Started in 2006 by Liam Fitzgerald and Tyler Johnson, Liam Fitzgerald and the Rainieros, is an original honky tonk, western swing, country and western band. Liam Fitzgerald is the song writer for the band. They have played all over the Northwest and have even ventured out to Montana, Utah, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Northern California.
Fear not guitar aficionados there is a new gun slinger in town and his name is Simon McBride. September 25 2012 marks the international release of Crossing The Line, the third album from McBride and the first in the U.S. Once people hear it they will no doubt be wondering why we haven’t heard of the guy before. He has been winning accolades all over the U.K and Europe since winning a young guitarist of the year competition at the age of fifteen and signed with Nugene in 2008. The Belfast born guitarist is Rory Gallagher, Gary Moore, Joe Bonamassa and Paul Rodgers rolled into one and his third album proves he is for real. The strong eleven tracks feature some of the best guitar tone on record. McBride was aided by guitar guru Mr. Paul Reed Smith himself who invited him to his personal studio to record, that’s some serious backing. The songs are mainly presented in the classic power trio format as McBride is joined by his wrecking crew of Paul Hamilton on drums and Carl Harvey on bass. Together they blast through riff heavy blues rock with surgical precision. Their take on the Blood Sweat and Tears horn band soul classic “Go Down Gamblin’” is simply mind bending. The fuzzed out rocker “Heartbreaker,” a McBride original, is worthy of the name, while the sweet soulful “Home To Me,” lilts across a groove so smooth it would seem more at home in Memphis than Ireland. McBride knows when to add even more fire to his majestic guitar sounds by mixing in superb vocalist Mia Simone to back him. The pair soar on the chorus of the power ballad “No Room To Breathe,” and get spunky on the funk rock rambler “Don’t Be A Fool.” McBride also proves it’s not all electric guitar trickery by showing of his prowess on the acoustic guitar on the bluegrass inspired folk tale “A Rock And A Storm.” The album ends with a re-recording of “Down To The Wire,” which has appeared on McBride’s’ previous albums but is given the full treatment here, creating the definitive version of what may become a rock guitar classic.
This is the first recording for Bo Weavil by English folk singer Stephanie Hladowski, coming together with regular recording artist, C Joynes. The Wild Wild Berry is a highly individual record that accents both of their respective styles. Chris’ melodic beauty is equally matched by Stephanie’s turn of phrase. The album contains their renditions of 11 British traditionals, some better-known than others. All the songs were mostly selected from archive recordings at Cecil Sharp House, and chosen on the basis of something unique about the original recording, rather than the song itself. Nothing about the record is a let-down — the simple melodies and powerful authority make this a recording that one will play a thousand times over.
The younger Dylan has admitted that the solo troubadour thing was only a career side road and being the frontman of a touring band remains his first love. Judging from these impressive results, he has picked up where he left off five years ago with an album that fits seamlessly into the Wallflowers’ existing five disc catalog. Despite the recent promotional blitz, a change of label from Interscope to Columbia and a not particularly indicative single that sounds like a pretty good Clash B-side, little has altered in the Wallflowers’ basic sonic template. Jaffee’s contributions remain mostly buried in the mix, making this a Dylan project in all but its name, although the extended layoff has provided a refreshed energy in the crisp soul undertones to songs such as the jaunty “It’s a Dream,” the funky, nearly danceable “Misfits and Lovers,” the frisky Motown vibe of “Have Mercy on Him Now” and the anthemic, Springsteen inspired “Love is a Country.” J. Dylan’s grainy croon remains instantly recognizable. Whether there is anything here that will capture the radio waves like 1996’s classic Bringing Down the Horse –- home of the Wallflowers’ three biggest hits that are still played on whatever rock stations are left–remains to be seen. But Dylan’s talent for matching, smart plentiful (arguably too much so) words to chiming melodies supported by a solid, unpretentious rock band and sung with conviction has returned.
