Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Scott Dennis - Rearranging Furniture

Look out Nashville, there is something going on in Brooklyn, veteran of the Brooklyn country music scene Scott Dennis summoned it up this way:
Brooklyn Country music is amazing. I have been performing here for about 15 years in the country scene. I grew up in New Jersey until about 17, then moved to NYC more or less.  So I made my way as a East coast kid.  The scene here in Brooklyn is small enough to know everyone but big enough to have a proper footprint in town. There are tons of excellent Honky Tonks too.  Skinny Dennis being one of many. I really dig Rod and Gun,   I love Jalopy Theatre, Rodeo Bar, Hill Country, Two Boots Brooklyn, Freddys and of course Hanks Saloon.  All of these places embrace the country music scene.  It's really great.
Releasing his second solo album 'Rearranging Furniture' this past April, the follow-up to 2011’s 'Songs from the Homestead', Scott cooks up a thick soup of classic American sounds and his vigorous, rich vocals are on full display in this collection of original songs and the two covers Wanda Jackson's “Silver Threads and Golden Needles.”and the Don Williams classic, “If Hollywood Don’t Need You.”
The album kicks off with the toe tapping 'Ada' with Chris Smythe, of Haggard Kings laying down some lively guitar riffs, and the amusing fast paced 'That's My Lady'.
 'Feelings In The Sand' with haunting vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica and 'Cold and Rain' with Glenn Spivack, of Dirt Floor Revue and Haggard Kings, on resophonic guitar are both beautiful heartfelt ballads. And there is the delightful Spanish/Polk flavored 'Dónde Está Mi Señorita' with Flaco Jimenez from the Texas Tornadoes inspired accordion.  'Country Boy Is Going To Rock Tonight' harkens back to  Don Churchill & His Texas Mavericks with a great Western Swing sound. 'Last Thing On My Mind' with Glenn on pedal steel is a wonderful country crooner that capsulate's Scott's vast influences and unique originality.  'Broward County' is a gorgeous instumental. The title track 'Rearranging Furniture' with excellent harmonica and a 70's styling melody and vocal wraps up this excellent album.

1. Ada
2. That's My Lady
3. Feelings In The Sand
4. Dónde Está Mi Señorita
5. If Hollywood Don't Need You
6. Country Boy Is Going To Rock Tonight
7. Cold And Rain
8. Bello
9. Silver Threads And Golden Needles
10. Last Thing On My Mind
11. Broward County
12. Rearranging Furniture

All Songs written and performed by Scott Dennis
If Hollywood Don’t Need You by Bob McDill
Silver Threads and Golden Needles by Jack Rhodes and Dick Reynolds
Christian Smythe played electric guitar on Ada
Clenn Spivack played pedal steel on Last Thing on My Mind
and resonator guitar on Cold and Rain
Robert Burman played piano on Silver Threads and Golden Needles
All Photography by Marissa Dennis
Recorded – Mixed – Mastered at Cambridge Place Studio
Rearranging Furniture has full digital distribution and is available at retail outlets including iTunes, CD Baby and Amazon.com.

The adorably talented Dennis clan entertained us at Couch By Couchwest this year as The Brooklyn Caterpillars. Members featured are Kale, Marissa, Scott and Batman.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Michael Rank And Stag - In The Weeds

The members of Stag are (left to right): Golub, Rank, Teer, Frantz, Iglehart, Smith, Huebner, Feather and Howie

On Michael Rank And The Stag latest album 'In The Weeds' there's an unmistakable touch of The Rolling Stones foray into country flavored rock on this album, but explored more fully. Featuring fiddle, mandolin, pedal steel, banjo and electric guitar and the incomparable accompaniment of Emily Frantz of Mandolin Orange on vocals with Rank, the push and pull between rock and country is heavily felt throughout.

With Nathan Golub: pedal steel, banjo, John Teer: fiddle, mandolin, Alex Iglehart: electric guitar, Marc E. Smith: electric, lap steel and acoustic guitar, Jesse Huebner and Billie Feather on bass, and John Howie Jr. on drums contributing throughout the album the depth and breadth of musical exploration lends every song a sense of discovery.

1. 'Round My Head
2. All The Rope
3. Confederates
4. Field Song
5. Topo
6. Rifle Days
7. This Town
8. The River Cross
9. Hunters
10. The Surrender

Michael Rank and Stag "The Surrender" (Official Music Video)
Michael Rank and Stag " 'Round My Head"

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Cazadero - Old Friends

Joe Hayes (Guitar, Vocals)
Spencer Potter (Lead Guitar, Alto Sax)
Nate Cavalieri (Keys, Percussion)
Nate Baker (Bass)
Jon Wujcik (Drums)

Cazadero out of San Francisco recently released their LP ‘Old Friends’ a beautifully crafted album filled with Alto Sax, Slide and Petal guitar, piano, and organ. Joe Hayes has a great voice that blends perfectly with the excellent harmonies from all the members, and delicious vocals from Nika States (on Below Zero, Ain't So Bad, and Jenny Jones) The songs have feel good melodies that slip effortlessly between country, blues, folk and jazz.

