Rolling Country 2019

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Here's my Nashville Scene ballot, as sent---still working on the Imaginary Categories, like Country Hon. Mentions and Related Top Ten. Think I mentioned most of this Top Ten on RC '18:

Top Ten Country Albums of 2018 (just in the order they come to mind):

Willie Nelson: Last Man Standing

Brandi Carlile: By The Way, I Forgive You

Pistol Annies: Interstate Gospel

Various Artists:King of the Road: A Tribute To Roger Miller

Various Artists: Johnny Cash: Forever Words---The Music

Various Artists: Blaze (Original Cast Recording)

Eric Church:Desperate Man

John Prine: The Tree of Forgiveness

Becky Warren: Undesirable

Lori McKenna: The Tree
https://lorimckennama.bandcamp.com/releases

Top Five Country Reissues of 2018:

Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard: [i]Sing Me Back Home: The DC Tapes 1965-1969
https://hazeldickensalicegerrard.bandcamp.com/album/sing-me-back-home-the-dc-tapes-1965-1969

Jerry Garcia: [i[Before The Dead[/i]

George Jones and the Jones Boys: Live In Texas 1965

Charlie Rich: Too Many Teardrops---The Complete Groove & RCA Recordings

Various Artists: Outlaws & Armadillos---Country’s Roaring ‘70s

dow, Sunday, 6 January 2019 20:55 (seven months ago) link

Becky Warren's War Surplus Deluxe---2017 reissue of the 2016 original, worth getting for the bonus tracks---is a song cycle about life, lives, in a Southern-sounding military town. This is less fluid, less-back-and-forth, seemingly less concerned with verbal particulars, more about sonic particulates in the gritty atmosphere (although WSD has plenty of those). Here she just cranks up the rhythm guitar and drives on through the smog, keeping an eye on everything, of course---while the previous album was where I'd hoped Isbell might reach, considering the highlights of his DBT contributions and debut album (where he was backed by the Truckers, come to think of it), this is more like if they backed her---possibly with some DBT co-writes---but she doesn't need any of that. Although Truckers, Stones, maybe Petty and the Heartbreakers are influences. she's got her own voice and I think of this as rocking country (the kind with lots of living, dying and killing time in the rear-view, watching for lots more ahead)
Oh yeah, she does have some stand-out tracks, writing-wise, especially "Sunshine State," where she's calling to say she's out of prison, ain't mad at ya, just checking in, be good now, bye-bye.

dow, Sunday, 6 January 2019 21:18 (seven months ago) link

Xgau's always been big on McKenna, so when he wrote that The Tree was a bit too close to the writer's workshop---with what used to be called kitchen sink realism getting out of hand,sliding from the quotidian to the no-shit-sherlock---I thought 'Uh-oh." But, not that far from Warren's Undesirable, McK's sound immediately took me way into the winter sky over the kitchen sink---which is still full of dishes, but she's going out for a while, back later, honey & kids (that's the verbal gist of one song, the feel of quite a few, if way down in there, sometimes). The singing doesn't seem nearly so constrained here (what the hell, it's her tenth album).

dow, Sunday, 6 January 2019 21:34 (seven months ago) link

In a fairly recent interview, Willie Nelson's mentioned taking good medical advice, at least that one time, so he must or should it's not entirely by accident that he's 'bout the Last Man Standing of his generation's country music stature. But he also must know he's dang short and that the famously hygenic Jerry Lee is also still standing, whenever he gets up from the piano. So no need for posturing here, though the wry punchlines are just part of the candid camera shots, of current self and others---mebbe "previous" selves---"You'll know me, I'm the one with his head up his ass," yeah can't miss it, not many of those around. But also the quips are rhythm joeks, feeding the grooves, pick up the tempo and don't let it hit you on the way out.
Pistol Annies have a tough-minded, reasonably good-humored post-post breakup album, with yet more songs or lines I haven't heard elsewhere---somebody must've beat them to the one about love ain't enough, rat?? But theirs really is a "Leaver's Lullaby," a carefully placed kiss-off. The one about not leaving any money in the "Commissary" account for a seriously no-good jailbird family member--not this time---is another underutilized country etc bit, and its work song chant not only mocks the poor-me prisoner, but suggests the way relatives of such can get strung out, at best "runnin' on a long chain," to quote Larry Jon Wilson on a not entirely dissimilar way of life.

dow, Sunday, 6 January 2019 22:55 (seven months ago) link

"must or should" know.

dow, Sunday, 6 January 2019 22:56 (seven months ago) link

On Sing me Back Home, Across 19 tracks the duo sings the classic country of The Carter Family, The Louvin Brothers, and Jimmie Rodgers; contemporary hits of the 1960s penned by Dolly Parton and Merle Haggard; and barn-burning traditional standards that blur the line between old-time and early bluegrass... a raw, unfiltered listen to Hazel & Alice at the height of their collaborative..., Yes, thanks Bandcamp! Not always crazy about some of the grimmer verses, but I know those voices will blast me 'round the mountain on the choruses. Now I want to check the s/t of the Strange Creek Singers: D&G w Mike Seeger and Tracy Schwarz of the New Lost City Ramblers (also Lamar Grier. maybe better known for playing banjo with Bill Monroe). Also want finally to check the Ramblers; where should I start?

They're namechecked several times by Garcia on Before The Dead, incl. the set prev released sep as as Folk Time, after the Stanford radio show where it was taped. (Already have a couple other inclusions on boot, but 4 remastered CDs for $19.99, so no prob.) The whole thing starts on May 26, 1961, with a hootenanny at Bridget Meier's sixteenth birthday party (she's so excited!) Set is very nice, made distinctive by Garcia's instantly recognizable singing, which, as on most of the rest of the box, doesn't have that high lonesome Dead etc. pitch, but is clear and contemplative and unaffected. Usually with future New Rider David Nelson, pretty often with Robert Hunter, and several guys I really need to look up, he gets more and more into banjo--a bit more than I am, at times---but still got the guitar and those pipes.

dow, Monday, 7 January 2019 00:46 (seven months ago) link

*Brigid* Meier, that is.

dow, Monday, 7 January 2019 00:48 (seven months ago) link

Also, Alice Gerrard's Follow The Music, released in 2o14, when she was 80, is backed by "members of Hiss Golden Messenger and Megafaun," as her label Tompkins Square considered worth mentioning --yes yes TS, it is worth mentioning, and the album's pretty good.
A couple of tweets:
Charlie Rich, Too Many Teardrops - The Complete Groove & RCA Recordings: Choirs, strings oops upside your head, get bearable and even occasionally useful, incl. killing weakest songs. Always we get Big Ol Charlie on lil cat feet---that voice, them keys! 40 tracks---I like a lot, love several.

