Sunday, March 30, 2008

Laughter and the love of friends

As the saying goes, a friend in the pub is worth a hundred on Facebook. And we're both lucky to have a friend who is not only a volcanic expert, but also a country fan, purveyor of a fine cuppa and a font of general knowledge. What a top girl.

Happy Birthday Mel.

Listen: Shooter Jennings - Let's Put the O Back in Country

Listen: Tom McRae - Walking2Hawaii

Buy yourself the Shooter Jennings, or the Tom McRae.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

New Laura Cantrell at BBQ chicken robot

Laura Cantrell holds a special place in my heart, her last album and performance at the John Peel tribute concert sound tracked my time in hospital and convalescence a couple of years ago. I really did get better walking around the lake listening to those songs.

I was a little apprehensive when I found out her next release was going to be a set of covers as there's been an unseemly rash of such albums by solo female artists lately with very mixed results. You can check how Laura's stack up against the assorted Dusty covers and worse by sampling three of her tracks at BBQCHICKENROBOT.

There are lots of mp3 on her website for you to enjoy.

And when you've done that I've just noticed Songs:Illinois pointing to the same post and another over at the scope of the scene with two tracks by Sam Amidon - about whom Beth and I have frothed quietly like alka seltzer.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Or, the Whale

"I've got to get me a strumming guitar, my main guitar doesn't do strum. Maybe it's me that can't do strum, I sure as hell don't need another guitar, unless it's a pedal steel, or a national..."

Or, the Whale are responsible for this train of thought by the way, in the same way that Calexico and Nixon make me want big, curvatious, sunburst Gibson acoustics, Or, the Whale on the other hand with their classy pedal steel, what sounds like some classy semi-acoustic? big strumming dreadnaught guitars and a whirly or something similar make me wish I had a HD28, because there's no point without the herringbone. Well short of a lottery win, I guess I'm going to have to do without.

Listen: Or, The Whale - Death of Me

Listen: Or, The Whale - Isn't She Awful

Listen: Or, The Whale - Rope Don't Break

Official (not recommended for the seasick)

This post was started by Beth, but I've kind of hijacked it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Leatherbag - Love and Harm

If you've been reading a while then you'll know how much we like Leatherbag around here. Love Me Like the Devil stood head and shoulders above most of what we heard last year and we really struggled to choose one song to post for our list of 2007 favourites.

And the good news is that Mr. Randy Reynolds is releasing a new album, Love and Harm, in April. The sound has filled out and there are more upbeat songs, with a definite Velvet Underground/Dylan feel running through the album. It could be just the thing to welcome the arrival of spring. I won't lie, I miss the melancholic strings and the cello especially, but it's good stuff indeed.

Listen: Leatherbag - Caroline

Listen: Leatherbag - New York (from Love Me Like The Devil)

Buy Love Me Like The Devil. No, really, do.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The David Wax Museum

David Wax sounds like an interesting bloke. He lived on a cattle ranch for a couple of years and has just come back from a year-long jaunt to Mexico to learn more about Mexican music.

The result is a pleasing twist on your usual americana fare, a kind of son-infused cowboy treat.

I'm posting a couple of the more downbeat tracks here, but have a look at their MySpace for some of the spicier numbers; especially The Great Unawakening (featuring jarana jarocha) and There Was a Bridge (for a spot of jarana huasteca).

Recommended if you've been enjoying the more exotic strains of the latest The Acorn album or if you liked the wig outs at the end of The Shepherd's Dog.

Listen - The David Wax Museum - Rosamar

Listen - The David Wax Museum - One of the Crooked


Saturday, March 01, 2008

Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers

Samantha first got in touch with us when we posted her friends Theodore, and we’ve just found out that she’s been signed with Ramseur Records, home of the mighty Avett Brothers and The Everybodyfields. How’s about that for a Lonesome pedigree, then?

And it’s a proper pleasure to share this with you. Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers make a lovely noise, but don't be fooled by the melodic folk sway, there are spiky things indeed going on underneath.

Sadly, can't buy it yet, but keep your eyes peeled for an EP in the Summer. One to watch.

Listen - Samantha Crain - Traipsing Through the Aisles

Listen - Samantha Crain - In Smithereens, the Search for Affinity