Canada

Corb Lund #1423

Although Corb Lund is well-known within Canada, only select areas of the States have been turned on to his music, often via his friendship and co-writing with Texan, Hayes Carll. After Lund’s US release of Cabin Fever, though, audiences began to appreciate his real life cowboy songs (seventh generation Rocky Mountain cowboy, I believe!) and kick-tailfeathers live band. When CMT Canada offered a live session at Memphis’ Sun Studios to record both an album and a DVD, Lund and the Hurtin’ Albertans jumped at the chance to share a greatest hits of sorts with US fans, who may not have known their previous six albums. With Counterfeit Blues, Corb Lund lands on both boots for a rollicking record.

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Buy Corb Lund’s music here iTunes or Amazon.

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Sloan

No relation. 😉

Y’all know I have a deep love for pop rock that makes you dance, especially for my running playlists, and this tune from Sloan fits the bill! They’ve got a new double album set for September release, with each side written by one of the guys in the band. Commonwealth will be available from Yep Roc.

Click the picture to listen to the track on YouTube.
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New Country Rehab

Country Fried Rock alumni, New Country Rehab, are offering their latest EP for free download!

Buy their music here on Amazon or here on iTunes.

Artists you love. Music they love. Get Rdio Free

Blackie & The Rodeo Kings

I’ve known about Blackie & The Rodeo Kings since their duets album, but I was fortunate to see Colin Linden play in Nashville in support of another band and then see the band itself all in the same week. What a fun time!

Buy their new album here on Amazon

From their bio:

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — “We’re very sensitive men,” notes Tom Wilson, who with longtime compatriots Stephen Fearing and Colin Linden comprises Blackie and the Rodeo Kings’ singer-songwriter-guitarist triumvirate. “And when we’re not sensitive, we’re loud.”

The fabled Canadian roots-rockers are a virtual institution in their home country, where they’ve been crafting bracing, catchy, introspective music for nearly two decades. Yet they’ve managed to maintain a relatively low profile in the United States. That situation seems likely to change with the U.S. release of the band’s eighth album, South, coming out through File Under: Music on January 14, 2014. A limited edited 7” vinyl containing tracks “South” and “North” is due out on October 29, 2013.

South represents a fresh creative step for Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, while embodying the qualities of rootsy musical uplift and quirky lyrical depth that have long distinguished the ensemble’s varied output. The album’s largely acoustic yet reliably punchy arrangements showcase the three songwriters’ multiple strengths, while their organically energetic performances maintain the vibrant chemistry that’s kept Blackie a consistently vital and distinctive musical force.

Fearing, Linden and Wilson were already seasoned veterans of the Canadian music scene when they first forged their collaboration in 1996 in Hamilton, Ontario. The group was initially assembled as a one-off side project to record High or Hurtin’: The Songs of Willie P. Bennett, a tribute to the Canadian folk artist whose 1978 LP Blackie and the Rodeo Kinginspired the combo’s name.

Despite the original plan, the new unit quickly took on a life of its own, spawning such memorable albums as Kings of Love (1999), which won a Juno Award for Best Roots and Traditional Album, Bark (2003), Let’s Frolic (2006), Let’s Frolic Again (2007), the compilation Swinging From the Chains of Love (2009) and Kings and Queens (2011).

Meanwhile, the three have maintained their individual careers outside of Blackie. Fearing is a widely respected solo artist, and is half of the duo Fearing and White with noted Irish artist Andy White. Wilson has worked solo, as well as leading the bands Junkhouse and Lee Harvey Osmond. Linden, who relocated to Nashville in 1996, has released several solo albums and recently played guitar in Bob Dylan’s touring band. As guitarist, songwriter and/or producer, he’s also worked with the likes of The Band, Ray Bonneville, T-Bone Burnett, Bruce Cockburn, Amos Garrett, Emmylou Harris, Colin James, Keb’ Mo’, Diana Krall, Leon Redbone, Chris Thomas King and Lucinda Williams.

South represents both a consolidation of the qualities that have already endeared Blackie and the Rodeo Kings to fans, and a bold departure from the band’s established sound. The project first began to take shape while the group was touring the Canadian festival circuit in support of its last album Kings and Queens. On several occasions, inclement weather caused Fearing, Linden and Wilson to retreat to the shelter of the merch tent, where they would stage loose acoustic sets. These impromptu performances soon began to take on a sound and groove that was distinct from the five-piece electric sets for which Blackie was already renowned.

