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

Allen Thompson: Encore From 2011

Some of y’all have been with us since our early days in 2010, as a food blog with a side of music and travel, to a music blog with a side of travel and food, to an online streaming radio station, to a weekly radio program, and then dropping all the side-projects to just focus on the weekly radio show. Well, somewhere along the way, we amassed over 200 interviews, only some of which have been available in our archives for the last year or so. Many of these conversations hold up well, and the bands have only gotten better, which is how we decided to bring you our conversation from early 2011 with Allen Thompson, following his acoustic solo record, 26 Years. Since then, the Allen Thompson Band released a fantastic full band album called Salvation In The Ground that needs to be in your collection. I still listen to both records weekly, which is saying something, considering how much new music I listen to, as well.

Please excuse my exuberance and goofiness. I had not quite figured out how to express my enthusiasm without stepping on people’s words at the time. I think I know why my friends describe me as “delightfully dorky” when I listen to programs like this… –Sloane Spencer (Host)

Radio Show
Listen to the entire radio program right here.

Buy the music from this radio show:

The Blackwing Foundation

Yep, the pencil people, Blackwing, not only make cool pencils that do not smear from this lefty, but they also have great taste in music and some cool events to benefit music in public schools through The Blackwing Foundation.

Grab tickets for their benefit in-the-round acoustic performance with Willie Watson (Old Crow Medicine Show), Willie Tea Taylor (Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit), and Andrew Combs HERE.

Here’s more about the musicians and the event:
On Thursday, June 27th, Nashville recording artist Andrew Combs, Old Crow Medicine Show co-founder Willie Watson and Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit frontman Willy Tea Taylor will take part in a special acoustic concert at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in Costa Mesa, CA.
Along with individual sets, the evening will feature an “in the round” session where all three musicians and other special guests will perform original compositions while discussing the songwriting process.
The performance will be part of the “Blackwing Sessions” music series. Proceeds from the show will benefit the Blackwing Foundation and its efforts to further arts and music education in schools.
Taylor was named by No Depression Magazine as “one of the most important American singer/songwriters of our time.” Saving Country Music compared Taylor’s songwriting to “those now legendary recordings of Paul Simon in his post-Garfunkel days.”
Watson spent 13 years as lead vocalist and songwriter for Old Crow Medicine Show. Paving the way for other roots bands like Mumford and Sons and the Lumineers, OCMS is best known for taking an unfinished Bob Dylan song (“Wagon Wheel”) and turning it into a cult classic. Watson partook in the historic “Railroad Revival Tour”, traveling to concerts throughout the Southwest exclusively by vintage trains, capturing every moment for the “Big Easy Express,” winner of the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video.
Combs’ “Worried Man” ranked as the highest debut album on American Songwriter Magazine’s annual list of 50 Best Albums of the Year in 2012. Said American Songwriter: “In a world full of pretenders, the Texas bred, Nashville based Combs is the genuine article.”

Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section Album Re-Issued

Holy shamoly! This is super cool!

The original Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section album re-issued for the benefit of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame!

Please support this cause.

Scott Ward at Standard Deluxe

Here’s an interview (not by me) of Alabama musician, Scott Ward, from the Standard Deluxe in October 2012.   In it, Ward discusses his first 2 recording projects and his influences:  Spooner Oldham, David Hood, Drive By Truckers, etc.  In the piece, you can hear a couple of Ward’s tunes, too.

Scott Ward also is the person behind A Heaping Helping- Songs For The Breast Cancer Research Foundation Of Alabama.  Sales of this album will go to benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama. In honor of Scott Ward’s mother Cheryl, and in memory of his classmates Brenda Bostian and Becky Maddox Tucker.


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Country Fried Rock is a one-hour, weekly radio road trip that features some of the most exciting off-the-radar artists from legendary veterans like James McMurtry to up-and-comers Ha Ha Tonka. Host and producer, Sloane Spencer is an unapologetic lover of all things “musically real” Read More