Monthly Archives: January 2018

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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Sweet Years – Motor Mouth

Motor Mouth by Sweet Years is my Track of the Day for today.

It’s the B-side of the latest release by Soul Step Records, a local record label I’ve been subscribing to for a couple of years now. This is release SSR-028, I think my collection goes back to SSR-012 and there’s not been a bad single yet!

Both of the tracks on the single come from their Coat Guts album, released last year. I don’t know much about the band, but I came across this article from the Knoxville Mercury, which gives a fair bit of information. I also came across their video for Fireproof, the A-side of the single, which is pretty neat, check it out:

Sweet Years – Fireproof from Brandon Langley on Vimeo.

Much as I like Fireproof, I prefer the B-side Motor Mouth, just cop a load of this:

How good is that?

That’s why I’m adding Motor Mouth by Sweet Years to my Track of the Day 2018 playlist.

 

 

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Tomorrow We Sail – The Harbour

The Harbour by Tomorrow We Sail is my Track of the Day for today.

After posting on twitter a couple of days ago about the Lost Horizons track, Stampede, featuring Hazel Wilde, I got a number of likes and retweets, including a like from Hazel Wilde herself. On the twitter feed, she had a link to the new album by Tomorrow We Sail, called The Shadows which had originally been tweeted by Angela Chan, a member of both Lanterns on the Lake and Tomorrow We Sail.

Well I spent just all about all yesterday afternoon and evening listening to both Tomorrow We Sail and Angela Chan. There’s some great stuff on Angela Chan’s website. She’s got three sample Soundcloud playlists, I particularly enjoyed her “recent” selection, which you can check out below:

How good is that?

As for Tomorrow We Sail, I’m loving what I’ve heard so far, I think there could be another piece of vinyl winging it’s way across the Atlantic when The Shadows is released in February. In the meantime, I bought their House Music Vol.1, which is pretty damned amazing, especially the second track White Rose

 

 

 

 

 

I also downloaded a couple of free tracks, Saturn and The Harbour , which were released just before Christmas. Both of these are great as well, but The Harbour just nudges it as my favorite

 

So today’s addition to my Track of the Day 2018 playlist is The Harbour by Tomorrow We Sail

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Eyelids – Tell Me You Know

Tell Me You Know by Eyelids off their album Or is today’s Track of the Day.

 

 

 

 

 

I came across Eyelids this morning when going through The Decemberists‘ Twitter Feed. Up until then I’d never heard of them! I’ve got most of The Decemberists albums in some form or other, mainly CDs and downloads, but I did get the Offa Rex album, Queen of Hearts, on vinyl. This is an album that The Decemberists did with my fellow Brit, Olivia Chaney, and has been nominated for Best Folk album at thus year’s Grammys.

 

 

 

 

 

As for Or, Eyelids second album, which was produced by a certain Peter Buck, it’s an album that hooked me straight away. A number of reviews mention the band’s Big Star influences, which is why I see a similarity between Eyelids and Teenage Fanclub, one of my favorite British bands, who were also heavily influenced by Big Star.

This is an album with no filler tracks at all, so choosing a favorite was hard but in the end I opted for Tell Me You Know. It’s got a wicked intro, which had me thinking of David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold the World. To me it’s the perfect Guitar Pop record, I love it!

So I’m adding Tell Me You Know by Eyelids to my Track of the Day 2018 playlist.

 

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Frontier Folk Nebraska – Ghost on the Tap

Ghost on the Tap by Frontier Folk Nebraska is today’s Track of the Day.

I heard this for the first time earlier this afternoon, it was the last track played on this week’s edition of the  Cincy Music Spotlight podcast, hosed by Venomous Valdez.

Prior to this I’d never heard anything by Frontier Folk Nebraska, but have to say I was blown away by this track. Having looked at their website, it looks like this track was released as part of a Record Store Day split single with The Tillers, one of my favorite local bands. The vinyl is sold out, so I’ve just downloaded the track from their Bandcamp page.

As I type this I’m listening to their Live at the Southgate House Revival album and it’s a corker. This is one band I’ll be checking out later this year for sure.

One thing is for sure, they ain’t a folk band! And they’re from just over the river in Covington, Kentucky.

So check this out, my Track of the Day is Ghost on the Tap by Frontier Folk Nebraska

 

 

 

 

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Spending that gift card…

Being a vinyl lover, one thing I’m guaranteed to get every Christmas is a gift card or voucher for the local record store and this year was no exception, so I had my usual early January dilemma last Saturday, what do I get?