The experience of stripping down their sound had such a rejuvenating effect on the three frontmen that they decided to capture that vibe on record. They had initially planned to record a low-key all-acoustic vinyl-only release, with one original and one cover from each singer. But when they brought the material to Linden’s Nashville studio, they found their originals to be more exciting than the covers, and before long they’d accumulated an album’s worth of new original tunes. They then added the band’s longtime rhythm section of bassist Johnny Dymond and drummer Gary Craig to the sessions, and the material evolved yet again. By the time they were finished recording, the only element of the original plan that remained was the absence of electric guitars. Instead, Linden applied his production prowess to give the songs a vivid sonic depth that enhances the songs’ melodic and emotional resonance.

Titled in honor of the sessions’ Nashville location, South features Blackie’s most infectious and expressive batch of compositions to date. Linden’s autobiographical title track reflects poignantly on how he followed in his parents’ footsteps by moving his family from Canada to America. Wilson also took a crack at writing a title song for the album, but got turned around and instead penned the rousing album-opener “North.” The band’s capacity for insightful introspection is demonstrated on Fearing’s affecting “Everything I Am,” and on the heartbreaking Fearing/Wilson co-write “I’d Have To Be a Stone.” The album closes, appropriately enough, with its only cover, “Drifting Snow,” by the aforementioned Bennett, who inadvertently inspired Blackie and the Rodeo Kings’ birth back in the day.

“Tom named this album South,” Linden notes. “The title was rooted in the idea that he and Stephen had come down to my house in Nashville to record, and the mythology of being Canadian musicians venturing from the cold, cold winters and short night to the land of plenty — plenty of wine and barbecue.”

“The way we sound when we’re sitting around in Colin’s kitchen and in dressing rooms playing music is how we wanted these songs presented,” Wilson says. “There’s a different musical conversation that takes place when you’re stripped to the wood and skins and strings, with the comfort and confidence of the moment when the world stops outside your kitchen window.”

If Colin Linden, Stephen Fearing and Tom Wilson have learned anything in the past 17 years, it’s that Blackie and the Rodeo Kings is a journey, not a destination. Their original plan to make one album and then go their separate ways has given way to an enduring musical rapport that’s grown deeper — and more integral to their lives — than they could have ever imagined.

“Blackie is there because we want it there, and when we don’t want it there it will be gone,” Wilson states. “Blackie enhances our lives, and gives us the kick in the ass that we need to rave on. And sometimes dinner gets burned, so it’s good to have three great cooks watching the oven.”

For Fearing, The Rodeo Kings are brothers, “We all come from crazy homes and this band is the family that we created for ourselves. It’s a chance to step outside of the solo spotlight and climb aboard an ensemble that puts musicality and soulfulness above everything. I know that no-matter what happens, those characters have got my back.”

“We love each other, and we love playing together,” Linden observes. “That’s the main and most important thing. And Blackie’s not the only thing we do, so every time we get together, it’s an event, and even when I do other things, I bring the spirits of my pals with me. Sometimes getting together is a challenge to organize, but that just makes you savor the time you have together more.”

Linden is looking forward to getting on the road and bringing South to old and new fans on both sides of the border.

“The prospect of playing for new people is exciting, and we want to play whenever and wherever we can,” he says, “I like the idea of being the oldest new band around. It makes me feel like the great older blues artists I knew as a kid, when they were getting rediscovered.”

Linden also opines that, despite being a stylistic departure, South is as good a place as any for new converts to discover Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.

“Each of our records has its own character, but we’re unable to be anything other than what we are,” he says. “So they’re all good intros to us, for better or worse.”

“South is where we’re at right now,” Wilson adds. “Who we were is not important. Who we’ll be is unknown. America needs Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. They are starving for us and they don’t even know it . . . yet.”

Steve Parkinson & The Stony Lonesome

Country Fried Rock has known one of the members of this band for a long time, but only recently heard their album, Kentucky Straight Heartbreak.

Enjoy this free song, “Four Wheels,” to stream or download.
Buy their music here Kentucky Straight Heartbreak on Amazon or Steve Parkinson & the Stony Lonesome on iTunes.

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From their bio:
Coming together in November of 2009, these Lonesome boys share a love of honest country music. Based on the carefully crafted songs of Steve Parkinson, the Lonesome boys build arrangements that are reminiscent of old-time honky-tonks and the classic stylings of Parsons, Nelson and The Possum. Their sound is a product of immense thievery; stealing from Nashville, Bakersfield, western swing, folk, and rock and roll. This is clearly a band that only robs from the greats!

