Search results for: matt woods

Alumni Update: Matt Woods

Matt Woods was one of our first season’s featured songwriters, and he continues to be one of the best writers who has not reached national name-recognition, but should.  We checked in with Matt for a quick update about his new album.

Sloane Spencer:  What’s happening with your new album?

Matt Woods:  Well, this week we are mixing the tracks for the full length album, (yet to be titled). As always, we started the process with way more tunes than needed for a complete record, so we are also trying to determine which tracks will be included. Since I plan to release this new one on vinyl, we are trying to keep the album at 45 minutes or less, so song selection is key. I have recently released a 7″ single of the song “Deadman’s Blues” which will certainly be on the full length when it releases this coming spring. The A side is the album version of the song and the B side holds an acoustic version as well as my version of Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Trough The Night.” Barring any unforeseen circumstances the release of the full album is scheduled for March of 2014.

SS:  It’s been a couple of years since we featured you on the Country Fried Rock radio show. What’s changed with your music?

MW:  Well, actually, this is my first release since 2011’s The Matt Woods Manifesto. I spent a very long time in support of that one as it was an introduction to my music for most listeners and a defining album for me, marking a departure from the work I had been doing in bands over the years. I have taken the time to expand my touring and now cover nearly all of the country with my live shows, making the rounds a few times a year and staying on the highway 8-9 months out of the year. With the new album, we have been approaching it with a more concise idea of sound and content, honing a piece that is meant to be consumed at once, all songs together in their specific order. If I had anything to note as far as what has changed between the two albums, it would be that the new one is probably more deliberate. I still had several players I admire contribute to the recording, including members of Fifth on the Floor and The Black Lillies, but fewer players over all than made an appearance on the

SS:  What’s working for you? Where do you see things heading?

MW:  Touring is working! I am quite at home on the road. I find that I write more, clearly play constantly, and have been able to reach a much broader audience. It’s like building a family out there and every night is another family reunion of sorts! The support and generosity has been overwhelming. I am cautious to speculate about the future, but I think it is safe to say I plan to keep my foot on the pedal and try to turn as many folks on to what I have to say and the music I make as possible. I have recently confirmed several festival dates for 2014, including Moonrunners Music Festival in Chicago and Muddy Roots Music Festival in Cookeville, TN, and as we slide into winter I am hard at work planning the release and as much touring as I can book. If things go well, I hope to make it to Alaska in the spring and, who knows, maybe cross an ocean sometime soon!

matt woods dead mans blues
Click image to purchase on iTunes.
Purchase Dead Man’s Blues on vinyl at

Have Gun, Will Travel #1402

Matt Burke of Have Gun, Will Travel has been around the block with label and indie success with his bands over the years. As his previous band saw critical and airplay success, but not a comparable financial reward, his songwriting took a different turn and he forged ahead with Have Gun, Will Travel — initially a solo effort to let the new sounds have a platform, but ultimately becoming a band in itself. HGWT plays extensively throughout the Southeast and will reach much more of the nation this year, with runs joining Shooter Jennings, Railroad Earth, Country Fried Rock alum, Matt Woods and also The Whiskey Gentry, and Radiolucent. Burke is a talented songwriter and the band balances fun, upbeat music with more reflective tracks, not descending too much into SBM that is prevalent in the genre right now. Grab some friends, and go see Have Gun, Will Travel.

Special Edition Podcast
The easiest way to listen whenever you want: our new app.
This podcast includes three songs from HGWT, with express permission of the band.  Thank them by buying their music!
Stream or download the free podcast at the bottom of this post, or subscribe on iTunes.

Liner Notes

Stream or download the free podcast, or subscribe on iTunes.

Sarah Gayle Meech #1312

Sarah Gayle Meech looks like a nouveaux rockabilly woman, but her music is straight up traditional country. Her debut album, One Good Thing, shares Meech’s original tunes with an amazing backing band and stellar studio musicians. Just try not to dance while you listen. Don’t let the A-list players distract you, though, because Meech’s live show brings the energy that fills the gap in instrumentation changes from recorded versus live.

Buy One Good Thing from Sarah Gayle Meech HERE ON AMAZON or HERE ON iTUNES. You can download the free podcast at the bottom of this page.

