I struggled with what to call this post and the similar ones to follow this week. These are bands and records I missed out on in 2008. By and large they’re undiscovered and unheralded gems. They may have made a mark in their individual genres but they had nary a mention on the mp3 blog circuit (at least according to Elbo.ws)
Drew Emmitt’sLong Road should have appeared in these virtual pages sometime in early 2008. There’s no excuse for the delay given that this is a sterling, and crystal clear example of the new grass hybrid that I’m so fond of. Doubly so given that Drew is the lead singer/mandolinist of popular jamgrass band Leftover Salmon.
I’m not completely sold on all the young newgrassy bands (how `bout you?). Crooked Still, The Duhks and others just leave me a little cold. The music is pristine and shiny, but at times lacks the passion of less acclaimed and even less purely talented groups.
One of the most acclaimed young groups that stradle this line between polished bluegrass and down to earth country is Nashville’s Infamous Stringdusters. They’ll be releasing their new record on Sugar Hill In June. The guys in the `Dusters can certainly play, and that, along with their age and scruffy appearance, are a few of the reasons the band is treated more like a jam band than a bluegrass band on the road.
So here’s “You Can’t Handle The Truth” from the sophomore long player from the Infamous Stringdusters. Compare and contrast with the Hayman, Watkins, Trout and Lee song below.
What perfect timing. Here’s an example of an English band playing traditional American music just for kicks around the kitchen table. Hayman, Watkins, Trout and Lee is the name of Darren Hayman’s bluegrass inspired americana group. Darren Hayman is the former front man for the English cult pop group Hefner. So this will receive a wider release than your “typical” London bluegrass band; it’ll be out on Fortuna POP! via Cargo and iTunes on May 6 (today!).
They literally recorded this around the kitchen table in Darren’s flat. It’s probably a purist’s nightmare and is no doubt riddled with miscues and off key singing. But there’s something to this. The lyrics are original and address topics that are more relevant cold Appalachian winters and/or moonshine stills. So again compare this with the song above and see what you think.
Buy it now here. Here’s the song “Sly and the Family Stone”
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.