Archive for September, 2012

LA based indie-folkie Frankie Palmer – “Thoroughfare”

Friday, September 28th, 2012

I was pretty stoked to stumble upon the music of LA resident Frankie Palmer the other day. His 2012 debut Thoroughfare is an undiscovered gem now streaming on Soundcloud. As a music blogger it’s the type of record you hope people would email you about to write up. Instead I get emails for the worst crap you could imagine. This is a record that you would expect to be discovered and championed by someone cool like Aquarium Drunkard (can you hear me Justin?!). It’s sorta lofi jangly pop with elements of folk (acoustic guitars) and country (tasteful pedal steel, banjo). A companion EP to Thoroughfare has just been released.

Now that Bon Iver is hanging up his project perhaps there is room for another complete unknown to take his place. Please God let Frankie Palmer have recorded this in a shack by the beach in Santa Monica after a bad breakup with his girlfriend. That along with these excellent songs could just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. You can buy Thoroughfare here via Bandcamp.

Wind and the Snow [Download]

From the new EP

Forgotten Nations [Download]

Ben Rogers – “Lost Stories”

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

I missed the first round of critical praise that was rightfully heaped on Vancouver roots singer-songwriter Ben Rogers in 2010. My compatriots at You Crazy Dreamer, Herohill and Slowcoustic all piled on understandably. When I came across what appears to be a new album (or ep) called Lost Stories I knew I didn’t want to wait. I contacted Ben yesterday and the post is up today.

Ben Rogers is living in the past and you can hear it on this unsettling collection of murder songs and folk tales. His voice is whiskey soaked and reminds me of what a young Malcolm Holcombe must have sounded like (before his voice was savaged by cigaretts, liquor, and time). Rogers’ lyrics are poetic and contain images Leonard Cohen would be proud of (listen to “Lay It Down” on Bandcamp). I could drop a few more names (the Pogues, Tom Waits) but by now you get the drift.

More info can be found on Bandcamp

The Devil’s Crop (500 Mile Blues) [Download]

Exclusive mp3 from the debut record from The Stray Birds!

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

So here’s my followup post like I promised to the one I did on the The Stray Birds debut ep. Their new epononymous full length debut record is out now. Sharing vocal duties are Maya de Vitry and Oliver Craven; on bass is Charles Muench. On the new record Maya and Oliver take just about every other song; they also harmonize on many others. I’ve got an example of both: first Oliver singing his song “Heavy Hands” and Maya on lead vocals in the video for “Railroad Man”. Musically the band features acoustic guitar (and National Resonator), fiddle, and bass. It’s a potent combination and combined with the original songs, the variety/quality of vocals, the songwriting, and the musicianship what you get is really unique.

This is a touring band so for the next few weeks you can catch them in Ohio, Ann Arbor, Hartford, Cambridge, Providence and all points in between. They’ll be in Chicago playing the wonderful club Uncommon Ground on Clark on Sept. 30. Here’s the full schedule.

Buy the new record here, and while you’re at it pick up their debut ep as well.

Heavy Hands [Download]

“Railroad Man” video

Stray Birds – Railroad Man from Jacob Keeler on Vimeo.

New album from Nashville singer songwriter Andrew Combs – “Worried Man” (Oct. 30)

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Andrew Combs is a transplanted Texan now living in Nashville. It seems like he’d like to position himself as a contemporary of Justin Townes Earle but his music is a little more brawny than JTE’s. It’s got a lot more Louisiana swamp and Texas stomp than Earle’s eclectic americana. His new album is called Worried Man and features a top notch Nashville band as well as friends like Caitlin Rose and Julie Lee.

Pre-order the new record here and check out the title track from the record below.

Worried Man [Download]

“Month Of Bad Habits” video

Chris Knight – “In the Mean Time” from the new record “Little Victories” (Sept. 11)

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Chris Knight is the real deal in americana. The guy’s born and bred in Kentucky, worked in coal mines his whole life, learned guitar by listening to John Prine records on repeat, lives on 40 acres that he farms and has consistently released some of the most honest, straightforward “country music” of his generation. Little Victories is his 8th full length and it should come as no surprise that this is an excellent addition to his discography.

Here’s the brawny, muscular song “In the Mean Time” which is a bit of a libertarian anthem of self sufficiency and traditional American values. Buy the new record here.

In the Mean Time [Download]

New record from Trainwreck Riders due in October

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Trainwreck Riders had one of the best debut records in a long time when they released Lonely Road Revival (Alive Records, here). Their combination of loose punk like energy with country flavors was refreshing (even though they sited older influences like Meat Puppets and I’m guessing The Minutemen/Firehose). This Sf based band is about to release their third long player titled Ghost Yards. You can get more info at the band’s label here.

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“Christmas Time Blues” (from debut)

“Nebraska” tribute from the likes of Joe Pug, Strand of Oaks, Juniper Tar, and more – “Long Distance Salvation”

Friday, September 7th, 2012

I was never a fan of Bruce Springsteen. He was a guy I just missed out on time wise. By the time I was music conscious he was releasing some of his more bombastic music (“Born in the USA”) and I was turned off despite the fact that that song was an unlikely anthem given its negative outlook on America. Had I heard Nebrask first things would have been different for me. Instead of loving Bruce though I found my own Springsteens, Dylans and Beatles to love in their place. Ironically a few of them are on this tribute to Nebraska titled Long Distance Salvation.

It was a hard choice what song/artist to link to as I am huge fan of Joe Pug, Strand Of Oaks, Sprit Family Reuion, David Wax and Juniper Tar. But it was the starkness of the Joe Pug rendition of “Highway Patrolman” that put me over the top. This is the Joe Pug I fell in love with a few years back. No producers fiddling with knobs, no band. Just Pug, his voice and a guitar.

This cd is a no brainer. It’s a must have. All proceeds go to ProjectBread.com. Lots more info here or check out the reviews/previews/streams here, here, here.

Highway Patrolman [Download]

Black Prairie – “A Tear In The Eye Is A Wound In The Heart” (Sugarhill, Sept. 18) (feat. members of The Decemberists)

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

I’ve tracked down some pretty great music to share with you in the next week or so. I’d like to start out with this track from the new record from Black Prairie. They are a band that uses traditional instruments and keeps pretty much to the authentic appalachian sound. But seeing that the band was formed by members of The Decemberists you get a inkling of modern day sensibilities in the lyrics and in the arrangements. Here’s a song I can relate to “Nowhere, Massachuesetts” (that was practically my home town) from their upcoming sophomore release A Tear In The Eye Is A Wound In The HEart.

The new record is out on SugarHill on September 18 and on Oct. 11 you can catch the band at Schubas in Chicago.

Nowhere, Massachuesetts [Download]