roots

Sam Doores #1309

Sam Doores collaborates in recording and performing, making creative and practical decisions that allow his songs to reach as many audiences as possible. Whether Doores is playing solo, with his band, in a duo setting with a stompbox, or as part of Hurray for the Riff Raff, the versatile musician and songwriter is adding more to his professional toolbox. Doores’ influences range from Hank Williams and Woody Guthrie, to knowledge by necessity with a weekly four-hour gig just off Bourbon Street in New Orleans–fusing the music of Allen Toussaint, old R&B, swamp pop, and traditional country with Irish barroom tunes. Such a diverse setlist allowed him to develop his own skills and sounds as he crafted and improved his own songwriting.

Liner Notes

Podcast

Old Man Luedecke #1305

Old Man Luedecke may be new to US audiences, but the Canadian folk songwriter is well-known and lauded north of the border.  As his photo indicates, he is not old, but the music that captures his interest and influences his writing is old.  Luedecke references traditional music from the Smithsonian Folkways series, like the Red Clay Ramblers, but sounds more like a folked-out Paul Simon to me.  (Interestingly, Simon is never referenced, but I cannot get the vocal comparison out of my ears with this record.)

Despite obscure literary references, Tender is the Night, is solidly present.  Although F. Scott Fitzgerald or even Jackson Browne may come to mind, Luedecke has never read that book nor has he heard to catchy tune of the same name–although his mandolin player sings it to him often.  (Luedecke says he is referencing Melville’s Billy Budd who is referencing Keats and a reflection on Thomas Payne’s “Rights of Man.”)  Despite the heavy influences, the music is simple and accessible–producer, Tim O’Brien, gently decorated Luedecke’s songs.

While much more folk-y than most of the music we cover, the connection to the history of folk music and a modern reflection of it, tie  these songs to the rest of the catalog.  Luedecke’s use of humor and the absurd, Biblical topics and modern life, demonstrate how traditional lyrical subjects continue to engage listeners.

Liner Notes

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

#1250 Gretchen Peters

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] Gretchen Peters
Kim Richey Wreck Your WheelsWreck Your Wheels - Kim Richey
Daddy (Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack) For A Second Time Kim Richey
Mickey Newbury An American Trilogy Mickey Newbury
Bob Dylan and The Band The Basement Tapes The Basement Tapes - Bob Dylan & The Band

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