Whitey Morgan and the 78’s (from the album Hard Times and White Lines available on Whitey Morgan Music)
Highways and honky-tonks are the backdrop for the songs of Whitey Morgan and the 78’s on their recent release, Hard Times and White Lines. Diary pages not for the feint of heart line the halls of Hard Times and White Linesas Whitey Morgan and the 78’s harness the horsepower of life on the road; beats that stomp for attention, guitars putting power in their chords. Hard Times and White Linesplays stories that work for a living. Whitey Morgan and the 78’s putting their own blue-collar lifestyle into the tales as they gauge the distance between where they are and hope to be in “Hard to Get High”, understand the plight of a night shift laborer with “What Am I Supposed to Do”, and learn to let go in “Tired of Rain”.
Comfortable with both self-penned cuts and interpretations of tunes from ZZ Top (“Just Got Paid”) and Dale Watson (“Carryin’ On”), Whitey Morgan offers a third of the tracks on the album as originals. Co-writing with a number of artists, White Morgan offers several songs co-written with Travis Meadows, Hard Times and White Linespresenting a goodbye tune from the pair with “Around Here” as well as a traveling troubadour anthem in “Bourbon and the Blues”. Paralleling album with lifestyle, Whitey Morgan and the 78’s polish the songs on Hard Times and White Lineswith a rough cloth, opening the album with the first cut descending into “Honky Tonk Hell” and as the album exits on a Country ramble claim with “Wild and Reckless”.
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The Jellyman’s Daughter (from the album Dead Reckoning available on Boat Duck Records)
Musicians are students of sound, most players embracing new techniques and on a constant path of discovery for different ways to express ability on their instruments. More than a few musical travelers give back to the music, designing and redirecting the shape of a song. Dead Reckoning is the second album from Scottish duo, The Jellyman’s Daughter, the recent release home to fresh takes on Folk music as the pair form sonic clouds of notes and voices on the title track, partner ragged strums with lush orchestral strings to shout “Oh Boy”, pluck and pick out mountain music in “The Shoogly Peg”, and send out wishes on a musical ramble for “I Hope”.
Meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2011, The Jellyman’s Daughter built their songs on a mutual love of playing, forming their sound around a prominent cello aggressively taking charge, guiding guitar and mandolin in support of intuitive harmony. Dead Reckoning hushes as it opens the curtain of the album with contemplative imaginings of self that drift as they pulled along by the rising swell of strings and strums. A delicacy is draped over the music of The Jellyman’s Daughter, the subtlety of the pair’s playing adding some heft as they ramp up the rhythms for “Giving Up” while dropping mood and melody to a lower level for “The Worst of It All” as Dead Reckoning juggles judgments in “You Don’t Know Love”.
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Edward David Anderson (from the album Chasing Butterflies available as a self-release)
A son of the Midwest, Edward David Anderson describes the sound that reflects his surroundings as Black Dirt Music, explaining his music as ‘songs about people and places, about life and love and loss. It's roots music, cultivated in the fertile soil of the Midwest." Buried amid the humorous tale of questionable decisions that is “Bad Tattoos” Edward David Anderson confides ‘the story of my life is written on my skin’. The musician takes the words that cover his body, channeling them into storylines on his recent release, Chasing Butterflies. Edward David Anderson feels the stories found their own way into the air, citing that ‘I don't think I could have written these tunes when I was twenty-five. Everything I've done, the people I've met, all the places I've been, have brought me to this moment’.
Touring ups the game for gaining the experiences that lead to a good song. Edward David Anderson gathered both accurate accounting and tall tales while touring in his role alumni and frontman for Backyard Tire Fire. Since going on hiatus in 2011, Edward David Anderson has forged a solo career, releasing his debut in 2011. Chasing Butterfliesis the third release from EDA, the tracks offering tales of troubling times (“The Ballad Of Lemuel Penn”), mortality (“Crosses”), troubadours (“Harmony”), and good friends (“Dog Days”). Edward David Anderson starts the earth’s cycle slowly on “Seasons Turn”, revealing the passing of time on ever-rising rhythms and instrumentation. The collection of tunes on Chasing Butterfliesback the stories with Americana-infused Folk Rock, Edward David Anderson plucking out a front porch harmonic jam for “The Best Part”, offerings rambles in melody and mind in “Sittin’ Round at Home”, and stretches out a story of freedom confined by four walls both physical and self-imposed on the Chasing Butterfliestitle track.
