Archive for February, 2012

**SXSW Preview – Hurray For The Riff Raff (+ exclusive first listen to title track from new record)

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Hurray For The Riff Raff created a stir last time they played SXSW. Enough of one that Phil Alexander, the Editor-in-Chief of MOJO named the band the second best band he saw at SXSW 2011 and wrote, “Hurray For The Riff Raff evoke images of a lost America, her strange sepia’d country-folk vignettes, heartbreaking and poignant, provide a safe retreat and a place of freedom from the 21st century for those yearning authenticity and something tangible.”

The band is about to release their followup to the critically acclaimed 2010 release Young Blood Blues called Look Out Mama. You can preorder the record and get assorted goodies at their Kickstarter page here. The band plays Thursday March 16 at Treasure Island in Austin; more info here.

Here’s the title track to the new record complete with yodeling, some excellent fiddle playing, and as always the yearning strained (but beautiful) vocals of Alynda Lee Segarra.

Look Out Mama [Download]

Honky-Tonk Friday – Davy Jay Sparrow – “Olde Fashioned” (March 23)

Friday, February 24th, 2012

I love it when the stars align and I have a perfect slab of old timey country to feature on Honky-Tonk Friday. This time it’s the new record from Davy Jay Sparrow and His Well Known Famous Drovers. The new record is called Olde Fashioned and is out March 23 on the Two Man Gentlemen Band’s label Bean Tone Records. These songs are outtakes from that session; if these are the songs they couldn’t fit I can’t wait to hear the ones that they could.

Take Me Back To Tulsa [Download]

Slowly and Sweetly [Download]

**SXSW Preview and new music from The Hobart Brothers (Freedy Johnston, Jon Dee Graham and Susan Cowsill)

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Who do you like most among these three artists: John Dee Graham, Freedy Johnston or Susan Cowsill? No matter. If you wait long enough you’ll hear a song you’ll love from one of these guys on the new record At Least We Have Each Other from the Americana supergroup The Hobart Brothers. Me, I’m a sucker for Freedy Johnston so I’m drawn to the song “I Am Sorry”.

The Hobart Brothers are part of a great lineup at the Dogfish IPA/Blurt Magazine Showcase on Saturday March 17 at the Ginger Man Pub. The new record is set for release on Feb. 28 on Freedom Records.

I Am Sorry [Download]

Tommy Womack – NOW WHAT! (Feb 21)

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Tommy Womack has just released the followup (almost a sequel) to his last. It’s called NOW WHAT! and came out officially yesterday. I’ve been following Tommy for a couple years now – I missed the first go round when he was the in the band The Bis-quits and Government Cheese. But that’s ok I think I prefer the more mature – more thoughtful Tommy Womack.

Speaking of sequels the song “Wishes Do Come True” is a bit of a followup to the 2007 song “Nice Day”. As another reviewer stated this song and the record as a whole is a good example of Tommy’s heart-in-his-hands (vs. on his sleeve) style of songwriting. The new record is available now in all the regular places or you can buy it directly from Tommy here.

Wishes Do Come True [Download]

EPK (so to speak) for the new record NOW WHAT!

Branches – “Thou Art The Dream”

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

In my book there is no other band that compares to Frontier Ruckus; with that said Branches comes pretty close to a West Coast version of the band. First off the music is folk based (although on this record they have added ukulele, trombone, trumpet, violin, toy organ), the lyrics are flowery/poetic, and the band exudes a sense of community. But unlike Frontier Ruckus who seem to be writing about the barren and collapsing midwest, Branches writes about the open spaces and natural surroundings of Northern California. There’s no better example of this than the song “Helicopter” from the band’s just released record Thou Art The Dream with it’s allusions to pebbles, streams, and saplings.

Buy the band’s debut full length here via CD Baby.

