Sloane Spencer

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
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Aaron Lee Tasjan #1523

Aaron Lee Tasjan writes folk songs for an indie rock crowd, weaving storylines with humor and social commentary. His debut full-length album, In The Blazes, includes friends from his former band, Everest, at the helm, and the vibe of Elliott Smith’s studio, New Monkey. Tasjan is touring heavily in support of the album, opening for Ray Wylie Hubbard, and playing solo and band gigs across the country. NOTE: We previously featured ALT here, following his debut EP.

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Dustbowl Revival #1327

Zach Lupetin advertised for some bandmates on Craig’s List, and from that post, Dustbowl Revival formed. Over the years, this collective of musicians (it’s not exactly a fixed band lineup and not a revolving door, either) has released several records refining their sound from stringband to to multi-instrumental roots swing with drums, horns, and nearly every stringed instrument you can imagine! With influences ranging from Stevie Wonder to opera to the Rolling Stones, you can imagine the challenge of creating a cohesive vision for their own songs and the traditional songs they arrange. Dustbowl Revival’s latest album, Carry Me Home, most fully embodies the energy of their live shows without becoming a chaotic mess of instrumentation. Have fun and dance in your car to this one!

Liner Notes

Podcast
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Country Fried Rock Best of 2012

Click to page 3 to listen to the Best of 2012.

Click the titles to purchase on iTunes.  Click the album covers to purchase on Amazon.

25 The Shovel vs. The Howling Bones – Lincoln Durham

Lincoln Durham started playing violin at age 4 via the Suzuki Method of instruction. By 8, he was hiding on stage facing the wall playing fiddle with the Osceola Opry–a loose association of players who met monthly in an old wooden schoolhouse to cover Hank Williams and Bill Monroe songs for the gathered farmers and country folk. Durham picked up the guitar in his early 20′s, which captivated his interest more than the fiddle ever had. Wandering through a period of singer-songwriter expression, Lincoln still felt pulled by something different in music, but had not been able to define it for himself, let alone have it clearly expressed in music. CONTINUE

24 Michelle Malone: Day 2

This album is currently only available directly from Michelle Malone HERE.
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. CONTINUE

23 Sweat Like the Old Days – Holy Ghost Tent Revival

Holy Ghost Tent Revival took their lowest point in the last five years and used it as a reason to find a new sound and revive their music. It’s not any easier to pigeonhole their work than it was before the departure of their bass player and harmony vocalist, but their music is definitely easier to dance to now than it was before. Despite having almost nothing in common with bluegrass music, they are often lumped in there with old time bands–great for a festival lineup, but inaccurate in categorization. Think of the Avett Brothers with a horn section, and you are much closer to the sound of Holy Ghost Tent Revival. CONTINUE

22 Two Step Silhouette – The Corduroy Road

The Corduroy Road‘s fans sounded alarm bells when the band left their life on the road for a long hiatus, but after nearly an eight-month break, the core of the band emerged with some new players in the lineup, refreshed and ready for the next phase of the band. The Corduroy Road musically balances between Americana and bluegrass in the dance-able area we refer to as “upbeat string band.” Their songs make you move, and you might even miss the weight of some of their lyrics, such as a hunter stumbling upon a meth lab in the woods where the meth-farmer and sheriff are in cahoots. Southern Gothic lyrics to outsiders, perhaps, but just another day in the country to some of us enmeshed in baffling small-town alliances. CONTINUE

21 Death of a Decade – Ha Ha Tonka

Ha Ha Tonka records flow thematically, bound together by a premise or idea, but not so tightly as to be concept albums. Initially, the themes were obvious, like Buckle in the Bible Belt, moving towards historical, as evidenced in the album artwork for Novel Songs of the Nouveau South, but for their recent record, Death of a Decade, the idea that emerged from which these songs began surprised me: Michael Jackson’s death. As Brett Anderson explains, every decade their seems to be some iconic political or entertainment figure who passes away, somehow creating endpoints for their times by their death. Jackson was a controversial figure in life, but even his greatest detractors accede that he was one of the greatest entertainers of our era. With Michael Jackson’s passing, it was the death of a decade. CONTINUE