George Jones/Jones Boys: Live in TX '65: Brave ballads of self-torture x "C Jam Blues," "White Lightnin'," "Bony Maronie," "B Bowman Bop." Panhandle Rag," "Jole Blon," JB trusty/Bladerunner crooner also cool w girl part on "We Must Have Been Out of Our Minds," heavy guests too. Guests incl. steel guitarist Buddy Emmons and fiddlers Red Hayes and (on "Jole Blond") Rufus Thibodeaux ("Two-By-Four," George calls him). The JBs crooner is Don Adams---android-sounding, strangely(?) satisfying.

dow, Monday, 7 January 2019 01:03 (seven months ago) link

Fuckin; finally, I agree w xgau that Outlaws and Armadillos has a lot of the right artists, but not always the right tracks. I get that Johnny Cash was a mavericky inspiration to Outlaws and Texastentialists, and the Stones' take on country also pertained, but why, pray tell, does this set select his version of "No Expectations"? Maybe Townes Van Zandt's cover of "Dead Flowers" would be better? Haven't heard it, but a lot of things would be better. Cash's ain't-sorry "Sam Hill" on the gallows, for instance---oh wait, that's not from the 70s, and this collection (listening companion to a museum exhibit) is very strict. Also very anglo (no Freddie Fender, no Johnny Rodriguez, no Clarence Gatemouth Brown), and omg male. Do have Emmylou and Marica Ball a little bit--no Lou Ann Barton, no Angela Strehli, certainly not Janis Joplin doing "Me and Bobby McGee," or anything else (oh well estates can be a problem with anthologizing, and hers is well-known).
But when I listened again, I realized just how much good stuff, some of it def. underexposed, did make the cut.

dow, Monday, 7 January 2019 01:18 (seven months ago) link

The Top Ten's Johnny Cash trib is new music for his bare lyrics, poems, some letters, I think. Only rambles too far when the music does (Costello and his chamber followers, mainly). Otherwise, as hoped for w these things, even most of the artists I don't usually care about rise to the occasion.

dow, Monday, 7 January 2019 01:22 (seven months ago) link

I did this on Chelsea Lovitt this week. You Had Your Cake, So Lie in It was cut in 2016 and came out in October 2018, but we'll call it a 2019 album. She's not well known at all, having barely played in Nashville or elsewhere. This album is unique, a political record that I thought was gonna be goofy but which turned out to be rather diverse; the closing track is the most atypical and the one Americana fans ought to know, seeing as how she's writing in a kind of Parsons-Chilton folk-country mode (that she quickly turns into her own rather strange thing), "De Donna," which also reminds me of Parsons' "Luzury Liner." https://www.nashvillescene.com/music/features/article/21038940/chelsea-lovitts-debut-gives-altcountry-a-mississippi-spin">+https://www.nashvillescene.com/music/features/article/21038940/chelsea-lovitts-debut-gives-altcountry-a-mississippi-spinHere's the piece.

eddhurt, Monday, 7 January 2019 16:54 (seven months ago) link

I ended up listening to the Dierks Bentley album far more than expected. He's incapable of recording a good album end to end, but this has a stronger batch of tunes than he's ever assembled.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 7 January 2019 16:57 (seven months ago) link

Here's what I put together for Geoff's Scene poll. The Malcolm Holcombe album had the most structural integrity of any "country" album I heard last year, and came to the harshest conclusions in a harsh year. I was surprised at how much I liked Alvin and Gilmore's album.

1. Malcolm Holcombe Come Hell or High Water Gypsy Eyes Music
2. Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore Downey to Lubbock Yep Roc
3. Ashley McBryde Girl Going Nowhere Warner Bros. Nashville
4. Ry Cooder The Prodigal Son Fantasy
5. Pistol Annies Interstate Gospel RCA Nashville
6. Donovan Woods Both Ways Meant Well
7.Mike and the Moonpies Steak Night at the Prairie Rose Mike and the Moonpies
8. Ashley Monroe Sparrow Warner Music Nashville
9. Chelsea Lovitt & Boys You Had Your Cake, Now Lie in It Fat Elvis
10. John Prine The Tree of Forgiveness Oh Boy Records

TOP TEN COUNTRY SINGLES OF 2018:

1. John Prine "Lonesome Friends of Science"
2. Pistol Annies "Got My Name Changed Back"
3. Austin Lucas "Monroe County Nights"
4. Brent Cobb ".30 06"
5.Ashley Monroe "Bombshell"
6.Kacey Musgraves "Butterflies"
7. Maren Morris "Rich"
8.Low Cut Connie "Beverly"
9.Aaron Lee Tashan "If Not Now When"
10.Kevin Gordon "Drunkest Man in Town"

TOP FIVE COUNTRY REISSUES OF 2018:

1. George Jones and the Jones Boys Live in Texas 1965 Ace
2. Jess Sah Bi and Peter One Our Garden Needs Its Flowers Awesome Tapes from Africa
3.Lefty Frizzell Signed Sealed and Delivered Sony Legacy
4.Jeannie Seely The Seely Style Sony Legacy
5. Bobbie Gentry The Girl from Chickasaw County: The Complete Capitol Masters UMC

eddhurt, Monday, 7 January 2019 16:59 (seven months ago) link

I really liked and admired Austin Lucas' album, Immortal Americans. There's something offputting about Lucas' delivery, which is so bluegrass-influenced and high-lonesome, but I mean that in a good way. He just doesn't seem interested in prettifying anything at any level, and I respect that. There's also a rigorous formalism at work, but he's saying something about the alienation (a word I don't like to use) and loneliness (better) he seems to have felt growing up in that Midwest he writes about. So it's not a record for pleasure-seekers, in many ways. I still regard his 2016 Between the Moon and the Midwest as a tantalizing glimpse at what he could do; it mostly succeeds, and the best tracks have a certain audacity I find bracing. A neglected record, but the followup deserves some attention, so I wanted to include "Monroe County Nights" in the Himes poll. i can't get into Dierks, whose vigor just seems blunted on The Mountain. OK, he's too high in Telluride to hear what he maybe oughta hear. I find it all generic, and well done, that's about all I get out it.

