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Saturday, November 17, 2012

ROUTES & BRANCHES
November 10, 2012
Scott Foley

It's seemingly been months since we first set ears upon the first tune from Tin Horn Prayer's Grapple the Rails album.  "Stumble" showed promise at which the Denver band's Get Busy Dying only hinted.  Weeks passed, during which I would occasionally bother the band with an email, not entirely unlike the small child who is repeatedly asking, "Are we there yet?!" from the backseat of the station wagon. 

So now we're here.  Grapple the Rails has dropped, and it's certainly worth the wait.  Of course, very little on R&B is as loud or as in-your-face as Tin Horn Prayer - I would file them alongside bands like Devil Makes Three or Legendary Shack Shakers.  It's telling that the majority of pieces I've found about the group over the years have stemmed from punk blogs.  Bandleader Andy Palmer wrote a piece last week praising "10 Songs That Made Me Fall In Love With Punk", shining light on bands such as Hot Water Music and Replacements. There's no denying, however, the roots element of Tin Horn Prayer, from the rhythms to the accordion or the banjo here and there.  The razor-gargling vocals certainly don't detract from the group's punk reputation.  On their Facebook page, the band qualifies itself as "indie/folk/punk/bluegrass" but I would simply settle for calling it one of the most relevant bands in the state. 

Speaking of which, I've pared my favorite songs list down to 26 at the time of this post.  Those tunes have been dropped onto a playlist with which I'll spend a couple days before settling the list into its final form, to be unleashed during my December 15 R&B Episode.  Albums happen next, on December 29, with indie/rock faves on my December 27 Thursday Morning Mix, and my favorite Colorado music ushering in 2013 on January 3. 

*  James McMurtry, "Old Part of Town"  Childish Things  (Lightning Rod, 05)
*  Departed, "Worth the Fight"  Adventus  (Underground, 12)
*  Hollyfelds, "My Poor Father"  Title Stealers  (Self, 12) 
*  Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson, "Good Enough"  Wreck & Ruin  (Sugar Hill, 12)
^  Tin Horn Prayer, "Fire In the Jailhouse"  Grapple the Rails  (Paper + Plastick, 12)
*  Marah, "Angels On a Passing Train"  Angels Of Destruction  (Yep Roc, 08)
*  Delicate Cutters, "You Want Her"  Ring  (Skybucket, 12)
*  Civil Wars, "I Want You Back"  Barton Hollow  (Sensibility, 11)
*  Ryan Bingham, "Too Deep To Fill"  Tomorrowland  (Axster Bingham, 12)
*  Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, "Looking For a Heartache"  Buddy & Jim  (New West, 12)  D
*  Uncle Tupelo, "Chickamauga"  Anodyne  (Sire, 93)
*  Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside, "They Told Me"  Untamed Beast  (Partisan, 13)  D
*  Pretty Mouth, "Certain Sacrifice"  Satan In Clothes  (Self, 12)
*  Old Crow Medicine Show, "Mississippi Saturday Night"  Carry Me Back  (ATO, 12)
*  Ben Bullington, "Toe the Line"  White Sulphur Springs  (Self, 08)
*  Kevin Bowe, "Fallen Satellites"  Natchez Trace  (Okemah Prophets, 12)
*  Lilly Hiatt, "3 Days"  Let Down  (Normaltown, 12)
*  Wilco & Syd Straw, "TB Is Whipping Me"  Red Hot & Country  (Mercury, 94)
*  The Gromet, "Long Before"  Barren  (Self, 13)  D
*  Jamey Johnson, "Everything But You"  Living For a Song  (Mercury, 12)
*  Lindi Ortega, "Don't Wanna Hear It"  Cigarettes & Truckstops  (Last Gang, 12)
*  Kasey Anderson, "All the Good You Lose"  Let the Bloody Moon Rise  (Self, 12)  D
*  Believers, "Ring Ring Ring"  Lucky You  (Chinese Baby, 09)
*  Jimbo Mathus, "(I Wanna Be Your) Satellite"  White Buffalo  (Fat Possum, 12)
*  Austin Lucas, "Dead Factories"  Common Cold  (Magic Bullet, 06)
*  Elephant Revival, "Wake's Only Daughter"  It's Alive  (Self, 12)
*  Diamond Rugs, "Out On My Own"  Diamond Rugs  (Partisan, 12)
*  Dale Watson, "Real Country Song"  Blesssed or Damned  (Hightone, 96)

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