Steve Mednick is an old-school folkie working in a contemporary setting.As for songs, he’s a prolific and talented songwriter, with a good ear for melody, composition, and arrangement. “Liberty Bells Are Calling” opens proceedings, an acoustic lament that mourns loss and nudges for justice. “Wayward Prophets” is self-explanatory, and includes some choice harmonizing and female vocals, and guitarist Billy K and the rest of the band shine throughout the 15 tracks.
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San Francisco’s six-piece Folk/Baroque Art Pop group Matthew Edwards & The Unfortunates is led by English transplant Matthew Edwards, formerly the singer and songwriter of The Music Lovers. Named after the B.S. Johnson novel, The Unfortunates consists of Sasha Bell (Essex Green and Ladybug Transistor) on piano and organ, award-winning cellist/vocalist Adaiha McAdam-Somer, drummer Kristina Vukic, bassist Jefferson Marshall, and on accordion is Matthew’s former compadre from The Music Lovers — Isaac Bonnell. The Fates, their full-length album, was produced/mixed by Eric Drew Feldman (PJ Harvey, Captain Beefheart). Featured on three songs is English guitarist Fred Frith, renowned for his work with Robert Wyatt, Eno, and Henry Cow. A series of short films have been made for five songs by artist Peter Locke. The band curates events and concerts in off-the-track spaces in the Bay Area and beyond, eschewing standard rock clubs. Matthew and/or the group have shared bills with Joanna Newsom, Richard Buckner, Saint Etienne, Circulus, Broadcast, Devendra Banhart, and Camera Obscura.
The MOJO BLUESBAND invited such musicians as WILLIE KENT (voc,b), A.C.REED (voc, tenor sax), TAILDRAGGER (voc), BIG „MOJO“ ELEM (von,b) and TIMOTHY TAYLOR (dm) to their recordings session at ACME-studios in Southport Street.
Solomon’s Seal was an album recorded in 1972 by folk-rock band Pentangle. It was the last album recorded by the original line-up, before the band split in 1973. Jacqui McShee has stated that it is her favourite Pentangle album. The album title refers to the Seal of Solomon — a mythical signet ring with magical powers, sometimes associated with the pentagram symbol adopted by Pentangle.
Terry Cox – drums, percussion, finger cymbals, vocals
Bert Jansch – acoustic guitar, dulcimer, harmonica, banjo, vocals
Jacqui McShee – vocals
John Renbourn – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, sitar, banjo, recorder, vocals
Danny Thompson – double bass
The album was recorded on July 14th, 2012 at the C-Club in Berlin, thus the title. The lineup of the band consists of founding members Carla Torgerson (vocals, guitar) and Chris Eckman (vocals, guitar), long running members Terri Moeller (drums), Glenn Slater (keyboards) and Michael Wells (bass) and newest member Paul Austin (guitar) who joined the band prior to the recording of Travels in the Dustland.
Berlin is a document of a band that has never taken the easy road; a band that has lived long and at times hard, and lived to tell; a band that refuses to become complacent; a band that continues to reinvent itself. Berlin is the sound of a band that has nothing to prove except that it can perform great songs, greatly.
Calexico snatch up the bits of Americana turned out by a rototilling of the national music psyche. The 19 resultant tracks can be small as insects (the shortest being half a minute in length) and erratic in flight; there are lo-fi songs and themes that proceed without concern for what came before. One bit is held up by guitar, another by accordion, then one by vibes. A bit of desert dust sprinkled throughout may be the only constant theme — a Santa Fe rummage sale of sounds. Spoke is very intriguing and well worth exploring.
The next instalment of goodness from Louisiana with the release of ‘Lil’ Band O’ Gold Play Fats’. This record features cover versions of the bands’ favorite Fats Domino songs with guest vocalists and fans Robert Plant, Lucinda Williams, Ani DiFranco, Jimmy Barnes and Tim Rogers lending a hand. Lil’ Band o’ Gold features some of the most influential musicians to ever have emerged from America’s most important musical state. The outfit was assembled by vocalist and guitarist CC Adcock, who searched the swamps and flatlands of South Louisiana to form a band of his childhood heroes.
