Michael Rank & Stag – Mermaids

MR & Stag

Michael Rank & Stag clock up a hat trick of appearances on Beat Surrender in a little over the a year and a half with their third album Mermaids in a Ryan Adams like burst of creative output.

This time around the album is more restrained affair and the playing a little tighter, a shift from the amped up previous albums Kin and In The Weeds has not affected the quality though and the album features some excellent songs that were all written, produced and mixed by the bands frontman whose gritty vocals are nicely tempered on the tracks were he’s joined Emily Frantz (Mandolin Orange) on harmonies, No Depression featured an interview where Michael talks about his creative process you can read all about the bands ‘outlaw folk’ here.

MR & Stag

The Jamie Freeman Agreement – 100 Miles From Town

Jamie Freeman Cover

Mod haircut. Americana. Folk. Country. Gospel. 60’s. Music store owner. Recording Artist. Larkin Poe. Brandy Zdan. Good Lovelies. BJ Cole. Famous brother.

Put them altogether and you get The Jamie Freeman Agreement and the album 100 Miles From Town a real sum of it’s parts recording, alongside frontman and lead-singer Jamie Freeman the Agreement are Abigail Downs, Jessica Spengler, Jonathan Hirsch and Joe Ellis.


The Larkin Poe siblings Rebecca and Megan Lovell make a guest appearance on opening track The Knight playing lap-steel and mandolin, Brandy Zdan’s contribution is revealed on track number 2 a co-write on which her sweet vocal harmonises with Jamie Freeman, the track Steel Away is one of the album’s highlights and features the wonderful pedal steel sound of arguably the UK’s finest protagonist of the instrument BJ Cole.

Track three is the ‘single’ and promo track for the release, featuring the vocals of Rachel Davies (Wolf Mother, Ana Brun), the video features Maddie Broad as ‘Indianna’ and was filmed by Jamie and directed by Stevie Freeman.

Tracks four and five see a departure from the the ‘Americana’ stylings of the opening trio of songs with distinct but differing 60’s elements entering the melting pot before giving way to Scrabble in Afghanistan a song born out of a collaboration with a US poet and lecturer about the true story of a Special Forces soldier who played the classic word-game online with his friends to cope with the horrors of war, the gospel element is combined a cappella on Hey Mama with some lovely vocals from the Agreements Abigail Downs and Jessica Spengler and The Good Lovelies make their appearance on the penultimate vocal track Two Sugar Baby a doo-wop influenced rock ‘n’ roller – a little bit of eclecticism never hurt anyone, it’s out today, dive-in and enjoy.

No further clues offered for the famous brother, name should be enough for you.


Jus Post Bellum – Oh July


Jus Post Bellum (Latin for – Justice After War) is an Brooklyn, NY. based indie-folk band whose music is influenced and inculcated by events of the American Civil war and wider American history, their new album Oh July is released today and features eleven original tracks penned and arranged by the band, Geoffrey Wilson (lead vocal, guitar, keys and horns), Hannah Jensen (vocals and percussion), Daniel Bieber (upright bass, cello and vocals) and Zach Dunham (drums, percussion and vocals).

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