Leave It Alone – Amanda Shires

Leave It Alone by Amanda Shires is my Track of the Day.

Leave It Alone is the first release from Amanda Shires’s forthcoming album, To The Sunset.

I’m a fairly new fan of Amanda Shires, I knew she was married to Jason Isbell and had seen her perform with him and his band a couple of times, but it was only last year that I started listening to her own work. One of the favorite albums I purchased last year was her 2016 release, My Piece of Land.

 

 

 

 

 

And one of my favorite live performances last year was Amanda Shires and her band at the Pilgrimage Music Festival in Franklin, Tennessee. It was a brilliant set, and for me, the highlight of the day. Even managed to get a half decent photo with my iphone!

 

To The Sunset was produced by Dave Cobb and is due for release on August 3rd.

Leave It Alone sounds totally different to anything on My Piece of Land, but that’s not a criticism. There are far too many artists who rest on their laurels, churning out variations on whatever theme got them some kind of attention. I’m sure there will be some naysayers who will slate this release as not being “country” enough, well as the T-shirt being sold on the Amanda Shires website so eloquently puts it “Mama wants to change that Nashville Sound

Anyway, check out Leave It Alone by Amanda Shires

Pretty damned good or what!

Before I sign off, a quick mention for Jerry Pentecost, the drummer in Amanda Shires’s band, who has been nominated for an Instrumentalist of the Year award by the Americana Music Association.

Back to the song, I love it, and that’s why I’m adding Leave It Alone to my 2018 Track of the Day playlist

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I Wanna Cry by Charley Crockett

Today’s Track of the Day is I Wanna Cry by Charley Crockett.

I’m a big fan of Chris Shiflett’s Walking the Floor podcast and as mentioned in my previous post, his guest this week was Charley Crockett. And again, this is where this Brit shows his ignorance of the American music scene, I’d never heard of Charley Crockett prior to listening to this podcast.

Listening to the podcast, it’s well apparent that Charley Crockett works his ass off! His latest album, Lonesome as a Shadow is his fourth album in as many years. More on that later, but reading his story on his website I was interest to see that his third album was a collection of his favorite honky tonk songs, featuring amongst others “Hank Williams, Ernest TubbLoretta Lynn, Tanya Tucker, Roy AcuffWebb Pierce”. Now, apart from Webb Pierce, I’ve heard of all of them, so maybe it’s just the current music scene I’m ignorant of!  Since moving to Cincinnati, nearly four years ago, I’ve got to know a lot about Hank Williams and his recordings for King Records.

I think I need to get hold of that third album, Charley Crockett presents Lil G.L.’s Honky Tonk Jubilee, but for now I’d decided to buy his most recent album, Lonesome as a Shadow.

 

 

 

 

 

Being a bit of a vinyl buff, I’d order the LP from my local record store, Plaid Room Records, but in the meantime, I’ve been checking it out on Spotify & Youtube, which is where I came across this great video for for I Wanna Cry

How good was that video?

And how good was “I Wanna Cry” by Charley Crockett, definitely good enough to be my Track of the Day, which is why it’s the latest addition to my 2018 Track of the Day playlist.

In the meantime, I can’t wait to hear the whole album on vinyl!

 

 

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Baby Please – Garrett T Capps

Baby Please by Garrett T Capps is my Track of the Day for today.

It’s my first in a while, but trust me, it’s a good one!

Until yesterday morning, I’d never heard of Garrett T Capps. I was listening to the latest episode of Walking the Floor with Chris Shiflett (just to be clear, the podcast is called Walking the Floor with Chris Shiflett, I wasn’t actually listening to Walking the Floor sat next to Chris Shiflett!) and before he kicked off his interview with Charley Crockett, he mentioned that he’d received an album from Garrett T Capps. So I thought I’d check said Mr Capps out, and I’m so glad I did.

