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Monday, January 21, 2013

ROUTES & BRANCHES
January 19, 2013
Scott Foley

I'm not a drinking man, but I play songs about drinking on my radio show.  Frankly, it'd be hard to avoid when spinning two hours of americana, alt.country and roots music.  Without paying attention, I played no fewer than six outright drinkin' songs this week (and surely at least twice that many where imbibing at least makes a guest appearance).  Nothing wrong with this - I don't refrain from drinking for moral reasons, just like I don't deliberately avoid drinking songs.  Heck, the show that follows mine, Andy D's Tarnation, is almost wholly fueled by the stuff!

From Kearny, NJ, the band Secret Country is certainly doing their part.  We take an inaugural sip of their sophomore full-length album, From the Barroom To the Bedroom, just poured from the decanters of Killing Horse Records.  Having weathered a bit of personnel adjustment, Secret Country has retired the fiddle from their earlier recordings and welcomed co-vocalist Katelynn Siegle, who shares the mic with Jay Monaco.  Their new songs boast titles like "Drinkin' Mood", "Sidepiece City" and "Night of Whiskey", the latter of which prompted Tarnation's Andy D to ask, "Is this the theme to Friends?"  Indeed, Secret Country's new music does demonstrate a new commitment to both the speed and recklessness of punk and the catchy melodies of pop.  By way of dedication, the band raises a spirited toast:  "Secret Country would like to thank whiskey, hot dogs & you". 



*  Some Dark Holler, "Sweet Red Wine"  Hollow Chest  (This is Amer Music, 12)
*  Honkytonk Homeslice, "Texas Town"  Just Passin' Thru  (SCI Fidelity, 12)
*  Lindi Ortega, "Demons Don't Get Me Down"  Cigarettes & Truckstops  (Last Gang, 12)
*  Bap Kennedy, "Into the Arms Of Love"  Sailor's Revenge  (Proper, 13)  D
*  Iris Dement, "Makin' My Way Back Home"  Sing the Delta  (Flariella, 12)
*  Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison, "Cheater's Game"  Cheater's Game  (Premium, 13)
*  Hellbound Glory, "Another Bender"  Old Highs & New Lows  (Rusty Knuckles, 10)
*  Son Volt, "Gramophone"  Okemah & the Melody of Riot  (Legacy, 05)
*  Juliet & the Lonesome Romeos, "No Regrets"  No Regrets  (Tree O, 13)  D
*  Mountain Standard Time, "Behind the Bar"  Sunny  (Self, 13)   D
*  Ronnie Fauss, "The Last"  I Am the Man You Know I'm Not  (Normaltown, 12)
*  Samantha Crain, "Somewhere All the Time"  Kid Face  (Ramseur, 13)   D
*  Alejandro Escovedo, "Losing Your Touch"  Thirteen Years  (Watermelon, 94)
*  Lucinda Williams, "Joy"  West of Memphis  (Legacy, 13)   D
*  Chastity Brown, "After You"  Back-Road Highways  (Creative & Dreams, 12)
*  Constant Tourists, "Rufus"  Carry On  (Self, 13)   D
*  Richard Thompson, "Good Things Happen To Bad People"  Electric  (New West, 13)   D
*  Carrie Rodriguez, "Devil In Mind"  Give Me All You Got  (Ninth St Opus, 13)
*  Dale Watson, "I Lie When I Drink"  El Rancho Azul  (Red House, 13)   D
*  Pete Krebs & Gossamer Wings, "Ashes Back To Vegas"  Sweet Ona Rose  (Cavity Search, 99)
*  Give 'Em Hell Boys, "Wicked Game"  Barn Burner  (Self, 12)   D
*  Mary Gauthier, "Drag Queens In Limousines (live)"  Live At Blue Rock  (Self, 13)
^  Secret Country, "Night of Whiskey"  From the Barroom To the Bedroom  (Killing Horse, 13)   D
*  Willie Nelson, "Come On Back Jesus"  Heroes  (Legacy, 12)
*  Foster & Lloyd, "Lucky Number"  It's Already Tomorrow  (Effin Ell, 11)
*  Phil Lee, "I Like Everything"  The Fall and Further  (Self, 13)   D

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