Golden Eels popped onto my feed because of our mutual music preferences on Bandcamp. Their songwriter, Neil Golden, has played on records for several Athens, Georgia, bands, ranging from the Elephant 6 legends, Elf Power, to The Glands and #CFRalumni, Shonna Tucker & Eye Candy. Periscopes in the Air leans toward the psychedelic pop sounds of Golden’s earlier collaborations, yielding a completely DIY record that suits long commutes and pleasant workday distractions.
Buy Periscopes in the Air by Golden Eels here.
Listen or download below or on SoundCloud.
Kevin Gordon‘s latest album, Long Gone Time, continues his thoughtful, critical examination of reconciling your love for family with deeply held incompatible beliefs. Country Fried Rock previously featured Gordon following his album, Gloryland. Gordon again recorded with his friend and frequent guitar player, Joe V. McMahan, and funded the album with a personal twist on crowdfunding, detailed in our conversation. We recorded this program in our AirBnB in East Nashville during AmericanaFest 2015.
Buy Kevin Gordon’s music here.
Listen or download the podcast below or on SoundCloud.
Jeffrey Foucault’s (pronounced Folk-alt) latest album, Salt As Wolves, brings the #CFRalum (previously featured here) back to his rock and blues roots. The title references Shakespeare’s character, Iago, from Othello, but the songs reflect Foucault’s personal life more than any of his other albums. As he prepares for the European leg of his tour supporting the record, his long-time band slips into his groove without missing a beat.
Buy Jeffrey Foucault’s music here on Amazon.
Stream or download below or on SoundCloud.
The Bones of JR Jones is mostly a one-man band, although JR sometimes plays with a variety of setups. His recent album, Dark Was The Yearling, was made possible by a happen-chance meeting at an empty gig. The Bones of JR Jones is getting ready to tour the South and MidWest through the spring, so catch a show when he’s in your town.
Buy Bones of JR Jones’ music here.
Download here, links below, or on SoundCloud.
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Aaron Lee Tasjan #1523
Andy Gabbard (Buffalo Killers) #1508
Ben Miller Band #1505
The Bones of JR Jones #1510
Cale Tyson #1506
Danny Barnes #1524
Kevn Kinney of Drivin N Cryin ***Our first updated interview w/ a #CFRalum — ever! #1522
Folk Family Revival #1517
Great Peacock #1516
Hollis Brown #1512
Jim White vs. Packway Handle Band #1501
Justin Townes Earle #1519
Lee Gallagher & The Hallelujahs #1507
Lilly Hiatt #1514
M. Lockwood Porter #1509
Mic Harrison & The High Score #1511
Mike Zito (Formerly of Royal Southern Brotherhood) #1502
Rayland Baxter #1521
6 String Drag (Rob Keller) #1503
Sam Lewis #1513
Steve Earle #1504
T. Hardy Morris #1520
Todd Grebe & Cold Country #1518
Year of October #1515
Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet joined creatively to form Whitehorse, after many years of successful, separate music careers in Canada. Their first release together sounded like alternating their individual sounds, but their new album, The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss, creates a new sound that is neither his nor hers, but theirs. With this record, Whitehorse decided to expand into the States. Leaving their comfort zone of Canada and their established careers proved challenging–not just in building new audiences, but also in the realistic logistics of constant touring and creating their sound with limited personnel.
Making music work right now requires more than just being “all in” with the art; it also necessitates the leanest live interpretation of a band’s music possible, without compromising the ethos. Financially, many songwriters have opted for stripped down touring with the lofty goal of just breaking even while on the road. Whitehorse holed up in a cottage on a lake and crafted a live performance with just the two of them–yet still nearly replicating the layered sounds of their studio album.
By seamlessly integrating technology–particularly a brilliant use of a looping pedal–and alternative gear like an old-fashioned telephone receiver as a microphone, Whitehorse crafted a dynamic and fascinating live show full of instrumentation and sound. Their set is not a note-for-note replication of their album, but a creative extension of the vibe of their songwriting. The performance mesmerizes audiences. Whitehorse is poised to dominate late-night television, and engage fans in a variety of genres. Our prediction? By the end of 2013, the duo will dominate critics’ picks lists and people who see them live will win over their own friends to being fans of Whitehorse. The Fate of the World Depends on this Kiss is sleek, but Whitehorse’s show is spell-binding.
- Whitehorse The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss I was familiar with both Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet’s prior work, then I had the honor of emceeing their showcase at the Americana Music Festival 2012 at the High Watt, Nashville. Their set was mesmerizing. Of all the 2012 AMA showcases, this was one of the best. If you get the chance, you really must see them live.
