Shonna Tucker

John Calvin Abney Lets Us Hear Some of His Upcoming Album, Coyote

John Calvin Abney Announces New Album, Coyote

Frequent listeners to Country Fried Rock’s podcast know John Calvin Abney. The Oklahoma songwriter and multi-instrumentalist plays or records with many of our pals, including on Chris Porter‘s final album and extensive touring with John Moreland. Recently, he surprised us by posting studio photos with fellow-CFR frequent flyers, Shonna Tucker and Megan Palmer! We’re not sure how that guy had time to write, let alone record, a whole new album!

New song below

We’re lucky he did, though, because Coyote is a gem. Expanding his psychedelic pop sound and reflective songwriting, Abney’s new album shows his experience and deep talent. Enjoy this sneak peek, check out his catalog, and pre-order while you can still get your pink vinyl (or other formats)!

Click to listen!  Woohoo!

In Memory of Chris Porter: Shonna Tucker #1707

Shonna Tucker emerged from self-imposed music exile to play bass for Chris Porter‘s final album, Don’t Go Baby It’s Gonna Get Weird Without You. After she left the Drive-By Truckers, she formed a band and released a great album that we featured on a previous podcast. Later, she questioned whether she was meant to play music, and drove a tractor and fed pigs on a farm. Porter’s call to Tucker to play bass came at the perfect time and was just what she needed to jump back into music with both feet. Despite touring together with their former bands (DBT and Centro-Matic), Tucker and Will Johnson had never played together before as a rhythm section, which was a delightful treat for both. A few months after their whirlwind recording, Porter, John Calvin Abney, and Tucker hit the road for an acoustic solo tour, each playing their own songs. Since then, Tucker has joined Pegi Young’s band, The Survivors (along with legends Spooner Oldham, Phil Jones, and Kelvin Holly), and is also available for live and session work when not on the road with Young.

In Memory of Chris Porter: The Mastersons #1706

Friendships run deep when you are a musician. Friends with whom you can pick up right where you left off, after months on the road, become family. Chris Porter forged deep, fast friendships with people in every town he toured, but especially with his tight-knit chosen family of fellow “lifers.” Eleanor Whitmore and Chris Masterson of The Mastersons were family for Porter. The Masterson’s sound permeates his prior album, This Red Mountain. They dropped into the studio one night, just off the plane from tour, to add their sparkle to Don’t Go Baby, It’s Gonna Get Weird Without You. The Masterson’s latest release, Transient Lullaby, was completed but not yet released when he passed away unexpectedly. They dedicated the album to Porter, and often perform the song they co-wrote, “You Got the Last Laugh,” in his memory.

In Memory of Chris Porter: Will Johnson #1705

Will Johnson (Centro-Matic, South San Gabriel) produced Chris Porter‘s final album, Don’t Go Baby It’s Gonna Get Weird Without You, as well as his previous record, This Red Mountain. Johnson produced both albums. Britton Beisenherz engineered and mixed them at Ramble Creek Studio in Austin, Texas. The bands differed in each project, as did Porter’s vision for each album. On Don’t Go Baby, Porter pictured a rollicking rock record. He achieved that with multi-instrumentalist John Calvin Abney (solo, John Moreland), bassist Shonna Tucker (solo, Pegi Young and the Survivors, Drive-By Truckers), and convincing Will Johnson to play drums, yielding a fun rhythm section with Tucker.

In Memory of Chris Porter: Andrea Juarez #1704

Andrea Juarez never planned to release an album. The hair stylist and makeup artist made it happen to honor her fiance, Chris Porter, who passed away on tour October 2016, when their van was rear-ended on the interstate. Mitchell Vandenburg also was killed, and Adam Nurre miraculously survived the horrific wreck. Porter mostly finished tracking his album, Don’t Go Baby It’s Gonna Get Weird Without You.  He recorded it in marathon sessions with Will Johnson (Centro-Matic) , and Shonna Tucker (Pegi Young, Drive By Truckers), and John Calvin Abney (Solo, John Moreland). Bonnie Whitmore hosted a memorial concert to raise the rest of the funds to finish the record, which will be released on the anniversary.

“Shit Got Dark” from Upcoming Posthumous Album, Porter & the Bluebonnet Rattlesnakes

Long-time pal and friend to everyone he ever met, Chris Porter‘s final album, Don’t Go Baby It’s Gonna Get Weird Without You from Porter & the Bluebonnet Rattlesnakes, will be released 10/20 on Cornelius Chapel Records. Porter recorded with fellow Country Fried Rock alumni and friends, Will Johnson (Centro-Matic), John Calvin Abney, Shonna Tucker (former Drive-By Truckers), Chris Masterson & Eleanor Whitmore (The Mastersons), and intended it to be released as a farewell to Austin, TX, to relocated to Nashville. His plans with his fiancee, Andrea Juarez, were cut short by his tragic death while on tour in October 2016, when their van was rear-ended on the interstate.

