The Steel Wheels have captured audiences across the country with their heady brew of original soulful mountain music and their deep commitment to roots and community. Based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, this dynamic four-piece string band marries old-time musical traditions with their own innovative sound and lifestyle, generating a truly magnetic revival.
The band is renowned for their raw energy and chemistry on stage, where they often cluster tightly around a single microphone to adorn Trent Wagler’s unmistakable tenor with bell-clear four-part harmonies. Add to this Eric Brubaker’s lively and evocative fiddle, Brian Dickel’s grounded yet buoyant upright bass, and Jay Lapp’s signature mandolin style, and it’s no surprise that The Steel Wheels have enthralled the contemporary Americana scene.
mp3 192 kbps | 105 MB | UL
Grouper is Liz Harris, a Portland-based artist who makes folk-influenced drone music using little more than a guitar and her own voice. Harris has had a prolific release schedule since her debut in 2005, and particularly so as of late: she released a two-part album in 2011, and earlier this year collaborated with Tiny Vipers under the name Mirroring. But arguably her most notable record so far is Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill, which came out on Type in 2008. The Man Who Died In His Boat collects 11 unreleased songs that were recorded during this same period. Its title refers to an experience Harris had as a teenager when she encountered “the wreckage of a sailboat washed up on the shore of Agate Beach” in Oregon. The album will come out on American experimental label Kranky. Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill will be reissued on the same label that same day.
mp3 320 kbps | 103 MB | UL
For reasons best known to the gray marketers in Europe, a series of releases of unauthorized Carole King material has been turning up on small labels, and here is another one. The material is an odd combination of early-’60s recordings by King and some of her best-known work from the early ’70s. In this case, the album leads off with King versions of the 1962 hits “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” (written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield and turned into a hit by Sedaka) and “Crying in the Rain” (written by King and Greenfield and turned into a hit by the Everly Brothers). These are apparently demos or recordings not issued at the time. The rest of the disc consists of seven tracks from King’s 1971 album, Music, and five from her 1974 album, Wrap Around Joy, presented in subpar fidelity. Perhaps the people licensing these recordings are claiming they are demos and therefore not pirated from Ode Records (now controlled by Sony). But they are not demos in the usually accepted sense. They are the original tracks as they appeared on the legitimate records, except that the sound is inferior. Maybe they are early, discarded mixes of the tracks, or otherwise unfinished. Who knows? The album contains no annotations to explain the contents. In any case, there is little reason for a King fan to shell out money for this questionable release. (Note that the counterfeiters couldn’t even get the titles right. “It’s Gonna Take Time” is really “It’s Going to Take Some Time,” and “Change in Mind, Change in Heart” is really “Change in Mind, Change of Heart,” both songs from Music.).
Tracks: 01. Blues Clair 02. On The Move 03. Dancin’ At The Crossroads 04. Just A Man 05. Lemon Oil 06. Nuages 07. Oh Lady Be Good 08. I’ve Found A New Baby 09. Clair De Lune 10. Django’s Tiger 11. Careless Whisper 12. Caprice 24 – bonus 13. There You Have It – bonus […]
David Luning’s debut album, Just Drop on By, has been called ‘a gritty, joyful, soulful piece of Americana,’ ‘a phenomenal experience’ and ‘an album you’ll want to revisit again and again.’ David himself has been called ‘one of those exceedingly rare talents who deserves your full attention. Now!’ ‘I’ve heard the future of Americana music […]
For most of his life, Kevin Abernathy has been a known as an electric guitar slinger. Sometimes it seemed like audiences didn’t always get to down to the lyrics because they didn’t expect thoughtful songs in rock ‘n’ roll. That may change with “Some Stories” — Abernathy’s mostly acoustic album.Kevin Abernathy is the best undiscovered […]
Will has always made great music, and his first solo album is no exception. A lot of it has the same sound as his work with BFT, but with his own spin on things, and (who I think is) Naia Kete provides some excellent additional vocals on a couple of the tracks. mp3 VBR~235 kbps […]
The Parson Red Heads are re-releasing their record Yearling a year and some change after its original appearance – apparently the same length of time it took to record in the first place, lending the referential title a little bit of extra potency. With some additional tracks to fill out this “deluxe edition” of a […]