Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Popa Tunes Top 50 Picks Of 2013 Part One of Five

There was so much great music that found it's way into my external auditory meatus this year that top picks even at 50 artists I'm leaving out some I wish I didn't have too.

50.   Buckeye Knoll - Lovecreek 
Buckeye Knoll emerged from months spent backpacking in the wilderness of California. Songwriter Doug Streblow carried with him a notebook and acoustic guitar and weaved stories into songs that would become their debut full length album "People and Place" Released in the Spring of 2010.
In between their busy tour schedule Buckeye Knoll, rounded out by bassist Graham Rolak, guitarist Alex Price and drummer Peter Labberton, managed to write and record a new full length album. They headed up to a 300 acre ranch near Yosemite to set up a studio in a large remote cabin with engineer and longtime friend of the band, Cian Riordan (Taking Back Sunday, John Craigie, Slash). Eric Valentine (All American Rejects, Nickel Creek, Third Eye Blind) mastered the record titled "Lovecreek"

Track List: 
1. The Good Work
2.  Slow Moving
3. Open Your Eyes
4. I Am Who I Am (feat. Emily Moldy)
5. Marching On
6. Back To You
7. Turning Over
8. Don't Wait To See
9. All At Once
10. Moonlit Dusty Road
11. Here

49.   Sans Abri - Shelter 
Sans Abri, a side-project from Josh Erwin and Michael Paynter of Packway Handle Band from Athens, GA. The literal translation of “Sans Abri” is “without shelter.” The French use it as a term for “homeless.” In late 2011, Josh Erwin and Michael Paynter found themselves with a handful of new songs that didn’t have a home in The Packway Handle Band, the acclaimed bluegrass-based group from Athens, GA, that they co-founded.

1. Self Preservation.mp3
2. The Scientist
3. Weights
4. Every Turn
5. One Pill A Day
6. Paid
7. Winds Me Up

48.   Old Buck - Self Titled Debut
A collaboration of four red-hot players, Riley Baugus, Debra Clifford, Sabra Guzm√°n, and Emily Schaad,  Old Buck combines a love of old time traditions with a fresh new take – plenty of singing, layered arrangements, and influences from punk to vintage Americana to gospel. While the players overlapped in their interests and projects prior to forming Old Buck, the band itself was born as one of those edge-of-your-seat, time-of-your-life jam sessions that take flight and never quite come back down. Now the band has poured all that passion and enthusiasm into their debut self-titled album. With each member an acclaimed artist in their own right, it’s no exaggeration to say that Old Buck is a supergroup of Southern roots musicians.
Buy CDBaby

Track List:
1. Chilly Winds
2. Tribulations
3. Nancy Ann
4. Highlander's Farewell
5. Free State Hornpipe
6. Rocky Road to Dublin
7. False Hearted Lover's Blues
8. Black Jack Grove
9. Soldier's Farewell
10. Mike in the Wilderness
11. John Sharp's Tune
12. Icy Mountain
13. Willow Garden
14. Fisher's Hornpipe
15. Tippin' Back the Corn
16. You Win Again

47. Jus Post Bellum - Oh, July
Brooklyn-based folk revivalists, Jus Post Bellum (Justice After War) Oh, July is more character study than sequence of songs, more history lesson wrapped in the present than a single song waiting for the internet to bring about buzz. Concepts aside, the songs at the foundation of Oh July are masterfully designed and bathed in the idyllic voices of Geoffrey Wilson and Hannah Jensen... both rising above concept through the heart-rending conduit of song.
Jus Post Bellum is the story of a man and a woman. An extended narrative. A character study, painted in broad strokes and finely etched. Jus Post Bellum is a man and a woman. A midwestern couple cohabiting in real life, looking towards the past for inspiration. A group of musicians, pulling upon the lessons of history, painting pictures in the present.

