Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Popa's Picks Best Americana Albums 2012

Genres are the new Thesaurus.

10) The Imperial Rooster - Don't Be Afraid: Live at Santa Fe Sol

"the Roosters are unabashedly, irreverently original, dredging chords, rhythms and words to squeeze out the best of muse-inspired music... Clever and crass, harmonizing and (purposely) off-key in turn, these skilled musicians are qualified to take you on a bona fide Española-style joyride. Buckle your seats, and bring your own luck charms for the rearview."
Ariana Kramer - Taos News

9) The Blind Owl Band - Rabble Rousing

For newcomers to the Blind Owl Band - a hard-driving, heavily bearded, original string music quartet that's caught the ears of music aficionados from across the North Country. They're like a foundation; they grow as the band grows." And this band is still growing. So what should first-time Blind Owl listeners expect? "The album is called 'Rabble Rousing' for a reason," Cardiello joked. Ford said that simply put, people can expect a whole lot of foot stomping and a "real good time."”
Chris Morris - Adirondack Daily Enterprise

8) Annie Lou - Grandma's Rules For Drinking

“The music that Annie Lou plays is resonant, vital, and often fun because it is rooted in the everyday. This self-titled debut is a vibrant and vital recording graced with exceptional songwriting.” – Pat Langston, Penguin Eggs

7) Melody Walker - Gold Rush Goddess
The music is shot through with joyful diversity, fresh original songs and an attitude that is unafraid to try something new on every track. Gold Rush Goddess is easily one of the strongest Americana releases of 2012. Terry Paul Roland, Turnstyled Junkpile

6) Maynard and the Musties - Cheap Cigars

“...molasses with a sweet whiskey kick.” Tsaurah Litzky - Brooklyn Rail

5) Sci-Fi Romance - The Ghost of John Henry

"It’s somber Nick Cave meets Joseph Heller with a screening of Metropolis in the background."
Jade Blackmore - Slums Off Hollywood Boulevard

4) Hurray For The Riff Raff - Look Out Mama

They've been praised for their Americana soul rock, a huge plate full of that dirty Deep South sound. But if you want the true taste of the Deep South flavour, then Hurray For The Riff Raff have the perfect menu on offer with Look Out Mama. Cooked up by a born and bred Bronx New Yorker no less. -  Mikey Rush, The Four O Five

3) Rachel Brooke - A Killers Dream

Rachel's voice is one in a million. It's all natural. She did not develop a unique singing style to delineate her from the masses, like is so common with over-singing songbirds these days. She purified her own voice, with no facade or embellishment. It is so wondrous because it is adorable and seemingly innocent, yet at the same time aged like a ghost, haunting, and filled to utmost capacity with pain".- Saving Country Music

2) Shovels and Rope - O' Be Joyful

Their 11 well-crafted songs, some that belong in a Coen Brothers movie, include double shots full of piss and vinegar. Michael Bialas, Huffington Post

1) Some Dark Holler - Hollow Chest

Combining equal parts Steve Earle, the Civil Wars (if they were drunk), and Breaking Bad, bandleader Chris Porter (Back Row Baptists) and fiddler Helen Gassenheimer bring a mix of vocal and instrumental stylings that are as flawlessly harmonious as they are dark and haunting. Hollow Chest explores and exposes the South's gritty underbelly and its rawest nerves. - This is American Music

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