Archive for October, 2011

Trampled By Turtles cover Pixies “Where Is My Mind”

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

I was never the biggest Trampled By Turtles fan. But after spending way too long on Turntable FM folk rooms I’ve now come around just a little bit. See, I thought they were more jam band than a neo-bluegrass band but I’ve seen the truth and it’s that these guys can sing and play. Plus they like The Pixies or at least they like this one song which they have covered for a benefit for the organization WhyHunger. The song can be purchased at any digital store or is available for free through their website.

Where Is My Mind [Download]

Shawn Nelson – “San Juan Street” (feat members of the South Austin Jug Band and The Trishas)

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

A lot of the “country” music coming out of Texas seems to me to be too corporate. Even if the artist is independent the music is fairly obvious and shallow, the branding of the artist is too clunky, and the range of performances are rather narrow. I don’t want to name names but if you are curious what I mean check out the top ten over at Lone Star Music.

So where am I going with this? Just that Shawn Nelson’s new cd is like a breath of fresh air compared to the stale beer country being served up by a bunch of Texas singer songwriters. An indication of this is found in the people Shawn surrounds himself with. San Juan Street was produced by the great accordion player Joel Guzman and Shawn’s band features folks from the South Austin Jug Band, The Trishas and famed Austin jazz trumpeter Ephraim Owens. For now Shawn Nelson’s new record can be picked up here for a limited time as a free download or you can pick up a copy of the cd at the Austin CD Release Show at The Continental Club on Friday, October 28th.

Here’s his song “More Than California” which has a perfect blend of laid back Austin country and relaxed California rock.

More Than California [Download]

Debut record from Barnstar! (feat. Dawes cover)

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Here’s a quick little something for ya. Mark Erelli and friends have put together a bit of a bluegrassy supergroup. In the band besides Mark there is Zack Hickman – the longtime bassist for Josh Ritter, as well as the father/son duo of Jake and Taylor Armerding and Charllie Rose on banjo. The band calls themselves Barnstar! and have just released their debut record. They are based in Boston and have a record release show at Club Passim on Oct 21.

Lots more info on their Facebook page here or on Bandcamp here. Here’s a cover of the Dawes song “When My Time Comes”.

When My Time Comes [Download]

New double lp from Marian Call (riyl Patricia Barber, Ani DiFrranco, Dar Williams)

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Marian Call somehow combines the jazz vocals chops of Patricia Barber with the folksy wisdom of Dar Williams on her new record. She has a unique perspective on the world partly because of her remote location (Alaska) but also simply because of her “fierce” attitude towards life. That brings us to her new double album called Something Fierce. First of all releasing a double album is fierce enough but these songs have a bite to them that reinforces the album title.

I’ve linked to one of the more folkier numbers on the record (and the one that sounds the most like her role model – Ani Difranco) but to do Marian justice you really have to purchase the whole 2 record set. You can do that here or here.

Ina Flew the Coop [Download]

Honky-Tonk Friday with Detroit’s Some Velvet Evening

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Detroit is not known as a bastion of honky-tonk; although at least one other band from Detroit has hit it big time this year and that is Whitey Morgan and the 78′s. While Whitey Morgan goes for the outlaw country style of Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings the duo of Jon Holk and Carrie Shepard (Some Velvet Evening) lean more in the direction of the classic harmony duo sounds of Louvin Brothers, Wagoner/Parton, Twitty/Lynn and Parsons/Harris.

The band’s brand new debut record is called No Law Against Talking. Below are two songs that showcase both the band’s harmony vocals, as well as their sultry, slinky country music. The new record is available here via CD Baby; if you love the sound of real country music and not the mindless, soul stealing pablum that Nashville calls country than support the artists that are making it now and buy this cd.

PS Catch the band tonight:

October 14, 2011
Crazy Wisdom Tea Room 8:30-10:30pm
Ann Arbor, MI

One Night Of Sin [Download]

“Shooting The Breeze”

New record from Sinful Savage Tigers

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

If you wanted to get in on the ground floor of a band like Avett Brothers, Chatham County Line or Frontier Ruckus but missed your chance it’s not too late. If you want to support a band that aspires to some of the same musical goals and some of the same lyrical aspirations of these three then here’s your chance. Just check out the new record from Sinful Savage Tigers. The new record is due out Oct. 22 and is titled The Last Night of the Revels. “Kentucky Steel” is an exclusive track from the new record. Catch the band Saturday, October 22 at Southern Rail/Station in Carrboro, NC for their record release show.

Kentucky Steel [Download]

Bonus song from the band’s 2009 debut

Town and Country [Download]

Promo video:

Sinful Savage Tigers “Chocolate Cake” (Release Teaser) from Sinful Savage Tigers on Vimeo.

New record from Boston based folkie Ryan Alvanos – “From Here” (plus something from compatriot Dan Blakeslee)

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Ryan Alvanos is not a “singles” artist. You are not going to be able to wrap your head around his poetic prose by downloading a single song. Nor will you glean his modern take on folk music and his quest to bridge the gap between “Guthrie and Shakespeare” by downloading this one song. So don’t even try. “7:30″ is just one track of many on Ryan’s new record From Here. Not only is this record a treat for those who take the actual lyrics of a song to heart but it’s also a pickers and players delight with many esteemed Boston based musicians kicking in to help. Two of the most notable on guest vocals include Dan Blakeslee and Vance Gilbert.

As of right now you can only get this release through Cd Baby here. Or if you live in the Boston area and are lucky enough to catch him at a show or busking in front of the Somerville Theater get one then – he usually has a couple to spare. I encourage you to support independent artists and purchase this record now.

7:30 [Download]


Speaking of Dan Blakeslee this song is from his latest release Tatnic Tales. It’s a record I meant to review but somehow just didn’t. In tandem these guys are really the future of the Boston folk scene.

Lazy Eyed Girl [Download]

Bonus cut from 2007′s Lincoln St Roughs:

Your Spanish Scarf [Download]

David Simard and his debut record “Slower, Lower”

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

(courtesy of Melissa Breault)

I like to discover artists and present them here. But I can’t honestly say I discovered David Simard since he’s already been nominated by major Canadian publications as one of the Best Folk Acts of 2009 and one of the best Best Singer Songwriters of 2010. David’s brand of folk features an assortment of unusual instruments (including French horn, euphonium, accordion, and wurlitzer) and a cabaret like vocal performance. His music is more akin to that of Rufus Wainwright or Ron Sexsmith than the pure folk of Dylan, Guthrie, et al. You can stream his debut record Slower, Lower in its entirety over at Bandcamp and purchase it for $10.

David’s new record is called Slower, Lower and it’s his debut release. “The Knife” is just one of 13 great songs featured on there. I encourage you to check out David Simard and his debut record.

The Knife [Download]

——–David Simard / The Guitar Player / Here On Out Sessions #16.1——–

David Simard / The Guitar Player / Here On Out Sessions #16.1 from Here On Out on Vimeo.

New EP from Milwaukee singer-songwriter and genuine all around oddball Jonathan Burks

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

I’m not sure who Jonathan Burks reminds me of most; he has bits of the disturbed humor of Daniel Johnston, a smidgen of the talking blues of Lou Reed, and just a hint of the sad poetry of Townes Van Zandt. I’ve absorbed all of his albums and EP’s, written about him on the site and had him play my Songs:Illinois House Concert Series and I still have a hard time grasping his approach to songwriting, performing, and writing. But that I keep trying and keep returning to his music says something about the unusual and compelling artist that is Jonathan Burks.

His new EP is called God Talk.

Scientific Method [Download]