eddhurt, Monday, 7 January 2019 17:13 (seven months ago) link

I really liked his '16 album, not into this one yet, but will try again. Thanks for the word on Lovitt and several others I still need to check. Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale will be on my eventually amended Scene ballot's imaginary Related Top Ten, and maybe should've been on the real one, but too much work to fit 'em in, sorry. Here's what I said on TS: Lone Justice or Cruzados or Drivin' & Cryin' or Green On Red or Del Fuegos or Jason & The Scorchers or Long Ryders or Bodeans?:
More blues than I expected, more than I've heard from Jimmie Dale for sure, but his voice and feel fit just fine---"I'm an old Flatlander from the high plains," he sez in title-track opener, which is redundant--who would listen to this album without knowing the bio basics? Pretty sure most of their fans are old fans--but still it's a good capsule description of his sound and sensibility. Dig the way they find musical payoffs in the steady march through "You don't believe I love you look at the fool I been you don't believe I love you look at the hole I'm in" and keep going "back to my same ol' used to be," and now sounding pretty proud of himself/sassy with the wry--it is a jug band blues after all: "Stealin' Stealin" by Memphis Jug Band's Wiil Shade.
Even more oops factor in the even ever-more-timely "Get Together" (candidly precarious hopefulness of the verses coming through more clearly to me than on the Youngbloods' version, so chorus more urgent and troubled too), and "Deportee--Plane Wreck At Los Gatos." Best Dave solos prob on "KC Moan," about which he quotes Jimmie Dale,"There is a time for more Blue Cheer and less Blue Cheer, and this is a time for more." Also good outward bound picking on "Walk On." Only a couple of geezer-snoozers, I think.
Whole thing's here:
https://davealvin.bandcamp.com/album/downey-to-lubbock

dow, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 23:17 (seven months ago) link

Oooh

Also, if you like the Cactus Blossoms, you will enjoy the new Cactus Blossoms album. They excel at their thing.

resident hack (Simon H.), Friday, 11 January 2019 05:00 (seven months ago) link

Oh yeah, thanks for the reminder. Nice name.
More about xpost Charlie Rich's Too Many Teardrops,from Charlie Rich - Behind Closed Doors:

...After a couple of listens, I've found it surprisingly easy to get used to the strings and choirs, although some Disc 2 incidents are still annoying, and maybe scale-tipping on the more dubious material---that's okay though; that's what he and/or the suits get for too much turdpolishing. like Elvis, Sinatra, Willie etc. he's found that he can effectively apply his signature sound to inferior imitations of his top-shelf line of goods, and so he does, and I admit there are at least partially redeeming moments in most(?) of the worse, though not worst, tracks. Not many of this last category though!
A good number of the rolling piano jazz-blues-rock tracks I always favor, starting right off with "Big Boss Man," soon followed by "River Stay Away From My Door," later a very sassy "Ol' Man River," such as Jerry Lee might approve, then a more respectful vocal on "The Twelth of Never," though that beloved tearjerker now goes thunkin' along. Mercy!
Also a couple of intriguing ballads written by Freddie Hart:"Too Many Teardrops" starts out feeling for a fella who lost his love to the narrator, yet"I did what any man would do"---emphasis on "man" because the cry guy wasn't "strong enough to play the losing hand"--crying and drinking yourself to death doesn't count as a well-played losing hand, so what does? Revenge, mebbe? Doesn't say.
The other Hart-written track, "There Won't Be Any More, " has a terse lilt that somehow reminds me of some British Invasion tracks, like uhhh covers like "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying"? But with more attitude.
The Riches-written (lots of originals here) "The Grass Is Always Greener" advises that, "You may think you're rollin' in clover/But you better think it over." Shaddup with that, I must not think bad thoughts!
The Complete Smash Sessions is the one to start with, but this is def worth checking out.
40 tracks, and I like at least---28? Love at least an LP's-worth.

dow, Tuesday, 15 January 2019 02:19 (seven months ago) link

That is, I like-to-love maybe 12 of the 28, but all 40 are worth hearing.

dow, Tuesday, 15 January 2019 02:25 (seven months ago) link

Listening to ILX Listen: 2019

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 16 January 2019 16:41 (seven months ago) link

Edd on the late great Reggie Young, a thinkin' picker---this piece might prove a tad controversial:

Reggie Young, 1936-2018
Remembering the guitarist who played on classic recordings by and in touring bands with artists from Elvis Presley to The Box Tops to James Carr and beyond

https://www.nashvillescene.com/music/nashville-cream/article/21044397/reggie-young-19362018?fbclid=IwAR1kTa3n48o4y4KTQdlRC_dQWPzkPjGGUaoc6U8ci9v58T-CH2JKfM1NO0w

Morning Edition said his first album is coming out soon, but I recently glimpsed a Spotify title---playlist or album---Reggie Young, Sideman, something like that.

dow, Wednesday, 23 January 2019 05:13 (six months ago) link

Appalled by the triumph of Musgraves, or I would be if her album elicted any feeling at all (you read it here first and last). Otherwise, for the most part---more than usual, seems like---some mighty fine albums here.

dow, Tuesday, 29 January 2019 00:58 (six months ago) link

Although this writing is overly caffeinated at times (yes, pot to kettle), it also incl. good backstory and detailed perspective re key tracks on Willie Nelson's The IRS Tapes: Who'll Buy My Memories?, which the author proposes as good gateway to WN's ever-vaster stash:
https://www.vulture.com/2019/01/remember-the-crazy-album-the-irs-made-willie-nelson-release.html

And I just pre-ordered Reggie Young's Session Guitar Star, which comes out Feb. 8:

1. Slip, Slip, Slippin' in - Eddie Bond & His Stompers
2. Carol - Bill Black's Combo
3. A Touch of the Blues - Bobby Bland
4. Dream Baby - Jerry & Reggie
5. I'm Movin' on - the Box Tops
6. The Champion Pt. 1 - Willie Mitchell
7. Meet Me in Church - Solomon Burke
8. Chicken Crazy - Joe Tex
9. In the Pocket - King Curtis & the King Pins
10. More Love - James Carr
11. Don't Forget About Me - Dusty Springfield
12. Stranger in My Own Home Town - Elvis Presley
13. I Wanna Roo You - Jackie de Shannon
14. Drift Away - Dobie Gray
15. Rock 'N' Roll (I Gave You the Best Years of My Life) - Sonny Curtis
16. Victim of Life's Circumstances - Delbert McClinton
17. Lover Please - Billy Swan
18. Morning Glory - James & Bobby Purify
19. Cocaine - J.J. Cale
20. I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink - Merle Haggard
21. The Highwayman - the Highwaymen Aka Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson
22. Griselda - Natalie Merchant
23. Whenever You Come Around - Little Milton
24. Where Do We Go from Here - Waylon Jennings

dow, Friday, 1 February 2019 15:58 (six months ago) link

This was my list of favorites from 2018, in roughly the order I'd rank them... (sorry, dow!)

