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Thursday, February 06, 2014

featuring the very best of americana, and roots music
February 1, 2014
Scott Foley

Okay.  So we're back to Lydia Loveless.  Lydia Loveless, whose 2011 Indestructible Machine was my favorite album of that year, "reminding me of the most fearless days of early".  More than two years and countless online articles later, Somewhere Else is a different beast entirely.  There's still the two discs, the profane one and the "clean" one.  This time, instead of "Steve Earle" we have "Chris Isaak", and in the place of some seriously inspired badassery we have a much more assured, more confident and seemingly comfortable artist.  On the heels of her relatively playful Boy Crazy EP, Loveless no longer needs to prove her mettle.  She still spits some tough lyrics, in what I would argue is the strongest voice since Maria McKee (big words, I know), but Somewhere Else seems to be a more genuine, honest picture of the artist as a young woman.  This time, producer Joe Viers has buried Loveless' voice a bit deeper in the mix, though the overall sound is cleaner.  The cartoon hottie chugging gasoline on the cover of Indestructible is now a real live flesh-and-blood rocker.  Whereas Indestructible was a left field surprise, her new work arrives with great expectation.  We have eleven months to live with this thing, and time will tell how it compares to whatever else 2014 has in store. In the meantime, please excuse me as I play the hell out of it. 

*  Charlie Parr, "I Dreamed I Saw Paul Bunyan Last Night, Pt.2"  Hollindale  (Chaperone, 14)  D
*  Suzy Bogguss, "Running Kind"  Lucky  (Loyal Dutchess, 14)  D
*  Lyle Lovett, "Texas Trilogy: Bosque Country Romance"  Step Inside This House  (MCA, 98)
*  Uncle Tupelo, "Graveyard Shift (89 demo)"  No Depression (Legacy Edit)  (Columbia, 14)
*  Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, "Gotta Stay Young"  South  (File Under Music, 14)
*  Girls Guns & Glory, "Be Your Man"  Good Luck  (Lonesome Day, 14)
*  Rev Horton Heat, "Smell of Gasoline"  REV  (Victory, 14)
*  Haden Triplets, "Oh Take Me Back"  Haden Triplets  (Third Man, 14)  D
*  Arliss Nancy, "40s"  Simple Machines  (Suburban Home, 12)  C
*  Richmond Fontaine, "Winner's Casino"  Winnemucca  (El Cortez, 02)
*  Drive-by Truckers, "Made Up English Oceans"  English Oceans  (ATO, 14)
*  Laura Cantrell, "Can't Wait"  No Way There From Here  (Thrift Shop, 14)
*  Lone Justice, "Cottonbelt"  Vaught Sessions  (Omnivore, 14)
*  Far West, "Bright Side"  Any Day Now  (Medina River, 14)
*  Whiskey Myers, "Early Morning Shakes"  Early Morning Shakes  (30 Tigers, 14)
*  Dave Simonett, "Are You Behind the Shining Star"  Razor Pony  (Self, 14)  D
*  Marah, "An Old Timer's 'Plaint"  Mountain Minstrelsy of PA  (Dalley Farm Songs, 14)
^  Lydia Loveless,  "Really Wanna See You"  Somewhere Else  (Bloodshot, 14)
*  Leif Vollebeek, "Southern United States"  North Americana  (Missing Piece, 14)  D
*  Water Liars, "Tolling Bells (for Molina)"  Water Liars  (Fat Possum, 14)
*  Lindi Ortega, "When All the Stars Align"  Little Red Boots  (Last Gang, 11)
*  Fred Eaglesmith, "Drunk Girl"  Tambourine  (Self, 13)
*  Black Prairie, "Let It Out"  Fortune  (Sugar Hill, 14)  D
*  Casey James Prestwood, "Honky Tonk Bastard World"  Honky Tonk Bastard World  (Self, 13)  C
*  Rod Picott, "You're Not Missing Anything"  Hang Your Hopes On a Crooked Nail  (Welding Rod, 14)
*  Hiss Golden Messenger, "Far Bright Star"  Bad Debt  (Paradise of Bachelors, 14)  D
*  Paul Burch, "Couldn't Get a Witness"  Fevers  (Plowboy, 13)
*  Tony Dekker, "Talking In Your Sleep"  Prayer of the Woods  (Nettwerk, 13)

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