Dr. John – Locked Down (2012)

The collaboration between the New Orleans legend and the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach is inspired, with the younger garage-bluesman placing the 71-year-old’s blues and fire in a perfectly retro-modern frame. No differently to the Black Keys, 21st-century production techniques make sounds as old as the hills seem box-fresh. But no one makes music like this: the Night Tripper rampages inimitably through swamp blues, voodoo funk and Afrobeat, with his trademark piano. Vocals veer from soulful cries of “Can I get a witness?” to narratives about crack houses, but this is more than just a retro retool. The slow response to Hurricane Katrina is assaulted with fury on Revolution, which surveys a landscape of homeless children, raped women and “religious delusions”, and concludes that “rebellion, revolution, is the final solution”. It all powers along on tunes from his top drawer, from the instantly funky title track to the irresistible grooves of Ice Age and redemptive soul of God’s Sure Good. Terrific stuff.

Flac | 264 MB | DF | TB

June Star – Slow Dance (2012)

This is the seventh studio album by genre defining alt. country band June Star, with the only constant in that time being Andrew Grimm, songwriter, guitarist and classic alt. country singer. All of those recordings have been of an incredibly high quality, (although as yet I’ve been unable to track down a copy of ‘Shift, engage and initiate’) with plenty of diversity of tempos within the fairly loose alt. Country/rock genre.For this recording the band consisted of Andrew Grimm on Guitars and Vocals, David Hadley, Pedal Steel, Timothy Bracken, Guitar, Bass, Backing Vocals and at times Drums,  Mike Ward on Keyboards, with the production being courtesy of the band.

mp3 320 kbps | 100 MB  | TB | DF

Grayson Capps – Best Of Grayson Capps: A Love Song For Bobby Long (2011)

A literate and impassioned songwriter whose song characters are often caught barely hanging on at the edges of American life, Grayson Capps is a bit like a New Orleans version of Tom Waits, albeit more of a roots rocker in actual musical execution. Capps was born April 17, 1967, in Opelika, Alabama, the son of a Baptist preacher and an Auburn University student. After his birth, both of his parents ended up being teachers in Brewton, Alabama. They moved to Fairhope, Alabama when Capps was in the seventh grade, and it was there that he developed a lifelong fascination with theater, eventually earning a partial scholarship to Tulane University in New Orleans to study acting, graduating with a B.F.A. in 1989. But acting wasn’t the only thing Capps studied at Tulane.

mp3 320 kbps | 171 MB | DF

Ray Wylie Hubbard – The Grifter’s Hymnal (2012)

Ray Wylie Hubbard‘s got a bad case of Richard Thompson syndrome: uniformly excellent recordings that make the craft of songwriting appear so effortless as to fool the average poet-strummer into thinking that a conversation with a silver-tongued devil is all it takes. Hubbard knows that’s not true, but he’s willing to play along. At a time when Hubbard needs to prove nothing, The Grifter’s Hymnal deals a wicked hand – an ace of spades on “Red Badge of Courage” and diamonds and hearts for “Lazarus,” in which Hubbard concludes slyly, “At least we ain’t Lazarus and had to think twice about dying.” Hubbard keeps slamming the good stuff on “Coricidin Bottle” while recruiting Ringo Starr on “Coochy and blowing 78704 a kiss on “South of the River.” All that and “Mother Blues” is still the track, an autobiographical, tell-on-himself valentine to his now-wife (“that Mother Blues door girl”), a stripper ex-girlfriend, and a gold-top Les Paul now in the hands of his son. It’s Ray Wylie Hubbard at his best, candid, shrugging, unapologetic, and dispensing rock & roll philosophy in words that matter: “And the days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, I have really good days.”

mp3 320 kbps | 105 MB | DF

The Hobart Brothers & Lil’ Sis Hobart – At Least We Have Each Other (2012)

A collaboration featuring acclaimed singer-songwriters Jon Dee Graham, Freedy Johnston and Susan Cowsill. Freedy Johnston is a New York City-based singer-songwriter. Having scored several minor hits since the early 1990s, Johnston’s songs are often about troubled loners, and cover topics like heartbreak, alienation and disappointment. Known for the craftsmanship of his songs, he has been described as a ‘songwriter’s songwriter.Susan began her musical career with The Cowsills in 1967. Her contribution to the Cowsills’ backing vocals made her, upon her ninth birthday, the youngest person to be directly involved in a hit record when Indian Lake made the Top 10 in the early summer of 1968. In 1969 she contributed to the vocals in what would become the Cowsills’ biggest hit, Hair.Jon Dee Graham is a musician, guitarist and songwriter from Austin, Texas. Graham was named the Austin Musician of the Year during the SXSW music conference in 2006. He was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame three times: as a solo artist in 2000, again in 2008 as a member of The Skunks, and again in 2009 as a member of the True Believers.

mp3 160 kbps | 47 MB | DF

Loudon Wainwright III – Older Than My Old Man Now (2012)

