Belle Adair

Belle Adair

Country Fried Rock alumni, Belle Adair, of Alabama have made their mark at SXSW, stopped in for another CXCW (Couch By CouchWest), and filmed a couple videos recently.

Check out our conversation with them here.

Buy Belle Adair’s music here on Amazon or here on iTunes.

 

 

Best of 2013, Part 1

The Top 20 — Numbers 20 through 11

Every year, we share our Fan Favorites, chosen by the programs that listeners downloaded and streamed the most. I’m always amazed how they clearly line up into the Top 20 Shows. Counting down from 20th to the #1 radio show that y’all loved, here goes! Click HERE for the Top 10.

As always, if you like the band, buy their music. It’s the best way to support them.

Podcasts
Download the free podcast at the very bottom of this page or on iTunes.
Many of the songs from our Top 20 list are in the Special Edition podcasts.

20.
SteelDrivers
How does a band survive when its founder leaves — and their lead vocalist moves on? The SteelDrivers demonstrate their resilience as a band with Hammer Down, their latest album with their current lineup. Bass player, Mike Fleming, shares his own musical path to bluegrass, shaped by The Beatles and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and the influences of the other band members that keep The SteelDrivers on the edges of their genre and bring in audiences who otherwise do not care for bluegrass — even attracting such notable fans as Adele.

19.
Steep Canyon Rangers
Steep Canyon Rangers forged their way in the traditional music scene from their home state of North Carolina through regular forays into the Rockies and back at their base in the Western North Carolina mountains, putting in over 20,000 hours of hard work along the way. (Even Bob Lefsetz might approve of their drive.) Over the years, they have made their own mark within the tight-knit scene, but it was not until they were selected to be Steve Martin’s backing band that their name-recognition expanded beyond Americana, bluegrass, and old time fans. Add in a whirlwind few years of selected shows in Martin’s support and some hefty awards and honors, and the stringband from Carolina was suddenly time-warped from headliner to sell-out headliner.

18.
Belle Adair
Continuing our series focused on new music coming from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, we talk with Matt Green of Belle Adair (and also of The Pollies). Belle Adair‘s new album, The Brave and The Blue, recently released on Single Lock Records, a small indie label collaboration among John Paul White (Civil Wars), Ben Tanner (Alabama Shakes), and Will Trapp. Collaborations exist beyond the business side of music in this tight-knit music community. We have been watching and waiting on Belle Adair since our feature of The Pollies, with whom most of the band also plays. The logistics of such intermingling mean that scheduling can be a challenge, but it also keeps the songs and the playing fresh, as members toggle their attention from one band to the other — in addition to their other music projects. As a listener, The Brave And The Blue falls squarely in the elusive “Southern indie” sound that is neither Americana nor Triple A, not quite pop and not fully rock.

17.
Caitlin Cary of NC Music Love Army
Caitlin Cary and Jon Lindsay formed the NC Music Love Army after a long phone conversation inspired by a song quickly written and posted on YouTube by their mutual friend, Django Haskins of The Old Ceremony. What had started in their state of North Carolina as weekly summertime protests against restrictive state legislation regarding voting rights, gay marriage rights, and women’s health rights, dubbed “Moral Mondays,” made strange bedfellows of disparate causes within a state known for its more progressive outlook than much of the South. The groups saw their political landscape changing, and took to the streets with their only weapon — songs. Protest music certainly is not new in America, the South, or even North Carolina, but it’s been over forty years since so many groups came out publicly to share their discontent. What was borne of passion for these musicians, has become the NC Music Love Army — a movement, an album, and a live show.

16.
Jack Logan

Jack Logan is known for his comics as much as his music, starting with his “Pete Buck Superhero” series in the 1980s. While the reluctant hero of the series may not have warmed to the idea right away, R.E.M. fans in Atlanta flocked to local record stores for the cult-series comic, which was kept in the glass case at check out, full of thumbprints from everyone who just wanted to see it. Logan never stops creating, and his most recent album is with noted luthier, Scott Baxendale of Baxendale Guitar in Athens (formerly, Colorado). Logan accurately describes his vocals, include the Elvis Costello-ish “Lounge Downtown” and “Erased,” references a part of Athens called Normaltown, all through a filter of psychedelic rock and “Athens rock.” If you don’t crack up listening to “Run For Your Life,” you probably did not find Pulp Fiction funny, either. (You might not know the local connotation, but in Athens, it’s “see you at the rock show.”) With guest appearances from several former & current members of the Drive-By Truckers, this rock record may not be on your radar, but needs to be in your collection.

15.
Rich Mahan
Rich Mahan blames Bobby Bare for his slightly naughty, humorous songs, but really, he just wants you to have fun and enjoy the music. Mahan’s debut solo record, Blame Bobby Bare, creates an auditory party–even if it’s just a quick escape from your workday and stresses of life by cranking up the music. Go ahead and dance around the office if you want.

