North Carolina

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.

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.

Town Mountain #1606

Town Mountain‘s new album, Southern Crescent, will be out on April Fools’ Day 2016 on Todd Snider’s new record label, Lo Hi. We previously featured this IBMA Award winning band just prior to the release of Leave the Bottle. When we talked for this podcast at Revelator Coffee in Nashville during AmericanaFest, the band had not publicly announced the album and were shopping it around. Southern Crescent reflects the band’s loose, dance-able music, more reflective of their festival and club sets that a staid performing arts center straight-bluegrass set. I’m not sure if the Southern Crescent still runs from Atlanta to Boston like my relatives talked about taking to go “visit culture” in the Northeast, but I’m fairly sure it still runs down to New Orleans, where a more exhilarating culture has endured — an apt analogy for this album.

Town Mountain Southern Crescent is available here on Amazon and iTunes.

PREMIERE: Driskill “Worn”

Exclusive premiere of “Worn” by Driskill. Upcoming album Country Blues coming in April 2016.

Driskill’s upcoming album, Country Blues, reflects their North Carolina musical roots, and sounds a bit like some of their regional neighbors, such as the early Avett Brothers. Driskill’s songs come from similar sources and draw from common lifestyles, so the familiar sounds makes sense without imitating. The debut single, “Worn,” catches your ear and invites you to chill with the rest of the album. Don’t be scared away based on instrumentation; this is not yet-another-folky-banjo-pop record. The final track even gives me freaky hints of “Angie Baby” by Helen Reddy! Give Country Blues a listen.

Caleb Caudle #1602

Caleb Caudle’s upcoming album, Carolina Ghost, is his first that’s been fully created since he got sober. The Country Fried Rock alum was previously featured on this program following Paint Another Layer on My Heart. He shares tips on releasing a record successfully, choosing songs to record, and the benefits of recording in a legendary studio close to home. After extensive touring both solo and with a band, Caudle feels like he’s starting to get it right.

Buy music here on Amazon. Carolina Ghost to be released in 26 February 2016.

Stream or download this podcast below or on SoundCloud.

Sadler Vaden: New Music

sadlervadenIf you have followed Jason Isbell for the last couple of years, or Drivin N Cryin for a few years before that, you may have heard Sadler Vaden on lead guitar. Fewer fans know that Vaden formerly fronted the band, Leslie, of Charleston, South Carolina, and released a couple of solo albums during the transitions among those projects. In a recent Country Fried Rock podcast, Kevn Kinney of Drivin N Cryin lauded Vaden for re-invigorating the band and bringing the vision for their EP series, which he produced.

After more than a year of rumblings, Vaden confirmed that his new album is complete and will be released within the next year. As a special treat for fans, he is setting free an outtake, “Brand New Guitar” from the upcoming album’s sessions, which will be for sale this Friday via Amazon, iTunes, and Bandcamp and other digital outlets. Not just a writer and guitarist, he often gets behind the drum kit and more. Reminiscent of Southern college rock in the early 1980s, the tune balances pop and guitar in a way that teases Vaden’s own balancing act of playing for others while being a stellar music-maker on his own.

6 String Drag #1503

Kenny Roby (previously featured here) and Rob Keller disbanded 6 String Drag at the top of their game, nearly 15 years ago. The first new album from 6 String Drag, Roots Rock N Roll, brings the group together again, ranging the gamut of roots rock with their brother-from-another-mother harmonies. Why would a regionally beloved band, seemingly at the peak of success, fall off the face of the earth? Love.

Buy 6 String Drag’s albums here.
Buy Rob Keller’s bluegrass band, the Welfare Liners, here.
Buy Kenny Roby’s solo albums here.

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Dom Flemons #1419

Dom Flemons’ third solo album, Prospect Hill, will be available on Music Maker records this summer.  The former member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops brings his interest in Carolina blues, old time, and early R&B to both traditional and original songs.  A few years ago, I had the pleasure of driving Flemons from downtown Nashville to East Nashville for a video session that we both were attending, and getting to sit in on the recording.  On the way, we talked about the foundation with whom he works, also called Music Maker, that directly assists blues musicians in North Carolina with life essentials.  Not only is he a versatile player, but he also is a great guy.


