Archive for the Americana Category

Run, Don’t Walk to get Jimmy LaFave’s newest album – Depending on the Distance

Posted in Americana, Artist of the Week, new release, Recommended Music, Upcoming Release with tags , , on September 19, 2012 by takecountryback


Steve Earle to release “Townes” May 12 – Free MP3 here…

Posted in Americana, Artists, mp3, Upcoming Release with tags , , , on April 14, 2009 by takecountryback

Free mp3 -To Live is to Fly

Los Angeles, CA — Steve Earle is set to release Townes, his highly anticipated follow up to the Grammy Award winning album Washington Square Serenade, on May 12th via New West Records. The 15-song set is comprised of songs written by Earle’s friend and mentor, the late singer-songwriter, Townes Van Zandt. Townes will also be available as a deluxe two-CD set, as well as double Limited Edition 180 gram vinyl.

The album was produced by Earle at his home in Greenwich Village, at Sound Emporium and Room and Board in Nashville, TN and The Nest in Hollywood, CA. The track “Lungs,” was produced and mixed by the Dust Brothers’ John King and features Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine/The Nightwatchman on electric guitar. Earle’s wife, the acclaimed singer-songwriter Allison Moorer, is featured on backing vocals on “Loretta” and “To Live Is To Fly.” Three songs cut in Nashville, “White Freightliner Blues,” “Delta Momma Blues,” and “Don’t Take It Too Bad” feature a bluegrass band consisting of Dennis Crouch, Tim O’Brien, Darrel Scott and Shad Cobb.

Earle met Townes Van Zandt in 1972 at one of Earle’s performances at The Old Quarter in Houston, TX. Van Zandt was in the audience and playfully heckled Earle throughout the performance to play the song “Wabash Cannonball.” Earle admitted that he didn’t know how to play the tune and Van Zandt replied incredibly “You call yourself a folksinger and you don’t know ‘Wabash Cannonball?’” Earle then silenced him by playing the Van Zandt song “Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold,” not an easy feat due to its quickly-paced mouthful of lyrics squeezed into just over two minutes of song. Their bond was immediately formed. On Townes, Earle and his son, singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle (named after

Van Zandt) trade verses on the tune, a song the two of them have been playing together since Justin was a teenager.

The songs selected for Townes were the ones that meant the most to Earle and the ones he personally connected to (not including selections featured on previous Earle albums). Some of the selections chosen were songs that Earle has played his entire career (“Pancho and Lefty,” “Lungs,” “White Freightliner Blues”) and others he had to learn specifically for recording. He learned the song “(Quicksilver Daydreams of) Maria” directly from Van Zandt, and taught himself “Marie” and “Rake” specifically for the album’s recording. Once a song he played during his live show, Earle relearned “Colorado Girl” in the original Open D tuning that Van Zandt played it in. Earle recorded the New York sessions solo and then added the other instruments later on in order to preserve the spirit of Van Zandt’s original solo performances to the best of his recollection.

When speaking about Townes, Earle stated, “This may be one of the best records I’ve ever made. That hurts a singer-songwriter’s feelings. Then again, it’s some consolation that I cherry picked through the career of one of the best songwriters that ever lived.” Townes Van Zandt’s debut album, For The Sake Of The Song, was released in 1968. His last, No Deeper Blue appeared in 1995. His life and songs are the subject of the critically acclaimed 2006 documentary film, Be Here To Love Me. Van Zandt died in 1997 at the age of 52.

While being a protégé of Van Zandt, Earle is a master storyteller in his own right, with his songs being recorded by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt, The Pretenders, Joan Baez and countless others. 1986 saw the release of his debut record, Guitar Town, which shot to number one on the country charts and immediately established the term “New Country.” What followed was an extremely exciting array of twelve releases including the biting hard rock of Copperhead Road (1988), the minimalist beauty of Train A Comin’ (1995), the politically charged masterpiece Jerusalem (2002) and the Grammy Award Winning albums The Revolution Starts…Now (2004) and Washington Square Serenade (2007). Earle also produced the Grammy nominated album,

Day After Tomorrow, by the legendary Joan Baez in 2008.

