Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Popa Tunes Top 10 Picks Of 2013

10. Imperial Rooster – Cluckaphony
Most often you’ll read about this band ‘Maybe not for everyone,’ I wholeheartedly disagree, poignant, insightful and witty, The Imperial Rooster are 'THE' band of everyman. They play the kind of music that all you have to do to join in is grab a utensil, or noise maker, let loose and join in.  Yet again The Imperial Rooster burst forth with a floodwater of creativity on their new album “Cluckphony” In true Porch Pontificator style the Roosters with cathartic outbursts, and an orchestrated glorious ruckus, toss witty lines of insight and wisdom around like pit bulls with ragdolls as they create the soundtrack for the purgatory waiting room.
Track List:
The Hoover Farm Exorcism
Santa Cruz
Exit Me
Polka De Nalgas
Shit Falls
The Shit Song
Soldier Boy Johnny
The Saviour
Pine Box Hell

9. Dubl Handi - Up Like the Clouds
Dubl Handi is banjo player/vocalist Hilary Hawke and multi-instrumental percussionist Brian Geltner that bring old-time Appalachian music to the eager ears of Urbanites. Adding thier distinct arrangements, Hilary's beautiful lamenting vocals, and Brian's frolicsome percussion to the likes of  Roscoe Holcomb, Rufus Crisp, and Gid Tanner standards, they are reintroducing the roots of folk to new generations while devoloping new standards with their own original material. Thier debut album 'Up Like the Clouds' is truly a delight for those with thier hearts in Appalachia and an ear intent on what's Blowin' in the Wind.
1. Shout Little Lula
2. Come on Buddy
3. Fall on My Knees
4. Cluck Old Hen
5. Undone in Sorrow
6. Little Orchid
7. Shortnin' Bread
8. Katie Cruel
9. Poor Ellen Smith
10. Little Birdie
11. Randy Lynn Rag
12. Lonely Ghost
13. New River Train
14. Single Girl

8. Paul Saint John – Eleventeen
Originally from the East Coast of Scotland (he was a founding member of the UK folk-rock group, The Cottonfield), now based out of Philadelphia, Paul Saint John is a one man band, released his debut album – 'Eleventeen'  throughout the album, John’s crisp unique vocals used at times as call and response and his rhythmic guitar that he works as a drum beat create the sound of a robust band.  Scottish folk lies just under the surface of his songwriting as simple things in life oft overlooked anchor his story telling.
The opening track ‘All the Kings Horses’ is an earworm that immediately pulls you in and you’re hooked, “Raining Cats and Dogs” finds its groove somewhere between Dylan and John Prine, and is propelled with a forcefully strummed acoustic guitar and a bright harmonica adds detail. You’ll keep coming back to this album for multiple listens.

Track List
1. All The Kings Horses
2. Marry Me
3. Raining Cats and Dogs
4. Summertime
5. Bank Holiday
6. Pillars of Hercules
7. Six Feet Under
8. The Rainbows End
9. Lord, I Got a Problem
10. I'm Dr Jekyll, Mr Hyde

7. Buffalo Gospel - We Can Be Horses
Milwaukee's Buffalo Gospel first full lenght 'We Can Be Horses' this album is a gotdang masterpiece of Rock/Bluesgrass fusion! Touching on a more personal level on this album, songwriter Ryan Necci - Vocals / Guitar writing autobiographical lyrics in a way relatable to all of us, adding punch to these new songs, unlike their previous acoustic EPs, they plug it in and crank it up, the songs range from somber to foot stompin,' all delivered with heartfelt abandon. Kyle Keegan is back on drums adding some bangin’ beats, Heidi Spencer adds her beautiful harmonies. The band also includes the amazing Ryan Ogburn on mandolin and guitar, Allen Coté on Lap Steel, Guitar and Brian Wells setting the groove on bass.
Track List:
1. Song Of The Ox
2. Mule
3. Hoarse As A Crow
4. When God's Away On Business
5. The Northern
6. The Western (The Devil Is Me)
7. The Eastern
8. If I Was The Last Man
9. The Long Way Home
10. The Hill Outside My Home
11. All That I Got Left
12. Letters To Georgia

6. Keith Kenny - And The Lights Came Blaring in…
Keith Kenny dazzeled the couch by couchwest crowd with his debut, an exuberant couch performance of his new song 'Filling Holes' from the new album 'And the light came blaring in​.​.​.' as a songwriter Keith tackles issues of the human condition and his inner demons, as a singer/musician he pours is full being into the delivery of his songs, with a rockin' mixture of blues/folk. A blistering guitarist with multi-instrument skills and his unique vocals are on full display on this album of blues tinged rocker's and sizzling slow burners. Constantly on the road Kenny has just returned from performing a benefit concert in the South East Nation of Laos for victims of UXO (unexploded ordnance). The event is called "We Are Kind" and is now back on the road across the U.S.
1. Living in circles
2. Filling holes
3. Question the beat of my heart
4. Dream Awake
5. And the light came blaring in...
6. Carved in stone
7. Love will go the distance

