The Muckrakes are a seven-piece band out of Newport News Virginia, the band Billy England (bass), Cory Nealon (lap steel & dobro), Mike Turner (guitar & banjo), Jon Owings (vocals & mandolin), Melissa Troutman (vocals) and Steve Campbell (fiddle & percussion), they formed in 2008 and have released a five track self titled EP to showcase their music.
The EP is an upbeat rootsy blend of country and bluegrass instrumentation guaranteed to get your foot tapping, my pick of bunch the bands “signature” tune the infectious Woo-Hooyou can hear more of the band at Myspace and listen and download more music at Reverbnation. Buy / download @ CDBaby
If you’re not familar with London based roots group the Barker Band you’re missing out on a treat, the band have been around since 2004 and have released four long players, the first “demo” album is no longer available commercially – but well worth tracking down, you can get details of where to buy two, three and four from the band’s website . The band started as a family bluegrass outfit with twins Jake and Sam Barker, their father Lenny and an old friend Laurie Sherman, they have since evolved and expanded their line-up and sound with the addition of vocalist Nella Johnson, drummer Ru Shreeve, bass player Tom Wright and Hanna Loftus on the fiddle.
All of the albums are worthy of your collection, my pick would be “The Night Ain’t Over” but the new album Sorry for the Kissing is really growing on me, I wasn’t aware before I got hold of it that the lead vocal duties had shifted away from brothers Jake and Sam Barker to Nella Johnson who had previously sung backing vocals for the band, Nella has a fine set of pipes and delivers some great performances throughout the album.
All of the tracks on the album are originals, blending the bands bluegrass sensibilities with more contemporary influences and a home-grown feel, here’s a couple and tracks from the bands latest release, the obligatory YouTube – featuring the bands single and a link to some more video footage from the Bandstand Busking.