Anna Coogan’s new CD The Wasted Ocean is not the first sea-based album of 2011. June Tabor released the impressive Ashore but whereas Tabor chose old shanties, well-known classics and modern delights such as Elvis Costello’s Shipbuilding, Seattle-based Coogan – once a whitewater kayaker and then a fisheries biologist – has written eight of the 10 songs on her new album. Her voice is sweet and engaging but has enough salt in it to bring out some of the melancholy and brooding beauty of her lyrics. Highlights caught in the net include Steamers, Come The Wind, Come The Rain and the affecting Come Ashore Love. There is also a long cover version of Phil Och’s complex sea-related song The Crucifixion and the CD ends in fine style with the simple yet haunting A Little Less Each Day.
mp3 224 kbps | 66 MB | UL
What do you do after a joke has run its course? If you’re Big & Rich, you decide to take a five-year hiatus, Big Kenny releasing one weird solo album in 2009 and John Rich working harder on his career, following his own 2009 solo venture with a pair of EPs and a role on Celebrity Apprentice. Once that petered out, it was time for the inevitable reunion, the pair returning in the fall of 2012 with Hillbilly Jedi, a record that valiantly attempts to revive their good old shtick, largely through several collaborations with Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. The pairing of the two duos makes some sense: Big & Rich were always arena rockers at heart and Bon Jovi made his cross over into country during the new millennium. And yet Hillbilly Jedi feels only marginally livelier than Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace, the 2007 set that effectively stopped their career. Big & Rich abandon the gimmick of dividing the album in halves of ballads and rockers, but they haven’t quite changed their approach; they’re still flogging the same sticky sentiment and self-aggrandizing country hip-hop that’s been their stock in trade since “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy),” even finding space for two cameos from Cowboy Troy, whose act is feeling particularly long in the tooth. Adhering to shtick isn’t necessarily a detriment — plenty of country and rock bands have had healthy careers without ever straying from their original blueprint — but Big & Rich’s sense of humor has faded while their sanctimony has increased, their hooks have dulled and been replaced by mannered professionalism. All this means is that preachy ballads like “That’s Why I Pray” wind up having a greater impact than rockers like “Party Like Cowboys,” a situation not helped by the great preponderance of tunes desperate to create a good time that never comes. So, instead of being a triumphantly silly return, Hillbilly Jedi merely raises one question: weren’t Big & Rich better off following their own paths?
mp3 320 kbps | 116 MB | UL
Sugar Hill Records will release A Tear in the Eye Is a Wound in the Heart… the second album by Black Prairie, the exploratory, back-porch ensemble founded by the Decemberists Chris Funk, Nate Query and Jenny Conlee.
Produced by Tucker Martine, Tear in the Eye… is the follow up to Feast of the Hunter s Moon , and the first Black Prairie album to primarily feature vocalist Annalisa Tornfelt. Written collaboratively by all band members, the album feels cinematic and familiar; Tornfelt s gentle, classic country-inspired singing is connected to the band s Baltic-Appalachian instrumentals by strange, orchestral interludes. The record is an evolution of the band s love of instrumental, Italian film score weirdness and the venerable, forgotten roots of American and Eastern European folk.
mp3 320 kbps | 148 MB | UL
Three of the most prominent musicians on the Italian creative scene lead from this image to start a musical conversation that looks to the roots of American music, between original compositions and reinvented classics, acoustic sounds and electronic distortions.
mp3 VBR~245 kbps | 96 MB | UL | DF
n 2008 Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson became only the second married couple in the history of the Australian album charts to have an album collaboration debut at #1. Who was the couple prior? John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Nearly five years since the release of their last collaborative album Kasey and Shane have braved the perils of a married-couple-locking-themselves-into-a-small-space and have recorded Wreck & Ruin, the highly anticipated follow up to their 2008 platinum #1 hit album Rattlin’ Bones. Kasey and Shane said “Having been almost five years since we made Rattlin’ Bones we thought it was time to ‘Tempt Fate’ and challenge our marriage by making another album together! “We have both made solo albums in between but in the back of our minds we always knew we would end up making music together again. “The writing process fell into place easier than we had planned so we grabbed some musician friends and recorded us all jamming the songs on a farm for a week. Wreck & Ruin was born and gave us a chance to revisit the sounds of music that we love to make together where it can be ‘traditional’ but not ‘conventional’”.
