Monthly Archives: February 2018

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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