Music blog Aquarium Drunkard tracks the beginnings and evolution of the alt.country genre and the current correlation of No Depression magazine’s imminent demise and the new release of a deluxe edition of Whiskeytown’s Stranger’s Almanac.
The New York City based Village Voice has a characteristically snarky feature covering the latest releases by Carlene Carter, Sheryl Crow, Shelby Lynne, Allison Moorer, Tift Merritt and Kathleen Edwards.
The Kansas City Star has a feature on alt.country singer/songwriter and Nashville native Sara Cox on how she balances her career with being a mother of three. Apparently Kathy Mattea was her baby-sitter growing up. Cool!
The Academy of Country Music shows their criteria for country music excellence – sales over talent – and their exceptional consistency for surprising no one by nominating Kenny Chesney for 11 nominations.
Ryan Adams, musical legend or precocious twit? I think there’s an argument to be made either way – but one thing there’s no argument on is that Adams early Band, Raleigh, NC’s Whiskeytown, made some of the best damn alt.country music in it’s short existence.
Whiskeytown’s 1997 major label debut, Strangers Almanac will be re-released in a deluxe, 2-CD edition on March 4, 2008 on Geffen/UMe/Mood Food/Outpost.
During the time of the recording the band was led by a 22-year-old Adams and was in a certain level of turmoil: There was a new rhythm section (bassist Jeff Rice and drummer Steven Terry joined Adams, Cary and Wandscher), band member fiddler-singer-songwriter Caitlin Cary was in a relationship with the former drummer Eric “Skillet” Gilmore, Adams had been offered his own solo deal and they had no guitars because they had been misplaced during the trip to Nashville. The acoustic guitar heard on Strangers Almanac was bought in a pawnshop.
Disc one is the original album plus five previously unreleased live public radio performances. 17 of the 19 recordings on the second disc were previously unreleased recordings and are from the pre-production sessions for Strangers Almanac (commonly referred to as the Barn’s On Fire sessions). Intimate acoustic demos of “16 Days,” “Avenues” and “Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart,” are included plus several original songs making their premieres in the Whiskeytown catalog: “Kiss & Make-Up,” “Indian Gown,” “Barn’s On Fire,” “Streets Of Sirens,” “Breathe,” “Nurse With The Pills” and “10 Seconds.” Also included are covers of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” Gram Parsons’ “Luxury Liner,” Johnny Cash’s “I Still Miss Someone” and an early version of the True Believers’ “The Rain Won’t Help You When It’s Over.”
If this release comes anywhere close to the treatment reached by the Lucinda Williams’ Car Wheels on a Gravel Road and The Allman Brothers Band Eat a Peach deluxe editions it should be a great addition for Ryan fans.
from CMT.com – Two former members of the Jayhawks have collaborated on a new album for the first time since 1995. Gary Louris and Mark Olson completed Ready for the Flood last year and expect to release it this summer or fall. The duo hired Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson as producer. No distribution plans have been announced. Olson initially left the pioneering alt-country band following the tour for 1995’s Tomorrow the Green Grass album, and the band called it quits in 2005. However, Louris and Olson have toured together over the last few years. Louris released Vagabonds, a solo album also produced by Robinson, on Feb. 19.
Due to financial and music industry self-inflicted mortal wounds No Depression Magazine will cease publication after 13 bi-monthly years of bringing it’s readers to best of “Alternative Country (Whatever that is)” From the March-April issue publishers Grant Alden, Peter Blackstock and Kyla Fairchild as its Page 2 “Hello Stranger” column and from their site –
Barring the intercession of unknown angels, you hold in your hands the next-to-the-last edition of No Depression we will publish. It is difficult even to type those words, so please know that we have not come lightly to this decision.
It’s no understatement to say that the humble blog you are currently reading and others like it would not exist if not for No Depression. ND showed that country and roots music and mutated into many interesting and thrilling varieties. You could enjoy your Grandfather’s music in a new and souped up form and there was music out there that still had the heart and soul of Cash and Haggard and might be doing it with a arm full of tattoos and a energy of any punk or metal band. Many of the bands and artists I could not live with today, the Drive By Truckers, Hank III, Meat Purveyors, Scott H. Biram…the list goes on and on.
The gaping cultural void left by ND’s sad demise will be felt directly and indirectly by fans and bands struggling against an American idolized world. ND was the place to look for inspiration and the place to hope to be featured when you had “made it” If you were featured or reviewed in ND you had cred! Fans and bands that otherwise thought they were pissing in the wind and making and enjoying music brazenly against the formulaic bile reflected everyday on the charts found a home in the pages of ND.
