Tag Archives: The Decemberists

BEST OF 2015 – SINGER-SONGWRITER, FOLK, COUNTRY & AMERICANA #25 to #6

25   Daniel Romano – If I’ve Only One Time Askin’

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Daniel Romano / Facebook / Twitter

24   John Moreland – High on Tulsa Heat

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John Moreland / Facebook / Twitter

23   Joey Kneiser – The Wildness

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Joey Kneiser / Facebook / Twitter

22   Dave Rawlings Machine – Nashville Obsolete

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Dave Rawlings Machine / Facebook / Twitter

21   Michael Rank & Stag – Horsehair

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Michael Rank & Stag / Facebook / Twitter

20   The Barker Band – The Land We Hold Dear

The Barker Band / Facebook / Twitter

19   The Decemberists – What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World

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The Decemberists / Facebook / Twitter

18   The Unthanks – Mount The Air

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The Unthanks / Facebook / Twitter

17    M Lockwood Porter – 27

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Website / Facebook / Twitter

16   Eilen Jewell – Sundown Over Ghost Town

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Eilen Jewell / Facebook / Twitter

15   Vanessa Peters – with the Sentimentals

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Vanessa Peters / Facebook / Twitter

14   Lindi Ortega – Faded Gloryville

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Lindi Ortega / Facebook / Twitter

13   Kristin Diable – Create Your Own Mythology

Kristin Diable / Facebook / Twitter

12   Emily Barker – The Toerag Sessions

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Emily Barker / Facebook / Twitter

11   Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou – Expatriot 

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Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou / Facebook / Twitter

10   Frankie Lee – American Dreamer
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Frankie Lee / Facebook / Twitter

9   Lucero – All A Man Should Do

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Lucero / Facebook / Twitter

8   Kathryn Williams – Hypoxia 

Kathryn Williams / Facebook / Twitter

7   Lilly Hiatt – Royal Blue

Lilly Hiatt / Facebook / Twitter

6   American Aquarium – Wolves 

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American Aquarium / Facebook / Twitter

The Delines – Colfax

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So, having posted a couple of things in the run up to this release I felt obliged  to offer up a few more words in praise, particularly as the vinyl is now in my hands, or to be more precise it’s on the turntable from where’s its unlikely to be removed for sometime as it’s a sublime collection of songs beautifully constructed around the work of wordsmith Willy Vlautin (Richmond Fontaine) and the vocal talents of Amy Boone (Damnations TX) who’s voice is both achingly beautiful and redemptive.

The songs (with one exception, Randy Newman’s  Sandman’s Coming which fits into place at the end of side A ) were crafted by Vlautin specifically for Boone and looking at the album cover it’s not hard to imagine the writer walking across town alone every night to sit in a dimly lit corner booth of the Sands, scribbling lyrics and humming melodies into the early hours before finally taking his cue from the doe-eyed waitress and exiting for the lonely walk back to his apartment – this is of course part of the writers magic, the ability to create and convey a back-story to his stories – if you’re familiar with Vlautin’s songwriting or with any of his wonderful novels then it’s likely you already have an inkling for the people and places that occupy the songs on Colfax , characters like the neon of the album’s cover, flawed, flickering, faded and battling the darkness for recognition.

Aside the two protagonists already named the supporting cast of players include  Jenny Conlee-Drizo’s (The Decemberists) on keyboards, Tucker Jackson (Minus 5) on pedal steel, Freddy Trujillo on bass and another member of Richmond Fontaine, Sean Oldham (drums, percussion, vocals).

DELINES
‘Amy’s voice has always stopped me in my tracks,’ says Vlautin. “It’s all heart, beat-up but tough, vulnerable and worn. I’ve always wanted to work with her, so when she gave me the chance I spent a year writing songs for her. I wanted to write songs like her voice: songs that might have a drink in the morning but they still make it to work.”

It’s likely that many will disagree but I’d argue that the songwriting on this album is the best yet from Willy Vlautin, there’s a new Richmond Fontaine album in the works at the moment so not long before more comparisons can be made, if you missed the previous plugs I’d also highly recommend the writers latest novel The Free – you can buy the CD, Vinyl and signed copies of the book direct from Decor in the UK – it may be too late but there’s also a limited edition single that was release on Record Store Day that features one of Colfax’s highlights The Oil Rigs at Night and two exclusive tracks.