From the haunting beat heavy ‘Below Zero’ (available free below) with stirring guitar riffs, Floydish harmonies, and the slide and honky tonk piano combo with Nika and Joe duet on ‘Ain't So Bad’ it moves to a jazzy roadhouse song  ‘Last Mine.’ On ‘Jenny Jones’ the organ takes on a carnivalesque intro while Joe sounds a bit like John Lennon and again Nika adds her gorgeous harmonies on this slow touching ballad. ‘You Have Passed’ is a great bluesy number reminiscent of a JJ Cale and Leon Russell song with Gata adding Harmonica and vocals. ‘Old Friends’ the title track and ‘Midnight Picnic’ have a Key West laid back funky kinda vibe. The closing track ‘Pious Companion’ is an instrumental with a cool Ennio Morricone feel to it which you all know by now really tickles my fancy. Jon Wujcik on Drums and Nate Baker on Bass both anchor the band while at the same time seem on the verge of improvisational flourishes at the drop of a riff.  I highly recommend you pay this band some attention.

released 09 April 2013
All songs written by Joe Hayes (ASCAP), and arranged with Spencer Potter and Cazadero, except Pious Companion by S. Potter.
Joe Hayes (Guitars, Vocals)
Spencer Potter (Slide & Lead Guitar, Pedal Steel, Alto Sax, Vocals)
Nate Cavalieri (Piano, Organ, Percussion, Vocals)
Nate Baker (Bass, Tambourine, Vocals)
Jon Wujcik (Drums, Vocals)
Sam Edmondson (Solo Guitar on Below Zero, Last Mine)
Nika States (Vocals on Below Zero, Ain't So Bad, Jenny Jones)
Gata (Harmonica, Vocals on You Have Passed)

Produced by Joe Hayes with James Riotto
Engineered and Mixed by James Riotto at Tiny Telephone
Mastered by JJ Golden
Album Art, Concept & Design by Jason Tors

Kids From Nowhere - Kick It In

Members include singer/songwriter Zach Wheat (Texas), drummer "Element" Yves Elisee Akowendo (Côte d'Ivoire), bassist Elad Avni (South Africa) and guitarist Babush (Israel).

Kids From Nowhere is an international experiment in American music, based in Israel. 
Their album 'Kick It In' harkens back to the early days of rock when Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis himself took their country roots and laid it down at the foot of rock and roll's door. With just the right amount of twangy honky tonk, the Kids wrap a cocky rock and roll attitude into their songs. 

Fresh and original with rambunctious opening tracks ‘Biscuits’ and ‘Don't Fight Your Lonely’ to the ballads like ‘Bone Coast’ and Favorite Time of Year, the Lynchesque ‘Millie's Song’ and the humorous Kiss Me Like A Girl and All The Things We Do, I found this whole album a treat that will get oodles of play time.

Track List:
1. Biscuits 
2. Don't Fight Your Lonely
3. Favorite Time of Year
4. Columbus Stockade Blues 
5. Vegas Boogie
6. Bone Coast
7. Kiss Me Like A Girl
8. Millie's Song
9. Baby Doll
10. Butterflies
11. All The Things We Do

Zach Wheat - voice, guitars, percussion
Elad Avni - bass, percussion
Babush - guitars, percussion
"Element" Yves Elisee Akowendo - drums
with Or Bahir - guitars, backup vocals, percussion
Hadar Green - piano 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Sir Psych - 'Hello Echo'

L.A.'s Mad Hatter of Psychedelia Sir Psych has just released a new LP, an off shoot of a 2012 unreleased project 'Hello Echo' one song recorded and broken off into 15 parts, for now the project is two parts of that concept and ten other songs recorded during the Hello Echo sessions, full of groovy experimental echo and reverb that fill the the empty nooks in your cranium, it's a delicious addition to my Sir Psych collection. This album is for free, so please feel free to download it and share it. If you're movin' and groovin' to it, check out Sir Psych and L.A. Al, The Smoking Trees 2012 release Acetates blogged here

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Popa Podcasts! - Twangled Up In Booze

Note: Dang found 10 minutes of noise in this fixed, if you downloaded earlier you may want to do it again

Ok cowpokes and cowpokettes, this week we piss on that so called country crap you hear on the radio these days. Twang ain't something in a pretty boys jeans.
Click the play button to listen or right mouse click here and save as to put it in your saddlebag for later.

Artist Song
Jason & The Scorchers Twang Town Blues
Woody Pines Who Told Ya ?
Patty Loveless You're Through Fooling Me
Secret Country Too Drunk
The Barstool Romeos Cheap Bourbon Whiskey
*Morning River Band Hangover Blues
Whitey Morgan And The 78's I Ain't Drunk
Owen Mays and the 80 Proof Boys 80 Proof Nights
The Takers Curse Of A Drunk
Honky Tonk Hustlas Down and Out
Sara Petite Standing on the Corner
Bob Wayne Road Bound
Hollis Brown Ride On The Train
Jayke Orvis & The Broken Band  West Wind
James McMurtry Storekeeper
The Boomswagglers Trailer Park Special
**The Bailey Hounds Hell Ain't Forever
Turnpike Troubadors 7 and 7
Reid Wilson and his So-Called Friends Girls With Tattoos
Duane Jarvis A Girl That's Hip
***Uncle Leon and the Alibis Beer Train - LIVE 
William Elliott Whitmore Let’s Call It A Night

*New song from The Morning River Band upcoming May 21st release To Suzie
** New song from The Bailey Hounds upcoming May 28th release All the Blood in the World
*** Join Uncle Leon Tuesday April 30th at Hank's Saloon in Brooklyn for a video shoot

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Jason Lee McKinney Band - Troubadours, Vagabonds, and Thieves