The Stony Lonesome has shared the stage with such greats as: New Country Rehab, The Good Family, Ladies of the Canyon, The Dinner Belles, The Magnificent Seven, One Hundred Dollars, and Hawkeyes to name a few.

In May, 2013, Stony Lonesome had the pleasure of recording with the brilliant Andy Magoffin at his House of Miracles in Cambridge, Ontario. A week or two later, the boys emerged with their first true full-band effort. With a mountain of work and whiskey behind them, “Kentucky Straight Heartbreak” is being released by Busted Flat Records on September 20th 2013.

Stony Lonesome is: Steve Parkinson (vocals and guitar), Bryan Wright (electric guitar, vocals,mandolin), Steve Wood (pedal steel,dobro), Scott Fitzpatrick (electric and upright basses, and vocals), and Chris Flannigan (drums).

Americana Review Covers Americana Music Association Conference 2013 (Guest Post)

Our friends at Americana Review (Canada) have a great blog and did some excellent summaries of this year’s AMA conference. With their permission, we are sharing it for you here!

Follow Americana Review on Twitter!

Day 1 Roundup – AMA Festival, Nashville, TN
The annual Americana Music Association Festival and Conference is in full swing with the first official night now complete. The festival kicked off with annual awards show at the Ryman which, as always, featured incredible and unique performances that one can only see at this awards show. It’s the only place you’ll find a finale that includes Jim Lauderdale, Joy Williams of the Civil Wars, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Roseanne Cash, Dr. John, Richard Thompson, Billy Bragg, Shovels and Rope, Tift Merritt, Dr. John and as wonderful a house band as you’ll ever gather with Buddy Miller at the lead performing “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight”, an old hit on separate occasions for Emmylou and the Oak Ridge Boys. What was especially great about this particular performance was hearing Rodney Crowell and Roseanne Cash perform a few lines together, something that rarely happens these days. Steven Stills just tore it up with a performance of the iconic Buffalo Springfield tune “For What It’s Worth.” The Milk Carton Kids made an astounding case as to why they could easily have been presented with the Emerging Artist award, an honour that was bestowed upon Shovels and Rope. Two very different styles of music between the two duos, both excellent acts and all tremendous artists.

Speaking of duos, they were front and center during the awards show with the Association giving much love to Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, awarding them with the Duo/Group of the Year award and Album of the Year for “Old Yellow Moon.” In addition to Emerging Artist, Shovels and Rope also picked up the award for Song of the Year for their performance of “Birmingham.” The AMA Awards are truly the most unique award show presentations in the industry today. I always find it a treat to attend this show. For those who could not attend, Austin City Limits will be featuring a special broadcast of the music portions of the show at a later date (I suspect in November), and AXS TV in the United States has carried the show live for the past two years. Be on the lookout for a replay. Click here for a great rundown of the rest of the award proceedings.

It doesn’t happen that often, but on occasion, a plan can go astray. My plan last night was to cover the Lone Bellow and JD McPherson’s portion of the showcase. However, to their deserved credit, the Mercy Lounge was at capacity when I arrived at the venue so I was not able to get in. Fortunately, the Mercy Lounge, High Watt and Cannery Ballroom are all connected, so I ventured to the High Watt where I soon discovered how gifted and amazing Drew Holcomb and The Neighbours are. Performing a set largely comprised of material off their latest release “Good Light”, Drew and the Neighbours delivered a powerful set that ranged from the autobiographical (“Tennessee”) to the haunting (“A Place To Lay My Head”), from the romantic (“The Wine We Drink” — which is a powerful, beautiful song) to the inspirational (“Good Light”), all delivered with complete heart and soul. This group has a real diverse sound to it. They can transition from a straight up, heartland rock and roll sound as heard on “Good Light” to a slightly Celtic delivery on “A Place to Lay My Head.” A group of excellent musicians who are creating music that speaks to them, look for Drew and the Neighbours in your area as they hit the road soon. Judging by the reaction of the crowd at the High Watt, their music speaks to the people as well.

The final act I caught was based on a recommendation from my friend Nelson of WDVX radio in Knoxville, TN. St. Paul and the Broken Bones opened up for Jason Isbell in Knoxville earlier this year and apparently blew apart the stage they were so good. From Birmingham, AL, this group of young men have quite the future ahead of them. Reaching in to the soul, jazz and blues portion of Americana, St. Paul and the Broken Bones could have taken people to church last night, as there were moments you thought you were in a tent revival. The powerful, soulful and strong vocal delivery of St. Paul, paired with the outstanding musicianship of the Broken Bones created the most unique act I have seen in my 3 years attending this conference and festival. A real highlight of the show was a cover of the Aretha Franklin classic “Respect.” Young, professional and talented, St. Paul and the Broken Bones are going places. They are ones to watch, indeed.

