Big Jim Brown “Pretty Girl” – Listen

Is it the shining clear guitar, or the rich baritone singing, that make this such an unashamedly lovely song ?  Maybe it’s the words – or all three, because that’s actually all there is on this new song from Big Jim Brown’s latest album ‘Devil on the Other Shoulder‘, which will be released on December 7, 2018.  And it finds the leader of the Speed Kings in a reflective mood on the richness of a lifetime of love and the brevity of forever “always happy seldom blue, I get to spend my life with you/…/ a silent kiss a single smile, forever’s just a little while“.  Ain’t that the truth.

The Hope State “Butterflies” – Track Premiere

The debut album by The Hope State is called ‘Skeletons‘ and is out tomorrow. The Hope State is Canadian Taylor Johnson who started his musical life in Saskatoon before relocating to Los Angeles and is now resident in Toronto.  His introspective brand of folk-rock deals primarily with difficult emotional issues – regret, depression, addiction, love, loss.  And also hope.  Continue reading “The Hope State “Butterflies” – Track Premiere”

Dirty Streets “The Sound” – Listen

The Dirty Streets hail out of Memphis, and continue a tradition of powerful Southern Rock, although just to cover all bases they also don’t fall too far from bands like Mountain by blending in some hard bluesy sounds on ‘The Sound‘.  Naturally for such a sound they are a trio, and they recently dropped their latest album ‘Distractions‘, from which this track comes.  So sit back and, err, distract yourself, man.

Nicole Atkins (featuring Mark Lanegan) “November Rain” – Listen

Taking the pompous overblown Guns N’ Roses ballad (and if that seems a tad harsh, then go and remind yourselves of the official video and then say it isn’t so) and reshaping it into a moving country duet wasn’t so hard for Nicole Atkins.  She did it in her sleep.  Literally. As Nicole Atkins explains she was staying in a Vermont Inn and “I dreamt that I was in an old tower and I was singing an old ’60s country style duet of the Guns n’ Roses song “November Rain,” and it sounded awesome. I immediately woke up and sang it into my phone the way I heard it.”  Continue reading “Nicole Atkins (featuring Mark Lanegan) “November Rain” – Listen”

Dave Stroda “Demolition Man” – Listen

Demolition Man‘ leads in with whoozy pedal steel as Dave Stroda takes a ride through a familiar desolation, in the company of two old amigos, loneliness and emptiness.  The song’s from the new and recently released EP ‘High Altitude‘ which Dave Stroda recorded after moving from the LA music scene back to Idaho, where he’s currently playing acoustic shows in Boise and around.

Dave Ernst “Pallbearer” – Track Premiere

Dave Ernst’s ‘Pallbearer‘ comes from his debut solo album ‘Hickory Switch’, an introspective look into the relationships and experiences that have shaped Ernst’s life.  The message and inspiration for this one is quite clear, as Ernst pays tribute to his father.  Continue reading “Dave Ernst “Pallbearer” – Track Premiere”

Foxwarren “To Be” – Listen

Ten years is a long time to make an album – when Foxwarren first started out as a band they’d coalesced at college around a shared love of Pedro the Lion, Paul Simon and The Band.  The band name came from the location of the family home of Darryl Kissick (bass) and Avery Kissick (drums & percussion), where recording of the demo’s for what would a decade later become the debut release for Foxwarren were kicked off.  Eventually the final recordings wound up in Regina, Saskatchewan but work on the album was delayed when lead singer Andy Shauff got a bit busy with his solo career.  Now reconvened with guitarist Dallas Bryson, Foxwarren’s album will emerge on Anti- on November 30th.  Here’s the track,

Willard Grant Conspiracy “Untethered” – Listen

David Michael Curry tells us the origin of this song: “Incubate Festival in Tilburg, Netherlands was our last show in 2016. When we returned home, Robert went for a check-up because he said he felt something unusual. He was diagnosed within a month or two of that final tour. He wrote the song Untethered shortly after that.”  It was to form part of an incomplete album of the same title that has now been brought to fruition  as an act of closure following Robert Fisher’s death from cancer in February 2017. As Robert Fisher’s longtime musical partner David Michael Curry explains “there was a growing sense of needing this record to honour the history of the band somehow”. Contributors include Steve Wynn and Chris Brokaw but it’s David Michael Curry alongside Robert Fisher who hold the whole project together. The album is out on the 7th of December, but you can hear the sombre title track right now.

Jacko Hooper “The Long Road” – Listen

The Long Road‘ is taken from Jacko Hooper’s EP ‘Together We’re Lost‘ which is out November 23rd.  It’s a true example of bedroom recording and delves into Hooper’s psyche, coming up with a struggle between anxiety and depression with a seasoning of loneliness.  Fortunately the brass on this track lifts these struggles to an epic scale.  If you want to hear more, there’s an EP release show on the 23rd at The Brunswick in Brighton.

John Kilzer “The American Blues” – Track Premier

John Kilzer can claim to carry some scars himself, having dealt with his own issues with substance abuse prior to recording his second album on Memphis based Archer Records.  ‘Scars‘ is the album, and it’s due out on January 11th 2019. ‘The American Blues‘ is available to listen now, and on it the gravel voiced Kilzer takes a critical eye to the Modern World – communication replaced by meaningless tweets, bullies crack their knuckles spoiling for a fight and all the time there’s the watchful eye of the surveillance society.  This isn’t Kilzer’s idea of America.  Continue reading “John Kilzer “The American Blues” – Track Premier”