Bex Marshall – The House of Mercy (2012)

bexStrong vocals and seriously good musicianship inhabit The House of Mercy from the first track to the last. It’s a combination of up-tempo blues and Americana, with a toe or two dipped into the world of gospel.There’s a pretty impressive line-up of musicians on this album with Bex. Legendary dobro master BJ Cole, Jake the Bass from Hayseed Dixie (worked with them last year at Cropredy festival and they were monster good,)The Reno Brothers (Don Wayne and Dale), harmonica maestro Steve Lockwood, fiddle queen Eileen Healy, Nashville blues artist Brigitte De Meyer, gospel singer Shola Adegoraye, keyboard man Toby Baker, bassists Barry Payne, Jake Byers (of Hayseed Dixie) and Gary Choules, perussionist Danny Bryan, drummer Crispin Taylor, banjo man Don Wayne and a certain Barry Marshall-Everitt pops up on harmonica – he of The House of Mercy radio show and Bex’s husband.

mp3 320 kbps | 103 MB | UL

Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys – Ready for Boredom (2013)

bedSydney’s Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys are definitely a rock band, and listening to Ready For Boredom, there’s no disputing they’ve heard a lot of it.These guys have gotten better and better since they first started pushing their gear to shows in shopping trolleys a few years ago. It’s well played, heartfelt and smart. A mix of stuff like the Replacements, Faces, Husker Du, Thin Lizzy can be heard but they cross it with a charming awkwardness and worrying about their future a lot.

mp3 320 kbps | 81 MB | UL

Whiskey Shivers – Rampa Head (2012)

whWhiskey Shivers sounds as if it just emerged from deep in the woods – barefoot, loud, and with little sense of propriety.
Even with proper introduction, live or from the band’s two CDs, you might think the same, only these locals are blazing a path through Downtown streets to the country-fried heart of Austin.Rampa Head, quick turnaround to 2011′s Batholith, is a lightning-fast trip down dirt roads, opener Way Downtown a banjo-plucked cautionary anthem originally by Doc Watson concerning the trouble one can find in city centers. Whiskey Shivers has a lot to say about the freewheeling, trouble-free lifestyle.

mp3 320 kbps | 94 MB | UL | CL

The Sensitive Drunks – Hill and Hay (2012)

SENThe Sensitive Drunks ,indie group have put out something that sounds like a hybrid of The Beach Boys, Arctic Monkeys, and a touch of Two Door Cinema Club.Such a band is the Sensitive Drunks out of Perth, West Australia who admit their brief was the songs should be fun and catchy, they should not take themselves too seriously “and we should be able to perform them live with at least half a dozen pints in our beliies”.

mp3 128 kbps | 85 MB | UL

Aaron Neville – My True Story [[email protected]] (2013)

aaMy True Story started out as Aaron Neville’s “doo-wop project” but became something else. On a promotional video made for the album, Blue Note label president and album co-producer Don Was tells part of the story. He gathered a list of about 100 possible tunes to record, went over them with Neville and selected the top 12. Then he gave Keith Richards a ring and asked if Richards would like to co-produce, play guitar and lead the band.But that’s exactly where the project jumped the tracks, or as Was explains it, “I [first] heard it as a collection of ballads, and somehow, we just went off list … Aaron started improvising [the song selection], and it became almost stream-of-consciousness, it kind of took a rock ’n’ roll turn I think.” From the artist’s point of view, it simply became an Aaron Neville album, maybe the first real Aaron Neville album he’s ever made, because this time around, nothing but the music mattered, and the music coming from Neville’s head, from his heart and more importantly, from his soul. “I think this music has been ridin’ on my heart for all these years, that’s why I try to put a little bit of it in everything I do,” Neville says. “But this time, I wanted to respect the music, I didn’t go too far away from the original, I just wanted to put a little bit of my own inflections in it, what comes from my heart.”My True Story has become, in fact, Aaron Neville’s true story, the first of what he hopes will be a series of albums done exactly the same way (Neville says another batch of tunes from the My True Story sessions is cut and ready to go). This time around there are a dozen songs, chosen from material that spans a dozen years—from 1952 to 1964—and features, at its apex, the Ronettes/Phil Spector masterpiece “Be My Baby,” followed by Clyde McPhatter’s “Little Bitty Pretty One,” Little Anthony and The Imperials’ “Tears on My Pillow” and The Drifters’ “Under the Boardwalk.” There are also unexpected ringers thrown in, such as Curtis Mayfield’s “Gypsy Woman” and “Ruby, Baby”—done first by The Drifters, then Dion and the Belmonts and again, much later, by Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagen on his 1982 solo album The Nightfly. Also present: a couple of expected, gorgeous ballads, including “This Magic Moment” and “Goodnight, My Love.”What there isn’t is a drop of sentimentality. Neville keeps his promise to reign in his trademark flourishes and vocal acrobatics. Every arrangement serves every song perfectly, and the effect is less what we’ve come to expect from an Aaron Neville album and more like a group effort that reminds us how good these songs are, played straight, a half century after they were first written.On the songs’ universality, Neville recalls how Paul Simon dropped by the sessions and all three musicians—Neville, Simon and Richards—carried on a musical conversation “like we all grew up on the same block.” As for their quality, Neville believes the music from this era is worthy of an addendum to The Great American Songbook. I second that emotion.   by Roger Hahn

mp3 320 kbps  + Covers | 95 MB | UL