And to think this was only the first night …

Day 2 Roundup, AMA Week, Nashville, TN
The best music in the world continued to play in Nashville on Thursday night at the annual AMA festival with arguably one of the strongest nightly lineups in festival history. Stellar lineups were presented at all of the festival venues with artists ranging from the North Mississippi All Stars, and Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale at the Cannery, to outstanding newcomers John Fullbright and Nikki Bluhm and the Gramblers at the Mercy Lounge. 3rd and Lindsley presented a night of Americana pioneers, and that’s focus of this write up today.

Rosanne Cash has long been a supporter of outstanding Americana music, even before such a format was recognized. Her musical heritage is beyond reproach, having grown up under the influence of her famous father and stepmother, Johnny and June Carter Cash, as well as the Carter Family. Creating and releasing thoughtful and insightful albums have been the standard for Roseanne Cash for her entire career, which now spans more than 30 years. Her performance at 3rd and Lindsley last evening served as a preview for the next chapter in her storied career. The River and the Thread will be released in January of 2014, an album of original material following the release of the outstanding cover album The List. The album should speak to many of us. Its core subject is returning to ones roots, that home base that they may have left behind a long time ago. It could be for varying reasons … work, restlessness, escape. However, when returning to that home base after an extended period, that person feels the connection to themselves, that feeling where you know that you are the person you are because of those roots. It reveals a new appreciation for where you came from. It’s an important theme of the album for Cash, who mentioned she has been living in New York City for long time, and the preparation for this album brought her back to her southern family heritage. Some great material on this album with key tracks being “What’s The Temperature Darlin’?”, a great lifelong love story; “Tell Heaven”, an all-inclusive religious song about believing in a higher power and faith; and “When the Master Calls the Role”, a beautiful, lyrically stunning Civil War song written by Cash, husband John Leventhal and ex-husband Rodney Crowell.

British folk legend Billy Bragg has been leaving quite the impression on Nashville and the Americana faithful, reminding everyone of why he’s been so successful for so many years. Touring in support of his first album in 5 years, “Tooth and Nail,” Bragg’s set included many selections from that album, as well as a couple of stellar cover songs. “Handyman Blues” is a great tongue-in-cheek track from “Tooth and Nail” about the life, times and indeed, perils of loving a songwriter. “Swallow My Pride” is a beautifully written song of reconciliation, penance and healing a relationship with ones other half. “Chasing Rainbows” is a straight up country song loaded with pedal steel, featuring strong lyrics with that always wry, British sense of humour. A very poignant moment in Bragg’s set saw the return of Roseanne Cash to the stage, where they performed the Johnny Cash standard “I Still Miss Someone.” Their vocals melding together beautifully, a true highlight of the show performing the song to a hushed crowd.

Fellow British folk-icon Richard Thompson was on stage next, making a return appearance to the Americana Music Festival stage. Similar to his on-stage predecessors, Thompson performed tracks from his latest release “Electric.” A song many can relate to was the performance of “Saving The Good Stuff For You”, a beautifully written song about growing up to be a better man. It’s an adult song, for adults. The performance of “Salford Sunday”, a whimsical song about love lost was beautifully performed. However, it was the performance of “Vincent Black Lightning 1952” that left the 3rd and Lindsley crowd spellbound. Quite frankly, the guitar work on this song is like nothing I have ever seen. The entire performance was incredible, but this particular piece was astounding. Some people have called Richard Thompson a guitar god, and the description could not be more accurate.

And now, on and out to Day 3 …

Day 3 Roundup, AMA Week, Nashville TN
Another exciting night of Americana music has come to pass in Music City. As usual, an incredible litany of talent was showcased all over town, with the most active venue being the Mercy Lounge/High Watt/Cannery Row complex.

It was a night to try and catch acts in all three venues contained in this building, and the music did not disappoint. The tough decision was where to stay. It seemed the only logical conclusion was to roam around a little bit. Downstairs in the Cannery, New West Records was celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the much-celebrated record label with performances from their entire roster. I came in at the time Buddy Miller was onstage and delivering a scorching set that included guest performances with Rodney Crowell for two songs (including the classic “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight”) and the McCrary Sisters. Some of the many, many great things about seeing Buddy Miller live is seeing how much he loves playing and experimenting with music, creating new sounds, and just watching how much he loves being on stage and performing. Every time I see his name advertised anywhere, I always do my best to check out his show. It’s always worth the time, and you will always be entertained.