Of course the title of Nashville's Jason Lee McKinney Band latest release caught my attention and peaked my curiosity,  a little research found that their fans call themselves “The Barstool Fellowship” now being one who’s always looking for an empty barstool I plopped myself down and stuck this album in my ears.
With John Thomson Lead guitar, Banjo, vocals | Barry Strauser keys, guitar, vocals | Billy Wright Bass, vocals | Kyle Dietz Drums the album is an extravaganza of gritty, bluesy, swampy Country tinged songs.
While we all have some part of us that are gypsy, vagabond spirits, Jason Lee McKinney is the troubadour we all find that barstool to sit on for that sense of belonging.
"All my friends are Troubadours, Vagabonds, and Thieves just like me"
With foot stomping songs like ‘Two Steps’ and ‘Rattle The Cage’ and the bluesy ‘Don't Deny the Proof’ to the twangy ‘Strangest Places’ and ‘Long Long Gone’ the album has 13 stand out tracks.
Rating: Four Pabst Blue Ribbons

Track List:
1) That'll Preach
2) Two Steps
3) The Hardest Part
4) Long, Long Gone
5) Strangest Places
6) Old Man Johnson
7) Mary Goes Round
8) Rattle The Cage
9) Whole Lotta Texas
10) Don't Deny The Proof
11) Mississippi
12) Dance With Me (featuring Zakyra McKinney)
13) Passenger Side

Upcoming Shows:

04/27/2013 3:30pm Franklin Main Street Festival Franklin, TN
06/15/2013 8:00pm Lamasco Bar & Grill Evansville, IN
06/21/2013 7:00pm Carpe Cafe (acoustic) Smyrna, TN
06/29/2013 8:00pm Private Party Evansville, IN
07/19/2013 7:00pm Carpe Cafe (acoustic) Smyrna, TN
09/28/2013 6:00pm Depot Days Smyrna, TN

Jason Lee McKinney has been the “next big thing” since he started writing and recording music, but life has always intervened: now, McKinney is writing about that life, and it is more real and powerful than ever.  He is the type of musician who is becoming the face of the new music business:  a vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter. He has been signed to two major record deals with two different bands—SpinAround and Lost Anthem—and worked with music legends such as Tommy Sims (Garth Brooks, Bruce Springsteen, and Eric Clapton).  He has played over 1,500 shows, released five full-length albums and two EPs, and had four moderate hits on three different charts.  In fact, it is hard to imagine that with as much as he has worked and recorded,  McKinney is not a household name yet. However, in 2006 while Lost Anthem was recording a new album, McKinney suffered two of life's biggest losses on the heels of each other: first, his father died of cancer; and then, his high school sweetheart and wife of fourteen years filed for divorce. It seemed like the music left him, too.

For the first time since the age of ten McKinney was not involved with music— he did not sing, he didn’t play, he didn’t write, he didn’t even listen. About a year after the divorce, however, he was going through his father's records when he stumbled upon a stack of old Bob Seger albums. “I was reminded that I knew every word to every song,” he says. “Bob wrote about the human condition, common experiences everyone faces and appeals to people from all walks of life for the long haul.” He wrote off this epiphany moment as a fluke, but he kept listening to the music of his childhood— Seger, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings— opening the door wide enough for music to come back to him.  If vinyl was the gateway drug, going back to the radio was the hard stuff. For the first time in two years, McKinney began listening to contemporary music, and discovered that while he was settling things in his own life,  contemporary country radio had become something for which he had an ear. Though he had heard and appreciated artists like Keith Urban and Pat Green before, he had not yet realized the impact it would have on his own writing. Soon after, a friend of his, Scott Faircloth (songwriter  and producer for Lifehouse), convinced him to sit down and write.  “Scott asked me if I had written about the divorce and I told him, 'I haven't written about anything.’ Scott challenged me to just write whatever would come out and not think about selling records or radio, or demographics, just frigging write from the heart, from the pain, from the soul. So I just simply poured out my heart with him at the piano and me frantically writing and singing. Literally five minutes later the song was done and we were both in tears,” McKinney recalls.

That experience still wasn't enough for him to fully commit to music again, but after several music industry people heard the song and had the same stunned tears reaction— he decided to stop fighting who he was and dive back in. “I just came to the realization that it is in me, for better or worse like a marriage, music— performing and being creative is just who I am.” It was then that McKinney began to methodically, cathartically, and honestly tell his story in song.  Though he had been writing for years and had a reputation as an articulate and clever lyricist as well as being a master of the hook melody, his writing had always been missing his story, his  heart, and now it was there. For the first time, McKinney was bleeding on the page.  By facing his losses and demons on the page, McKinney is able to write relatable music. His passion and  energy is a perfect foil for his down-to-earth songs: it is hard to imagine anyone listening to June 7th,” about his divorce, without getting a lump in their throat. The song starts, “It was the 7th of  the sixth month when my world stopped spinning/ When you said that you don’t love me anymore/ We swore that we would hold on, so I didn’t see it coming/ And I guess I really still don’t understand,” and his hurt is palpable. By being so specific with his lyrics, McKinney opens his heart up to the audience while still writing a song everyone who has ever loved and lost can identify with.  Likewise, more laid-back songs like “Middle of Nowhere” are about growing up in the Midwest, and would fit in on any contemporary radio station—“Born on the Westside of a Midwest town/ Indiana boy without a doubt/ Raised on the banks of the Ohio/ skippin' rocks to see how far they’d go” evokes more than just his own memories, these are the shared childhoods of Midwesterners.  He also talks about touring and the blessing and curse that music can be in “Strangers, Stages, and Cheap Hotels,” with lyrics “ I fell for the one mistress who don’t share/ she gives me strangers, stages and cheap hotels” and writes about new beginnings on songs like “Better the Second Time,” with lyrics like, “Every now and then you get a second chance/ Someone comes along that makes you want to live again,” which make it obvious that McKinney is taking the pain of the path of all he’s learned in his life and moving forward. He is ready to leave his permanent mark on the music industry.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Keith Monacchio - "Tips, Drinks & Gas Money"

