Joel Levi's new album, Thirty, was born in the heart of the modern Americana scene, Nashville, Tennessee, and bears the weight of a once young, starry-eyed musician that has spent years in Music City. The grizzled Levi wrestles with the struggles of being an artist, husband, and aspiring father in a music town which has inspired him to write his most prolific material to date. Get a taste of the album with "Will We Ever Change?" below and for more information visit HERE.
Again, it's been awhile since I made one of these, but sometimes nothing floats your musical boat so to speak. Recently though, there's been a deluge of good music, so enjoy the tunes below and discover some of the most talented artists you might not be listening to, and some ya probably are. Current fave: "Hearts Too Heavy."
Haven't made a playlist in over a month because quite frankly, nothing truly grabbed me - or maybe I was burnt out from listening. In any case, this last week of August brings some fresh tunes that really did grab my attention. New tunes from Eilen Jewell, Turnpike, Lukas Nelson. and The Novel Ideas among others. Hope you enjoy!
Indie-folk duo Radnor & Lee (Josh Radnor and Ben Lee) have officially released the second single, "Doorstep," off their forthcoming debut LP, due out November 10. AllMusic praised the track, writing, "Joyful spirituality abounds as their voices blend with layers of acoustic guitar and an organ providing extra punctuation." Give the delightfully uplifting tune a listen below.
When I was a kid, my family rented a cabin on Grace Lake every summer for a week long, a peaceful, smaller lake with sandy shores, clear water, surrounded by white birch trees, about 20 miles from the town of Bemidji, Minnesota. The cabin was an old log cabin. My mother had vacationed there when she was a kid. Little had changed since then. Same linoleum floors, cupboards, same washroom and sink. The cabin had to be shut down during the cold season. It wasn't winterized like most Minnesota cabins nowadays. In fact, today cabins are not cabins, they’re called lake homes and people live in them year-round.
On days when my brother, sister and I were worn out from the sun, or water-logged from too much swimming, we watched whatever we could on TV by tilting the antennas, crossing them back and forth like scissor chopsticks. The Benny Hill Show, Reading Rainbow, Price Is Right. Aside from that, there wasn’t much else in the entertainment department. No internet. No cell phones. When it rained we played board games and listened to records on the record player. Doris Day, Mario Lanza, Jerry Lee Lewis. That’s where I first came across the song “You Win Again”, on a Jerry Lee record. His rendition in particular is thrilling. His piano playing, the 1950s slap-back effect on his voice, what you might call the Sun Records sound.
We would take little side trips into Bemidji or Cass Lake with my mom for ice-cream, groceries, or to Crazy Days, an annual summer event celebrated in Minnesota towns where stores slashed their prices, rolled their wares out to the curb, and grab bags would be sold twenty-five cents a pop. At the bait and tackle shops, my brother and I would root through the colorful fishing tackle, the spinners and bobbers, the rubber minnows. I have carried “You Win Again" with me nearly all my life. It brings back good memories and happy day." For more information visit HERE.
matt pond PA revealed "The Ballad Of Laura and Mike" (featuring Laura Stevenson) from the band's forthcoming release Still Summer, due August 11 on 131 Records. Give the tune a listen below and pre-order Still Summer at the band's online store.
The Karpinka Brothers, Aaron and Shawn, are the epitome of kindness. Throughout their decade-long career, the duo has always shared an unmatched sincerity which shines through on their newest effort, Talk Is Cheap. Produced and recorded by Grammy nominee Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Leonard Cohen) at his legendary Hotel2Tango in Montreal, Talk Is Cheap is the most realized and expansive Karpinka Brothers album to date. Their eloquent blend of timeless folk and 60's pop are complimented by their impressive list of contributing musicians that appear throughout the record.
Exuding positivity with its infectious melody and optimistic lyrics, "You're Worth It" is an anthem for us all. When you're feeling low - or simply want to feel good - just press play. Stream the song below.
The Karpinka Brothers Talk Is Cheap will be released worldwide September 15th, and will be followed by a subsequent North American Tour.
Boston, MA-based fuzz-Country/Americana songstress Hayley Thompson-King will release her new album, Psychotic Melancholia, on September 1. Thompson-King cryptically refers to her debut solo album as a “Sodom and Gomorrah concept album” influenced by her childhood obsession with the so-called wicked women in the Bible. As metal as that sounds, these are in fact the basic ingredients for a rich, psych-tinged garage-country record.
Opening track “Large Hall, Slow Decay,” is a blazing country ripper directed at a former bandmate with whom Thompson-King had a harsh break-up. The title also references the reverb effect that reminds her of this time in her musical life. Listen to the track below and for more information visitHERE.
Psychotic Melancholia is out September 1 on Hard To Kill Records.
The trio of Applewood Road -- Amy Speace, Emily Barker, and Amber Rubarth -- will finally release their debut album in the US on July 14. Out last year in the UK, it earned best-of-the-year praise and 4 or 5 stars from Q, Sunday Times, Telegraph, Maverick Magazine, and R2. The US release adds two tracks, including their version of REM's "Losing My Religion," which highlights the trio's stunning harmonies. Listen below. For more information visit HERE.