Liner Notes

  • Sarah Gayle Meech One Good Thing “One Good Thing,” “No Angel,” “Sad and Lonely”
  • The .357 String Band Lightning From The North “Lightning from the North” Compadre band.
  • Bob Wayne Till the Wheels Fall Off “All My Friends” The lyrics reference cocaine, heroin & lsd use. I left the lyrics intact to contrast the traditional country music in this song with the surprisingly straightforward lyrics about hard drug use. People love or hate Bob Wayne, but he seems to be pretty honest about the lives a lot of people live, without judging them. I don’t know if it’s a persona or character or real, but this song works.
  • Buck Owens The Instrumental Hits “Buckaroo”  Meech plays regularly at Layla’s Bluegrass Inn and Robert’s Western World on Broadway, mixing her original tunes with Buck Owens and Loretta Lynn covers.
  • Hank III Rebel Within “Gettin’ Drunk and Falling Down” I’ve always avoided listening to any of Hank III’s music because he can’t seem to let the rebel flag go away. I’m a lifelong Southerner, and I don’t care about the “Heritage Not Hate” argument because it DOES represent hate. Move on, Shelton. Your music is sometimes really great. Quit being your own caricature. Get rid of the stupid stars and bars.  That said, his long-time player and producer, Andy Gibson, is the thread connecting many of these bands.
  • Bobby Bare 16 Biggest Hits “Numbers”  Grant Johnson is currently on tour as Bare’s lead guitar player.  He has also been heard on this radio show in the Derek Hoke program.
  • Scott Chism and the Better Half Long Haul Steady “Jet N Dewdrop’s Farm”  I chose this one because of the Chris Scruggs connection.
  • Matt Woods (Country Fried Rock alum) The Matt Woods Manifesto “Beating Down My Door” One of the best songwriters I know.  Woods was one of the other bands on the lineup in Illinois in 2013.
  • Hillbilly Casino Tennessee Stomp [Explicit] “The Ballad of Psycho Steve” (ft Dale Watson) On Watson’s upcoming EP, Hillbilly Casino is his backing abnd and Meech does backing vocals and a duet. I chose this song for the connection to the rest of this album, and the BR 549 Chris Scruggs connections, and Geoff Firebaugh, who co-wrote this tune.
  • The G-ddamn Gallows Seven Devils [Explicit] “7 Devils” Another compadre band.


Best of 2011

Wow! In 2011, Country Fried Rock featured 50 roots musicians via in-depth conversations, highlighting their songwriting and musical influences.  From those, we selected the 40 most-listened to programs, and let our listeners select their Top 10.  Hundreds of listeners voted for the Country Fried Rock “Best of 2011” list, yielding a surprisingly clear Top 10.

If you liked any of the music we have featured this year, please consider buying the albums and supporting the musicians who make great songs.  All of the songs posted for download are with express written permission of the artists.  Please “thank” them by visiting their pages or buying their music.  If you buy music through our links, a very small portion also goes to bring you Country Fried Rock in the future.  Thanks for supporting roots music & Happy (almost) New Year!
10. Renee Wahl, Cumberland Moonshine
Free download “One More to Go

9. Betsy Franck, Still Waiting
Free download here.

8. The Back Row Baptists (now called Some Dark Holler), Broken Hearts and Bad Decisions
Free download “Purple Hearts” from the new Some Dark Holler EP

7. Dylan Sneed, Texodus
Free Download of “No Worse for the Wear,” Live on Dutch Radio

6.  James Scott Bullard, The Rise & Fall of James Scott Bullard & The Late Night Sweethearts
Free exclusive download, “Skin and Bones”

5.  Driftwood, Wanderlust
TWO exclusive, free downloads! “Jeannie and the Giant”
and “California’s Burning.”

4.  The Mother Truckers, Van Tour

3.  Kevn Kinney, A Good Country Mile (with the Golden Palominos)
Free download of “In the Land” exclusively for Country Fried Rock listeners.










2.  Abby Owens, Indiantown

1.  Stephanie Fagan, Heart Thief
Free download of “You Are the Devil,” first available for our listeners

So, who would you like to hear in 2012 
on Country Fried Rock?  Leave a comment and let us know.

Rounding out the fan-voted Top 25 of 2011:
25. Dehlia Low
24. Stonehoney
23.  The Only Sons
22.  Efren
21.  Dodd Ferrelle
20. The Avery Set
19. Doc Dailey (My personal favorite of 2011, even though it was released in late 2010.)
18.  The Wild Rumpus
17.  Matt Woods
16.  Mark Cunningham
15.  Joe Pug
14.  Allen Thompson
13.  Packway Handle Band
12.  Boo Ray
11.  Farewell Drifters

The Speedbumps

Woohoo! We’re streaming the whole album from The Speedbumps!

