Americana Music Releases for the week of Feb. 3rd

Here’s all of the Americana and roots-type music releases for the week of February 3rd, 2015. Click the artist or album links to find out more.  The artist’s names link to their websites and the CD title links go either AmazonCD Baby or the artist’s site for ordering or downloading.

barnstar-1 (200x200)Barnstar!
Sit Down! Get Up! Get Out! (Signature Sounds Recordings)

Barnstar! is the brainchild of Zachariah Hickman (bassist for Josh Ritter and Ray Lamontagne) and features some of the strongest singers and pickers in modern American roots music. Using the familiar tools of the genre— guitar (Mark Erelli), fiddle (Jake Armerding), mandolin (Taylor Armerding) and banjo (Charlie Rose). Barnstar! forges its own brand of bluegrass, gloriously harmonized and raucously played. With a focus on lyrical content and unusual material.

dylan-b-shadows (200x199)Bob Dylan
Shadows In The Night
(Columbia Records)

Regarding the repertoire on this album, Bob Dylan commented, “It was a real privilege to make this album of mostly Frank Sinatra songs. I’ve wanted to do something like this for a long time but was never brave enough to approach 30-piece complicated arrangements and refine them down for a 5-piece band. That’s the key to all these performances. We knew these songs extremely well. It was all done live.”

keen-re-prisonerRobert Earl Keen
Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions (Dualtone Music Group)

Inspired by the bluegrass and acoustic music he grew up around, Keen has put his unique stamp on fifteen standards and other beloved tunes . “We knocked these songs out in six days, it’s the best recording experience I’ve ever had.”  Special guests include Lyle Lovett and Natalie Maines on vocals, Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins on fiddle, and Danny Barnes on banjo.

morlix-g-eatin (200x181)Gurf Morlix
Eatin’ At Me
(Rootball Records)

Once, when asked by a promoter for a copy of his biography, Gurf Morlix responded with just two words, “legendary integrity.” He would later admit that his response was perhaps a bit pompous, “but true,” he added. “Well, half true anyway.” The story is a telling one, demonstrating not only Morlix’s directness, which is famous among his musical colleagues – or perhaps infamous, depending on who you ask – but also his dry sense of humor and no-bullshit approach to life, music, and the music business.

Also new this week…

American Aquarium - Wolves  (self release)
Murder By Death Big Dark Love  (Bloodshot Records)
Butch Walker – Afraid of Ghosts (Dangerbird Records)

 

Coming  soon… Rhiannon Giddens, Blackberry Smoke, Jeff Austin, Anne McCue, Owl Country, 6 String Drag, The Mavericks, James McMurtry, Gretchen Peters, Steve Earle, Jorma Kaukonen,
Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line, Whitehorse…

Bill Frater

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Americana Music Releases for the week of Jan. 27th

Here’s all of the Americana and roots-type music releases for the week of January 27th, 2015. Click the artist or album links to find out more.  The artist’s names link to their websites and the CD title links go either AmazonCD Baby or the artist’s site for ordering or downloading.

 

holcomb-medicineDrew Holcomb & The Neighbors
Medicine
(Magnolia Music)

For Nashville based, Memphis born Drew Holcomb, “music is medicine” and it seems only fitting that along with his band The Neighbors, the group celebrates a decade long career with the release of Medicine his own imprint Magnolia Music. Recorded over eight days at Joe Pisapia’s Middletree Studios in East Nashville, the band and tackles issues of everyday life including loyalty, hardship, marriage, friendship, alienation and faith.

 

punchbros-phosphersentPunch Brothers
The Phosphorescent Blues (Nonesuch Records)

Last summer, the band and producer T Bone Burnett spent a month laying down the songs that guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjo player Noam Pikelny, mandolinist and lead singer Chris Thile, and fiddler Gabe Witcher had written during several writing “retreats” last winter and spring. Thile explains one of the ways the music on The Phosphorescent Blues reflects the band’s view of modern life: “We often go to bars after shows or writing sessions, to be around other people for a little while. And I’d see people just like me on their phones, telling people they wish they were there, texting people who really are there. Then a song would come on that somebody likes and then they see that someone else does too and maybe they both sing it together and that moment is spiritual, some shared experience, and they are interacting in the flesh, with their fellow man. And that’s communion. Many of the songs on this record dive into that: how do we cultivate beautiful, three-dimensional experiences with our fellow man in this day and age?”

