New album: Southern Culture On The Skids || At Home With Southern Culture On The Skids

About 25 years ago we were nerdy on time at the concert hall, so we saw Southern Culture On The Skids perform twice: the sound check and the real show. Camel Walk is still one of my favorite songs and new work always leads to a jump of joy. The band – Rick Miller on guitar & vocals, Mary Huff on bass & vocals, and Dave Hartman standing behind the drums – has been playing together for 30+ years, consistently recording and touring around the world. Good news: they have an awesome new album out called At Home with Southern Culture on the Skids (already released March 12, so I almost overlooked it, but luckily our hero Little Steven brought it to my attention by playing new track Run Baby Run this week, on episode 996 of his legendary Underground Garage radio show). The 11 tracks, including 2 covers – Sugar Town (written by Lee Hazlewood, first recorded by Nancy Sinatra), and Dear Mr. Fantasy (written by Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood & Chris Wood, recorded by Traffic) – were taped and mixed by Rick In his living room and at The Kudzu Ranch. And that is also the feeling that the new album evokes: a successful living room concert, a cozy and laidback rock ’n’ roll party with catchy songs that make you smile and sing along. We would have loved to be there, twice.

Out now digitally and on CD via Kudzu Records. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs || SCOTS

New single: Boy Golden || Church of Better Daze / Eggs Benediction

As an introduction to his quirky, intriguing world, Boy Golden released two uplifting songs, Church of Better Daze and Eggs Benediction, out now digitally via Six Shooter Records. The Canadian songwriter has a purpose: enjoy each day and make good music. To that end, he founded The Church of Better Daze, appointing himself as minister. Redefining jam band and stoner cultures by turning dead heads into lively brains, Boy Golden wants to unite us all in a hazy dream under one roof, where it’s all about collaboration, common goals and cannabis. Whatever, this is catchy alt-country / indie rock, also great fun for non-believers who are not under the influence of narcotics. A full-length album is expected on July 16. Woohoo!

‘I was talking to a street corner preacher // He said man I’ve got a few things I can teach ya // Teach ya how to live in a righteous way // Send you off to heaven this very day’

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Jesse Aycock || Jesse Aycock

On his new self-titled full-length album, the American singer / songwriter / multi instrumentalist Jesse Aycock (Hard Working Americans) blends rock, folk, psych, country and soul with the original Tulsa sound. Here are thirteen poetic songs carried by Aycock’s distinctive voice, completed by the instrumentation including pedal steel, B3, strings, mellotron, lap steel, and piano. Halfway through the record you hear the song Sadder Than A Sunset, that title is a nice description of the mood and the vocals of this album. Just beautiful. Out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Horton Records. RIYL: Neal Casal, Gram Parsons, Ryan Adams. Listen to Passing Days, my  favorite song from this collection.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Horton Records Europe

New album: The Side Burns || Freakout 509

Rockabilly from Hong Kong, why not? Please meet The Side Burns: Ziad ‘Rumplestiltskin’ Samman (guitar / vocals), Philip ‘Wolfy Gimble’ Emond (drums / deyboards / vocals), and Paul ‘Mr. Pink’ Thompson (bass / vocals). They play an entertaining mix of country punk and greasy rock ‘n’ roll, reminiscent of The Clash. Their second album Freakout 509 is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Astral Traveller Records. The ten songs are surprisingly varied: Ode To My Lungs and Liver for example is almost a Rancid-esque song to jump on, while Tequila Blue is a sweet cocktail song with horns. Meant to play loud as you tear down a lonesome dusty road.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: The Pink Stones || Introducing… The Pink Stones

‘When I was a kid my mom liked country music but my dad was totally a rocker. They would constantly be switching the radio. I was definitely with my dad and had discounted country forever. Then it caught up with me and I became pretty much obsessed with it.’ This quote from Hunter Pinkston says a lot about the sound of The Pink Stones, in which Will Anderson, Adam Wayton, Logan Brammer, John Neff (Drive-By Truckers), and Jack Colclough also play. They mix elements of classic cosmic country, raucous rock ‘n’ roll and indie rock, and fresh humor and heartaches. Introducing… is a good example of a strong debut album, one that we’ll enjoy for a long time to come. Out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through the New West Records imprint Normaltown Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New album: Hope Dunbar || Sweetheartland