I visited his website and apparently one of his songs, Born in San Antone featured in the opening episode of Billions. That was taken off his 2016 album Y Los Lonely Hipsters, now that’s an album title!

But Baby Please is off his most recent release LP, In The Shadows (Again). I found this on YouTube, and there’s a great video to accompany the track, check this out:

How good is that?

As well as sending his most recent album to Chris Shiflett, Garrett T Capps also sent him an album by Jerry Jeff Walker. Now, you’ll have to excuse my ignorance, but I had no idea who Jerry Jeff Walker is! So I had to find out. Well turns out, that amongst other things, he wrote Mr Bojangles! That’s a song I’ve heard quite a few times in my lifetime, mainly by Sammy Davies Junior or Sir Bruce Forsyth! In fact I’m pretty sure I saw Bruce Forsyth perform it live at the 2012 Hop Farm Festival

I have to say, by the way, this episode of Walking the Floor was excellent. Charley Crockett was a great interviewee and needless to say I checked him out too, and yes, my bank balance took a hit, as I ordered his latest album, Lonesome as a Shadow. And I can tell you now, my next Track of the Day is going to be by Charley Crockett!

But for today, it’s Baby Please by Garrett T Capps that’s being added to my Track of the Day 2018 playlist.

 

 

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Belle Adair – Long Fade Out

Long Fade Out by Belle Adair is today’s Track of the Day.

One of the few Facebook groups I belong to is the Big Big Train group, the forum for “listeners of progressive band Big Big Train“. Whilst a lot of the discussions on the group revolve around prog, sprouts & chocolate,the main reason I enjoy this group so much is the amount and variety of new music I’m introduced to by fellow group members, or “passengers”.

Long Fade Out by Belle Adair is one such track. I had heard of Belle Adair prior to today. I’m a big fan of John Paul White (have I ever told you, I’ve seen him live?) and Belle Adair are one of the artists on his Single Lock Records label, so I’d come across them whilst browsing the Single Lock Records website, but hadn’t checked out their music. I am doing now!

The Facebook post that shared the link to the song suggested that fans of The Byrds, Jayhawks and Teenage Fanclub would enjoy the track. I’m big Teenage Fanclub  (have I ever told you…) fan, I like a lot of what The Jayhawks have released and who doesn’t like The Byrds? So I had to give this track a listen!

Long Fade Out is the second track on Belle Adair’s 2017 album, Tuscumbia and is a song that hooked me straight away on my first listen. I can definitely see the Teenage Fanclub reference and having listened to the whole album on Spotify I can see why the blurb on the Single Lock Records website mentions that Tuscumbia offers “hints at times of southern California country and even vintage Britpop”. Mind you, I’m not sure I’d class Teenage Fanclub as Britpop!

 

 

 

 

 

Tuscumbia was recorded at Muscle Shoals’ legendary FAME Studios. Now that is a place that is on my bucket list! Talking of Muscle Shoals, having read a bit more about Belle Adair, I found out that they recently backed fellow Single Lock Records artist and Muscle Shoal legend, Donnie Fritts, whose album, Oh My Goodness I bought last year. They also toured as John Paul White’s band. Frontman Matthew Green also went on tour with Dylan LeBlanc, another Single Lock Records artist. I bought Dylan LeBlanc’s album, Cautionary Tale, last year as well, and that album’s just brilliant!

Listening to the album, you can tell this is a band that are used to playing often with each other, which probably explains how they managed to record the album in just a week. I’ve given the album a couple of listens now on Spotify and it’s one I’m adding to my ever increasing list of albums to buy, but in the meantime..

I’m adding Long Fade Out by Belle Adair to my 2018 Track of the Day playlist

 

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The Southern Companion – Feels Like Years

Feels Like Years by The Southern Companion is my Track of the Day.

Every now and again I’ll get a text or Facebook message from my daughter, Devon, telling me to check a band out or to listen to a track, and usually they’re pretty good selections. This afternoon I received a text telling me to “listen to Feels Like Years by Southern Companion

Well I did and I loved it!

