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!
Adam Klein & The Wild Fires latest album, Sky Blue DeVille, travels further down the rock road for the songwriter, as each record meanders more in that direction. Klein’s music ranges well beyond his native Athens, Georgia, though–in fact, his last record was written and recorded in Mali. The former Peace Corps volunteer has returned to Mali several times to maintain his friendships and connection to the nation, and the album from his last trip there, Dugu Wolo–just before the tensions with Islamist extremists escalated to the devastating level they have–will see wider release when the accompanying documentary is released. Sky Blue DeVille is a full-fledged rock record. In true Athens fashion, Klein has called upon friends in music over the years to contribute their talents to his projects, ranging from Randall Bramblett to David Blackmon to John Neff–keeping the Athens music circles intersecting.
Adam Klein & The Wild Fires “Sky Blue DeVille,” “Goodnight Nobody,” “Where Our Love Is” Sky Blue DeVille
You should definitely check out Adam Klein’s previous album from Mali, that was only in limited release, Dugu Wolo. I absolutely love this album.
Randall Bramblett “Roll” His new album, Bright Spots, will be released on May 14, 2014. Here is the CD pre-order for Bright Spots or here for Bright Spots on vinyl Bright Spots.
Drivin N Cryin “Scarred But Smarter” One of the best rock songs ever written. Scarred But Smarter
Kenney Blackmon String Band “Yew Piney” The Singing Tree Blackmon is most known for his fiddle contributions for Jerry Reed, Widespread Panic, and R.E.M. The KBSB album is really interesting–his wife, Noel Blackmon, culled lost songs from field recording sheet music and books, several of which are believed to be the first modern recordings of these songs (explanation adapted from album notes). They are dynamic live. After breaking his neck in a freak frisbee accident, it’s pretty incredible to see him jam.
Deer Tick “Main Street” available on AutoRip Vinyl here Divine Providence. (AutoRip means you get an automatic mp3 album download and the vinyl is shipped to you right away.) Deer Tick is headlining the Twilight Americana Festival in Athens this month.
I met The Howlin’ Brothers in the parking lot at the Family Wash in East Nashville during Americana Music Festival in 2012. I had seen them a couple of times at the Station Inn, and mistakenly thought they were from North Carolina. As we chatted in the parking lot, Ian Craft told me that they had just finished recording a new album that would be released in the Spring of 2013. Happily for The Howlin’ Brothers, their new album, Howl, had some additional support as the band was signed to Brendan Benson’s label, Readymade Records. With Benson’s direction in the studio and his support for their vision with their music, The Howlin’ Brothers have expanded the sounds they bring to their old time music, but have not strayed from who they are. The band still plays Layla’s Bluegrass Inn and the Station Inn regularly, but they are now able to be on the road more and are a treat to see perform live. When you see them, ask them to dance.
UPDATE: Nobody Knows You by Steep Canyon Rangers was just nominated for a Grammy Award! Congratulations!
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.
Along the way, Steep Canyon Rangers took Martin’s advice and emphasized their strengths. His encouragement and seeing their ability to “hold their own” in such esteemed company yielded their most clearly defined album. Highlighting the “Steep Canyon Rangers’ sound” allows them to stand out in a bluegrass or traditional music festival, but also to captivate an audience when sharing the stage with other genres; in fact, that contrast of sounds often produces a better show for both bands. As a thank you gift for supporting his performances, Martin facilitated a graphic design partnership for Steep Canyon Rangers’ record, Nobody Knows You, for which they just won an International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) award for packaging design.
Despite their international recognition and recent success, Steep Canyon Rangers continue to support their region of North Carolina. Their festival, Mountain Song, held in Brevard, NC, has raised over $300,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Transylvania County. The band is taking their knowledge of hosting a great traditional and acoustic music event to another stage this winter, launching the inaugural Mountain Song at Sea cruise (NOTE: not for the benefit of the charity) in February 2013. With much the same line-up as their festivals on land, this themed cruise should be quite fun. (NOTE: Country Fried Rock is in no way affiliated with the cruise, the band, nor the promotion company behind the cruise. We receive no advertising, sponsorship, or trade from any of these entities.)
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Steep Canyon Rangers