Earlier this year, California based singer-songwriter David Lorango released his four song EP Ride All Night, which includes his current single, "Leaves of November." The heartfelt mid-tempo tune with an easy to fall into melody is brought to life by acoustic guitar, pedal seel and percusision. Lorango's delivery (recalling earlier Jake Owen) is warm, nostalgic; grateful for time spent, yet also longing to experience that love again. It's a solid contemporary country song that doesn't (thankfully) yield to trends, and leaves one wanting to hear more from this newcomer.
"Lately I've been drinking about you
I've been gone so long
Walk through the leaves of November
Dreaming that we had it all
Holding through the cold of December
Reachin' for what we had from the stars"
Watch the video for "Leaves of November" here.
Taking their name from a Hee-Haw sketch, BR5-49 were the talk of Music City in the 90’s, playing high energy shows at Robert’s Western Wear in Nashville where they would perform hours long sets several nights a week.
After their self-titled debut the group— bassist Smilin’ Jay McDowell, drummer “Hawk” Shaw Wilson, multi-instrumentalist Don Herron and pair of singer/songwriter/guitarists: Chuck Mead and Gary Bennett — toured Europe where their authentic sound had garnered a following. In October 1996, they appeared, and played live, on the German TV program Ohne Filter.
The new Bear Family CD/DVD BR5-49: One Long Saturday Night released November 20th, captures that appearance, one which clearly demonstrates their love for the classics and proves why they created such excitement on Lower Broadway and beyond. The DVD and CD both contain nineteen songs, with the CD also having four soundboard recordings taken from a concert the band played in Japan one week after their German TV appearance. These bonus tracks include songs that were regulars in the band’s live shows: “Knoxville Girl,” “Settin’ the Woods on Fire” and “Sweet Georgia Brown” and “Hillbilly Thang.”
The other songs featured on the CD include Hank Williams’ “Lone Gone Lonesome Blues,” Ray Price’s “Heartache by the Numbers,” Carl Perkins’ “Gone, Gone, Gone,” and two popularized by Bob Wills, “Right or Wrong” and “Take Me Back to Tulsa.” There’s also Johnny Horton’s “Ole Slewfoot,” Webb Pierce’s “I Ain’t Never” and Gram Parsons’ “Big Mouth Blues,” with originals included as well - “My Name Is Mudd,” the dance hall ready “Even If It’s Wrong,” the Elvis recalling “Little Ramona (Gone Hillbilly Nuts)” and the ode to a certain pin-up, “Bettie, Bettie.”
The songs and the sonic quality of the record (which somehow perfectly mixes a live show with that of vinyl) unite into a great collection of tunes that has the ability to take you back to Roberts (even if you weren’t old enough to be there the first time) and experience what it would have been like seeing them twenty years ago…..and leaves you wishing you could have been there the first times.
As the year winds down, don’t let One Long Saturday Night get lost in the holiday frenzy. It’s a record full of truly timeless rockabilly, classic country and original tunes that are perfect for Saturday night and beyond.
Singer-songwriter Leslie Cours Mather is taking a fun approach to the holidays with her brand new song, “Santa Baby (You’ll Be Mine).” Penned by Cours Mather, “Santa Baby” is a bluesy, brassy tune with humor, pizazz and a throwback feel. Highlighted by plenty of keys and Mathers delivery - assured and full of swagger – “Santa Baby” ushers you into the holidays with a slightly naughty spirit. Mrs. Claus, if she exits, better watch out!
“Every good man needs a better half
So where oh where is Mrs. Claus
She never appears with the man in the beard
I don’t think she exists at all
I’ll find out this Christmas Eve
I’ll be waiting by the Chimney
When he slides down if she ain’t around
Then I think I found a man for me”
Hailing from the state of Georgia, Nick Alligood, the 2014 Georgia Music Award Country Male Artist of the Year, is ready to take his music outside the Peach State. Alligood, who recently inked a deal with 7-Hills Nashville, announced the upcoming release of his debut project Chaser - EP due November 24th. Produced by Brett Tyler, Chaser contains three tracks and features some of the top players in the industry including Adam Shoenfeld (currently on tour with Tim McGraw), Miles McPherson (played on Kelly Clarkson), Carl Miner (played on Sundy Best), Joeie Canaday (played on Maddie & Tae, Jamie O’Neal), and David Dorn (played on Cody Johnson).
Kicking things off is the mid-tempo “Better On A Barstool.” Penned by Tyler, Jacob Powell and Justin Lantz, the song recalls another Georgia native (Cole Swindell) on a tune about hanging out in your favorite dive while “One More Anything” is a plea to the one you’re interested in for simply one more kiss, one more moment or one more second before she goes. Written by Alligood, album closer “Chaser” (with its play on words), tells the story of a girl who comes on strong, like that shot of whiskey, but has him wanting more.
If you’re a fan of Luke and Cole, make room on your playlist for Nick Alligood.