Now this is a new Americana / country folk album from the Nebraska plain that deserves more attention. Sweetheartland, the second full-length by small-town preacher’s wife / singer-songwriter Hope Dunbar, is an accomplishment. Beautiful songs, visual lyrics, powerful flawless vocals, mood-enhancing musical accompaniment, great production. Listen below to the infectious earworm What Were You Thinking? (‘No, a gift card to a gas station is not a Valentine’s present’), and the uplifting tribute John Prine (‘I wish your songs were mine’), two of the standout tracks from an album worth listening to.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Hope Dunbar Shop

New album: Miko Marks & The Resurrectors || Our Country

About 15 years ago, Miko Marks was considered “Nashville’s Hottest New Country Star”, loved by the audiences but not so much by the music industry, which reportedly struggled with a black woman in country music. Disillusioned, a long overdue hiatus from music followed, but fortunately the singer-songwriter is back. With co-producers Steve Wyreman and Justin Phipps (Founder of Redtone Records) she wrote songs reflecting hard truths and the expansive emotions they were all feeling, which she subsequently recorded with Redtone’s house band The Resurrectors. This new LP, Our Country, is out now through Redtone Records and streaming across all platforms. A strong collection, rooted in sounds from country, blues, soul, and roots music, which fits Miko Mark’s distinctive vocals well. Below the official performance video for the track Hard Times. Maybe album closing track Not Be Moved is even better.

‘This album is overall a heartfelt prayer for honesty and reflection. I hope it evokes a sense of urgency around systemic racism, injustice and economic disparity that plagues the underprivileged in our country. I hope the message of compassion and unity rings true and encourages listeners to identify, digest the fullness of the music in a transformative way.’ – Miko Marks

Add to wantlist: Miko Marks Shop

New album: Melissa Carper || Daddy’s Country Gold

This is an album that not everyone will appreciate. To be honest, I was a bit confused myself when I put it on (this sounds like music from long before I was born, why is it on the list with new releases? whose voice is this? why don’t I hear a blend of country and jazz more often? are those goats in the distance?), but it did intrigue me, so I kept listening and it turned out to be pretty good. And brand new! Daddy’s Country Gold is a collection of 12 original songs about love and a desire for the simple life, by singer / songwriter / upright bassist / wayfarer Melissa “Daddy” Carper, recorded in Nashville. It combines melancholy and humor and sound both musically and vocally like a mix of Dolly Parton and Billie Holiday. This is one for late at night, when you sip a glass of whiskey, something else that not everyone will appreciate, with dimmed light. The album is out now digitally, on CD and on vinyl LP through Mae Music.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Wolf van Elfmand || All Blue

American songwriter / performer / producer Wolf van Elfmand not only has an intriguing, beautiful name; he knows how to write atmospheric songs, he has a pleasant voice, he is a great guitarist, and he also knows how to use the Ultrabeat Drum Machine. His new album All Blue counts seven good, atmospheric songs in the corner of country, folk, rock & roll, and blues, songs about sweet regret, a little sadness and Norman Rockwell. As said, Wolf van Elfmand himself is a good musician, but the guests who play bass, pedal steel, (real) drums, and harmonica take the tracks to an even higher level.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Dan Wriggins || Mr. Chill

American songwriter / musician / poet / lobster fisher Dan Wriggins previously played in alt-country band Friendship, but the EP Mr. Chill is his debut release under his own name (despite the title, this is not chill-out music – the artist explains that it has a different origin: ‘I’ve gotten “hey man, your music is so chill “a lot, and I’m like what the fuck? I thought it was dire’). These are five songs with quiet drums, classical guitar, and melodic organ (but no bass), five songs that had to sound like Kath Bloom or Vic Chesnutt, and that worked out quite well. Out now through Orindal Records on cassette (with previous single Dent / The Diner as bonus tracks) and digitally.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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