Steve Earle, Emmylou and Crowell “Old Friends” – Listen

For the last few weeks, we’ve been covering the forthcoming Guy Clark covers album which Steve Earle and his Dukes will be releasing at the end of this month, and today we come to Clark’s 1988 album ‘Old Friends’, for which he enlisted a veritable feast of musician friends including Rosanne Cash, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell. The latter two appear on Earle’s new version of the album’s title track, which RS describes as “a solemn prayer, with Harris harmonizing with Earle on the opening verse… Crowell, Jerry Jeff Walker, Terry Allen and Jo Harvey Allen also join in here, offering various spoken-word lines that underscore the timeless camaraderie of the songwriters.” ‘Guy’ is out March 29th.

Track Premiere – CC Smugglers “Well Well Well”

CC Smugglers started life as a busking band, formed by frontman Richie Prynne in his early twenties. He soon recruited his childhood friends Dan Edwards, Ryan Thomas and Sam Barrett who spent years honing their craft on the streets of London, Cambridge and Bedford England.  They attracted the attention they were aiming for with their 2013 unofficial busking tour, following the Old Crow Medicine Show tour and “opening” for that band by playing to the crowds queuing to get in.  It was a successful gambit garnering radio play and a support slot for Seasick Steve. Continue reading “Track Premiere – CC Smugglers “Well Well Well””

Damn Tall Buildings “Late July” – Listen

It has long been a way to hone your craft and pay some dues – busking.  It’s like a free rehearsal room and you might catch a coin (though all ears can listen for free).  Not that busking always makes for a great band, but in the case of Damn Tall Buildings it seems to have worked out ok.  The bluegrass band bring a fresh modern folk sound to their music – maybe that’s in part due to the contrasting vocals of Max Capistran and Sasha Dubyk that play off Avery Ballotta’s fiddle and Jordan Alleman’s banjo.  The again, maybe it’s getting Dan Cardinal – who has worked with Darlingside and  Josh Ritter to produce your album (‘Don’t Look Down‘).  Whatever it is – it works.

Steve Earle “The Randall Knife” – Listen

We’ve mentioned the new Steve Earle tribute album to Guy Clark a fair bit on the site recently, and there’s another offering now online from it, a terrific version of one of Guy Clark’s most personal songs, ‘The Randall Knife.’‘ which described the complicated relationship between a father and son. The song was originally featured on 1995’s ‘Dublin Blues’ which includes a spoken-word delivery. Earle does the same through his version , which RS describes as “a little gruffer and more ominous than Clark’s original, which unfolded like a campfire story.” The album comes out at the end of this month.

Lake Folks “Astronaut” – Listen

Imagine early Mumford & Sons crossed with early Josh Ritter, but with a French accent and you’re getting close to the sound of Lake Poets – upbeat, uptempo and not yet turned cynical by the ways of the world.  On ‘Astronaut‘, the first single from the coming in March  ‘Someone Else’s Dreams‘ EP there’s the sound of fresh love, and the oxygen-limiting feelings that can induce.  It’s the cadence of young love, rising up like an early spring, baffled and confused and enraptured by every minute of it.

Renee Wahl “From Here To There” – Listen

There’s something not going quite right on Renee Wahl’s roadtrip, captured on ‘From Here To There‘, taken from her new album ‘Cut To The Bonewhich is out on the ides of March.  She’s thinking about love and how it doesn’t always work out the way it seems it could do “the prettiest black-haired blue eyed boy I’d ever seen / how we tried, how we tried“.  And now there’s nothing to be done but head out alone and  “drive drive drive drive drive / and the highway it rolls on and the wind and the wild birds sing their own sweet song“.  There’s an extra edge and a lonesome shiver given to the song by the echoey guitar of Stuart Mathis.

The Cactus Blossoms “Got A Lotta Love” – Listen

The Cactus Blossoms are Minneapolis-based brother duo Page Burkum and Jack Torrey, and this laid back love song, co-written with Dan Auerbach, belies it’s smooth and easy mood  – the song actually came together really quickly (if one puts to one side the several months gestation it went through!).  Whilst visiting Dan Auerbach’s Nashville studio the brothers hit a jolt of inspiration, pulled out a melody they’d been kicking around for a whilke, found it was a good fit and had the song complete in the matter of a quarter of an hour.  It can be found on their soon to be released ‘Easy Way‘ album. 

Todd Snider unveils new single “The Ghost of Johnny Cash”

It would have been Johnny Cash’s 87th birthday this week were he still with us and to celebrate the Man in Black, Todd Snider has released a new song entitled ‘The Ghost of Johnny Cash’ which is taken from his forthcoming album ‘Cash Cabin Sessions Vol.3’ that sees a US release on March 15th via Thirty Tigers. The song was written by Snider, John Carter Cash and June Cash, and was recorded at Johnny Cash’s Cash Cabin Studio in Tennessee. Continue reading “Todd Snider unveils new single “The Ghost of Johnny Cash””

South City Revival “Singer In A Country Band” – Listen

Chicago!  The Blues!  And…whatever it is that other band plays.  That’s not the whole story though – South City Revival  are busy defining a “Chicago Country” sound, and on this, their latest single, they extol the pleasures of at least thinking about being a big touring country -rock band.  Lead singer Joe Pacelli rasps out his strategy “Well I know you’re thinkin’ of me /  but I’ve got big plans / Tour around the country in a beat up van / Hit the ground runnin’, make a lot of money / Yeah, I wanna be the singer in a country band.”  As well as their new single ‘Singer In A Country Band‘ is also the lead track on their eponymous debut EP.

John Paul White “I Wish I Could Write You A Song” – Listen

The new single from John Paul White’s upcoming new album ‘The Hurting Kind‘, due for release on April 12th, finds the singer in the throws of a love that he cannot fully express.  On a  track with an orchestration as big as anything Roy Orbison  attempted he sings “I wish I could write you a song /  I have been trying so long / Every rhyme seems wrong” in a voice dripping with the melancholy of this emotion.