Hooked is his fifth release, and the man’s ensembles are always tight, jumpin’ with some pretty ripping and/or rhythmically charged guitarists. On this outing, Lucky Peterson, Wilton Rabb, and Alvon Johnson sit in while John Garcia and Jeff Horan are all over the place, frequently backgrounded in order to blend into the plentiful horns. The legendary Betty Wright drops by for I Surrender, and Hard Times takes on a very Lou Rawls shape, Garcia providing a tasty middle eight (in several other songs as well) while Hooker leans back for a moment or two. In fact, where his father sang in a dark, moody, below-the-subway range, the son is in fact much more Rawls-ian all through this and all his discs.Like his father, rather than just lament and pine like so many bluesers, John Jr. tells stories drawing the listener into the narrative of his work-outs, buffing up the dimensions of the sonorities. He also isn’t terribly fond of the macho side of the house and acknowledges the travails of women at the hands of nasty or apathetic men (Tired of Being a Housewife). As said, he’s taking the blues to new places and may well be the most contemporary of his ilk. He’s doing now what other blooz boyz will be putting out 20 years fom now.
Recorded over two days in Rome, Anna Coogan’s latest record is an accomplished set of country songs. Guitarist Daniele Fiaschi provides some welcome musical depth to Coogan’s sometimes soaring, occasionally drawled, vocals.The Seattle-based singer-songwriter includes two covers – Gordon Lightfoot’s The Wreck Of the Edmund Fitzgerald and a haunting take of The Crucifixion, Phil Ochs’s magnum opus about JFK. Of the originals, Red Shoes, Black Dress stands out with its mesmerising, laid-back pedal steel guitar. Lyrically it’s a classic-sounding country narrative about drinking, growing old, a man and marriage – the kind of song that would’ve been at home on the Thelma And Louise soundtrack. Apparently opener Indian Son was influenced by Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. A listenable if fairly conventional album, it will no doubt appeal to fans of The Cowboy Junkies and Emmylou Harris.
Hans Theessink and Terry Evans may be from separate sides of the Atlantic Ocean but they work together beautifully and make sense as a natural combination. These two vastly experienced and respected musicians are committed performers who are a perfect foil for each other. Theessink’s lazy baritone and Evans’ extraordinarily soulful gospel tones are tailor made to blend together with spine-tingling results. Timeless blues, gospel and soul related music comes alive in the capable hands of these two masters. With just two guitars and two remarkable voices they bring forth honest and straightforward power in a stripped down musical situation – an unhurried vibe that’s contagious and flows with the easy rhythm of buddies with mutual respect having a blast singing and playing together. Guitarist Ry Cooder is featured on 3 tracks and joining Terry on backing vocals on 5 tracks are Arnold McCuller and Willie Greene Jr.
In his third album on Heart of Texas Records, The Blackland Farmer Frankie Miller records thirteen songs that fit the Country Legend like an old glove. He opens with one of his past hits titled “A Little South of Memphis” and the closeness to the original is nearly uncanny. He also revisits his own compositions of “It’s Not Easy” and “She Put The Misery On Me.” Darrell McCall joins Frankie on “Young Widow Brown”-a song that they first cut together over fifty years ago. Mona McCall and Frankie cut the duet on the old standard “Put Me In Your Pocket.” Frankie also adds the dance hall favorite “Dim Light Thick Smoke And Loud Music” along with “The Comeback” “House Down The Road” “I Won’t Love You Anymore” and “MacArthur’s Hand.”Produced by Jim Loessberg, the project contains the best musicians in Texas including Loessberg, Jake Hooker, Bobby Flores, Justin Trevino and more!
After a string of bad luck that included a heart attack that set him back several months and the implosion of his band American Music Club, Mark Eitzel fortuitously found himself in the studio with celebrated producer Sheldon Gomberg (Rickie Lee Jones, Ron Sexsmith, Ben Harper), thanks to the generosity of an old friend. The result is Eitzel’s finest solo album in over a decade.
Jessica Lurie – alto, tenor, baritone saxophones, flute, voice, megaphones
Brandon Seabrook – guitar, banjo, tape recorder
Erik Deutsch – piano, electric piano, organ
Todd Sickafoose – acoustic bass
Allison Miller – drums, percussion
Special guest: Marika Hughes – cello