14.
Austin Lucas

Austin Lucas was born into music and his latest album, Stay Reckless, shows his growth as a songwriter. Like many rockers we cover, Lucas has no interest in replicating his previous records, and strives to constantly move forward and improve as an artist. For Lucas, that transition happened in the midst of divorce and relocating to Nashville — plenty of personal material for a great album. On the record, Lucas is backed by Glossary (Country Fried Rock alumni) and live he has assembled a great band that has toured together extensively over the last several months.

13. Sam Doores & The Tumbleweeds, now called The Deslondes
Sam Doores collaborates in recording and performing, making creative and practical decisions that allow his songs to reach as many audiences as possible. Whether Doores is playing solo, with his band, in a duo setting with a stompbox, or as part of Hurray for the Riff Raff, the versatile musician and songwriter is adding more to his professional toolbox. Doores’ influences range from Hank Williams and Woody Guthrie, to knowledge by necessity with a weekly four-hour gig just off Bourbon Street in New Orleans–fusing the music of Allen Toussaint, old R&B, swamp pop, and traditional country with Irish barroom tunes. Such a diverse setlist allowed him to develop his own skills and sounds as he crafted and improved his own songwriting.

12.
Whitehorse
Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet joined creatively to form Whitehorse, after many years of successful, separate music careers in Canada. Their first release together sounded like alternating their individual sounds, but their new album, The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss, creates a new sound that is neither his nor hers, but theirs. With this record, Whitehorse decided to expand into the States. Leaving their comfort zone of Canada and their established careers proved challenging–not just in building new audiences, but also in the realistic logistics of constant touring and creating their sound with limited personnel.

11.
Old Man Luedecke
Old Man Luedecke may be new to US audiences, but the Canadian folk songwriter is well-known and lauded north of the border. As his photo indicates, he is not old, but the music that captures his interest and influences his writing is old. Luedecke references traditional music from the Smithsonian Folkways series, like the Red Clay Ramblers, but sounds more like a folked-out Paul Simon to me. (Interestingly, Simon is never referenced, but I cannot get the vocal comparison out of my ears with this record.)

Click HERE for the Top 10.

Podcast
The music in the podcast is included by special written permission of the bands.

Sloane Spencer’s Picks From 2013

Each year, Country Fried Rock does a special radio program of our listeners’ favorite programs, determined largely by the number of podcast downloads and a weird math formula involving website traffic for online listening via our audio stream — basically, which programs y’all listened to the most. We’ll air that special double episode the last 2 weeks of this year. It’s packed full of fantastic music, so look for that right around the corner. cfr best of 2013 icon

Each year, I hem and haw and hesitate to make my own list, because I like every single band I feature. If I don’t like it, I don’t feature it. Heck, there’s a ton of music I love that I can’t feature! I’m just one person making this magic happen. 😀

So, I caved. Here’s my list, but like a mama, I love you all. I just love a few of y’all a little more than I love the others. Go ahead and buy these albums. You’ll pat yourself on the back for being so fabulous.
pretty dang fabulous of 2013

Belle Adair #1335

Continuing our series focused on new music coming from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, we talk with Matt Green of Belle Adair (and also of The Pollies). Belle Adair‘s new album, The Brave and The Blue, recently released on Single Lock Records, a small indie label collaboration among John Paul White (Civil Wars), Ben Tanner (Alabama Shakes), and Will Trapp.  Collaborations exist beyond the business side of music in this tight-knit music community.  We have been watching and waiting on Belle Adair since our feature of The Pollies, with whom most of the band also plays.  The logistics of such intermingling mean that scheduling can be a challenge, but it also keeps the songs and the playing fresh, as members toggle their attention from one band to the other — in addition to their other music projects.  As a listener, The Brave And The Blue falls squarely in the elusive “Southern indie” sound that is neither Americana nor Triple A, not quite pop and not fully rock.

Liner Notes


Download for free here or on iTunes.

Prevent Musician Suicide #1332

Yeah, not a fun topic…but one we should talk about more.

That’s why our album cover is a close-up of an elephant — major depression and musicians’ mental health are like the elephant in the living room.  It’s so close that you almost cannot figure out what it is.  We all know someone who needed help, but couldn’t afford it, was on the road all the time and couldn’t access care, or who self-medicated until they just disappeared.  Every friend in music knows somebody who needed help and couldn’t get it, either due to lack of access or the lifestyle challenges of being in this creative field.

So, we decided to help musicians get the care they need, and we need you to help, too.

BUY THE ALBUM HERE

DOWNLOAD THE FREE PODCAST ON iTUNES, ON SPREAKER, OR AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE

Find out more about Nuci’s Space here.

If you need to talk, please click here or call a trained counselor to talk right now.

