This 5-CD set is teeming with African-American, Austrian, Belgian, Cornish, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French Canadian, German, Ho-Chunk, Icelandic, Lithuanian, Irish, Italian, Luxemburger, Norwegian, Ojibwe, Oneida, Polish, Scots Gaelic, Serbian, Swedish, Swiss, and Welsh performers.
The only thing unclear about Kelly Pardekooper’s House of Mud is how he figured out how to meld blues and country traditions together without betraying either. Husky voice and slide guitar blend in this mellow yet intense collection of twang-laced tunes. Pardekooper’s voice reminds one of Tom Petty’s seasoned, perhaps, with a few cigarettes and some good whiskey.
The Lonesome Brothers formed in 1985 and have been alt-country/Americana favorites since before the terms alt-country and Americana were coined. The Lonesome Brothers are fronted by Ray Mason on bass and Jim Armenti on guitar and backed by former Scud Mountain Boy Tom Shea on drums.Mono is the Lonesome Brothers\’ sixth full-length album and it joins the long list of solo records, singles, and side projects that make up their well-respected musical catalog. Ray and Jim have played on recordings by Cheri Knight, Ware River Club, J Mascis, Lloyd Cole, Cliff Eberhardt, Reed Foehl, Steve Westfield, Wolf Krakowski and many others.
For over 20 years, Mark Flanagan has been the guitarist with Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. During that time he has made TV, Radio and recording appearances with many well known artists, from George Harrison to Dr. John, from Eric Clapton to Chaka Khan. For the past decade, Mark has been working on a solo set, mainly of songs he has written on Dobro and acoustic guitar. His first album, “The Chosen Few” was well received in the Folk/Roots community and featured guest appearances from Jools, Sam Brown and Rico Rodriguez.The second album, “Down The Wire” was co-written and performed with old freind Jimmy Bergin. This record is more Alt. Country and romantically inclined and features a stunning guest vocal apperance by Ruby Turner.
Singer and songwriter Kip Moore mixes tight country narratives with a touch of heartland rock, and at his best, he fashions songs that led one reviewer to call him “a hillbilly Springsteen,” although he’s probably closer to a less feisty Steve Earle, say, with a focus on how love works and doesn’t work between men and women in the blue-collar South. Moore was born in Tifton, Georgia, near the Florida line, the son of a golf pro and a painter, and he grew up listening to Jackson Browne, Willie Nelson, Bob Seger, Tom Petty, and Bruce Springsteen, all of whom were obvious influences on the lyrical style he would bring to his everyman version of country later down the road.
On Into the Dark, Laura Cortese writes with the vivid eloquence of an artist schooled in the lyrical rituals of folk music. The album features original songs performed by a string ensemble comprised of some of America’s greatest folk fiddlers and cellists: Hanneke Cassel, Natalie Haas, Brittany Haas, Mariel Vandersteel, and Valerie Thompson. The lush strings are augmented with brass, winds, percussion, and velvety group vocals. You can hear pop in Cortese’s deftly-written hooks and rock in the syncopated pulse that propels even her gentlest melodies. The result is an album that is as bold as it is elegant, at once rooted and transcendent.
Janky digs deep into the roots of the blues while adding respectful touches that would hopefully appease the great blues legends like Son House, Blind Lemon Jefferson, John Lee Hooker, RL Burnside, Junior Kimbrough and Reverend KM Williams. These days, the blues genre is far from its roots, and most people have never heard the real blues. Janky doesn’t intend on sounding just like his inspirations – it would be impossible anyway. Janky interprets and jumps off from the roots of blues music.
Hailing from the Florida region, Grandpa’s Cough Medicine is not exactly your grandpa’s bluegrass band, but they’re not solely a speed freak punk-gone-bluegrass outfit either. Combining the meticulous and highly-skilled artistry of authentic bluegrass traditions and modes with a punk-ish attitude and tempo, and adding a little bit of ribald and offbeat humor in their lyricism, Grandpa’s Cough Medicine combines many of the best elements of both traditional and contemporary bluegrass into music that above all is just a really fun listen.
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