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Sunday, November 02, 2014


ROUTES & BRANCHES  
featuring the very best of americana, alt.country and roots music
November 1, 2014
Scott Foley

When I write a review I tend to want to avoid saying what other bloggers say.  I want to tread new ground, to reinvent the wheel, to mix metaphors ...  I want to put some thought into my writing, to do justice to music that moves me.  Sometimes, though, the most eloquent I can be is simply to say, " ... Damn!!"  From Los Angeles, I knew I'd like the Bloodhounds as soon as I came across their picture on the cover of their debut, Let Loose!  My expectations were doubled by the fact that the album was being released by the tremendous Alive Natural Sound Records, home to so many other "Damn!!" acts who flirt with a deadly concoction of punk, blues and roots music.  A band with Latin roots, the Bloodhounds can't help but bring to mind "another band from East L.A.," though the influence is less direct in their songs.  What is there is that same love of classic R&B, early rock and garage punk, with cuts like "Wild Little Rider" and "Crackin' Up" sounding like 60s era nuggets.  Bucking the theory that you can't judge a band by one song title, there's the immediate classic "Try a Little Reefer".  The sloppy electric guitar, overamplified harmonica, underlying organ and gang vocals give you exactly what you'd expect/hope for with a name like that.   Like J Roddy Walston or Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires, I want to blast the Bloodhounds from my busted speakers.  I want to share "Bottle Cap Blues" with the neighbors and their contentedly clucking backyard chickens.  Sure the music is derivative, but there's no denying that Let Loose! has authentic soul.  Damn!!

So, remember when I was talking about how Alejandro Escovedo was going to come by the studios?  And he was going to play a show with Peter Buck?  At Hodi's?  Well, turns out that doctor still knows best.  AE has been told to stay home, and has canceled the entire tour (though his facebook post indicates that he may be recording an album with Buck soon ... but time has told that you can't really believe everything you read here, y'know).  Which all means that I'll have to wait to check off the "Interview Alejandro Escovedo" line from my radio bucket list.  That's okay, though, because I'm also still working on crossing off "Do the best show ever". 

*  Gasoline Lollipops, "Failed Bed Frame"  Death  (Self, 14)  C
*  Longest Day of the Year, "Live Wire"  Carapace  (Mulewax, 14)  C, D
*  Parlor Pickers, "Muleskinner"  Joliet Street Shakedown  (Self, 14)  C, D
*  Old Gray Mule, "Alice Mae"  Have Mercy  (Cotton Patch Disco, 14)  D
*  Tim Barry, "Lost & Rootless"  Lost & Rootless  (Chunksaah, 14)
*  Joe Fletcher, "Florence, Alabama"  You've Got the Wrong Man  (Self, 14) 
*  Christopher Denny, "If the Roses Don't Kill Us"  If the Roses Don't Kill Us  (Partisan, 14)
*  Over the Rhine, "Blood Oranges In the Snow"  Blood Oranges In the Snow  (Great Speckled Dog, 14)  D
*  Jim White vs Packway Handle Band, "Jim 3:16"  Take It Like a Man  (Yep Roc, 14)
*  Ben Miller Band, "You Don't Know"  Any Way Shape or Form  (New West, 14)
^  Bloodhounds, "Try a Little Reefer"  Let Loose!  (Alive Natural Sound, 14)  D
*  Uncle Tupelo, "Acuff-Rose"  Anodyne  (Sire, 93)
*  Jason Isbell, "Heart On a String"  Here We Rest  (Lightning Rod, 11)
*  Eliot Bronson, "Comin' For Ya North Georgia Blues"  Eliot Bronson  (Saturn5, 14)
*  Elliott BROOD, "Jigsaw Heart"  Work and Love  (Paper Bag, 14)
*  Kasey Chambers, "Wheelbarrow"  Bittersweet  (Essence, 14)
*  Elvis Costello, "Country Darkness"  Delivery Man  (Lost Hwy, 04)
*  Jerry Lee Lewis, "Keep Me In Mind"  Rock & Roll TIme  (Vanguard, 14)
*  Doug Seegers, "There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight"  Going Down the River  (Rounder, 14)
*  Angaleena Presley, "American Middle Class"  American Middle Class  (Thirty Tigers, 14)
*  Ben Weaver, "Frank's Getaway Car"  I Would Rather Be a Buffalo  (Hymie's Record Label, 14)  D
*  Black Twig Pickers, "Last Kind Word Blues"  Hobo Handshake  (VHF, 08)
*  Gravel Kings, "Boozgeois Blues"  Arrows & Maps  (Self, 14)  D
*  Dwight Yoakam, "Nothing"  Gone  (Reprise, 95)
*  Tom Vandenavond w/Larry & His Flask, "To Leave This Flatland Prairie"  Endtimes  (Hillgrass Bluebilly, 14)
*  Sons of Bill, "Road To Canaan"  Love & Logic  (Thirty Tigers, 14)
*  Lloyd Cole, "California Earthquake" Standards (Omnivore, 14)  D
*  Pieta Brown, "Flowers of Love"  Paradise Outlaw  (Red House, 14)
*  Sturgill Simpson, "Turtles All the Way Down"  Metamodern Sounds in Country Music  (High Top Mt, 14)

1 comment:

Cr Humphrey said...

Appreciate you playing our version of Alice Mae!