Keep your ears peeled for upcoming podcasts with several of Porter’s pals on how they worked to make sure his album reached the world, after he left this one. There will be two album release parties, in his hometowns.
Austin, TX 10/21 Stay Gold
Birmingham, AL 11/4 Syndicate Lounge

Golden Eels #1605

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.

Podcast
Listen or download below or on SoundCloud.

Shonna Tucker & Eye Candy: Video & Tour

Woohoo! Country Fried Rock alums, Shonna Tucker & Eye Candy, are launching a super tour. See if they’re heading your way (DC, VA, NY, NC, GA, WI, KY, TN, more!), and buy your tickets. I got to see them in a nice long set at Rhythm N Blooms in Knoxville this month and highly recommend going.

Shonna Tucker & Eye Candy also have a brand new video for y’all, too! Please share.

shonnascreengrab

Download our podcast with Shonna Tucker.
Buy Shonna Tucker & Eye Candy’s album, A Tell All, on Amazon or iTunes.

Shows
5/5/2014 Washington, D.C. @ Hill Country Live (Indoor Stage)
5/6/2014 Ashland, VA @ Ashland Coffee & Tea
5/8/2014 Washington, D.C. @ Hill Country’s Backyard BBQ at the National Building Museum
5/9/2014 NYC, NY @ Hill Country Live (Outdoor Stage)
5/10/2014 Brooklyn, NY @ Hill Country Live
5/13/2014 Raleigh, NC @The Pour House Music Hall
5/14/2014 Charlotte, NC @ The Double Door Inn
5/17/2014 Winterville, GA @ Marigold Festival
6/10/2014 Wisconsin Dells, WI @The Showboat Saloon
6/13/2014 Whitesburg, KY @ Summit City Lounge
6/14/2014 Maryville, TN @ The Shed at Smokey Harley Davidson

Best of 2013, Part 1

The Top 20 — Numbers 20 through 11

Every year, we share our Fan Favorites, chosen by the programs that listeners downloaded and streamed the most. I’m always amazed how they clearly line up into the Top 20 Shows. Counting down from 20th to the #1 radio show that y’all loved, here goes! Click HERE for the Top 10.

As always, if you like the band, buy their music. It’s the best way to support them.

Podcasts
Download the free podcast at the very bottom of this page or on iTunes.
Many of the songs from our Top 20 list are in the Special Edition podcasts.

20.
SteelDrivers
How does a band survive when its founder leaves — and their lead vocalist moves on? The SteelDrivers demonstrate their resilience as a band with Hammer Down, their latest album with their current lineup. Bass player, Mike Fleming, shares his own musical path to bluegrass, shaped by The Beatles and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and the influences of the other band members that keep The SteelDrivers on the edges of their genre and bring in audiences who otherwise do not care for bluegrass — even attracting such notable fans as Adele.

19.
Steep Canyon Rangers
Steep Canyon Rangers forged their way in the traditional music scene from their home state of North Carolina through regular forays into the Rockies and back at their base in the Western North Carolina mountains, putting in over 20,000 hours of hard work along the way. (Even Bob Lefsetz might approve of their drive.) Over the years, they have made their own mark within the tight-knit scene, but it was not until they were selected to be Steve Martin’s backing band that their name-recognition expanded beyond Americana, bluegrass, and old time fans. Add in a whirlwind few years of selected shows in Martin’s support and some hefty awards and honors, and the stringband from Carolina was suddenly time-warped from headliner to sell-out headliner.

18.
Belle Adair
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.

17.
Caitlin Cary of NC Music Love Army
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.

16.
Jack Logan

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.

15.
Rich Mahan
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.

14.
Austin Lucas

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.

13. Sam Doores & The Tumbleweeds, now called The Deslondes
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.

12.
Whitehorse
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.

11.
Old Man Luedecke
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.)

Click HERE for the Top 10.

Podcast
The music in the podcast is included by special written permission of the bands.

Sloane Spencer’s Picks From 2013

Each year, Country Fried Rock does a special radio program of our listeners’ favorite programs, determined largely by the number of podcast downloads and a weird math formula involving website traffic for online listening via our audio stream — basically, which programs y’all listened to the most. We’ll air that special double episode the last 2 weeks of this year. It’s packed full of fantastic music, so look for that right around the corner. cfr best of 2013 icon

Each year, I hem and haw and hesitate to make my own list, because I like every single band I feature. If I don’t like it, I don’t feature it. Heck, there’s a ton of music I love that I can’t feature! I’m just one person making this magic happen. 😀

So, I caved. Here’s my list, but like a mama, I love you all. I just love a few of y’all a little more than I love the others. Go ahead and buy these albums. You’ll pat yourself on the back for being so fabulous.
pretty dang fabulous of 2013

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.

Shonna Tucker & Eye Candy

Coming soon to our radio program!