Son Volt Continue To Inspire And Challenge On Electro Melodier Set For Summer Release

Son Volt  -  Electro Melodier

It’s been a couple of years since Alt.country stalwarts Son Volt last release, Union and Jay Farrar and company have not been idle in these pandemic times. Their tenth studio album will be released July 30th and will feature Son Volt’s current lineup of Mark Spencer, Chris Fame, Mark Patterson and Andrew DuPlantis..

The title, Electro Melodier, is taken from the names of two vintage amplifiers from the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, and will feature more intimate and socio-political musings from Farrar, who originally set out to make a nostalgic record that paid tribute to the music of his youth.

“I wanted to concentrate on the melodies which got me into music in the first place,” Farrar said in a statement. “I wanted politics to take a back seat this time, but it always seems to find a way back in there.”

The first cut from Electro Melodier is “Reverie,” (below) a song of hope and sepia memories laced with organ swells and chiming guitar.

Pre-order Electro Melodier.

The follow-up to 2019’s acclaimed release Union, Electro Melodier finds band founder Jay Farrar’s unparalleled songwriting as poignant and intelligent as ever. Electro Melodier touches on the thought-provoking issues that impact us all, including the pandemic, love, and the inevitable passing of time. The current political divide makes its appearance on the album as well. “I wanted to concentrate on the melodies which got me into music in the first place,” says Farrar. “I wanted politics to take a back seat this time, but it always seems to find a way back in there.”

“Livin’ in the USA” echoes protest songs of old, highlighting both the breakdown of our culture and planet. “Share a little truth with your neighbor down the block, We’ve all got fossil fuel lungs while we run out the clock,” Farrar sings. “The Globe” reverberates with the tensions that arise with the fight for equality. “People climbing skyward stairs, Deciders of their fate, You can see it everywhere, Change is in the air…” The sentimental “Diamonds and Cigarettes,” featuring vocals by country singer Laura Cantrell, lovingly pays homage to his wife, while “Lucky Ones” is a weary tale of gratitude.

Electro Melodier features band members Mark Spencer (piano, organ, acoustic slide, lap steel, backing vocals) Andrew DuPlantis (bass, backing vocals), Chris Frame (guitar) Mark Patterson (drums, percussion). Son Volt will take Electro Melodier on the road with select tour date in summer and fall. See below and for tickets go to https://sonvolt.net/.

Farrar started Son Volt in 1994 after leaving the seminal group Uncle Tupelo, whose No Depression album helped define the alt-country and Americana genre. Son Volt’s debut Trace was heavily lauded and remains a defining document of the ’90s alt-country movement. Two decades later, the group continue to decidedly capture the times while breaking new musical ground on Electro Melodier.

Listen Up! – The Felice Brothers “Inferno”

The Felice Brothers Release New Single "Inferno"

Whenever the topic of great bands you’ve probably never heard of comes up The Felice Brothers have to be near the top of ant roots music list. For 15 years the upstate New York band has delivered their
brand of DIY ramshackle roots music to adoring fans over 16 albums and delivering dynamic live performances that feel more like a tent revival than a rock show.

The band’s last release, “Undress” was in the pandemic halcyon days of 2019 and now thy’ve released a new single “Inferno.” The title is from the the third of Tom Hanks’ Dan Brown films 2016 film. The song continues like a kaleidoscopic memories of pop culture – Fight Club, Claude Van Damm, Kurt Cobain – all filtered in the bands sepia bittersweet melody.

Ian Felice.says concerning the song “This song, more than anything, is about the persistence of certain mundane memories, and how they take on hidden meaning and significance, how their symbols become part of our inner lives, and how they are transformed in our minds, “It’s also about youth and growth and transformation. Memories of the film are obscured through the lens of time. Does Jean Claude Van Damm actually ride a motorcycle along the banks of the Rio Grande? I don’t recall, but still I have this image in my mind. I just remember how horrible the movie was. The two characters in the song are transformed into swans in the final verse, in a dream, as they are swept into the fire of another, more frightening reality.”

