Saturday, August 23, 2008

Donna Beasley - Rise Above

We posted about Donna Beasley way back in January and it's high time we reminded you of how good she is. Donna is out and about touring, so keep an eye on her calendar if you're lucky enough to be in or around Nashville. Sigh.

Here's a demo that didn't make it onto the Good Samaritan album because it was too personal. As Donna says, it's the song she "sang the day I walked into my husband's recording studio - a musical record of the day we met. As he likes to say, that song got me a ring and a house. Ha". Irresistible.

Listen: Donna Beasley - Rise Above

Listen: Donna Beasley - Cotton (on the album)


Keep an eye on tour dates on the official site.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Beachwood Sparks ride out again

San Diego CityBeat has a piece on the Beachwood Sparks reunion for SP20 and best of all about a new album slated for 2009. Long term readers will know that any swirly mix of Beach Boys, the Band, a bit of Byrds and some Laurel Canyon vibes with pedal steel ticks about all my criteria for a lonesome post. Here's the very last thing they left us with - the last track on the excellent Make the robots cry

Listen: Beachwood Sparks - Ghost Dance 1492

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ruth Minnikin - Folk Art

Some strange, stark and lovely songs from Ruth Minnikin. Do any of you know her from The Guthries? I can see why people compare her to Leonard Cohen and Gillian Welch - it's the mix of an unflinching gaze and a spot of playfulness. You don't often get heartbreak, banjo, cracked vocals and french horn all in one go, do you?

Recorded in just a couple of days, Folk Art is a 30 minute sprint through some of the most inventive and affecting music I've heard for ages. Recommended.

Listen: Ruth Minnikin - Stairs

Listen: Ruth Minnikin - Song Mill

I can't find anywhere where you can buy this online, which is a real shame as it comes in a hand-printed canvas case with hand-written lining - I think you can only buy it at gigs. I'll keep looking and, in the meantime, do yourself a favour and download some more songs here.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Foy Vance

My friend Andy plays in a band called Van Tramp, they play classic rock and have a great singer who thankfully doesn't sound quite as much like Rod Stewart as he used to.
They are way too upbeat for posting here, but Foy Vance's vocals reminded me of them when I first heard his songs and he has quite a few lonesome worthy tracks, my favorite of which I'm posting here. Taken from his album Hope, an album that has an astonishingly strong first half and a second half about which I'm undecided, Foy manages to conjure up a bit of the old Van himself. His obviously love for american music in all its guises combined with some great playing, arrangements and vocals make it all very impressive.

Listen: Doesn't take a whole day


Buy it

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Lonesome Is Four - It's Our Birthday

Well here we are, four years on and still managing to keep ourselves and a few (hundred) others entertained. What am I on about? We've been having this conversation between ourselves for a good couple of decades by now and there's plenty more where this came from.

So, long live the mix of rambling, introspection, in-jokes and genuine love of music that keeps this place ticking over. Happy Birthday to us. It's a laugh, isn't it?

Listen: Dillard and Clark - Four Walls (Buy)

Listen: The Three City Four - Across The Hills (Buy)

Listen: Karine Polwart - Four Strong Walls (Buy)

Listen: Bright Eyes - Four Winds (Buy)

Listen: James William Hindle - Birthday Candles (Buy)