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The Alt Root Video Shack
Jim Bachmann (from the Sitting Down Under the Moon available on ) (by Danny McCloskey) Jim Bachmann gives a common human trait a beat, celebrating mistakes and questionable decisions with a dancing groove in “Paying Dues”. Joined by Kayla Ray, he wistfully duets a kiss-off for “Hate to See You Go”. Hurried strums back the admissions of “Good at a Bad Job” while “Hurtin’ finds Jim Bachmann hunched over a drink at a bar as the Arizona songman guides his tracks onto a new release, Sitting Down Under the Moon. Jim Bachmann creates moods in a melody, gently bidding goodnight as he exits the album with “Beautiful Sleep”, bordering the dreamlike atmosphere with the playful sway of title track album opener “Sitting Down Under the Moon”. (by Danny McCloskey) Listen to Jim Bachmann on Spotify Find more information and purchase options on the Jim Bachmann website
Alison de Groot and Tatiana Hargreaves (from the album Hurricane Clarice available as a self-release) (by Danny McCloskey) Alison de Groot and Tatiana Hargreaves approach traditional music with modern melodies on Hurricane Clarice, their recent release. The flurry of strings is seductive, the pair weaving magical trances throughout the album. Over rapid-fire chord strums and fiddle bends Alison de Groot and Tatiana Hargreaves ponder why “Each Season Changes You” while somber notes color the title track, breaking into a reel for its tune companion in “Hurricane Clarice/Brushy Fork of John’s Creek”. Spoken word snippets tell of birds and early risers for “Ostrich with Pearls”, while stark fiddle playing makes an introduction to an equally raw musical backing for “I Would Not Live Always” and a scratchy melody captures the beauty of mountain music in “Wellington”. (by Danny McCloskey) Listen to Alison de Groot and Tatiana Gargreaves on Spotify Find more information and purchase options on the Jim Bachmann website
Sweet Virginia (from the album Leaving Again on Gitcha Records) Sweet Virginia bounces in on a trippy drumbeat and a rock’n’roll riff with “Blue Skies”, barreling into Leaving Again, her recent release, on the album opener. Sweet Virginia wraps the traditional tune “Careless Love” an Indie Rock blanket that warms the sad story, keeping the musical model in the backing music for the album. Pedal steel twang gives wings to the Rock beat greeting “Sunday” as a staccato Tex-Mex breeze blows over “Tell Me a Lie” while Sweet Virginia lets her voice rise and fall for “Hallelujah, Michael”, wondering if love has reached the “End of the Rainbow”.
Big Lou Johnson (from the album Bigman available on Goldenvoice Audio)
A zydeco beat is on board for 1960’s influenced Rock’n’Pop when Big Lou Johnson becomes the charming shot caller in “Shucky Ducky (Quack Quack)”, as he kicks open the doors on the album with the Bluesy Rock’n’Soul of “Lightnin’ Strikes” and gives his resume a powerful back beat in the title track, “Big Man”. Smooth silky low register vocals put Big Lou Johnson up front as he seduces with “Never Get Over Me”, goes down for the bottom rung Blues of “Fever”, struts for the finger-pointing in “Chill on Cold”, and gives his responsibilities a beat they can dance to on “Stuff to Do”.
The Miners (from the album Megunticook available on Match-up Zone Music) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Alt Country torchbearers The Miners stay true to the genre influencers on Megunticook, their recent release. Hints of Gran Parsons through Whiskeytown are found on the branded songs of The Miners. Acoustics start along the path to “Walnut Lane” before the melody courses over a Country backbeat while string bends and chord strums surround the story of “Cardboard Sign”. Megunticook is a true believer of the Alt Country credo. Smart, sometimes snarky, stories told of Country life with a honky tonk backbeat. Mournful rhythms open the somber story of “Day the Drummer Died” and electric notes sparkle like fireflies around “Apologize” as The Miners roll a Country Rock sway underneath “Leaving for Ohio”.
Jay & The Cooks (from the album Dried Up Dreams available on Justne Une Truce Records) Raggedy Blue Folk music rattles over Dried Up Dreams, the recent release from French-based Americana outfit, Jay & The Cooks. Beginning in Chicago, Jay began work as a musician, claiming space in Austin, New York, and the west coast. In 1980, a trip to the South of France introduced Jay to French cuisine. He fell in love with the food of France, becoming a consumer and a creator. Dried Up Dreams hears Jay & The Cooks returning to recording. Dusty Southwest U.S. strums give Dried Up Dreams a desert feel, the shaggy chords and rambling harmonica in “Deaf Water”, slow churning chords and beats are the foundation of a tale of loss in “Empty Glass of Love”, and Folk Country twang rattles with the banjo confidently striding across “I Just came to Tell You I’m Going”. The Roots of Jay & The Cooks run deep surrounding the mountain music supporting the story in “Front Line Worker Blues”, Southern Rock straining the seams of “Confederate Son”, the uptown Soul wrapping around “Organic Lush”, and the hint of Zydeco of found in “Dried Up Hearts”.