“Inferno” is the first single of the band’s untitled album to be released later this year. It was produced by The Felice Brothers, engineered by James Felice and Nate Wood, and mixed by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Phoebe Bridgers). The song also sees the continuation of the new lineup of the band that debuted with Undress, consisting of Ian Felice, who shares songwriting and vocal duties in the band with his brother James Felice, bassist Jesske Hume (Conor Oberst, Jade Bird) and drummer Will Lawrence.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Announces Streaming Festival “Let the Music Play On…”

Some of my fondest memories of my 5 years in San Francisco was attending the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass roots music festival. The first weekend in October would roll around and me, my daughter and friends would pack blankets, food and plenty of water and head our to Golden Gate Park to witness some of American’s greatest legends and boldest newcomers perform under the Blue Gum Eucalyptus during a brief Indian Summer. And I could hardly believe the entire event was free! (Thank you, Warren Hellman!)

But times have changed and so must HSB.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is launching its new global and community-driven initiative “Let the Music Play On…” to bring the spirit of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass to backyards and living rooms all over the world with a global broadcast taking place the weekend of October 2nd. In compliance with safety concerns and California’s statewide mandate against large public gatherings, the festival will not be taking place in its traditional setting of Golden Gate Park.

The festival, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year, was founded by Warren Hellman on ten pillars: community, joy, creativity, collaboration, freedom, peace, love, respect, gratitude, and spirituality. It was Hellman’s gift to the City of San Francisco, offering a free outdoor festival in the historic Golden Gate Park that is a celebration of American roots music.

The October broadcast will feature new performances from the expansive range of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass artists that include first-time performers to legends of American Roots music, along with archival footage from the festival’s past two decades and memories from fans, performers, and staff and priceless gems from the festival’s rich history. The HSB community is what gives the festival life, so fans are encouraged to send their favorite memories via stories, videos, and photos to memories@hardlystrictlybluegrass.org. All contributions are welcome and appreciated, and will be considered for the broadcast in October.

“While we know we can’t replace the feeling of being together physically, the safety of our attendees, artists, volunteers, and staff are our highest priority and our team has been hard at work creating a vibrant broadcast in line with what attendees have come to expect from HSB: community, discovery, and the all-time best in roots music, ” says festival advisor Mick Hellman. “We’re excited to share parts of HSB that aren’t feasible in a festival environment such as screening archival footage, sharing memories, and shining a spotlight on our non-profit partners.”

This year the festival has launched Hardly Strictly Music Relief Fund: Bay Area, a $1.5M charitable initiative to support the local music community during the COVID-19 pandemic. American roots musicians living in San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, and Sonoma Counties are invited to apply for one-time, unrestricted support grants up to $2,000. The fund is also open to Bay Area music venues with a track record of presenting and supporting roots music of all kinds. Venues are encouraged to nominate themselves for the grant opportunity. From those nominations, a select number of venues will be invited to submit a formal application for up to $200,000 in grant funding for operating expenses, capacity building, or planning related to reopening, and must include funds dedicated to front-of-house and back-of-house staff.

For more information on the grant opportunities visit hardlystrictlybluegrass.com

Bloodshot Records Artists Rocked By Sale & Accounting Issues

On Monday, July 20th, a form letter was sent out to all artists currently signed to the independent Chicago-based music label Bloodshot Records that the the label is currently up for sale due to ongoing conflict with co-owners Nan Washaw and Rob Miller. This conflict has spilled over into artists and songwriters reimbursement.

Bloodshot artist Jason Hawk Harris posted today on his Facebook page some behind the scenes details:

‘Hey folks. Nan Warshaw is forcing the sale of Bloodshot Records and withholding money owed to artists. Sharing this is my decision in full and I was not prompted to do so by anyone in the Bloodshot camp.

The statement below (scroll down to read the internal statement)h was sent to all current roster artists yesterday by the non-ownership staff at Bloodshot. PLEASE read the letter below for full context before commenting.

I want to be ABSOLUTELY CLEAR and say that my problem is NOT with bloodshot. It is with the other part-owner (Warshaw), holding the company hostage after she was rightfully forced-out for choosing to protect a sexual predator over the artist he preyed on.

