ROUTES & BRANCHES
August 4, 2012
So Ryan Bingham has released the first single from his forthcoming, self-released Tomorrowland album. Due in stores/online Sept 18, the rockabilly-esque romp certainly marks a departure from his standing body of work. I trust him as a songwriter, however, and expect the final project to be consistent with the quality of work we've come to expect from him. Which isn't to say that "Heart of Rhythm" is bad. It's just, well ... here: "Come on honey let me turn you on / Let's get it right from the start / We got us more than silver & gold / We got a heart full of rhythm and the rock & roll".
Hey, and Will Johnson has issued forth the first single from his forthcoming solo album, Scorpion. Known as the voice behind bands like Centro-Matic and South San Gabriel (and a recent collaborator on the New Multitudes project), Johnson is a vastly underrated songwriter. "You Will Be Here, Mine" is a gorgeously scarred alt.country ballad worthy of a home in your ears. I look forward to hearing the rest of the new release.
Finally, Tift Merrit's last couple CDs have been just fine, but they haven't always lived up to the great promise of Bramble Rose and Tambourine. Fortunately, her new album, Traveling Alone, achieves an impressive balance between Merritt's earlier country-influenced work and her more recent pop-leaning efforts. With an atmospheric bent to certain tunes, Traveling occasionally brings to mind Emmylou Harris' classic Red Dirt Girl album. Merritt's voice also evolves a bit in that direction, leaving in just the right amount of flaws and vocal breaks that lend a song its vulnerability and humanity.
Next week's R&B Episode will be preempted by KRFC's live broadcast of Bohemian Nights at New West Fest, featuring a wealth of Colorado entertainment, from Great American Taxi to Arliss Nancy. Plus, Alison Krauss & Union Station. If a week without me seems too much to bear, remember that I'll always be there for you on Thursday mornings from 10 to noon.
* Southern Culture On the Skids, "Smiley Yeah Yeah Yeah" Mojo Box (Yep Roc, 04)
* Jason Eady, "AM Country Heaven" AM Country Heaven (Underground Sound, 12) D
* Chatham County Line, "Alone In New York (live)" Sight & Sound (Yep Roc, 12)
* Ana Egge, "Sitting In the Midday Sun" Lazy Days (Parkinsong, 07)
* Ryan Bingham, "Heart of Rhythm" Tomorrowland (Axster Bingham, 12) D
* Arliss Nancy, "St Forgot" Simple Machines (Suburban Home, 12)
* Be Good Tanyas, "Draft Daughter's Blues" A Collection (Nettwerk, 12)
* Corb Lund, "Bible On the Dash" Cabin Fever (New West, 12)
* Malcolm Holcombe, "In Your Mercy" Down the River (Gypsy Eyes, 12)
* Joe Ely, "Dallas" Best Of Joe Ely (MCA, 00)
* Kasey Chambers, "Too Long In the Wasteland" Storybook (Sugar Hill, 12) D
* Bonnie & the Clydes, "My Love Will Keep" Wrong Side Up (Self, 12)
* Trishas, "Mother Of Invention" High Wide & Handsome (Self, 12) D
* Eleven Hundred Springs, "Northside Blues" Bandwagon (Palo Duro, 04)
* Coal Porters, "Heroes" Find the One (Prima, 12) D
* Will Johnson, "You Will Be Here, Mine" Scorpion (Undertow, 12) D
* Robert Cline Jr, "Praying For An Angel" All the Right Reasons (Mockingbird, 12)
* Buddy Miller, "Hey Porter (live)" Johnny Cash: We Walk the Line (Legacy, 12) D
* Amy Cook, "Levee" Summer Skin (Roothouse, 12)
* Steve Earle, "Johnny Come Lately" Copperhead Road (UNI, 88)
* Patterson Hood, "Come Back Little Star" Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance (ATO, 12)
* Kelly Hogan, "Haunted" I Like To Keep Myself In Pain (Anti, 12)
^ Tift Merritt, "Still Not Home" Traveling Alone (Yep Roc, 12) D
* Jon Snodgrass, "More Buddies" More Buddies More Fun (Paper + Plastick, 12)
* Kelly Joe Phelps, "Goodbye To Sorrow" Brother Sinner & the Whale (Black Hen, 12)
* Dwight Yoakam, "Alright I'm Wrong" Tomorrow's Sounds Today (Reprise, 00)