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Saturday, March 03, 2012

ROUTES & BRANCHES
March 3, 2012
Scott Foley


Just this morning, I brought up a video of Justin Townes Earle  playing "Harlem River Blues" on Letterman, backed by Jason Isbell on guitar, Amanda Shires (I think) and Paul on organ.  JTE looked like a man from another time, in his stiff suit and tie, leaning into the mic like a fierce young Johnny Cash.  I don't think that he'll ever top that song that won him last year's American Music Song of the Year.  Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now (from here on in, NGCtWYFAMN) does, admittedly, feature Earle's lengthiest title of his career.  There's also a definite Memphis emphasis on Earle's new tunes, whether mentioned outright lyrically or implied via spirited horns.  Likewise, JTE mentions his father directly in the album's first line, and channels his weary drawl here and there (esp on "Won't Be the Last Time").  While nothing on NGCtWYFAMN directly challenges the song "Harlem River Blues", the album in its entirety trumps anything Earle has released thus far in his career.  It's also one of the year's finest.

This Episode also gives us a first peek at a sweet new Carolina Chocolate Drops release, which adds a part time cellist and a beatboxer to their mix, as well as Buddy Miller in the producer's chair.  It's also great to enjoy I See Hawks In LA's unique country rock again on their New Kind Of Lonely

Next week's Episode, we'll check in with Colorado's own Paper Bird, who will join us in the studios for a chat around 4:00. 

*  Kasey Anderson, "Exit Ghost"  Heart Of a Dog  (Red River, 11)
*  Lucero, "When I Was Young"  Women and Work  (ATO, 12)
*  Boca Chica, "Sin City"  Get Out Of Sin City  (Self, 12)
*  Arliss Nancy, "St Forget"  Simple Machines  (Suburban Home, 12)
*  Nanci Griffith, "Listen To the Radio (live)"  Music City Roots  (Music City Roots, 12)
*  Todd Snider, "In Between Jobs"  Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables  (Aimless, 12)
*  Steel Wheels, "Endure"  Lay Down Lay Low  (Self, 12)
*  Jon Snodgrass, "Long Way Found"  Visitor's Band  (Suburban Home, 09)
*  I See Hawks In LA, "Bohemian Highway"  New Kind Of Lonely  (Western Seeds, 12)
*  Roseanne Cash & Elvis Costello, "Heartaches By the Number"  List  (Manhattan, 09)
*  Chris Castle, "Dirty Water"  Last Bird Home  (Dirtsandwich, 12)
*  Darrell Scott, "No Love In Arkansas (the Ring)"  Long Ride Home  (Full Light, 12)
*  Farrar Johnson Parker Yames, "World's On Fire"  New Multitudes  (Rounder, 12)
*  Coal Porters, "Mr Guthrie"  Turn the Water On Boy  (Prima, 08)
^  Justin Townes Earle, "Baby's Got a Bad Idea"  Nothing's Gonna Change  (Bloodshot, 12)
*  Sister Sparrow & Dirty Birds, "Millie Mae"  Pound Of Dirt  (Self, 12)
*  Great American Taxi, "Gonna Make a Record"  Paradise Lost  (Self, 11)
*  Delta Spirit, "Otherside"  Delta Spirit  (Rounder, 12)
*  Middle Brother, "Daydreaming"  Middle Brother  (Partisan, 11)
*  Band Of Heathens, "What's This World (live)"  Double Down Live In Denver  (BoH, 12)
*  Sons of Bill, "Santa Ana Winds"  Sirens  (Self, 12)
*  Carolina Chocolate Drops, "Country Girl"  Leaving Eden  (Nonesuch, 12)
*  Sam Lewis, "I'm a River"  Sam Lewis  (Self, 12)
*  Hobart Brothers, "All Things Being Equal"  At Least We Have Each Other  (Freedom, 12)
*  Matt Skinner, "Christabel (live)"  Undone: MusicFest Tribute to Robert Earl Keen  (Thirty Tigers, 08)
*  Minus 5, "Cigarettes Coffe & Booze"  Minus 5  (Yep Roc, 06)

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