I appreciate each and every PR and label rep, band member, manager, and spouse who is willing to take the time to send me a real, live compact disc to review. In these days of shrinking budgets and miniscule margins, I truly am thankful that some folks still see the value of servicing independent writers with discs. I can’t do what I do without that support.
This weekend I wrote a review for the new album from The Gibson Brothers. It is a wonderful tribute to the music that influenced Eric and Leigh as they were developing their musical sensibilities.
Comparing my musical development to the Gibsons’ seems apt: if I ever released such an album, I’d have to cover Three Dog Night, Clarence Carter, Mark Dinning, The Monkees, David Dundas, Sammy Davis, Jr., the themes from Gilligan’s Island and My Mother the Car, The Angels, Mouth and MacNeal, Suzi Quatro, and Brian Hyland…which, if we are honest, has a chance to be the greatest bluegrass album ever created!
But, I have digressed myself.
The Gibson Brothers, Brotherhood, reviewed at the Lonesome Road Review.
I am kinda ticked they didn’t take my suggestion to include “Cuba” as a bonus track.
Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald
I posted a bit of a rant over at Fervor Coulee Bluegrass last week. It may be of interest. In it I provide a bit of a sketch I had started to assemble around Pete Townshend, Tommy, and bluegrass. I also go on a little rant on how I am tired of stupid (mostly) indie folk (whatever the heck that is) band names, ones like The Quail & the River. Anyway, it is all over at Fervor Coulee Bluegrass. County Standard Time has a lot to offer, as does the Lonesome Road Review; that they seem to like my writing is simply a bonus.
Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee. Best, Donald
I wasn’t sure what to think about this amalgamation, and after listening to the album once I still wasn’t sure. But, after three or four listens it started to work its way into me. I ended up quite liking the disc, but I don’t think most bluegrassers will feel the same. My review is up at Country Standard Time.
Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald
I’ve been to Starbucks many, many times. I’ve always felt the best thing about the stores was the CDs they had on offer. Now I hear they are going out of the music business.
I’ve been to Cracker Barrel once. I know the best thing about the restaurant is the CDs they have on offer.
Last spring, while driving through Springfield, MO I convinced my wife we needed to stop for an early supper at the Cracker Barrel. I figured our US adventure wouldn’t be complete without a meal at the popular restaurant.
Man, was that a bad decision. Still, I was able to secure a copy of the very good Mandy Barnett Don Gibson-tribute album that I would have otherwise missed.
My review of the new Ralph Stanley & Friends Man of Constant Sorrow album (available only at Cracker Barrel stores) is up at the Lonesome Road Review.
Buy the album; pass on the chicken and dumplings.
From the first notes of this explosive album, I was excited. I remained so as the album unfolded over its almost 40 minutes, and then I hit play again and was just as engaged the second time through.
And the fifth…
I love soulful, southern music, and this album delivers. All over the place.
Think Larry Jon Wilson if he had been born a woman.
Think Bobbie Gentry had she had sung the blues.
Think Lacy J. Dalton fronting a rock ‘n’ roll band with Joy Lynn White, Candi Staton, and Millie Jackson.
Not being previously familiar with Samantha Martin, I came to this disc with absolutely no preconceived notions. And I absolutely fell under its spell.
A bit spiritual, a lot lonely, a touch angry, and a whole bunch soulful, Send the Nightingale makes the fine music Martin had previously made with The Haggard and on her own seem pale in comparison. As appealing as those sounds are—and she has music from those previous albums streaming at her website—they serve as an appetizer for the explosion that is Send the Nightingale.
The reso strutting front woman has certainly found her stride here. Featuring the vocal support of Sherie Marshall and Stacie Tabb, songs like “Addicted to Love” and “Won’t You Stay” cry out for understanding as they burst from speakers. With additional guitar support from Mikey McCallum (who was part of The Haggard, I believe), “When You Walk Away” has the heart-wrenching qualities that one remembers from “Misty Blue.” “Mississippi Sun” has some Lucinda within its lipstick kisses remembrances.
While there is no shortage of nostalgia within Martin’s sound with Delta Sugar, it also possesses a powerful burst of energetic freshness. “Don’t Shoot” has rapid fire guitar licks blending with soulfully swinging vocals, and “Give Me Your Mercy” cries with passion.
It is still early, but Send the Nightingale is going to be one of my favourite albums this year.
Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald
from Mountain Home Music
When one writes about music, one has the tendency to take things a little too seriously, to erroneously delve into things searching for something that isn’t there. We can be accused of expecting every album to be better than the last, to hold up each release to examination expecting it to contain some social importance.