Garnering praise with her 2014 debut, Box Full of Trouble, Laura McCormick returns with her sophomore EP, Too Wild To Tame. The EP is a six song collection that highlights McCormick’s powerful, attention grabbing vocals on songs that showcase her southern rock roots blended with country.
The project opens with the straight up arena ready rocker “Wish I Didn’t” which is followed by the rootsy, yet rocking, “Too Wild To Tame,” a song that hints of Fleetwood Mac (and for some reason Kim Wilde too). McCormick adjusts her delivery to convey the overall feel of every song, whether it be the emotional “Better Now” which deals with the struggle between heart and mind, the uplifting and hopeful “Just Around The Corner” (her current single) or the vulnerable, yet ultimately comforting “Stand By Me.” The EP concludes with alarm on the intense “Man With A Gun”- drawing attention to violence, and the need for peace, by noting newsworthy headlines of senseless deaths.
Celebrated Navy SEAL, competitive athlete, mountain climber, inspiration and advocate. Pete Scobell is all of these, as well as a talented singer-songwriter who recently released his latest single to country radio.
“Walkin A Wire,” from the September released album of the same name, is a country rocker with a pulsating melody led by dynamic percussion and driving electric guitar. Penned by Dierks Bentley, Ross Copperman and David Lee Murphy, “Walkin A Wire” sounds like a classic Bentley tune (with a little Church sprinkled in for good measure).…..and Scobell does it justice. Sung with heart and believability, "Walkin A Wire" is the tale of boy meets girl and how he feels when he is around her: walking that proverbial wire, taking his time, carefully, to get to know her without messing it up.
“All that matters is me and you on the other side
I’m just trying to get there girl in my mind
I’m walkin a wire
Crossing a river of fire
Taking a step at a time girl, makin' you mine girl, out on the edge with one desire
I’m walkin a wire (x3) ”
“I’ve always wanted to record a holiday song,” said Claire Petrie. “As soon as I heard this tune, I knew this was the one to record and I’m so honored to have T. Graham Brown be a part of it."
This past year Claire Petrie released her latest album, The One, which included her last two singles “(C’est la Vie) You Never Can Tell” and “Somewhere Off The Map” both of which were warmly received by radio and industry critics alike. Now, Petrie is getting everyone in the holiday spirit with the release of her first Christmas single, “He Would Be King.”
Written by James Larsen and Roger True, and produced by Mark Moseley, “He Would Be King” finds Petrie sharing vocals with Grammy nominated and CMA awards winner, T. Graham Brown. Their sincere vocals merge on the gentle yet sweeping ballad about the thoughts and experiences of Mary and Joseph surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ. The song has a contemporary religious feel accompanied by a wonderful message that, as we head into the holiday months, reminds one of the true meaning for the season.
Watch the official music video here.
Playing 250+ shows a year from the ages of 19-25, Idaho native Jeff Crosby has spent a lot of life on the road. In addition to fervent touring, Crosby has released two EPs and two full-length albums, the last of which, Silent Conversations, saw his music featured on “Sons of Anarchy.” On November 6th, Crosby, with his band The Refugees, released their latest, Waking Days.
Produced by John Gilbertson, the ten song project was recorded in Los Angeles and Nashville and features the tight musicianship of The Refugees: brother Andy Crosby (bass), Will Prescott (drums) and Dave Manion (pedal steel/guitar). Crosby also added guest musicians including Brian Whelan on pedal steel (Dwight Yoakam), Marshall Vore on drums (Ryan Adams/Olin & The Moon), Fran Breem on drums (The Waterboys/Lucinda Williams), Ben Waligoske on guitar and Adrian Engfer on standup bass.
Waking Days blends the sounds of Americana, folk and rock into an album whose musical soundscape creates an atmosphere of days past and those ahead, love lost and found and dreams to be realized. Crosby’s raspy vocals, along with excellent musicianship and production, gives life to stories and characters that you invest in and relate to.
There’s loneliness in opener “City Girl,” which tells of a woman who seeks to finally have that one conversation/connection that leads to something different, and “Carved in Sandstone," which focuses on a love trampled by jealousy. Melodically rootsy “Water Shapes and the Canyons” and “Emily” both speak of personal loss. The former expresses feelings after the passing of a friend, desiring to keep the person “alive in a memory,” while the latter speaks to a lost love.
In contrast is the gentle and flowing “Only One I Need” which is a romantic ode to the one person that believes in you and keeps you going….appropriately ending with boarding calls signaling another journey, a journey which you can take knowing that one person will always be there. Continuing that sentiment (captured by Whelan’s pedal steel) is the reflective “Red White and Blue,” where the only certainty in life is her love.
Apprehension and angst (and 90’s grunge) are conjured up in the gruff throatiness of Crosby’s vocals in “What’s Normal Now?” while “Homeless and the Dreamers” tells of those with “stories in the lines of the faces walking by,” at the same time paralleling his own weary tale of feeling lovesick and lost.