5. Christopher Paul Stelling – False Cities

Stelling draws you in with his pure, uninhibited singing and masterful fingerpicking guitar playing, creating a mesmerizing atmosphere of intimacy and passion with his original folk storytelling and energetic delivery. With an abundance of talent, extensive touring and dedicated fan base one is reminded of other modern-day troubadour greats early in their careers.
1. Brick x Brick (free)
2. Who I Am
3. Every Last Extremist
4. You Can Make It
5. The Waiting Swamp
6. Free To Go
7. How Long
8. Homesick Tributaries (free)
9. Writhing In Shambles
10. Go Your Way, Dear

4. Mother Merey and the Black Dirt - Down to the River
There is something raw, primal and pure about Austin band, Mother Merey and The Black Dirt, with Eric strangling the Dobro and Kevin playing harp like it’s implanted in his throat, they reach right into your gut as Merey’s sizzling vocals take the Delta Blues and squeeze fresh drops of sweat and blood from them. This is their debut folks, pay attention, Mother Merey and The Black Dirt are the real deal.

1. Chicken Scrabble
2. Down to the River
3. Front Porch
4. Old Rope
5. In the Fortune
6. Family Home
7. Mother Merey's Hymnal
8. Trouble in Mind
9. Whistlin' up the Road
10. John Henry
11. Take It In

3. Skeletons in the Piano  - Please Don’t Die
Once in a while a band comes along that stretches the boundaries of what is considered sacred to the norms of music. One band that has done that repeatedly is Albany’s Skeletons in the Piano and on their 3rd LP ‘Please Don’t Die’ they have shredded all the rule books of what Rock and Roll is supposed to be. Like mad scientists they have gathered parts from many genres and created a colossal monster of a sound unlike anything you’ve heard before that will cast its spell on you. Elijah’s vocals though always powerful and unique burst forth on this album with a confident abandoness and the band displays a cohesiveness that allows them to push each other to amazing heights, the guitar work by Elijah and Brad seems like it’s ready to take off into uncharted improvised jams at any moment, with Jeff’s virtuoso violin skills ready to abide at the drop of a top hat. Dustin and Eric add a bone rattling big bad punch to the bottom end while Katarra the dancer, is featured playing percussion adding a mystical touch with hand drums, big floor toms, tambourine, woodblock and other little gems.
Track List:
1. The Price Put On You
2. Memory Lane Needs A Garbage Man
3. Disposable Televisions, Disposable Guns
4. Digging Underneath The House
5. Long Pig
6. The Blood Beyond
7. Loose Kites in Harbor
8. Oh, Rose

2. The End Men – Play With Your Toys
Pack your bindle kids, run away and clean your mind. ‘Play With Your Toys’ kicks off like a Coney Island barker luring you into the tent not for the change in your pocket, but for your soul.
Peek at astonishing wonders as they shred, bend and shape rock & roll to their will, from the first track with its Winkie Guards ‘Cleaning Your Mind’ intro and Matthew’s gruff declaration ‘It is important that you know what you are about to see is only a show.” we know we have just stepped off our familiar train stop into their world and ”You may leave here just a little bit deranged” and boom, like a canon barrage  Livia’s (the best drummer on the planet right now) kit explodes with bursts of shrapnel flying into Matthews sonic fuzz intro, we’re pulled deeper into the tent enticed to experience something profound and unusual.
The album highlights all the things that make The End Men unique and cutting edge, with its carnivalesque rhythms and beats,  Livia’s trademark powerful percussion diversity and Matthews fluid guitar style and Al Jolson meets Tom Wait’s and Captain Beefheart vocals.
1. Cleaning Your Mind
2. Run Away
3. Long Way To The Ground
4. Into The Mines
5. Play With Your Toys Pt. I
6. The Ballad of Billy Polk
7. It's All Wrong
8. Mental Trapeze
9. Play With Your Toys Pt. II
10. Wrong Way Street
11. Stack Chips

1. The Blind Owl Band – The Train We Ride is Made of Wood and Steel
Deep in the forest there are aged trees with roots burrowed deep in the ground and occasionally there are the creeper roots that spread along the ground searching for a place to dig deeper, they bask in the bright new sunshine but draw on the rich nutrients from the roots before them. Sitting on a majestic branch The Blind Owl Band absorbed this mixing of past and present and luckily for us have let out a mighty sound. If Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters kidnapped the Kingston Trio’s kids and released them upon the world twenty years later you would have The Blind Owl Band and like a locomotive with a full load of coal in the furnace this band is barreling forward about to burst on the national scene.

1. Sailor Song
2. Map With Roads
3. Rusted Rain
4. Christian's Head
5. Davey Jones
6. Missing My Home
7. Jazzy Mcgee
8. Cherry Tree
9. Rain On
10. Highways Long
11. This Song is Not Called Pickle Chin
12. Lonesome Street 

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