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Kari Arnett (from the album When the Dust Settles available as a self-release)
There is an open window into the emotions of Kari Arnett on her recent release, When the Dust Settles. Her raw pleas are near whisper as Kari Arnett asks for “One More Chance” on soft Country Rock as she reminds on a percussive heartbeat rhythm that “Breaking is Easy”. When the Dust Settles feels the weight of emptiness in the story and in the slow paced beat of “Tired of This Town” as it strums a forthright Folk Rock sway for the reveries of “When You Were Mine”. Kari Arnett is a mirror that reflects images below the skin, her characters bare as they swim electric guitar snarls in “Dark Waters” while When the Dust Settles offers to share a friend’s burden in “The War”.
Growing up in a rural south-central Wisconsin community, Kari Arnett’s first musical steps experimented with sounds while still at a young age, teaching herself piano and later in her twenties, teaching herself guitar and beginning life as a traveling musician. Kari Arnett takes a stand, shrugging with acceptance as she smirks with successes in “Only a Woman” and works all angles on the airy country and western suite hosting “This American Life”. When the Dust Settles picks itself up and snakes down the highway in the title track as it launches a new plan while turning a slowly revolving melody wheel to begin again in “Starting Over”. Kari Arnett addresses fellow humans with questions wearing the skin of answers on rolling Americana rhythms in “Blood and Bones”.
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Western Youth (from the album Western Youth available as a self-release)
Rock’n’Roll turns the wheel slowly for the confessions of “Lost the War” as Austin, Texas-based rock’n’roll outfit Western Youth amp up power in the tune as a supportive companion to the desperate pleas of the storyline. Western Youth kick the album open on feedback echoes that fertilize the Rock/Roots of “Dying on the Vine” with potent beats and lightning flash guitar chords as a heavy-stomps nail a testifying world overview onto “Hangin’ On”. Western Youth take rock’n’roll to church for the celebration of “The King is Gone”, scatter sparkling guitar notes filling “House Full of Ghosts”, and send a long-distance request to “California” as the album slashes guitar chords for the hard-edge story of “Norah” and chases “Valerie” on a groove of bending strings and rubbery twang.
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Nick Dittmeier & the Sawdusters (from the album All Damn Day available on Eastwood Records)
Promises tell of a return home in “Walking on Water” though Nick Dittmeier & the Sawdusters are hearing the beat of a piper leading them out on the highway on their recent release, All Damn Day. The title track trudges on gospel footsteps as All Damn Dayhammers Country Rock into the tune while the album watches Nick Dittmeier & the Sawdusters settle in a new relationship as they recall all the things that made a leaver out of a previous lover in “Love Me Like You Did”. As low as an American tale can dig into sad, the sons and daughters who capture the words manage to show a way out or shine the light of inspiration into dark corners. That is the model that Nick Dittmeier uses for his songs, fronting the Sawdusters as they pick a country tune of “Two Faded Carnations” and slide into Blues for “Trouble Song”.
All Damn Dayuse a heavy beat to rock “Head to Rest” and stokes electric heat into the guitars in “O’Bannon Woods” as Nick Dittmeier & the Sawdusters lay out “Many Stones” on a bed of acoustics.
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Daniel Seymour & Mark Robinson (from the album Chug It Down and Go available on Blind Chihuahua Records)
Years of playing together as bandmates in the Mark Robinson Band and sidemen in other projects, Daniel Seymour and Mark Robinson have shared stage and studio time in a variety of musical performances. Chug It Down and Gopartners the pair as a duo, Daniel Seymour and Mark Robinson shuffling in the groove of “Take Me on Down the Road”, circling the dance floor as the band plays “Dixie Waltz”, shaking out a rattling high step for “19thStreet Ramble”, and brewing an island rhythm under “Gypsy Moon”.
A deep friendship and mutual love of American Roots music allows Daniel Seymour and Mark Robinson to authentically blend of Country, Folk, Blues, String Band, and Swing, incorporating the sound as their own brand. Chug It Down and Golends its title track as a drinking anthem while the album follows the muddy click-clack beat of “Slow Moving Train” and picks out a show boat banjo beat for “Barefoot Gal”. Daniel Seymour and Mark Robinson travel down the Mississippi for a Cajun reel in “One Eye Blue” and share secrets on a slinky Folk Blues for “First Fool”.
