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Thursday, January 14, 2016

ROUTES & BRANCHES  
a home for the americana diaspora
January 9, 2016
Scott Foley

Another Episode, another 16 debuts.  Is it too much new stuff for one show?  Yes, I think you're right.  But it's what I do, and as I mentioned during my broadcast, my habit is to introduce new records over the span of several weeks, allowing us all an opportunity to become familiar with the artist or the album.  And speaking of New Stuff, please check out my new page called What's Next?!! A Routes & Branches Guide To Feeding the Monster.  Just click on the link below my popular posts to the right.

In the meantime, please find me another broadcast that features Dr. Dog, Mavis Staples, Ship Thieves and Shovels & Rope in the same breath.  The louder, more indie-focused material from Dr. Dog, White Denim and Ship Thieves (formerly Chris Wollard & Ship Thieves) provided a nice stylistic departure, and Matthew Logan Vasquez brought us the Delta Spirit-ual blend of perfect pop and roots from his first full length solo record.

Closer to home, several blogs have posted lists of forthcoming roots records to watch for in early 2016, and Aubrie Sellers appears on many of those.  It's always been my conviction that you can tell a lot about an artist by their touring company, and Sellers has shared the stage with folks like Chris Stapleton, Hayes Carll and John Moreland. It also happens that she is the daughter of one time mainstream country star Lee Ann Womack.  On her debut CD, New City Blues, Aubrie Sellers trades in a darker shade of country, guitars buzzing and coats pulled tight against the cold.  The opener, "Light Of Day" launches with noir guitars that wouldn't have been out of place backing a scene during the first season of True Detective. "Sit Here & Cry" and "Just To Be With You" take a hard driving approach, heavy drums and reckless guitars with Sellers demonstrating more edge than most mainstream sorts show in an entire career.  One might wonder if she's railing against those mainstream vixens on the latter track:  "Up down left right all I see / Is little lost girls playing make believe / Oh it must be fun / Faking smiles at everyone / All you are is a paper doll ..."  Similar to Ashley Monroe, Brandy Clark, Kacey Musgraves, Sellers writes or cowrites her songs and is never afraid to explore the dark side of country music. But don't misunderstand, New City Blues fits snugly in the country tradition on pieces such as "Losing Ground", which could've held its own on one of Mrs. Womack's early collections.  Rather than fish for an apt comparison among her country contemporaries, I might draw a line to longtime genre expats like Allison Moorer.  That's an especially apparent on a song like "Loveless Rolling Stone", pairing indelible guitar work with a smart lyrical approach. 


* Maria McKee, "Barstool Blues" Peddlin' Dreams  (Eleven Thirty, 05)
* Maxwell Mud, "Heavy Soul" Maxwell Mud  (Maxwell Mud, 15)  C
* Luther Dickinson, "Devilment" Blues & Ballads  (New West, 16)
* Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, "Keep the Home Fires Burnin'"  (Disarmers, 15)
* Flat Duo Jets, "Southern Drums" Red Tango  (Norton, 96)
* Paul Burch, "Girl I Sawed In Half" Meridian Rising  (Plowboy, 16)  D
* Arliss Nancy, "Coals" New American Runners  (Black Numbers, 13)  C
* Dr. Dog, "Bring My Baby Back" Psychedelic Swamp  (Anti, 16)  D
* White Denim, "Holda You (I'm Psycho)" Stiff  (Downtown, 16)  D
* Quiet Hollers, "Aviator Shades" Quiet Hollers  (Quiet Hollers, 15)
* Ship Thieves, "Middle Man" No Anchor  (No Idea, 16)  D
* Margo Price, "Desperate & Depressed" Midwest Farmer's Daughter  (Third Man, 16)
* Smooth Hound Smith, "Stopgap Woman Blues" Sweet Tennessee Honey  (SHS, 16)  D
* Dylan LeBlanc, "I'm Moving On" Cautionary Tale  (Thirty Tigers, 16)  D
* Julien Baker, "Good News" Sprained Ankle  (6131 Records, 15)  D
* Caleb Caudle, "Steel & Stone" Carolina Ghost  (This Is American Music, 16)
* Cactus Blossoms, "Stoplight Kisses" You're Dreaming  (Red House, 16)  D
* Lucinda Williams, "Ghosts Of Highway 20" Ghosts Of Highway 20  (Hwy 20, 16)
* Trace Adkins, "I'm No Angel (live)" All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice Of Gregg Allman  (Rounder, 14)
* Green River Ordinance, "Maybe It's Time (Gravity)" Fifteen  (GRO, 16)  D
* Ron Pope & the Nighthawks, "Southern Cross" Ron Pope & the Nighthawks  (Brooklyn Basement, 15)  D
* Mavis Staples, "High Note" Livin' On a High Note  (Anti, 16)  D
* Chris Bathgate, "Calvary" Old Factory  (Quite Scientific, 16)  D
* Matthew Logan Vasquez, "Personal" Solicitor Returns  (No Label, 16)  D
* Shovels & Rope w/Butch Walker, "Bullet Belt" Busted Jukebox Vol. 1  (Dualtone, 15)
* Teddy Thompson & Kelly Jones, "I Thought That We Said Goodbye" Little Windows  (Cooking Vinyl, 16)  D
* Malcolm Holcombe, "Sweet Georgia" Another Black Hole  (Gypsy Eyes, 16)  D
^ Aubrie Sellers, "Losing Ground" New City Blues  (Thirty Tigers, 16)  D
* Cicada Rhythm, "Dirty Hound" Cicada Rhythm  (Normaltown, 15)

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