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Sunday, May 20, 2012

ROUTES & BRANCHES
May 19, 2012
Scott Foley

Complacency is a dangerous thing - sitting back and resting on the knowledge that things are going just fine.  Putting out a "pretty good" album, secure in the knowledge that your past work will assure success.  Um ... assuming that your favorite radio station will continue to exist without your monetary support.  I try to approach every Episode of Routes & Branches with a sense of urgency, working hard to assure that I'm sending forth the very best product I'm able to construct.  Every week, I head home with a similar sense of compromised success.  Sure, there's some fine music here, much of which you won't hear anywhere else on your radio dial (or even your internet feed).  There are lots of programs out there attempting a similar outcome, but if I don't say so myself, R&B is one of a kind.   Nevertheless, I remain vaguely dissatisfied and perennially optimistic for next week's Episode.

Langhorne Slim demonstrates a similar restlessness on his new Way We Move, his first release on Ramseur Records.  There is an urgency to his songs, from his vocal delivery to the rambling banjos and crashing drums, his fourth album is a ball of nervous energy.  I'd call it his most accomplished work to date, but it's also his most ragged and unpolished, even with the added horns and keyboards.  Even on the calmer tracks, the punk roots of his music have never been more exposed.  Perhaps (Avett Bros) the remedy to our need for progress is not to tighten up, but to let loose like Mr Slim. 

Also on this Episode, I'm looking forward to digging deeper into the sophomore effort from Amanda Platt and her Honeycutters.  The ensemble's debut, Irene, proved one of the most unexpected pleasures of 2009.  And while I'm a lukewarm fan of Shawn Colvin's more recent work, I harbor a tentative hope for her Buddy Miller produced All Fall Down

Oh, and hey:  Follow this link to the podcast for that KRFC Live @ Lunch program to which I referred last week with Nathaniel Rateliff, Joe Sampson and Brent Cowles.  Three of Colorado's most worthy songwriters.  

*  Grant Farm, "Times Have Changed"  Grant Farm  (Self, 12)
*  Cory Branan, "Survivor Blues"  Mutt  (Bloodshot, 12)
*  Patty Griffin, "One Big Love"  Flaming Red  (A&M, 98)
*  Yarn, "Dirt Road"  Almost Home  (Self, 12)
*  Justin Townes Earle, "Am I That Lonely Tonight"  Nothing's Gonna Change ...  (Bloodshot, 12)
*  Kelly Hogan, "Golden"  I Like To Keep Myself In Pain  (Anti, 12)
*  Willie Nelson, "Every Time He Drinks He Thinks Of Her"  Heroes  (Columbia, 12)
*  Oakhurst, "Hallelu"  Barrel  (Self, 12)
*  Deer Tick, "Dirty Dishes"  War Elephant  (Feow, 07)
*  Lucero, "Who You Waitin' On"  Women & Work  (ATO, 12)
*  Kate Campbell, "Red Clay After Rain"  1000 Pound Machine  (Large River, 12)
*  Mindy Smith, "If I"  Mindy Smith  (Giant Leap, 12)
*  Trampled By Turtles, "Keys To Paradise"  Stars & Satellites  (Thirty Tigers, 12)
^  Langhorne Slim, "Way We Move"  Way We Move  (Ramseur, 12)  D
*  Drive-by Truckers, "Like a Rolling Stone"  Blessing and a Curse  (New West, 06)
*  Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires, "Righteous Ragged Songs"  There Is a Bomb In Gilead  (Alive NS, 12)
*  John Doe, "Seven Holes"  Dim Stars Bright Sky  (BMG, 02)
*  Arliss Nancy, "40s"  Simple Machines  (Suburban Home, 12)
*  Nanci Griffith, "Hell No (I'm Not Alright)"  Intersection  (Proper, 12)
*  Andre Williams & the Sadies, "I'll  Do Most Anything For You"  Night & Day  (Yep Roc, 12)
*  Kasey Anderson, "Just Kids"  Heavy Heart  (Red River, 12)  D
*  Honeycutters, "Penny"  When Bitter Met Sweet  (Buttons Down, 12)  D
*  Turnpike Troubadors, "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead"  Goodbye Normal Street  (Bossier City, 12)
*  Old Crow Medicine Show, "I Hear Them All"  Big Iron World  (Nettwerk, 06)
*  Jekylls, "You're Probably Right"  Sweet Factory  (Self, 12)
*  John Fullbright, "All the Time In the World"  From the Ground Up  (Blue Dirt, 12)
*  Doc Marshalls, "Why I'm Leaving"  Look Out Compadre  (Self, 12)
*  Shawn Colvin, "All Fall Down"  All Fall Down  (Nonesuch, 12)  D
*  Iguanas, "If You Should Ever Fall On Hard Times"  If You Should Ever Fall  (Yep Roc, 08)
*  JP Harris & the Tough Choices, "Two For the Road"  I'll Keep Calling  (Cow Island, 12)

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