Track List:
1. Abe and Johnny
2. Call to My Jesus
3. For the Broken Hearted
4. Gimme That Gun
5. It's a Shame
6. Lake Minnesota
7. Measure of a Man
8. Oh July
9. Sharp Was the River Bending
10. Sonny
11. Tell Me Mama

46. New Country Rehab - Ghost Of Your Charms
Spearheaded by lead singer and fiddler extraordinaire, John Showman is joined by Champagne James 
Robertson on guitar, Ben Whiteley on double bass and Roman Tome on drums and backing vocals, New 
Country Rehab put a powerful edge on songs dealing with the usual themes mortality, love loss, longing and 
joy. Gritty hard driving rockified country roots songwriting with crisp atmospherics 
Available on Amazon

1. Empty Room Blues
2. Luxury Motel
3. Back In Time
4. Lost Highway

5. Rollin’

6. Home To You
7. Lizzy Dying of a Broken Heart

8. The Bank and The Army
9. Midnight Cargo
10. Image of Me
11. Too Many Parties Too Many Pals

45. Woody Pines - Rabbit Motel
With Rabbits Motel, Woody Pines returns to the roads that have long inspired him, packing along his many inspirations, from Bill Haley to Leadbelly, Chuck Berry to Hank Williams, and Sam Cook to Doc Watson. True to form, most of the songs on the album are original, though we challenge you to tell us which ones just from listening. This is juke joint music, the kind of roadhouse songs that are made to get people up and dancing. With Rabbits Motel, Woody took the time to really use the studio to his advantage, bringing a much harder edge to his music. Still thoroughly grounded in the blues and rags of before, this album has a strong independent streak. The song “Hobo & His Bride” starts from a folk song foundation but winds up a kind of epic tale about young lovers. “Railroad Vine” speaks of long train travels while channeling a dusty Southwest vibe. The infectious opening song “Like I Do” bumps along like a pickup on an old dirt road, singing about shattered relationships. Woody Pines’ new full studio sound leaves the street corner behind, but opens up rich new possibilities.

1. Like I Do
2. Railroad Vine
3. Train That Carried My Gal From Town
4. Who Told Ya
5. Heart Breaker
6. I Love The Way My Baby
7. Hobo and His Bride
8. Keep Your Hands Off Her
9. Addicted to Blood
10. Close Your Eyes and Dream

44. The Lonely Wild – The Sun As It Comes
The Lonely Wild,  Andrew Schneider, Andrew Carroll, Dave Farina, Jessi Williams and Ryan Ross 
debut LP, The Sun As It Comes, via the band’s own Ursa Major Recordings. 
Combining male/female vocal harmonies, poignant lyrics, Americana twang with a flash of 
Ennio Morricone an unbridled gallopacross musical plains.

1. The Sun As It Comes 2. Banks and Ballrooms 3. Everything You Need 4. Keep Us Whole 5. Closer Than The Needle 6. Who's Calling 7. Come Back Down 8. Over Edgeware 9. Flames to Fight 10. Bankrupt 11. Buried in the Murder (free) 12. Over the Hill

43. Cazadero - Old Friends

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.

1. Below Zero
2. Ain't So Bad
3. Last Mine
4. Jenny Jones
5. You Have Passed
6. Old Friends
7. Midnight Picnic
8. Pious Companion

42. Crazy Pills - Restless

Recently leaving Pow Wow! to concentrate more on her other band Crazy Pills, fireball Amanda Burdon aka Tha Kitten - Lead Guitar, Vocals with Jim Wood and Edward Anthony bring forth soulful, 
guitar-driven music in homage to the R&B influenced rock of the 60s, the grit of the 70s and the 
punk of the 80s, they aim to sonically deliver something catchy, heartful and nostalgic that you've 
never heard before.

1. Nothing But Love
2. Alright (Get the Hell Out of Dodge)
3. Break it Down
4. Wedding Rings
5. Second Chance
6. There are Dangers
7. Indictment
8. They Wait
9. Look Alive
10. Trudy June

41. The Sufis - Inventions
While Nashville’s The Sufis are oft called revivalists and you can hear heavy influences of The Beatles throughout their records, this is more than a revival, it is a re-invention of psych pop. 
Calvin Laporte says that he ‘wanted to write concise pop songs, each with a unique and particular quality.’ 
That mission is accomplished as each song wafts of originality with expansive orchestral sounds and experienced musicianship. Trippy Harrisonesque vocals match the music perfectly and the lyrics are a kaleidoscope of pictures. Each song, under three minutes packs hooks and loose jammy riffs into concise songwriting. These guys are the real deal.

Track List:
1) All of the Time
2) Most Peculiar Happening Cat
3) She Said to Me
4) I'll Come to See You
5) Turn Around
6) The End
7) Alone
8) No Expression
9) Gotta Get Away
10) Wallflower
11) Nothing More to Say
12) Washed Away
13) Different Views (Bonus Track)
14) My Love (Bonus Track)

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