“Every now and then I get like this, and isn’t hard to see that the old man in the kitchen, I think he’s part of me” – All at Once
If asked – gun to my head to name my ten favorite songwriters, Pete Yorn gets mentioned in the first breath. I’ve kept a notebook full of my favorite lyrics for over a decade and along with Ryan Adams, Stephen Kellogg and Alex Dezen, Yorn is credited the most. Lines like “Baby I don’t know what I think of us. Won’t be here tomorrow, I get so mixed up” (from Back & Fourth’s ‘Country’) only scratch the surface of what Pete’s all about.
Frank Black (The Pixies) sought out Pete in 2008 to record some tunes and let’s be honest, when Black Francis wants to work with you, you drop what you’re doing. Yorn’s newest album, due out September 28, is the result of this collaboration and if the two songs below are any indication, I am giddy with anticipation.
“We’re only as good as our last goodbyes” – Alex
You’d have a hard time finding anyone in music as talented as Punch Brothers’ front man Chris Thile. Their newest release, Antifogmatic, is much tighter than their debut and boasts musicianship that’s rarely heard these days. Songs like “Don’t Need No” and “The Woman and the Bell” reach such new levels in bluegrass that there’s hardly anything to compare them to, while slower, more smoldering tracks like “Me and Us” serve as quiet vehicles to allow Thile’s lyrics to really shine. I’ve often read about the Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile but trust me when I say that the rest of these guys hold their own. The banjo and fiddle are prominent on this release and there are moments where Thile’s mandolin is overshadowed – and that’s a tough thing to do. For fans of Thile’s work in Nickel Creek, this CD is an absolute must have.
Don’t Need No
“Can’t ignore next door neighbors who pray for rain on the rest of us” – Ain’t it Strange
For the most part, Knoxville, TN’s darlings The Dirty Guv’nahs look like ordinary Joes. Sort of like accountants – or PR professionals – maybe even nuclear engineers. But then, you hear them – and ordinary is a word far, far from any I’d use to explain them. Lead singer James Trimble and guitarist Michael Jenkins share songwriting duties and they are a perfect pair. Each song on their newest album Youth is in our Blood has at least three lines that you’ll want to write down and remember for later. There’s a nice mixture of ballads and southern rock sing-a-longs, and you’ll quickly get the feeling that a night at a Dirty Guvs show might end in severe dehydration and a bitchin’ hangover. The Dirty Guv’nahs are currently scheduled to play a few dates in the Southeast and then they’ll embark on Zac Brown Band’s Sailing Southern Ground cruise for Labor Day where 2,000 rabid music fans will learn what I know now – The Dirty Guv’nahs are going to be huge.
We’ll Be The Light
Ain’t It Strange
Sidenote: Amie Street is selling Youth is in our Blood and their first album for ridiculous prices right now if you’re looking for a great deal.
“I can carry this only so far and then something must give way” – Slow Down
In 2000, Birmingham’s Wayne released a fantastic album called Music on Plastic. I literally listened to this CD on repeat more than nearly every CD I owned. Then, the album was re-released in 2002 with two extra songs and somehow, got even more play in my beat up little car. Then, for years, silence. I’d hoped that Rodney Wayne Reaves and the boys were holed up in some Alabama bar, writing their next masterpiece. But it never did come. Reaves has a few songs posted on his Myspace page, but it’s not the same. Rumor has it they played a show in BHam in July of 2008, but I haven’t heard anything since. It’s an absolute shame that these guys only released one album. So tell me, what are some of your favorite bands that only released an album or two, only to completely disappear? Here are two Wayne songs to take you into the weekend. Enjoy!
Shooting at the Stars