ALBUMS
Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour
Ashley McBryde - Girl Goin Nowhere
Lori McKenna - The Tree
American Aquarium - Things Change
El Coyote - s/t
Eric Church - Desperate Man
Colter Wall - Songs of the Plains
Jason Eady - I Travel On

SINGLES
Ashley McBryde - Girl Goin Nowhere
Kacey Musgraves - High Horse
Whitey Morgan & the 78s - Around Here
Kacey Musgraves - Space Cowboy
Belle Plaine - For All Those Who I Love
Mike & the Moonpies - Road Crew
Brandi Carlile - The Joke
Pistol Annies - Best Years of My Life

Indexed, Friday, 1 February 2019 16:05 (six months ago) link

Not a prob, sign o' the times.
Oops I meant to mention one blemish on Garcia's aforementioned Before The Dead: a set of songs of the American People complaining about marriage/wives, carefully selected for polished performances with his own first wife (who sounds pretty good), about a week after their wedding (he calls the exact time). She and the audience chuckle when he mentions this, but it reminds me of a bootlegger who claimed that Jerry sold all their wedding gifts to buy a guitar, and I'm sure he played it well. This disenchanted evening's a bummer, man, but at least it's brief.

dow, Monday, 4 February 2019 01:48 (six months ago) link

Carefully selected, but tiresome as a set.

dow, Monday, 4 February 2019 01:50 (six months ago) link

Chuck Eddy sez can't find old ilx pw, been trying to set up new account, hasn't heard back from mods, yo mods, meanwhile he said I could go ahead and post his Nash Scene ballot here:

Chuck Eddy's 2018 Nashville Scene Ballot

ALBUMS
3hattrio – Lord of the Desert (Okehdokee)

Heathen Apostles – Bloodgrass Vol. I & II (Ratchet Blade)

Patricia Vonne –Top of the Mountain (Bandolera)

Pistol Annies – Interstate Gospel (RCA Nashville)

The Nude Party – The Nude Party (New West)

Oliver the Crow – Oliver The Crow (OTC)

New Reveille – The Keep (Loud & Proud)

Ashley McBryde – Girl Going Nowhere (Atlantic/Warner Nashville)

Alela Diane – Cusp (AllPoints)

Haley Georgia - First Rodeo (Haley Georgia EP)

SINGLES
Faren Rachels - “Uber Driver” (River House Artists)

Jacob Powell - “Wagoneer” (Ole Red Dot)

Sarah Ross - “Nervous Breakdown” (Average Joes)

Runaway June - “Buy My Own Drinks” (Wheelhouse)

Dusty Leigh - “Adrianna” (Idahome)

Anna Vaus - “Day Job” (Espola Road)

Kira Isabella - “Little Girl” (Creator)

Gretchen Peters - “Wichita” (Scarlet Letter)

Midland feat. Jay De La Cueva - “Drinkin’ Problem (Brindemos)” (Big Machine)

Mandy McMillan - “Chasin’ the Ace” (Mandy McMillan)

dow, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 00:38 (six months ago) link

Appalled by the triumph of Musgraves, or I would be if her album elicted any feeling at all (you read it here first and last). Otherwise, for the most part---more than usual, seems like---some mighty fine albums here.
Not surprised by Musgraves' win, and I don't quite get the adulation. A pleasant little folk-pop-schlock album sung in a nice-person with a very banal worldview. She doesn't know what to do with herself on the weekends without her loved one. Everyone else is having lots of fun. "Butterflies" purt near makes me gag. As does "Velvet Elvis." I like pop fine, and this is a nice, melodic pop album of no special distinction, even the much-lauded "Space Cowboy." Wonder Woman is only human.

I like Boo Ray's new Tennessee Alabama Fireworks. Jerry Rabbitt meets Don Henley and George Lowell in a taco stand in L.A. I've gotten to know Boo around town. He deserves to be a star, and I usually don't say that about people. Here's the stream: https://www.popmatters.com/boo-ray-tennessee-alabama-fireworks-2628792225.html?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1

eddhurt, Wednesday, 13 February 2019 19:48 (six months ago) link

Boo Ray! Great name, will check.
In somewhut Related news (recycling of), here's something I posted on
Sweet Soul Music - Dan Penn, Donnie Fritts, Eddie Hinton, Muscle Shoals sound in general, etc - C or C?

Cover Me: The Eddie Hinton Songbook is an ace Ace import, easily findable for a nice price, on at least one ecommerce behemoth: Dusty Springfield, Bobby Womack, Aretha Franklin, Box Tops, Candi Staton, Sweet Inspirations, Tony Joe White, Cher, Lulu (both of whom do well (a duet might be even better), and a bunch of people I never heard of: one guy just walked in to sell a song, and the studio cats were like omg you gotta cut something, and he did and it's good but he sailed on somewhere---others are still in the biz, but not as singers,, and then there's an early protege of Bacharach and David (he doesn't sound like Dionne Warwick, maybe a little smooth but r&b for sure, and I want to hear him on some B&D songs.

Hinton's offerings, fairly frequently written w Fritts, can seem a bit generic at times, but they're usually good vehicles for better singers, and though his own voice (heard here on demo of "It's All Wrong But It's Alright"), is thin and he tends to strain it, otherwise canny phrasing provides a handy template for stronger vox, as compiler Tony Rounce points out in typically astute liner notes. Don't quite hear Left Banke in the one he does, but do hear it (as a joke on sensitive Southern Gothic x LB-type sentiment?) in some of "Poor Mary Has Drowned," as lead sung by Brick Wall's Eddie Marshall, future daddy of Chan.
(Speaking of Hinton demos, the well-produced series of same on UK's Zane label is also worth checking out.)
I don't like all of these---Willy Deville has always seemed tiresome, Don Varner's track is a Northern Soul fave, so what---but overall, oh mah soul.
track list:
1. Breakfast in Bed - Dusty Springfield
2. Down in Texas - Oscar Toney JR
3. Cover Me - Jackie Moore
4. A Little Bit Salty - Bobby Womack
5. Sure As Sin - Candi Staton
6. 300 Pounds of Hongry - Tony Joe White
7. Masquerade - Don Varner
8. Always David - the Sweet Inspirations
9. Poor Mary Has Drowned - Brick Wall
10. It's All Wrong But It's Alright - Eddie Hinton
11. Help Me Make It (Power of a Woman's Love) - Mink Deville
12. Save the Children - Cher
13. Every Natural Thing - Aretha Franklin
14. If I Had Let You in - the Box Tops
15. Satisfaction Guaranteed - Judy White
16. Standing on the Mountain - Percy Sledge
17. I Got the Feeling - the Amazing Rhythm Aces
18. Home for the Summer - the Hour Glass Featuring Greg and Duane Allman
19. Lay It on Me - Gwen McCrae
20. People in Love - Lou Johnson
21. Where You Come from - Bonnie Bramlett
22. Seventeen Year Old Girl - Mickey Buckins & the New Breed
23. Love Waits for No Man - Al Johnson
24. Where's Eddie - Lulu

dow, Tuesday, 19 February 2019 02:43 (six months ago) link

two weeks pass...

