In an age where many country music fans think music from the 1990’s is “classic country,” Chicken Tractor Deluxe goes much further back for their musical inspiration – all the way to the 1890’s! With hints of ragtime (Please Don’t Talk To Me) and sharecropper blues (Boll Weavil,) Nightclub Jacks and Undertakers mines the rich spectrum of American music from an era before genres and top 40 charts. Like Steve Martin’s The Crow and Michele Shocked’s Arkansas Traveller, Nightclub Jacks and Undertakers enthusiastically revives American “front porch” music. Driven by Kai Schafft’s wonderfully frenetic banjo picking, Chicken Tractor Deluxe plays like a down home hootenany. With at least three band members taking turns on lead vocals, and instrumental flourishes provided on acoustic guitar, fiddle, harmonica, mandolin, and an occasional trumpet; this album feels like an impromptu jam session at an old genral store. Like a jam session where Union Station and Squirrel Nut Zippers happen to drop by! There are many standout moments on this album, but I am drawn to “Trail of the Lonesome Pine” and “Cuckoo.” With their references to the Blue Ridge Mountains and log cabins, they capture lyrically what the rest of the album evokes emotionally in music. This album truly captures an era and an attitude. Lately, more bands (and fans) are rediscovering this uniquely American attitude of self reliance and musical independence. So on the eve of Thanksgiving 2011, I give thanks for our American musical heritage. And I am thankful that bands like Chicken Tractor Deluxe are keeping that spirit alive!
Bill Emerson is one of the most influential musicians in bluegrass, known for being one of the founding members of the original Country Gentlemen and Emerson & Waldron.Bill’s third album The Touch of Time includes Teri Chism (vocals and upright bass) and Wayne Lanham (vocals and mandolin) carrying over from …the 2nd Sweet Dixie release and they worked with one of Bill’s previous partners, Cliff Waldron. Add Chris Stifel and his history with the band Country Store on vocals and guitar and you have a great bluegrass band.
01. Johnnie Allan – The promised land
02. Hank Williams – I’m so lonesome I could cry
03. Elvis Presley – Maybellene
04. Blind Willie McTell – Lay some flowers on my grave
05. Mose Allison – Parchman farm
06. Billie Holiday – Stormy weather
07. Woody Guthrie – This land is your land
08. Patsy Cline – Walkin’ after midnight
09. Robert Johnson – If I had possession over judgement day
10. Jimmie Rodgers – In the jailhouse now
11. Big Bill Broonzy – How you want it done
12. BB King – When my heart beats like a hammer
13. Tommy McLain – Sweet dreams
14. Big Joe Williams – Don’t you leave me here
15. The Staple Singers – When will we be paid
16. Ramblin’ Jack Elliott – Grand Coulee dam
17. Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys – Goodbye old pal
18. William Bell – Born Under a bad sign
19. The Rhythm Wreckers – Blue Yodel No 2
20. Jesse Fuller – San Francisco bay blues
21. The Nite Owls – Memphis blues
22. John Lee Hooker – Crawling king snake
23. Bill Landford – Run for a long time
24. Molly O’day & The Cumberland Mountain Folks – Heaven’s radio
Tindersticks recent history is a story of gradually rebuilding following a period, around 2003, of breaking it all down. It was a painful time, but it is only now that they feel those hard decisions were the right ones . Their music has grown into a different shape that could never have been found by holding on to the past..There are the usual collaborators here – Terry Edwards (saxophone) and Andy Nice (cello, soprano sax) – and on “The Something Rain” they are also joined by: Thomas Bloch (crystal bachet), Gina Foster (vocals) Julian Siegel (bass clarinet, tenor saxophone) and Will Wilde (chromatic harmonica).
“Un-traditional bluegrass” band, steadfast buskers, and husband and wife based Pickled Okra return with their third full length release Sounds Like Chicken, a jumpy, carefree 12-song collection of original string tunes. Offset by banjo picker Tony Markey, Todd and Paisley Gray weave a bygone-era bluegrass sound through spirited harmonies, instrumentals, a murder ballad, and a little whimsy. This rootsy team plays with verve and sings with glee, and their bubbly style will have you humming right along.
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