Los Angeles

Caleb Caudle #1804

Caleb Caudle‘s new album, Crushed Coins, builds dreamy, ethereal landscapes. The newest Country Fried Rock podcast (below) features an in-depth conversation with Caudle about recording in Los Angeles and Nashville and expanding his sound. With familiar players from his previous albums, Caudle found new sounds by keeping the plan flexible. The pedal steel goes ambient rather than country, yet it’s clearly a Caleb Caudle record. Partnering with Cornelius Chapel Records and touring extensively in the US and Europe this year, catch Caleb Caudle live and check out Crushed Coins.

Caudle also happens to love the US National Parks, having visited many of them over his years of touring. Stop by his Instagram to see some of his recent visits. We discuss a few of them in this podcast, as well as his adventure on Cayamo 2018.

Boo Ray #1702

Boo Ray recently released Sea of Lights on vinyl, the debut release from Kindercore record pressing in Athens, GA. With a fresh mastering for vinyl and successful showcase at AmericanaFest 2017, Boo Ray and his band continue to tour the US with his distinct brand of Jerry Reed-inspired rock and roll. He’s a heckuva picker and performer and just as laid back and easy-going as you could imagine, laughing at his own jokes because they’re funny.

Catch the podcast below, or in the iTunes and other links. Essential production support for this program provided by Jay Burgess.

AmericanaFest 2016

Decided to do a quick podcast update from my 3 favorites at AmericanaFest 2016. Lots more video to come, but here’s a taste of my favorite band that I did not previously know: Ladies Gun Club (Sally Jaye/Sarah Roberts). I also dug a #CFRalumni band that I had never seen play live and the band all my music friends most-suggested to me. Tons of great music all week!

Listen for a feature on Ladies Gun Club soon.

The Woggles #1408

The Professor Mighty Manfred of The Woggles flips between his radio persona and reflective musician, as if he momentarily forgets that he is being recorded and just…talks. As a daily host on Little Steven’s Underground Garage on SiriusXM, his garage rock expertise and larger-than-life character make listeners smile. As the frontman for The Woggles for two decades, Manfred’s songs and energy make audiences dance. The Woggles are not retro as in trying to stay in the past, they simply brew their music through that filter and put their own spin on songs by everybody from the Fleshtones to Hillbilly Frankenstein. The Woggles will be playing several sets during SXSW 2014, so check the apps and see a show or three.

Radio
Click here to listen to the entire radio program.
Scroll to the bottom of this page to download the Special Edition podcast, including 3 songs from The Woggles, or on iTunes.
[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://countryfriedrock.org//wp-content/uploads/2014/03/CountryFriedRock_1408TheWoggles_Radiomp3.mp3″]

Buy The Woggles music here on Amazon.

Liner Notes
The Woggles
The Fleshtones
Flat Duo Jets
Chuck Berry
Guadalcanal Diary
Hillbilly Frankenstein
The Forty-Fives
Dick Dale
The (Fabulous) Wailers


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FREE MUSIC

Podcast

Michael & The Lonesome Playboys

We are thrilled to share the new album from Michael & The Lonesome Playboys, Bottle Cap Sky.

Buy this album HERE ON AMAZON or HERE ON ITUNES.

Michael and the Lonesome Playboys Keep Country Real–“Bottle Cap Sky” is a record for fans that want an alternative to a slick pop country sound

There’s an underground scene in every city and for Los Angeles, that scene is Americana/Roots music. Old and Young, there is no generation gap; everyone is pulled together by a common thread–good music and musicians that know how to play it.

One of these musicians is Michael Ubaldini of Michael and the Lonesome Playboys. Disillusioned with the pop slick sounds that mainstream country music has been churning out, Ubaldini has written an antiphon to this music called, “Bottle Cap Sky”. The 15-song record is rooted in the traditional sounds of honky tonk, rock n’ roll and blues, but with 21st Century lyrics and an attitude of early Dylan and Kerouac and the influences of Hank Williams and the Clash. (Joe Strummer was actually a fan of Ubaldini’s and would show up for his LA gigs when able.)

Dylan and Kerouac are heavy names to be throwing around, but backing up these lyrical claims is the fact that Ubaldini has written a book of poetry, “Lost American Nights: Lyrics and Poems” which is now in its 2nd edition. Along with strong lyrics, Michael and the Lonesome Playboys recorded “Bottle Cap Sky” live without auto-tuning or a lot of tracking, so what you hear are musicians that have mastered their instruments or, as Ubaldini likes to joke, “My records have no Botox.”

His band on the record includes two members of his live performance band, Rob King on bass and Gary Brandin on pedal steel and dobro. Michael plays lead guitar and acoustic and adds blues harmonica to the mix. Guest musicians include Candy Girard on fiddle (Jerry Garcia, Mason Williams) and Jeremy Long on piano. Jim Doyle (Charlie Terrell, Jesse Harris) is Ubaldini’s new live drummer, but on the record several guests keep the beat: Micky Wieland, Kip Dabbs, Jerry Angel and Mitch Ross.