New Maren Morris seems OK on first couple listens, not as much fun as the first one. I'll see which songs stick with me after a few more times through. In general I think I like her in rock mode more than R&B mode.

Listening to Maren Morris now. Just 2 songs in. I had already read the Chris Richards Washington Post review where he says he loves her voice but doesn’t like her lyrics here, and he’s kinda lukewarm on the music.

But the words, the words, the words. On her second album, “Girl,” they really gunk things up, no matter how Morris tries to sing her way through, over or around them. It feels almost criminal when a singer this expressive describes her own heightened emotional state as “the feels” — which occurs tragically and repeatedly on a song of that very title. Epic voice, basic lyrics, rough scene.

On to the “country” part. Is it still worth debating whether this high-def music qualifies as country? As a vocalist, Morris takes her Nashville inheritance — vowels that curve parallel to a twang; legible, unambiguous lyrics — and sets them to tunes built with acoustic guitars, synthesizers and electronic percussion. If pop-influenced country bugs you, try thinking of her music as country-influenced pop. Then ask yourself if there’s any difference, or if that difference matters.

curmudgeon, Sunday, 10 March 2019 19:59 (five months ago) link

Oops, that’s a cut and paste from the Post from “But the words “ down

curmudgeon, Sunday, 10 March 2019 20:00 (five months ago) link

Maren Morris release didn’t dazzle me on 1 listen. Now checking out Edd’s fave Boo Ray

curmudgeon, Sunday, 10 March 2019 21:40 (five months ago) link

the new maren morris manages to be disappointing and still p good

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 14:57 (five months ago) link

Is it still worth debating whether this high-def music qualifies as country?

i love to yell "no" and roll my eyes at a chris richards article

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 14:58 (five months ago) link

the new maren morris manages to be disappointing and still p good

Yeah, that's how I break it down to an extent.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 15:12 (five months ago) link

"rsvp" is basically a r&b song and i think it's v cool

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 15:17 (five months ago) link

Whitey Morgan and the 78s are just a ridiculously good live band. You would figure they would be tight and good guitar players and all, being that they have been touring lots over the years but their harmony singing is fantastic. Very impressive.

earlnash, Sunday, 17 March 2019 07:25 (five months ago) link

two weeks pass...

seeing a lot of hype for this orville peck fellow. personally his look reminds me way too much of orion for me to take him seriously, but maybe that's just me.

Jaki Liebowitz (rushomancy), Sunday, 31 March 2019 16:16 (four months ago) link

Wrote thisabout Lucinda's Car Wheels.

whatstalker, Sunday, 31 March 2019 21:52 (four months ago) link

My old laptop is down, so I had to get a new pw and username until I can remember what I had, btw. Same old me.

whatstalker, Sunday, 31 March 2019 21:54 (four months ago) link

Glad you fared better than Chuck in trying for new pw and user name. Thanks for the Lucinda piece! She's very effective on that '18 album w Charles Lloyd and the Marvels too.

dow, Monday, 1 April 2019 00:52 (four months ago) link

George Strait & Miranda Lambert just did a nice duet on the ACM awards. Lots of duets- Kane Brown with Khalid, Eric Church w/ uh I forgot, Brooks & Dunn w/ Luke Combs , many more

curmudgeon, Monday, 8 April 2019 03:01 (four months ago) link

Eric Church w/ uh I forgot

ashley mcbryde

fact checking cuz, Monday, 8 April 2019 04:54 (four months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Looks promising---this decade's work with Buddy Cannon has gone well, for the most part:
Willie Nelson---Ride Me Back Home
Willie Nelson returns with another incredible addition to his legendary catalog. Once again working with longtime producer Buddy Cannon, Willie’s Ride Me Back Home sits beside 2017’s God’s Problem Child and 2018’s Last Man Standing as a trilogy of superior song craft exploring ideas of mortality with wisdom, empathy and a winking love of life. Nelson and Cannon co-wrote a handful of songs but go deep into their favorite songsmiths, great writers with great stories to tell: Sonny Throck-Morton, Guy Clark, Mac Davis, Buzz Rabin. The result is a magical collection of tunes with emphasis on the lyric. Backed by an amazing band of Nashville gunslingers, Ride Me Back Home finds Willie Nelson making some of the most inspired work of his career.
Release date: 6/21/19.

dow, Friday, 26 April 2019 21:04 (three months ago) link

I would like to go see this:

Jul
4
Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic at Austin360 Amphitheater
11:30 AM Austin, TX
Willie Nelson & Family • Luke Combs • Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats • Alison Krauss • Jamey Johnson • Steve Earle & The Dukes • Colter Wall • Hayes Carll • Ray Wylie Hubbard • Gene Watson • Billy Joe Shaver • Johnny Bush • Folk Uke • Raelyn Nelson Band • The Casey Kristofferson Band

dow, Wednesday, 1 May 2019 01:42 (three months ago) link

Some of those sets might be good for bathroom breaks. Prob not these:

Sep
13
Outlaw Music Festival: The Mann Center
4:00 PM Philadelphia, PA
Willie Nelson & Family, Bonnie Raitt, Alison Krauss, Gov't Mule

dow, Wednesday, 1 May 2019 01:46 (three months ago) link

or these? Not familiar with Luke Combs.
Sep
22
Outlaw Music Festival: Riverbend Music Center
6:30 PM Cincinnati, OH
Willie Nelson & Family, Luke Combs, Bonnie Raitt, Brothers Osborne

dow, Wednesday, 1 May 2019 01:48 (three months ago) link

Luke Combs is a popular arena country singer and writer but I think you might like him

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 1 May 2019 05:35 (three months ago) link

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/sam-hunt-catapulted-to-stardom-five-years-ago-so-wheres-his-second-album/2019/04/29/b572c388-6a90-11e9-8f44-e8d8bb1df986_story.html

Sam Hunt got married, toured some and has had trouble finding inspiration since to write new songs. He likes to write himself and not rely on Nashville writers

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 1 May 2019 05:38 (three months ago) link

xpost, Oh yeah, that 'un, thanks. So many Lukes these days, so little time. I'm not against arena country, I just got spoiled by the late 90s-early 00s art-of-entertainment heyday of it
Drag City now makes its Rolling Country debut mebbe---adjust shades accordingly, and know yr not alone:

THE LOST CITY OF
NASHLANTIS
The annals of Nashville, the 20th century's immortal Music City, are filled with lore of the legends, as well as tales of the one-shots, the lesser-knowns and the delightful obscurities. Like the outlaw he defines himself as, Chris Gantry doesn't really fit in any of those boxes -and now, 50-plus years since he wrote his first hit, "Dreams of the Everyday Housewife", Gantry prepares to release Nashlantis, his first album of new music following the 2017 archival release of At The House of Cash.