- k.d. lang Absolute Torch and Twang “Big, Big Love”
- Sarah McLachlan Rarities “Blackbird” She has a beautiful voice, and I just really like this Beatles tune.
- Sloan One Chord to Another “Good in Everyone” (the bevy of drummers on Whitehorse’s album)
- The Weakerthans Reconstruction Site (more from the bevy of drummers)
- Lee DorseyFreedom For The Funk “Wonder Woman” The title of Whitehorse’s album comes from a vintage Wonder Woman comic, but I have always loved Dorsey’s soul and funk, and this fits lyrically more than the campy TV theme. Besides, in case you did not grow up knowing his music, this album is a great place to start.
- Trampled By Turtles Stars And Satellites “Midnight on the Interstate” Chosen because TBT was also on the Festy bill in 2012, but also because of the discussion about life on the road and avoiding the cliche of road songs, while still acknowledging that is one’s actual life.
Bloodkin’s 25th anniversary box set, One Long Hustle, is everything a retrospective should be, yet it is completely new, too. The booklet of the band’s history reminisced and revealed by Daniel Hutchens, the collection of previously unreleased tracks, and the stories they tell are as much about Athens, Georgia’s musical spiderweb as they are of the band itself. Despite collaboration with legends like Moe Tucker and Sterling Morrison of the Velvet Underground and Southern stalwarts like Gov’t Mule, Bloodkin might be the band that was always there for every amazing show– that you have never heard of before…but you have probably heard their music.
Friends and conspirators with the guys in Widespread Panic from the beginning, many of Hutchens’ and Eric Carter’s songs gained notoriety when played by the jam band, like “Can’t Get High,” “True to My Nature,” and “Henry Parsons Died.” One Long Hustle is like being transported to the nights you might have missed at their famed High Hat residency “way back when.” Bloodkin’s songs sound like them, but definitely do not sound the same. They travel through their different sounds in a natural flow, bringing their own history, the sounds of their friends who play on various tracks, and their latest muse with them.
What appeals most about One Long Hustle is the breadth of the recordings: living room tapes on a 4-track Tascam, cleaned up in the studio by David Barbe, but wisely not sanitized into a shiny version apart from the original, studio outtakes from a variety of formal and informal sessions throughout the Southeast,and alternate takes that did not make an album playlist for one reason or another. Bloodkin’s 25th anniversary is not just about history; it’s also about where they are headed. They recorded a few new tunes for the release, too. Listening to all 88 songs carries me through the 25 years of Georgia music that formed me, too, from the Athens, Georgia Inside Out days (which was around or just before when Hutchens and Carter arrived from West Virginia) to the current success of The Whigs or Drive-By Truckers.
Author’s Note: Bloodkin generously donated “Henry Parsons Died” for a worldwide debut for Country Fried Rock’s Compilation Vol. 1 to Benefit Nuci’s Space in Athens, GA, available for free download here. Please consider a generous donation to Nuci’s Space in return for the download. They prevent musician suicide by removing barriers to mental health care and a lot more. 100% of the money in the compilation’s “tip jar” goes directly to Nuci’s. I personally covered all the expenses of the album. SS
- Bloodkin You should buy the One Long Hustle box set from the band just for the amazing liner notes. The music is, of course, worth every penny.
- Widespread Panic Hugely supportive of Bloodkin’s music, recording and playing several tunes from Hutchens and Carter over the last 25 years.
- Vic Chesnutt Athens’ songwriter (anti-)hero, who passed away a few years ago. At least 2 documentaries about him are floating around.
- The Rolling Stones Some Girls (Deluxe Version)
- Bob Dylan Street-Legal
- Brute (Originally, a collaboration between Vic Chesnutt and some of the members of Widespread Panic. On the second album, I believe the whole band joined Chesnutt. WP still plays “Blight,” and other Chesnutt songs, like “Aunt Avis,” regularly.) Nine High A Pallet
- Sugar: Copper Blue (Deluxe Remaster) Engineer and producer to the stars, songwriter, singer, player, leader of the Quick Hooks, David Barbe also played bass in Sugar. Bob Mould (formerly of Husker Du) still plays these songs regularly.
- The Heap: Deluxe The Heap horns. So fabulous that they are going to be the bed music for the 2013 Country Fried Rock radio shows.
- Betsy Franck Franck was featured in 2011 on Country Fried Rock. She is a fixture of Athens’ current music scene, singing on hundreds of bands’ albums, in addition to her own music.
