Well another year has passed and I figured this would be the year I wouldn’t post my Christmas mix but a few folks I like and others I hadn’t heard of have released some Christmas music so here we are again. As I say every year: these may be holiday songs but many of them are solid songs period – many deal with themes if lost hope, loneliness and the rigors of the holiday season. In fact several of these songs remain some of my favorites – you be the judge – check them out and see which ones resonate with you.
Dec 20 Update
I’ve got a couple more songs from this year that I’d like to share. Anna Vogelzang is a midwest based performer who I have been following off and on for a couple of years now. I like her stuff – honest and forthright — here she cover’s “Silent Night”. Carter Moulton is another in a fine line of Michigan based indie folk bedroom shut-ins. Check out his original songs on bandcamp. The Dive Poets are a St. Louis based group known for their americana ramblings…this song is from the new KDHX Christmas sampler and is a depressing take on the holiday season. And Mike Doughty needs no introduction…oh alright he’s the guy from Soul Coughing.
In lieu of any new music from Hayes Carll here’s the next best thing — the debut record from the Austin based band Mayeux & Broussard. This group is really the combination of two songwriters – Tate Mayeux and Brian Broussard. These guys are from Louisiana and Texas respectively and you can certainly hear the regional influences on the new record. While The Gittin’s Good is a bluesy, rockin’ americana record with just the right amount of different textures, tempos and styles.
You can pick up the new record over at Bandcamp for $7. If your’re down in Austin check your local listings to catch the band live or head over to Beale St. Tavern this Friday to check them out. Here’s one of the blues rockers from the new record…
This new song, a b-side to a single released on Bandcamp, is a slow burner that drifts in and out of phase. It’s a lot more ethereal than previous stuff I’ve heard from Hoots & Hellmouth and perhaps that’s the influence of producer Jim Roll. Either way I like it…a lot!
It was no surprise to see Sun Volt (along with Johnny Cash, Lead Belly, Carter Family) listed as one of Mice and Rifles biggest influences. But it was also reassuring – reassuring that bands like Sun Volt, Uncle Tupelo and even older country and blues acts like Jimmie Rogers, Carter Family and Lead Belly are not being forgotten by the younger generation of (for lack of a better term) alt-country bands. Mice and Rifles is an Austin based band who made a splash in 2007/8 but then disbanded from 2009-2011. They are back with a new EP called Lebe Wohl In Tejas and they seem better than ever. You can stream the EP here via the band’s Bandcamp page.
Catch the band at their record release show at Stubbs in Austin on December 8.
Alright so nobody else is going to post this I guess I will. I’ve been a longtime fan of Josh Rouse ever since I heard his debut Dressed up like Nebraska. And now with his new band The Long Vacations his sound has come full circle. The upcoming album is called The Happiness Waltz and will be out in March on Yep Roc. Despite being a demo this song is rather fleshed out with guitar, percussion, bass…
Sometimes it seems that my sole job is to extoll the virtues of Chris Stamey. I find him to be a masterful singer, songwriter, producer and musician. On his solo outings he can combine all of these elements into a swirling masterpiece of pop. And that’s exactly what he has done on the first song to be leaked from his forthcoming Feb. 5 Yep Roc record Lovesick Blues.
Musically “Astronomy” is all over the map – perhaps almost astral in it’s scope (that would make sense wouldn’t it?). It bodes well for a record that Stamey says comes “the closest I’ve ever gotten to the sound I hear in my head in the middle of the night,”.
Glad you found me at my new url. Songs:Illinois is committed to writing about music that is under-appreciated and unique. I've found that the music I write about shares a couple of traits. And they are: lyrical integrity, musically diverse, and written/performed by compelling characters.
Most songs found here are free and legal and have been provided by either the artist or label. If for some reason you'd like to have a song removed, please email me at cbonnell (at) gmail.com.