Produced by Jerry David DeCicca and recorded in Nashville with the legendary engineer Rob Galbraith, Nashlantis features 11 mesmerizing, worn n' weathered Gantry performances. Preserving the intimate nature of Chris' acoustic guitar and vocals, Don Cento, Ryan Jewell, and Marina Peterson wove electric guitar, mandolin, synthesizer, percussion and cello into the fabric of the songs, and Edith Frost and Bill Callahan turned up at Stuart Sikes' mixing session in Austin to add harmony vocals, as well.

Nashlantis is a testament to the career and talent of Chris Gantry - the individualism that set him apart from his earliest days and his openhearted embrace of the unknown. Featured in the Country Music Hall of Fame's Outlaws and Armadillos exhibit last year (one of two living artists included), Chris's cosmic stirrings have always set him a little apart from the rest. Nashlantis makes for yet another unique chapter in the Chris Gantry catalog - a potent new entry, five decades and more down the line - the improbability of which makes it pure Gantry, all the way.

As DeCicca says: "Gantry's juiced these songs like they're speedballs. He's taken the painful and the positive and wrapped it up in a celebration of the raw and knotty thing called Song. He brought his Queens, NY accent to Nashville in 1963, ran with legends like Shel Silverstein and Kris Kristofferson, sang at Woodstock with Tim Hardin, but all that's just trivia. It's the past. It's in history books and he's still breathing, and it's his breath that is in these songs. Others went diving for a sunken treasure and never came up for air. But here he is, dry as a bone, daring us, "Do you have the stomach for this?"

"Life Well Lived," the first single from Nashlantis, premieres on Rolling Stone Country today - listen now, and prepare to sink into Nashlantis fully when it's released on July 26th!
https://ffm.to/nashlantis">-https://ffm.to/nashlantis
TOUR DATES:

7/11/19 Murmrr Theatre Brooklyn NY*
7/12/19 White Eagle Hall Jersey City NJ*

*w/ Bill Callahan

dow, Tuesday, 7 May 2019 21:52 (three months ago) link

Allow me to put in a good word for my friend Paul's band Jericho Woods, who just released their new album One Perfect Sound last week. It's a more contemporary style of country than I'm generally inclined to enjoy, but it's still too trad/ish to likely get any radio action. What a weird predicament, but it's quite good.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 7 May 2019 21:57 (three months ago) link

Weird but hardly unusual! Thx for tip, will check.
xpost That link in the press release is taking too long to open, but here's another in the Stone coverage:
https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-country/chris-gantry-new-song-life-well-lived-album-nashlantis-832446/

dow, Tuesday, 7 May 2019 21:58 (three months ago) link

Another yeti geezer sighting:

Will Beeley - Highways & Heart Attacks - out June 14th on Tompkins Square. The Texas songwriter's first album in 40 years

Rolling Stone Country premieres the first single, U.S. 85:

HIGHWAYS & HEART ATTACKS is a remarkable return from a singer-songwriter whose work might well have been lost to dusty record crates and the secret annals of Americana musical history. But with Tompkins Square’s 2017 reissues of Beeley’s two stunning albums, 1971’s Gallivantin' and 1979’s Passing Dream, the Texas-based troubadour finally earned the applause his distinctive songcraft long deserved, with Noisey praising his “deeply felt, little heard, folk music” and Paste noting, “With the re-release of these fine LPs, we can spend some time more fully appreciating them before (Beeley’s) very welcome return to the music world.”

“The music business is one of those things where you expect it to happen now,” Beeley says. “When it takes 40 years to happen, it kind of makes you sit back and go, I’m surprised it ever happened.”

Born at Southern California’s March Field Air Force Base, Beeley traveled the world with his family before they finally settled down in San Antonio, TX. His natural love of music was further fueled watching Townes Van Zandt performing regularly at local bars and honky tonks, inspiring him to try his own hand at singing and playing songs for a living. Though only 200 copies were printed and sold from the stage and back of Beeley’s car, 1971’s stark Gallivantin' was undeniably marked by Beeley’s emerging lyrical voice, comparable to such contemporary Lone Star State peers as Van Zandt and Michael Martin Murphey. Beeley signed an artist contract with the Mississippi-based soul label, Malaco Records, recording sessions in 1971 and 1973, with a single released in 1974.

Beeley was then given a release to concentrate on his songwriting but in 1977, he reunited with Malaco and backed by the label’s house band – which by a stroke of good fortune included such young Texas studio musicians as guitarist Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm), keyboardist Carson Whitsett (Paul Simon, Z.Z. Hill), and drummer James Stroud (Mickey Newbury, Eddie Rabbit) – recorded Passing Dream. The LP saw Beeley taking a far more ambitious approach than his debut, imbuing his deeply personal songcraft with an edgy psychedelic outlaw energy. Most strikingly, Beeley’s singing voice had evolved, colored by experience and struggle.

“But nothing ever happened,” he says. “It just kind of dissolved. I was pretty discouraged.”

Beeley withdrew from his own musical career and went about the business of real life, raising a family in New Mexico whilst working as an over the road truck driver. His guitar and pen sat untouched for years, his dreams of being a working musician long relegated to his personal back pages. But when Tompkins Square reached out about reissuing Gallivantin' and Passing Dream, Beeley was inspired once again. He reached out to Tompkins Square founder Josh Rosenthal, wondering if the label might be interested in new material. The answer was of course an enthusiastic ‘Yes!’ and plans were made for Beeley to hit the studio for the first time in nearly four decades.