Questioning and optimism co-exist in the universally relatable, “I Should be Happy” which contemplates life choices, things one can’t grasp and doing what you have to in order to get by. “Stop feeling worthless…I ain’t a fool but know that I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed but I’m making it work here….It ain’t so bad.”
Crosby’s life experiences and observations can be found in the meaningful and thoughtful stories - including the title track - on Waking Days. Closing the album, it merges love, desire and uncertainty into experiencing your own "waking day" to define, seek and find your own American dream.
Quickly garnering a following for their well-crafted songs and exuberant live shows, Shane Smith & The Saints released their sophomore album, Geronimo, on September 11th. Self-Produced and recorded in Austin, Dallas and Nashville, the collection consists of fifteen detailed story songs vividly brought to life by Smith (Vocals, Acoustic Guitar & Harmonica) and bandmates Chase Satterwhite (Bass, Upright Bass & Harmony Vocals), Bryan McGrath (Drums & Percussion), Tim Allen (Electric Guitar, Mandolin, Donro & Harmony Vocals) and Bennett Brown (Fiddle & Harmony Vocals).
Stylistically, Geronimo is a slight departure from the band’s previous work on Coast; here they fearlessly blend Country, Cajun and Irish music and Americana into an expansive, yet cohesive musical landscape. In addition to Smith’s incredibly sincere and emotive vocals as well as the collective's awe inducing harmonies and stellar musicianship, there is an immense depth and growth in the storytelling, which is thought provoking and oft times poetic. All fifteen tracks (penned by Smith sans two that he co-wrote with his wife) are compelling - like a book or movie that sweeps you up, allowing you to experience elation to sorrow to something so deep you just can’t put your finger on it.
Throughout the record, there’s a real sense of the duality of nature: of light and love, wide open spaces and the need to roam, as well as a sense of the dark, demons and temptation. That need to roam can be heard in “Runaway Train” on which he desires a seemingly reluctant love to join his journey, “What A Shame” which extols seeking something in life other than the mundane and “Lord Bury Me In Texas” the place he will ultimately return after all of life’s human journeys. There’s a somberness, almost a desolation and fear, in “Whiskey and Water” which focuses on temptation, while “Right Side of The Ground” tells of wrestling with demons “I’ve held hands with the devil into more than just one town…….I hope by 40 I’m on the right side of the ground” and finally, “I Can Hear Him Now,” with its rock tilt, finds him needing to face those demons head on in order to move forward.
Opening track, “The Mountain,” starts off acapella, then transforms into a vividly told folk song about coal mines. History and geography also play centrally in “Crockett’s Prayer,” “Oil Town,” a harmonica-filled waltz with hymn like harmonies and “New Orleans,” the story of a freed-slave’s ambition to become a musician leading him on a path to said city where “Sunday there at the Congo Square the rhythm never dies,” closing with a peaceful instrumentation that leads you to believe he ultimately reached his promised land.
The roots fueled high energy of “All I See Is You” tells of a young man's love for his wife while a similar sentiment can be found in the sweeping “When All Is Lost,” the intense “Suzannah” and the absolutely gorgeous “Born and Raised” on which Haley Cole provides stellar vocal assist. Closing out the album is “Geronimo” which here holds a dual meaning as both a tribute to the Apache warrior and his principles as well as Smith and Co.’s own commitment to music despite the odds they may encounter.
Smith has said, "This record is extremely important to us. It was never recorded to produce big radio singles. It wasn't recorded with the intent of fitting a working mold or sound. Geronimo was made to set us apart from all other bands and brand a sound that is completely unique to ourselves. And I think that's exactly what it will do."
Set them apart it certainly has and in a year full of new releases, don't hesitate to take your own leap and seek out Geronimo.
Frank Migliorelli has written and published music for advertising agencies, children's publishers, television series and video game projects. He’s also produced recordings for Rounder Records and has been a professor at NYU. Now, the singer songwriter, who was raised on 45s and AM radio, has released his debut album with his band The Dirt Nappers.
City Eastern Serenade is a collection of eight original tunes that deal with relationships - the coming together and the unraveling - that mixes roots, soul, pop and country. Supported by a group of skilled musicians, the album starts off with taking a chance and finding that right person on “When We Reach The Other Side.” The Petty-esque “She Doesn’t Know” has a female questioning whether she wants to remain in a relationship while in the country flavored “And It Feels Like Chains” she finds herself attracted to another, yet is unable to act due to that "chain" - a wedding band. The sweet melody of “Down In Flames” further chronicles the demise of a relationship until we finally see her making the decision to leave on “In Her Rearview Mirror." The retro soul of standout track “Tryin’ Such A Long Long Time” and “Tied To The Tracks Of Your Love,” about not being able to quit someone even though she gives him a “one way ticket to a broken heart,” round out the album. Give it a listen.