Monthly Archives: July 2015

Something More Than Free – Jason Isbell

Something More Than Free by Jason Isbell is the latest addition to my ever expanding record collection and it’s by far my favorite album of the year by far.

Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free










I first came across Jason Isbell on Bob Harris’s show on BBC Radio 2, when he played Alabama Pines from his Here We Rest album. A few weeks later, on 30 April 2012, I caught him playing a short, but brilliant, acoustic set at the London Palladium supporting Ryan Adams. I remember him doing a superb version of Alabama Pines and I’m sure there was a Drive By Truckers song in there too.

When I spent three months in Columbus Georgia, during the summer of 2013, it was a few months after the release of his Southeastern album. After hearing a couple of songs on the local radio station I purchased the album and it’s been a staple on my playlist ever since. I was lucky enough to catch him last year in Atlanta, at the Shaky Knees festival, where he played a few songs off Southeastern. A highlight of that set was a duet with Candi Stanton, when they performed Candi Stanton’s Heart on a String.

Jason Isbell - Southeastern








I must admit to wondering whether Something More Than Free would match up to Southeastern, which is an acknowledged classic. But having listened to it a few times, it more than matches it. It’s definitely less personal than Southeastern and is definitely more upbeat. As a Brit who has only spent a few months in the South, his songs, based on characters and situations from the South, shouldn’t mean a lot to me, but that’s the strength of Jason Isbell’s songwriting, his songs resonate with me.

I mentioned earlier that I’d seen Jason Isbell perform with Ryan Adams, well I can offer no bigger compliment than say that I rate Something More Than Free on a par with Gold by Ryan Adams, that was released over ten years ago and is an album I constantly play.

Ryan_Adams - Gold










Just to finish, how about some Alabama Pines


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Filed under Near Vinyl Heaven

WNKU Member!

Since moving to the USA from the UK, I’ve struggled to find a radio station to match those I listened to in the UK. Most of the stations both in Georgia, where I lived for nearly a year, and in and around the Cincinnati area were either packed with commercials and/or were niche stations featuring one genre of music. But that has now changed, I’ve discovered WNKU! I’ve listened to the station at various times of the day and week, and have always come across some great music. In fact at the end of June, I became a sustaining member of WNKU, donating $50 per month,which entitles me to receive their CD of the month.

This last week on WNKU I’ve come across and downloaded two great tracks, which I know I would probably not have heard on any of the other stations I’d listened to in the past.

The first was The Eye – Brandi Carlile , an artist I’d never heard of before. On first listening to it, I thought it was Holly Williams, one of my favorite artists. I’ve just noticed from her twitter feed that The Eye – Brandi Carlile has just been selected as one of NPR‘s best songs of 2015 so far!

Here’s the official video for The Eye – Brandi Carlile:-

The Eye is taken from , The Firewatcher’s Daughter – Brandi Carlile, which is definitely on my wishlist!

The second new track I downloaded this week, after listening to it on WNKU, was Falling from the Sky – Calexico. Now I have heard of Calexico and have heard a few of their tracks on Bob Harris’s radio show back in the UK. Falling from the Sky – Calexico is taken from their latest album, Edge of the Sun

Here’s the official video for Falling from the Sky – Calexico:-

I’ve just read Pitchfork’s review of the album and I’ve found out that Ben Bridwell from Band of Horses, one of my favorite groups, appears on Falling from the Sky, which probably explain why I’ve played this track a dozen times already this week!

So that’s two albums on my wishlist!


Calexico - Edge of the Sun

Brandi Carlile - The Firewatcher's Daughter

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Filed under New Music