Recorded at San Antonio’s Blue Cat Studios with producer Jerry David DeCicca (Chris Gantry, Ed Askew, Larry Jon Wilson), GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Joe Trevino (Flaco Jimenez, Los Lobos, Los Texmaniacs), and GRAMMY® Award-winning mix engineer Stuart Sikes (Loretta Lynn, Cat Power, Phosphorescent), HIGHWAYS & HEART ATTACKS sees Beeley backed by a combo of Americana all-stars that includes accordionist Michael Guerra (The Mavericks), guitarist Don Cento (Sarah Jaffee), bassist Canaan Faulkner (The Black Swans, Ed Askew), drummer Armando Aussenac (Neon Indian), organist Richard Martin, and GRAMMY® Award-winning violinist Bobby Flores (Freddy Fender, Doug Sahm, Willie Nelson). Songs like “Been A Drifter” and “Don’t Rain On My Parade” are both wistful and warm-hearted, Beeley’s rough-hewn vocals the ideal vehicle for his one-of-a-kind tales of a road well traveled and a surprise ending hard earned.

“I feel this is really the best stuff I’ve written,” Beeley says. “I recorded Passing Dream more than 40 years ago. I’m just thankful I got another chance to go in the studio and lay down some more of my tunes.”
Album trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvNpvh0Ka2U

dow, Friday, 10 May 2019 03:37 (three months ago) link

Love this new Kelly Willis / Bruce Robison song "Nobody's Perfect" (not on YouTube but on Spotify).

... (Eazy), Wednesday, 15 May 2019 04:04 (three months ago) link

Underwhelmed by their most recent solo albs, but usually enjoyed the duet sets, 'bout time for another.
I wasn't listening to much country in 1979, still haven't caught up with most of these, made while casting about in the wake of Dylan and Cash and KK and country rock and "Me and You and a Dog Named Boo" and and Outlaw and Southern Rock and various prestigious Texan bards and many other thangs (Elton John,disco,Jimmy Buffet---), several years before the presentation of the New Traditionalists. Cantwell, a writer of various interests, flexible sympathies, prob didn't tag all, or maybe any, of the following results as "classics," but they're worth a read, and listen probably:
https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-country-lists/10-classic-country-albums-turning-40-in-2019-838076/hank-williams-jr-family-tradition-elektra-curb-838230/

dow, Thursday, 23 May 2019 17:30 (two months ago) link

Looking fwd to this year's Caroline Spence, more cautiously or hypothetically hopeful about some others here:
https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2019/05/10-great-country-and-americana-albums-released-so.html?utm_source=PMNL&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=190521

dow, Thursday, 23 May 2019 18:57 (two months ago) link

Going to check out one of Edd's 2018 Reissue picks, Lefty Frizzell's Signed Sealed and Delivered, I got sidetracked by The Complete Columbia Sessions[i]: 5 volumes, from the early 50s to mid-70s (he finally went to another label, and then he died, in '75). Spotify has the whole thing in one mass; Amazon has each track as a download, but not as a box----they do carry the volumes as a series of CDs, and the ones from his last decade would prob be worth getting. Early stuff (from country's mostly pre-LP era, saleswise) is more diffuse, trying different angles, touching all the bases, but then suddenly he's a culturally deprived creative spirit, swirling over and into the gaps (depths!) between dull lines, which mean a lot to him, and hopefully her..it's amazing, but after a couple more tracks seems like another gimmick. Then he drops that approach, starts flirtatiously playing with his accent (aw-shucks-ma'am in-joke), also can play it for novelty hook, calling for "ciger-RATS and coffee," which keep him goin.'
Settles into a confidential tone: your buddy, somewhat like a pre-Don Williams, with more of a range of themes, such as pride goeth before a fall, but that's just how it went, ain't sorry, or all that sorry.
Getting a little louder and more full-throated (pre- and then para-Merle) as pride sometimes wins, at least for a while: plot-twists test and stretch the ties that bind, especially when he bests older, richer men (incl. his own father) who stand between him and (female) love objects. One is less a story than a posted warning: yes, "My Baby is a Tramp," but she had it rough growing up, he understands her, and (whatever else you do), you don't call her that---the term is reserved for himself, who now sounds older, tougher, maybe richer, than usual.
In reviews archived on his site, Xgau raves about this guy on the way to awarding Rhino's 1991[i]The Best of
and Look What Thoughts Will Do (Columbia/Legacy, 1997) his rare A Pluses--I wouldn't go quite that far with the first (Spotify doesn't have it as one album, but can be easily made into a playlist), haven't heard all of the the second collection yet, though it does have some killers, they both do, and I still gotta get to Edd's pick, an original album, I think.
Bluesy, flexible inflections show up early and later: starting in the mid-40s, he def sounds like a link between Jimmie Rodgers and the other guys I mentioned, though also some lounge.

dow, Wednesday, 29 May 2019 18:53 (two months ago) link

almost all in italics?! Sorry, in a hurry.

dow, Wednesday, 29 May 2019 18:54 (two months ago) link

Rather than competing with Rhino's definitive 18-cut Best of, this two-CD set repeats it piecemeal around 16 newcomers, many never before U.S.-available. So says xgau about Look What Thoughts Will Do, which surely proves the point of its title track, in most of the selections, and all of the sequencing. The penny drops, the ripples spread, so look at that, and just keep looking, just keep riding--- even "Don't think it Ain't Been Fun Dear ('Cuz It Ain't") finds its own kind of fun as it keeps telling her what not to think, lest things get too real, making this zigzag twilight time more of a problem than he wants to think. Not too much time for mellerdramer in these situations, where Western Swingers are passing it to honky tonk stalwarts, elbowing more room on the dance floor and adjacent spaces, just enough to maintain some cool next to that upstart rock 'n' roll stuff (while taking notes).
Si the pained, typically up front "You Want Everything But Me" is somewhat undercut by the equally typical "I Want To Be With You Always," one of his periodic check-ins for fidelity's sake--but this time he gets to the thought that if the love nest ever falls, it'll have to be your fault, because his love is so very very very true.
His Jimmie Rodgers side comes back through the modernistical brooding of "Travelling Blues," as he at least mentally moves from the club to the barcar, going to find his baby and bring her back: it's just long and even-tempered enough---he's got a satisfied mind, and a purpose-driven life (no matter how things actually turn out; he doesn't do parentheticals)---so that it seems like the train time is becoming quite comfortable, as the slightly ominous tone fits the good ol' drone.
This impression seems seen and raised by the turn-around of "My Rough and Rowdy Ways," which sounds neither rough nor rowdy, just kinda bluesy-cowboy-dreamy, as he wants to get aboard and get away from her--no, that's too harsh: he's going from the previous track's (starting with) train-as-means-to-an-end, to something more like endless, as all expectations just kinda disappear into the freedom/habit principle and circuit: his ways, amen.
Which is not to say he can't wake up "Sick Sober and Sorry," but he jumps up too, bopping along like he does in "Just Can't Live That Fast (Any More)", and "I'm An Old Old Man (Tryin' To Live While I Can)" and a bunch of brisk shuffles in the fourth quarter--even gets a sax in "You're Humbuggin' Me" and maybe a grunty fuzz bass during the chorus of "She's Gone Gone Gone."
I especially appreciate the fact that his tedious version of"Long Black Veil" (which gives me time to think that "I spoke not a word though it meant my life, I'd been in the arms of my best friend's wife" is not very believable, unless maybe the wife is a man and it's 1938 or 1838 in Alabama) is here overcome by "Forbidden Lovers," who happily cruise over to "the lonely side of town, where the music is soft and sweet" and nobody knows them, unless it's other people who shouldn't be there, and he might well have a sequel about that somewhere, out of Lefty field.

dow, Tuesday, 4 June 2019 23:46 (two months ago) link

two weeks pass...

that lavender country album is worth a play!