Sometimes, we just need a reminder to lighten up and appreciate an album for the sake of the enjoyment it can bring.
Whenever Darin and Brooke Aldridge release an album, that is the headset I get pulled into. Not that their albums lack substance—far from it; I believe “Corn” is one of the most charming and meaningful songs of the past five years.
I enjoy their music so much that it is difficult to remain objective. Like their albums, their live presentation is fun-filled, fresh and lively. Their vocal blend is stunning and occasionally playful, and they tend to select songs that are absolutely ideal for their approach to bluegrass and acoustic roots music; or perhaps, and more likely, they mould the songs to their will.
I’m not sure how it has happened, but Snapshots is their fifth album, not counting the live disc Red, White, and Bluegrass of a couple years back. The album isn’t remarkably different from their previous albums, but the sound continues to become fuller, not busier. It continues their development of an identifiable rootsy, acoustiblue sound containing more bluegrass than many who straddle the lines blurring the marketing of country, Americana, and ‘grass.
Highlights of this new recording are many. The lively mood is established out of the hop with crisp renditions of Bill Monroe songs, “Get Up, John” and “My Rose of Kentucky.” Turning “My Rose of Kentucky” into a duet proves to be a fine decision, and removes some of the maudlin tension of the song, while Brooke—joined by Sam Bush—crushes “Get Up, John.”
I’m not sure I would have thought we needed a version of “Tennessee Flat Top Box”— a #1 for Rosanne Cash a quarter century ago and, like Eddie Adcock’s “Let’s,” providing a connection to Charlie Waller—but like most of the Aldridge’s decisions, this one confirms their intuition. It is a 24 caret corker!
Darin Aldridge’s abilities with the guitar have never been questioned, but he demonstrates his tasteful talents throughout this album, including on the intimate “Let It Be Me” and “Wait Till the Clouds Roll By.”
Gillian Welch’s “Annabelle”—a gorgeous, tragic, and challenging song—is provided a full-blown bluegrass treatment. Featuring the full band, including Becky Buller Haley (fiddle), Collin Willis (Dobro), Dwayne Anderson (bass), Tyler Collins (banjo), the song is a riveting showcase for their talents.
For a change of pace, Acoustic Syndicate’s Steve McMurry floats in to take the lead on his ” A Better Place,” another excellent—and unexpected—band performance. Bill Whyte and Lisa Shaffer (songwriters of “Corn,” Trying to Make Clocks Slow Down,” and “I Gotta Have Butterflies” from previous Aldridge recordings) get another cut here, this time with a song co-written by Gerald Smith; “He’s A Coming” is one of several songs of faith the album contains.
Snapshots is another undeniably pleasurable album from Bluegrass Sweethearts, Darin and Brooke Aldridge.
Like many, I became enamoured with “Ode to Billie Joe” the first time I heard it. It was like nothing else I had heard as a child, and its languid pace and mysterious story forged a bridge between the teen noir songs of tragedy (“Teen Angel,” “Last Kiss,” “Leader of the Pack”) I had already embraced and the more expansive character studies and short stories in song I would come to appreciate from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Rachel Sweet, and Tom T. Hall, Bob Dylan be damned.
As an adult, I began to appreciate Bobbie Gentry when I read a review of Chickasaw Country Child in No Depression (or Uncut, maybe?) I devoured that album, having not realized previously how deep beyond “Ode to Billie Joe” Gentry’s music went. A couple or four years back, I purchased downloads of all the available Gentry albums, and they have been mainstays on my iThing since. Make no mistake, there is more- much more- to Gentry than a single, fabulous as it may be, song.
I don’t know if “Ode to Billie Joe” is the greatest song ever recorded, but it is certainly in the conversation. Tara Murtha has recently released an amazing little book called “Ode to Billie Joe” as part of the ongoing 331/3 series. It has so much to offer, including mentions of songs that I hadn’t known existed and have since spent some time attempting to track down. Much time has been spent watching YouTube as a result of Murtha’s referencing of television appearances, performance clips, and home movies. The portrait Murtha paints is of a dynamic and forceful artist who was (and perhaps, may still be- how are we to know?) determined to make her mark within the music industry.
It is a wonderful read, and my review has been published over at Country Standard Time: http://www.countrystandardtime.com/d/bookreview.asp?xid=60
Well worth consideration.
Thanks for reading Fervor Coulee. Donald