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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

featuring the very best of americana, and roots music
June 21, 2014
Scott Foley

Commandeered the airwaves for a full three hours of R&B this week.  Along the way, we touched down on some eclectic new offerings from Colorado's own Calder's Revolvers and Gasoline Lollipops.  We gave ear service to a pair of new records released by Portland's Fluff & Gravy Records.  And did I tell you how much I appreciate the Delines' Colfax?  Thought so ...

But at the risk of giving two straight weeks of blog love to one lil' record label, I'll shine my brightest light upon Caleb Caudle's Paint Another Layer On My Heart (out on This Is American Music, natch).  These days, my habit is to preview an album from back to front, owning to a friend's remark that I tend to heavily favor songs from the first third of a CD.  In Caleb Caudle's case, this assured that I landed upon the beautiful ballad, "Come On October":  Come on October, make me a believer / Prove me wrong, take away my fear / Take me out back and throw me in the gravel / Ask me how did I end up here.  A heartrending arrangement of acoustic guitar, piano and just the perfect amount of pedal steel, with a fitting vocal performance by the songwriter.  It's a hard act to follow (which is probably why Caudle scheduled it for the finale of his collection).  This is apparently his sixth record, though it serves as my intro to the man's work.  I wasn't even fully aware of him before John Moreland passed thru Fort Collins with Caudle in tow.  I pay a good deal of attention to opening acts.  Like Moreland, Caudle's voice is expressive beyond expectations, thick with Southern tradition and capable of communicating grand emotion - insert "Missing Holidays" here:  Now I'm missing holidays / I'm leaving at all the wrong times / I'll make it up to you someday / Just give me some time.  Because of my upside-down listening, more upbeat stuff like "Bottles and Cans" and "Countdown" draw the record to a close on a relatively optimistic note.  These roots rockers swagger with a middle American charm to which the mainstream country types might want to pay attention. 

I'm a sucker for a good label.  I expect great things upon opening a package from Bloodshot or Partisan or Secretly Canadian - a trust that leaves me open to real disappointment.  As previously affirmed, on the basis of a stellar run of releases, This Is American Music deserves to be counted as among the best:  Bonnie Whitmore, Hurray For the Riff Raff, Doc Feldman, Have Gun Will Travel, Fire Mountain.  And Caleb Caudle, however you chose to listen to him.  

*  Elvis Costello, "There's a Story in Your Voice"  Delivery Man  (Lost Hwy, 04)
*  Anders Parker, "Animal"  There's a Bluebird in My Heart  (Recorded & Freed, 14)
*  Matt Woods, "Liberty Bell"  With Love From Brushy Mt  (Lonely Ones, 14)
*  Joseph Huber, "Hanging Road"  Hanging Road  (Muddy Roots, 14)
*  Sarah Borges, "Glory Be (live)"  Live Singles  (Suck a Bag of Discs, 10)
^  Caleb Caudle, "Countdown"  Paint Another Layer On My Heart  (This is Amer Music, 14)  D
*  Zoe Muth, "Make Me Change My Mind"  World of Strangers  (Signature Sounds, 14)
*  Calder's Revolvers, "I Gotta Know"  Sunday Morning  (Self, 14)  C, D
*  St Paul & the Broken Bones, "Sugar Dyed"  Half the City  (Single Lock, 14)
*  Fire Mountain, "Be Your Eyes"  All Dies Down  (This is Amer Music, 14)
*  Mary Gauthier, "Another Train"  Trouble & Love  (In the Black, 14)
*  Lucero, "Texas & Tennessee (live)"  Live From Atlanta  (Liberty & Lament, 14)
*  Tweedy, "I'll Sing It"  Sukierae  (dbPm, 14)  D
*  Tift Merritt, "Wayward & Weary"  Please Break the Silence  (Self, 08)
*  Joe Henry, "Swayed"  Invisible Hour  (Worksong, 14)
*  Delines, "He Told Her the City Was Killing Him"  Colfax  (el Cortez, 14)
*  Trampled By Turtles, "Are You Behind the Shining Star"  Wild Animals  (Banjodad, 14)
*  Chatham County Line, "Tightrope of Love"  Tightrope  (Yep Roc, 14)
*  Turnpike Troubadours, "Shreveport"  Diamonds & Gasoline  (Onward, 10)
*  Willie Nelson, "Band of Brothers"  Band of Brothers  (Columbia, 14)
*  Corb Lund, "(Gonna) Shine Up My Boots"  Counterfeiters' Blues  (New West, 14)
*  Backsliders, "Night Falls"  Raleighwood  (Self, 14)  D
*  Drive-by Truckers, "Primer Coat"  English Oceans  (ATO, 14)
*  Amy LaVere, "Lousy Pretender"  Runaway's Diary  (Archer, 14)
*  Christopher Denny, "God's Height"  If the Roses Don't Kill Us  (Partisan, 14)
*  Big Shoals, "Tumbleweed Towns"  Still Go On  (Self, 14)
*  Blitzen Trapper, "Wild Mt Nation"  Wild Mt Nation  (LidKerCow, 07)
*  Mastersons, "Closer To You"  Good Luck Charm  (New West, 14)  D
*  Shovels & Rope, "Devil Is All Around"  Swimmin' Time  (Dualtone, 14)
*  Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison, "Lonely For You"  Our Year  (Premium, 14)
*  Sassparilla, "What the Devil Don't Know"  Pasajero/Hullabaloo  (Fluff & Gravy, 14)  D
*  Anna Tivel, "Five Dollar Bill"  Before Machines  (Fluff & Gravy, 14)  D
*  Joe Purdy, "Waiting For Loretta Too Long"  Eagle Rock Fire  (Mud Town Crier, 14)
*  Richard Buckner, "Six Years"  Bloomed  (Ryko, 94)
*  Jonah Tolchin, "Mockingbird"  Clover Lane  (Yep Roc, 14)  D
*  John Doe, "Beat Up World"  Best of John Doe: This Far  (Yep Roc, 14)
*  Nikki Lane, "Love's On Fire"  All or Nothin'  (New West, 14)
*  Greyhounds, "Soul Navigator"  Accumulator  (Ardent, 14)
*  Robbie Fulks, "Can't Win For Losing You"  Let's Kill Saturday Night  (Geffen, 98)
*  Gasoline Lollipops, "Nashville"  Death  (Self, 14)  C, D

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