You’ll need to find a quiet corner somewhere, a heavy bottomed glass and a dark liqueur to grace it to fully appreciate this album – the distinctive tone of the vinyl will enhance the experience too, it’s going to take an exceptional album to dislodge this one from the top spot for 2014 – essential listening.

June UK Dates:
June 2 :: Cyprus Ave, Cork
June 3 :: Errigle Inn, Belfast
June 4 :: Whelans, Dublin
June 5 :: Cleeres, Kilkenny
June 6 :: Dolan’s Warehouse, Limerick
June 7 :: Roisin Dubh, Galway
June 10 :: The Lexington, London
June 11 :: Railway, Winchester
June 12 :: St. Bonaventures, Bristol
June 13 :: Art Bar (Bullingdon), Oxford
June 14 :: The Maze, Nottingham
June 15 :: The Greystones, Sheffield
June 17 :: Hare and Hounds, Birmingham
June 18 :: Night and Day Cafe, Manchester
June 19 :: Brudnell Social Club, Leeds
June 20 :: Oran Mor, Glasgow
June 21 :: Jumpin Hot Jamboree, Easington Colliery, Newcastle
June 22 :: Palmeria, Brighton


The Delines – Record Store Day / UK and Ireland Tour June 2014

DELINES

If you missed the earlier post about The Delines them wrap your ears around this great track from this new band that features the talents of Richmond Fontaine novelist/songwriter Willy Vlautin, Amy Boone (Damnations), Sean Oldham (Richmond Fontaine), Jenny Conlee (Decemberists), Tucker Jackson and Freddy Trujillo.

The band are releasing their debut 7″ single The Oil Rigs at Night which is a limited edition of 500 hand-numbered records out on April 20th for Record Store Day and will be heading over to Ireland and the UK in June.

The Delines Colfax Tour with The Lost Brothers (except 5/6) + Aidan Smith (London/Manchester):
June 2 :: Cyprus Ave, Cork
June 3 :: Errigle Inn, Belfast
June 4 :: Whelans, Dublin
June 5 :: Cleeres, Kilkenny
June 6 :: Dolan’s Warehouse, Limerick
June 7 :: Roisin Dubh, Galway
June 10 :: The Lexington, London
June 11 :: Railway, Winchester
June 12 :: St. Bonaventures, Bristol
June 13 :: Art Bar (Bullingdon), Oxford
June 14 :: The Maze, Nottingham
June 15 :: The Greystones, Sheffield
June 17 :: Hare and Hounds, Birmingham
June 18 :: Night and Day Cafe, Manchester
June 19 :: Brudnell Social Club, Leeds
June 20 :: Oran Mor, Glasgow
June 21 :: Jumpin Hot Jamboree, Easington Colliery, Newcastle
June 22 :: Palmeria, Brighton

Willy Vlautin, of Richmond Fontaine fame, talks about his latest novel ‘The Free’. Plus…he picks his favourite tracks for Tom to pop on the turntable – LINK

Beat Surrender Top Ten of ’11

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1

Band of Holy Joy
How To Kill A Butterfly

Band of Holy Joy – A Clear Night, a Shooting Star, a Song for Boo by BeatSurrender

Wonderfully crafted the songs preach with a desolate beauty leaving behind plenty of food-for-thought 

I’ve listened and enjoyed some great music this year but none better than this album from Band Of Holy Joy which just stopped me in my tracks, but it doesn’t end with the musical brilliance as the CD release is packaged beautifully too in a book format with wonderful original artwork by Inga Tillere, for your chance to win a copy drop us an Email with the subject line BOHJ and I’ll pick a random entry and put a copy of the CD in the post to you (overseas entries welcome)

2
Zoe Muth & Lost High Rollers
Starlight Hotel

Muth’s vocal is just perfect, sad, sincere, achingly beautiful 

3
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit
Here & Now

Career high from one of the best song writers around

Codeine by

4
Danny & the Champions of the World
Hearts & Arrows

Shooting straight at the heart of rock ‘n’ roll

5
The Decemberists
The King is Dead

live up to the hype it does from the first listen this record has really grabbed me 

6
The Redlands Palomino Company
Don’t Fade

cracking third from the UK’s top country rockers

The Redlands Palomino Company – Don’t Fade by BeatSurrender

7
Amanda Shires
Carrying Lightning

it’s hard not to be captivated by it

8
Drive-by Truckers
Go-Go Boots

country, soul, murder ballads, DBT keep driving forward

9
Emily Barker & the Red Clay Halo
Almanac

Top track from a top album used on the best piece of TV drama I’ve watched this year.

