July 17, 2012 - It Rock And Roll

Day: July 17, 2012

Arthur Alligood is a songwriter, pure and simple. He’s been crafting wonderful Americana/folk songs under the radar for about a decade, and One Silver Needle proves that he continues to grow and mature both lyrically and musically.Musically, the instruments are virtually flawless. It is not bending the genre or very innovative, but everything is played exactly as it feels it should be. This isn’t surprising, as Alligood won the 2011 Mountain Stage New Song Contest, and so was able to work with producer Mikal Blue (Revolver Recordings) and musicians including bassist Leland Sklar, drummer Jim Keltner and guitarist Michael Ward, who have some astonishing musical credits. So he’s got a lot of talent on his side. The album generally makes use of drums, bass, acoustic guitar, and electric guitar, but it also sneaks in organ, piano, cello, and some other surprises throughout. His vocals are easy and laid back; they’re soothing and calming, although he gets a bit of a twang every now and then.his is a very, very good album from established singer/song writer Arthur Alligood. He’s combined impeccable musicianship with poetic lyrics and a personal flair. Heavily featuring the electric guitar, this isn’t a typical lo-fi folk project, it’s got incredibly high production value and it shows on the album.

mp3 VBR~227 kbps | 70 MB | UJ

Davy’s vocals remind us  a lot of Bob Wills. And that is something to be proud of. The music is a mix of Old Time, Country, and Western Swing. Think Hank Snow, Lefty Frizzell, and all the classics, add an updated recording quality and songs you have yet to hear, and you get “Olde Fashioned”.”Olde Fashioned” opens with a great number “Honky Tonkin’ Daddy”, a fun upbeat number that starts out the album perfectly. We get Davy’s yodeling right off the bat, and you would swear this is a song you have heard before. The steel guitar by Chance Wagner and upright bass by Justin Meier take control throughout the album. The title track follows starting out with a fiddle lead (performed by Davy), and is also accompanied by some classic horns to add some feeling to the song, all of this within 1:34 makes for a quick, and catchy number.

mp3 160 kbps | 97 MB | UJ

The Old Joe Clarks is the brainchild of Mike and Jill Coykendall. Originally based in San Francisco, their sound can best be described as alt-country with a strong dose of Americana. Mike’s song-writing is at once current and timeless- though the arrangements are often steeped in an inventive indy-rock, his vocals can sound at times as if they’re coming from someplace deep in ancient Appalachia.At first as their drummer, Mark Orton joined the trio of Mike Coykendall (guitar/voice), Jill Coykendall (bass/clarinet) and Kurt Stevenson (guitar/lap-steel/fiddle) in 1997. The group later expanded to include Rob Burger(of Tin Hat Trio) on organ and accordion, and Pat Campbell on drums, with Mark switching to guitar, lap-steel, and tipple.They have recorded three CD’s, Town of Ten (1997), Metal Shed Blues (1999), and November (2002).

mp3 320 kbps | 83 MB | UJ

It’s fitting that Diana Darby’s fourth album is called IV (Intravenous), as this may be her most insular and intimate work yet. While she’s been on a mission to make her music ever more minimalist since 2003’s Fantasia Ball, on this set of songs she strips away as many barriers between herself and her listeners as she possibly can (if it’s ever possible for music to be swallowed or injected, Darby’s songs would be prime candidates), leaving little behind except her voice, guitar, and the occasional strings or piano. As on her previous albums, this uncompromising aesthetic is often riveting, particularly on the opening track, “Looking for Trouble,” where the pauses between her fragile, whispery vocals are just as powerful as her actual singing, and on “The Alphabet,” where Darby literally spells out love’s pain in haunting terms (“Y is the question you ask yourself when you’re alone”) in front of a torchy backdrop of upright bass and piano. However, IV’s spareness becomes somewhat frustrating in its middle stretch of songs, which are so delicate and sound so similar to each other that they tend to blur together; this is a shame, since tracks such as “Ugly Little Toad” feature some of Darby’s sharpest lyrics: “If you had to live on truth you’d starve to death.” The album fares better when there’s a little more flesh around the songs’ bones and blood, as on “Elena” and “Little One,” where beguiling melodies balance Darby’s insights. All in all, though, IV (Intravenous) is a welcome return from an artist who straddles alt-country, folk, and singer/songwriter territory with unique aplomb.

mp3 320 kbps | 92 MB | UJ

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