800-273-8255

Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes & Single Lock Records #1331

Ben Tanner might not be a readily recognizable name, but he is the “honorary member” or recording partner of nearly every band from Alabama that we have featured on Country Fried Rock: The Pollies, Belle Adair (coming soon), Doc Dailey & Magnolia Devil, St. Paul & the Broken Bones (coming soon), and TheBear, John Paul White (of The Civil Wars), Alabama Shakes, Dylan LeBlanc, Jason Isbell, the Live From The Shoals series, and even Country Fried Rock Vol. 2 For Nuci’s Space — Preventing Musician Suicide. Together with John Paul White and Will Trapp, Tanner formed Single Lock Records recently, launching with three Alabama bands: TheBear (whose songs from Overseas Then Under we have featured on this radio show), Belle Adair , and St. Paul & The Broken Bones (also the current band of Browan Lollar, who we featured here after he left Jason Isbell’s band, the 400 Unit). It’s a small world in Southern indie music.

Tanner and Corey Hannah have an incredible video series called “Live From The Shoals,” too.  Tanner was not on the original recordings by Alabama Shakes, but he frequently sat in live with his friends, and when their popularity expanded exponentially, they wanted to replicate the keys on their recordings in their dynamic live shows, and Tanner came along for the ride, eventually touring relentlessly with the band and becoming an official member.  In their short breaks between tours, Tanner still records the music he loves from his friends’ bands, and supports the music they are making through Single Lock Records.  By his own admission, Tanner does not sleep much, and is a bit of a workaholic.  What really makes Tanner special, though, is his commitment to great music coming from his home region and using his own success to bring their albums to a broader audience.  He’s one of the good guys.

Liner Notes
Ben Tanner is involved in a lot of music projects. These are just a few he is directly and indirectly connected with, for this week’s playlist.


Podcast

#1241 The Pollies

The Pollies’ record almost did not happen. Songwriter, Jay Burgess, began recording some of the songs nearly 2 years ago, in what he now considers demo tapes, but the intent was not to make a record; it was merely a side-project from his previous band, Sons of Roswell. As it became apparent that Sons of Roswell were fading away, Burgess’ writing never ceased, and the demo recordings became more of a focus. Fellow musician friends from the Shoals area of Alabama (the “Quad Cities”) came and went with the project, leaving national acts to go solo again and others finding an international audience seemingly overnight for their other bands. Thus has been the whirlwind impacting what has ultimately become Where the Lies Begin, The Pollies’ debut record on This Is American Music record label.

Essentially, the album was recorded twice. Chris James (also formerly of Sons of Roswell), Daniel Stoddard (who also plays with Dylan LeBlanc), Matt Green (also with Belle Adair), Ben Tanner (also with the Alabama Shakes), and Reed Watson round out the current lineup for the Pollies, demonstrating the interwoven, mutually supportive music community of the Shoals. Mutual friends’ support for the demos and internet leaks of songs via YouTube ultimately led Burgess to bring focus to the Pollies project and make it a real band with a real focus on making a record. As it all came together, the visual presentation of the album helped define its title and ultimately, the theme: Where the Lies Begin.

Chris James had the idea for a bird’s nest and reverse side of an album cover with smashed eggs in a nest for a long time, but it was in discussing the songs on this record with Burgess that the complete concept revealed itself. In what others have described as “Southern Gothic rock and roll,” sometimes the adult realization that the stories your family tells about itself are not accurate. The deeper story that lies beneath is darker, more uncomfortable, and less simplistic than the tales we repeat trying to make them be true. A favorite uncle might also beat his wife. Your granddad might have spent his life abusing your grandmother. What happened behind closed doors does not go away by ignoring it. Such are the stories that lead to where these lies began.

Thank you for purchasing the songs in this radio show! Your purchase supports the musicians and this program. We appreciate you.

  • The Pollies Where the Lies Begin “Good for Nothing,” “Something New,” “Little Birdie” (Direct from their labelWhere the Lies Begin - The Pollies
  • Ramones “Commando” Ramones
  • Doc Dailey “Picture Frames” from the upcoming release (International debut of this song!) Doc Dailey & Magnolia Devil
  • Belle Adair “No Reply” Belle Adair
  • Sons of Roswell “In the Moonlight” (not available on Amazon or iTunes)
  • Alabama Shakes (from their original EP when they were still a four-piece called The Shakes, before Ben was regularly part of the touring band) “On Your Way” Alabama Shakes
  • Jason Isbell “In a Razor Town” (chosen because the lyrics reference a female character with abuse in her past, as part of the conversation about truth revelaing itself in our personal stories) Jason Isbell
  • Centro-Matic “Twenty Four” Centro-Matic
  • Neutral Milk Hotel “Holland, 1945” Neutral Milk Hotel


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