What a breath of fresh air. Just beautiful music that never goes out of style. People still like real singing and instrument playing. There is no substitute for that, yet. Real singing is what you get, and even more. In fact, you will get The Whole Shebang. Way to work that title in, huh? But in addition to getting some world class vocals, you get some really fine playing. The drumming and percussion really stand out to me. (more…)
Hayes Carll doesn’t need a lengthy introduction on TwangriLa. I am confident 95% or more of the audience knows exactly who Hayes is and they probably own at least one release. Even though it may be a bit of a review, I am going to give a proper introduction to Mr. Carll. (more…)
The best interviews are the ones that are conversation, just friends chatting. That is exactly the way it was when I chatted with Ben Morrison of The Brothers Comatose. He is gracious and extremely open. Ben speaks in detail about his upcoming album and solo project. He also speaks about the current break from The Brothers. This Brother has a lot to say.
I started listening to this as a critical reviewer and within ten minutes, I was lost in the music. This is one time that being lost doesn’t cause me to go into a full panic. The songs are arranged and executed so beautifully, this is an easy listen. This is a collection of Pete Seeger original compositions as well as songs Pete performed. Seeger was a pivotal writer and musician, along with being a social and civil rights activist. Seeger was one of the early people who threw his support behind Bob Dylan.
I don’t know if magnum opus is the proper phrase because Aaron is still a going concern. It is too soon to starting bandying words around such as masterpiece or phrases like magnum opus. The point is, this album is going to be talked about for a while. And it is a gem. It’s always easy to compare another performer or group to the “Fab Four”, but in this case there is a clear line. It’s as if John, George, Paul, and Ringo were contributors on this album. They were, in fact, their influence on Aaron’s songwriting, composing, mixing, and engineering is undeniable.
The proof is in the pickin’. And the pickin’ on Walkin’ Shoes is blissful. Very heavily blues influenced outlaw country that rivals anything or anyone doing the same right now. This definitely takes me back to the late 50’s and early 60s, in some spots, when rockabilly was the king. And Elvis was king also. Rockabilly and Elvis shared the kingdom. There are other moments where I transport into the late 70s.
What happens when you mix late 60s and early 70s soul with some traditional country? You get The Imperial by The Delines. The Imperial is this Portland, Oregon outfit’s second album and it as a good one. The music grooves and has a very understated vibe that is more comfortable than 1,000 thread count sheets. This is an album to be listened to around 6:00 PM to officially ring in the weekend.
It’s funny what happened to punk rock. What started out as songs of rebellion and revolution morphed into bubble gum pop. What was once scary and forbidden became mainstream, accepted, and for commercial gain. Everything against the original punk ethos of music over profits and do it yourself. Well, the glass is half full, I tell ya. Here come the Flesh Eaters with I Used To Be Pretty. No only a new album, but a new lineup that is actually their 1980 lineup. It is a who’s who of LA punk and Americana: John Doe, Dave Alvin, Chris Desjardin, Bill Bateman, Steve Berlin, and DJ Bonebrake.
I know I ask a lot of rhetorical questions in my reviews but indulge me for one more. Why is Amelia White not a household name? After you listen to Rhythm Of The Rain in its entirety, I am certain you will draw the same conclusion I do. The writing and music are among the tops. And production and mixing is a 10 out of 10. I never realized how important those things are until I started listening with a critical ear.
My Love/Hate relationship with Spotify oscillated back toward Love as the end of the year came along. The Love part is grounded in my ability to find and sample an extraordinary amount of new music that satisfies my “fresh water through a shark’s gills” need to find new artists. The Hate part is derived from my view of Spotify as a platform that enables a modern day “musician’s sharecropper” business model given the paltry and unequal royalty payout schemes they employ.