Rob and the staff at bloodshot have done nothing but fight for me, tooth and nail, since I signed with them a year and a half ago. I thought hard about sharing this, but ultimately decided I was not okay with Nan not having to face this publicly.

This is the crop reaped from the seeds sown by sexual assault. Take it very seriously, and please hold the right people accountable. And do whatever you can to put a stop to this kind of bullshit in your own industry/workplace.”

Last year Bloodshot Records co-founder Nan Warshaw resigned from her position at the label following allegations of sexual misconduct made Bloodshot recording artist Lydia Loveless against Warshaw’s domestic partner, Mark Panick. Warshaw’s resignation was announced in a statement from the label, which reads, “co-founder Nan Warshaw is resigning from Bloodshot. Remaining co-founder Rob Miller, along with the entire highly dedicated staff, will continue the work of Bloodshot, while ensuring that the core values of the company are consistently represented by all associated w/ the label.”(see tweet)

Bloodshot Records was founded by Rob Miller and Nan Warshaw in 1993 as an “insurgent country” record label catering to the coutry roots loving younger fans that grew up on punk and looked for a fusion of the sounds. Bloodshot was home to many of the genre’s pioneers like Ryan Adams, Neko Case, The Waco Brothers, Scott H. Biram, Wayne “The Train” Hancock, The Old 97’s, The Meat Purveyors, Robbie Fulks and Justin Townes Earle, and currently has on it’s roster Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, Jason Hawk Harris, Ruby Boots, The Vandoliers, and others.

Old 97s New Album “Twelfth” Out This Summer

Remember alt.country? The Old 97’s and their legions of fans worldwide haven’t. And those fans will be rewarded when the Dallas’ stalwarts deliver their 12th album, ‘Twelfth,’ on August 21st.

To drive home the title even further the cover features the most famous #12 of them all, the legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach airborne and in fine form.

The band began recording ‘Twelfth’ in Nashville’s Sputnik Sound Studio last spring, just as tornadoes ripped through the city as they watched from their rented condo.

Though The Old 97’s records and live performances are rollicking fun with a debauchery chaser, the new release will reflect singer and principal songwriter Rhett Miller’s newfound sobriety (five years this summer.) Though the topics might be more clear-eyed and focused if the newly releaseD cut ‘Turn Off The TV’ (see the Liam Lynch directed video below) is representative of the rest of the album, it’s still sure to be lots of fun.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B9j4UewhtgN/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Pre-order’Twelfth’

‘Twelfth’ track list:
– Confessional Boxing
– Diamonds On Neptune
– I Like You Better
– Happy Hour
– Absence (What We’ve Got)
– Turn Off The TV
– This House Got Ghosts
– Why Don’t We Ever Say We’re Sorry
– Belmont Hotel
– Bottle Rocket Baby
– Our Year
– The Dropouts

The Jayhawks Return With “XOXO” Out July 10

Jayhawks -  XOXO

Legendary Minneapolis pop-roots band The Jayhawks have announced their new album XOXO will release on July 10 via Sham/Thirty Tigers. Reportedly their most diverse and wide-ranging group of songs to date, XOXO marks a new era in collaboration, with songwriting and lead vocal contributions from all four longtime band members – Gary Louris, Marc Perlman, Karen Grotberg, and Tim O’Reagan. Along with the announcement, The Jayhawks have released a new video with Louris performing a stripped-down version of “Living In A Bubble”, a timely song of the current lockdown era that laments the problematic nature of our ratings, click=bait driven “news” environment.

“Living In A Bubble’ lyrically is a reaction to the 24-hour news cycle and how the media can fan the flames of fear if one lets it,” says Louris. “It is also a commentary about data collection, Big Brother, and our obsession with devices, while never being truly present in the here and now. Musically it is an homage to the great Harry Nilsson, and is driven by the amazing piano playing of Karen Grotberg.”

Recorded over two weeks holed up together at the secluded Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, MN, as well as at Flowers Studio, founded by their friend and Minneapolis music stalwart the late Ed Ackerson.

With XOXO The Jayhawks camaraderie is at the heart and soul of the 12 songs, bringing an injection of confidence and energy to The Jayhawks’ signature harmonies, infectious melodies, and masterful musicianship.