New Jersey's Keith Monacchio, is a poetic imagery invoking powerful storyteller in the finest of Jersey singer/songwriter traditions. Formally of the band's, The Commons & The Semibeings. His 2nd solo EP released spring of 2010 'Tips, Drinks and Gas Money' starts with the song 'Coffee House' an indie artist lament beautifully melodic, Keith sings in a travel weary voice every artists eventual realization that the love of what you’re doing is the main reason to push on.
I once wanted to be well known Big write up’s in Rolling Stone; My first band we had big dreams; But that dream is standing here; In a coffeehouse somewhere; All these places look the same;
As the lights go up on me; I say “thanks for listening to my stories” And for the tips, the drinks for free; Be sure, to take care of waitress Marie; I’ll be back here same time next week; There is no place I’d rather be
‘Bless This Home’ is an upbeat ode to the American dream and the responsibilities that come with it sung in a gruff Springteenish voice it would fit nicely in Springsteen’s catalog. 'I’ll Take Care of You' is a captivating love song that touches the heart and tear ducts, with excellent finger picking and fervent vocals.
'Now That It's Done' with its haunting clarinet and Keith's signature thought provocing imagery is my favorite song on the EP. With Mike White – Drums, Joe Harvard – Lap Steel, Adam Braun – Bass, Mike Noordzy – Clarinet, Sean Glonek – Guitar and Percussion, the songs are full of rich textures and instrumentation.
Bandcamp Facebook

Track List:

1. Coffee House
2. Bless This Home
3. I'll Take Care Of You
4. Now That It's Done (free)

 Couch By Couchwest 2013 submission Saber Tooth Tiger 

2010's "The Long Evening", his first solo record, got stellar reviews and was voted the # 12 best release of the decade in Gary Wien's book "Are You Listening" The Top 100 Albums of 2001 - 2010 from New Jersey Artists

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Popa Podcast's - Let's get groovy

The question mark is gone, Popa Podcasts! Because I'm having a blast doing it. This weeks episode we're grooving on the grass, tripping the lights fantastic. Pack the bong, make some shroom tea and join me on a psychedelia excurion to the center of the mind. Click the play button, pack it up and take it with you here.



Tripsichord Music BoxOn The Last Ride
Surly GatesGrowl
Outer MindsKings and Thrones
Sakee SedVermouth and Baby
The New Highway HymnalBeach Glass
Allah-LasBusman's Holiday
Wolf & CubShut Me Out
Farf FignutonWhose Garden?
Great Red SpotsWhite Dwarf
The Smoking TreesOn An Afternoon
Tame ImpalaFeels Like We Only Go Backwards
Al HotchkissHorse (That Was Set on Fire)
The White SootsDont Shoot
Tipi ValleyWorn out lies
Chelsea Light MovingGroovy & Linda
Christian Bland and The Revelators13 Cent Killer
Prince Rupert's DropsAlmond Man
Elephant StoneHeavy Moon 
Radio MoscowBrain Cycles

Listen: Only Living Boy Cool Collected Headcase EP

Joe Cirotti- Guitar/Vocals
Eric Curley- Bass/Backing Vocals
Trevor Newcomb- Drums

New Jersey Rockers Only Living Boy premiered thier new song Cool Collected Headcase March 15th this year at Couch By Couchwest, astute cxcwesters will also remember the 2011 solo submision from Joe Cirotti. In anticipation of Only Living Boy’s EP release bash at the Asbury Lanes on April 27th, the band will be streaming their new tracks exclusively on TheWaster.com in its entirety starting today. Hit it below the videos!

A new EP from Only Living Boy. To be released April 27 at Asbury Lanes and April 30 everywhere online was recorded by Billy Perez at SST Studios in Weehawken, NJ. Check them on iTunes, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Escondido - The Ghost of Escondido

Jessica Maros and Tyler James

Nashville's Escondido debut album 'The Ghost of Escondido' was recorded live in a single day, the 10-song album was released Feb 26, 2013 on Kill Canyon. Frequent readers of this blog know how much I dig bands that incorporate an Ennio Morricone flavor into their music and with a nod like this from David Lynch I pay attention.
At times lyrically dark with life lessons learned and loves lost, Jessica’s gorgeous vocals mixed with arousing melodies and layered instrumentation create an atmospheric ten song saga. Opening with Sergio Leone spaghetti western trumpets and Jessica’s sexy cooing ‘Evil Girls’ plays like the opening scene of a movie, ‘Bad Without You’ has twangy country guitars and a stompin’ beat with Jessica doing a cross between Nancy Sinatra and Wanda Jackson in a honky tonk.
‘Cold October’ has a Fleetwood Macish opening riff but the comparison’s stop there, a beautifully lofty tune highlighting Jessica’s range with delicious harmony from James.
On ‘Rodeo Queen’ Jessica’s vocals woo us with ‘I’ve got may man, in his raggedy jeans, He’s on the road away from me, but when he’s home he’s a loving machine’ one of my favorite tunes on the album the trumpets are back with James’ laying down some sweet-sounding guitar.
‘Willow Tree’ just rips your heart out. ‘Special Enough’ starts with drum beats that sound like the last night at the Alamo, with haunting guitar riffs lending to the emotional plea as Jessica pines, ‘with you or without I’ll be good enough again’ a truly special song.
‘Don't Love Me Too Much’ is a rockin’ honky tonkish number with great riffs and again stellar vocals. ‘Keep Walkin' has a badass bass and pounding beat, howling guitar and Jessica rocks it out.
Next up ‘Black Roses’ echoes like a distant voice whispering on the wind, exquisitely delicate and captivating.
Lastly ‘Chase the Moon’ is a fond farewell leaving us with one choice, go back to track one and listen again.
This is an amazing album I suspect will make to many a 2013 top ten list. Rating: Four Cactus Flowers
Track List:

