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Monday, September 26, 2011

ROUTES & BRANCHES
September 24, 2011
Scott Foley

Fort Collins band Mosey West won a contest thrown by Marquee Magazine earlier in the year.  Their prize awarded them the privilege of free studio time in Boulder to record their debut CD.   Apparently, the lack of pressure gave the trio the luxury to focus on their music.  The resulting EP, Vaca Money, is refreshingly unadorned alt.country. 


 ... and speaking of unadorned, the second best thing to hail from Milwaukee this year (go Brewers (said the disgruntled Mariners fan)), R Mutt has been together longer than I've been programmer R&B.  Their bar-ready country rock is new to me, however. 


Finally, Cowboy Junkies may have a hard time topping their Vic Chesnutt tribute album Demons, but the first cut from their third album in a year certainly sounds promising.  The band has promised music from this collection will be "nasty" and "dirty", bringing to the fore the bluesy psychedelic explorations more familiar to CJ concertgoers than fans of their CDs. 


* Jayhawks, "Pouring Rain At Dawn"  Mockingbird Time  (Rounder, 11)
* Matt the Electrician, "Faithfully"  Animal Boy  (Self, 09)
* Wood Brothers, "Mary Anna"  Smoke Ring Halo  (Self, 11)
* Zoe Muth, "I've Been Gone"  Starlight Hotel  (Signature Sounds, 11)
* Whiskey Bottles, "Love Is Never Easy"  Ain't No Crime  (Self, 10)
* Ry Cooder, "If There's a God"  Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down  (Nonesuch, 11)
* Gourds, "Eyes Of a Child"  Old Mad Joy  (Vanguard, 11)
* Whitehorse, "I'm On Fire"  Whitehorse  (Six Shooter, 11)
* Jim White, "Town Called Amen"  Transnormal Skiperoo  (Luaka Bop, 07)
* Blitzen Trapper, "American Goldwing"  American Goldwing  (Sub Pop, 11)
* HalleyAnna, "Peace Is Lonely Love Is War"  Country  (Cheatham St, 11)
* Cowboy Junkies, "Sing In My Meadow"  Sing In My Meadow  (Razor & Tie, 11)
* Dead Man Winter, "House Of Glory"  Bright Lights  (Banjodad, 11)
* Old Crow Medicine Show, "Methamphetamine"  Tennessee Pusher  (Nettwerk, 08)
* John Prine, "Souvenirs (demo)"  Singing Mailman Delivers  (Oh Boy, 11)
* Blind Pilot, "Keep You Right"  We Are the Tide  (Expunged, 11)
^ Mosey West, "Cold Prediction"  Vaca Money  (Self, 11)
* Band of Heathens, "Gris Gris Satchel"  Top Hat Crown  (BoH, 11)
* Lydia Loveless, "Steve Earle"  Indestructible Machine  (Bloodshot, 11)
* Tim Barry, "Bozeman"  28th & Stonewall  (Suburban Home, 10)
* Robert Earl Keen, "Play a Train Song"  Ready For Confetti  (Lost Hwy, 11)
* R Mutt, "Beautiful Bad Day"  Leash On Life  (Self, 11)
* Nick Lowe, "Somebody Cares For Me"  Old Magic  (Yep Roc, 11)
* Brigitte DeMeyer, "This Fix I'm In"  Rose of Jericho  (Self, 11)
* Megafaun, "Resurrection"  Megafaun  (Self, 11)
* Kenny Vaughan, "Lillie Mae"  Kenny Vaughan  (Sugar Hill, 11)
* Reckless Kelly, "New Moon Over Nashville"  Good Luck & True Love  (No Big Deal, 11)










Monday, September 19, 2011


ROUTES & BRANCHES
September 17, 2011
Scott Foley

AA Bondy's Believers really sounds nothing like his previous two albums. 2007's American Hearts was Joe Pug-like folk, with strum strum-a-strum acoustic guitar and earnest lyrics. When the Devil's Loose loosened things up a bit, but still was recognizable as the same guy. Believers is a good record, mind you, coming from a different place lyrically and musically. While the guitars are still there, they are electric, layered and atmospheric. Lyrics are less direct, too, dreamlike and more impressionistic. But it all works, perhaps like M Ward or Joe Henry at moments. While my initial listen to Believers found me double checking to make sure I'd inserted the correct CD, I have found myself returning to it, catching onto themes and floating atop the album's groove.

Also on this Episode of R&B, a fine collaboration between Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland under the guise of Whitehorse, and a great new track from Have Gun Will Travel, out soon on Suburban Home records.