Buy their music here on Amazon or The Speedbumps on iTunes.

A little background from the band:

The Speedbumps is an award-winning Americana band from Kent, Ohio founded
by singer-songwriter Erik Urycki. During the end of his freshman year in college
at KSU (2003), Erik suffered from severe panic attacks and was hospitalized for several days. He was later diagnosed with anxiety disorder and withdrew from school. Within several weeks, he picked up a guitar, taught himself to play, and busked for an entire summer with a young cellist he met as a way to work through his condition. Eventually, Erik went back to college and completed his degree in Public Relations, all while the music continued to pour out of him.

Ten years later, this sensitive and strong duo added more musicians, created three albums, earned an IMA Award, licensed their songs for feature films, and garnered local hero status as one of the best bands to come out of their region.

For Erik, the words and melodies he writes are therapeutic and autobiographical, covering topics that affect average middle class people like him, who struggle from time to time. Everything from relationships, to politics, to drugs, to death is addressed in his lyrics that are cleverly woven into upbeat jams or mood-inducing ballads. For his bandmates, the arrangements are reflective of their varying influences ranging from rural life in Northeast Ohio, to classical training at music school, to performing on the local jazz scene in Chicago.

when asked to describe his music. Writers have said the group is like Dave Matthews Band meets Steely Dan. Adult contemporary fans have said they have a Jack Johnson or John Mayer vibe. Still, Erik credits his ongoing condition as the blessing and the curse of his creativity. “I have just enough anxiety that when bad stuff happens, it just means more to me. Writing songs is simply how I deal with it.”

And there’s been a lot to deal with recently: long distance love, the sudden death of their drummer’s father, and the lost cancer battle of a close family member. In an effort to find some inner solice from the difficult personal events of the previous year, The Speedbumps sought a cabin retreat deep in the woods of Pennysylvania where they could reflect, grieve, write and release their experiences together.

Songs off this third album, The Harbors We Seek, were recorded at that cabin as part of their self-reflection and healing process.

Francie Moon

Grab this “pay what you want” EP from Francie Moon, Braided Sun! She’s new to Facebook, so stop by and chat with her.

From her bio:
Francie Moon is a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist based out of the Northern woods of New Jersey. A gorgeous vocalist with a delivery that will reach into your heart and move your very being, she writes poignant heartfelt songs that are wise beyond her years. An extremely talented multi-instrumentalist she can shred garage, blues, and punk riffs as well as delicate acoustic arrangements. Her recordings are DIY and highlight her many talents.
On September 8th she will hit Oklahoma to join Matt Pless as he wraps up recording his new release in Oklahoma City. From there they will hit the road in his car and drive out to California, up to Seattle, back down the California coast and back home across the southern areas of the country. Check her website often for show dates as they become available.

Country Fried Rock Best of 2012

Click to page 3 to listen to the Best of 2012.

Click the titles to purchase on iTunes.  Click the album covers to purchase on Amazon.

25 The Shovel vs. The Howling Bones – Lincoln Durham

Lincoln Durham started playing violin at age 4 via the Suzuki Method of instruction. By 8, he was hiding on stage facing the wall playing fiddle with the Osceola Opry–a loose association of players who met monthly in an old wooden schoolhouse to cover Hank Williams and Bill Monroe songs for the gathered farmers and country folk. Durham picked up the guitar in his early 20′s, which captivated his interest more than the fiddle ever had. Wandering through a period of singer-songwriter expression, Lincoln still felt pulled by something different in music, but had not been able to define it for himself, let alone have it clearly expressed in music. CONTINUE

24 Michelle Malone: Day 2

This album is currently only available directly from Michelle Malone HERE.
Michelle Malone was part of the Atlanta music scene that evolved from the Indigo Girls’ success, enjoying national attention for the music of Shawn Mullins, Tinsley Ellis, and Drivin N Cryin, with her band at the time, Drag the River. The confluence of blues-tinged Southern music at the time made for an exciting music scene, that was later replaced by the still-dominant hiphop scene. Atlanta is a weird place filled with temporary residents who are not from the area, but it is also a collection of neighborhoods with their own identities and people who are part of the arts culture and give different places their distinct vibes. It is from the latter community that Michelle Malone emerges, not as an ingenue, but as the definition of the Atlanta rock sound–Southern, blues-touched, guitar-driven, but still about the song. CONTINUE