No less than 5 generations of Wainwrights make contributions to this new album with duets with Rufus, Martha, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Lexie Kelly Wainwright, Suzzy Roche, along with other esteemed guests John Scofield, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Dame Edna Everage.As his new album’s title relates, Loudon Wainwright III is Older Than My Old Man Now – his old man being the late Loudon Wainwright Jr., the esteemed Life Magazine columnist and senior editor.“Singer-songwriter contemporaries of mine have recently taken to writing memoirs and autobiographies,” notes Wainwright. “I decided I would try to tell the story of my swinging life in a three and one-half minute song.”

mp3 VBR~210 kbps | 85 MB | DF | UL

Hope And Social – Cotton Wool And Knotted Wood (2012)

This little album started life as a live set for our Winter Warmer gig at the Georgian Theatre in Richmond, North Yorkshire, December 2011. We’d decided to re-arrange some of our songs for a more stripped down acoustic feel but, as usual, we all got a little over-excited and started gathering instruments to re-arrange the tracks. Soon we had amassed reed organs, out of tune hand bells, a shambolic brass section (us), pianos, guitars, ukuleles, whistles, double bass, drums and a violin. The gig was such a lovely night that we decided to record the tracks – adding a couple of new tunes to the best of the set.

mp3 320 kbps | 113 MB | DF | UL

BettySoo & Doug Cox – Across the Borderline: More Lies (2012)

Change is good. Sometimes, you just need a little shake-up to get things to how they always ought to have been. With Heat Sin Water Skin, BettySoo adds some welcome edge and grit to the heartbreaker ballads and bell-pure vocals she’s come to be known for.Teamed with seasoned producer Gurf Morlix (Lucinda Williams, Mary Gauthier, Slaid Cleaves), BettySoo has made a record worth sitting up and paying attention to. Her vocals are striking, the players strong, the sound gripping, and the lyrics compelling.Joining her on Heat Sin Water Skin are Todd Wilson on organ, Gene Elders on fiddle, and Dave Terry on drums. BettySoo and Gurf handled the guitar and vocal parts themselves. As for genre, she’s still nestled in the folk-rock world, but she is bringing something new to her listeners. “There’s a little gospel, some straight-ahead folk, a bit of twang, and maybe even a familiar oldie with a new twist. Be ready for a surprise.”

mp3 192 kbps | 57 MB | DF | UL

Raul Malo – Around the World (2012)

When it comes to serving up what the public craves, Raul Malo of the Mavericks knows it better than most. His wonderful, hugely distinctive baritone voice is able at a heartbeat, to stop you in your tracks. His ability to transform a song and shape it to suit himself has long made him a favourite of the connoisseur of song. Aided by his Cuban linage and bilingual singing he not only colours a song but makes an indelible impression as people can’t it seem get enough of his work. Aided by the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra and Spanish horns at a show they performed, to a sell-out audience at the Sage Gateshead July last year as part of their annual SummerTyne Americana Festival music a broad spectrum of material is covered.

mp3 320 kbps | 140 MB | UL | DF

Grascals – Life Finds A Way (2012)

Life Finds a Way implies a journey. From multiple IBMA Entertainer of the Year awards to multiple Grammy® nominations, the Grascals have had an epic one.Now they are back with the highly anticipated signature release that will remind fans why they love this group. From the classic “Sweet Baby James,” to the instrumental “Eleven Eleven,” and the inspirational “The Road to Surrender,” Life Finds a Way is a selection of familiar and new songs with significantly deeper themes.This diverse collection benefits from every Grascal’s songwriting talents, as well as those of Dierks Bentley, Ronnie Bowman, Harley Allen, James Taylor, Jerry Salley and more.As Country legend Tom T. Hall said in the liner notes, “Mere words can’t do this first project for Mountain Home Records justice. You have to play it and FEEL!!”

mp3 192 kbps | 63 MB | UL | DF

Holly Golightly feat. The Brokeoffs – Long Distance (2012)

Holly Golightly has been around the music scene for nearly 20 years, releasing numerous albums as a solo artist, collaborating with others and more recently with her band The Brokeoffs. Off the radar of the major labels, she has managed to plough a furrow with a dedicated fanbase and a work rate that would put most other musicians to shame. ‘Long Distance’ is a new album only in name, as it contains re-recordings of songs from her solo output including covers of some of her favourite artists by popular request from her fans. Holly herself stated “I have picked some of my original band favourites and recorded this collection for old and new fans alike.

mp3 320 kbps | 79 MB | DF | UL

Nels Andrews – Scrimshaw (2012)

This is the third studio album from singer/songwriter Nels Andrews, with songs largely set in and around New York City, (his most recent roost since Albuquerque) until he found himself living in coastal California last summer. Scrimshaw is a masterful and organic progression from his 2008 Off Track Betting. It is as if he took the muscular strength of the songs from his first album, Sunday Shoes, and blended this with the sonic range and artful instrumentation that made Off Track Betting rise from the ranks of most singer/songwriters. Nels has kept true to his folk roots, foremost he is here to tell you a story.

