Newly minted Angeleno Sam Marine will release his third cd, Big Dark City, on November 17th. Produced by Brian Whelan, the five-track outing delivers a smokin’ dose of straight up roots rock that’s all at once edgy, personal, complex, dark, and vulnerable. Marine and company (Whelan on guitar and organ, Mitch Marine on drums, and Aaron Stern on bass) kick things off with the thumping percussion and driving guitars of the title track, a tune that’s permeated with an underlying sense of both unease and excitement, “I ain't really been to sleep for very long just yet/I'm a couple drinks ahead of you I'll bet.”
From there Big Dark City segues into the urgency of “Dawn Come and Gone,” which begins with echoes of Mellencamp then travels to warp speed as he laments finding himself alone after a night of tending bar (Marine also works as a bartender), the pounding, anthemic “Freeze Em Out,” and the weighty “I’ll Soon be Gone,” where Marine’s rasp conveys the inner turmoil of self-imposed emotional isolation, “Nobody really knows me, good enough to know something's wrong/Sitting here all alone all night, clenching on my jaw.” Big Dark City closes with “Mike Lee,” a warm tribute to a good friend who passed way, and a song that provides the perfect closer, offering a dose of comfort in the fact that even though the city is often big, dark, and lonely, there are still good people who have your back.
While one may have to be cautious in the city after the sun goes down, you needn't be wary of this Big Dark City as each track offers Marine's insights into life's complexities that are deliberate, reflective...and intoxicating.
With a career that has produced nearly twenty hit singles, including three #1's, as well as chart-topping albums and sales in the millions, Darryl Worley returns with a brand new track, "Lonely Alone."
Truer words were never spoken in the poignant, heart-tugging mid-tempo tune that gently sways along as Worley sings without sorrow or regret, simply conveying a realistic, sad truth.
"If I'm gonna be lonely
I might as well be gone
If I'm gonna be lonely girl
I'd rather be lonely alone"
Purchase "Lonely Alone" HERE
In 2016, singer-songwriter Sean McConnell’s eponymous album was met with a great deal of critical praise. The 10 track collection of well written and beautifully recorded songs resonated with listeners, conveying universally relatable life experiences with exceptional artistry. On September 8, McConnell re-visits these songs (and adds a new duet) with Undone, released via Rounder Records, but this time in acoustic format. The simplicity of the stripped down production adds even more weight and intimacy to his flawless vocals and powerful stories.
The lone piano on “Holy Days” is the ideal vehicle to drive the reflective song. Part fond memory and part loss, the track is a bittersweet reflection on a first love that wasn’t meant to be, “Underneath the moon with the radio playing Tangled In Blue, I remember you saying Baby, don’t move. Just let me look at you.” McConnell visits the place that played host to those Holy Days in “Ghost Town” with its “apparition memories” and current residents who are frustratingly unaware that, to him, they walk on sacred ground while “Babylon “examines the ruins of a failed relationship and ponders the way forward.
“Hey Mary” is a breezy, charming tune about the quest to win over the object of his affection and “Beautiful Rose” finds the way to the mature acceptance that though childhood dreams don’t always come true, the good outweighs the bad and life is beautiful. “Queen of Saint Mary’s Choir” chronicles his journey in the musical business and expresses gratitude for the things keep him grounded.
Undone closes with a song original to the album, “Nothing On You”, featuring Lori McKenna. Their voices meld beautifully needing nothing more than a guitar and a harmonica for accompaniment on the love song, “I took a knee in Notre- Dame. I lit a candle at the cross but ten thousand angels can’t keep me from coming back home cause Baby, ain’t nothing, ain’t nothing got nothing on you.”
If you were a fan of the 2016 release, you’re likely going to love its new incarnation in Undone. And if you missed out on the original, Undone gives you a great opportunity to see what you were missing.
Los Angeles via New York and Maine, singer-songwriter Elijah Ocean’s self-titled fourth release is a sun-drenched slice of Laurel Canyon Country that will feel good in your ears and warm your musical soul. The ten-track self-penned collection begins with the spirited, encouraging “Bad Dreams” before heading into songs of lost love and disappointment. The lovely harmonies and airy feel of “Chain Of Gold” support a wistful nostalgia that flows into the waltz, “Malibu Moon,” and the sweeping “Desert Rain.” Ocean takes the tempo up a notch with the bouncy road tune “Highway” before circling back to the “Barricade,” a tune of struggling romance that emits a sad warmth and “Still Where You Left Me” a lonely a mid-tempo two-stepper. The album is rounded out with the realistic, yet hopeful “Time Passes Slow” and the shuffling harmonica and keys-laden closer “Days Are Long,” making it easy to hit repeat for another go-round.
Until now, Arkansas native Erin Enderlin has mainly been known as a songwriter, penning tunes for the likes of Alan Jackson's (“Monday Morning Church”), Lee Ann Womack (“Last Call”), and Luke Bryan (“You Don't Know Jack”) - as well as for Randy Travis, Terri Clark, Joey + Rory, and more.
Enderlin is set to release her upcoming album, Whiskey Town Crier, on Friday, September 1. The record was produced by Jamey Johnson and Jim “Moose” Brown and features artists such as Chris Stapleton, Randy Houser, Ricky Skaggs, and Jon Randall.
Whiskey Town Crier puts all the sad souls Enderlin has become known for singing and writing about in the same tiny, fictional city. The result is a unique concept album devoted to women’s experiences in small town America.