Townes Track Listing:

1. Pancho and Lefty

2. White Freightliner Blues

3. Colorado Girl

4. Where I Lead Me

5. Lungs

6. No Place To Fall

7. Loretta

8. Brand New Companion

9. Rake

10. Delta Momma Blues

11. Marie

12. Don’t Take It Too Bad

13. Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold

14. (Quicksilver Daydreams Of) Maria

15. To Live Is To Fly

Steve Earle will be touring in support of Townes with tour dates announced shortly.

Ryebender – Alaskan Americana (recommended)

Posted in Americana, Audio, new release on January 8, 2009 by takecountryback

(press release)Ryebender are no ordinary rock band. And with three of four members hailing from the farthest outpost of the union, they don’t make ordinary music either. Brothers Mark and Jason Ward, fellow Alaskan Lennie Dietsch and drummer, Michael Carpenter are primed to shake Americana music to its core.Audio Link: Gravity


The guitars, harmonies, songwriting and shear musical craftsmanship of the band’s debut album, ‘Hollow and Drifting’, shows that we are dealing with musicians with an unusual sense of what makes a song great.

Theirs is a combination of indie sensibilities, country and folk roots and a rare sense of harmony and arrangement. The music of Ryebender is at once familiar and new, strange and comforting. It has what all great songwriting has: the moment where you only realize what is said after it has gone.

On ‘Your Time Has Come and Gone’, they sing “I can’t turn the page without thinking you just can’t make it right by another wrong.” It is typical of the simplicity and beauty of their lyrics, and their music. It is the simplicity that great country based music should always have and so often does not.

Maybe it is the frontier mentality that still exists in Alaska, but is missing from so much of the rest of the country, that keeps Ryebender singing about a ‘One Horse Town’ where they sing “the same old songs”. Maybe it is that mentality that makes this record sound like a paean to an America that could soon be a thing of the past.

There are elements of 60’s greats like the Byrds in this music, just as there are traces of modern songwriting icons such as Ryan Adams and Uncle Tupelo.

Yet, despite the comparisons, the sound of Ryebender is very much their own. And despite the fact that the original members have left their homes to move to places as far-flung as Chicago, Oregon and Sun Valley, the mood is still very much Alaskan in spirit.

This band plays, sings and writes about the heart of Americana, as it is and as it was, and for that we salute them. I’m sure you will too.

‘Hollow and Drifting’ is available now in all good record stores and online at Amazon, CDBaby, iTunes and many others.

My Favorite Indie Record Label…

Posted in Americana, Indie Artist Education, Industry, News, Recommended Website/Blogs, Upcoming Release with tags , , , , , , on October 19, 2007 by takecountryback

Seems there are indie record labels set up on every street corner these days, so what makes Palo Duro Records stand out to us here at TCB?

 1. Roster Their list of artists reads like a who’s who in the independent music world of Texas: Walt Wilkins, Dale Watson, Ed Burelson, The Derailers, Tommy Alverson, Eleven Hundred Springs, Two Tons of Steel and much more! They’ve also stepped outside of the box with their stellar multi-artist release: Luckenbach! Compadres! Songs of Luckenbach, Texas

2. Artist Support and Promotion Signing an artist to your label is the tip of the iceberg. What you do after the fact is what really matters. Too many labels leave their artists and their albums sitting stagnant but not on Palo Duro. They seem to pull out all the stops and give them maximum exposure through hiring top notch publicity agencies to doing the leg work themselves and making as many positive connections as they can. We know here at TCB that they are always only an email away and are quick to respond.

3. Support of the Indie Music Scene But more than anything what makes this label stand out above their rest is their obvious love for good music, they’re willingness to work with everyone they can to make a viable and productive indie music scene for every artist and every label.  When the webcasting royalty rate fiasco was first making headlines it was the good folks at Palo Duro that stood up and made their voices heard without taking a quick look around first to see what the p/c industry stand was….