- Taxi Driver (Two-Disc Collector’s Edition), the Robert de Niro movie, from which the character Travis Bickle’s line forms the title for this box set.
When you buy through our links, it does not cost you extra, but we get a small percentage of the purchase price. You get a bargain on what you want, and we get a little bit to play for music licensing. We all win!
When Gretchen Peters decided to write about her private upheaval of the last few years, she chose to record these songs herself. Calling on a small circle of close friends, including her new husband–but longtime bandmate–Barry Walsh, Peters crafted a dark but cathartic album. For listeners familiar with her previous albums, Peters’ voice explores the lower end of her register, hinting at the difference in this theme and what is to come in Hello Cruel World.
Most Americana fans know Rodney Crowell for his songwriting and performing, but to Peters and Walsh, he was also their marriage officiant, with a certificate straight off the Internet. Despite their familiarity with each other, Peters was a bit intimidated to work with Crowell on this record, and especially on the song that turned into their duet. Even noted songwriters like Peters can have professional idols and a little bit of fangirl-dom, too!
Country Fried Rock probably would not have been tapped into Peters’ album if she had not stopped by Couch By CouchWest 2012, a virtual music festival held each March. In this event, songwriters send exclusive videos of themselves performing from a couch–or elevator, sofabed, recliner–and music fans all over Twitter join in. This year, #CXCW went crazy when noted writers Ray Wylie Hubbard and Gretchen Peters, respectively, sent in videos. Thanks to a fun time on the Internet, we rediscovered a writer we may have overlooked.
Liner Notes: Gretchen Peters has extensive liner notes for Hello Cruel World on her website.
Gretchen Peters Hello Cruel World [Explicit]
Kim Richey Wreck Your Wheels
Daddy (Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack) For A Second Time
Mickey Newbury An American Trilogy
Bob Dylan and The Band The Basement Tapes
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Michelle Malone was part of the Atlanta music scene that evolved from the Indigo Girls’ success, enjoying national attention for the music of Shawn Mullins, Tinsley Ellis, and Drivin N Cryin, with her band at the time, Drag the River. The confluence of blues-tinged Southern music at the time made for an exciting music scene, that was later replaced by the still-dominant hiphop scene. Atlanta is a weird place filled with temporary residents who are not from the area, but it is also a collection of neighborhoods with their own identities and people who are part of the arts culture and give different places their distinct vibes. It is from the latter community that Michelle Malone emerges, not as an ingenue, but as the definition of the Atlanta rock sound–Southern, blues-touched, guitar-driven, but still about the song.
When Malone decided to record her most recent album, Day 2, she called upon her long-time friend, Shawn Mullins, to produce. Mullins and Malone collaborated to include their friends in the project, including Gerry Hansen (as co-producer), Phil Skipper, Tom Ryan, Trish Land, Chuck Leavell, Marty Kearns, Glen Matullo, and Randall Bramblett. Pretty much everyone who has ever been in the Atlanta roots scene has played with one or more of these stellar musicians. Malone knew her songs and vision were in excellent hands, and sought out their ideas and guidance in the recording process.
Currently, Day 2 is available in limited release directly from Malone’s website. She has released music within the spectrum of independent to labels and back again, finding the “new normal” DIY allows the artist to retain creative control. Michelle Malone plays regularly, both solo and with her band. If you get a chance to see her, you should try to catch a show in each setting, as the songs adapt to the venue, and bring fresh sounds with each format–more Southern than bluesy this time around. Malone is a player and songwriter that should be as recognizable to roots music fans as Bonnie Raitt is to blues rock fans.
Please support the musicians by purchasing their music through these Amazon and iTunes links. A small portion of your purchase also supports this radio show, at no extra cost to you. Thank you.
- Michelle Malone Day 2 currently only available for purchase via her website. National release expected mid-2013.
- Indigo Girls “I Don’t Wanna Know” selected from Strange Fire because it is co-written with Michelle.
- Shawn Mullins produced Malone’s current album.
- Callaghan also on Cayamo 2013, as well as another album produced by Mullins.
- Drivin N Cryin “Honeysuckle Blue” from Mystery Road chosen because Malone’s vocals are distinctly essential in this song.
- Sea Level chosen because of Chuck Leavell, the keyboard player most known for his stint in the early 1970’s with the Allman Brothers Band, who also played on Malone’s album. Sea Level, from C. Leavell, was his mid-late 1970’s band that garnered Southern recognition, but not national attention.
- Linda Ronstadt was Malone’s gateway to the music of Little Feat, Hank Williams, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Neil Young, and more.
- Little Feat quintessential Southern fusion band, defying genre and beloved to many.