The Top Ten Songs of the Week for Saturday, May 13, 2017 puts some preaching in the top spot, courtesy of Alligator Records artist, Selwyn Birchwood. The Bluesman takes to the pulpit with his guitar breathing fire to deliver a sermon that says “Even the Saved Need Saving”. Nashville, Tennessee offers two its citizens for the chart this week, Bern Kelly and Rick Monroe, as well as bringing back a little of its Punk Rock meets Country history with Raging Fire. It is the first recording from Raging Fire in thirty years, and they are joined on the chart with another artist, Don Bryant, whose Fat Possum Records release is his first recording in several decades. Berklee College of Music grads, Damn Tall Buildings, are back with a new album, Good Enough, and Phoenix, Arizona songwriter Zion Brooks, returns with a new project, Fan Fiqtion. Ruston Kely has a new E.P., Black Magic, and offers the title track while Shawn Butzin is a few weeks away from his release, Northern Trails, and offers an advance listen with the cut “What Did I Mean to You?”. Getting the prize for the artists closest to the North Pole this week are The Jerry Cans, who used inspiration from their hometown Iqaluit, Nunavut for “Northern Lights” on the Top Ten Songs of the Week for Saturday, May 13, 2017.
01 Even the Saved Need Saving – Selwyn Birchwood (from the album Pick Your Poison available May 19, 2017 on Alligator Records)
Selwyn Birchwood continues the trajectory of a fireball rising up in the Florida sky as the 6’3”, twenty-nine-year old native of the Sunshine State delivers his upcoming (5-19-17) album release, Pick Your Poison. Selwyn Birchwood ministers out some advice for the faithful as he raises his Blues heavenward and proclaims “Even the Saved Need Saving”.
02 Unsold – Bern Kelly (from the album Lost Films available June 23, 2017)
Bern Kelly has been collecting songs for three years to put together a multi-musical soundtrack for Lost Films, his upcoming (6-23-17) release. Originally from the coal country of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Bern Kelly packed up working-class lessons, like “Unsold” from this week’s list, when he made the move to Nashville, Tennessee with his music.
Listen and buy “Unsold” by Bern Kelly from AMAZON or iTunes on June 23, 2017
03 Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms – Damn Tall Buildings (from the album Good Enough available on May 19, 2017)
Originally made famous by Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, and the Foggy Mountain Boys, Berklee College of Music grads, Damn Tall Buildings, offer their version of “Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms”. The Boston, Massachusetts band formed busking on Newbury Street and are still playing it live with the tune from their upcoming (5-19-17) release, Good Enough.
04 Father Time (feat. Cameron DeGurski) – Fan Fiqtion (from the album Winter Grass)
Songwriter Zion Brock brings in vocal backing for the tunes he releases as Fan Fiqtion. The Phoenix, Arizona-based musician put Cameron DeGurski behind the microphone for a track from his recent E.P, Winter Grass. He namechecks the recording’s title as he is ‘slowing down to take pictures with my mind” on the track “Father Time”.
A haunting vocal takes Ruston Kelly back to Halloween. He is surrounded by memories of darker times as he hears ghosts in the sounds of his empty home. He conjures up “Black Magic”, on a track from his recently released album, Halloween, backing the words with steadily rising rhythms and melodies as he finds himself in love hell.
06 Walking the Dog – Raging Fire (from the album These Teeth are Sharp)
Raging Fire rose quickly out of the Nashville, Tennessee Rock’n’Roll scene. Influenced by the radical Americana of The Gun Club and X, Raging Fire were a fan hit and a mystery to record labels trying to find a place to fit them. The band broke up for other projects by the early 1990’s, barely six years into their band career. Raging Fire return for their first album, These Teeth are Sharp, in thirty years, borrowing a tune from TN neighbor, Rufus Thomas, with the Memphis musicians cut, “Walking the Dog”.
Don Bryant became a staff songwriter for Memphis, Tennessee-based Soul label, Hi Records. He struck gold when partnered with Ann Peebles for her hit single, “I Can’t Stand the Rain”, and the pair married in 1974. Don Bryant honors their forty-three year relationship with an album dedicated to his wife, Don’t Give Up on Love. He is on the chart with a tune from the Fat Possum release with “I Got to Know”.
08 What Did I Mean to You? – Shawn Butzin (from the album Northern Trails available on June 23, 2017)
A lazy guitar leads Shawn Butzin into “What Did I Mean to You?”. Shawn finds himself alone and singing to four walls with a cut from his upcoming (6-23-17) album release, Northern Trails.
Listen and buy “What Did I Mean to You” by Shawn Butzin from AMAZON or iTunes on June 23, 2017
09 Rage On – Rick Monroe (from the album Gypsy Soul)
Nashville, Tennessee songman Rick Monroe takes “Rage On” to church with choir loft organ chords backed by heavenly horns and harmonies as guitar licks rise up like incense smoke. Rick tells a story from of a life on the road with a cut from his release, Gypsy Soul, singing of the ‘calm before the storm’ as the lights come up and another show begins.
10 Northern Lights – The Jerry Cans (from the album My Inuusia Life)
The Jerry Cans are from Iqaluit, the capital city of the Canadian province, Nunavut, north of Quebec and mainland United States, and east of Greenland. Their songs are performed in their native Inukituit language with a musical backing that is a mix of Inuktitut alt-country, throat singing, and reggae. They are “Northern Stars” with a tune from their recent album release, Inuusia Life.