I knew absolutely nothing about The Southern Companion, so after googling them, it turns out that The Southern Companion are British! And have won some BCMAs. I also checked their Facebook page and it turns out that earlier this very evening, Feels Like Years was played on the Bob Harris Country show! Now that’s an endorsement!

And talking of “Whispering” Bob, The Southern Companion also appeared on one of his Under The Apple Tree sessions where they performed Feels Like Years, check it out

As I type this I’m listening to his 2015 album, 1000 Days of Rain, on Spotify and I’m hooked! This is definitely going on my to buy list. He also does a mean cover of Driving With The Brakes On by Del Amitri,

So thanks to Devon’s  recommendation, Feels Like Years by The Southern Companion is the latest addition to my Track of the Day playlist

 

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Calexico – The Town and Miss Lorraine

The Town and Miss Lorraine by Calexico is today’s Track of the Day.

It comes from Calexico’s latest album, The Thread That Keeps Us. I bought the album, on vinyl, a couple of weeks ago. And with the download came seven bonus tracks.

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve only really got into Calexico over the past couple of years, I loved their 2015 album, Edge of the Sun, particularly Falling from the Sky, which is still regularly on my playlist. And I’ve got their 2012 Algiers album in my collection, but nothing earlier than that.

 

 

 

 

There isn’t a duff track amongst the album’s 15 songs and seven bonus tracks, but the one that stands out for me is The Town and Miss Lorraine. I have to confess I’m not sure what The Town and Miss Lorraine is all about, but it evokes such imagery from the opening line “I found a book in a washed up ship” through to the “bad accident on the interstate”  to the closing line “Watching Miss Lorraine
Smoking alone with the moon”.

It’s sung with a well mournful, longing voice and a simple backing, it reminds a little of a Jimmy Webb type composition, which is no bad thing!

And for some strange reason, it reminds me of Tell Laura I Love Her by Ricky Valance

Here’s a video of the band performing The Town and Miss Lorraine

Brilliant or what?

And that’s why The Town and Miss Lorraine by Calexico is my Track of the Day, I love it!

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Emily Barker – UK Artist of the Year

The UK Americana Music Association held their third annual awards ceremony earlier this week and their UK Artist of the Year was Emily Barker.

One of my favorite albums of 2017 was Sweet Kind of Blue recorded in Memphis at Sam Philips Recording Services. This was the first album I’d ever contributed to a pledge music campaign for and I’m so glad I did. On the album she’s backed by a stellar cast of Memphis musicians and it was produced by Matt Ross-Spang, who engineered and mixed Jason Isbell’s Something More Than Free album. He also worked at Sun Studios for eleven years prior to that, so there was no better man to produce Sweet Kind of Blue.

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a great review of the album by Mike Ainscoe on the Louder than War website, check it out here

I mentioned in an earlier post that I saw Blue Rose Code at the 2013 Americana Music Festival in Nashville on the BBC Introducing showcase, well also on that bill was Emily Barker. That was when I first heard her and I was immediately hooked. I saw her a couple of years later performing in a church in Oxford, England and heard her perform an incredible version of Do Right Woman. She also performed Fields of June with the guy who was her support act for the evening. Not sure that forgetting his name is a sign of my memory going or an indication that he wasn’t that memorable. I mention that because the recorded version of Fields of June was performed by Emily Barker and Frank Turner. And it was Frank Turner who presented Emily Barker with the UK Artist of the Year award.

And well deserved it is too!

Check out the video for Sweet Kind of Blue

And that’s the latest addition to my Track of the Day playlist

 

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Mary Chapin Carpenter – Heroes and Heroines

Heroes and Heroines by Mary Chapin Carpenter is today’s Track of the Day.

