“Love is the only answer. Everything is just a train wreck.” – Portland is Leaving
A lot of readers have mentioned to me that they love the new Jason Isbell and I wanted to let you in on a little secret named Rocky Votolato. I’ve been listening to Votolato’s country-folk styles for about a decade now and he’s too good to be kept a secret. I want to specifically touch on the brilliance that lies in his 2006 album, Makers. It’s one of those albums that you can listen to from start to finish, and it holds up against time. I know 5 years doesn’t seem like that long, but think about how long that is in the music industry. For an album to be strong enough to listen to 5 years after its release is a rarity these days. Makers is one of those albums. I’m relatively certain that most of the readers have never really listened to Rocky Votolato, in part because it’s nearly impossible to remember how the hell to say/spell his last name for Googling purposes. But give Makers a listen, and you’ll never forget Rocky.
White Daisy Passing
“If you’re going to entertain your fears now, go ahead and make it clear now. ‘Cause this armor’s too heavy to put back on” – Suffering
I have to apologize to Dom Liberati. I’ve been meaning to blog about him and his upcoming album, The Good Hurt, for quite some time, but you know, I got married and was out of the country for a while. It’s an album I’ve been listening to for a few weeks now and I’ve got to say it’s a keeper. There are some great albums out right now and anything that takes my attention away from the new Augustana or the new Jason Isbell has to be a solid release. “We Own The Night” begs to be blared on repeat and “Love Holds it Down” has an opening riff that will force you to fight the inner air guitarist you’ve been hiding for years. Liberati serves as both bassist and frontman, which is a little different, but trust me it’s working for him. The Good Hurt will be available later this summer and was produced by Michael Linney, Jon Levy and fellow LA rising stars The Daylights.
We Own the Night
“An open book with a broken spine. Scattered pages from another life.” – Wooden Heart
Brian Barthelmes is a former New England Patriot, which makes me all but detest him. He makes up for it though by fronting a great little Boston band called Tallahassee. Their most recent CD, Jealous Hands, contains a handful of wonderful tunes. The banjos heard throughout drew me in, but Barthelmes’ vocals and strong writing kept me coming back to this release. With every listen, I find something new and exciting. It’s odd, I’ve been listening to Jealous Hands for a few weeks now and I can’t say there’s a standout song for me. Each listen has me dissecting every song and finding so many new nuances that I can’t pick just one. So today, as I write this, I’m introducing you to “Open Grave” and “Winter Trees.” If you like these, check the album out though, because I am certain you’ll like other songs more….at least once in a while you will.
“1000 years ain’t enough to tear down your wall” – 1000 Years
Not a lot of indie rock coming out Canada these days. At least not a lot that I actually enjoy. Yukon Blonde is the exception to that. Hailing from Kelowna, British Columbia, YB’s self titled CD is about as easy on the ears as you can find. This is going to sound weird, but I feel like this is the way the Beach Boys might sound if they’d hit 88 in a Delorean and started a band in 2005. It’s light on message, but it’s airy, and wispy and fun. Lead vocalist and chief songwriter Jeff Innes sounds like he could be your neighbor, his voice is nothing if not easily imitated – and that’s part of the beauty of Yukon Blonde. It’s nothing that you haven’t heard, but that’s precisely why you should listen. Below you’ll find two of my favorites from the album, “100 years” and “Babies Don’t Like Blue Anymore,” but if you like these two tunes, PLEASE also check out “Wind Blows,” the opening track from the self titled CD. It might be the catchiest of the bunch.
Babies Don’t Like Blue Anymore