We are both teachers and next week is our last week of work. We are ready for summer break and anxious to get out on the road and play some shows.
If you are interested in booking The Grizzly Owls contact either:
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Light In The Attic – probably the best reissue label going right now – has had one of its hottest years in 2012. Take this recent revisit of the previously-unknown A Fire Somewhere by Ray Stinnett – a vast, homespun LP that dances around rock, soul, folk and everything else that seems timeless nowadays. "Honey Suckle Song" is loping, countrified and natural, forming a perfect organic combo for fans of artists like The Band.
Mumford & Sons, the British band responsible for the resurgence of American folk rock, will unleash its sophomore album, Babel, on September 25 via Glassnote Records. The effort was produced by Markus Dravs and has so far only been previewed via badly-captured live YouTube footage. “I Will Wait,” however, is the album’s official single – an emotive acoustic folk number that sounds very much like the hit singles from the band’s 2010 debut, Sigh No More. And that, of course, is a good thing.
I won't even pretend to be unbiased on this one. The first time I heard Daughn Gibson's "Tiffany Lou," I was so transfixed that I listened to it about 30 times in a row. It's a haunting mixture of sparse electronics and country yearning that my head says shouldn't work but it comes across as an amazing world unto itself. His debut LP, All Hell, just might be my favorite debut album of the year so far.
(Photo: Josh Anderson)
Holiday cheer, sure, it's all well and good, but I love a depressing Christmas song and Caitlin Rose comes through on the countrified "You Never Come Home For Christmas." With a light guitar strum and Zooey-meets-Patsy vocals, she sings, "You never come home for Christmas, and maybe it's better that way." Dang.
(Photo: Glynis Selina Arban)
"I've been waitin' for something good to come my way," sings countrified newcomer Nikki Lane on "Gone, Gone, Gone" -- a sentiment that's been around as long as American music. And what better time to bring back that down-on-your-luck style than now? Lane, equal parts Neko Case and Loretta Lynn, leads the way with a sultry, Southern-accented vocal performance over anchored bass, clip-clop drums and just the right amount of slide guitar. No, it's not contemporary country, but more like something from a past era we're living through over and over again. Lane's debut LP, Walk Of Shame, is out September 27 via IAMSOUND and an EP with this track is available now.
(Photo: Alex Crick)
It's not that country isn't dance music, it's just hard to look good doing the do-se-do. Seattle's P Smoov takes "Johnny's Theme" and gives us the best of both worlds, retaining that western twang in his club-friendly reworking. Brent Amaker & The Rodeo make for an interesting base, the black clad crooners mixing it up genre-wise on all fronts—not only are their tunes a hybrid of Cash and Devo, but they released a comic book with their last record. Listen if only for the electro neigh, and grab the Rodeo's Captain Of The Ship 7-inch, out next week on Spark and Shine.
A cursory listen to “I Am My Body” by Seattle’s Motopony might lead one to believe this is just a rollicking country blues number with vocals that sound like they’re being sung through a megaphone and a barrelhouse piano playing joyfully beneath a fuzzy electric guitar. Listen closely to the lyrics, however, and the song reveals itself to be twisted carnivorous revenge fantasy, and not to mention an even stranger karmic death wish: “When I get my body back to the earth don’t put me in no box,” Daniel Blue shouts with an affected southern accent, “Let my bones disperse/Feed me to the cows/Feed me to the chickens and the sows/feed me to the ones that I eat now.” Motopony give new meaning to the phrase what goes around comes around. Their self-titled debut comes out May 24 from tinyOGRE.
(Photo: Bekah Cope)
I have never been to Nashville, but if it's the kind of place that produces tracks like "Nobody Wants To Party With Me," I want to go to there. While I tend to shy away from calling things rock 'n' roll, there's really no better way to describe the feel of Natural Child. Through boisterous vocals, a bare bones style of play and lyrics that are all the more clever for keeping it simple—"my best friend's at home with his wife, nobody wants to party with me"—you're left with the insatiable urge to see this band live, or at the very least, crack a cold one. It's Andrew W.K. without the theatrics and The Ramones without the leather; a stripped-down throwback that leaves no doubt these boys are doing this because it's fun. The track is from the Bodyswitchers tape, out on Infinity Cat along with two equally lovable and messy 7-inches.
(Photo: Victor Harshbarger)
You can’t not like a song when the first line goes, “I’ll be your bastard tonight,” especially when it comes in a full-throated voice like D. Charles Speer’s. “Shorty, A Bastard Cat” is some boogie rock of the highest water, gathering a half century of American music traditions — Bakersfield country and deep-Texas psychedelia, chiefly — into a rollicking concoction that’s kinda like whipping out a fission bomb in the middle of a saloon fight: Everyone just goes, “Whoa!” Speer (a.k.a. Dave Shuford of No Neck Blues Band) has a posse of real heavies in the Helix (Hans Chew is a badass on the piano); their album Distillation arrives next month on high-quality vinyl and download from Three Lobed (pre-order and hear another tune here). “Shorty” closes the album in full gallop, toward the horizon where the desert meets permanent sunset. Play me out, Johnny!