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Denney and The Jets

9 Apr

Nashville’s Chris Denney has taken 70′s arena rock and mixed it up with bits of 60′s psych/garage, and a pinch of AM country gold to create his debut LP – as Denney and The Jets, titled Mexican Coke.

If Mick Jagger and Hank Williams were combined in some awesome accident of science, and Kiss was the backing band, their music would sound like Denney’s first single (below) from Mexican Coke, “Bye Bye Queenie”.

Mexican Coke was just released (April 8th) on Burger Records and Limited Fanfare Records. You can also stream/buy it from Denney’s Bandcamp page. Enjoy.

Denney and The Jets – Bye Bye Queenie from Mexican Coke (2014)

Greg Ashley

27 Mar

Former Gris Gris singer, Greg Ashley’s new album (and first with Trouble In MindA Generation of Slaves is a smooth slab of lo-fi goodness. Mixing jazz and folk with hints of country to create 9 songs that you will find yourself revisiting over and over again.

The male/female vocals and honky-tonk piano on “Misery Again” (below) combine to make it one of the best tracks on the album. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. A Generation of Slaves is out now and available from Trouble In Mind. I suggest you get your hands on a copy as soon as you can.

Greg Ashley – Misery Again from Another Generation of Slaves (2014)

Will Courtney

20 Mar

Will Courtney’s debut solo release A Century Behind, is a longtime coming for me. I am a huge fan of his other band, Brothers and Sisters, and was bummed out when they went on hiatus back in 2010. Since then, I’ve been cyber-stalking Will, anxiously awaiting the announcement of this new album, which will finally be released in April.

The haunting organ tones, acoustic and surf-rock guitars, along with Will’s smooth vocals make “There’s No Answer” (below) one of the best tracks on the album. Whether you are brand new to Will’s music, or have been a fan of his for years, A Century Behind is a must own. Enjoy.

Will Courtney – There’s No Answer - from A Century Behind (2013)

Will Courtney (Reverbnation)

Will Courtney (FB)

Georgiana Starlington

16 Feb

It all started with a tweet from @HoZacRecords, “Debut LP from Georgiana Starlington out soon (mbrs of K-Holes/Black Lips) “like Johnny & June Carter Cash covering the Velvet Underground”. The description of their sound alone was enough to peak my interest, but seeing that the band consisted of Jack and Julie from K-Holes and Black Lips, I had to hear the album.

Their debut LP, Paper Moon, will be released by HoZac, the release date is still to be determined, tentatively in early March. The album sounds just as described above, “…Johnny and June Carter Cash covering the Velvet Underground”. “Hard Grave” and “Louise Louise” (below), give you a good taste of the psychedelic, country goodness contained in this album. The slide guitar, driving bass, barely played drums, along with the twangy vocals of both Jack and Julie make this one of the coolest album’s I’ve heard in a long time. I highly recommend it. Keep your eyes on HoZac’s site for release information, you do not want to miss this release.

Georgiana Starlington – Hard Grave from Paper Moon (2013)

Georgiana Starlington – Louise Louise from Paper Moon (2013)

Georgiana Starlington

HoZac Records

Son Volt

10 Jun

Oops. Looks like I missed posting anything in the month of May. Ah, how one gets lost. Which I guess is an apt comparison to my relationship with Son Volt. For an album or two in a previous century, Jay Farrar had what I was looking for. Grit, wistfulness, steel guitar. And then there was Wide Swing Tremolo, and I don’t know. When I saw that Son Volt had a new album out an a free and legal MP3 to post, my first though was something along the lines of hoping this track, “Down to the Wire,” was a Neil Young cover. It’s not, but after listening to it a few times, that’s o.k. Maybe American Central Dust, out in about a month, will offer a way back to Son Volt.

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Not Waving But Drowning

17 Apr

A few years ago I went to a political fundraiser where it was decided everyone would more likely hand over their pennies if all the begging was disguised as a hoe down. BBQ beef on rolls as big as your head, piles of potato salad and hay. Bales and bales of hay. Cowboy boots on hundreds of people with too much money who’d never even seen a cow in real life.

Not Waving But Dancing is not this type of hoe down. It is decidedly more hopeless. Like a drunken fest in a Romanian Gypsy camp. At this hoe down Peter the Great would show you his baby skeletons in his cabinet of curiosities; you’d see less teeth, more fishnet, more velvet. With or without alcohol you’d feel yourself moving slower.

(by our friend Emily M.)

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Rae Spoon

11 Mar

Rae Spoon is, according to the publicists, “one of the world’s only transgender country singers.” He’s also a clever songwriter and a bit of a wit, and really not all that country, at least on his most recent release, superioryouareinferior. This disc is a trip through musical styles, from lo-fi indie pop to mod folk. Drop a buck and download “If You Lose Your Horses” if you’re looking for a classic country track, or check out the album’s opener for an example of Spoon’s songwriting smarts — I never knew I wanted to write a song for the Great Lakes until I heard his. Oh, and if you’re looking for a record full of what it means to be a transgender country singer, you might want to keep on looking, because this isn’t it.

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The Deep Dark Woods

15 Jan

It’s supposed to be -5 degrees Fahrenheit in Detroit tonight, which means it must be about -500 Celsius in Saskatoon, home of The Deep Dark Woods. (Actually, I picture Saskatchewan as being one big wheat field, with about ten trees scattered here and there, but what do I know, I’ve never been there.) Such cold is clearly irrelevant to this quartet, who offer up easy-going country rock more suited to the bronze glow of fall than the brutalities of winter. In fact, I’d go so far as saying these are warm songs, with steel guitar or, as in “All the Money I Had is Gone,” a fantastic old organ sound wrapping around you like an old blanket. Vocal harmonies smooth country grooves, lyrics of wistful longing — all perfect for curling up and staying under the covers, and due on Feb. 17.

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Kathleen Edwards

1 Jan

Happy New Year! In an auspicious start to 2009, I had one of my old musical wishes granted, that is, sharing with you all a free MP3 from Kathleen Edwards. Not exactly new to the scene, this Canadian country crooner’s 2003 debut Failer had some of my all time favorite lines (“Wanna go get high? / The Mercury is parked outside under the lights”). She’s been pretty quiet since the mid-point of the decade, with Asking for Flowers coming after a three year break. The title track, available here, offers a perfect glimpse of what she has to offer — smooth and subtle vocals, an easy roots foundation, lyrics that offer a deeply personal narrative. And for this Midwesterner, something much better than watching Big 10 football teams getting creamed in the Cali sunshine.

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Ox

18 Dec

Regarding that which we would term “Americana,” do they call it “Canadiana” in the land to the North? Just curious. Ox = American lo-fi alt country from Canada. They showed up on a nice little sampler from Weewerk that I’ve been listening to like a homemade mix-tape lately. My favorite among these tracks is probably “Transam,” which with its wavering vocals and shady narrative (not to mention the Bond-themed guitar solo) kind of reminds me of those Neil Young songs about drug shipments and getting burned. The thing is, download any of these freebies from Ox’s two albums and you’ll find great narratives wailed over stripped down simplicity. This time less is more.

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