* Elizabeth Cook w/Bobby Bare Jr, "Rest Your Weary Mind" Balls (30 Tigers, 07)
* Eric Lindell, "Sentimental Lover" West County Drifter (MC, 2011)
* Broken Spoke, "Vamps In the Valley" Before There Were Easy Riders (Self, 11)
* Duke & the King, "Shaky" Duke & the King (So, 11)
* Whitehorse, "Broken" Whitehorse (Six Shooter, 11)
* Reckless Kelly, "I Never Liked St Valentine" Good Luck & True Love (No Big Deal, 11)
* Nick 13, "101" Nick 13 (Sugar Hill, 11)
* Andy Thorn, "Carolina Song" Fire In the Sky (Self, 11)
* Verlon Thompson, "Show We Call the Business" Works (Victor Tango, 11)
* Tift Merritt, "Write My Ticket" Tambourine (Lost Hwy, 04)
* Ryan Adams, "Lucky Now" Ashes & Fire (Lost Hwy, 11)
* William Elliott Whitmore, "Not Feeling Any Pain" Field Songs (Anti, 11)
* Micky & the Motorcars, "Thousand Tears" Raise My Glass (Smith, 11)
* Bare Bones, "Come In/Stay Out" Bare Bones (Self, 11)
* Shelby Lynne, "I Don't Need a Reason To Cry" Revelation Road (Everso, 11)
^ AA Bondy, "Heart Is Willing" Believers (Fat Possum, 11)
* Lyle Lovett, "If I Needed You" Step Inside This House (MCA, 98)
* Ana Egge, "Bad Blood" Bad Blood (Ammal, 11)
* Lydia Loveless, "Can't Change Me" Indestructible Machine (Bloodshot, 11)
* Dirt Daubers, "Can't Go To Heaven" Wake Up Sinners (Colonel Knowledge, 11)
* Have Gun Will Travel, "Thirteen Miles" Mergers & Acquisitions (Suburban Home, 11)
* Brigitte DeMeyer, "Rose of Jericho" Rose of Jericho (Self, 11)
* James McMurtry, "Red River Valley" Dark River: Songs of the Civil War Era (Blue Corn, 11)
* Casey James Prestwood, "Drug Store Truck Driving Man" Jukebox Is Busted (Self, 11)
* Blitzen Trapper, "My Home Town" American Goldwing (Sub Pop, 11)
* Chuck Ragan, "Nothing Left To Prove" Covering Ground (Side One Dummy, 11)
* Water Tower Bucket Boys, "Meet Me Where the Crow Don't Fly" Where the Crow Don't Fly (Self, 11)

Monday, September 12, 2011


ROUTES & BRANCHES
September 10, 2011
Scott Foley

Way back on January 21, 2010, I ran a Very Special Thursday Morning Mix highlighting my favorite albums of the decade. I stand behind it as one of the best shows I've aired. After the songlist, I added a couple more superlatives, among which was my favorite label of the decade. While I have to admit that it takes quite a music snob to even have a favorite label, I felt Bloodshot Records deserved some recognition for a decade well done.

While Bloodshot has had a much more uneven start to the second decade of the century, some hits, some less so, the Chicago label reminded me of its heyday with its most recent release, Lydia Loveless' Indestructible Machine. One of the things that first drew me to Bloodshot was the fact that underneath nearly every early release lay a consistent ethos. Their music sounded dangerous. Waco Brothers, Whiskeytown, Old 97s, Split Lip Rayfield. Music that might scare your grandmother, altho it was all inspired by stuff in your grandfather's collection. Reportedly from small town Ohio, Lydia Loveless' music makes alt.country sound dangerous again. So much that sets out to meld country music with punk spirit simply comes off sounding clownish and empty. Loveless' music sounds honest. And honestly dangerous. As a singer, her voice recalls classic country pipes, while at the same time spitting and growling and cursing - Bloodshot actually sent two discs: The original, as well as the censored, with sonic holes punched throughout (like where she advises to, "Write me a love letter / In the gravel with your piss ...").

So thank you, Bloodshot Records. For reminding me why I listen to this stuff.

* Stephen Simmons, "Empty Belly Blues No 32" Big Show (Locke Green, 11)
* Dirt Daubers, "Wake Up Sinners" Wake Up Sinners (Colonel Knowledge, 11)
* Drag the River, "Hang Dog" Hey Buddies (Moss Motors, 04)
* Brigitte DeMeyer, "Say Big Poppa" Rose of Jericho (Self, 11)
* Ryan Adams, "Lucky Now" Ashes & Fire (Lost Hwy, 11)
* Ryan Adams, "New York New York" Gold (Lost Hwy, 01)
* Nikki Lane, "Western Bound" Gone Gone Gone (I Am Sound, 11)
* AA Bondy, "Surfer King" Believers (Fat Possum, 11)
* Bare Bones, "White Rose" Bare Bones (Self, 11)
* Dave Alvin, "What's Up With Your Brother" Eleven Eleven (Yep Roc, 11)
* I See Hawks In LA, "Sexy Vacation" Shoulda Been Gold (American Beat, 09)
* Nick Lowe, "Sensitive Man" Old Magic (Yep Roc, 11)
* Frank Turner, "If Ever I Stray" England Keep My Bones (Epitaph, 11)
* Girls Guns & Glory, "Last Night I Dreamed" Sweet Nothings (Lonesome Day, 11)
* Richmond Fontaine, "Mechanic's Life" High Country (El Cortez, 11)
* Blitzen Trapper, "Love the Way You Walk Away" American Goldwing (Sub Pop, 11)
* Two Cow Garage, "Come Back To Shelby" Three (Shelterhouse, 07)
* Lindi Ortega, "Little Lie" Little Red Boots (Last Gang, 11)
* Railbenders, "Black Rose" Showdown (Self, 06)
* Oh Susanna, "Drunk As a Sailor" Soon the Birds (Outside, 11)
^ Lydia Loveless, "Steve Earle" Indestructible Machine (Bloodshot, 11)
* Yarn, "Hey Darlin" Leftovers Vol 1 (Ardsley, 11)
* Ry Cooder, "Lord Tell Me Why" Pull Up Some Dust (Nonesuch, 11)
* Robert Earl Keen, "Road Goes On and On" Ready For Confetti (New West, 11)
* Golden Smog, "V" Down By the Old Mainstream (Ryko, 96)
* Gourds, "Drop the Charges" Old Mad Joy (Vanguard, 11)
* Reckless Kelly, "Weatherbeaten Soul" Good Luck & True Love (No Big Deal, 11)
* Dawes, "If I Wanted Someone" Nothing Is Wrong (ATO, 11)
* Nick 13, "Nashville Winter" Nick 13 (Sugar Hill, 11)
* Andy Thorn, "Sweet Child Of Mine" Fire In the Sky (Self, 11)