20 Come Home to Me – The Famous

The Famous bring together a punk influence with traditional country, yielding music that seems to emerge only from California. I always imagine skateboarders who listen to country, not for the irony, but for the cool-factor. In the case of The Famous, though, their music is as much a product of the craft brewing scene as anything else. From brew pubs to brew fests–even a song in homage to their favorite beer–The Famous have found a well-heeled, selective audience for their music in the greater San Francisco Bay region. CONTINUE

19 Waiting All Night – Derek Hoke

Derek Hoke left rock and roll in the dust years ago, finding a new sound, which he dubbed “Quietbilly,” a gentle, sweet rockabilly, now twinged with some Southern blues. His previous album, Goodbye Rock and Roll, clearly cemented Hoke’s distinguishable sound, but his recent release, Waiting All Night, explores a wider variety of rhythm, while still being a Derek Hoke record. Producer and childhood friend, Dexter Green (of Sea Lab Sound), partnered with Hoke on the project, taking their time to call upon friends to play on songs between their own touring schedules. The list of guests reads like a Who’s Who of East Nashville and legendary sidemen, and reflects on Derek’s ability to make his peers feel at ease. CONTINUE

18 Bird In The Tangle – Brett Detar

When Brett Detar ended his band, The Juliana Theory, he was not sure he would ever play music again. Seeking a change, he became the customer service department and chief stain remover for his wife’s vintage clothing shop. Detar fully escaped music, trying to evade his self-doubt about his ability to write songs or be an artist at all. During these years, every scrap of paper of a lyric or theme crammed into a box, waiting for Detar to make them into music. CONTINUE

17 Slowburner – The District Attorneys

The District Attorneys live across north Georgia, ranging from Atlanta to Athens, managing to bridge the musical divide of these very different cities–one that is much wider than the lanes of I-85.  With two homemade EP’s (which you can download for free from the band) and their first full-length record on This Is American Music, The District Attorneys have already refined their sound, bringing bare bones indie-pop together with twangy Georgia roots, as if they are the new representatives of Southern jangle pop.  Slowburner solidly places this band in with the list of best debut albums in roots music this year.  (So, I am biased. I love this record.) CONTINUE

16 Gloryland – Kevin Gordon

Kevin Gordon’s album, Gloryland, explores the blues side of roots music, with lyrics that would make the Drive-By Truckers jealous.  Gordon grew up in Monroe, Louisiana, and although he has been away for decades, the reality of life there and the people he knew bring grit to rural life without glorification.  Glorylandis not about redemption or salvation, and definitely not about glossing over the seamy and sadistic side of life in the deep South. CONTINUE

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#1251 Bloodkin

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

Liner Notes

  • 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.  Bloodkin
  • Widespread Panic Hugely supportive of Bloodkin’s music, recording and playing several tunes from Hutchens and Carter over the last 25 years. Widespread Panic
  • Vic Chesnutt Athens’ songwriter (anti-)hero, who passed away a few years ago. At least 2 documentaries  about him are floating around. Vic Chesnutt
  • The Rolling Stones Some Girls (Deluxe Version)Some Girls (Deluxe Edition) - The Rolling Stones
  • Bob Dylan Street-LegalStreet-Legal - Bob Dylan
  • 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 PalletNine High a Pallet - Brute
  • 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. Sugar
  • 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.Deluxe - The HEAP
  • 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. This Far - Betsy Franck
  • 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. Taxi Driver

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Podcast

#1249 Mike Cullison

Mike Cullison writes country songs, the kind that pretty boys in rhinestone skinny jeans don’t sing. Cullison’s latest album, The Barstool Monologues, is the most brilliant country concept album in years: auditory theater, imagery via sound, and a premise that pulls it all together. Somewhat like Marty Stuart’s album, The Pilgrim, Cullison calls upon his network of friends to perform his songs (so, the lineup is not Cash, Jones, Harris, and Scruggs, but the idea is similar) and his role as the narrator, in this case, The Bartender, keeps the thread going.

As a songwriter, Cullison crafts his tunes with others’ voices in mind from the beginning, so listening to this album and hearing his own songs sung by others was not odd—it was by design. For listeners unfamiliar with songwriters’ concept albums, one could imagine this as a tribute album in which the writer is the collaborator and even instigator. The Barstool Monologues is a very sensuous collection (if you remember the grocery store grammar lesson in Animal House) appealing to the senses musically, and filling the stories with smoke and scenery. It is as if a short film is running for each song, which is very much intended.

