Kieran Kane, formerly of the not-quite-neo-trad (but utterly compelling) country group the O’Kanes, has released his finest album to date with the primarily acoustic Shadows on the Ground. On this effort, Kane pares back his tunes to only their most essential, suggestive elements, and the result can be compared to the most evocative short stories of Ernest Hemingway. This is his simplest effort yet — but there’s great artistry at work. Shadows on the Ground was recorded in a couple of days in a single room in Nashville, and is dedicated to Kieran’s son Lucas, who had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. The hard, simple truths on the album perhaps stem from that situation, with the lyrics often coming off like unadorned little nuggets of Eastern thought (such as the title track’s “Truth is always truth, stone is always stone/We all live and die but not alone/We go by different roads/We go by different names/Shadows on the ground all look the same”). The combination of the stark but intelligent lyrics and low-key yet impressive instrumentation and arrangements — in fact, two songs feature only one chord — results in an album that, like the best art, doesn’t telegraph its message. Rather, it’s suggestive enough to draw the listener in for the act of discovery. (On a blunter level, it’s also a darn fine listen.) The intelligence and artistry at work on this album are remarkable, and here in the new millennium, it baffles the mind that a talent like Kieran Kane and the O’Kanes once hurtled up the mainstream country music charts.
Singer-songwriter Vienna Teng is set to release her first studio album in four years on Sept. 24, celebrating her new home in Detroit (after completing a degree in sustainability at The University of Michigan) with cover art that’s based on a map of the city.Recorded in Nashville with producer Cason Cooley, it’s her most up-tempo, pop-influenced album to date and a world away from the solitary, piano-based songwriting that defines her comfort zone. Fans will think it’s “pretty different,” Teng admits. “There’s much more of a pop and electronica influence on this one.”
1. Back Door
2. Moondog Elixir
3. Narcissist Blues
4. Cussin’ Cryin’ And Carryin’ On
5. Bom Bom
6. If It Don’t Fit (Don’t Force It
7. Whiskey (Won’t Let My Man Be)
8. Bring It On
9. Sick Of His Trash
10. Cold In Hand
11. Can I Get A Hell Yeah
Over the course of three acclaimed albums, hundreds of shows and copious populist-radio airplay, they’ve nurtured a tradition of inviting all manner of gifted musicians to join the fray. The group’s inclusive nature allows it to flesh out tunes that run the gamut from foot-stomping front-porch spirituals and evocative Texas swing to strum-punk rave-ups, hill-country historicals and more.
Still Within The Sound Of My Own Voice again unites Jimmy Webb with some of todays biggest selling and enduring artists for once in a lifetime performances, including the iconic MacArthur Park. In celebration of its 45th Anniversary, Jimmy reached out to Brian Wilson for his inspirational vocal harmonies which take this American Classic soaring to new heights. The Album is full of inspirational vocal performances from the breathless seduction of Carly Simon on Easy For Yoy To Say to the joyful contemporary styling of Keith Urban on Where’s The Playground, Susie. In celebration of Jimmy Webb’s Career as a singer, songwriter and performer it is easy to see why so many Artists have joined together for this amazing collection of duets from the Jimmy Webb Great American Songbook. Besides the Artists already mentioned other Special Guests featured include Lyle Lovett, David Crosby & Graham Nash, Marc Cohn, Amy Grant, Joe Cocker, Kris Kristofferson, Art Garfunkel and Rumer.
Susie Suh (born in Los Angeles, California) is a Korean-American adult alternative/folk-rock singer-songwriter. Her music is often compared to Fiona Apple, Sarah McLachlan, and Aimee Mann. Suh cites Joni Mitchell and Beth Gibbons among her influences.
1. Won?t You Come Again
2. Your Battlefield
5. Seasons Change
6. Light On My Shoulder
8. Petrified To Be God-like
10. All I Want
John Paul Keith is a Memphis-based singer-songwriter with a great musical grounding and the kind of pop sense you don’t see often. His new album Memphis Circa 3AM features guitar jangle, rockabilly boogie and soul, all over a country rock/Americana base. Keith is a Knoxville native, former member of the V-Roys, a stalwart of the E-Squared alt/country scene in the 90’s who released three strong albums before breaking up. Having formed a band in Nashville, tried the major label route and several other options, he eventually settled in Memphis and connected with veteran Memphis producer Roland Janes. Keith and his band The One Four Fives (drummer John Argroves, organist/pianist Al Gamble, and bassist Mark Edgar Stuart) are making a racket that calls to mind some of the best of that city’s rock traditions. Opening track features a rhythm line that put me in mind of Elvis’ “A Little Less Conversation”, and the next track “We Got All Night” is the kind of California country once put forth by the legendary Wrecking Crew (including some reverb-heavy guitar work by Keith). Producer Janes once played guitar for Jerry Lee Lewis, and on “True Hard Money” here, Keith certainly calls to mind the Killer’s reckless boogie-woogie, rockabilly style (including a pretty decent take on his vocal style).