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Monday, 24 June 2019 12:56 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

Thanks, will check. Looking fwd to this:
INTRODUCING THE HIGHWOMEN
BRANDI CARLILE, NATALIE HEMBY, MAREN MORRIS AND AMANDA SHIRES
“REDESIGNING WOMEN” SINGLE OUT TODAY
SELF-TITLED DEBUT ALBUM OUT SEPTEMBER 6
LIVE DEBUT CONFIRMED AT NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL

THE HIGHWOMEN TRACK LIST
1. Highwomen (written by Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, Jimmy Webb)
2. Redesigning Women (written by Natalie Hemby, Rodney Clawson)
3. Loose Change (written by Maren Morris, Maggie Chapman, Daniel Layus)
4. Crowded Table (written by Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Lori McKenna)
5. My Name Can’t Be Mama (written by Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, Amanda Shires)
6. If She Ever Leaves Me (written by Amanda Shires, Jason Isbell, Chris Thompkins)
7. Old Soul (written by Maren Morris, Luke Dick, Laura Veltz)
8. Don’t Call Me (written by Amanda Shires, Peter Levin)
9. My Only Child (written by Natalie Hemby, Amanda Shires, Miranda Lambert)
10. Heaven Is A Honky Tonk (written by Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Ray LaMontagne)
11. Cocktail And A Song (written by Amanda Shires)
12. Wheels Of Laredo (written by Brandi Carlile, Tim Hanseroth, Phil Hanseroth)
Caps verbatim from press release, sorry. See also:
https://thehighwomen.com/

dow, Friday, 19 July 2019 21:25 (one month ago) link

from last year, but brent cobb's "come home soon" is a top notch addiction country song

Heez, Sunday, 21 July 2019 03:21 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

posted on the AI thread but here too seems fair
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPs6wdM7S3U

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Monday, 5 August 2019 19:38 (two weeks ago) link

Sheryl Crow: Threads, Aug. 30--The 17-song album features collaborations with a number of country artists, including Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Margo Price, Jason Isbell, Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris and Vince Gill. Thanks, always handy nashcountrydaily!

dow, Friday, 9 August 2019 19:30 (one week ago) link

...and also Gary Clark Jr., Chuck D (!), and St. Vincent (!!).

frustration and wonky passion (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 9 August 2019 19:36 (one week ago) link

sending love to willie, off tour for the first time in a decade(?)

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Sunday, 11 August 2019 20:02 (one week ago) link

I had the blurry, ancient impression of Tyler Childers as sounding like an (alternate-universe) Sturgis Mini-Me, humble and homespun in the way SS never was, not on this side of the line---unless you count the way he gave up on them voices in his head,"ain't got nothin' to say," but he soon lit for the territory. On Country Squire, Childers is never that resigned, or that bold, just insecure, without whinin'---full-throated een when high lonssome---and he seizes on the good times like he does the bad, knowing it could all blow up, will turn again---oh well, "Honey don't cry, you're married to a Gemini"---and even the fella who "guards the rusty missiles" tonight like he does every night, daydreaming of rustic weekend adventures, sounds like he's 'bout to fiddle-waltz over the mountain, even though he must be down below the holler, also way out West of it, unless there's something our Government never told us.
Keep trying to keep up with the words, and catching more bits every time I listen---he's playing down at the bar every night, "turnin' songs into 2 by 4s": first I thought he meant he was making them very fuctional, down to the essentials, but come to think of it a 2-by-4 is a humble thang: is this bar gig reductive? But he's always resourceful, and diligent: The Country Squire is an ancient camper, the basis of "a temple" for his loved one---putting up "rafters" in a camper?? I know about making trailers into ex-mobile homes, building all around those tin walls, but---anyway the music is very solid and mobile, with enough variety and continuity to pull me along, in a plausible, not-quite-"universal" way, like the words "House on Fire" has an organ burning through, around and with string band instrumentation, "All Your'n" is the most Sturgill-esque in terms of early 70s R&B crossover appeal, yet country as its title, and overall there's a good balance of acoustic and electric, incl. choice and placement of microphones.
9 songs, 35 minutes, and I've listened four times in the last couple of days--could prob listen that many times a row

dow, Thursday, 15 August 2019 21:01 (one week ago) link

Mark Cline Bates, King of Crows: he's got a scarecrow where the birds like to sit, as well they might: although Don Dixon carefully produces and plays on this, it usually seems static, maybe because most of the songwriting is more about the words, which only go so far into situations, more than stories. But "Mississippi" builds fresh air anticipation (here the too-faithful piano even catches a little Bruce Hornsby glint), as the narrator looks fwd to seeing someone whom he more-than-fondly remembers, even though he knows she might not remember him. Also enjoysm the warm weather, Vicksburg, Biloxi, and b Civil War cemeteries: "a hero's grave" is a fine thing after all---the end, but not bad.
Then "Self Countrol" goes to New Orleans, which might not remember him, but he remembers it. Then he's there (at least in memory), observing musicians on the corner, men of faith "seeking light in the darkness," witch doctors: imagery's starting to swarm, and he throws them some change, to entertain him some more. The End, I think (this is one of the least static, with impressions, thoughts finally running past my far-from-perfect attention span---but it's down to the words, he stands or falls by them, while the music is just okay).
Followed by "Baby Don't Like" the tantrums and other stuff he throws, and he don't like 'em either, but sounds brooding, not remorseful, then quotes her telling him nobody knows how special he is--might be placating him, trying to soothe him out of tendencies, but he makes her sound like a believer, and/or a temptress--he's going to get the gasoline, and seems like it's not the first time.
Later on is "Ginger," song about an old lady who's broke, which even has a good chorus, jumping from details to "reaching for Paradise has left her short of breath." Amen, Sister (only song written in the third person, and not about a guy's plight (most of the guys' plights are more about self-obsession).

dow, Monday, 19 August 2019 23:39 (three days ago) link


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