“It was time to open things up,” explains Louris. “The Jayhawks are a true band, one where everyone’s equal, and we wanted to make a record that really reflected that.” Elaborating on the process, Perlman says, “Some songs we molded together from scratch, but others had been fully written by one or the other of us. We didn’t worry too much about who penned what, because after all these years of playing together, everything we do just naturally comes out sounding like a Jayhawks song.”

Fresh From The Fields – Americana and Roots Music Releases – August 23rd

Fresh From The Fields - Americana and Roots Music Releases

Here’s some of the choicest sections of Americana and roots music for August 23rd, 2019.
Titles are linked to a source to purchase that may contribute to this site and help us keep doing
what we do. Enjoy the great bounty shared by these fine talented folks.

See the full Wanted! – Notable Americana and Roots Music Releases for 2019 list here.

Tanya Tucker – ‘While I’m Livin’ ‘

Vince Gill – ‘Okie’

Dalton Domino – ‘Songs From the Exile’

Jason Hawk Harris – ‘Love & the Dark’

The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys – ‘Toil, Tears & Trouble’

Michael Cleveland – ‘Tall Fiddler’

Esther Rose – ‘You Made It This Far’

Leslie Stevens – ‘Sinner’

Croy and the Boys – ‘Howdy High-Rise’

Erin Enderlin – ‘Chapter Three: Whatever Gets You Through The Night’

Seth James – ‘Good Life’

Midland – ‘Let It Roll’

Record Store Day 2019 – Americana and Roots Music Picks

Spring has sprung and for some antiquated reason we lose an hour of sleep, pollen lays waste to the weakest among us, people lay in fields Of bluebonnets just begging for a snake bite and the smell of vinyl hangs heavy in the air.

You might very well be asking yourself “Did I just read that right? Vinyl?”

Yes, indeed you did.

This Saturday, April 13th, is Record Store Day. That time when you drag your dead ass out of bed at the crack of dawn to stand in a line for the chance to score some choice limited-run vinyl.

The DIY movement that nearly single-handedly resuscitated a near-dead medium. New releases, obscure releases, long out-of-print re-releases, picture discs, colored discs, die-cut discs…it’s all there for a sometimes hefty price. But it’s cheaper than buying it later on eBay for 3-times the original price.

Here are a few Americana and Roots music nuggets from the list (see the full list here)

Highlights include Woody Guthrie’s first time on vinyl limited-edition 10″ “I Don’t Like The Way This World’s A-Treatin’ Me,” John and Lilly Hiatt song swap limited-edition color 7″ vinyl “You Must Go! / All Kinds Of People” and Lone Justice’s previously unreleased live performance from October 1983 at the historic live County music venue “Live at the Palomino.”

So, get to your favorite indy record early on April 13th (I’ll be at Good Records in Dallas) and share those great finds with me on Instagram and Twitter.


Allman Brothers Band – Bear’s Sonic Journals: Fillmore East. February 1970

Label: Allman Brothers Band Recording Company
Quantity: 1500
Release type: ‘RSD First’ Release
A live recording compilation drawn from three nights of shows in February 1970. Recorded by legendary Grateful Dead soundman Owsley Stanley. This special Record Store Day package includes a limited edition, numbered glow-in-the-dark poster.

In Memory of Elizabeth Reed/Hoochie Coochie Man/Stateboro Blues/Trouble No More/Outskirts of Town/Whipping Post/Mountain Jam

Bob Dylan Blood On The Tracks — Original New York Test Pressing
Label: Legacy
Quantity: 7500
Release type: RSD Exclusive Release
Months before Bob Dylan released Blood On The Tracks in early 1975, a small number of test pressings were circulated, consisting entirely of material from sessions at A&R Recording Studios in New York City. (Dylan re-recorded five of these tracks in Minneapolis for inclusion on the final album.) Those original records were soon bootlegged, and the alternate history of one of Dylan’s most acclaimed works was born. This LP is an exact duplicate of the test pressing, containing unique mixes from the New York session, available commercially for the first time.