The songs on “Bottle Cap Sky” were influenced by Ubaldini’s life, a few of them written from a hospital bed in 2010 where he was fighting for his life from endocarditis. (CNN did a news story on Ubaldini during this period about his recovery.) They are full of characters from what he calls his “circus style” of existence; outlaws, Texas oil tycoons, crooked lawmakers and false prophets. “Basically, my wild life and the road to its salvation.” explains Ubaldini.

“Walk Through Fire” is a kicking Memphis blues tune that is both soulful and has a groove. It’s about facing down death with a strong will to survive. “Moon Dog Mad” is a honky tonk Armageddon of a song where you find your toes conversely tapping to the lyrics, “there’s blood on the moon and things are looking real bad.” The gears shift for the ballad, “Lonesome When You’re Gone” and “Three Cheers for Heartache” is a melodic rock n’ roll song with a country feel and the lyrics saluting the outcasts of the world. “Rosewood Night” is a haunting country tune about betrayal, and yet hope holding out for a love’s return.

Whether it’s love, betrayal, sex, rebellion, sin or salvation, Michael Ubaldini’s got it covered. “The songs all men something to me,” he says, “I’m usually jacked up on caffeine in an all-night diner or cheap motel when I’m writing them. I try to be in the moment, so the story or sense of place is in the songs. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t gone through what I had to write a particular song, but if it helps someone out in their own dire situation and can give hope, well, that means a lot to me.”

Los Angeles and Nashville have been taking notice–recently Dwight Yoakam hand-picked the band to open for him on a Southern tour and they are in their 6th year of traveling to the famous Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, where they are annually asked to play. Ubaldini’s last record, “Last of the Honky Tonks” garnered rave reviews stateside and entered the Mojo Magazine charts at #6 and it topped the CMP charts in the UK.

When asked about his core fan base, Ubaldini says, “We tend to get a lot of hard-core Americana music fans and people I would call outcasts. And by outcasts I mean the current generation of country music listeners who are displaced. There are a lot of young people who are exploring traditional country music and also looking for something fresh.” He continues, “I have kids coming up to me all of the time and telling me they like my music. I feel proud when they say it made them look at the genre of honky tonk and roots music in a new light.”

In this culture of reality television where artists beg to be approved by a panel of judges, Ubaldini is a breath of fresh air. Citing Blake Shelton as an example, Ubaldini claims that country music has “devolved not evolved”. “People should pay attention to the call of the music and not kowtow to industry insiders,” he says. “Just Imagine if the Beatles let any suits convince them that guitars were on their way out, or if Dylan listened to the critics who told them he can’t sing. I just love to write and I love music–that’s what drives me–the drive to create. It’s what I do. I just go where the wind and the music take me.”

Michael and the Lonesome Playboys will celebrate the release of “Bottle Cap Sky” opening for David Allan Coe on August 10th at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, CA.

The Del-Lords #1318

Eric “Roscoe” Ambel of The Del-Lords keeps his music creativity flowing by immersing himself in multiple roles–producer, sideman, and songwriter.  By giving himself the opportunity to shape other people’s music, display his guitar craft, and write songs for himself and his band, Ambel has always been more than “that guy who formed The Blackhearts.”  With a brand new record after 20 years, The Del-Lords fell back together on the urging of a Spanish promoter, and decided they needed fresh material for the planned European gigs.  One thing led to another, and we now have The Elvis Club.

Liner Notes

  • The Del-Lords Elvis Club “Me & The Lord Blues,” “You Can Make A Mistake,” “Southern Pacific” (The last one is a Neil Young song from Re-ac-tor. I think this is the first time I have ever played a cover from a featured band, but I’ll also admit another thing: I’ve never really “gotten” Neil Young, other than “Needle and the Damage Done” and “Cinnamon Girl.” I know I should, but it’s just never grabbed me. The Del-Lords take on this song, though, speaks to me. Honestly, I think it’s Young’s vocals that are polarizing for me. –SS)
  • Eric AmbelRoscoe’s Solo Work
  • Jimbo Mathus White Buffalo “Satellite”
  • Ellen Foley “Torchlight” Spirit Of St. Louis (With Bonus Tracks) You can really hear the guys from the Clash on this song! I almost chose “Car Jamming” from the Clash Combat Rock because Foley’s background vocals are notable in that oddball song. Supposedly, “Should I Stay Or Should I Go?” is about her relationship with Mick Jones. Ambel will be producing her new album winter 2014.
  • Joan Jett & The Blackhearts Bad Reputation
  • Steve Earle covering Nick Lowe (with Ambel on guitar) “What’s So Funny About Peace, Love, & Understanding?” Just an American Boy (disc 2)


Podcast

Sarah Gayle Meech #1312

Sarah Gayle Meech looks like a nouveaux rockabilly woman, but her music is straight up traditional country. Her debut album, One Good Thing, shares Meech’s original tunes with an amazing backing band and stellar studio musicians. Just try not to dance while you listen. Don’t let the A-list players distract you, though, because Meech’s live show brings the energy that fills the gap in instrumentation changes from recorded versus live.