For the CD release show, Cullision created the entire scene of the Roadhouse, with him as narrator and the players rolling in and out. As a premise, this could easily be picked up into a TV series, playing on the success of Nashville, but more purposely focused on the grittier side of music. The idea would play well on stage, too, or even in a genius viral video campaign for the right product. All of this supports the songs, which are exactly what a straight-up country song should be, no pretense.

Thanks for buying the music in this radio show! A small percentage of your purchase supports this program, at no additional cost to you. Amazon links are in the text and iTunes links are small buttons.

  • Mike CullisonMike Cullison
  • Mark Robinson: Produced this album and several of those of The Regulars. He also has a great record of his own, the autobiographical, Quit Your Job, Play Guitar. Quit Your Job - Play Guitar - Mark Robinson
  • Hank Williams: From Cullison’s early music influencesHank Williams
  • Dobie Gray: “Love Is on the Line” was co-written by Don Goodman (Cullison’s early mentor), Waylon Jennings, and Troy SealsDobie Gray
  • Brian Langlinais: One of The RegularsBrian Langlinais
  • Delbert McClinton: Cullison’s music has been described as a cross between McClinton and Hank WilliamsDelbert McClinton
  • John Mellencamp: “Crazy Ones” was co-written with Randy Handley, one of The RegularsJohn Mellencamp
  • Tommy Womack: Daniel Seymour is one of The Regulars, and frequently plays bass with Womack, including on his most recent albumTommy Womack
  • Jon Byrd: One of The RegularsJon Byrd


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Podcast

#1247 Humming House

Humming House reversed all the normal processes for their first album.  When songwriter Justin Wade Tam went into the studio for a one-off single recording with legendary producer Mitch Dane, Tam did not even have a band assembled.  As he gathered his friends and their friends to fill the instrumentation he wanted for his songs, his professional relationship with Dane and the players grew, and the opportunity to record an album seemed possible.  As the assembly of players readied for the process, a family emergency pulled Dane away unexpectedly and the pre-production was scrapped as they were gratefully handed over to colleague Vance Powell to record the album–a happy accident, for sure.

In the process of recording the album, the group of players revealed themselves to be a band.  Although they did not start out that way, by the time the album was finished, Humming House had forged a musical path together.  As they have taken the album on the road over the past year, they have matured as a group, yielding clearer musical voices for each of the players and a more collaborative approach to the new songs they have written.  Humming House is already tossing around ideas for their next album, which will highlight Kristen Rogers soulful vocals more like their live shows than their first record indicates.

Humming House plays regularly, keeping their performances lively and throwing in unexpected covers, like Whitney Houston, Bill Withers, and the Beastie Boys–even the Ghostbusters Theme for Halloween.  They have become a band and putting the cart before the horse did not send them down the wrong path.  They started with their dream team, and have lived up to it as they have grown.

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Thanks for helping these musicians keep making great albums! Buy their music here on Amazon our iTunes:

  • Humming House “Gypsy Django,” “Stop Me Still,” “Young Enough to Try”Humming House
  • Angel Snow “Lie Awake”Angel Snow
  • Andrew Combs “Worried Man” Andrew Combs
  • Beastie Boys “Intergalactic”Beastie Boys
  • The Dirt Daubers “Wake Up Sinners”The Dirt Daubers
  • Kristen Rogers “Don’t Let Me Win” (Could not find a link.)
  • The Raconteurs “The Switch and the Spur”The Raconteurs
  • Carolina Story “Carry Me Home” Carolina Story

Podcast

Joey Kneiser (Glossary) Solo EP

Listen to Joey Kneiser of Glossary’s brand new solo EP, Moonlight for the Graveyard of the Heart. Share with your friends!

Joey Kneiser of Glossary EP Moonlight for the Graveyard Heart

Brand New EP from Glossary's Joey Kneiser

Check out our intense conversation with Joey Kneiser here.

#1241 The Pollies

The Pollies’ record almost did not happen. Songwriter, Jay Burgess, began recording some of the songs nearly 2 years ago, in what he now considers demo tapes, but the intent was not to make a record; it was merely a side-project from his previous band, Sons of Roswell. As it became apparent that Sons of Roswell were fading away, Burgess’ writing never ceased, and the demo recordings became more of a focus. Fellow musician friends from the Shoals area of Alabama (the “Quad Cities”) came and went with the project, leaving national acts to go solo again and others finding an international audience seemingly overnight for their other bands. Thus has been the whirlwind impacting what has ultimately become Where the Lies Begin, The Pollies’ debut record on This Is American Music record label.

