Trapper Schoepp “Primetime Illusion” (Xtra Mile Recordings, 2019)

On his fourth full length release Trapper Schoepp has pulled off a trick that only really occurs once or twice in any given decade – the reshaping of folk rock to sound fresh and new. On ‘Primetime Illusion‘ he can be found breathing new life into a dependable genre, with an exuberance that probably hasn’t been heard since Forbert put out ‘Alive On Arrival.’ And with some valid comparisons to that genre defining album, Schoepp can be found in places using Forbertisims in his lyrics. He’s also got an accomplished band backing him, making the album an arresting listen right from the opening notes of ‘Shakedown‘. Continue reading “Trapper Schoepp “Primetime Illusion” (Xtra Mile Recordings, 2019)”

Track Premiere – D.L. Rossi “Good Woman”

If tough knocks are the necessary path to meaningful music then D.L. Rossi is probably feeling he’s racked up enough now, and maybe it’s time for life to let him get on with the songwriting part of the equation.  Having started in bands at a young age, joining in with his older brothers, D.L. Rossi decided to pursue a career in music, initially behind his drum set.  Continue reading “Track Premiere – D.L. Rossi “Good Woman””

Silver Lake 66 “Blue Earth County” – Listen

Maria Francis and Jeff Overbo combine an amalgamation of classic country, folk and blues throughout the music they create as Silver Lake 66.  On this single, from their album ‘Ragged Heart‘, we find the duo speeding down an endless sweltering stretch of highway in a ‘73 convertible heading for the big lights of LA,  It’s inspired by a real life-changing decision to leave the Midwest and head across the country, and it pounds along as the dream gets ever closer.

Various Artists “The Social Power Of Music” (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2019)

This characteristically vast collection from Smithsonian Folkways tackles a multitude of musical forms and interpretations of the term “social power” over four jam-packed CDs. The four discs are, more or less, themed – CD1 is ‘Songs of Struggle‘, CD2 is ‘Sacred Sounds‘, CD3 is ‘Social Songs & Gatherings‘ whilst the final CD closes the circle with a return to political music on ‘Global Movements‘. Each of these themed selections draws on previous releases from Folkways and other labels that have had their output brought into the Folkways fold. Continue reading “Various Artists “The Social Power Of Music” (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2019)”

Track Premiere – Lonesome Shack “New Dream”

Where do dreams come from ?  In the case of Lonesome Shack’s ‘New Dream‘ which we premiere here, the simple answer is from singer and guitar finger-picker Ben Todd.  Digging a little deeper and the rich and sunny country-blues which drifts along at a steady pace as Ben Todd sings that “Tear me away from an old dream /  if I walk long enough I’ll see a new light” might reflect back on his time living in a shack in the New Mexico desert, alone in the Gila Wilderness.  A desire to change, a need to move on to new horizons – but change isn’t easy though: “I walked ’til my feet were torn up”. Continue reading “Track Premiere – Lonesome Shack “New Dream””

Pete Gow “Strip For Me” – Listen

The Case Hardin main man has a solo album coming up called ‘Here There’s No Sirens‘ (out in April on Clubhouse Records).  ‘Strip For Me‘ is the lead single, and in Pete Gow’s own words, it’s  a bit different from previous material.  He says that this release: “is an opportunity to take my writing out of its comfort zone.  There are large parts of this record that are uncharacteristically up close and very personal, and that was a considered choice. But… as the project started to take shape there came the inevitable second-guessing of those choices that led me to redress the balance with a bit of ‘depravity’ here, a bit of ‘unremitting darkness’ there… a slightly crude attempt to throw folks off the scent and a cynical one at trying to keep the base happy “.  ‘Strip For Me‘ certainly fits in with a sense of the dark and disturbing.

Luke Sital-Singh “Lover” – Listen

What?  Didn’t we already have a track feature today?  What’s going on?  Well, lucky, lucky reader that you are we’ve decided to recognise this special day with a bonus track with a title that reflects appropriately.  Lovely, lovely love.  Neat, huh? Only Luke Sital-Singh isn’t too enamoured of that slushy stuff, as he explains ‘Lover‘ is “a song about marital fights, relationship woes, and the ebb and flow of that, essentially. One of the most frequent spats I have with my wife is about driving. She drives, I don’t. The new album is sort of about moving to America, and before we decided on the move we went on a road trip down the Californian coast.  It was a beautiful journey, but there was quite a lot of bickering. So ‘Lover’ is about a difficult drive, and just trying to keep it together, basically.”

Unwed Sailor “Moon Coin” – Listen

Regular readers may recall previous expressions of doubt that “post-rock” is an actual thing, consisting as it does of a rock band playing rock music, often in the form of a rock instrumental.  Be that as it may Johnathon Ford – one-time member of Pedro the Lion and Roadside Monument, presents a new offering in his expansive interpretation of post-rock instrumental music under the band name Unwed Sailor.  The new album, the first in eleven years, is ‘Heavy Age‘, it is out May 3rd and ‘Moon Coin‘ is the first track released from it.  And it, umm, rocks some, in a melodic shoegazey way.  Permission to discretely jive has been obtained.

Track Premiere – The Tiger Lillies “Tombstone”

Prague in the 1990’s, a time between the Velvet Revolution and the rise of mass stag night tourism – this is the era evoked by The Tiger Lillies on their new album ‘Devil’s Fairground‘ which is released this coming Friday.  It’s a time that the band – Martyn Jaques (vocals, accordion, piano, uke), Adrian Stout (double bass, theremin, singing saw) & Jonas Golland (drums, percussion) – relate to as they were there.  They found a city of exceptional hedonism which they happily joined in with, but there was the down side of  legless drunks, bored hookers and fatherless children.   Continue reading “Track Premiere – The Tiger Lillies “Tombstone””

Mavis Staples “Live In London” (Anti-, 2019)

At the age of 79 it would be perfectly understandable if Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Americana Grammy Award Winner and overall musical legend Mavis Staples were to make a move towards taking it easy, it’d be perfectly understandable – but not the case. Over the last few years she has released critically praised albums working with Wilco main man Jeff Tweedy as producer and co-writer of songs. And with a heritage of music back over, incredibly, six decades it is all the more remarkable that this new live album relies on the recent material – this is no “greatest hits” nostalgia package, this is an artist creating new music and taking it out to live on the road. Continue reading “Mavis Staples “Live In London” (Anti-, 2019)”