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Monday, March 11, 2013

ROUTES & BRANCHES  
March 9, 2013
Scott Foley

Left Arm Tan calls its second full length album Alticana, which sounds like a shortcut for "alternative americana" which some might call alt.country.  However the Texas quartet chooses to define their sound, it's nothing less than one of the brightest, most tuneful albums of 2013.  Like Sons of Bill or Reckless Kelly, Left Arm Tan trades in working class country as played by an outfit with road experience and suburban smarts.  You won't find them struggling to sound hard or reaching too desperately for their "alt" cred.  Alticana comes across as genuine blue collar music.  Songs like "69 Reasons" and "Carnations" go down smooth with refreshingly tuneful choruses and just-right arrangements. 

Also on this Episode, fellow Texan Tom Gillam has released one of the stronger albums of his roots rock career in Good For You.  Gillam will be joining Robert Cline Jr in the Live@Lunch studios with me on Thursday, March 28 from noon to 1MT.  I'll be micside for this blend of chat and live music with a pair of Texas-bred writers (Cline has, of course, since drifted to Fort Collins). 

*  Greensky Bluegrass, "Reverend"  Five Interstates  (Self, 08)
*  Patterson Hood, "Come Back Little Star"  Heat Lightning Rumbles  (ATO, 12)
*  Phil Lee, "She Don't Let Love Get In the Way"  Fall & Further Decline  (Palookaville, 13)
*  Sara Petite, "Magnolia" Doghouse Rose  (Sweet P, 10)
*  Reno Divorce, "Three Time Loser"  Lover's Leap  (Rusty Knuckles, 13)
*  BR549, "Hey Honey I'm Home"  Unsung Hero: Tribute to Ron Davies  (Little Chickadee, 13)  D
*  Whiskey Sisters, "So Close To the Sun"  Whiskey Sisters  (World Records, 13)
*  Jimbo Mathus, "(I Wanna Be Your) Satellite"  White Buffalo  (Fat Possum, 12)
^  Left Arm Tan, "Carnations"  Alticana  (Self, 13)
*  Rosie Flores, "Blue Side of Town"  Rosie Flores  (American Beat, 87)
*  Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, "Black Caffeine"  Old Yellow Moon  (Nonesuch, 13)
*  Thief River, "Southern Comfort"  Southbound To Nowhere  (Self, 13)
*  Caitlin Rose, "Only a Clown"  Stand-In  (ATO, 13)
*  Richmond Fontaine, "Maybe We Were Both Born Blue (live)"  Postcard From Portland  (El Cortez, 10)
*  Billy Bragg, "There Will Be a Reckoning"  Tooth & Nail  (Cooking Vinyl, 13)
*  Rebekah Pulley, "Terrible Tea Song"  TraLaLa  (Self, 12)
*  Steve Earle, "Burnin' It Down"  Low Highway  (New West, 13)
*  Mt Standard Time, "Canyon Road"  Sunny  (Self, 13)
*  Sarah Borges, "Belle of the Bar"  Diamonds In the Dark  (Sugar Hill, 07)
*  Howlin' Brothers, "Big Time"  Howl  (Readymade, 13)  D
*  Bow Thayer, "Beauty of All Things"  Eden  (Tweed River, 13) 
*  Tom Gillam, "You Better Be Good (to Me)"  Good For You  (Great Tone, 13)  D
*  Asylum St Spankers, "Last Mile of the Way"  God's Favorite Band  (Yellow Dog, 09)
*  Son Volt, "Brick Walls"  Honky Tonk  (Rounder, 13)
*  Gasoline Lollipops, "Longest Night"  Dawn  (Self, 12)
*  Southern Culture On the Skids, "My Neighbor Burns Trash"  Kudzu Ranch  (Kudzu, 10)
*  Mavericks, "All Over Again"  In Time  (Valory, 13)
*  Tim Easton, "Burgundy Red"  Before the Revolution  (New West, 13)
*  Wood & Wire, "Rambler's Blues"  Wood & Wire  (Self, 13)

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