It Keep Raining
Let’s Talk It Over (Don’t Lie 2 Me)
I’m In Love Again
Ain’t That A Shame
What A Price (Grand Prix)
4 Winds Blow
I’ve Been Around
The 10-song set was produced by Me&John (Ryan Kondrat and John LaMagna), and is said to navigate between playful, hummable pop, ’60s girl-group melodies, country swing and “trip-pop.” The record also closes with a cover of Pink Floyd’s San Tropez.
On top of Frost’s performance, guests appearing on Do What You Love include Jose Contreras (By Divine Right), Bryden Baird (Zeus, Feist), and Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning. Album track “Stand” also received a string arrangement courtesy of Todor Kobakov (Small Sins, Emily Haines).
3.As Strong As Samson
4.The Blink Of An Eye
7.A Dream In Ev’ry Home/Brooker, Fisher, Reid
8.Piggy Pig Pig (Live 2010)
9.American Medley: Strangers In Space / Sister Mary
10.Yours If You Want Me
12.A Whiter Shade Of Pale (Guitar Version)/Brooker, Reid, Fisher
13.War Is Not Healthy/4:51
14.Grande Finale/Brooker, Fisher, Reid
Garage rock, even at its rowdiest, is inherently lonely music. It exists outside of time, allergic to trends and suspicious of new technologies, which makes it ideal for loners who feel alienated from culture. Garage rock also sounds solitary. If it is recorded correctly– which is to say, if it feels like the audio was captured haphazardly by an amateur engineer in 1966– this music will be alive and sloppy but also a little removed, particularly the vocals. You know a garage-rock band has done its homework if the lead singer can affect a Jagger-esque whine that comes off somewhat anesthetized, like he can’t quite bring himself to commit fully to the song or life in general.You can’t accuse Los Angeles quartet Allah-Las of not doing its homework. Three of the four members met while working at one of the country’s great record stores, Amoeba on Sunset Boulevard, where they spent countless hours studying up on the vintage sounds that compose their affectingly melancholy self-titled debut. The band formed in 2008, and worked for several years painstakingly assembling the songs on Allah-Las, first releasing the vinyl single, “Catamaran”/”Long Journey”, in 2011 and following up with two singles in 2012. All of these songs, plus the eight other tracks that make up Allah-Las, were produced by Nick Waterhouse, a fine L.A. singer-songwriter whose 2012 LP Time’s All Gone is a spirited and record-geek friendly collection of raucous 50s-style R&B thrashers.
Nick Waterhouse is another retro-R&B stylist in the vein of Sharon Jones and Amy Winehouse, with the kind of analogue obsession that suggests even the valves of his heart glow: this debut album was even cut on the same Gold Star Studios lathe used by Phil Spector.But you can’t knock results that bear out Waterhouse’s ear: “Is That Clear” has the youthful brashness of the early Stones, while “Say I Wanna Know” boasts both a trenchant Fifties swing and a Raelettes-style confidence about its backing vocals. Waterhouse’s own voice is slightly under-recorded, but the musical settings – the understated Telecaster twang, the honking horns, the rumbling tom-toms – always churn with the right degree of roadhouse charm.
Back in 2006 John Murry teamed up with Bob Frank to record World Without End, a blood soaked album of murder ballads that impressed all right minded folk who heard it. Now, five years in the making, is his solo debut, an album that astonishes in its depth and nakedness, miles removed from tales of trappers and killers and such. The Graceless Age strips the artist bare then clothes him in a wonderful sonic tapestry that ranges from pained piano led confessionals to sumptuous narcotic pillows of sound that swirl and beguile the listener. Murry appears to be a man with his own demons to deal with. Prone to narcotics, truculent, likely to disappear on a whim, this document is testament to the faith and guidance of his co producer on the album, Tim Mooney, who forged it from the various sessions over several years and the release is overshadowed by the untimely and tragic death of Mooney last month.With Mooney perhaps best known as the drummer with American Music Club it’s tempting to overvalue the similarities here with Mark Eitzel’s miserablism particularly given Murry’s vocal similarity to Eitzel. Overall however this tapestry is more akin to the dark and disturbed world of Mark Linkhouse’s dark and disturbing world view. From the South but exiled in California Murry exhibits a love hate relationship with the past and the present.