Essentially, the album was recorded twice. Chris James (also formerly of Sons of Roswell), Daniel Stoddard (who also plays with Dylan LeBlanc), Matt Green (also with Belle Adair), Ben Tanner (also with the Alabama Shakes), and Reed Watson round out the current lineup for the Pollies, demonstrating the interwoven, mutually supportive music community of the Shoals. Mutual friends’ support for the demos and internet leaks of songs via YouTube ultimately led Burgess to bring focus to the Pollies project and make it a real band with a real focus on making a record. As it all came together, the visual presentation of the album helped define its title and ultimately, the theme: Where the Lies Begin.

Chris James had the idea for a bird’s nest and reverse side of an album cover with smashed eggs in a nest for a long time, but it was in discussing the songs on this record with Burgess that the complete concept revealed itself. In what others have described as “Southern Gothic rock and roll,” sometimes the adult realization that the stories your family tells about itself are not accurate. The deeper story that lies beneath is darker, more uncomfortable, and less simplistic than the tales we repeat trying to make them be true. A favorite uncle might also beat his wife. Your granddad might have spent his life abusing your grandmother. What happened behind closed doors does not go away by ignoring it. Such are the stories that lead to where these lies began.

Thank you for purchasing the songs in this radio show! Your purchase supports the musicians and this program. We appreciate you.

  • The Pollies Where the Lies Begin “Good for Nothing,” “Something New,” “Little Birdie” (Direct from their labelWhere the Lies Begin - The Pollies
  • Ramones “Commando” Ramones
  • Doc Dailey “Picture Frames” from the upcoming release (International debut of this song!) Doc Dailey & Magnolia Devil
  • Belle Adair “No Reply” Belle Adair
  • Sons of Roswell “In the Moonlight” (not available on Amazon or iTunes)
  • Alabama Shakes (from their original EP when they were still a four-piece called The Shakes, before Ben was regularly part of the touring band) “On Your Way” Alabama Shakes
  • Jason Isbell “In a Razor Town” (chosen because the lyrics reference a female character with abuse in her past, as part of the conversation about truth revelaing itself in our personal stories) Jason Isbell
  • Centro-Matic “Twenty Four” Centro-Matic
  • Neutral Milk Hotel “Holland, 1945” Neutral Milk Hotel


Country Fried Rock

Podcast

#1209 The Famous

The Famous bring together a punk influence with traditional country, yielding music that seems to emerge only from California. I always imagine skateboarders who listen to country, not for the irony, but for the cool-factor. In the case of The Famous, though, their music is as much a product of the craft brewing scene as anything else. From brew pubs to brew fests–even a song in homage to their favorite beer–The Famous have found a well-heeled, selective audience for their music in the greater San Francisco Bay region.

The Famous’s live performance, though, is as carefully mastered as the beers their fans enjoy. The Famous’s “Experience” combines the group dynamics of evangelism with the imagery and actions of a revival, with their music as the centerpiece, not religion. While not as irreverent as Reverend Horton Heat, one can easily see why The Famous are a logical opening act for them.

Lyricist Laurence Scott views himself as the musical weak link in the band, but his role as showman keeps him in the forefront. Working closely with Victor Barclay who writes the basis of their music, the two flesh out each song and develop them further with the rest of the band. From their debut Light, Sweet Crude to their current record, Come Home to Me, The Famous have defined themselves to their selective fans. Their upcoming release will be their first to take on a national scope, just at the right time.

www.TheFamous.net

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Songs in Episode 1209 Include:

#1205 Tara Nevins

Tara Nevins waited over a decade to release her second solo record, Wood and Stone. In the interim, Nevins traveled relentlessly with Donna the Buffalo, but her musical interest began as a child in the school orchestra, encouraged by her music and dance-loving parents.  She often tells the tale of “sneaking” to play “Turkey in the Straw” during the downtime of orchestra class, but Nevins’ Read More

#1204 The Nouveaux Honkies

The Nouveaux Honkies‘ record, Where Do I Go?, bounces and swings through its playlist, careening from a bop to a blues groove. Of the times I have seen the band play, the record resembles their performance, with the crowd bopping and dancing along. Songwriter Tim O’Donnell laments their past inconsistency with their live shows, Read More