Gary Louris – Vagabonds (2008)

GAThere’s not really much point in giving any type of back story to Gary Louris. If you are a fanatical Jayhawks fan, you already know more about the man than  do, and if you aren’t, well it doesn’t really matter. The main thing is that after 20 years of making music, Louris has finally released a solo disc that should find a home on everyone’s shelf.
The record is simply beautiful.This collection of songs, but it deserves more. Louris manages to channel the floating melodies of LA in the 70’s – hear early Gram Parsons or David Crosby, but never feels dated or forced.
The band and contributers balance his spot on vocals with pedal steel and keys (they twinkle like stars in the sky on To Die a Happy Man) and gentle swells of choral backings (courtesy of Jenny Lewis, Johnathan Rice, Susanna Hoffs, and The Chapin Sisters).

mp3 VBR~175 kbps | 56 MB | UL

Bart Budwig – Whisky Girl (2012)

bartBridging the gap between the wide-open sprawl of classic Americana, the insightful observations of folk and the grit and honesty of authentic country, Whisky Girl is both a powerful statement and a great listen.

Recommended if You Like:

Josh Ritter
Sera Cahoone
Townes Van Zandt

mp3 320 kbps | 84 MB | UL | CL

Alela Diane – Pirate’s Gospel (2006)

alFirst released in 2004 as a private CD-R run then later re-released formally in 2006, the softly spooked-out acid folk of The Pirate’s Gospel is a captivating debut from Alela Diane, whose enthusiasm and ability for a then-extremely-fresh learner on guitar is quite something. Recorded by her father, who also helps perform on many tracks along with other friends and family members, the disc showcases Alela Diane’s knack for gentle, immediate melodies and her fine voice, possessed of a hint of twang that suggests a combination of Dusty Springfield and Kristin Hersh, with a rich maturity beyond her years. The high and lonesome catch on songs like “Foreign Tongue” and “Clickity Clack” is quite something, while the interplay of vocals and guitar on the latter is particularly beautiful. Like her contemporary Larkin Grimm, she brings older forms of music to life with vivid performances, sometimes striking imagery, and a love for surprising little touches, such as the line “And a choir of little children sing along” from “Pieces of String,” which is, indeed, sung by two young kids. The title track may just be the standout among them all with its low, moody backing vocals and an appropriate hint of sea shanty atmosphere in the chorus, while guest banjo from Matt Gottschalk adds a further tinge of mysteriousness. It’s important to note that the 2006 version of the album differs greatly from the private release — the sequencing is somewhat altered, while a number of tracks are dropped, and a separate one, “Can You Blame the Sky?,” is added. Both versions of the album are excellent but the earlier CD-R release is worth seeking out if one enjoys the later edition, especially for such fine songs as “Gypsy Eyes” and “Heavy Walls.”

mp3 VBR~207 kbps | 49 MB | UL

Merle Haggard – Icon (2013)


1. I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink
2. Workin’ Man Blues
3. Okie From Muskogee
4. Ramblin’ Fever
5. The Bottle Let Me Down
6. Mama Tried
7. I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am
8. Sing Me Back Home
9. Misery And Gin
10. I’m A Lonesome Fugitive
11. Branded Man

FLAC | 206 MB | UL

Jason Molina – Let Me Go, Let Me Go, Let Me Go (2006)

lSince 1996 Jason Molina has been delivering his sparse tales of woe in various forms from Songs: Ohia to Magnolia Electric Co. he has done collaboration albums with artists such as Alistair Roberts and My Morning Jacket and more recently has begun trading under his own name. Let Me Go, Let Me Go, Let Me Go is his second full length and his best yet.
Molina opens his album with a song entitled It’s Easier Now. This sends a shudder down my spine at the thought of what it was like, as Let Me Go is as bleak as it gets. But if anyone can do bleak it’s Molina. The whole album sounds like a last gasp cry for release as expressed in the title through to the final note of this trickling 34-minute slope into blackness. We get bombarded with albums with the same agenda as this all the time, but most of them are a struggle to get through and the only thing that moves quickly is your emotional shift from interest to boredom. This is far from the case here. Molina has an absolutely captivating voice and coupled with the impeccable production his words chime with crystal clarity that keeps you listening and hanging on his every devastating word. Though he rarely rises above a whimper his voice has a dormant strength that threatens to roar.

mp3 VBR~175 kbps | 47 MB | UL

Jamie Cullum – Momentum [Deluxe Version] (2013)

jamMomentum is Jamie Cullum’s sixth studio album, his first through Island Records.

The album was produced in part by Jim Abbiss (Artic Monkeys, Adele) and Dan The Automator (Kasabian, DJ Shadow) and includes the tracks “Sad, Sad World”, which began life on a train journey into London and “You’re Not The Only One”, a song written in response to being a judge on Sky One’s reality show Must Be The Music alongside Dizzee Rascal as well as the first single “Everything You Didn’t Do”.

m4a 256 kbps | 189 MB | UL | TB

Melissa Ferrick – The Truth Is (2013)

melRecorded in Boston, mixed in Alabama and mastered in Nashville, the truth is bears the mark of its travels. “This album crosses a lot of borders,” Ferrick says. “It’s got a little bit of the Northeast, a bit of the South, and a bit of Nashville, too.” The album features the talents of Natalia Zukerman on vocals, lap steel and dobro, Matt Pynn (Lucinda Williams, Evan Dando) on pedal steel, Richard Gates (Richard Thompson, Suzanne Vega) on bass, Ro Rowan (Bob Forrest, Tiffany) on cello and both Steve Scully (Howie Day, Juliana Hatfield) and Dave Brophy (Will Daily, Patty Larkin) on drums. Boston-based collaborators Anne Heaton and Rose Polenzani show up to sing backing harmonies, and fellow Berklee College alum Paula Cole appears as guest vocalist with Ferrick on the album’s first song, “Wreck Me.”

FLAC | 251 MB | UL | TB

Kate Wolf – Looking Back At You (1994)

kateTen live songs, performed at various venues in Southern California between 1977 and 1979 (several at a club in Santa Monica, a couple for a public radio show in L.A., and one at the San Diego Folk Festival). Wolf never exactly went in for heavy production on her studio albums, yet these tracks are notably sparser, featuring little besides Wolf’s vocals and guitars (by Wolf and accompanists). The approach is different enough from her studio work to make this worth hearing by fans, especially as it includes both original songs and unexpected covers of compositions by Leonard Cohen, Jackson Browne, Tom Paxton, Utah Phillips, and others.

mp3 320 kbps | 93 MB | UL