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Jay Bolotin (from the album No One Seems to Notice It’s That Raining available on Delmore Recordings)
Though a formal album never materialized, singer/songwriter Jay Bolotin recorded several cuts during his period as a musical artist. The songs gathered on No One Seems to Notice It’s Rainingrange studio time between 1970 and 1975. In every scene, there are the extremes of the few who time remembers with the majority of the players relegated to their time. Jay Bolotin was a Nashville performer with a regular gig at the Exit/In. Cherished by peers as a special find, the songs on No One Seems to Notice It’s Rainingback intricate tales with all the details filled in with the words of Jay Bolotin, the music backing with jazz-influenced Folk rambles. “Message to a Snowman” drifts on a constant flurry of notes as “Traveler” meanders on scattered finger-picking and a high-wandering falsetto as Jay Bolotin reads “Dime Novels” over sharp-plucked strings and softly touches the sound with a classical air for “You May Live”.
The music of Jay Bolotin has majesty; theatrical in the dramatic turns of the characters and vivid in the imagery describing the storyline. Sonically, Jay Bolotin was in a more literary group of songwriters such as Tim Buckley, David Ackles, and Leonard Cohen….Folk singers that held the crowd breathless with a story, mesmerizing with the textures and colors the vocals painted as an emotional backdrop. The stage is set in New England as Jay Bolotin becomes the storyteller for “The Picture and the Frame” while No One Seems to Notice That It’s Rainingsees its title track welcome returning warriors as the acoustic finger-picking flashes like the images flying by outside the bus window in “Driver Driver” as gently selected chords fall lazily to create “Puddles in the Sun”. The album features a track built in the classic singer/songwriter model of the times with “It’s Hard to Go Down Easy” (a track that saw Jay Bolotin’s greatest songwriting success as a Dan Fogelberg hit).
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Underhill Family Orchestra (from the E.P. Extra Presents available on Skate Mountain Records)
The Underhill Family Orchestra come bearing Extra Presents, the E.P. wrapping up three songs as gifts specifically themed for the holidays. A band original brightens the rhythm to offer some comfort for spending time alone on “Christmas Day”. Extra Presents hand wraps versions of band favorites, Underhill Family Orchestra offering a take on “Blue Christmas” as front porch Folk and wishing fans, friends, and family “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” with a rhythm-driven celebration of good times.
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Hillstomp (from the album Monster Receiver available on Fluff and Gravy Records)
Hillstomp reference North Mississippi Blues with their band name, dabbing additional musical style onto songs of their recent release, Monster Receiver that stretch and expand their sound. The push/pull need-to-knowers label Hillstomp. trying to put the Northwest U.S.-based band into a box of either Blues or Jam Band categories. While both elements are included in Monster Receiver, they are pieces of the whole musical picture. At their heart, Hillstomp are a dance band, raggedly relying on the rhythm of electric guitar chords, thick bass lines, and a pummleing drumbeat (“Comes a Strom”), fractured note patterns and a rhythmic thump (“Pale White Rider”), a Country ramble (“Dayton Ohio”), and frenzied mountain music (“The Way Home”).
Monster Receiverchannels a rhythmic Roots sound, finding influence from Appalachia to the Delta, Hillstomp change musical direction like a flashflood, its manmade course guided by the two men behind the music, Henry Hill Kammerer (guitar, banjo) and John Johnson (drumkit including buckets, brake drum, and broiler pan). Monster Receiver, produced by Fluff and Gravy Records head honcho, John Shepski, propels the sound of Hillstomp past border limits as they cascade the melody in sharp bursts of energy around “Snake Eagle Blues” and drift in a percussive trance over the graceful beauty of “I’ll Be Around”, joined on vocal by Anna Tivel. Hillstomp bring Anna Tivel back to help out on the rhythmic brutality of “Cluck Old Hen” as Monster Receiverlazily kick up chords of drifting sonics to give flight to “Angels” and escorts Hillstomp to the altar of raucous rhythm to testify in “Lay Down Satan”.
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