The Long Ryders – Native Sons [Original recording remastered](2011)

The Long Ryders’ 1984 full-length debut is one of the defining albums of the mid-’80s roots-rock scene, a loose amalgamation of bands reacting against the MTV-ready crop of synth-pop superstars by playing guitar-heavy country-influenced rock and roll. Heavily influenced by Gram Parsons and the Buffalo Springfield, singer/songwriter Sid Griffin and crew mix the ’60s revivalism of the then-current Paisley Underground scene with a fondness for mandolins and other bluegrass instruments which would be further explored by the alt-country groups of the ’90s. Unfortunately, the Long Ryders, who had made much of their “authenticity” in early interviews, blew their street cred in 1985 by starring in a beer commercial, to widespread derision.

mp3 320 kbps | 154 MB | FSo | WU | FSe

Brent Cash – How Strange It Seems (2011)

Brent Cash’s widely celebrated debut album “How Will I Know If I’m Awake” was released more than three years ago. The multi-instrumentalist from Athens, Ga took a long break to create an even more elaborately crafted follow-up. “How Strange It Seems” is chock-full of sophisticated arrangements, multi-layered vocal harmonies, extravagant key changes and intricate rhythms.From the start, Cash decided to record his songs like “they did it back then,” so no costs were spared to hire the best players in town and assemble a mini-orchestra featuring almost 30 musicians. The resulting work sounds like a lost pop masterpiece from the ’60s and ’70s. . It perfectly sets the mood and is extremely rich in detail, scope and color.

mp3 192 kbps | 64 MB | FSo | WU | FSe

Jim Lauderdale – Reason and Rhyme (2011)

“Reason and Rhyme” is the third record by the songwriting team of Jim Lauderdale and Robert Hunter, the second in two years.This installment is straight-ahead bluegrass, and it is wonderful. Lauderdale’s made some of the best modern bluegrass records, including several collaborations with Ralph Stanley, and has a great voice for it.The band on this record features mostly the same lineup from 2007’s The Bluegrass Diaries, including producer and resonator guitarist Randy Kohrs, bassist Jay Weaver and Mike Compton on mandolin. This is a terrific combination: Lauderdale’s approach to bluegrass and Hunter’s vision of the unique American characters most will recall from his years spent writing with Jerry Garcia.

mp3 VBR~257 kbps | 75 MB | FSo | WU | FSe

The Greencards – The Brick Album (2011)

If you imagine an intersection where the traditions of country and bluegrass meet the inventions of newgrass and the changes that swept through British contemporary folk, you’ll have a sense of the music spun by the Greencards. Their songs feature the tight harmonies of country and bluegrass, the sophistication of jazz, and the pluck of folk.Vocalist Carol Young moves fluidly from country to jazz to pop, occasionally transitioning within a single song.  The mandolin (courtesy of guest Sam Bush), fiddle (from recent addition Tyler Andal) and guitar (from the band’s other recent addition, Carl Miner) keep the song anchored to the group’s roots. Vince Gill adds a duet vocal on “Heart Fixer,” and several dozen fans star as financial supporters, with their names emblazoned on the covers.

mp3 192 kbps | 80 MB | FSo | WU | FSe

Neil Young – A Treasure (2011)

The 12-track live album, A Treasure includes songs – 5 of which are previously unreleased – recorded during Young’s 1984 and 1985 U.S. tours without the support of an album, or Young’s then record label due to unique and unusual circumstances. Among those, “Grey Riders” will be the first track serviced to radio. A Treasure features Young’s onstage work with some of the greatest artists in the history of Country music, including the late, great Ben Keith on steel and slide guitar and Rufus Thibodeaux on fiddle, along with living legends Spooner Oldham and Hargus “Pig” Robbins on piano, Tim Drummond and Joe Allen on bass, Anthony Crawford on mandolin & guitars and Karl Himmel on drums, among many others.

FLAC + COVERS | 497 MB | FSo | WU | FSe

Betty Soo and Doug Cox – Across The Borderline : Lie To Me (2011)

Lie To Meis BettySoo & Doug Cox’s first duo album, released in Summer 2011. Most tracks are live off the floor, cut in one live take,with BettySoo (from Austin, TX) on guitar and Doug Cox (from Vancouver Island, BC) on Dobro.They met in Alaska, teaching at a guitar camp, and found they had a shared love of great songs and songwriters, many of whom were unknown to their friends there.

