Friday, June 22, 2018

Troubled Waters

In 2011, Josh T. Pearson's stark and fragile Last Of The Country Gentlemen appeared seemingly out of nowhere to become one of the albums of that year. Recording a follow-up, to put it mildly, took a while. And now the much rockier, and rather bombastic The Straight Hits! is finally among us, I'm not really sure if it was worth the wait. Typical case of beard gone, inspiration gone? Answers on a postcard please.
Josh T. Pearson - A Love Song (Set Me Straight)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Is This Love?

Got some jingly jangly Robyn for you today. Always a treat. In a better world, this man wouldn't be a cult hero, he'd be a bona fide star.
Robyn Hitchcock - Madonna Of The Wasps

Monday, June 18, 2018

Treat You Kind

This one just in from a decent but not really remarkable new Townes tribute. Cue fellow Texas legend Terry Allen, still very much alive and kicking, who tries to steal away your mind.
Terry Allen - White Freightliner Blues

Friday, June 15, 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Matter Of Survival

"Won't somebody hand me a bible, won't you give me that number to call..." Have to admit I'm not too well-versed in late-era Van, as I kinda stopped paying attention since the fine A Sense Of Wonder from '85. This gem from the late nineties sure is up there with his classic stuff though. Honking sax a bonus. Not too original a choice admittedly, as Greil Marcus - love him or hate him, I never really can decide - named a whole book on Van the Man after it. Oh well, here goes. Take that ride.
Van Morrison - Rough God Goes Riding

Monday, June 11, 2018

Cymraeg Primitive

A very young, female disciple of the Takoma school of picking? From Cardiff, Wales, to boot? Check! Presenting Gwenifer Raymond, whose debut, You Were Never Much Of A Dancer, will be released later this month on the renowned Tompkins Square label. Here's a fresh little taste.
Gwen Raymond - Bleeding Finger Blues

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Beating Hearts

If you like Hiss Golden Messenger, here's two new releases that may pique your interest. First up is Durham's Phil Cook with his second longplayer People Are My Drug, on which the current HGM guitarist and organist takes another soulful, often New Orleans-inspired trip. Modern gospel by MC Taylor's main man.
Phil Cook - Another Mother's Son

Next stop Asheville to meet the Dead Tongues, brainchild of former HGM guitar slinger Ryan Gustafson. If you like your Americana a tad more subtle, Unsung Passage is a must-have release. Bonus points for the lovely album cover, which takes one back to them dear private press albums of the early seventies.
The Dead Tongues - Won't Be Long

Monday, June 4, 2018

All Aboard

V for vibes? Most definitely. The Shjips never sounded so warm as on their new fifth record, a modern California trip full of hypnotic guitar riffs and sizzling synths. "Sitting alone, staring at the sun..." V for victory.
Wooden Shjips - Staring At The Sun

Friday, June 1, 2018

But Of Course

Yesterday's Guardian featured a heartwarming feature on Irmin Schmidt, at 81 the last man standing of krautrockers supreme Can. Wonderful anecdote: "By all accounts a brilliant musician from an early age, he was already a professional classical pianist when he signed up to study under Stockhausen at Cologne’s Rheinische Musikschule. Czukay was a fellow pupil, and Schmidt is rather proud of the fact that, when Stockhausen was later played a selection of experimental German rock tracks, he dismissed all of them except Can’s 1971 track Aumgn. When he found out who had made it, he said: ‘Well, of course it’s good – these were my students.’”
Can - Aumgn

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Gone Home

Mr. Cobb almost singlehandedly restored my faith in modern country music last year with his moving debut Shine On Rainy Day. Follow-up Providence Canyon has more of a swampy country-got-soul vibe, which may be a big help crossing over to a rock audience. Still: "If you thought he looked country, oughta heard him sing..."
Brent Cobb - King Of Alabama