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Thursday, March 04, 2010

March 4, 2010
Scott Foley

Best Thing Ever this week comes from Ken Will Morton, and his new True Grit album. After schlepping guitar for several almost-there rock bands, Morton has turned his attention to the solo life. To be honest, I believe True Grit is the first album of his I've had the pleasure of hearing. First time through, the phrase "heartland rock" came to mind. Unfortunately, that also brought to mind John(ny) (Cougar) Mellencamp. While JCM has my respect as a very successful mainstream artist, Ken Will Morton isn't going "Little Pink Houses" on us anytime soon. On the other hand, Morton has a wonderful ear for a good americana hook, and a ragged but right voice.

I'm increasingly hooked on Tim Barry's 28th and Stonewall release as well, with at least two or three tunes that I will be giving some radio love for months to come. My first dip into Shelby Lynne's first original release in more than five years has been quite satisfying as well, especially given the hard time I sometimes have balancing out the boys' club that our kind of music has become.

And what's up with the increasingly impressive lineup on Black Hen Records these days?

* Molina & Johnson, "Twenty Cycles To the Ground" Molina & Johnson (Secretly Canadian, 09)
* Old Man Luedecke, "Lass Vicious" My Hands Are On Fire and Other Love Songs (Black Hen, 10)
* Joe Ely, "Hard Luck Saint" Happy Songs From Rattlesnake Gulch (Rack 'Em, 07)
* Ken Will Morton, ,"Don't Feel Bad For Crying" True Grit (Sojourn, 10)
* Texas Sapphires, "Riddled Days" As He Wanders (Ike, 10)
* Austin Collins & the Rainbirds, "Conventional Lust" Wrong Control (Eight Dollar, 09)
* Gram Parsons, "In My Hour Of Darkness" Grievous Angel (Reprise, 74)
* Devon Sproule, "Don't Hurry For Heaven" Don't Hurry For Heaven (Black Hen, 10)
* Elliot Randall, "Caffeine & Gasoline" Caffeine & Gasoline (Self, 09)
* Matt the Electrician, "College" Animal Boy (Self, 09)
* Overmountain Men, "All I Ever Knew" Glorious Day (Ramseur, 09)
* Ben Sollee & Daniel Martin Moore, "Something Somewhere Sometime" Dear Companion (Sub Pop, 10)
* Freakwater, "Twisted Wire" Springtime (Thrill Jockey, 97)
* Tim Barry, "Will Travel" 28th in Stonewall (Suburban Home, 10)
* Pokey LaFarge, "La La Blues" Riverboat Soul (Free Dirt, 10)
* Allison Moorer, "Easy In the Summertime" Crows (Ryko, 10)
* Shelby Lynne, "Rains Came" Tears Lies & Alibis (Everso, 10)
* Backyard Tire Fire, "Hell and Back" Good To Be (Self, 09)
* Dave Alvin, "East Virginia Blues" Public Domain (Hightone, 00)
* Mumford & Sons, "White Blank Page" Sigh No More (Self, 10)
* Holmes Brothers, "I Believe You I Think" Feed My Soul (Alligator, 10)
* John Hiatt, "Like a Freight Train" The Open Road (New West, 10)
* Have Gun Will Travel, "Sons & Daughters of the Guilded Age" Postcards From the Friendly City (Self, 10)
* Michael Perry & the Long Beds, "Alice Mayhew Jackson" Tiny Pilot (Amble Down, 10)
* Leslie and the Badgers, "Winter Fugue" Roomfull of Smoke (Lyricland, 09)
* Minus 5, "Big Beat Up Moon" Killingsworth (Yep Roc, 09)
* Eleven Hundred Springs, "OG Blues" This Crazy Life (Smith,, 10)

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