Sunday, September 04, 2011


ROUTES & BRANCHES
September 3, 2011
Scott Foley

A satisfying assortment of new gems on this Episode of R&B. Colonel JD Wilkes hails originally from the Legendary Shack Shakers. With his bassist and with his wife, Wilkes has formed the Dirt Daubers, applying their own brand of grease to gospel standards and originals.

Nick Lowe seems one of the classiest, smoothest guys around, taking it easy on a perfect collection of ballads and pop/country pieces.

And Colorado's own Bare Bones reminds me of Over the Rhine or Hem with more of an edge (and a male vocalist).

This week's Best Thing Ever comes in the form of a long-awaited fifth release from Nashville transplant Brigitte DeMeyer. With equal parts New Orleans and Nashville, gospel and grit, she belongs on the shelf next to Patty Griffin and Kathleen Edwards as a singer and a songwriter.

* Bottle Rockets, "Kit Kat Clock (live)" Not So Loud (Bloodshot, 11)
* Truth & Salvage Co, "Heart Like a Wheel" Truth & Salvage Co (Silver Arrow, 10)
* Angela Easterling, "Fish & the Bird" Beguiler (De l'Est, 11)
* Old 97s, "Perfume" Grand Theatre Vol 2 (New West, 11)
* Bare Bones, "Come In/Stay Out" Bare Bones (Self, 11)
* Drive-by Truckers, "Easy On Yourself" Blessing & a Curse (New West, 06)
* Girls Guns & Glory, "1,000 Times" Sweet Nothings (Lonesome Day, 11)
* Ry Cooder, "If There's a God" Pull Up Some Dust (Nonesuch, 11)
* Jakob Dylan, "Nothing But the Whole Wide World" Women + Country (Columbia, 10)
* Robert Earl Keen, "Lay Down My Brother" Ready for Confetti (New West, 11)
* You Me & Apollo, "Oh Brother" Cards With Cheats (Self, 11)
* John Doe, "Giant Step Backward" Keeper (Yep Roc, 11)
* Justin Townes Earle, "What Do You Do When You're Lonesome" Good Life (Bloodshot, 08)
^ Brigitte DeMeyer, "This Fix I'm In" Rose of Jericho (Self, 11)
* Rod Picott, "Welding Burns" Welding Burns (Welding Rod, 11)
* Eric Hanke, "Factory Man" Factory Man (Ten Foot Texan, 10)
* Laura Cantrell, "Kitty Wells Dresses" Kitty Wells Dresses (Diesel Only, 11)
* Nick Lowe, "Checkout Time" Old Magic (Yep Roc, 11)
* Lyle Lovett, "Well All Right" Listen To Me: Buddy Holly (Verve, 11)
* Eric Lindell, "Cazadero" West County Drifter (MC, 11)
* Billy Bragg & Wilco, " Hoodoo Voodoo" Mermaid Avenue (Elektra, 98)
* Milk Carton Kids, "No Hammer To Hold" Prologue (Self, 11)
* Mindy Smith, "Taking You With Me" Our Idiot Brother Sndtk (ABKCO, 11)
* Jeff Bridges, "Maybe I Missed the Point" Jeff Bridges (Blue Note, 11)
* Lumineers, "Flowers In Your Hair" Lumineers (6cheek, 09)
* Dirt Daubers, "Angel Along the Tracks" Wake Up Sinners (Colonel Knowledge, 11)
* AA Bondy, "American Hearts" American Hearts (Superphonic, 07)
* Dead Man Winter, "Nicotine" Bright Lights (Banjodad, 11)
* Casey James Prestwood, "When the Grass Grows Over Me" Jukebox is Broken (Self, 11)