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Chicken Tractor Deluxe – Night Club Jacks & Undertakers (2011)

Posted by on December 12, 2012 with No Commentsas

In an age where many country music fans think music from the 1990’s is “classic country,” Chicken Tractor Deluxe goes much further back for their musical inspiration – all the way to the 1890’s! With hints of ragtime (Please Don’t Talk To Me) and sharecropper blues (Boll Weavil,) Nightclub Jacks and Undertakers mines the rich spectrum of American music from an era before genres and top 40 charts. Like Steve Martin’s The Crow and Michele Shocked’s Arkansas Traveller, Nightclub Jacks and Undertakers enthusiastically revives American “front porch” music. Driven by Kai Schafft’s wonderfully frenetic banjo picking, Chicken Tractor Deluxe plays like a down home hootenany. With at least three band members taking turns on lead vocals, and instrumental flourishes provided on acoustic guitar, fiddle, harmonica, mandolin, and an occasional trumpet; this album feels like an impromptu jam session at an old genral store. Like a jam session where Union Station and Squirrel Nut Zippers happen to drop by! There are many standout moments on this album, but I am drawn to “Trail of the Lonesome Pine” and “Cuckoo.” With their references to the Blue Ridge Mountains and log cabins, they capture lyrically what the rest of the album evokes emotionally in music. This album truly captures an era and an attitude. Lately, more bands (and fans) are rediscovering this uniquely American attitude of self reliance and musical independence. So on the eve of Thanksgiving 2011, I give thanks for our American musical heritage. And I am thankful that bands like Chicken Tractor Deluxe are keeping that spirit alive!

mp3 160 kbps | 57 MB | UL

Ryan Adams – iTunes Session (2012)

Posted by on December 12, 2012 with No Commentsas

Tracklist:

1 Dirty Rain
2 Oh My Sweet Carolina
3 Lucky Now
4 Houses On the Hill
5 Black Sheets of Rain
6 Chains of Love
7 Ashes & Fire
8 My Winding Wheel

m4a 256 kbps | 60 MB | UL

Ginny Hawker & Tracy Schwarz – Good Songs For Hard Times (2000)

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Together, Tracy Schwarz and Ginny Hawker make a formidable force. Both have long pursued traditional music, Schwarz with the New Lost City Ramblers and Hawker in a duo with Kay Justice. Fans of either singer will be pleased with their new collection. Good Songs for Hard Times offers 15 songs including traditional material and originals by Schwarz. The arrangements are simple, and this allows Schwarz and Hawker’s voices to take center stage. “Fog on the Water,” as Hawker points out in the liner notes, closely resembles a Carter Family song. The simple guitar runs, harmony in the chorus, and bleak lyrics reinforce this relationship. Schwarz and Hawker’s harmony proves perfect in songs like Hank Williams’ “Let’s Turn Back the Years” and also gives a glimpse of what the song might have sounded like without the advent of honky tonk. Despite the effectiveness of their harmony, Schwarz sings solo on “Time to Sell” and Hawker on the shattering “the Butcher’s Boy,” bringing variety to the material. This latter song tells the tragic story of a young girl, desolate because of her untrue husband, who hangs herself. The starkness of the lyrics on Good Songs for Hard Times also point to a sensibility associated with an earlier time. In both “Precious Jewel” and “Fog on the Water,” a narrator remembers a lost love, taken away too soon; “32 Acres” bemoans having one’s land forcefully taken by the government to make a highway. Schwarz and Hawker present this material so movingly that these songs and their sensibility continue to resonate today. Good Songs for Hard Times is a fine accomplishment and a mature artistic statement.

mp3 VBR~170 kbps | 56 MB | UL

A Bluegrass Tribute – Pickin’ On Zeppelin (2000)

Posted by on December 12, 2012 with No Commentsas

1. D’yer Mak’er 2. Kashmir 3. Ramble On 4. Black Dog 5. Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You 6. Going to California 7. No Quarter 8. The Song Remains the Same 9. All My Love 10. The Battle of Evermore 11. Rock and Roll 12. Stairway to Heaven mp3 192 kbps | 77 MB | UL

Cast of Clowns – Have A Heart (2012)

Posted by on December 12, 2012 with No Comments
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Cast of Clowns, recognized nationally as a “supergroup” of performers, is part fun machine, part harbinger, and all in. Their original songs stand strong and unflinching while their creative live approach shoves the envelope into a bucket of confetti. Founded by singer, songwriter, guitarist and fiction writer, Craig Wright, in 2008, The Clowns have played […]

Lambchop – Turd Goes Back (2011)

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Grapefruit Records, a subscription-only record club founded by Simon Joyner and Ben Goldberg, will release a limited, vinyl-only LP of rare early Lambchop recordings. The early recordings, entitled “Turd Goes Back: Essential Tracks from Secret Secret Sourpuss & Big Tussy,” will join Richard Youngs, L. Eugene Methe, and 200 Years, as part of their 2011 […]

Liz Frame and the Kickers – Sooner (2011)

Posted by on December 12, 2012 with No Commentsas

Liz Frame has been kicking around the local music scene for a while — the Newburyport-based Frame made a splash on Boston’s country/rockabilly scene in the ’80s and ’90s before putting a professional music career on the back burner to focus on family. Now she’s back with her four-person country/Americana combo the Kickers — rounding […]

Eric Clapton – Slowhand [35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition] (2012)

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Produced by Glyn Johns, Slowhand was recorded at London’s Olympic Studios in May 1977.  Released that November, it became Clapton’s most successful studio album of the decade, and eventually spent 74 weeks on the U.S. albums chart after five weeks at No. 2.  “Lay Down Sally,” “Cocaine” and “Wonderful Tonight,” the latter written for Clapton’s […]