Category Archives: Track of the Day

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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Kscope, Vol.9

Kscope, Vol.9 has the honor of being my first download of the year and for the grand sum of $4.99 there’s a helluva lot of music, 12 tracks in total. Kscope describe themselves as Post-Progressive Sounds on their website. I’m not a huge fan of the current prog scene, so I don’t tend to find out about any new bands, apart from recommendations through the Big Big Train Facebook group, so the Kscope samplers are a good way of dipping into some of the latest releases.

Having listened to the album a few times now, there are, for me, a couple of stand out tracks.

Firstly Tear Down the Grey Skies by Tangerine Dream. I’ve always liked Tangerine Dream, I have two of their albums in my vinyl collection, Tangram and White Eagle, which I have to admit I haven’t played in a while, but hearing this track has made me want to give them an airing.

The second track to grab my attention was Things People Want by Paul Draper, who is someone I’ve never heard of before. Having checked out the blurb on the Kscope website apparently he used to be the lead singer of Mansun, who I’ve heard of, but can’t recall any of their stuff! This track is taken from his album Spooky Action, which I may be tempted to buy. This could be one of those occasions where I give it a listen on Spotify before making a final decision.

There is a live Pineapple Thief track on the album, Alone at Sea, which I quite liked, but I’m not a fan of hearing isolated extracts from live albums, much preferring to hear the full album, but Pineapple Thief is a band I do want to hear more from, I have got a sampler featuring some of their tracks and some from Bruce Soord, one of the group members.

It was through an earlier Kscope sampler that I came across Bruce Soord’s solo album, which was one of my favorite albums of 2016

Talking of Spotify, I’ve started a new playlist for 2018 Tracks of the Day and I’m kicking it off with Things People Want by Paul Draper

I’ve just been on the Paul Draper website and by signing on too his mailing list I’ve got a download of a track from his first EP, called The Silence is Deafening.

Sorry just got sidetracked there, here’s the link to my 2018 Tracks of the Day playlist

 

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Track of the Day – Dreams and Consequences by Nicholas and the Pessimists

My Track of the Day today is Dreams and Consequences by Nicholas and the Pessimists. I came across this bands last week after they started following me on Twitter. I checked their album out last night on their website and have just downloaded it.

nicholas and the pessimistics - nicholas and the pessimistics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreams and Consequences is the taken from their self titled debut album. I could have picked any of the tracks off the album for my Track of the Day because they’re all great songs.

And best of all, they’re a local band from the Ohio Valley!

Check out this video of Nicholas and the Pessimists performing Dreams and Consequences

 

How good is that!?

And that’s why Dreams and Consequences by Nicholas and the Pessimists is today’s Track of the Day

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Track of the Day – Crybaby by Happenstance

It’s been a while since  I posted a Track of the Day, so thought it was about time for a new Track of the Day. So my Track of the Day is Crybaby by Happenstance.

Happenstance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happenstance have just started following me on Twitter, so I thought I’d check them out. I visited their Bandcamp site and the first track I came across was Crybaby. It’s taken from their third album, Everything Changes.

Happenstance - Everything Changes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check it out here..

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