ROUTES & BRANCHES
May 26, 2012
Despite the impressive sheen and polish of a Routes & Branches Episode, I have to admit I don't prep my programs per se. Owing to my obligations at KRFC, I spend most of the week previewing new albums for addition to the station's general library. About an hour before airtime, I'll grab some older CDs from the shelves. Fifteen minutes prior to the program I'll peruse the stuff on the new shelves. While some programmers map out their shows carefully beforehand, I trust that I'm familiar enough with everything that it won't prove too taxing to decide on the fly what comes next.
I do attempt some balance on your average R&B Episode. For instance, I shoot for a nice representation of Colorado music. While the show skews radically towards the new, lately I've been trying to inject more music from past years. I'm also mindful of representing the female artists among us, which isn't always easy in a fairly dude-centric genre (from last week's Americana radio charts, only eleven of the top 40 were either solo woman artists such as Nanci Griffith or female-led acts such as Alabama Shakes).
That said, I'm chagrined to see so darn many beards on this site over the past few weeks. A woman hasn't graced the coveted photo on an Episode playlist since Nanci Griffith did so in early April. Prior to that, it was beard city until a February entry featuring Susan Cowsill, albeit alongside token dudes Jon Dee Graham and Freedy Johnston. So let's hear it for Kelly Hogan, the Rosa Parks of the R&B site! Is it truly true that it's been a decade since Hogan's previous solo effort? Granted, she is a perennial contributor to the albums of others, most notably Neko Case. Her new release, I Like To Keep Myself In Pain, features only one original, alongside other new cuts from M Ward, Robbie Fulks, Catherine Irwin and more. Hogan's band is fronted by the legendary Booker T, ably supported by a trio of younger aces, adding a layer of deep soul to the singer's eclectic vocal talents.
Also on this Episode, Marley's Ghost celebrates 25 years of music with a new star-studded collection, alongside luminaries such as Old Crow Medicine Show and Emmylou Harris. Walt Wilkins continues to be one of our finest Texas songwriters on a new, more acoustic outing. And when the dBs last issued a new album, I was a fresh-faced undergrad, naive in the ways of the world and the wonders that awaited me.
* Lydia Loveless, "More Like Them" Indestructible Machine (Bloodshot, 11)
* Leeroy Stagger, "Dirty Windshields" Radiant Land D
* Buddy Miller, "I Believe In You" Mercyland: Hymns For the Rest Of Us (Mercyland, 12)
* Pieta Brown, "El Guero" Shimmer (Red House, 09)
* Marley's Ghost, "It's All Over Now" Jubilee (Sage Arts, 12) D
* Robert Cline Jr, "All the Right Reasons" All the Right Reasons (Mockingbird, 12)
* Billy Bragg & Wilco, "Chain Of Broken Hearts" Mermaid Avenue Vol 3 (Nonesuch, 12)
* Honeycutters, "Fancy Car" When Bitter Met Sweet (Buttons Down, 12)
* Chris Stalcup & Grange, "Pawnshop" Dixie Electric Co (Dirt Leg, 12)
* Marty Stuart, "Sundown In Nashville" Tear the Woodpile Down (Sugar Hill, 12)
* Megan Redmond, "Dreamland" Dreamland (Aspen Top, 12)
* Devil Makes Three, "This Life (live)" Stomp and Smash (Milan, 11)
* Hem, "Stupid Mouth Shut" Rabbit Songs (Waveland, 01)
* Arliss Nancy, "St Forget" Simple Machines (Suburban Home, 12)
* Hellbound Glory, "Lost Cause" Damaged Goods (Rusty Knuckles, 11)
^ Kelly Hogan, "Dusty Groove" I Like To Keep Myself In Pain (Anti, 12)
* Walt Wilkins, "Maybe Everybody Quit Drinking" Plenty (Ride, 12) D
* John Fullbright, "Jericho" From the Ground Up (Blue Dirt, 12)
* Slaid Cleaves, "Hard To Believe" Everything You Love ... (Music Road, 09)
* Mosey West, "Gone" Merica (Self, 12)
* Ray Wylie Hubbard, "South Of the River" Grifter's Hymnal (Bordello, 12)
* Rhett Miller, "As Close As I Came To Being Right" Dreamer (Maximum Sunshine, 12)
* Bonnie & the Beard, "Lightin' Up" Cascavel (Self, 12) D
* I See Hawks In LA, "Hunger Mt Breakdown" New Kind Of Lonely (Western Seeds, 12)
* dBs, "That Time Is Gone" Falling Off the Sky (Bar None, 12) D
* Neko Case, "Don't Forget Me" iTunes Session (Anti, 09)
* Jon Dee Graham, "Unafraid" Garage Sale (Freedom, 12)