Next up was Delbert McClinton and Glen Clark, two old friends from Texas that recorded an album together 42 years ago and reunited to release an album this year called “Blind, Crippled and Crazy.” McClinton is a legend in the music business, carving his legacy with crafting a hard, country-blues sound. Performing tunes that were largely from their album. Delbert and Glen put the scald on the Cannery, belting out some hard core blues such as “Been Around a Long Time” and the tongue-in-cheek “Peace in the Valley.” The set closed off with a return appearance by the McCrary Sisters, additional back-up vocals on “Givin’ It Up For Your Love”, one of Delbert’s all time best.

The final performance of the night, at least for me, was the extended set delivered by The Bottle Rockets. Where Delbert and Glen put the scald on down in the Cannery, The Bottle Rockets burned the place down with arguably the best set I’ve attended at the Americana Music Festival. The energy that was in the room was nothing short of amazing, with band and audience feeding off each other in ways that are not often replicated. Performing crowd favorites such as the guitar heavy “Radar Gun” and “The Long Way”, from the Lean Forward album, to sing-alongs like “Welfare Music” and “$1,000 Car,” the raucous crowd got the encore they were looking for with a three song finale that included “Countin’ On You” and “Take Me To The Night.”

With much respect to the other performers that were to follow The Bottle Rockets, I left the venue after their performance. There was no need to see anyone else, it wouldn’t be fair. The Bottle Rockets were on a rare level that no one was going to exceed last night. Having said that, I do want to give special mention to Judah and the Lion, a group of young musicians whom I understand have just graduated from Belmont University in Nashville. I caught a couple of their songs earlier in the evening. They are an outstanding group of young musicians who are well on their way to having a solid career. Do keep an eye on these young musicians, I know I will be.

Days 4 and 5 Round Up, Americana Music Fest, Nashville TN
The final 2 days of the Americana Music Festival have come and gone, with the festival wrapping up in glorious fashion. Saturday can be a tough go for the performers at this festival, but only because the attendees have been so inundated with so much music, information and late nights over the previous four days, not because the performers aren’t giving it their all. It’s with this in mind, that I thank all of the performers on Saturday night for their contributions. You did yourselves and the Americana movement proud.

Levi Lowrey is an up and coming star in this genre. A multi-talented singer-songwriter out of Georgia, he finds his recording home on Zac Brown’s label, Southern Ground Recordings, Lowrey performed a solid set at the legendary 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville. Backed by a stellar band, one of the great highlights of his show was the performance of “Colder Weather”, a 2012 hit for the Zac Brown Band that was co-written by Lowrey. Lowrey’s version of “Colder Weather” contains a mysterious alternate verse that is not contained in the Brown recording, yet it is arguably the most poignant verse in the song. Levi Lowrey is on the road, and will be back in Nashville on September 27 and 28 for Zac Brown’s Southern Ground Music and Food Festival. He and his band are well worth your time and money, you will be duly entertained at their show.
The final act of Saturday night’s festivities at 3rd and Lindsley was an act I had been hoping to see for some time. Mike Farris caught my attention with a performance on Music City Roots with his incredible showmanship, powerful vocal delivery, and positive message in all of his songs. Backed by a large band that included horns, keys and background singers, Farris injected new life in to the club at a late hour when most attendees were fading. Having returned from Spain not long before his performance on Saturday night, Farris gave everyone the last little bit he had left in the tank and the crowd responded by doing the same. A real treat was hearing Farris’ version of the Mary Gautier classic “Mercy Now,” which is sure to be a classic when released. With a positive message in all of his songs, especially with his rendition of “This Little Light of Mine”, Farris sent the attendees of the final showcase night home feeling good, positive and waiting until next year.

However, this was not the end of the Americana music festival. A surprise addition to the festival saw the weekly Nashville Sunday Night’s show, presented a living legend in Americana music with Lucinda Williams concluding her tour at 3rd and Lindsley. This performance, captured via live broadcast on Lightning 100 in town, was a presentation of her debut album which was released 25 years ago. Sounding as strong as she’s ever sounded, Lucinda performed an incredible set that re-visited such classics as “Change The Lock”, “Passionate Kisses” and “The Night’s Too Long”, the latter two which became major hits for Mary-Chapin Carpenter and Patty Loveless respectively. Recognizing the significance of the occasion, Jim Lauderdale raced back from the Rhythm and Roots festival in Bristol, TN for a guest appearance with Lucinda.
And so wrapped up another Americana Music Festival in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s a festival like this that really cements the reputation of Nashville as Music City U.S.A. An outstanding lineup was featured and all involved in the organization of this event deserves all the credit in the world. It surely must have been a monumental task. The only challenge that remains is how to top, or at least equal, the quality of performances for next year.