Side One: 1. Tangled Up In Blue 2. Simple Twist of Fate 3. You’re a Big Girl Now 4. Idiot Wind 5. You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go Side Two: 1. Meet Me In The Morning 2. Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts 3. If You See Her, Say Hello 4. Shelter from the Storm 5. Buckets of Rain

Steve Earle – El Coyote / Don’t Let The Sunshine Fool You
Label: New West Records
Quantity: 900
Release type: ‘RSD First’ Release
Steve Earle & The Dukes release their latest album, GUY on March 29.. The band holed up in Nashville and recorded the record over a six-day period. They came out those sessions with 16 songs featuring some of Guy Clarks most well known hits such as “Desperados Waiting For A Train”, “LA Freeway” and “Dublin Blues.” Steve Earle then decided to book a solo recording session with the intention of recording two more Guy Clark songs specifically for independent retail and Record Store Day. New West Records and Steve Earle are proud to present his solo recordings of “El Coyote” and “Don’t Let The Sunshine Fool You” pressed on a limited edition 7″ 45rpm record.

A – El Coyote / B – Don’t Let The Sunshine Fool You

Woody Guthrie – I Don’t Like The Way This World’s A-Treatin’ Me
Label: Omnivore Recordings
Quantity: 1500
Release type: ‘RSD First’ Release
In 1952, Guthrie wrote and recorded a song at home titled “I Don’t Like The Way This World’s A-Treatin’ Me.” The track appears on vinyl for the first time on a limited edition 10″ of the same name for Record Store Day 2019. Also found on this special release is a second version of the demo with new accompaniment from Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, who, along with Billy Bragg and Wilco, released a series of acclaimed albums featuring their interpretations of unearthed Guthrie lyrics. Mermaid Avenue, the first in the series, was nominated for a Grammy® in 2000.

If those two tracks weren’t enough, I Don’t Like The Way This World’s A-Treatin’ Me includes two versions of “Beech Haven Ain’t My Home” (a.k.a. “Old Man Trump”), whose lyrics were discovered within the Woody Guthrie Archives and chronicle the time the Guthrie family lived under landlord Fred Trump. As two drafts of the lyrics exist, the Riot-Folk Musician’s Collective’s Ryan Harvey combined them. This release contains a version by Harvey featuring Ani DiFranco and Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave), and another from Irion’s band U.S. Elevator.

Available exclusively for Record Store Day as a 10″ EP, I Don’t Like The Way This World’s A-Treatin’ Me is not only a historic but a musical document, released in conjunction and with full cooperation from the Woody Guthrie Archives. As stated in the album’s notes: “These songs were mostly written well over half a century ago, but they are songs for our times to be sure.”

It is truly time for this music to be heard.

Side One:
I Don’t Like The Way This World’s A-Treatin’ Me (1952 Home Demo) – Woody Guthrie
Old Man Trump – Ryan Harvey feat. Ani DiFranco & Tom Morello

Side Two:
I Don’t Like The Way This World’s A-Treatin’ Me – Woody Guthrie & Jeff Tweedy
Beech Haven Ain’t My Home (aka Old Man Trump) – U.S. Elevator

Emmylou Harris – The Studio Albums 1980-83
Format: 5 x LP
Label: Warner Bros
Quantity: 1000
Release type: ‘RSD First’ Release

John & Lilly Hiatt
You Must Go! / All Kinds Of People

Label: New West Records
Quantity: 450
Release type: ‘RSD First’ Release
Lilly Hiatt is the critically acclaimed daughter of singer-songwriter legend, John Hiatt. In the fall of 2018 they got together to record a version of one anothers songs. John Hiatt covered, “All Kinds Of People” from Lilly’s heavily praised album, “Trinity Lane.” Lilly took on the daunting task of picking a song from John’s vast catalog. She picked a winner with “You Must Go” from John Hiatt’s 1995 release, “Walk On.” Together these songs are pressed onto a limited edition color vinyl 7″.

SIDE A: You Must Go! SIDE B: All Kinds Of People

Lone Justice – Live at the Palomino
Label: Omnivore Recordings
Quantity: 1700
Release type: ‘RSD First’ Release
MORE INFO
Previously unissued live performance from October 1983 recorded at Los Angeles’ iconic Palomino club. Features 12 tracks from the early Lone Justice line-up consisting of Maria McKee, Ryan Hedgecock, Marvin Etzioni, and Don Willens. Songs from their yet to be issued debut are coupled with classic country covers, and songs which have appeared on various collections throughout the years—but never with this live power from this L.A. landmark.

