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.

Shonna Tucker & Eye Candy #1334

If you think you know Shonna Tucker from her years playing bass with Drive-By Truckers, then you are in for a surprise with her debut album of her songwriting with her new band, Eye Candy. The songs are sweet, fun, grooving, mellow, occasionally dark and reflective — a nice analogy for her last couple of years. Given the amazing band of John Neff (another former Trucker and player on nearly every record out of Athens in the last 15 years that I can recall), Bo Bedingfield, Clay Leverett, and Neil Golden, the record could easily move into heavier territory, but Tucker’s voice keeps it lighter and balances the monster playing. A Tell All has instant sing-alongs and lyrics that will make you laugh aloud, but also some deeper themes that are even a bit disturbing. If you are looking for a repeat of her previous band, you will not find it in this album; if you are looking for a solid hang out and have a mellow happy time, or weekend morning drive record — with a fantastic band and guest keys from Spooner Oldham — then you will be thrilled with A Tell All. Be sure to order the recipe poster, designed by our alum, Jack Logan, with Shonna Tucker’s recipes!

Liner Notes

Music Films: Special Deal From Amazon in October just for signing up for 30 days of Amazon Prime for free – watch over 40,000 movies

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Science #1333

Justin Stang of the Seattle band, Science!, is wrapping up his first months-long national tour with his duo. Despite their fandom for Back to the Future movies, their name had to come from other 1980s pop-culture references, since every obscure name possible from the BttF franchise was taken. Their music, though, references more jazz and jam than electronic enhancement, but their lyrics are fresh and funny. Just listen to “Seattle Song” without giggling.

Liner Notes

Not exactly the correct playlist, as iTunes is “quirky”

Download free here or on iTunes.

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.


Toy Soldiers #1330

Toy Soldiers hail from Philadelphia.  I first ran across a live series on YouTube that featured them.  From its origins as a side band, light-hearted project, to becoming much more serious and expanding to a dozen players, and then all falling apart on their first long tour — leading to songwriter Ron Gallo returning home as a solo act — Toy Soldiers have evolved and devolved, to completely reinvent themselves and release their first “real” record.  The Maybe Boys, produced by Bill Moriarty, has been under wraps for over a year, so audiences who have caught their vibrant live show will be familiar with the songs, but if you have not had the chance to catch a Toy Soldiers’ show, they have captured their energy and essence in this album.  Get ready to dance and enjoy this radio show!

Liner Notes

  • Toy Soldiers here on Amazon or on iTunes.   The Maybe Boys releases this week, but their past work is fairly varied, as well. Catch their Converse Rubber Tracks EP and more.
  • Patrick Sweany’s new album Close to the Floor and other albums are here on Amazon or HERE on iTunes. Check out our conversation with Patrick Sweany from early 2012 HERE.  This radio show was in our listeners’ top picks of 2012!  If you get a chance to see Sweany live, get there early.  He’s fabulous.
  • Perkasie, originally a buddy band to the earlier version of Toy Soldiers, and later many of their members joined forces with Toy Soldiers. Buy their music here on Amazon or HERE on iTunes
  • Kid Carsons’ music is unavailable on Amazon, but you can get it here on iTunes.  The album cover for The Maybe Boys was photographed on their front porch!
  • Joe Fletcher (and The Wrong Reasons) music is here on Amazon or HERE on iTunes.  Fletcher has a new solo album, too.
  • Dr. Dog here on Amazon or HERE on iTunes — they have a brand new album coming in October 2013 called B Room (but I’ve seen it posted as “BRoom” online, as well).


Jack Logan #1329

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.

Liner Notes

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.

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Andrew Leahey #1328

Andrew Leahey first rolled across my computer in a by-line. I did not even know he was a musician, but he has interviewed hundreds of songwriters, singers, and players and was a co-editor of the go-to site All Music Guide. Leahey also happens to be a Julliard-trained musician who played Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center before he even made it to Nashville. Leahey’s latest EP, Summer Sleeves, is laying the groundwork for his move towards Americana and away from the more pop sound of his previous record. You can check out his showcase at Americana Fest in Nashville in September 2013.

