Hailed as "the Prince of Americana" by the New York Times, Greene has always had a knack for capturing the human experience in all its messy, emotional complexity, and on his new EP, 'The Modern Lives – Vol 1,' he draws inspiration from some of the great social paradoxes of our 21st century world: that the technology designed to simplify our lives can actually complicate them in ways we'd never imagined, that the most crowded cities can actually be the loneliest places to live, that the constructs meant to connect us to each other can actually leave us feeling more isolated than ever. While Greene's songwriting chops were more than enough to place him in a league of his own (NPR's World Café raved that his "sound seems at once achingly intimate, surprisingly energetic and unburdened by adherence to genre"), Greene also emerged as a singular singer and guitarist, prompting Rolling Stone to praise his "honeyed tenor" and name him among "the most notable guitarists from the next generation of six-string legends." Between studio albums and his own tours, Greene took up prestigious gigs playing with Phil Lesh & Friends, The Black Crowes, Levon Helm, and Trigger Hippy, his supergroup with Joan Osborne. 'The Modern Lives – Vol 1' may tip its cap to some of Greene's heroes and colleagues, but the sound is 100% his own. Recorded entirely by Greene in a Brooklyn basement, the collection finds him playing every single instrument and serving as both his own engineer and producer. The EP also marks Greene's first release as part of his new partnership with Blue Rose Music, the record label and multimedia company founded by media and tech veteran Joe Poletto. Released from the shackles of traditional music business models, Greene was free to follow his muse in the basement. There, he found that the physical limitations of the space were actually inspiring rather than prohibitive, as they forced him to get more creative than ever with his arrangements and to learn to let go in the quest for sonic perfection. It's a distinctly New York metaphor, and Greene wastes no time in getting to the point on the EP as he grapples with the close quarters and hectic pace of life in his new hometown. The collection opens with the rollicking, funky Americana of the title track, which finds him singing, "Your Times Square looks like a graveyard / I've got a billboard for my headstone and a car horn for my eulogy." On "The Captain's Daughter," he reflects, "I could sleep here on the stair / Who would notice, who would care?" Throughout the album, Greene's storytelling offers its own brand of philosophy, one that resists the urge to find easy answers. On "Back Of My Mind," for instance, he crafts a wistful ode to a simpler kind of life, but rather than waxing nostalgic for days gone by, he questions the veracity—even the usefulness—of memory, suggesting that fiction may cloud fact when it comes to looking backwards. Forward momentum, it seems, is the key to survival in our modern world. The banjo-and-dobro blues of "Tupelo" warns of the devils lurking in our past should we dare return from whence we came, while a gritty, distorted cover of Willie Dixon's "Good Advice" concludes that "you keep on going if you're sure you're right." By the time we hit EP closer "Alabama Queen," we find that true freedom in this modern world ultimately belongs to the freaks and weirdos, those unburdened by the expectations and weight of society, those willing to follow their muse in pursuit of their own kind of happiness. If the open road's got him longing for the dark, noisy confines of a Brooklyn basement, perhaps modern life has finally turned Jackie Greene into a New Yorker, after all.
Following in the musical footsteps of 2014's 'December Day', 'Willie Nelson and the Boys' is another family collaboration, this time showcasing Willie and sons, Lukas Nelson and Micah Nelson, performing a selection of American country music standards and classics, including seven penned by Hank Williams Sr.
Consisting mainly of studio recordings laid down during the 2011 sessions for Heroes, 'Willie Nelson and the Boys (Willie's Stash, Vol. 2)' is produced by Willie's longtime friend and collaborator Buddy Cannon and recorded at Pedernales Recordings Studio in Austin, Texas.
Hallelujah Anyhow is the next studio album from Hiss Golden Messenger, out September 22 worldwide on Merge Records. Its ten new songs, penned by HGM principal M.C. Taylor, were recorded with Brad Cook, Phil Cook, Josh Kaufman, Darren Jessee, Michael Lewis, and Evan Ringel. Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Tift Merritt, Skylar Gudasz, Tamisha Waden, Mac McCaughan, and John Paul White provided vocal harmonies. From the desk of M.C. Taylor, July 18, 2017: I’m from nowhere. That’s the way I feel about it now, right at this moment. Music took me and made me and gave me a purpose and I built my world with it, and now my geography is a musical one, forever. And when I break, when I think about running as far as I can, I remember that there is nothing that does me like music, and I might as well be a poor man in a world of my own device. Hallelujah anyhow. Rhythm? I learned it over twenty years in the back of rented vans, in attics and back rooms—hard places to get to, harder places to get out of. And now rhythm is my clock and I live by it. We all do. But it’ll kill you if you’re not careful. It might kill you even if you are. Hallelujah anyhow. I see the dark clouds. I was designed to see them. They’re the same clouds of fear and destruction that have darkened the world since Revelations, just different actors. But this music is for hope. That’s the only thing I want to say about it. Love is the only way out. I’ve never been afraid of the darkness; it’s just a different kind of light. And if some days that belief comes harder than others, hallelujah anyhow. Whatcha gonna do when the wall comes down? When the wall comes down? What you ought to do is let it lie—let it lie And in the gathering darkness vow to never go back It was built by man and you can tear it down Tear it down, tear it down Step back, Jack, from the darkness I’ve seen darker things than night. Hallelujah anyhow.
The next installment in the award-winning Bootleg Series, 'Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981', focuses on the albums 'Slow Train Coming' (1979), 'Saved' (1980) and 'Shot of Love' (1981) and the legendary live shows from that period.
The 2-disc standard version includes 30 live highlights from the legendary 1979, 1980 and 1981 tours.
2017 release. Fiery roots-rock singer/songwriter Scott Miller presents Ladies Auxiliary, his first album in four years, via his own F.A.Y. Recordings. Raised on a cattle farm in Virginia, and well- versed in topics ranging from Greek mythology to modernist poetry, Miller's smart songwriting has long been admired by his peers. A founding member of Knoxville-based V-Roys, Miller's raucous style influenced the newer generation of Alt-Country revelry and what is now known as Americana. The album title is a tip of the hat to Miller's backing band for this recording: Bryn Davies (bass); Rayna Gilbert (fiddle / banjo); Jen Gunderman (keys); Deanie Richardson (fiddle); Megan Carchman (drums) and Anne McCue (guitar and producer). The results are another testament to Scott's uncanny ability to reach the listener with tuneful melodies wrapped around thoughtul lyrics and topical subject matter: Lo Siento, Spanishburg, WVA is an instant classic. And Epic Love kicks things off with an epic bang.
Floods and plagues, ghosts and slaughter: woe to those who populate the songs of Yarrow. A gentle summer breeze swings the gallows ropes, flowers bloom callously on lovers' graves. These anthems are definitely not from Eden.
The Deep Dark Woods' newest album was borne in a fever - a scarlet fever, to be medically specific. A disease of the last century is a fitting backdrop for songs that dig bare handed into the loam to unearth the corpses of old English folk and country blues. Yarrow is The Deep Dark Woods reimagined by leadman Ryan Boldt and accompanied by a close-knit group of musicians that includes duo Kacy & Clayton. For nearly ten years they developed an international following with particular success in the Americana realm, nominated alongside Alabama Shakes and Dawes for Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2012 Americana Music Awards.
Tyminski (Dan Tyminski) will release Southern Gothic October 20 on Mercury Records Nashville. All 13 tracks on the album were co-written by Tyminski who describes the album as holding up a mirror to society without judgment or opinions. What started out as songwriting for other artists, resulted in the 14-time Grammy winner finding himself jealous to give up the songs he was writing and realizing that he had an opportunity to explore these songs within his own project.