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Thursday, September 17, 2009


THURSDAY MORNING MIX
September 17, 2009
Scott Foley

Four new arrivals this week that I could imagine might just hang on to end up on my year-end favorites list. The Honeycutters actually debuted on last week's Episode, but a few more listens has cemented my opinion of Amanda Platt and Peter James' first CD. Platt's vocals are just understated enough, and even though the packaging and production are so-so, Irene just has that magic something.

Chuck Ragan has been high on my radar since I first came across his music through last year's Revival Tour. His new Gold Country is more anthemic than anything else I've heard from Ragan, with heart-on-sleeve lyrics and go for broke vocals. In the wrong hands, such earnestness could be offputting, but Ragan and friends come off as more genuine.

Works Progress Administration (WPA) surprised me with its strength. Glen Phillips and Sean Watkins have never thrilled me with their songs, but the results of their collaboration add up to more than a mutant "Toad the Wet Nickel Creek" offspring. Sean's sister Sara contributes some fine vocals, and Greg Leisz's pedal steel is always welcome.

Finally, since I met him in Corvallis several years ago, I've always thought Matt the Electrician should be more famous. I keep expecting "Valedictorian" from Long Way Home to pop up on some TV show or other. Of course, there's a chance that he'd have more success using his given surname, but many of his songs are perfect little masterpieces. Matt has a great sense of humor as well.


* Paul Reddick, "Every Temptation" Sugarbird (Northernblues, 08)
* Bap Kennedy, "Irish Moon" Howl On (Lonely St, 09)
* The Boxmasters, "Joanne" Modbilly (Vanguar, 09)
* Leslie and the Badgers, "Los Angeles" Roomful of Smoke (Lyricland, 09)
* Tim Easton, "Burgundy Red" Porcupine (New West, 09)
* Los Lobos, "And It Didn't Even Bring Me Down" Keep Your Soul: Tribute to Doug Sahm (Vanguard, 09)
* Works Progress Administration, "Wedding or a Wake" WPA (WPA, 09)
* The Gourds, "El Paso" Bolsa de Agua (Sugar Hill, 00)
* Geoff Muldaur and the Texas Sheiks, "Please Baby" Texas Sheiks (Kasle, 09)
* Langhorne Slim, "Say Yes" Be Set Free (Kemado, 09)
* Honeycutters, "Better Woman" Irene (Buttons Down, 09)
* David Childers & the Modern Don Juans, "Close the Door Lightly" Burning in Hell (Little King, 07)
* Naomi Sommers, "Two Sparrows" Gentle As the Sun (Amer Melody, 08)
* Band of Heathens, "Look At Miss Ohio" One Foot in the Ether (BOH, 09)
* Matt the Electrician, "Got Your Back" Animal Boy (Self, 09)
* Dolorean, "We Winter Wrens" You Can't Win (Yep Roc, 07)
* Those Darlins, "Wild One" Those Darlins (Oh Wow Dang, 09)
* Yonder Mt String Band, "Belle Parker" The Show (Frog Pad, 09)
* Kris Kristofferson, "Good Morning John" Closer to the Bone (New West, 09)
* Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, "Silver Spoons" Traveling Show (Call it Correspondence, 09)
* Madison Violet, "Crying" No Fool for Trying (True North, 09)
* Monsters of Folk, "Whole Lotta Losin'" Monsters of Folk (Shangri-La, 09)
* Sons of Bill, "Rock and Roll" One Town Away (Gray Fox, 09)
* Mary Chapin Carpenter, "What Would You Say To Me" Between Here and Gone (Columbia, 04)
* Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, "The Resurrection" Speed of Life (Sugar Hill, 09)
* Todd Adelman & the Love Handles, "Sorry" Todd Adelman & the Love Handles (Porch Lantern, 09)
* Chuck Ragan, "For Goodness Sake" Gold Country (Side One Dummy, 09)
* Emmylou Harris, "Orphan Girl" Wrecking Ball (Elektra, 95)

Scott

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