Caleb Caudle #1418

Caleb Caudle left North Carolina for New Orleans, but he spends so much time on the road, that it almost does not matter. When Caudle’s scheduled studio time for Nashville fell through at the last minute, he hit the road with fellow Country Fried Rock alum, John Moreland, for intense reflection and regrouping, while giving his songs a thorough workout. Returning from tour, Caudle regrouped with his friends at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, North Carolina, and backed by Roseland (another good band from the Triangle area). Caudle then hit the road again with a Country Fried Rock alum, Chris Porter (formerly of Back Row Baptists, also of a collaboration with CFR alums, The Pollies, and his duo, Some Dark Holler — Porter also donated a new version of one of his older BRB songs for Vol. 2 For Nuci’s Space, our charity album preventing musician suicide). Both Caudle and Porter were listening to mixes of their new records while on the road, trading the excitement of their new projects. Paint Another Layer On My Heart is available for pre-order from This Is American Music and releases next week. Podcast below the photo.
calebcaudlewideimagePre-order Paint Another Layer On My Heart right here.
Buy Caleb Caudle’s music here on Amazon or here on iTunes.
Catch his latest videos here.


John Howie, Jr. #1415

I’ve been a fan of John Howie, Jr.’s music since he fronted the Two Dollar Pistols.  His new record with his current band of friends and rotating legends is John Howie, Jr. and the Rosewood Bluff.  The cover art by fellow North Carolinian, Skillet Gilmore, ices the cake on Everything Except Goodbye. When Howie broke up his successful honky-tonk band to go in other directions, he was reacting to both real and perceived limits on their sound. In a vibrant but small music community like North Carolina at the time, sounding too much like 6 String Drag or Whiskeytown could give a band the ultimate label, “Derivative.” While the Two Dollar Pistols were sliding slowly towards a split, Howie yanked it apart and moved on.

John Howie, Jr. & The Rosewood Bluff have not brought along the level of recognition or audiences that his previous band did, but Howie’s writing and music have continued to grow in ways that those critics and fans will appreciate. No longer shying away from sounding “country rock,” and acknowledging influences like The Byrds, his latest album honors the death of his long-time drummer, Matt Brown. Maturing, parenting, and failing have all made Everything Except Goodbye a more developed, but equally fun, album for John Howie, Jr. & The Rosewood Bluff.

Buy John Howie, Jr. & The Rosewood Bluff’s music here on Amazon or John Howie Jr. and the Rosewood Bluff on iTunes.
Buy Two Dollar Pistols’ music here on Amazon or Two Dollar Pistols on iTunes.

In Memory Of Matt Brown

Download or listen here or on iTunes.

Turchi #1413

Turchi’s new album, Can’t Bury Your Past, comes out this week on Devil Down Records. How Reed Turchi has time to write, record, and tour behind a record is a mystery of space and time. As label director for the recently revived Ardent Music (part of the larger Ardent Studios family), Turchi spends most of his time in support of the label’s artists, like The Greyhounds (Mofro band members’ separate project). For his namesake band, Turchi has a strict “No Rehearsal” policy, that launches their tours with epic four-and-a-half hour shows at their favorite beach-side dive bar — part performance, part practice in front of an audience. The three primary band members live hundreds of miles apart, so snippets of songs fly via email, and coalesce in scratch and run recording sessions. If you like North Mississippi blues and rock, Turchi will fit your playlists, and even if your tastes run elsewhere, this is a surprising conversation.

Buy Can’t Bury Your Past from Turchi here on iTunes or here on Amazon mp3.

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Lingua Musica: Danny Barnes

Country Fried Rock alum, Danny Barnes, is a smart, interesting, experienced guy, who happens to be an incredible musician pushing the edges of what a banjo can do and challenging how listeners may think it should sound.  His lyrics are usually hilarious, but often sweet and thoughtful, too.  I have seen him play with Yonder Mountain String Band and Dave Matthews Band, solo with just his banjo, accompanied by Larry and Jenny Keel, and with his computer and electronic pedals.

Barnes will play Lingua Musica Live near Asheville, NC.  Info here.

Buy Danny Barnes’ music here on Amazon or here on iTunes.