Helicopter [Download]

Bonus songs from previous eps:

In The Morning [Download]

O Come All Ye Faithful [Download]

Silent Night [Download]

New album EPK

Great live video of the song “In The Morning” (with slamming door as bass drum)

SXSW Preview — Marvin Country (new album April 17, 2012)

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Marvin Country is producer extraordinaire Marvin Etzioni and special guests. Friends like Lucinda Williams, John Doe, Richard Thompson, Buddy Miller and Maria McKee (he was one part of the band Lone Justice w/Maria) all join him on the new album. The song “You Possess Me” is a lush song which reminds me of Roy Orbison but with Phil Spector wall of sound production. Maria McKee makes an appearence on the song by adding sumptuous backing vocals. The new Marvin Country record is due out on April 17 on Nine Mile Records and Marvin Country will be playing the Nine Mile Records showcase (time and date tba).

You Possess Me [Download]

**SXSW Preview – Ramsay Midwood

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

You should know by now that I like me some Ramsay Midwood (here, here, here, and here). So it’ll be no surprise that I will be encamped at whichever jukejoint, bbq pit or pizza slice establishment Ramsay will be playing at during this year’s SXSW.

Buy the new record Larry Buys A Lighter here via Amazon. Here’s another song off the new record that contains phrases like “wheel of hippie cheese”, “creek is getting muddy, got no horse to ride”, and “called you from her sensible bedside phone”. It pretty much encapsulates the loose as a caboose vibe that Ramsay gives off on record and live.

Ramsay Midwood will be appearing at SXSW but as of yet there’s no venue or date listed.

Maybelline [Download]

Carsie Blanton – “Idiot Heart” (Jan. 31)

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Today was going to be another in a series of posts previewing SXSW but I accidentally stumbled upon the new record from Philly singer-songwriter Carsie Blanton. Idiot Heart is the new record and it was released on Jann 31. Carsie combines multiple genres in her music. She is a fan of singer songwriters like Ani DiFranco and Anais Mitchell, as well as pop from the likes of Paul Simon (whom she has opened for) and Elvis Costello and jazz singers like Billie Holiday and Nina Simone.

The songs on Idiot Heart are well crafted, the music is eclectic yet accessible, and the production is tight (produced by Oliver Wood of Wood Brothers fame). The new album is available now as a digital download or as a name your own price cd – both are available here via Bandcamp. The song “Little Death” is a sad tale of a girl who dies the death of a thousand little cuts at the hands of a misogynistic hustler. The song is a great showcase for Carsie’s vocals as well as for the band’s (especially the organ and standup bass that are standouts) musicianship.

Little Death [Download]

**SXSW Preview — Shaky Graves (aka Alejandro Rose-Garcia)

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Here’s the first of what will hopefully be a bunch of SXSW previews. These will not be for the bands that you already know and love; what would be the point of me trying to preach to the converted. Instead here are some of the out of the way artists (who will no doubt be playing some out of the way places!) that I suggest you check out when you are down in Austin.

Shaky Graves is a perfect first post in this series. The band is really a one man band based in Austin. His debut record, the 2011 release Roll The Bones, has been praised by the Austin Chronicle as well as influential LA based music blog Rollo & Grady. “Built to Roam” is a forlorn farewell song; an ode to leaving places like L.A. and N.Y.C. It’s these types of songs where Shaky Graves shines. His high pitched voice (similar to the great Tom Brosseau) is perfectly suited for this type of song. Here’s “Built To Roam” song that 2011 release:

Built To Roam [Download]

Shaky Graves has just released a followup ep titled The State Of Texas Vs. Alejandro Rose-Garcia (available free via Bandcamp). Here’s “Halloween” off that new ep:

Halloween [Download]

No date yet for either an official or unofficial showcase. I’ll update this post as we get closer to SXSW.

Jacob Furr – “Farther Shores” EP

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Jacob Furr is a Texan who spent some time in the Pacific Northwest. As a result of his travels and time spent on the coast you get these songs of “shorelines, leaving, and discovery”. I’m linking to the song “Voices on the Sea” since it lyrically seems to sum up the themes of the ep. While the song is propelled by a a simple strummed guitar it is also accented with pedal steel, drums and what sound like accordion.

Voices on the Sea [Download]