 

white-jim-packwayJim White vs. The Packway Handle Band
Take It Like A Man
 (Yep Roc Records)

White’s songwriting is hallucinatory blend of country, folk and rock puts his music in its own category of cool. Drawing from years of itinerant rambling. The Packway Handle Band is a high energy roots-grass outfit based out of Athens, GA. White describes their union as “a synthesis between their zany bluegrass sound and my long-suffering, implosive-depressive novelist view of the south.” White adds that it fulfills his “conniving goal to become a happy bluegrass man.”

 

Also new this week…

The Brothers Landreth – Let It Lie (Slate Creek Records)
Jake Xerxes Fussell – Jake Xerxes Fussell (Paradise of Bachelors Records)
Paul Kelly – Paul Kelly Presents: The Merri Soul Sessions ( )
Scott Kempner – Live On Blueberry Hill  (MRI)
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver – In Session (Mountain Home)
The Lone Bellow – Then Came the Morning (Descendant Records)

Coming  soon… American Aquarium, Robert Earl Keen, Barnstar!, Rhiannon Giddens, Blackberry Smoke, Jeff Austin, The Mavericks, James McMurtry, Bob Dylan…

Bill Frater

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Americana Music Releases for the week of Jan. 20th

Here’s all of the Americana and roots-type music releases for the week of January 20th, 2015. Click the artist or album links to find out more.  The artist’s names link to their websites and the CD title links go either AmazonCD Baby or the artist’s site for ordering or downloading.

 

Ryan Bingham
Fear & Saturday Night
(Axster Bingham Records)

Recorded mostly live with a brand new backing band, Bingham’s new album shows him facing down his past with a poetic grace throughout. Some of the most affecting moments on the album are in the harmonica-driven wistful waltz “Broken Heart Tattoos,” a song written to an unborn child, and in the title track, “Fear and Saturday Night.”  Those hard-learned lessons, through both good times and bad, helped make Bingham the man he is today. (from Amazon)


blake-n-woodNorman Blake
Wood, Wire & Words
(Western Jubilee Recording Company/Plectraphone Records)

Blake has 38 albums, a signature guitar line from Martin and the adulations of players worldwide. Wood, Wire & Words is the first recording of all original Blake material in over 30 years.  An unvarnished recording performed by Norman and his guitar. Includes a selection written and performed with his wife Nancy Blake.

brown-jim-ed-againJim Ed Brown
In Style Again  (Plowboy Records)

80 year old Jim Ed Brown returns with his first solo recording in over three decades. Since 1963, Brown has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry. “When The Sun Says Hello To The Mountain” features the distinctive harmonies of his sisters, Maxine and Bonnie.  Other guests include Vince Gill, The Whites. Helen Cornelius

Also new this week…

The Decemberists – What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World  (Capitol Records) 
Mike Henderson Band – If You Think Its Hot Here 
(Eller Soul Records)

Coming out soon… The Lone Bellow, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, Punch Brothers, The Brothers Landreth, American Aquarium, Robert Earl Keen, Barnstar!, Rhiannon Giddens, Blackberry Smoke, Jeff Austin, The Mavericks, James McMurtry, Bob Dylan…

Bill Frater

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Americana Music Releases for the week of Jan. 13th

Here’s all of the Americana and roots-type music releases for the week of January 13th, 2015. Click the artist or album links to find out more.  The artist’s names link to their websites and the CD title links go either AmazonCD Baby or the artist’s site for ordering or downloading.

earle-jt-absentJustin Townes Earle
Absent Fathers (Vagrant)