mp3 256 kbps | 74 MB | UL | DF

The Del Fuegos – Silver Star (2012)

Kicking up a ruckus on the more garage-oriented side of the 1980s’ roots rock boom, the Del Fuegos were a four-piece band from Boston who (at least for a time) won critical favor and a loyal cult following at home and on the road for their passionate, no-frills style. Formed in 1980, the Del Fuegos consisted of guitarist and singer Dan Zanes, his brother Warren Zanes on guitar, bassist Tom Lloyd, and drummer Steve Morrell. Steady gigging on the Boston club circuit won the band a potent local reputation, which began to spread along the East Coast with the band’s first few low-budget tours. While the Del Fuegos began recording an album for legendary local label Ace of Hearts Records, in 1984 the famed Los Angeles indie Slash Records stepped in and signed them, releasing their first album, The Longest Day, in the fall of that year. (By this time, Steve Morrell had parted ways with the band, and former Embarrassment percussionist Woody Giessmann had taken over the drum kit.) One of the first albums produced by former Ronnie Montrose keyboard man Mitchell Froom, The Longest Day’s mixture of attitude, guitar firepower, and heart-on-the-sleeve emotion clicked with both critics and fans, and the Del Fuegos seemed poised for a commercial breakthrough with their second album, 1985’s Boston, Mass.

mp3 160 kbps | 29 MB | UL |DF

Samantha Martin & The Haggard – Samantha Martin & The Haggard (2012)

The first thing that hits you is the voice. Samantha Martin‘s is a force of nature, one of those voices that grabs you by the throat while causing the hairs on the back of your neck to tingle. The likes of her friend Serena Ryder and Janis Joplin come to mind as reference points. Martin has a refreshing disregard for genre pigeonholing and the numbers here cover blues, gospel, country and early rock’n’roll territory. She is very ably assisted by her versatile and tight band, the Haggard, featuring one former (Greg Sweetland) and two current members (Pete Lambert and Mikey McCallum) of the Kensington Hillbillies.

mp3 320 kbps | 98 MB | DF | UL

Eastbound Jesus – Holy Smokes (2012)

Eastbound Jesus is a phenomenal new band. Holy Smokes! displays some fantastic talent both in the instrumentation and the lyrics. They have drawn from all corners of the musical landscape, at times that aforementioned bluegrass influence shines through right alongside some garage rock, jamband and straightforward country sounds.Present on the album are a guitar, bass, banjo, drums and a lap steel guitar. These guys have a great handle on the traditional forms of writing songs and do not forget to let you know that they are young and what generation they come from. The arrangements are tight and the songs all have their share of harmonies.These vocal harmonies are far from perfect, which in my opinion makes them infinitely better. Instead of the choral feel you get from some harmonies, you get the feeling of a bunch of guys in a kick ass bar band singing their hearts out together.

mp3 160 kbps | 60 MB | UL | DF

Various Artists – God Damn, I Hate The Blues (2011)

Kraak have just released the latest entry in the label’s ongoing split double 7″ single series titled God Damn, I Hate The Blues featuring Amen Dunes, Ignatz, Marissa Nadler, Nathan Bowles, Warm Climate, & Bridget Hayden. It’s easy to take the name of this compilation at face value as the haunting specter of the blues tradition continues to filter into alternative and popular musics. The handful of musicians included in this release have been chosen wisely though and their musics seem to offer winks towards the past as well as opening up the genre’s particularly downbeat notions.

mp3 160 kbps | 27 MB | UL

Trampled by Turtles – Stars and Satellites (2012)

Minnesota quintet Trampled By Turtles is what happens when members of various punk and rock bands get together to start a bluegrass group. Originally forming in 2003, the band channeled their punk-inspired energy into acoustic instrumentation—including acoustic guitar, banjo and fiddle—which resulted in 2010’s widely praised Palomino and a devoted live following.
On April 10, Trampled By Turtles will release their forthcoming album, Stars and Satellites via Thirty Tigers/RED. Recording the album live in such a unique atmosphere—a log home called “Soleil Pines” outside of Duluth, Minnesota—helped capture the band’s dynamics.

mp3 VBR~264 kbps | 84 MB | DF | UL

Shooter Jennings – Family Man (2012)

The proud son of country legends Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, Shooter says, “This album was really the first time that I took the creative process entirely in my own hands. I had formed a new band, The Triple Crown, after reuniting with an old friend Erik Deutsch, who plays keys in the band, and went into the studio, producing the album myself.” The band also includes guitarist Chris Masterson, drummer Tony Leone, bassist Jeff Hill, pedal steel player John Graboff, and Eleanor Whitmore on harmony vocals, mandolin and fiddle. Album guests include Tom Morello, Patty Griffin, Scott H. Biram and the one and only Jim Dandy of Black Oak Arkansas.

mp3 234 kbps | 68 MB | DF | UL