Archive for August, 2011

New record from Canadiana band Ox

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

There’s a new record from OX. I guess it’s not out til Nov. But you can stream it now via Bandcamp. If you’re a fan of the band expect much of the same i.e. “the sound of gravel skimming fender crossed by overdriven tubes and tremolo.” The band and lead singer Marc Browning have a penchant for writing songs about cars that should have arisen from some band smack dab in the middle of Motown. Instead they write and record up in Vancouver where they seem to have a better grasp of the American culture of cars, shopping malls, and ultimately isolation than we do here in the lower 48.

That’s What I Love About Cars [Download]

New song/record from Cincinnati’s own Wussy – “Strawberry” (self released, Oct 29)

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

I like Wussy. I don’t really care what anyone else thinks. I don’t really care what the band’s new record/song sounds like. I just flat out like those guys. I think in part it’s because they’re all about my age and I don’t think they give a fuck for genre rules, publicists, radio promotion, and even touring for that matter.

Here’s the new song from Wussy.

Chicken [Download]

Things I missed…Troubel and Jeff Pianki

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Well you can’t win em all. Despite constantly searching out new music occasionally an artist or two gets past me. That’s the case with these two today. It hurts even more that one of them (Jeff Pianki) is based in Michigan – not very far from me. The other is a bluegrass inspired group called Troubel.

Jeff Pianki is a young singer-songwriter from Milford, Michigan. He has a gorgeous voice and already a nice catalog of songs. “Missing Parts” is from his 2010 release Paper Window. Currently out on tour with Rocky Volato; Jeff Pianki plays Chicago on Monday, Sept 12 at Lincoln Hall.

Missing Parts [Download]

Troubel is a 5 piece out of Boone, NC. The band blends genre’s like folk, bluegrass and the indie rock favored by Avett Brothers and Felice Brothers. On this song it’s mostly lead singer and banjo player Adam Walton but on the record you’ll find a fuller sound.

Just Let Him Be [Download]

New record from Ollabelle – “Neon Blue Bird”

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Perception and reputation are 9/10th of the law in the music biz. Even on the tertiary level where I roam. If this song was from any other artist I may have passed on it. I may not have given it a chance to develop. But since the band in question is Amy Helm’s NYC roots supergroup Ollabelle I gave it a chance and another and another. I’m still a little torn as the song’s style, lyrical theme, and Amy’s breathy vocals are not my favorites. But the groove is hard to resist.

This is from the new record Neon Blue Bird.

Be Your Woman [Download]

The Milk Carton Kids new record/Chicago date

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

If The Milk Carton Kids band name misleads you into thinking they are some sort of Green Day knock off, don’t worry. The band (actually a duo) play acoustic guitars and sing such great harmony vocals you’ll want to compare them to some of the great duo’s of the past. The only contemporary group that they remind me of is Red House artist Storyhill.

If I haven’t convinces you yet to give this a listen then the best recommendation I can possibly think of is that Joe Henry wrote the liner notes for the new record Prologue. The band, in true indie diy fashion, record and release their records themselves and give them away on their website. They have a national following and tour heavily as a result.

Catch `em in Chicago on Sept. 11 at Schubas with Tom Brousseau.

Undress The World [Download]

Debut cd from The Wiles

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Stumbled upon this song from the Canadian band The Wiles (Bandcamp) yesterday. I was smitten right away. When I emailed the band it turned out the lead singer is also a fan of Pharis and Jason Romero that I wrote about just last week. Small world.

“Painted” is the title track from the band’s debut record that is being released on Sept. 9. Immediate impressions are that this song reminds me of some of the best duets by John Prine and that the weepy string section and the banjo perfectly convey the emotions of the song. There are a few more songs streaming on Bandcamp and you’ll be able to hear the dual nature of the band depending on which vocalist is featured.

Painted [Download]

Danny Schmidt House Concert – September 11 – Oak Park, Il

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Our next house concert is scheduled and it is with Austin singer-songwriter Danny Schmidt on Sunday, September 11. Danny has played our series once before and he is one of the few artists I would consider for a return engagement. I honestly can’t name any other artist on tour who combines his literate/poetic songwriting with his amazingly subtle guitar playing and wonderful voice (plus he’s a big UT football/basketball fan – a rare trait in a folkie!). The house concert is located at _________________ in Oak Park. Since it’s a Sunday night doors will open at 7pm and we should have music by 7:30pm. As always we’ll provide the snacks and the beer and wine but we do ask for a $20 donation that will go to the artist. Please RSVP to (cbonnell (at) if you can make it and feel free to forward this to any music loving friends you may have.

Danny’s newest record is called Man Of Many Moons and while it’s not a concept record per se, there are connections and threads that are interchanged though out and between the songs. For instance there’s a fairly biting political tome called “Guilty By Association Blues” and then a sequel to that song called “Almost Around The World” that deals with the repercussions of such a song. There’s a song called “Two Guitars” that is written for his friend and fellow artist Paul Curreri and details the early part of their artistic careers. There’s also an eloquent song about Danny (And Carrie Elkin’s) Austin house buying adventure – the line “And I can see my daughter swinging in the shade of every tree; Can’t you hear them houses sing?” is enough to bring a tear to even a skeptic’s eye. Danny also does a wonderful cover of Dylan’s “Buckets Of Rain” (YouTube video).

Recent Press for Danny Schmidt:

“Danny Schmidt is a force of nature: a blue moon, a hundred-year flood, an avalanche of a singer-songwriter. His songs are a flood of poetry, mythology, folk wisdom, and surprise.”
- Sing Out! Magazine

“The most brilliant young songwriter I’ve heard in the past 25 years. His songs are thrillingly poetic.”
- Rich Warren, The Midnight Special

“In his use of parable and allegory, there are inevitable comparisons with Cohen and Dylan, but these are songs of such quality and beauty that they more than hold their own in this exalted company.”
 – 5 stars out of 5, Maverick Magazine UK

“With seductive simplicity, his music demands your attention.” 
- Texas Monthly

“In today’s underground folk world, Danny Schmidt is spoken of in reverent tones, drawing comparisons to Leonard Cohen, with a poetry that breathes naturally and without pretension, with results that are both attractive and intense.” 
- Austin Chronicle

Music samples from Danny Schmidt (right click,save as):

Houses Sing [Download]

Better Off Broke [Download]

I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday night. Hope you can make it, and please rsvp (cbonnell (at) to save yourself a spot.