Absent Fathers was recorded alongside Single Mothers as a double album, but as Justin began to sequence it, he felt each half needed to make its own statement and they took on their own identities. The album was recorded live with his four-piece touring band with only days of rehearsal leading up to recording to keep the ideas fresh. No overdubs, no other singers, no additional players – just a real, heartfelt performance capturing the moment.

ickes-hensley-1 (200x182)Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley
Before the Sun Goes Down
(Compass)

The album pairs Rob Ickes, 15-time IBMA Dobro Player of Year, with rising singer/guitarist Trey Hensley whom Ickes recently discovered while recording in East Tennessee. Hensley’s voice is something of a miracle, a throwback to the great country singer icons of the genre’s first golden era. hensley is also a very hot guitarist!

va-inside-ldavis-concertVarious Artists
Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis (Nonesuch)

A one-night-only concert was held at New York City’s Town Hall last fall, to celebrate the music of the Coen brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis. As producer T Bone Burnett explains, the movie was filled with live performances of some of the folk songs that had survived the McCarthy hearings. Some of the songs were a hundred years old; some had just been written but sounded a hundred years old. The steller all-star lineup includes The Avett Brothers, Colin Meloy, Marcus Mumford, Conor Oberst, Elvis Costello, Gillian Welch, Jack White, Punch Brothers and more.

Also new this week…

Cody Canada & The Departed – Hippielovepunk (Underground Sound)
Ry Cooder – Acoustic Performance Radio Ranch, 12-2-1972 (Echoes)
Great Spirit – Front Porch To Frontier (self released)

Coming out soon… The Lone Bellow, Ryan Bingham, The Decemberists, The Brothers Landreth, Robert Earl Keen, Jeff Austin, The Mavericks, James McMurtry, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle…

Bill Frater

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Americana Music Releases for the week of Jan. 6th

Here’s all of the Americana and roots-type music releases for the week of January 5th, 2015. Click the artist or album links to find out more.  The artist’s names link to their websites and the CD title links go either AmazonCD Baby or the artist’s site for ordering or downloading.

brokedownbakersfield-liveBROKEDOWN IN BAKERSFIELD
Live! (Little Sur)

Brokedown in Bakersfield is a collective of acclaimed West Coast musicians joining forces in a spirited tribute to the Bakersfield sound: California country music made raw and rocking, spiked with twang and sweetened with heartfelt harmonies.The group features Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz of ALO on pedal steel, Scott Law on Telecaster, singer Nicki Bluhm of Gramblers fame, Tim Bluhm of The Mother Hips on vocals and acoustic guitar. Drawing from the powerful songbooks of Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Gram Parsons and more.

krummbacher-v-troubleVICTOR KRUMMENACHER
Hard To See Trouble Coming  (self released)   

The San Francisco-based, Camper Van Beethoven co-founder explores a darker, “cosmic country” rock flavor with this, his ninth solo album. The collection of ten original songs highlights his love of the blues, country rock and folk traditions. Co-Produced by Victor and renowned pedal steel player/long-time collaborator Bruce Kaplan of American Music Club.

Also new this week…

KRISTA BARONI – The Alabaster Girl  (self released)

Coming out soon… Justin Townes Earle, The Lone Bellow, Ryan Bingham, The Decemberists, Robert Earl Keen, Jeff Austin, The Mavericks, James McMurtry, Bob Dylan…

Bill Frater

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Freight Train Boogie Best Music of 2014

cash-r-7As always, it’s tough to narrow it down to only 10… my list could change day to day, especially as the more recent releases “settle in.”  Rosanne’s album has held firm for the whole year. I’ve always been a fan but husband John Leventhal’s guitar and songwriting contributions make this a masterpiece, in my humble opinion. I love Sturgill Simpson’s work and I applaud his success and Grammy nod but I wasn’t knocked out by his psychedelic experiments, so he’s in the bottom 5.