Liner Notes
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Dustbowl Revival #1327

Zach Lupetin advertised for some bandmates on Craig’s List, and from that post, Dustbowl Revival formed. Over the years, this collective of musicians (it’s not exactly a fixed band lineup and not a revolving door, either) has released several records refining their sound from stringband to to multi-instrumental roots swing with drums, horns, and nearly every stringed instrument you can imagine! With influences ranging from Stevie Wonder to opera to the Rolling Stones, you can imagine the challenge of creating a cohesive vision for their own songs and the traditional songs they arrange. Dustbowl Revival’s latest album, Carry Me Home, most fully embodies the energy of their live shows without becoming a chaotic mess of instrumentation. Have fun and dance in your car to this one!

Liner Notes

Download our free podcast (the interview without music) here, on iTunes, or on Spreaker.

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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Tea Leaf Green #1325

Tea Leaf Green considered renaming themselves after their original membership changed, when their bass player and founding member, Ben Chambers, abruptly left the band. Six years and two albums after that realignment, Tea Leaf Green have redefined themselves, continuing to create their own sound honoring the song and lightening their sound. In The Wake is not sparse, by any stretch, but rather than full instrumentation every moment for each song, their is a more careful addition of sounds, guided by producer, Jeremy Black. In The Wake includes more additional sounds than just the members of the band, yielding a lush, clearly “studio” album, rather than a “live,” jamming vibe.  Shaking up their previous recording methods forged an entirely different process and product with this album; it was the first time they recorded separately in the studio and did not road-test songs prior to recording. Their CD release party was the first time they played all of the songs live–giving a new kind of energy to this noted, vibrant (jam) band.

Liner Notes

  • Tea Leaf Green In The Wake
  • Animal Liberation Orchestra (ALO) — Sounds Like This [+digital booklet]  Their friends from the San Francisco scene.
  • Lissy Trullie  Producer Jeremy Black played drums on much of this album.
  • Jacob Fred Jazz Oddyssey Walking With Giants  Reed Mathis’s previous band.
  • Rebirth Brass Band Do Whatcha Wanna  have a residency at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans right now.
  • Whitey Morgan Sucking the 70’s: Back in the Saddle Again. You probably need Volume 1, too: Sucking the 70’s — not to be confused with the Stones album of nearly the same name, Sucking in the Seventies  This is a “loose association” connection; I discovered that Josh Clark worked on a song for this compilation and sang on a track, but my Google fu was not adequate to determine which track, so I chose one that most clearly shows the intent of this compilation–take songs from the 70s and make them your own, which Whitey Morgan clearly did on this one.


Cold Satellite #1324

Jeffrey Foucault rocked Lisa Olstein‘s poetry in their second album as Cold Satellite, Cavalcade. Calling it “their” album is misleading, in a way, though, since Olstein delivers her poetry to Foucault and then he turns them into lyrics and creates the music based on a “feel” he gets from the first line. Like asking a painter what her painting means, the answer might be, “I don’t know.” Similarly, Foucault and Olstein cull entirely different meanings from their composite work, including a funny take on a song written about pregnancy! To hear Foucault describe their process from poetry to song, you begin to understand the appeal of his Cold Satellite project from a creative perspective–not just because the album rocks.

Sloane Spencer Interviews Jeffrey Foucault of Cold Satellite

Liner Notes

  • Cold Satellite Cavalcade The “composite” album of Lisa Olstein’s poetry and Jeffrey Foucault’s music.
  • Jeffrey Foucault  Most of Foucault’s solo work is acoustic songwriter music.
  • Lisa Olstein’s Poetry
  • Redbird  One of Foucault’s previous collaborative projects, in which he joined with other noted songwriters, Kris Delmhorst and Peter Mulvey, to cover songs written by everyone from Greg Brown to R.E.M. to Tom Waits.
  • Riding The Range Songs of Townes Van Zandt  This tribute album was a great excuse to include one of Foucault covering TVZ.
  • Fishing Music II Ben Winship and David Thompson  There are 2 albums in this series, “a collection of folk, blues, & swing” according to the tag line.  Both are a fun collection of variations on a theme, with volume 2 including Foucault’s tune, Mayfly–this time performed by Winship and Thompson.  It is also available on Foucault’s own recordings.
  • The National Trouble Will Find Me  Another recent album to come from the noted Clubhouse recording studio in Rhinebeck, NY.
  • Hayward Williams A noted songwriter in his own right, Williams is also part of the Cold Satellite band.