1. Evil Girls
2. Bad Without You
3. Cold October
4. Rodeo Queen
5. Willow Tree
6. Special Enough
7. Don't Love Me Too Much
8. Keep Walkin'
9. Black Roses
10. Chase The Moon

Jessica and Tyler met while James was recording their mutual friend at his home studio.  “Jess was quietly strumming this song Rodeo Queen on the couch while everyone else was making drinks in the kitchen.  I pushed record and added a little groove before folks got back in the room.  Later that night we listened to it and both said ‘You wanna make a record?’” They spent the next two months crafting the songs and bonding over a shared love of spaghetti westerns and 70’s music. “We’d put on Ennio Morricone every morning,” says Maros. “It’s an easy process when you both love the same stuff.”

James: I’ve always been into spaghetti Westerns and loved how the soundtracks shaped the movie. Clint Eastwood and Quentin Tarantino are great, as well as lots of Ennio Morricone scores. I wanted to put that vibe into a three-minute pop song — kind of a surf twang, washed-out thing with roots music influence. Tom Petty was a big one, as well. His songs are short, hooky, and the drums are a big part of the mix. We pulled a lot from old country records, as well, both in the songwriting and in the use of long spring and plate reverbs.
Jessica adds, Yeah, we wanted it to sound like an old Western with our life story added to it. I love the sounds of a washed-out, twangy guitar and far away echoes of tambourines. I’m also a fan of Mazzy Starr, Neko Case and Stevie Nicks.

Maros, a Vancouver, British Columbia native, found success as a clothing designer after initially moving to Nashville with a record deal. Her jewelry has been worn by the likes of Prince and Lady Antebellum, her handmade dresses gracing the red carpet at the Oscars and Country Music Awards. James, a small-town Iowa native, has spent the last decade on the road as a solo artist and member of Los Angeles based Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. “We both wanted a change of pace,” says Maros. “I wanted to focus on music again and Tyler wanted to spend more time in town making records.” The result is the formation of Escondido, a band whose songs are a tale of love lost across the western sky.

Tour Dates:
Apr 17 Standard Hotel (Desert Nights) Hollywood, CA
Apr 18 Blind Date @ Hotel Café w/ My Bubba , Kid Los Angeles, CA
Apr 20 JW Marriott (Mimi Chica Coachella Party) Palm Desert, CA
Apr 28 Good People Brewing Co (Bham Mountain Radio Presents) Birmingham, AL
May 15 Johnny Brenda's w/ The Staves Philadelphia, PA
May 17 Mercury Lounge w/ The Staves New York, NY
May 20 Cafe 939 @ Berklee w/ The Staves Boston, MA
May 21 Iron Horse Music Hall w/ The Staves Northampton, MA
May 23 The Great Hall w/ The Staves Toronto, Canada
May 24 Majestic Café w/ The Staves Detroit, MI
May 25 Russian Recording w/ The Staves Bloomington, IN

New Album from Mother Merey and the Black Dirt May 29th

Couch By Couchwest 2013 alumni Austin's gritty real deal folk blues trio, Mother Merey and the Black Dirt have an amazing new album coming May 29th titled 'Down to the River' It is in my ear and I am excited about it, Stay tuned for more details.......
In the mean time enjoy their CXCW submission of the first song off the album.
'Chicken Scrabble'

Merey Kimbrough - vocals, washboard
Eric Witthans - guitar, percussion, vocals
Kevin Allen - harmonica, vocals

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rhubarb Whiskey - Same Sad End

Emchy: accordion, vocals
Boylamayka Sazerac: guitar, mandolin, upright bass, vocals
Sizzle La Fey: violin, mandolin, banjo, piano
Special Guests:
Carolyn Mark: backing vocals
Lulu Darling: backing vocals
Whitney Moses: backing vocals

Booze-Soaked tales of living hard, loving hard and drinking hard. Rhubarb Whiskey blends punk, country, old timey, a dash of bluegrass, a little blues, gypsy, even some ‘cowboy’ music like the corner bartender blends his version of the mickey. Like the glow of neon of the last open bar 'Same Sad End' (with guest vocals by Carolyn Mark) draws you in with a foot tappin jig, 'Saint of Nothing' wraps it's arms around you like a long lost friend and you settle in with a large draught of beer and a lusty sway. Shadows beckon from dark corners, and a light streams in from a quickly opened back door, 'Gravedigger' spins a dark sexy murder ballad yarn of love gone wrong,  'Bottles' get passed around amongst co-conspirators, a comrade drinking anthem.
On 'Cindy' Boylamayka deleviers a beautify dark, drunkin' sluring ode to this folk standard.
'Mendocino' and 'Ella' touch on country twangin' beer draining ballads.
While my favorite version of 'My Rifle, My Pony, and Me' may always be Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin and Walter Brennan, the intermingled intrumetation and harmonies are exquisite on this song.
'Knock 'em Down' and ' St. James Infirmary Blues' display the band in all their atmospheric, rugged spinners of yarns glory.
Rating: 4 Three finger shots.  