“Intro” sets the scene for the album, explaining the ‘concept’ behind it - a concept that would make a great film. The slow-burning “Caroline” has a ‘down home’ bluesy feel, and “Ain’t It Just Like a Cowboy” is a beautiful tear-jerker with some wonderful steel guitar, while “The Blues Are Alive and Well” - with its gloriously heartfelt lyrical refrain: “as long as there’s whiskey, a song by Keith Whitley and my baby loves somebody else, blues are alive and well” - is for me what country music is all about.
“Home Sweet Home” is a further slice of brilliance and Enderlin’s voice truly shines on it. “Till It’s Gone” and the Randy Houser duet “The Coldest in Town” are yet more high points on an album that’s packed full of them.
Whiskey Town Crier follows the artist’s self-titled EP from 2011 and a 2013 LP, I Let Her Talk. For more information visit HERE.
Hailing from Illinois, The Joe Stamm Band (JSB) - Joe Stamm (guitar & lead vocals), Danny Greuter (lead guitar), Jon Byler Dann (bass & backup vocals), Bruce Moser (drums) and Dave Glover (guitar) - plays a soulful, pumping brand of southern rock that is laced with rural American imagery, hard-driving guitar, and songwriting that invites listeners into deeply personal life experiences. Currently in the studio working on a full-length album, JSB released their new single, "Crow Creek" in June, 2017.
Based around a heavy rain that caused Crow Creek in Illinois to swell and cause destruction, "Crow Creek" uses "brown water" as a metaphor to tell the story of alcohol abuse and love at a crossroads. Led by electric guitars and Stamm's somber vocals, the desolate feel of "Cold Creek" offers a powerful message, and warning, about the damage that "brown water" can cause in one's life.
"Woke up today to a goodbye note
Between a bottle of whiskey and a pack of smokes
It said, ya know, I’ll always love you Joe
But I’d think by now that you’d know
Stay outta that brown water
It’ll pull you in, it’ll drag you under
That current is stronger than you think
Brown water will carry your life away"
Joe Stamm Band has opened for acts such as Parmalee, the Kentucky Headhunters, and JT Hodges, even sharing a bill with personal heroes Willie Nelson & Kris Kristofferson this past summer at the Tailgates & Tallboys Music Festival. For more information visit HERE.
Hailing from Dallas, singer-songwriter Joseph Wayne Miller will release his third album, Pacey, in September. Recorded at Cloudland Recording Studios in Forth Worth and produced by Peter Wierenga, the confessional eleven-song project deals with the death of his sister and the meeting of his wife, both of which occurred within a year of each other (2014-2015). The self-penned tunes were written from June-September 2016, between his marriage proposal and the first day of recording and result in a project that is personal, immediate, and raw.
Beginning with the "Open Door," Miller's familiar vocals draw you in with a gentle tale about the one who he can't get off his mind, then amps up the tempo with the dark undercurrent of "Turn On All The Lights" and the solemn "Words So Strange." Miller keeps things sonically varied, and fresh, with the rocker "Scrambled Eggs" and pulls at your heart strings with "No Smoking" and the ballad "Wasting Time."
Pacey is rounded out with the spacious "Window Plant," and two songs that tell stories via home ("Yard Sale" and "Garage Mess") before closing out with the reflective "Yellow Sky." While generally somber, Pacey is filled with meaningful lyrics and melodies that grow with each listen. For more information visit HERE.
Boston-based four piece, The Novel Ideas have earned a reputation for their stirring four part harmonies, rich melodic folk-country sound, and deeply personal songwriting - all of which are front and center on their new single,"I'll Try."
The superb first single from their forthcoming album due in September, "I'll Try" emanates warmth while expressing an intimate, honest look at that difficult experience of letting go, and moving on, from a previous relationship. "I'm finally looking for love/And I'm finally feeling alright/I think that it's about time."
Recently voted Best Band in Austin Monthly, Cowboy Diplomacy - Ian Cochran (guitar, vocals), Brad Bentley (Bass), Zac Walden (lead guitar), and Matt Leslie (drums) - delivered their second single, "No Alibi," on August 25th. Recorded at 601 Studios in Austin and mastered by Howie Weinberg (The Wild Feathers, Wilco), "No Alibi" is a driving blues rock scorcher led by a dirty groove, fiery guitar work, and Cochran's gritty vocals, that finds the foursome celebrating the dog days of youth, freedom, and young love.
“So the question is will you cruise on by
So the question is will you take a drive
So the question is will you get so high,
So the question is will you deny 'cause it's no alibi”
Check it out HERE
Alt-Country songstress Caroline Reese has returned with a new EP, Two Horses. The four songs reflect a traveling theme, every one saturated with Reese's country/folk vocals and lush instruments.
"(I'm Not Selling) The Telecaster" kicks off the EP and sounds autobiographical in nature. Reese made the move from Pennsylvania to Montana and channels the hardships of relocating in this bouncy number.
The melancholy filled title cut delves into a past relationship, driven by metaphors and Reese's powerhouse vocals. Meanwhile, "Ease My Mind" touches on the history of the Centralia, PA ghost town before seamlessly transitioning into the singer's past ramblings. It's the standout track, buoyed by Reese's fabulous storytelling and the fine guitar licks.
Closing out the EP is "Nicotine," a youthful nod to the past. The pedal steel wraps around the nostalgic lyrics "...I just thought thought 10 years would be long enough...But now I'm right back where you left me...left me..." leaving the listener revelling in the storyline.
With this EP, Reese has captured the ears of new listeners and no doubt, leaves them wanting more from this Pennsylvania native. Two Horses is out September 8.