle Rockets?
Brian Henneman: Overall, I can't say,…
I ignored Holly Williams's new album, The Highway, as long as I could. It arrived in a swarm of padded envelopes, among a flurry of other CDs I also didn't listen to right away. The cover photo showed a pretty blond woman, her hair in her face, close up. She looked tired or urgent, or maybe like she was waiting for something, it was hard to tell which. Besides, the idea of an Americana album called The Highway seemed oh so preciously cliche.
I had tried to…Continue
For a variety of very personal reasons tonight’s gig was something of a ‘celebratory’ party for me and I couldn’t think of a finer pair of performers to spend the night with than local Delta Blues aficionados Monkey Junk plus the headline act, Matt Andersen from Canada was someone I’d been desperate to see for a few years.
John Nellist and Andy Turnbull; who make up Monkey Junk have been on the local music scene for a few years now but look and sound like they were born to…Continue
Added by Alan Harrison on December 3, 2013 at 2:00pm — No Comments
The Animals : The Mickie Most Years And More
The cover photo on their U.S debut album shows a quintet of fresh scrubbed teens in dress shirts and ties looking like '60s era frat boys. But the disc inside reveals a rough, raw, rootsy sound that originated far from their hometown of Newcastle, England. From their beginning in 1963, The Animals came off more like originators than translators, their rough cut blues sounding more like Delta denizens than English…Continue
Toss in a pinch of Texas blend: a little SRV, some Albert King, a biting wisp of Johnny Winter. A pinch of Sam Cook soul, a bighandful of Chicago, a dose of Jimi Hendrix tribute, stir that all around and what comes out?
Toronzo Cannon and his new CD, “John the Conquer Root,” on Delmark Records.
Man, has he gotten better. This cat Toronzo can play the guitar, but better yet, he writes good songs. Specifically, all of them on this CD.
Toronzo reminds us in this…Continue
Added by R. Leckey Harrison on December 3, 2013 at 11:00am — No Comments
Got home from work, sat down at the computer and began to write. Three hours later, I still hadn't eaten dinner, and as I was adding some sweetener to the post with pics and music, I've hit the wrong button and lost it all. Gone...and it was pretty good too. Very concise. Lots of research. A list of the artists and albums I've really enjoyed this year. Poof. Well, listening to music is better than reading about it I think, so I'm going to scour You Tube, post a few things that…Continue
Romantic Alt-Country from Downtown Frankfurt
I first discovered Markus Rill a couple of years ago when he contacted me via this very website asking if I would be prepared to review his CD Wild, Blue & True. I can’t say that I was enamored at the prospect of listening to a German-Americana act; but held an open mind as it had been released on one of my favourite labels - BLUE ROSE RECORDS.
The album was truly excellent and the follow up, MY ROCKET SHIP…Continue
Added by Alan Harrison on December 2, 2013 at 2:00pm — No Comments
One of the more startling moments at a recent London concert by British folk band Moulettes was when founding member Ruth Skipper turned her bassoon into an instrument of industrial rock.
As bass and drums hammered out a heavy beat and an electric fiddle and wired cello soared to feverish heights, Skipper turned from the audience, bent near double and roared out a riff that would have done a Moog synthesizer…Continue
Added by musicJJMG on December 2, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments
Back in June, NPR's Ann Powers declared 2013 to be the Year of the Woman, pointing to the runaway success of Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgraves, among others. Yet last night, CMT apparently forgot female…Continue
Each year, Country Fried Rock does a special radio program of our listeners’ favorite programs, determined largely by the number of podcast downloads and a weird math formula involving website traffic for online listening via our audio stream — basically, which …Continue
Added by Sloane Spencer on December 2, 2013 at 6:30am — No Comments
‘I Dreamed I Saw St Augustine’ is a gem: a beautifully controlled and nuanced piece of writing, delivered on record with both power and restraint. Its spare and apparently straightforward language is woven around an ultimately mysterious core. We are left unsure just what we supposed to glean from the apparent vision that the singer describes. But, as we shall see, its ambiguities and ambivalence are a key part of what the song has to say.
The lyric is not perfect, if judged as a…Continue