At TCB we believe strongly in supporting those who support the music and independent artists so we encourage you to keep Palo Duro on your radar.

There are a multitude of ways to keep up with this small, but mighty label.

Official Website:


WordPress Blog: 

Online photo album of label events and artists:

New Releases from Palo Duro!

7/24 – Walt Wilkins & The Mystiqueros, Diamonds in the Sun

7/31 – The Derailers, Under the Influence of Buck

8/14 – Ed Burleson, My Perfect World (Revisited) & The Cold Hard Truth

10/2 – Tommy Alverson, Country to the Bone

10/30 – Miles from Nowhere, Bloodline

Digital Releases

7/17 – Dale Watson, People I’ve Known, Places I’ve Been

7/24 – Walt Wilkins, Rivertown

7/24 – Walt Wilkins, Mustang Island

Review: Dixie Bee Liners

Posted in Americana, Artists, Bluegrass, Reviews with tags , on October 15, 2007 by takecountryback

Self-released, BT-001
The Dixie Bee-Liners are musical raconteurs skilled at telling stories with their all-original songs. Promoting themselves as “bluegrass … with a buzz,” Brandi Hart and Buddy Woodward functioned as a duo – both distinctive vocalists and multi-instrumentalists who have discovered their personalized stylistic footing by casting aside restraints imposed by dogmatic traditionalism. This self-released 2005 debut project for the Dixie Bee-Liners also features Danny Weiss (guitar), Alan Grubner (fiddle), Terry McGill (banjo), Mike Levine (Dobro, pedal steel), Andy Cotton (bass), Bob Mastro (fiddle), and Harley Fine (sound effects, tambourine).
Taking note of this hard-working and talented band’s debut effort, Pinecastle Records label has now signed them to their impressive artist roster. What’s all the fuss about? First, their songs have both spiritual and epic qualities. Second, their contemporary leanings exude great potential to attract younger listeners to the genre. Third, I liked the way they provide textures to their music. Pinecastle professional production assistance might not have left the mandolin, banjo or supporting vocals so far back in the mix at times on this debut. Well, guess what? The band’s breakout debut album for Pinecastle will be produced and engineered by the legendary Bil VornDick. I can also imagine the band adding members so there’s a third vocalist in the lineup. That might ease some of the instrumental duties for Woodward who provides mandolin, guitar, banjo, bass, drums and percussion on this disc. Well, hey again! Personnel shifts have occurred as a result of their record deal and relocation. I’m told that the band is now a sextet with Brandi Hart (vocals, guitar), Buddy Woodward (vocals, mandolin, lead guitar), Claiborne Woodall (lead guitar), Rachel Renee Johnson (fiddle), Sam Morrow (banjo) and Jeremy Darrow (upright bass). Because this one’s so short at under half hour, I can hardly wait to hear what comes next from this charming and fascinating group.
On this shorter disc, songs like “Davy,” “Lost in the Silence,” Yellow-haired Girl,” and “Lord, Lay Down My Ball & Chain” have the ability to balance pathos with joy. Thus, we listeners experience elation and delight from the harmonizing of contrasting emotions. Without getting into specifics, their repertoire moves a listener because it also draws upon the best elements from both contemporary folk and bluegrass. Musically comfortable together, they have the innate ability to project a consciousness that they are truly going somewhere with their tuneful and captivating approach. That, in a nutshell, is what all the promotion and subsequent commotion are about. (Joe Ross)

Upcoming Release: The Gougers – A Long Day for the Weathervane

Posted in Americana, Upcoming Release with tags on September 20, 2007 by takecountryback


Band Touring to Share New Album with Texas Fans

AUSTIN, Texas — Alt-country four-piece band The Gougers (formerly The Sidehill Gougers) marks the release of its latest recording, A LONG DAY FOR THE WEATHERVANE (The Weathervane Records), on October 16 and will take its new sound to the Americana Music Association Conference in Nashville in November, but between those dates and before will criss-cross Texas to share new cuts with eager fans.

