The guest-appearance by Nashville's Gwil Owen at Toni Price's Tuesday Happy Hour was a nice note to go out on. Owen's relationship to Price's music is something akin to that of Jimmy Webb and Glen Campbell's biggest hits; he writes these masterfully crafted emotional songs, she knocks them outta the park. Been that way since her… Continue
"You gotta get up to get down!" exhorted Toni Price from the stage of the Continental Club last Tuesday night, by way of explaining the dynamic shifts that can be common to her long-running happy-hour sets at the historic South Austin nightclub. Thus the hopped-up java-juke of "Too Much Coffee" coexisting alongside the soul-aching heartbreak of "I Doubt If It Does To You", or the spirited reaffirmation of "Hey!" being followed by the lonesome longing of "Just To Hear Your… Continue
The occasion for this sold-out performance to about 500 folks at Nashville's Belcourt Theatre was this week's release on Dualtone Records of Guy Clark's latest disc, Somedays You Write The Song, and the structure of the show suggested Guy is particularly proud of this one. Flanked on his left by fellow songwriters and ace accompanists Verlon Thompson and Shawn Camp, and on his right by the much-more-than-merely-accomplished rhythm section of percussionist Kenny Malone and upright bassist… Continue
As our friend Barry Mazor reported this morning, Mike Seeger passed away last night from cancer at age 75. It was Mike's old band the New Lost City Ramblers who recorded the version of the Carter Family staple "No Depression In Heaven" that a young Jay Farrar later heard and decided to cover as the title track for his band Uncle Tupelo's debut album in 1990. One thing led to another and, well, you know the… Continue
His name's Aaron Lee Tasjan, and until three days ago, I'd never heard of him. If you live in New York City and pay attention to roots music there, though, you probably have. Over the past couple days, I've seen enough of the guy, and heard enough about him from trustworthy fellow travelers, to… Continue
Fire Marshals Of Bethlehem The World From The Back Seat
With three singers and songwriters among its five members, Austin pop band the Fire Marshals Of Bethlehem could potentially fall victim to too-many-cooks syndrome, but it doesn't turn out that way. Though frontwoman Julie Lowery, violinist Jenny Smith and drummer David Mider are distinctly different writers, their songs mesh surprisingly well on this second outing from the Fire Marshals (and first… Continue
Added by PB on July 25, 2009 at 7:30am —
First off: This is of course a follow-up to Grant's thread about Merle Haggard being "the greatest living American songwriter," which ended up provoking much discussion. That was partly because it involved high-profile names, and partly, I would contend, because the very statement which was posited as the provocation was so easily shot down (or at least opposed) that a lot of people were compelled to respond.
So there's a band from Nova Scotia (a faraway but friendly northeastern Canadian province) called the Sons Of Maxwell that I just came across today, and I wanna start out here by displaying one of their videos from a few years ago just because I think it's top-priority to make note that they really seem like they're a pretty good band, first and foremost:
Not bad, eh? I mean, maybe not the world's Next Big Thing, but a quite tuneful and pleasant buncha… Continue
What makes the music of Minus 5 leader Scott McCaughey work is the juxtaposition of comfortably familiar musical forms – granted, quite a lot of them, often mashed together – with a strikingly off-the-wall and original lyrical perspective. He was raised on the '60s classics and has never really left there, whether it's garage-stomp or classic pop or strummy folk or dreamy country-rock, or other sounds that anyone from, say, the… Continue
Added by PB on July 6, 2009 at 9:44pm —
A new collaborative album from former dB's bandmates Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey is a welcome occurrence – the disc, titled Here And Now, came out earlier this month on Bar/None – but as much as the record has quite a few new songs from both of them that are well worth hearing, it's the lost classic they pulled from the scrap-heap of yesteryear that I've had a hard time shaking these past few weeks.
It's called "My Friend The Sun" and it's by a late-'60s/early-'70s… Continue
Leave it to Bobby Bare Jr. to refuse to choose between David Gates and Gerry Beckley. His upcoming EP American Bread, due out August 11, is true to its title, consisting of covers from the catalogues of America and Bread.
The precise track-listing hasn't been revealed, but given that it's seven songs – requiring, presumably, a 4-3 split – I guess we'll find out which band he likes better once the sequence leaks out. (Personally, I would've played it "Sister Golden Hair",… Continue
I could have written this as a comment on Grant's latest entry about Christy McWilson, but it's time I put up something new in my own little corner here, and this probably will run a little longer than just comment-length. And, probably most importantly, I had – rather ironically – actually already been planning to post something about a song of McWilson's on that Guilty Women record… Continue
Among the many folks across the blogosphere who chimed in to express their sadness at the passing of guitarist and songwriter Duane Jarvis a few weeks ago was a name I hadn't come across in quite some time: Milo Binder. "I never meet a person who knew Duane who didn't like him. He was simply the most easy going and positive guy theoretically possible," Binder wrote on his MySpace…Continue
Normally I don't pay a whole lotta attention to reissues of recordings that have already made it to CD previously -- but in this case it seems worth at least noting, given the historical significance of the recordings in question. So, here's the scoop from the folks at Concord Records:
RAY CHARLES’ LEGENDARY MODERN SOUNDS IN COUNTRY & WESTERN MUSIC,
VOLUMES 1 & 2 TO BE REISSUED BY CONCORD RECORDS ON JUNE 2
The latest addition to the New West Records roster is the great Ian Hunter, whose next disc, to be titled Man Overboard, will be released on July 21. This fall, Hunter will reunite with the original members of Mott The Hoople for a string of shows in London.
Here's the full press-release scoop from New West:
IAN HUNTER, LEGENDARY MOTT THE HOOPLE FRONTMAN AND RENOWNED SOLO ARTIST SIGNS TO NEW WEST RECORDS
As fate would have it, Bonnie Raitt was scheduled to play in Austin on Sunday night, a day after her former guitarist and longtime Austin music fixture Stephen Bruton passed away following a long battle with throat cancer.
Longtime Austin music journalist Michael Corcoran (who wrote the best of the Bruton obituaries I've found on the web) attended, and… Continue
Got a kind and friendly e-mail today from Jake Brennan, a Boston-area musician (and son of Dennis Brennan, among that city's roots-music laureates) who has started up a new "artistfunding" organization, with his associates Brad Powell and Evan Kenney, called The Hector Fund. (Exactly who Hector is, I'm not sure; didn't find any explanation of the name among the FAQs on their site, but no matter.)