  1. Rosanne Cash – The River & The Thread
  2. gibbs-o-youthParker Millsap – Parker Millsap
  3. Otis Gibbs – Souvenirs Of A Misspent Youth
  4. Lucinda Williams – Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone
  5. Doug Seegers – Going Down To The River
  6. Nikki Lane – All Or Nothin
  7. Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
  8. Jesse Winchester – Reasonable Amount of Trouble
  9. Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives – Saturday Night/Sunday Morning
  10. seegers-doug-river (200x200)JP Harris & The Tough Choices – Home Is Where The Hurt Is

Honorable mentions…

Cory Branan The No-Hit Wonder

The Earls Of Leicester -The Earls of Leicester

frontcountry-1Front Country - Sake Of The Sound

Hiss Golden Messenger Lateness of Dancers

Hurray For The Riff Raff – Small Town Heroes

Cahalen Morrison & Country Hammer The Flower of Muscle Shoals

Doug Paisley – Strong Feelings

Freight Train Boogie Show #281 (Best of 2014) podcast

Happy holidays!

Bill Frater
Twitter: @Fratrain
Flipboard: Americana Boogie Music

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Americana Music Releases for the week of Dec. 9th

As we wind up the year, here’s all of the Americana and roots-type music releases for the week of December 9th, 2014. Click the artist or album links to find out more.  The artist’s names link to their websites and the CD title links go either AmazonCD Baby or the artist’s site for ordering or downloading.

cracker-14CRACKER
Berkeley to Bakersfield (429 Records)

Their 10th release, a double album, traverses two different sides of the California music landscape: East Bay punk and Bakersfield twang.  With founding members David Lowery and Johnny Hickman anchoring the project, they’ve brought in a host of musicians to help out, including putting together the original Cracker lineup for the Berkeley side. This Bakersfield disc represents the ‘California country’ side of the band.

 

lynch-c-holiday (200x200)THE CLAIRE LYNCH BAND
Holiday! (Thrill Hill)

Lynch and her sharp band offer up acoustic reworkings of holiday classics and a few new originals sure to become listening and a good seasonal gift for fans of bluegrass and folk music.

 

xmas-men-1THE XMAS-MEN
Santa Is Real  (Rosetta)

Enjoy the holiday season with this 12-track instrumental CD featuring Robert Earl Keen’s fine band featuring Rich Brotherton, Bill Whitbeck, Tom Van Schaik and Marty Muse!

Coming out early next year… Justin Townes Earle, The Lone Bellow, Ryan Bingham, The Decemberists, Robert Earl Keen, Jeff Austin, The Mavericks, James McMurtry, Bob Dylan…

Bill Frater

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Americana Music Releases for the week of Dec. 2nd

As we wind up the year, here’s all of the Americana and roots-type music releases for the week of December 2nd, 2014. Click the artist or album links to find out more.  The artist’s names link to their websites and the CD title links go either AmazonCD Baby or the artist’s site for ordering or downloading.

 

larue-a-1 (200x200)STONEY LARUE
Aviator
(Entertainment One Music)

The Texas native-turned longtime Oklahoman resident has had a successful career to date running the roads for a long time as a perennial crowd favorite in the region. An Amazon fan writes, “This is true Texas Country music and if you want to hear honest country music, this CD is perfect for you! He has a down-home, raw emotion feeling in all of his songs that just make each one great. Country with a touch of rock and blues.”

morgan-whitey-live (200x200)WHITEY MORGAN & THE 78’S
Born, Raised & Live from Flint (Bloodshot)

With the Nashville establishment complacently riding a walmartized wave of bro-country like Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line , Whitey Morgan & 78s brand of tough and tight, loose and loud outlaw honky tonk is a breath of fresh motor oil, sweat and grease.  They are in a bare-knuckle brawl for the soul of a cherished music form every night their boots hit the boards. (from Bloodshot)

nelson-willie-bobby-1 (200x200)WILLIE & BOBBIE NELSON
December Day (Willie’s Stash, Vol. 1) (Sony Legacy)

From Willie’s earliest years in  Abbott, Texas, Bobbie, two years his senior, was a part of his musical upbringing; the duo learned to read music and play instruments at an early age under the tutelage of their grandparents. Bobbie has been a member of Willie’s Family Band since its inception, and their bond as siblings and musicians is palpable throughout this. December Day features new versions of gems from Willie’s extensive catalog and some eclectic covers.

