Thursday, September 20, 2007

Remmelt, Muus and Femke - Dutch Neil Young Enthusiasts

Now if that title doesn't grab you, then there's no hope, is there? This article about Neil Young covers made me think about this lot so here are some songs from 2005's The Long Way Round.
There is no denying that they sound a lot like CSNY - it is warm folky rock, straight up and easy listening in its purest sense. They even namecheck Neil Young on Carina's Waltz - "and they all sang along when we played Mr. Young". It's joyful and knowing without being tainted by the weight of cynicism; perfect for a spot of dancing round the kitchen.

Listen - Remmelt, Muus and Femke - Carina's Waltz
Listen - Remmelt, Muus and Femke - Here Comes The Sun
And a singalong bonus that sounds like it was performed in a 1968 musical - Remmelt, Muus and Femke - One Way or Another

Buy it or just have a mild chuckle at the general European nature of their official site
More info on their MySpace.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Broken Family Band

There are some bands you want to preserve in aspic (too many for me to mention, but most associated with my youth), others that do it to themselves (Tindersticks, Sparklehorse) and some you just wish would sit still for a minute and mine the good seam they've hit before veering off wildly in another direction. A very few show promise early on and somehow get you to buy in to the changes they make to their sound over the course of several albums - The Broken Family Band are such a band.
The Broken Family Band's 4th album Hello Love was out a while back (I think I picked it up sometime in July) and finds the band caught between and something a little less stylised. The album works for the most part, with intelligent lyrics and a strong set of tunes winning me round to their ever expanding musical palettes, arrangements and expensive sounding production techniques - but don't let that last sentence think you're about to hear any Nashville pop masquerading as country.

Listen: The broken family band - give and take

Listen: The broken family band - you get me

Buy it

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Christian Williams

Back with his gothic country music, Christian Williams has a new album called Defiant, described by the man himself as 'just as dark as the last one but there's a little more humor and a lot more toe-tapping'. There's more banjo in evidence on these tracks too on the blood thirsty Henry May and some fine frailing (I hope that's the right term, could be clawhammer, could just be strumming - my wife won't entertain a banjo remember?) to match the yodelling on Preacher.

I've just sat through a whole banjo lesson on youtube from the man who wrote the how and the tao of 5 string banjo. I'm still none the wiser, but find myself wanting a banjo, again.

Listen: Christian Williams - Henry May
Listen: Christian Williams - Preacher


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Emmylou Harris - Too far gone

From the classic Pieces of the Sky album, here's what I consider one of the many highlights that was listening to on the plane back from Dublin last night. Dublin was business, the traffic insane and the company generally pleasant. Even the covers on this album are good, musicianship flawless (no surprise given the supporting cast involved) and Emmylou's sensitive handling of what would be cloying in almost anyone else's hands.

Listen - Emmylou Harris - Too far gone

Buy it

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ah! Melody

Gah. Much as we love a bit of melancholia around here, it's quite another thing to see one of our friends feel fed up. Now my record collection isn't ever going to make for the most cheery post, but here are some songs that I hope make things better.

Listen - Serge Gainsbourg - Ballade de Melody Nelson
Listen -
Ron Sexsmith (ft. Chris Martin) - Gold in them Hills

Listen - Great Lake Swimmers - See You on the Moon (a rare lighthearted moment finds them wondering what to do when they grow up. Utterly charming).

Buy yourself some Serge, Ron Sexsmith, and/or the Great Lake Swimmers.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Clare Burson

Clare Burson's new album more than meets the lonesome pedal steel quota (well over half, if you don't mind). Thieves is just a gorgeous album - pared down in places, full on twang in others, consistently engaging.

The vocals are right up there too, a bit Lucinda Williams, a bit Patty Griffin and maybe even a spot of Hugo Largo's Mimi Goese in there, too. Clare's a classically trained musician and you can tell. Highly recommended.

I could have happily posted up any of the songs on her new album, but as it's the weekend, here's a spot of cosmic cowgirl twang:

Listen - Clare Burson - Angels

And here's an older one from 2005's Idaho EP:
Listen - Clare Burson - Love Me In The Morning.

Buy it from Clare's official site.
More info and tour dates on MySpace.