Rhubarb Whiskey was formed in April 2008, by Emchy (vocals, accordion) and Boylamayka Sazerac (vocals, bass, guitar). In June 2010, they added Sizzle le Fey on fiddle. They have become known in the Bay Area and beyond as a group of hard-drinking troubadours who sing death songs and murder ballads right alongside anthemic adventure tales and tender tunes about love. In look and sound, they evoke sleazy San Francisco punk rock clubs and Weimar cabarets just as much as they evoke the ghost towns and saloons of the Wild West. Facebook

Track List:

1. Same Sad End
2. Saint of Nothing
3. Gravedigger
4. Mendocino
5. Cindy
6. Bottles
7. Knock 'Em Down
8. My Rifle, My Pony, and Me
9. Ella
10. St. James Infirmary Blues

Monday, April 15, 2013

The New Highway Hymnal debut full-length 'Whispers'

Photo by Sam Stambaugh 
Hadden Stemp on vocals and guitar, Amelia Gormley on bass and vocals, Travis Hagan on drums.

Boston psych-punk luminaries The New Highway Hymnal debut full-length 'Whispers' is a steller album of garage rock mayhem and bust out experimental psych with enough fuzzy drenched feedback and loopy riffs to make this old hippie bask in the sonic glow of hot tubes and maxed transistors. Hadden and Amelia's guitars dance like stroboscopic lights in my cranium tickling my neurotransmitters. Travis drumming provides the pounding beat to keep the blood and oxygen flowing. Hadden's primal vocals are delightfully tempered by Amelia's intricately placed accompaniment.
Rating: 4 Bong Hits Connect: Web, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, Tumblr

Track List:
1. Through Stained Glass
2. More
3. Factory Song
4. Breathe/Bleed/Dream
5. Beach Glass
6. Out With The Lights
7. Killing Town
8. Whispers
9. Hey Kid (Gotta Run)

Live on Pipeline Listen and download

All songs written and produced by the New Highway Hymnal Recorded at Project Sound, Haverhill, Massachusetts Engineered by Jason Duguay

Eastbound Jesus - Northern Rock

Adam Brockway (acoustic guitar, vocals)
Carl Anderson (drums, vocals)
Luke Anderson (banjo, vocals)
Dylan Robinson (electric guitar,vocals)
Dave Wright (bass, vocals)
Zack Infante (lap steel, guitar, mandolin, vocals)

Eastbound Jesus will drop their third release “Northern Rock” April 19th their first two albums were; “Greatest Hits Vol. 1″, and, “Holy Smokes” they combine a mix of country, bluegrass, folk, rock n’ roll, jam rock, blues, Northern Rock has a tad more of a rock n' roll vibe to it than previous releases, Dylan’s lead guitar riff's and Luke’s banjo shredding, keep the pace on a rockin' blues tempo while Zack on the lap steel, Adam's acoustic guitar work keep the album grounded in thier punkgrass style. Carl on drums and Dave on bass provide a steady foot tapping bottom end. Lyrically and vocally there is a maturity and seriousness to the album while still keeping true to their ability to spin a good yarn.
Rating: 4 Pabst Blue Ribbons

CD release show April 19th at Revolution Hall in Troy, NY. Rev Hall has been closed as a venue for several years but they are opening their doors for a one time only show to help us celebrate the release of our album. The Mallett Brothers Band from Portland Maine will be kicking off the show. You can purchase tickets online here. $12 presale and $15 at the door. Facebook Twitter

1. Out Yonder
2. 54 Miles
3. Waitin On The Sun
4. Sittin By The River
5. Talkin To John About The Weather
6. Katie Belle
7. North Country Girl
8. Where The Winter Goes
9. My Old Pick-up Truck
10. I Wouldn't Know
11. Above The Water

Listen to the whole album

2012's Holy Smokes

Sunday, April 14, 2013

First Listen: Two new songs from Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones

Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones are in the studio working on their demo tape with plans to release an album later in the year. Have a listen to two brand spanking new tunes!

The very talented Lara Hope join us at Couch by Couchwest this year with one of her other bands, The Gold Hope Duo

Feel Bad For You April 2013

No theme. Any Song, Any Genre, Any Year. Pull up your favorite easy chair, imbibe your favorite intoxicant and listen to the music submissions by our favorite miscreants, ner do wells, vagabonds, bloggers, twitters and self-congratulatory muso’s curated by Scott at Boogie Studio 22. Click the big play button and listen, Download to take with you.
Thanks again to AnnieTUFF (@AnnieTUFF) for this month’s artwork. Visit Feel Bad For You to leave some witty comments, or insightful tidbits.