“Kerouac’s Last Dream” is regarded as a definitive Ramblin’ Jack Elliott CD, even by Ramblin’ Jack, who says, “I think this album is better than any of my previous albums.” It has also been also cited as his best-sounding recording prior to his 1995 Grammy-winning “Sun Coast.” On this reissue of a rare 1980 German LP, with eight previously unreleased tracks added, Ramblin’ Jack performs classic songs by his primary inspiration and early-’50s traveling companion, the late Woody Guthrie (“Pretty Boy Floyd,” “Talkin’ Fishin’,” “1913 Massacre”), by a younger Guthrie acolyte, Bob Dylan (“Don’t Think Twice,” “I Threw It All Away”), by seminal country music artists Ernest Tubb (“Soldier’s Last Letter”) and Roy Acuff (“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”), and some traditional folk standards (“Freight Train,” “Roving Gambler,” “Cuckoo,” “Buffalo Skinners,” and “Nightherding Song”). For good measure, there are even a couple of Elliott originals (“Cup of Coffee” and “912 Greens! “), always a rare commodity.
Will Johnson delivers his first solo album in 8 years with Scorpion. He’s been busy over the last few years, releasing albums and touring with his band Centro-matic, collaborating with touring with friends in several different bands; Monsters of Folk (with Jim James, M Ward, Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis) New Multitudes (with Jay Farrar, Jim James, Anders Parker), and Overseas (with David Bazan, Matt and Bubba Kadane).
01. The Gravedigger’s Song
02. Bleeding Muddy Water
03. Gray Goes Black
04. St. Louis Elegy
05. Riot In My House
06. Ode To Sad Disco
07. Phantasmagoria Blues
08. Quiver Syndrome
09. Harborview Hospital
11. Deep Black Vanishing Train
12. Tiny Grain Of Truth
Imagine for a moment that instead of becoming a visionary film director, Sergio Leone had chosen to be a record producer. Imagine that all of the vast, meticulously detailed landscapes painted within the frames of his films were constrained to your mind’s eye as you heard only the sounds and the vision of a great artist. Imagine that the music he produced told an epic, violent, but ultimately human saga of a mythic West that never really existed anywhere, not even in Hollywood. A West stuck somewhere between hard, brutal realism and blatant fantasy, between the costly mistakes of our past and our apocalyptic future. And while you’re at it, imagine that Ennio Morricone wanted to be Link Wray when he grew up.For the remainder of the album, Slackeye Slim delivers a series of rockers and ballads rooted in guys like Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen and The Cramps alongside melancholy spoken word vignettes and although there are definite highlights (such as “Vengeance Gonna Be My Name”), this is music that is best appreciated in the context of the record.
This delightful self-released CD called Burn is bubbling over with good songs. Rita Hosking has a voice that is intense and melancholy, and yet compassionate. There are 11 songs in all and the quality remains consistently good throughout. Indian Giver is mournful and moving. How Many Fires is gritty and Ballad For The Gulf Of Mexico is simmering with rage. These are songs that meant something to Hosking to write and the passion works. The album was recorded in Austin, Texas, with the assured touch of Rich Brotherton as producer. He also plays electric and acoustic guitar on the CD. The band are impressively in emotional sync. Marty Muse is on top form on the pedal and lap steel guitars and Hosking also adds some judicious harmonica. Tom Van Schaik is on drums, Glenn Fukunaga on upright bass and there’s a lovely Irish lilt to the bluegrass fiddle playing of Andy Lentz.