Buy One Good Thing from Sarah Gayle Meech HERE ON AMAZON or HERE ON iTUNES. You can download the free podcast at the bottom of this page.

Liner Notes

  • Sarah Gayle Meech One Good Thing “One Good Thing,” “No Angel,” “Sad and Lonely”
  • The .357 String Band Lightning From The North “Lightning from the North” Compadre band.
  • Bob Wayne Till the Wheels Fall Off “All My Friends” The lyrics reference cocaine, heroin & lsd use. I left the lyrics intact to contrast the traditional country music in this song with the surprisingly straightforward lyrics about hard drug use. People love or hate Bob Wayne, but he seems to be pretty honest about the lives a lot of people live, without judging them. I don’t know if it’s a persona or character or real, but this song works.
  • Buck Owens The Instrumental Hits “Buckaroo”  Meech plays regularly at Layla’s Bluegrass Inn and Robert’s Western World on Broadway, mixing her original tunes with Buck Owens and Loretta Lynn covers.
  • Hank III Rebel Within “Gettin’ Drunk and Falling Down” I’ve always avoided listening to any of Hank III’s music because he can’t seem to let the rebel flag go away. I’m a lifelong Southerner, and I don’t care about the “Heritage Not Hate” argument because it DOES represent hate. Move on, Shelton. Your music is sometimes really great. Quit being your own caricature. Get rid of the stupid stars and bars.  That said, his long-time player and producer, Andy Gibson, is the thread connecting many of these bands.
  • Bobby Bare 16 Biggest Hits “Numbers”  Grant Johnson is currently on tour as Bare’s lead guitar player.  He has also been heard on this radio show in the Derek Hoke program.
  • Scott Chism and the Better Half Long Haul Steady “Jet N Dewdrop’s Farm”  I chose this one because of the Chris Scruggs connection.
  • Matt Woods (Country Fried Rock alum) The Matt Woods Manifesto “Beating Down My Door” One of the best songwriters I know.  Woods was one of the other bands on the lineup in Illinois in 2013.
  • Hillbilly Casino Tennessee Stomp [Explicit] “The Ballad of Psycho Steve” (ft Dale Watson) On Watson’s upcoming EP, Hillbilly Casino is his backing abnd and Meech does backing vocals and a duet. I chose this song for the connection to the rest of this album, and the BR 549 Chris Scruggs connections, and Geoff Firebaugh, who co-wrote this tune.
  • The G-ddamn Gallows Seven Devils [Explicit] “7 Devils” Another compadre band.

Podcast

Rich Mahan #1304

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.

Mahan’s own musical journey began with a middle school talent show, leading him to play guitar with bands ranging from jamband to Texas rock, and find a way to be in the music field in some way at all times.  The deconstruction of smaller imprints of major labels sent him from Los Angeles to Nashville, where Mahan found other creative communities forging their own DIY path apart from the current music mold.

This independent trajectory, and intense pool of exemplary players and persons in the music industry, made Mahan’s album possible.  From the analog recording and mixing choices, to the top-notch musicians who joined the project, Blame Bobby Bare represents not just where Mahan is now, but how his history has led him to this day–fun, slightly inappropriate, but something most people can relate to and enjoy–even if your mother never found…you know…in your room!

Liner Notes

  • Rich Mahan Blame Bobby Bare [Explicit]  From his days of contributing songs to Dr. Demento to now, Mahan’s songs are fun, embracing some of life’s bad decisions with gusto.  Please note that there are drug references in many of these songs.
  • Shurman Still Waiting For The Sunset  A record from the Country Fried Rock alums, now out of Texas.  When they were all in Los Angeles, Rich Mahan was part of the band and contributed to several songs even when he was no longer in the band.
  • Rainbow The Best Of Rainbow  Great big rock and roll.
  • Bobby Bare Bobby Bare Sings Lullabys, Legends And Lies (And More) “Dropkick Me Jesus” This was a tough decision, as I really wanted to select one of the songs written by Shel Silverstein, “Qualudes Again,” but there wasn’t enough time.
  • The Standells The Very Best Of The Standells “Dirty Water” I chose the original album version instead of the spruced up version you occasionally hear on classic rock radio.
  • The Who Quadrophenia [Explicit]  “The Real Me” The most serious song in this week’s radio show, but the emotion contrasts nicely with all the silly, fun, party music of the rest of the show.
  • Boo Ray Bad News Travels Fast  This is a record from a Country Fried Rock alum, one that really should be part of a roots music collection.

NOTE:  There are references to drug use in the 1960’s and 1970’s  in this conversation and some of these songs, specifically, a bit about Jimi Hendrix using drugs before the Monterey Pop Festival and by the musicians in The Last Waltz.  Some of the song lyrics also reference drugs, as evidenced by their titles.

Podcast