1. Title: A New Love (Can Be Found)
Artist: Daniel Romano
Album (year): Come Cry With Me (2013)
Submitted By: Bryan Childs (ninebullets.net)
Comments: I was, literally, turned onto this guy 30 minutes ago by John Moreland/Corey Call via this track and I’ve listened to it 4 times already. Hope it catches you in the same way.
[Editor’s note: Bryan wasted no time sending this in! And yes, I listened right away too!]
2. Title: Song For Zula
Artist: Phosphorescent
Album (year): Muchacho (2013)
Submitted By: Mad Mackerel
Comments: Phosphorescent’s Muchacho is our favourite album of the year so far and this may well be the best track on it.
3. Title: Up To Me
Artist: Cosmonaut On Vacation
Album: Let The Moment Land (2013)
Submitted by: Corey Flegel (This Is American Music)
Comments: We told folks that we’d be getting a little weird in early 2013. By weird I guess we mean outside of our Roots/Rock/Twang that I think people expect from us. Well, here’s Cosmonaut On Vacation. This is one of 4-5 “weird things” that we’ve put out so far this year. It’s coming out on TIAM 4/23. It’s some sort of quasi-Krautrock / BritPop from Alabama via Greg Slamen (Through The Sparks). We love it hard.
4. Title: Leave the City
Artist: Magnolia Electric Co.
Album (Year): Radio K (Minneapolis 8th Aug 09)
Submitted by: Simon
Comments: Sadly no longer with us – he leaves behind a truly wonderful musical legacy.
5. Title: Ashes to Athens (live)
Artist: Joe Bonamassa
Album (year): An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House (2013)
Submitted By: @tincanman2010
Comments: A blues axe wanker at a céilidh? Sure, why not. Joe’s latest also exhibits some surprising Stephen Stills-like sensitivities at times, so at 36 may be beginning to realize his full potential. ‘Course there was last year’s train wreck studio album to keep his ‘chronic underachiever’ badge alive.
6. Title: Cloudy Morning Blues
Artist: Black Cold Bottles
Album (year): Neander (2012)
Submitted By: hoosier buddy
Comments: Black Cold Bottles are a four piece band from São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil. This song exhibits that rare combination of passion and restraint. Where other bands would rapidly escalate from quiet intro to loudness, and then achieve afterburner volume, BCB takes another path; letting the song find its own dynamics and giving us a view into another world. It may not be the kind of world we want to see, but the invitation is certainly compelling. Hear more at soundcloud.com/blackcoldbottles
7. Title: New Lover
Artist: Josh Ritter
Album (year): The Beast In Its Tracks (2013)
Submitted By: @philnorman
Comments: Haven’t picked up a lot of new releases this year, but Ritter’s is a mighty good one.
8. Title: Lost Highway
Artist: The Replacements
Album (year): Songs for Slim (2013)
Submitted By: @mikeorren
Comments: Always loved The Mats ragged covers best, and they reunite for the Hank Williams classic in fine style.
9. Title: It Hurts Too Much To Cry
Artist: Leroy Powell & The Messengers
Album (year): Life and Death (2013)
Submitted By: Trailer (farcethemusic.com)
10. Title: It Must Have Been Love
Artist: Kathleen Edwards
Album (year): single (2013)
Submitted By: Rockstar Aimz
Comments: Kathleen Edwards does a stunning cover of Roxette’s 1990 (US release date) hit song. It was recorded for the show, Private Practice, which I believe had its last episode in January, but Edwards released it as a solo track.
11. Title: War Again
Artist: Balkan Beat Box
Album (year): Blue Eyed Black Boy (2010):
Submitted By: @popa2unes
Comments: Gotdang drums of war beating again
12. Title: Peter Piper
Artist: Run-DMC
Album (year): Raising Hell (1986)
Submitted By: Gorrck
Comments: Kicking an old school! (ow!) Not bad, meaning bad, but bad meaning GOOD! That is.
13. Title: Peace And Quiet
Artist: Waxahatchee
Album (Year): Cerulean Salt (2013)
Submitted By: erschen
Comments: Got a nice Liz Phair vibe to it.
14. Title: Free To Fly
Artist: Markus Rill
Album (year): My Rocket Ship (2013)
Submitted By: Mando Lines
Comments: Markus Rill is a German singer songwriter whose songs generally run gamut from folk to rock. This song, however, has more of an acoustic jam feel.
15. Title: Inside
Artist: Sand Rubies
Album: Cuacha (2001)
Submitted By: toomuchcountry
Comments: Cuacha was first released in 1988 as the debut album by the band originally known as The Sidewinders. Their debut soon landed them a deal with Jay Faires’ label, Mammoth Records. This is where I first stumbled onto them. I quickly snapped up their 2 releases and still play them. And then they were gone. Why? Because a COVER BAND sued them over the use of their name. Sure nuff, the band re-branded as the Sand Rubies and trudged forward. After sitting dormant for over 10 years, Cuacha was re-released under the SR band name. Almost all of the band’s vocals were handled by David Slutes with Rich Hopkins on guitar. But a neat addition to Cuacha was drummer Andrea Curtis’ lead vocals on “Inside”.
16. Title: High on the Skyline
Artist: The New Mendicants
Album (year): Australia EP (2013)
Submitted By: Ryan
Comments: The New Mendicants are Joe Pernice and Norman Blake. This is the teaser before their debut album comes out (and when that will be is anybody’s guess). I think their voices sound super together, although it seems like Joe is doing most of the heavy lifting. Can’t wait for the full album – need some new Joe Pernice ASAP!
17. Title: Hoover Farm Exorcism
Artist: Imperial Rooster
Album (year): The Savior EP / Cluckaphony (2013)
Submitted By: annieTUFF
Comments: I wanted to pick a new song from this years CXCW…and that became harder than I thought. So many great bands submitted videos of songs that were amazing and wonderful and really stuck with me. But when it came down to it how can you resist this song?
P.S They’re offering it to download for the low low price of pay whatever you want…but if you download it for free at least tell other people about them.http://theimperialrooster.bandcamp.com
18. Title: Lean on Me
Artist: Telekinesis
Album (year): Dormarion
Submitted By: scratchedsoul
Comments: Telekinesis on record is the one man show Michael Benjamin Lerner and he has produced some of the most memorable pop music of the past few years. He just put out his third record this past Tuesday. It was recorded in Austin with Jim Eno from Spoon. Live, he has a rotating cast of guitarists and bassists, but it’s always him on drums and vocals. Definitely check them out if they’re in a town near you.
19. Title: Asa
Artist: Denison Witmer
Album (year): Denison Witmer (2013)
Submitted By: Slowcoustic
Comments: This song is originally by Bry Webb and from his 2011 album Provider (written for/about Webb’s son Asa). Witmer provides a tribute to the beauty of the original and better than most covers if I have had to say. Looking forward to the new album from Witmer if this is any indication.
20. Title: Help Is On The Way
Artist: Gerald Collier
Album (year): Help Is On The Way – Digital Single (2013)
Submitted By: BoogieStudio22
Comments: It was kind of a long week and I was struggling to make a decision on what I was going to submit, until I got home Friday. In my inbox was one of my weekly newsletters. In it was the announcement that one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Gerald Collier, had a new album out. Wait? What? How’d I miss that?!?! A quick trip down the internets highway indicated new songs on Bandcamp and a new album coming in May. I listened to said new songs and immediately bought the digital single. It’s been 6 or 7 years since his last album and I’m thrilled to hear this new music.
You can listen to and purchase (name your price) his 3-song digital single (one of the songs is a hidden cover tune) at bandcamp:http://geraldcollier.bandcamp.com/album/help-is-on-the-way-digital-single
NOTE: I’ve just gotta share that Gerald sent me a personal thank you note for being the first purchaser of his digital single!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sean Rowe - The Salesman and the Shark

