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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

ROUTES & BRANCHES
November 24, 2012
Scott Foley

As I've mentioned in previous posts, poring over a year's worth of playlists is a mixed blessing.  On the one hand, it's a humbling "is that all there is?!" moment, seeing everything laid out before me.  Even given two shows per week (Thurs and Sat), there's only so much music, and while it's been a pretty promising year for good Colorado music, there's not any obvious standout winner for americana, alt.country and roots music for 2012.  On the other hand, I am reminded of gems I've abandoned over the weeks, stuff like Catherine Irwin's broken but beautiful Little Heater album.  I've always been a fan of her dayband, Freakwater, but her rare solo offering seems more vulnerable and heartfelt in comparison.  Likewise, Sumner Brothers' I'll Be There Tomorrow is a curious but rewarding creature.  The Canadian band's album begins with an angry and aggressive "Toughest Man In Prison Camp" but takes a hushed turn quite quickly, wandering through the lonely open sounds I always associate with the country's americana.  I've discovered new moments in revisiting both for my end of year lists.  


Likewise, the Texas-based Dirty River Boys have been riding around in my raggedy music box for a couple weeks now.  While I've come across some shining reviews, I only came around to previewing it for this Episode.  Like Turnpike Troubadors crossed with Devil Makes Three, or a more dusky, rural  Trampled By Turtles, the quartet plays hard and sharp alt.country with an unexpected melodic streak that makes the songs stick.  More importantly, Science of Flight's sole cover is a dirty take on  one of Townes Van Zandt's darkest songs.  I've rarely enjoyed a take on "Lungs" from cover artists like Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett and Cowboy Junkies, let alone TVZ's bleak original.  Dirty River Boys have managed to breathe new life into the tune.  

A reminder:

December 15 - favorite Routes & Branches songs
December 27 - favorite Thursday Morning Mix music
December 29 - favorite Routes & Branches albums
January 3 - favorite Colorado music (Thursday Morning Mix)




*  Sam Lewis, "Southern Greek Tragedy"  Sam Lewis  (Self, 12)
*  Two Tons of Steel, "If We Make It Through December"  Tangled In Tinsel  (Self, 11)
*  Catherine Irwin, "Save Our Ship"  Little Heater  (Thrill Jockey,  12)
*  Haunted Windchimes, "Out With the Crow"  Out With the Crow  (Blank Tape, 12)
^  Dirty River Boys, "Lungs"  Science of Flight  (Thirty Tigers, 12)   D
*  Patty Griffin, "Getting Ready"  Children Running Through  (ATO, 07)
*  Browan Lollar, "Freight Train Hearts"  For the Givers & the Takers  (This is Amer Music, 12) 
*  Chris Knight, "Little Victories"  Little Victories  (Drifter's Church, 12)
*  Drag the River, "Trainwreck"  Bad at Breaking Up  (Suburban Home, 09)
*  Chris Wollard & Ship Thieves, "Lonely Days"  Canyons  (No Idea, 12)   D
*  Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson, "Flat Nail Joe"  Wreck & Ruin  (Sugar Hill, 12)
*  Secret Sisters, "Waste the Day"  Secret Sisters  (Universal, 10)
*  Departed, "Blackhorse Mary"  Adventus  (Underground, 12)
*  Trout Steak Revival, "Blackjack Supper Club"  Flight  (Self, 12)   D
*  Yarn, "Blue Skies Brighter Times & Roses"  Leftovers Vol 2  (Ardsley, 12)   D
*  Gillian Welch, "Wrecking Ball"  Soul Journey  (Acony, 03)
*  Kasey Anderson, "Like Teenage Gravity"  Let the Bloody Moon Rise  (Self, 12)
*  Black Prairie w/Sallie Ford, "Man With the Bag"  Holidays Rule  (Hear, 12)   D
*  Gromet, "Whiskey & Pills" Barren  (Self, 13)
*  Jesse Dayton, "Rapid City South Dakota"  Jesse Sings Kinky  (Stag, 12)
*  Steve Earle, "My Old Friend the Blues"  Guitar Town  (MCA, 86)
*  Wanda Jackson, "California Stars"  Unfinished Business  (Sugar Hill, 12)
*  Bobby Bare, "Going Down the Road"  Darker Than Light  (E1, 12)
*  Kevin Bowe, "Never Don't Stay"  Natchez Trace  (Okemah Prophets, 12)
*  Sumner Brothers, "You Will Find Me"  I'll Be There Tomorrow  (Self, 12)
*  Mark Collie, "Reckless Companions (live)"  Alive At Brushy Mt State Penitentiary  (Wilbanks, 12)
*  Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, "Wobble"  Buddy & Jim  (New West, 12)
*  Sahara Smith, "Are You Lonely"  Myth of the Heart  (Playing in Traffic, 10)

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