The Gougers, with their edgier, fuller, more electric sound and insightful songs, will play venues from Galveston to Fort Worth and San Marcos to Conroe, often returning to old haunts and longtime fans. The band continues a regular schedule of Thursday night gigs at Momo’s in Austin through most of October.

A LONG DAY FOR THE WEATHERVANE, produced by Texas singer-songwriter-guitarist Keith Gattis and mastered by the band’s own John Ross Silva, details the transformation of the band as it dropped part of its name and gained a drummer and electric bass in songs of mortality, family stress and sadness. It features songs from The Gougers’ well-received EP, GONE TO SEED, which were reworked and re-recorded electrically, as well as four more including the radio-ready “Everybody Knows” and “Manheim Station.”

Words and music by songwriting-vocals collaborators Shane Walker and Jamie Wilson are what they call “poems set to music,” evoking true Americana along the lines of such alt-country pioneers as Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. Bass player Cody Foote and drummer/percussionist Silva back them up on meaty songs that blend conscientious, eloquent messages into a sound that encompasses country, rock, folk and roots.

“The record is a good story about our band in regard to where we came from and where we want to go,” Walker told The Bryan-Eagle recently.

The Gougers upcoming shows include:
    (*CD Release Shows)
Saturday, September 15, Founders Day, McGregor  
Thursday, September 20, Momo’s, Austin
Friday, September 21, Old Quarter Acoustic Café, Galveston
Saturday, September 22, Anderson Fair, Houston
Thursday, September 27, Momo’s, Austin
Friday, September 28, The Granada Theater, Dallas
Saturday, September 29, Rolling Oaks, San Antonio
Thursday, October 4, Momo’s, Austin
Saturday, October 6, The Outback, D’Hanis, Texas
Sunday, October 7, Medina Community Hospital Benefit, Hondo, Texas
Thursday, October 11, Momo’s, Austin
Saturday, October 13, Big State Festival, College Station,
    & Revolution, Bryan
Thursday, October 18, Momo’s, Austin *
Friday, October 19, McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, Houston *
Saturday, October 20, Woody’s, Fort Worth *
Thursday, October 25, Lucy’s On the Square, San Marcos *
Friday, October 26, Jack’s Patio Bar, San Antonio *
Saturday, October 27, Corner Pub, Conroe *
Tuesday, October 30, White Water Tavern, Little Rock, Ark.
Thursday-Saturday, November 1-3, Americana Music Association Conference, Nashville

Recommended Online Broadcast

Posted in Americana, Radio with tags on August 11, 2007 by takecountryback

I listen in faithfully to Doug’s Better Days Radio program that broadcasts from Vancouver, Canada on Thursday nights If you miss it the shows are always archived….this week’s show: #288 Heartache Shoes


Part One (starts two-thirds into the file)

Part Two

Part Three  


Looking For Better Days – Wayne Hancock
Killin’ The Blues – Malcolm Holcomb

Heavenly Day – Patty Griffin

Ain’t Gonna Worry No More – Peter Case

Cow Cow Boogie – Tracy Nelson

We’ll Go No More A-Roving – Kris Delmhorst

Coyotes – Don Edwards

Yellow Legal Pad – Ron Lyons tribute

I Don’t Want To Talk About It –Jonmark Stone & Mickey Newbury

Days – Sam Baker

Come Out From Within – Ben Reel Band

Heartache Shoes – Kim Beggs

Behold The Stars – Steve Young

Take Care The Road You Choose – Richard Thompson

(From Now On All My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers -Teddy Thompson

I Just Come Here For The Music – Doug Gill

On And On It Goes – Mary Chapin Carpenter

Clarity – Ellis PaulClay Pigeons – John Prine

I’m Your Puppet – Dan Penn

Midnight Train To Georgia – Joan Osborne

Why Is Your Heaven So Small – Susan Werner

We’re Leavin’ – Mark Jungers

Coal Tattoo – Steve Young
(Live at Hillbilly Haiku House Concerts)