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Caitlin Cary: NC Music Love Army #1339

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 (on Saturday, 30 November 2013 at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC — TIX HERE).

Liner Notes
NC Music Love Army album pre-order is on iTunes We Are Not for Sale: Songs of Protest from the NC Music Love Army – Various Artists. Album available 26 November 2013. Release party extravaganza at Cat’s Cradle on 30 November 2013. Definitely get the full version with the liner notes, which include all the lyrics and gorgeous cover art.

Enjoy this download from the album:

Essential to the We Are Not For Sale:  Songs Of Protest album are fellow NC Music Love Army members:
Chris Stamey
Slaid Baird
Mary Johnson Rockers
Skylar Gudasz
Andrea Connolly
Jesse Huebner
Scott Phillips
Clay Merritt
Jon Shain
Michael Rank
Caroline Mamoulides
Jason Kutchma
Sarah Bell
Skillet Gilmore
BJ Barham/American Aquarium
Kevin McClain
Mark Connor
Whit Wright
Kaitlin Grady
John Teer
Stu McClamb
Doug MacMillan
Greg Humphries
Roger Gupton
Eddie Walker
Jason Merritt
Jerry Key
and others still joining their cause.

NOTE:  Country Fried Rock does not endorse political causes.  We are funded by donors with a variety of political beliefs and demonstrate respect for them all.

Lydia Loveless

It’s been just over two years since the release of Lydia Loveless’s beloved punk-infused country (or is it country-infused punk?) album Indestructible Machine, which yielded critical acclaim and launched her into a wildly successful international touring career. Lydia just released her first set of new music since then.

lydia album cover
Listen to “Boy Crazy” here Click the little grey button right here to listen. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://countryfriedrock.org//wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Lydia_Loveless_-_Boy_Crazy_EP_-_Boy_Crazy.mp3″]

Building up to the release of her forthcoming, highly anticipated full-length album in 2014, Boy Crazy is a five-song EP that marks the re-opening of Lydia’s creative floodgates. The result is a collection of sun-washed, rebel-powered pop songs presenting a conversation about judgment and loss of innocence, as one transitions from good old American naivete to you-should-know-better “wisdom.” These five songs see Lydia and her band roping in their signature twangy, pedal-steel-laden rock beat-em-ups and tying them tightly with the crisp Southern air of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Damn the Torpedoes and the snarling-but-sweet delivery of Juliana Hatfield’s heyday. It’s a summer set that arrives a little tardy this year, just in time to prolong those long, buzz-chasing July days when you hang out where you know you aren’t supposed to. This time, you just don’t care about getting caught. (from the press materials)

Alumni Update: Porter & The Pollies

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

Chris Porter (better known as Porter) — Well, that depends on which one. I’ve had a busy year! I just released the new Porter and The Pollies EP. Shortly after my move from Birmingham, Alabama, to Austin, Texas, I was in a funk of sorts, and while talking to my brother-in-arms Jay Burgess (of The Pollies), we decided to go honest with this idea of a Porter/Pollies collaboration. We had kicked the idea around green rooms for a while, and were interested to hear how I would sound fronting a full band, and how the Pollies would sound with my country ass on vocals. We decided that the session was just what we needed, for ourselves and our bands. I bought a big ass red guitar and drove down to The Shoals with a handful of tunes. When I arrived we soon all realized what a state of disrepair we were all in. 2012 had been bittersweet to say the least, and it was cathartic to be around my brothers again. Somewhere in there we cut some tracks. We opted to go as live as possible with the tracking and forgot to turn on the click track. The product is more amazing than I could have ever hoped for. It’s buzzy and fuzzy, and a little drunk and surly — covers all of the bases we wanted it to, and represents the week that we shared making it to a T. I’m so proud of it.

I am also heading into the studio in December to cut my first solo full length record. For that I am blessed to be able to work with Will Johnson (Centro-Matic/ South San Gabriel) as my producer, along with Chris Masterson (Steve Earle/Son Volt/ The Mastersons), Eleanor Whitmore (Steve Earle, The Mastersons, and everybody else that’s great), and my lovely girlfriend Bonnie Whitmore (who needs no introduction). There is an Indiegogo floating around there somewhere, but I won’t solicit funds through here. You will be hearing a lot more about that in the coming weeks. (NOTE: I added the link to his fundraiser anyway. SS)

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

Porter — WOW! When we spoke, I was in a smelly van with the infamous Back Row Baptists! It’s been a while and The Baptists are all doing really well! I still front Some Dark Holler with Helen Gassenheimer (the most talented lady ever), and have criss-crossed the country a few times with that. Last fall Helen and I gave birth to a very special little record called Hollow Chest [Explicit]
which we released on This Is American Music. We are still focused on touring and recording, so after the solo full length, expect to hear more from Some Dark Holler.

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

Porter — I’m doing my best to make my new material the strongest it has ever been. My move to Austin has thrown me in with an amazing cast of songwriters who not only inspire me to write, but force me to write better than I ever have. The tunes that I have prepared for this solo full length, touch on themes that my previous work passed over. Don’t worry, there is still plenty of fire and brimstone, but there are also some understated sentiments present that y’all might not expect from the guy whose band was once referred to as “the drunk Civil Wars.”

Where do I see things heading? Around in circles. In a good way.

porter and the pollies cover
Buy the album on Bandcamp: https://somedarkholler.bandcamp.com/

Tracklist
1. Your Hometown
2. Fourth of July
3. Wood and Steel
4. Rest The Bones
5. When I Get Home
6. Blood on My Hands

Chris Porter – Guitar, Vox
Jay Burgess – Guitar, Vox, Producer
Chris James – Bass
Reed Watson – Drums
Daniel Stoddard – Steel, Keys, guitar, vox
Helen Gassenheimer – Fiddle, Vox on “Rest These Bones”

Recorded in Greenhill, Alabama
Produced by Jay Burgess
Mixed by TJ Mimbs and Jay Burgess
Mastered by TJ Mimbs at Easy Street Studios
Cover art by Jeff Moore – Green Olive Media

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
Manifesto.

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 http://therealmattwoods.com/store

Austin Lucas #1336

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.

Liner Notes

Todd Farrell & The Dirty Birds

Todd Farrell and the Dirty Birds have a new album out on Halloween!  You can connect with them on Twitter or Facebook, too.

 

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

Podcast
Download the podcast for free here or subscribe on iTunes.

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

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

Podcast
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.


Podcast

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).

Podcast

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