Samantha Martin #1326

Fresh off of a noted set at the Calgary Folk Festival, Samantha Martin reflects on life as an independent musician in Toronto, sharing many of the same challenges that DIY bands in the States experience.  From club gigs where attendees complain about the $5 door charge to trouble crossing the border, to searching out record shops while on tour to find a last taste of local flavor in the music, Samantha Martin and The Haggard are forging their way in the wild frontier. With a debut album that samples their breadth, nearly every fan of roots music will find one song to like on this “roots and roll” record.

Liner Notes

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Old Man Luedecke #1305

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.)

Despite obscure literary references, Tender is the Night, is solidly present.  Although F. Scott Fitzgerald or even Jackson Browne may come to mind, Luedecke has never read that book nor has he heard to catchy tune of the same name–although his mandolin player sings it to him often.  (Luedecke says he is referencing Melville’s Billy Budd who is referencing Keats and a reflection on Thomas Payne’s “Rights of Man.”)  Despite the heavy influences, the music is simple and accessible–producer, Tim O’Brien, gently decorated Luedecke’s songs.

While much more folk-y than most of the music we cover, the connection to the history of folk music and a modern reflection of it, tie  these songs to the rest of the catalog.  Luedecke’s use of humor and the absurd, Biblical topics and modern life, demonstrate how traditional lyrical subjects continue to engage listeners.

Liner Notes

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Whitehorse #1301

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.

Making music work right now requires more than just being “all in” with the art; it also necessitates the leanest live interpretation of a band’s music possible, without compromising the ethos.  Financially, many songwriters have opted for stripped down touring with the lofty goal of just breaking even while on the road.  Whitehorse holed up in a cottage on a lake and crafted a live performance with just the two of them–yet still nearly replicating the layered sounds of their studio album.

By seamlessly integrating technology–particularly a brilliant use of a looping pedal–and alternative gear like an old-fashioned telephone receiver as a microphone, Whitehorse crafted a dynamic and fascinating live show full of instrumentation and sound.  Their set is not a note-for-note replication of their album, but a creative extension of the vibe of their songwriting.  The performance mesmerizes audiences.  Whitehorse is poised to dominate late-night television, and engage fans in a variety of genres.  Our prediction?  By the end of 2013, the duo will dominate critics’ picks lists and people who see them live will win over their own friends to being fans of Whitehorse.  The Fate of the World Depends on this Kiss is sleek, but Whitehorse’s show is spell-binding.

Liner Notes

  • Whitehorse The Fate of the World Depends on This KissWhitehorse  I was familiar with both Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet’s prior work, then I had the honor of emceeing their showcase at the Americana Music Festival 2012 at the High Watt, Nashville.  Their set was mesmerizing.  Of all the 2012 AMA showcases, this was one of the best.  If you get the chance, you really must see them live.
  • k.d. lang Absolute Torch and Twang “Big, Big Love” Absolute Torch and Twang - k.d. lang
  • Sarah McLachlan Rarities “Blackbird” She has a beautiful voice, and I just really like this Beatles tune. Rarities, B-Sides and Other Stuff, Vol. 2 - Sarah McLachlan
  • Sloan One Chord to Another “Good in Everyone” (the bevy of drummers on Whitehorse’s album) A Sides Win: Singles 1992-2005 - Sloan
  • The Weakerthans Reconstruction Site (more from the bevy of drummers) Reconstruction Site - The Weakerthans
  • Lee DorseyFreedom For The Funk “Wonder Woman”  The title of Whitehorse’s album comes from a vintage Wonder Woman comic, but I have always loved Dorsey’s soul and funk, and this fits lyrically more than the campy TV theme.  Besides, in case you did not grow up knowing his music, this album is a great place to start. Soul Mine - The Greatest Hits & More 1960-1978 - Lee Dorsey
  • Trampled By Turtles Stars And Satellites  “Midnight on the Interstate”  Chosen because TBT was also on the Festy bill in 2012, but also because of the discussion about life on the road and avoiding the cliche of road songs, while still acknowledging that is one’s actual life.  Stars and Satellites - Trampled By Turtles

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