Mars Arizona’s Hello Cruel World (Big Barn, January 22) (plus the guitar duets of Don Ross and Andy McKee

Mars Arizona

(Mars Arizona)

I don’t take too kindly to reader recommendations. You just never know who’s on the up and up and who is simply plugging a friend/client/bandmate. But in the case of Don Ross/Andy McKee (available here on CandyRat Records) and Mars Arizona I can’t possibly not post their stuff since they have been haunting my sleep (and email inbox) of late.

Everywhere I turn I see news about these bands. These are both folk-based releases, but they are wildly divergent. Don Ross’ and Andy McKee’s new record is acoustic fingerpicked duets sans vocals, while Mars Arizona is some sort of bluegrass and country mash-up by the duo of Paul Michael Knowles and Nicole Storto. I particularly like the old timey sound of “Dirty Town” and the way Nicole’s vocals seem to come out of an earlier age (I think it’s the reverb and decay that does that).

I haven’t come to any firm conclusion about either of these two bands; except that they’re ones to watch.

Don Ross and Andy McKee:

Rylynn [Download]

Mars Arizona:

Dirty Town [Download]
(w/David Grisham)

8 Responses to “Mars Arizona’s Hello Cruel World (Big Barn, January 22) (plus the guitar duets of Don Ross and Andy McKee”

  1. Kevin says:

    Craig, some weird security sign-in pop up appears for when I come on to your site, you may have a bad link attached to your blog post on him?

  2. Craig says:

    Thanks for pointing that out, I think I linked to a phot from his site which was under maintenance.

  3. Lewis_Moon says:

    Anyone else notice just how many bands out there have been using Arizona either in their names or album titles as of late?
    And yet they never tour here.

    Lewis_Moon, naked and hallucinating on the banks of the Salt River, Phoenix, AZ.

  4. Kevin says:

    Amen Lewis!
    If they do it’s a quickie down in Tucson on their way to Texas or California.
    There are venues and promoters trying in Phoenix, just that the heads aren’t showing up at the shows. No Radio, no concerts.

  5. Lewis_Moon says:

    Phoenix = Cleveland with the color removed. If an Alt.whatever radio station starts in PHX, and does well (they all do, because people are hungry for new/different music) they inevitably get bought by some ClearSatan corporation and great just isn’t good enough anymore…so it’s off to mainstream country, pop or hip hop in search of a wider market share. It doesn’t seem to matter that every other station is playing EXACTLY the same crap. I haven’t listened to radio (except NPR) in over 10 years. That’s why I’m haunting this Blog.
    I want my KXCI.

  6. Ample Sanity says:

    [...] Daum Strange Beast The Story of Stuff Mars Arizona, Ross & McKee The Porcupine Illusion Bear 370 Même les pigeons vont au paradis (repost) Psychopaths Among Us [...]

  7. Andy McKee is getting massive amounts of hype in Topeka (where he and I went to, I believe, the same high school and where my parents still live), so much hype that even my parents know who he is. If you haven’t seen a video of his playing, you should check it out; he has a pretty distinctive visual style of playing guitar.

  8. matt stevens says:

    Love that Don Ross/Mckee track