It’s the lead track from her forthcoming album, Sometimes Just The Sky. It originally appeared on her debut album, Hometown Girl and is one of twelve reworked versions of her songs from previous albums to appear on the album. The title track and new composition, Sometimes Just The Sky, completes the album. Being a big Peter Gabriel fan, the fact that it was recorded at Real World Studios adds to it’s appeal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a bit of a latecomer to Mary Chapin Carpenter, until a couple of years ago, I’d heard the odd track on Bob Harris’s show on BBC Radio 2, but other than that she had not really come upon my radar.

That changed on 10th May 2016, I saw her with the Cincinnati Pops at Cincinnati Music Hall and had one of the most enjoyable evening’s entertainment I’d had in a log time. It still ranks as one of my all time favorite concerts. Most of the tracks she sang were from her Songs From The Movie album, which I purchased on the night and which I have played umpteen times since.

Last year, I was fortunate to see her twice last year, firstly with Joan Baez and The Indigo Girls, as part of The Four Voices tour, who I saw at Fraze Pavillion, Kettering, and then at the Ryman Auditorium, aka The Mother Church, in Nashville, where she was supported by John Paul White.

 

 

 

 

 

Pick the highlights out of that lot!

Listening to the Four Voices sing The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down was a highlight, along with a great, and a still just as relevant, version of Woody Guthrie’s Deportee. Her set at the Ryman was superb and since then I’ve purchased a couple more of her albums, her most recent album, prior to this release, The Things That We Are Made Of and her Christmas album, Come Darkness, Come Light.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m still delving into the rest of her back catalogue, but am looking forward to hearing her new release Sometimes Just The Sky, and am really loving this taster track, which is why Heroes and Heroines is the latest addition to my Track of the Day 2018 playlist.

 

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The Tillers – Revolution Row

Revolution Row by The Tillers is my Track of the Day.

It’s a track taken from their forthcoming self-titled album being released on March 23rd.

The Tillers were the first band I saw live when I moved to Cincinnati three and a half years ago, to say they blew me away was a bit of an understatement. I’ve seen them numerous times since at venues around the area, including my local record store, Plaid Room Records, at their Sayler Park Sustains Festival and on Pokey LaFarge’s Central Time tour. Each time I’ve seen them, they’ve played an excellent set and have had a great rapport with the crowd.

Being a Brit, I’m not always sure about some of the places and people The Tillers sing about, but I’ve probably found out more about real Cincinnati/Ohio River history from their lyrics than any history textbook.

I’ve always been a fan of what I call “peoples’ bands”, bands that have a devoted loyal following with their feet well and truly on the ground that sing songs about real people and real situations, and bands that toured and played live relentlessly to hone their craft Back in the UK, I was a big fan of Lindisfarne, then the Saw Doctors, from Ireland, and more locally from my home county, The Band From County Hell.

When I came to Cincinnati I wondered whether I would find a similar such band, and in The Tillers I did. I’ve bought three of their albums so far, By The Signs, Live at the Southgate House Revival and most recently Hand on the Plow.

There’s a neat piece in No Depression about The Tillers and I can’t wait to hear their new album, but in the meantime, take a listen to this:

How good was that?

Pretty damned good if you ask, and that’s why  Revolution Row by The Tillers is being added to my Track of the Day 2018 playlist

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Blue Rose Code – Ebb and Flow

My Track of the Day for today is Ebb and Flow by Blue Rose Code.

Ebb and Flow is taken from Blue Rose Code’s latest album, The Water of Leith.

Have I ever told you.. Yes, I’ve seen Blue Rose Code live. It was at the Hard Rock Cafe in Nashville, as part of a BBC Introducing showcase, during the 2013 Americana Music Festival. and very good they were too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apart from the odd track on the radio, I’ve not heard much of Blue Rose Code since then, until they were mentioned on the Big Big Train Facebook group. I checked them out again and came across the video for Ebb and Flow. Check this out, and see what a great positive upbeat tune this is!

Told you! And that’s why Ebb and Flow by Blue Rose Code is my Track of the Day!

 

 

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