You Are The Light
Drugstore Cowboy
How Lonesome Life Has Been
The Train
Dustbowl Depression Time
Cotton Belt
This World Is Not My Home (I’m Just A Passin’ Through)
I See It
Working Man’s Blues
The Grapes Of Wrath
Working Late
Jackson

The Mavericks / Sweet Lizzy Project
The Flower’s In The Seed
Label: Y&T Music /Mono Mundo
Quantity: 1500
Release type: RSD Exclusive Release
MORE INFO
A split 7” featuring Grammy-winning band The Mavericks on one side and The Sweet Lizzy Project on the other. The Sweet Lizzy Project is a new band from Havana, Cuba signed to the Mavericks’ new label. Both sides are produced by The Mavericks’ Raul Malo.

Mumford & Sons – Delta Acoustic Sessions | Live From Electric Lady
Format: 10″ Picture Disc
Label: Glassnote
Quantity: 3500
Release type: RSD Exclusive Release

“Delta Acoustic Sessions | Live From Electric Lady” features previously unheard acoustic recordings of four tracks from last year’s acclaimed album, “Delta”, pressed on a special 10″ Picture Disc.

SIDE A WOMAN GUIDING LIGHT
SIDE B WILD HEART IF I SAY

Leann Rimes – Live from Gruene Hall
Label: Everle Records
Quantity: 1000
Release type: ‘RSD First’ Release
MORE INFO
1. Pride and Joy 2. You Never Even Call Me By Name 3. San Antonio Rose 4. Wasted Days and Wasted Nights 5. Wonderwall 6. Nothing Better To Do 7. Blue 8. Streets of Bakersfield 9. The Bottle Let Me Down 10. Always On My Mind

Leon Russell – Live at Gilley’s
Label: Varese
Quantity: 1350
Release type: RSD Exclusive Release
Leon Live was recorded on September 17, 1981, at the world-famous Gilley’s nightclub in Pasadena, Texas, with his New Grass Revival Band. Leon was in prime shape and the band was on fire that night. The album includes excellent versions of “One More Love Song” (the steel guitar gives the song a new twist), “Cajun Love Song,” and the show-stopping bluegrass tune, “Uncle Pen.” The release also features the Leon classics “A Song For You” and “Lady Blue.”

Watch Out! Strand of Oaks featuring Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires – “Ruby”

Strand of Oaks was joined by members of My Morning Jacket guitarist Carl Broemel, drummer Patrick Hallahan, bassist Tom Blankenship, and keyboardist Bo Koster, as well as Jason Isbell and Amanda Shire performed a pastorally soulful rendition of ‘Ruby’ on “Colbert” last night.

“Ruby” is a track on the upcoming Strand Of Oaks album ‘Eraserland,’ out March 22 on Dead Oceans.

Pre-order ‘Eraserland’ here.

Watch their rendition of “Ruby” below:

Watch Out! The Blood Moon Howlers – “Drunk N’ Cold” [VIDEO PREMIERE]

The Blood Moon Howlers - Drunk N' Cold

If you like your music greasy then, folks, do we have a treat for you!

L.A.’s The Blood Moon Howlers’ newest single “Drunk N’ Cold,” slithers to life with grinding electric guitar and smokey saxophone (how many roots music dare to feature saxophone?!) Guitarist/vocalist Matt Wayne then growls, with harmony provided by bassist JuJu, this ode to swamp water and booze-drenched love would slot perfectly as a track from a particularly menacing David Lynch scene.

Of the song the band says “It’s the first song we wrote for the LP and it really set the whole writing process for the LP into motion. This is a song written about stories Matt has of hangin’ out with his friends partying outside in the cold when they were younger and there was no other place to go. Although people have interpreted it other ways which is fun to hear.”

“Drunk N’ Cold” is from the upcoming full-length album, “Mad Man’s Ruse, out April 6th.

Official Site: thebloodmoonhowlers.com/