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Sunday, May 19, 2013

ROUTES & BRANCHES        
featuring the very best of americana, alt.country and roots music   
May 18, 2013  
Scott Foley

Sure wish I could've caught last week's Two Cow Garage show in Fort Collins.  I see so few shows these days (ie, none) - I'm in favor of lunchtime brownbag performances, but something tells me 2CG might not sound the same in the bright sunlight.  While we await the band's pending album, please enjoy this citation from one of my favorite songs of all time:  
You were short skirts and combat boots / I'm plastic army men. / A plastic soldier til death or / streetlights bring me in. / You Romeo and Juliet / Me Jack and Diane.
Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la, indeed.  This Episode coincided with our launch into KRFC's Spring Membership Drive, where the sound of crickets presided over the proceedings.  Thanks to those who stepped forward, and I look forward to hearing from everyone else as R&B brings the drive to a halt next weekend.  Thanks to Tarnation's Andy D, the hardest working man in lawn care sales, who braved a death-rattle cough to share a 4-hour studio shift with me this week.  Next week, I'll be joined by KRFC's newest programmer, Fast Eddie.

And then on Saturday, June 1, we'll celebrate the inaugural running of FoCo's Choice City Stomp by welcoming Michael Dean Damron into the studios of Routes & Branches.  While he's released a herd of solo albums, Mike also heads up the great Oregon alt.country act I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In the House.  Their forthcoming Mayberry release sets a high bar for other 2013 albums, boasting Damron's smarter-than-you'd-expect lyrics with the band's hellbent buzz and some of the most shredworthy harmonica I've heard in a good while.  The title track's take on our collective attraction for the sepiatoned days of Andy and Opie achieves a rare balance between nostalgia and a jaded cynicism that dismisses that longing for its naivete.  It's truly one of the most worthy cuts I've heard this year, with the freighttrain rhythms only slowing for the haunting refrain: "the closer I get to death / the closer I am to free".  It's masterfully balanced by the curious cut I aired on today's Episode, featuring what I imagine to be tongue-in-cheek lyrics such as, "I give up on everything / Except the sweet love of my puppy dog".  We'll have to ask Mike about that one ...

*  John Moreland, "Nobody Gives a Damn About Songs AnymoreIn the Throes  (Last Chance, 13)
*  Alex Culbreth & Dead Country Stars, "Bang Bang"  Heart In a Mason Jar  (Self, 13)   D
*  Dave Alvin, "Johnny Ace Is Dead (live)"  Eleven Eleven (expanded)  (Yep Roc, 11)
*  Johnny Hickman, "Beauregarde's Retreat"  Palmhenge  (Campstove, 05)  C
*  Rebekah Pulley, "Spin"  TraLaLa  (Self, 12)
*  New Country Rehab, "Too Many Parties"  Ghost of Your Charms  (Self, 13)   D
*  Aoife O'Donovan, "Oh Mama"  Fossils  (Yep Roc, 13)
*  Sadies w/Catherine Irwin, "Walkin' Cane"  Poor Little Knitter On the Road  (Bloodshot, 99)
*  Son Volt, "Brick Walls"  Honky Tonk  (Rounder, 13)
*  Sawmill Joe, "Come Back Home"  JeffCo Ltd  (Self, 13)  C
*  Alejandro Escovedo, "It's a Sin"  You Don't Know Me: Rediscovering Eddy Arnold  (Plowboy, 13)  D
*  Lori McKenna, "Love Can Put It Back Together"  Massachusetts  (Self, 13)
^  I Can Lick Any SOB in the House, "I Give Up (the puppy song)"  Mayberry  (Last Chance, 13)
*  Two Cow Garage, "Come Back To Shelby"  Three  (Shelterhouse, 07)
*  Rodney Crowell, "Every Night"  Let Us In: Americana  (Reviver, 13)  D
*  Trubelos, "Kerosene"  Boomerang Girl  (Self, 13)  C
*  Pistol Annies, "I Feel a Sin"  Annie Up  (RCA, 13)
*  Shovels & Rope, "Bad Luck"  O' Be Joyful (expanded)  (Dualtone, 12)
*  Jason Isbell, "New South Wales"  Southeastern  (12th St, 13)
*  Bruce Robison, "What Would Willie Do"  Country Sunshine  (Boar's Nest, 01)
*  Jason Boland & the Straggler, "Only One"  Dark & Dirty Mile  (Proud Souls, 13)
*  Neko Case, "That's Who I Am"  Ghost Brothers of Darkland County  (Hear, 13)
*  Statesboro Revue, "Fade My Shade of Black"  Ramble On Privilege Creek  (30 Tigers, 13)
             

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