Bettysoo’s voice is strong, feminine, and mesmerizing, and Doug Cox’ guitar riffs are a perfect complement, soulful, tight, and clear. The CD a set of well chosen covers that highlight the duo’s strengths and range from old-school Doug Sahm to more modern fare like Jane Siberry. Highlights for me are “Lie To Me,” and “Boxcars.”

mp3 320 kbps | 91 MB | FSo | WU | FSe

Sally Timms – Cowboy Sally’s Twilight Laments for Lost Buckaroos (1999)

Sally Timms has one of the finest voices around. She sings with the great rock & roll band the Mekons (from Leeds, England), and also has a solo career, singing quieter, more introspective songs (that pack a wallop). Timms is very much under the sway of pre-countrypolitan country music, drawing influence and strength from early Dolly Parton, Marty Robbins, and Merle Haggard. Her backup consists of guitars (acoustic, electric, steel), dobro, fiddle, bass, and light percussion, and the songs highlight her remarkable voice; unlike some younger female singers, Timms does not try to sound like Patsy Cline reincarnated. Her voice is similar to Parton’s, though a bit deeper, capable of conveying both impishness and deep sorrow. The songs are haunting, many of them originals that sound as if they could’ve been written 100 years ago. Highlights include her gentle, soulful take on Johnny Cash’s classic “Cry, Cry, Cry” and a chilling tale of death during a snowstorm, the maddeningly catchy “Snowbird.

mp3 256 kbps | 63 MB | Fso | WU | FSe

Matt Nathanson – Modern Love (2011)

Matt Nathanson will release his new album, Modern Love, on Vanguard Records. A collection of pop and rock songs that are more joyful, complex and bold than any of Matt Nathanson’s previous works, Modern Love is poised to become the album of the summer. In the weeks leading up to the much anticipated release, Nathanson will be embarking on a nationwide tour with country superstars Sugarland. Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush also make a special appearance on Modern Love.

mp3 VBR~243 kbps | 74 MB  | WU | FSe

Neil Young – A Treasure (2011)

The 12-track live album, A Treasure includes songs – 5 of which are previously unreleased – recorded during Young’s 1984 and 1985 U.S. tours without the support of an album, or Young’s then record label due to unique and unusual circumstances. Among those, “Grey Riders” will be the first track serviced to radio. A Treasure features Young’s onstage work with some of the greatest artists in the history of Country music, including the late, great Ben Keith on steel and slide guitar and Rufus Thibodeaux on fiddle, along with living legends Spooner Oldham and Hargus “Pig” Robbins on piano, Tim Drummond and Joe Allen on bass, Anthony Crawford on mandolin & guitars and Karl Himmel on drums, among many others. A Treasure is Young’s first release since last year’s Grammy and Juno Award-winning album, Le Noise.

mp3 VBR~232 kbps | 93 MB |WU | FSo

Dave Alvin – Eleven Eleven (2011)

On Dave Alvin’s new album Eleven Eleven, the man who many credit with pioneering what has come to be known as ‘roots rock,’ revisits the burning, guitar-centered blues rock that initially defined his career along with his band The Blasters in the late ’70s. After The Blasters, Alvin explored the path of American folk music, a road that led to classic albums and Grammy wins (for Public Domain: Songs from the Wild Land), establishing him as one of America’s most distinguished songwriters and California’s de facto roots music ambassador. Fast forward to Eleven Eleven and Dave is ready to raise the stakes again, calling on some Blasters including his brother Phil, with whom he duets for the first time ever on record.

mp3 320 kbps | 107 MB | WU

David Sylvian – Died in the Wool (2011)

Died in the Wool — variations on David Sylvian’s 2009 release Manafon including collaborations with acclaimed composer Dai Fujikura, producers Jan Bang and Erik Honoré and a stellar roster of contemporary musicians and improvisers.The title track, “Died in the Wool,” is a similar construction: It began as an experiment with clarinet multiphonics that Fujikura casually sent to Sylvian, who fleshed it out with Manafon outtakes while Bang and Honoré grounded it with samples from a Skúli Sverrisson concert at the Punkt Festival.

mp3 320 kbps | 135 MB | FSo

Giant Sand – Black Out [25th Anniversary Ed.](2011)

Fire Records re-issues the rare and regarded Black Out recording from 1993. Forged from the embers of the recording session which was Purge & Slouch, and wholly acoustic, this collection of takes was originally released only in Germany. Black Out sits proudly amidst the Giant Sand re-issue project. ”When we gathered for the grand experiment of ‘purge & slouch’ Howe Gelb recalls, ”the idea of which was to record without having written anything prior for it. Some actual songs did pop out perhaps for the sake of warm-up or while mics were being wired .. maybe just for the sake of vigorous deployment .. re-living some old songs there and then, we bundled em up after the fact for what would become ”stromausfall” instead.

mp3 320 kbps | 109 MB | FSo

Dirtball – The Well (1998)

Dirtball are an eight-piece US band led by singer Wes Freed, whose singing style may not be to everyone’s liking (it reminds me of Alan Tyler of the Rockingbirds) although it certainly suits Dirtball’s musical style. All eleven tracks are written by members of the group, mostly by guitarist Jeff Liverman, and deal with typical country themes, such as love and drinking, as far as I can tell . Production credits go to Bob Rupe of US rockers Cracker.

mp3 320 kbps | 121 MB | FSo