Several years ago musician and naturalist Sean Rowe walked out into the wilderness alone. He spent the next 24 days constructing shelter and foraging for food to eat. He would come away from the experience with the songs that would eventually comprise his dazzling debut album Magic. The San Francisco Chronicle described the record as “beautiful and haunting.” 

On his new album The Salesman and the Shark, Rowe has created a work that brilliantly reconfigures classic sounds in support of his intensely observational lyrics and the remarkable ever evolving vocals which inspired No Depression Magazine to succinctly state, “Man, that voice.” 
Producer Woody Jackson adds, “Sean Rowe is just an amazing singer. When you first hear his voice, you can’t figure out if it’s for real or not. The atmosphere was just really amazing throughout the recording. Everything just came together naturally. My main goal throughout was to just be true to the songs which were phenomenal. His vocals and the melodies were king.”
As Rowe’s explains, “The songs on this record are all very different structurally but they have this consistent sound and feel which has to do with where and how they were recorded. Early on we agreed on the aesthetic of the record which was just keeping it as organic and as live as possible. And I think it really gave it that timeless feel. “
Listen to Sean Rowe's album 'The Salesman and the Shark.' Order online at Anti Records 
1) "Bring Back The Night" 2) "Flying" 3) "The Lonely Maze" 4)  Joe's Cult.mp3 5) "Signs" 6) "The Wall" 7) "The Ballad of Buttermilk Falls" 8) "Horses" 9) "Old Shoes" 10) "Downwind" 11) "Thunderbird" 12) "Long Way Home" 

At this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas Acoustic Cafe's Rob Reinhart invited six artists to write and record songs with songwriter Ben Arthur and SongCraft Presents at SXSW 2013. Each session was only three hours (additional instrumentation and mixing/mastering happened back in NYC). From developing the concept and lyrics to its actual composition and arrangement to performance, the pressure was on to make not a good song, but a great song. A video team was with the artists every step of the way to document the trials, missteps, successes, and eventually, the magic that lives in a great song. Dubway Studios producer and engineer Mike Crehore and artist Ben Arthur supervised the song development, while Acoustic Café’s Rob Reinhart interviewed the artists as the process unfolded. Taylor Guitars provided a selection of its popular acoustic-electric guitar models, including its new Grand Orchestra guitar, to offer sonic inspiration to the songwriters as they pursue their task.

One of the first artists to participate was ANTI-recording artist Sean Rowe, The song he wrote with Ben Arthur--which he titled "The Coat"--was something he'd had been trying to finish for seven years. Sean, whose been described as a modern-day Leonard Cohen, wears his heart on his sleeve in this folky song of loss, “The Coat.” 

My good friend Matthew Hendershot of The End Men worked on the New York City part of it with the SongCraft project and shared his thoughts with us.
As a creative person it is often the case that you have to pile on as many creative projects as you can. That is why I'm really excited to be partnered with Mike Crehore and Al Houghton at Dubway Studios and Ben Arthur to bring SongCraft to life. It is a perfect pairing for me. I get to make fantastic video pieces about the making of something I really love, creating music. Mike and Al are also top notch professionals, so getting to see their philosophy and their techniques is priceless. I feel like I have snuck into something just because I have a camera! It is like spying on professionals with their permission!
Watch the behind the scenes process of creating the song.

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