My step-son got me a $50 gift card for Plaid Room Records, my favorite record store in the Cincinnati store, and after a fair amount of deliberation, here’s what I came back with:

Robert JohnsonKing of the Delta Blues Singers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking through my collection, I’ve only got one track by the person Eric Clapton called “the most important blues singer that ever lived”. And that is Terraplane Blues on a 10″ single that New West Records released for Record Store Day in 2015, which had the original Robert Johnson version on one side and a Steve Earle version on the other. So when I saw this collection, I had to have it. I’ve just been reading the sleeve notes and it mentions that a lot of what is known about Robert Johnson came from either Muddy Waters or Will Shade of the Memphis Jug Band, both of whom I bought albums by in 2017.

Sharon Jones and the Dap-KingsSoul of a Woman released on Daptone Records

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d meant to get a copy of this on it’s release in November 2017, but forgot all about it in all the Christmas and New Year activities. Again, other than a few Christmas singles and a track on the Oxford American Southern Music CD Issue No.17, featuring Georgia, I had no Sharon Jones in my collection, so this was a must buy too.

Porcupine Tree – On the Sunday of Life…released by Kscope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t usually buy much proggy stuff on vinyl these days, with the notable exception of Big Big Train, so I thought I’d indulge myself with this, the debut album from Porcupine Tree. I’ve got one Porcupine Tree album in my collection, In Absentia, and a couple of Steven Wilson albums, The Raven that Refused to Sing and a Sampler released in 2015. The debut album, although released as Porcupine Tree, is to all intents a Steven Wilson album, consisting of tracks from two previously released cassettes called Tarquins Seaweed Farm and The Nostalgia Factory. I’ve listened to the album a few times now, admittedly in installments, as it’s a double album. It’s a well weird album, spacey and trippy are the first words that spring to mind, with Pink Floyd, Hawkwind and Genesis influences readily apparent, to me anyway! The standout track to me is Nine Cats, so I’m adding Nine Cats by Porcupine Tree as today’s addition to Track of the Day playlist

And here’s an acoustic version from their Insignificance compilation

 

 

 

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S.Carey – Fool’s Gold

Fool’s Gold by S.Carey is today’s Track of the Day. It’s taken from his album Hundred Acres which is released on the Jagjaguwar label on February 23rd.

Sean Carey used to be drummer and backing vocalist for Bon Iver, not sure whether he still is, but that gives me an excuse to show this…

 

Have I ever told you… – Yes, I was at the Glastonbury Festival and saw Bon Iver’s amazing set, which featured S.Carey on drums.

Looking through my music collection, I’ve got his first album, All We Grow, which I bought after hearing a track, In The Dirt, on the TV series, House. I’ve also got his most recent release, the Supermoon EP, from 2015, which includes a wicked version of Radiohead’s Bullet Proof. I did a post about that release a couple of years ago, check it out here

One of the things I like about the Jagjaguwar label are their extensive notes on their artists’ releases. Check out the blurb on Hundred Acres

I can’t wait for the album, but in the meantime, Fool’s Gold by S.Carey is today’s addition to my Track of the Day playlist

 

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Erika Wennerstrom – Extraordinary Love

Extraordinary Love by Erika Wennerstrom is today’s Track of the Day. This is another one of those tracks I discovered on my Facebook feed, this time the recommendation came from 89.7 WNKU, my go to radio station since I moved to Cincinnati in September 2014 through to it’s demise last October. I need to write a post about that station, watch this space!

Extraordinary Love is the first track to be released from Erika Wennerstrom’s forthcoming album, Sweet Unknown on the Partisan Records label This is her first solo album, for the past fifteen years she’s been leading the Heartless Bastards, who were initially formed in Cincinnati. They are now based in Austin Texas, but I did see them perform in Cincinnati a couple of years ago at the Midpoint Music Festival. If I remember rightly they performed in the grounds of the Christian Morelein brewery. At the time they were touring their Restless Ones album, which I bought a few days later and I still play on a regular basis.

As for Extraordinary Love, it’s an amazing track, lasting over six minutes, which, according to a Rolling Stone article was inspired a trip Erika Wennerstrom took through the Amazon, on an Ayahuasca retreat. OK, I have to admit that until reading the Rolling Stone article, I had no idea what Ayahuasca was.  A quick bit of research on t’interweb revealed that it wasn’t something I could indulge in, either here in the USA or back home in the UK.

The Rolling Stone article describes the track as a “droning technicolor epic” which is a pretty accurate description and I can’t wait to hear the full album when it is released in March.

In the meantime, here’s the video which supported the release of Extraordinary Love by Erika Wennerstrom.

And here’s my Track of the Day playlist:

 

 

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