10
Dawes
Nothing is Wrong

wonderfully melodic and adorned with some sweet sounding guitar and the sibling harmonies

Please support the artists.

Buy the CD’s, Vinyl, Downloads, T-Shirts and go see them live.

The Baseball Project “Volume 2 High and Inside” (Yep Roc 2011)



Released today supergroup The Baseball Project ‘s follow up to Volume 1 Frozen Ropes & Dying Quails, now I’ll be honest here having watched only one live baseball game in my life and having little knowledge of the rules let alone the history and folklore of the game I’m not the best to comment on this release from the combined talents of Steve Wynn (The Miracle 3, The Dream Syndicate), Scott McCaughey (The Minus 5, Young Fresh Fellows, R.E.M.), Linda Pitmon (The Miracle 3, Golden Smog) and Peter Buck (R.E.M.) add to this guest appearances from Craig Finn (The Hold Steady),  Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie),  Steve Berlin (Los Lobos). Iran Kaplin (Yo La Tengo), Chris Funk and John Moen (The Decemberists) it’s some line up and whether you’re a fan of the sport or not you can’t help but appreciate the quality of the music.

The Baseball Project – 1976

Mark Steven Fidrych August 14, 1954 – April 13, 2009 “The Bird” (wiki)

Volume 2: High and Inside tracklist:
1. 1976
2. Panda and The Freak
3. Fair Weather Fans
4. Don’t Call Them Twinkies
5. Chin Music
6. Buckner’s Bolero
7. Tony (Boston’s Chosen Son)
8. Ichiro Goes to the Moon
9. The Straw that Stirs the Drink
10. Look Out Mom
11. Pete Rose Way
12. Twilight of My Career
13. Here Lies Carl Mays

The Decemberists “The King Is Dead”

The King Is Dead has had more than enough coverage in blogland over the last couple of months but I had to post something on this just to get it of my chest. Rarely does the buzz around a new release live up to expectations, particularly when it follows an album that for me was not a pleasing experience, but live up to the hype it does from the first listen this record has really grabbed me and in fact distracted me from a whole load of other stuff I need to get around too, I parted with a chunk of my vinyl budget and it’s being on the turntable since it’s arrival on release day, I can see this record acting as a conduit to the wider genre of Americana for many people, forget who or what is sounds like and appreciate it for what it is – a sublime album.

The band performed four tracks from the album on World Cafe in the run up to the release, everyone a winner.

The Decemberists – Calamity Song (live)

The Decemberists – Down by The Water (live)

The Decemberists – Rise To Me (live)

The Decemberists – This Is Why We Fight (live)

Buy at Amazon

Odds N Ends

Confession time, I know Sweet Fanny Adam about Social Distortion, not on my radar before now but there’s a lot of blog and twitter talk about their current album,  I caught a song on Nine Bullets radio show, had a listen at Daytrotter and read about it at No Deal Music and was impressed enough to but it on my to buy list.

Social Distortion – Machine Gun Blues

The Decemberists album has being getting played back-to-back this week, got to say it’s a wonderful album, solid start to finish and has ticked all my boxes so I’ve indulged myself with the vinyl, highly recommended.

UK Dates

March 5, Barrowlands, Glasgow
March 7, Birmingham Institute, Birmingham
March 8, Bristol Academy, Bristo
March 10, Manchester Academy, Manchester
March 11, Leeds Academy, Leeds
March 12, De la Warr Pavilion, Bexhill

The Smoke Fairies are currently on tour, here’s a great cover of a Shakey classic that appears on Harvest Revisited with this months Mojo.

Jan 20 Glee Club Nottingham
Jan 22 Library Lancaster
Jan 23 Sage Gateshead
Jan 24 Oran Mor Glasgow
Jan 26 Ruby Lounge Manchester
Jan 27 Brudenell Social Club Leeds
Jan 28 Plug Sheffield
Jan 29 Norwich Arts Centre
Jan 31 Exeter Phoenix
Feb 2 The Fleece Bristol
Feb 3 The Scala London

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