Thursday, August 30, 2007

you and me and some recommendations.

After a brief holiday to the seaside (Bank holiday comes 6 times a year) and listening to some music old and new I've got some recommendations. If you're feeling adventurous I can recommend the new Richard Hawley album if you don't already have it(probably due a post as soon as Beth has heard it too) and the new album by Euros Childs with the cover that looks like once we were trees by beachwood sparks. All this and I've still got a backlog of music building up that needs a serious listen.

Whilst trawling my mp3 blog feeds I found over on songs:illinois a lovely subtle track by Little Wings sounding not unlike Nixon with Will Oldham singing. Recommended.

Also whilst away I've been enjoying the soft rock stylings of Crosby and Nash playing a short 5 song set for the BBC on youtube - you can enjoy them by clicking here. Nothing has made me want a great big Martin dreadnought guitar quite as much, pity they cost so much.

So whilst gently buzzing I thought I'd bring your attention to a band called you and me. Now for me that's triggering a mental image of a crow and a doormouse standing beside each other, maybe for you it's the best song by the wannadies. Hailing for Montreal, they fill the gap left in my life by the lack of a new Mojave 3 album quite nicely. Sweet and downtempo country rock/folk/indie with boy/girl vocals and the sort of ennui I already feel for my holiday. Their album is called The Romantic and the Realist.

Listen: you and me - for five
Listen: you and me - in the still

Official - to buy the album from the band direct just follow the disco tab link.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Catherine Howe - Up North

The description in one amazon review as Joni meets Sandy meets Dusty meets Bonnie Tyler was enough to make me want to hear more, in fact it rather neatly captured my recent listening habits. So I got the album and find myself agreeing with the sentiment of that review (although I'm not a Bonnie Tyler fan, so not in a position to comment about that bit).

I find that the melancholy here is provided by my sweet-toothed, brown paisley (with mustard detail) nostalgia for the 70s, a decade I can only just remember - indeed this was recorded in the year I was born - 1971. There are spoken interludes at the beginning middle and end that create a framework for some impeccably arranged and very lushly orchestrated folk pop. I will be investigating her other albums soon. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Listen: Catherine Howe - Up North


Buy it

bonus: Catherine Howe - In the hot Summer

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Just a country boy that combed his hair

It seems downright wrong to let a day like today go by without an Elvis post. Here's a couple from my favourite era and a Gillian Welch song so bloody good that I wouldn't be surprised if the whole blogosphere didn't post it up today. RIP. TCB.

Listen - Gillian Welch - Elvis Presley Blues

Listen - Elvis Presley - If I Can Dream
Listen - Elvis Presley - An American Dream (hello Woodhouse)

Buy the marvellous Time (The Revelator)
Get yourself some Elvis.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Steep Canyon Rangers

Time for some bluegrass, I think.

So, here's some tunes from the Asheville, North Carolina-based bluegrass band, The Steep Canyon Rangers. These young guns have caused quite a stir on the bluegrass scene, helped by the fact that they seem to be constantly touring, (there's youthful stamina for you), and last year they were voted Emerging Artist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

They are about to release their second album on Rebel Records next week and it's a glorious blend of bluegrass and honky town, with enough swing to get you jigging round the kitchen. These were the most downtempo songs I could find on the album, which should give you a clue as to how much they go for it. Listen the lyrics for the melancholy, though, folks.

Listen - The Steep Canyon Rangers - Desperate and Blue
Listen - The Steep Canyon Rangers - Be Still Moses

Buy it and listen to a few more MP3s on their website.
Lots more North Carolina goodness at the marvellous The Oak Room.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Lonesome Is Three - it's our birthday

Well folks, Lonesome Music is three years old today. I think this makes us relatively old hands at this lark. I've described our site as being a public extension of an ongoing conversation that my brother Howard and I have been having for about 20 years. Surprisingly, other people listen, seem to like it and some even join in.

It's been a good three years - a lonesome baby (Howard), a lonesome house (me), a lonesome jaunt to Spain, happy holidays, hundreds of gigs, a scary low and many, many highs. We've made new acquaintances, learnt some new stuff and heard and shared a lot of really good music.

When you get involved in this blogging business, people ask why you do it and who you write for, yourself or your readers? Well, it doesn't really apply here - whatever rubbish I write, I know Howard will read every word and encourage me to write more. And vice versa. And that pretty much says it all, really.

Happy birthday to us. It's a laugh, isn't it?

Listen - The Arlenes - Lonely Won't Leave Me Alone (Buy)
Listen - Shelagh McDonald - Lonely King (Buy)
Listen - Beck - Lonesome Tears (Buy)
Listen - Billy Bragg and Wilco - At My Window Sad and Lonely (Buy)Listen - Gruff Rhys - Lonesome Words (Buy)
Listen - Richard Hawley - Lonely Night (Buy)
Listen - Ricky Nelson - Lonesome Town (Buy)
Listen - Waylon Jennings - Lonesome, On'ry and Mean (Buy)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Singing Cowboys - Riders in the Sky

First of all, I love Riders in the Sky in a completely non-ironic way. Secondly, you should too. The first time I heard of them was when they brought the house down at the Katrina benefit at the Grand Ole Opry, so then imagine my delight when they popped up a few days later at Dollywood. Yep, those were good times on a good holiday.

Riders In The Sky are completely charmingly, massively entertaining and have pretty much single-handedly revitalized the Western (as opposed to country and western) genre since they formed in 1977. They are re-releasing their 1996 album, Public Cowboy #1: The Music of Gene Autry, complete with four bonus cuts and new liner notes, as it's 100 years since Public Cowboy #1, Gene Autry, was born. Any excuse to hear some good old fashioned western cowboy tunes again, I say. Ranger Doug, aka the Governor of the Great State of Rhythm, was kind enough to answer our lonesome questions...

Q. What distinguishes Western music from Country and Western?
A. Country music is often about feeling sorry for yourself, getting drunk, and hitting on your neighbor's wife. Western music is about free life and fresh air and hitting on your neighbor's sheep.

Q. What's your favourite kind of Ranger?
a) Texas Ranger
b) Park Ranger
c) Glasgow Ranger
d) Power Ranger
A. Smokey the Bear

Q. Where can our lonesome readers go to hear some more fine yodelling?
A. I can only recommend my guru, Elton Britt. Buy all you can, he is the master

Q. Do you think that the element of humour in your shows detracts from or adds to the music?
A. I don't know if it adds or detracts from the music, but it certainly has given us a 30 year career!

Q. What's your favourite Riders in the Sky song?
A. When Payday Rolls Around

Q. What is the least amount of money that you would recommend spending on a pair of boots?
A. Buy low, sell high

And the all-important lonesome question…

Q. What is the band's favourite cheese?
A. Joey's Polka smile.

Listen - Riders in the Sky - Take Me Back to My Boots and Saddle
Listen - Riders in the Sky - Mexicali Rose
Listen - That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine (for our Dad).

Buy it here.
Check out their joyous webpage.

Learn more about the Cowboy Code and busy some fabulously embarrassing baby cowboy outfits at Gene Autry’s store here.