The passing of ND is a blow but their very existence in was a blessing. Now the Americana roots music goes back underground where it will mutate, rage and burst out once again like some dreaded cultural beast.
Adios amigos. Thanks for showing me the way.
Something missing in your life, friends? Been itchy, twitchy and filled with impure thoughts over the last two months? Well step eyeing the chickens and get yer keester over to www.section86.com and download Episode #12 of It Burns When I Pee! The Valentines Day Massacre!
This episode features an interview with Bill Anderson of the Meat Purveyors. Anderson talks about his career, the in and outs of The Meat Purveyors, and what he is doing now-a-days. Also check out the premier of their new comedy skit, The Trailer Park Dating Game.
The show as usual is filled with music from the likes of The Von Ehrics, Stacy Dean Campbell, Joecephus & The George Jonestown Massacre, OldBoy, Hank Williams Sr, and of course some tunes from The Meat Purveyors.
So quit your bitching about Trashville dreck, put some salve on that thing and get over to get your Pee on!
In the South we sometimes forget about our kindred spirits way up North. Alaskans have many of the same qualities as Southerners. A strong sense of independence, a yearning for wide open spaces and a tendency to raise hell when the opportunity arises and a deep appreciation of American Southern musical heritage.
Straight outta Anchorage The Whipsaws sound like they could be from anywhere South of the Mason-Dixon instead of a few thousand miles to the North where for the past five years, they have traveled the vast isolated miles playing smoke-filled saloons and paying their dues on cold winter nights cultivating a uniquely Alaskan brand of country-rock.
Cribbing from the best that Southern rock offers – Neil Young, The Band, The Allman Brothers and Uncle Tupelo, singer/songwriter/guitarist Evan Phillips, bassist Ivan Molesky, guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Aaron Benolkin and drummer James Dommek, Jr. blend melodies, harmonies and sonic blasts in measures that make each song inspired with passion and not merely the aping of past glory.
The Whipsaws first full-length since their 2006 debut,Ten Day Bender, which reached #133 on the AMA chart, #28 on the Roots Music Report for Roots Rock, and debuting at #12 on the Euro Americana chart., 60 Watt Avenue carries the saound forward and has all their wares on display in fine form. The title track busts out big and then settles into a smooth vibe with crying bottle-neck guitar and Dommek’s clockwork drum work. As the song concludes Phillips screams out “I believe in rock and roll!” the band has left you no doubt that the sentiment is true.
Jesse Jane is a rollicking shuffle about wayward, boozy love that may or may not be about the porn star. The lonesome steel and fiddle laced Coming Home hearkens back to Uncle Tupelo’s Anodyne and Stick Around a love song with an askew melody that sound like it was written with a bottle a bottle of whiskey and a piano with the excellent “There are mysteries that surround you, that I don’t want to solve.” chorus of surrendering to ambiguity.
High Tide brings us to Allman Brothers wide-open road song terrain with a story of small-town woes featuring some great harmonica work. Lonesome Joe is a banjo and steel driven narrative of sage advice and life lessons from a Harley riding vet that is forged with beauty and sorrow. And The War continues the Allman-tinged aesthetic protest song that carries on the fine folk/country tradition of telling small stories to make a big point about humanity. Sinferno and Bar Scar blistering barroom brawlers right out of the hard-rock boogie Lynyrd Skynyrd playbook.
The band addresses one of their influences directly by covering Buffalo Springfield’s Mr. Soul – which was originally a great reworking of “(Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” the cover proves to be a worthy addition scorching wah-pedal leads sure to make Neil Young smile. Ode To Shakey is a moody analogue textured piece with a sloppy-jammed up lead that could have been lifted from a Mr. Young sound check. Seven Long Years is a dobro and harmonica blended gospel tune about temperance and redemption which features New West’s Tom Easton.
The Whipsaws can comfortably take their rightful place among current Southern Rock standard bearers like The Drive By Truckers and Alabama’s Caddle as they blaze a trail into the sunset.
The majority of the paintings in the show pay tribute to a group of jazz musicians from Juarez, Mexico. They were premier musicians who played in the top night spots of Juarez in its heyday, even backed Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee, but lost their lives when their bus went off a cliff in 1953.
Opening reception is Friday February 15th 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Tom will play a few songs at the opening. Afterward, he will be playing at the Cactus Café.
1510 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704