Sunday, June 22, 2008

Close harmony twangy goodness

This time last week, I was in a small and silent venue in the heartland of Leeds, part of a crowd waiting with baited breath for the next song from Fleet Foxes. They were amazing and I've been mulling over what to post about them ever since.

Well, in typical contrary fashion, I've decided that there is already far too much of their stuff doing the online rounds - the album and the EPs are all superb and you owe it to yourself and the band to go out and buy them.

Instead, I'm going to share of their elder musical brothers - prodigious vocal talent, loud and close harmony - lovely.

Nashville Bluegrass Band (with The Fairfield Four) - Roll Jordan Roll

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young - Find the Cost of Freedom

Buy Fleet Foxes, CSNY, or Nashville Bluegrass Band.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Shelagh McDonald - Stargazer

Is there a more perfect name for a primary school teacher than Mrs. Eden? It is perfect, isn't it? And it's also Lonesome shorthand between Howard and I to describe a certain timbre of vintage lady folk. And it's normally a sure sign of quality.

So, onto the point.

Why don't more people know about Shelagh McDonald? Hers is such an intriguing story - having made two superb albums in the late 60s, she then promptly disappeared in 1971 for the best part of 25 years, before resurfacing in the Scotland Daily Mail office a few years back. Move over, Vashti. Beat that for quality control.

I think it's really beautiful - let us know what you think.

Listen: Shelagh McDonald - Sweet Sunlight

Listen: Shelagh McDonald - Stargazer


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

34 years and 10 stone

I must be getting forgetful, so I can't thank anyone specifically, but someone gave me a copy of Alexi Murdoch's album Time without consequence, which having listened to it quite a lot recently I'd guess that I'd obviously been playing them Nick Drake and John Martyn and they had reciprocated.

Anyway, months later it pops up again whilst on my way to work in the car (hurrah for built-in mp3 players) and has become a permanent fixture of late.

Knowing next to nothing about him I trawled the net to find the album is from 2006 and nothing since apart from a few live bootlegs from last year so hopefully there'll be some more soon.

I hear Nick Drake & John Martyn with the soft cashmere touch of Mark Eitzel's voice, and a good looking young man to boot. Since I don't have a copy of John Martyn's Church with one bell, I'll have to rely on someone's charity to post it in the comments...are you still out there Bosh?

Listen: Alexi Murdoch - Orange Sky

Listen: Mark Eitzel - Western Sky

Listen: Nick Drake - Northern Sky

Alexi Murdoch - Official
Mark Eiztel - Official
Nick, with an interview withe Kathryn Williams, although there's no end of sites that have been offering Nick Drake love for a lot longer.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Liz Tormes - Limelight

I've been listening to this album for months now - it has crept under my skin in the same way that Mindy Smith's Long Island Shores did, but this heartbreak is less raw and bloody, more knowing and deft in its cynicism. A couple of famous names pop up too - Teddy Thompson and Jason Molina, fact fans.

Self-produced and self-released, it's dark melancholy alright - sample line: "happiness is fleeting" - but manages still be quite pretty.

Innocence and experience, indeed.

Listen: Liz Tormes - Black Luck

Listen: Liz Tormes - Maybe You Won't


Friday, June 06, 2008

The Ballad of Sneaky Pete

The Ballad of Sneaky Pete: A Guide to Country Rock’s Greatest Pedal Steel Player is up on Gibson's website, under their 'lifestyle' section. Really it's just an excuse to post loads of youtube clips, most of which I hadn't seen before. So if you fancy a bit of pedal steel in your Friday with added Gram goodness go check it out.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Deke Dickerson - King of the Whole Wide World

Howard, I've found the perfect soundtrack for this summer's barbeque.

Readers, what do you play when confronted with several overtired children wanting an after-hours kid rave (complete with glowsticks)? Well, I think we'll be testing out a spot of Deke Dickerson and the Ecco-fonics.

Country soul, rockabilly hotrod bluegrass surf - it's bound to be a family favourite. Highly recommended.

Listen: Deke Dickerson - Make Way for a Better Man

Listen: Deke Dickerson - Do You Think Of Me?

Armless musicians, gospel midgets and one man bands a-plenty on Deke's official site. Yes, really. I mean come on, how can you resist a link like that?

Buy, on vinyl too. Or maybe just treat yourself to a read about his double neck guitar.