23 Sweat Like the Old Days – Holy Ghost Tent Revival

Holy Ghost Tent Revival took their lowest point in the last five years and used it as a reason to find a new sound and revive their music. It’s not any easier to pigeonhole their work than it was before the departure of their bass player and harmony vocalist, but their music is definitely easier to dance to now than it was before. Despite having almost nothing in common with bluegrass music, they are often lumped in there with old time bands–great for a festival lineup, but inaccurate in categorization. Think of the Avett Brothers with a horn section, and you are much closer to the sound of Holy Ghost Tent Revival. CONTINUE

22 Two Step Silhouette – The Corduroy Road

The Corduroy Road‘s fans sounded alarm bells when the band left their life on the road for a long hiatus, but after nearly an eight-month break, the core of the band emerged with some new players in the lineup, refreshed and ready for the next phase of the band. The Corduroy Road musically balances between Americana and bluegrass in the dance-able area we refer to as “upbeat string band.” Their songs make you move, and you might even miss the weight of some of their lyrics, such as a hunter stumbling upon a meth lab in the woods where the meth-farmer and sheriff are in cahoots. Southern Gothic lyrics to outsiders, perhaps, but just another day in the country to some of us enmeshed in baffling small-town alliances. CONTINUE

21 Death of a Decade – Ha Ha Tonka

Ha Ha Tonka records flow thematically, bound together by a premise or idea, but not so tightly as to be concept albums. Initially, the themes were obvious, like Buckle in the Bible Belt, moving towards historical, as evidenced in the album artwork for Novel Songs of the Nouveau South, but for their recent record, Death of a Decade, the idea that emerged from which these songs began surprised me: Michael Jackson’s death. As Brett Anderson explains, every decade their seems to be some iconic political or entertainment figure who passes away, somehow creating endpoints for their times by their death. Jackson was a controversial figure in life, but even his greatest detractors accede that he was one of the greatest entertainers of our era. With Michael Jackson’s passing, it was the death of a decade. CONTINUE

20 Come Home to Me – The Famous

The Famous bring together a punk influence with traditional country, yielding music that seems to emerge only from California. I always imagine skateboarders who listen to country, not for the irony, but for the cool-factor. In the case of The Famous, though, their music is as much a product of the craft brewing scene as anything else. From brew pubs to brew fests–even a song in homage to their favorite beer–The Famous have found a well-heeled, selective audience for their music in the greater San Francisco Bay region. CONTINUE

19 Waiting All Night – Derek Hoke

Derek Hoke left rock and roll in the dust years ago, finding a new sound, which he dubbed “Quietbilly,” a gentle, sweet rockabilly, now twinged with some Southern blues. His previous album, Goodbye Rock and Roll, clearly cemented Hoke’s distinguishable sound, but his recent release, Waiting All Night, explores a wider variety of rhythm, while still being a Derek Hoke record. Producer and childhood friend, Dexter Green (of Sea Lab Sound), partnered with Hoke on the project, taking their time to call upon friends to play on songs between their own touring schedules. The list of guests reads like a Who’s Who of East Nashville and legendary sidemen, and reflects on Derek’s ability to make his peers feel at ease. CONTINUE

18 Bird In The Tangle – Brett Detar

When Brett Detar ended his band, The Juliana Theory, he was not sure he would ever play music again. Seeking a change, he became the customer service department and chief stain remover for his wife’s vintage clothing shop. Detar fully escaped music, trying to evade his self-doubt about his ability to write songs or be an artist at all. During these years, every scrap of paper of a lyric or theme crammed into a box, waiting for Detar to make them into music. CONTINUE

17 Slowburner – The District Attorneys

The District Attorneys live across north Georgia, ranging from Atlanta to Athens, managing to bridge the musical divide of these very different cities–one that is much wider than the lanes of I-85.  With two homemade EP’s (which you can download for free from the band) and their first full-length record on This Is American Music, The District Attorneys have already refined their sound, bringing bare bones indie-pop together with twangy Georgia roots, as if they are the new representatives of Southern jangle pop.  Slowburner solidly places this band in with the list of best debut albums in roots music this year.  (So, I am biased. I love this record.) CONTINUE

16 Gloryland – Kevin Gordon

Kevin Gordon’s album, Gloryland, explores the blues side of roots music, with lyrics that would make the Drive-By Truckers jealous.  Gordon grew up in Monroe, Louisiana, and although he has been away for decades, the reality of life there and the people he knew bring grit to rural life without glorification.  Glorylandis not about redemption or salvation, and definitely not about glossing over the seamy and sadistic side of life in the deep South. CONTINUE


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