Also new this week…

SHE & HIM – Classics (Columbia)

Coming out soon…CRACKER, The Lone Bellow, Ryan Bingham, The Decemberists, Robert Earl Keen, Jeff Austin, The Mavericks…

Bill Frater

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Americana Music Releases for the week of Nov. 25th

Here’s all of the Americana and roots-type music releases for the week of November 25th, 2014. Click the artist or album links to find out more.  The artist’s names link to their websites and the CD title links go either AmazonCD Baby or the artist’s site for ordering or downloading.

NELS CLINE & JULIAN LAGE
Room  (Mack Avenue)

Cline has gained his widest fame as a member of Wilco and he’s known for a certain cranked-up experimental mayhem. At just 26, Lage has taken the world of jazz guitar by storm. The New York Times hails him and describes his style as “roots tangled up in jazz, folk, classical and country music.” The sound together is pristine, alive with personality and contrast, improvisational daring and jaw-dropping precision.

leftover-salmon-highcLEFTOVER SALMON
High Country (LoS)

The new album is a Black Friday release and will be available exclusively at participating Record Store Day retailers until the first of the year. The album includes the newest member of Leftover Salmon and legendary Little Feat keyboardist, Bill Payne. High Country was produced by Steve Berlin.

Also new this week…

DEVON ALLMANRagged & Dirty (Ruf)
LITTLE FEAT – Live at Ultrasonic Studios Long Island April 10th, 1973  (Keyhole)

Coming out soon… ASHLEY RAINES, WILLIE & BOBBIE NELSON, SHE & HIM, CRACKER…

Bill Frater

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Americana Music Releases for the week of Nov. 17th

Here’s all of the Americana and roots-type music releases for the week of November 18th, 2014. Click the artist or album links to find out more.  The artist’s names link to their websites and the CD title links go either AmazonCD Baby or the artist’s site for ordering or downloading.

 

bloodshot-noone-watching (200x200)Various Artists
While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records  (Bloodshot)

The upstart label celebrates 20 years with this double album, a collection of 38 acts covering songs from their extensive & eclectic catalog.  Artists include Blitzen Trapper, Chris Shiflett & Dead Peasants, Andrew Bird, Chuck Prophet, Shinyribs, Mike Watt, Ben Kweller, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, Shakey Graves and others.

 

thompson-family-1 (200x200)THOMPSON
Family (Fantasy)

Teddy Thompson, together with parents Richard and Linda, brother Jack, younger sister Kami, her husband James Walbourne, and nephew Zak Hobbs collectively dubbed Thompson have a great collaborative album of all new original songs.

 

wilco-alpha-1 (200x200)WILCO
Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994-2014 (Nonesuch)

Released in conjunction with the Chicago band’s 20th anniversary, this is a 4-CD/4-LP/DIGITAL-box-set of rare studio and live recordings collected from the band’s extensive audio archives. There is also a is a 2-CD compilation of tracks culled from the band’s previously released studio recordings posted below.

 

Also new this week…

DAVID NELSON – Once in a Blue Moon (DNB) (New Riders of The Purple Sage)
OLD 97’s – Hitchhike To Rhome
(Omnivore Recordings) (Reissue of their classic debut album, with 2nd disc of 12 rare and unreleased tracks)
Various Artists – The Art of McCartney (Kobalt)  ( with everyone from Dr. John, The Cure and Brian Wilson to Willie, B.B. and Dylan)
WILCO - What’s Your 20 (Nonesuch) (2-CD best of collection)

Coming out soon… SARAH LOU RICHARDS, ASHLEY RAINES, LEFTOVER SALMON, WILLIE & BOBBIE NELSON, SHE & HIM, CRACKER…

Bill Frater

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