Archive for Alternative Country

Bruce Springsteen / The PromiseT

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 2600000011UTC 12 by marky7235

The PromiseThe Promise is an album by Bruce Springsteen released on November 16, 2010.[1] It is a double CD compilation of previously unreleased songs drawing from the Darkness on the Edge of Town sessions. The album is also available as part of the box set The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story.

The Analysis: Disc One

Racing In The Street—-One of the first things you notice about this release is that despite the age of the songs and the history, this is so current and fresh you would thing the incarnation was yesterday. Springsteen sounds lonelier than ever and delivers some remarkable harmonica all through this ‘story-song’ that has helped to formulate his career. If you like Nebraska era Springsteen, you will LOVE this release!

Gotta Get That Feeling—-Sounding a bit more dated but delivered with a remarkable energy, Springsteen shows us the huge plethora of songs that he must have hidden everywhere from all of his recording sessions. This is huge…the saxophone from Clarence is incredible and the voice..sounds remarkably fresh but weathered with just that right Bruce touch. This is fantastic!!!

Outside Looking In—-This particular track is one of my favorites from this release! There is a raw energy that is not to be found in the current Springsteen output…his vocal is driven and delivered with an air of anger. the music is consistent and on par with the best stuff that he and the Band have ever produced. This has a full and fresh sound…I love this!!!

Someday [We’ll Be Together]—-Returning to a much more familiar Nebraska/Tunnel Of Love sound, this song features some nice back drop female singers..rounding out the song and giving it a nice epic feel. This has a slight religious and anthemic sound to it…perhaps it is the organ and the full band sound. This is just CLASSIC stuff!!!

One Way Street—-From the onset, you are struck by the remarkable melancholy sound of this whole damn thing!!! This is a beautiful song…delivered with a poignant feel and a classic sedate Bruce style that really allows you to hear every word…feel the story and get a huge bite of Americana….one of the best storytellers of our time!!!

Because The Night—-Made much more famous by the incomparable Patti Smith, this version of the Springsteen penned masterpiece takes on even more energy and urgency than imaginable. Although Bruce performs this pretty regular;ly now, at one time this was very hard to find….this is just brilliant. Always a favorite song of mine, it is nice to have a version that is NOT live!!!

Wrong Side Of The Street—-Delivering a nice retro feel, this song is much more reminiscent of the classic Springsteen that started the career off for him. This is energetic and full of an Americana sound that just fills me with energy and nostalgia….who would have thought this brand of music would have lasted all of these years? You cannot deny the genius of the whole damn thing…just remarkable stuff…raw and energetic!!!

The Broken Hearted—-Full of quasi Alt-Country sounds….way before anyone had any idea what that was, Springsteen delivers a song that is pretty damn intense. If you listen to the words, the impact is immediate…when you add the mellow music, full of resplendent keyboards and horns, you are almost devastated. This is AMAZING!!!

Rendezvous—-Song placement is always key for me, and this CD allows for a monumental task…the place ment of songs is damn near perfect though…adding the rock-based tracks in masterfully well with the more Country felt songs. This is phenomenal…allowing for the re-entrance of the saxophone from Clarence and always really incredible drumming from Max….this is a band that was so tight…just incredible!!!

Candy’s Boy—-This is much more reminiscent of some of the stuff from The River release than the Darkness sessions…this is a full on story delivered remarkably well in about 4 and a half minutes…just remarkable. Bruce sounds so lonely and dejected…the organ keyboards add huge levels of emotion to the song and the band sounds tight as hell. This is pretty damn historical!!!

Disc Two:

Save My Love—-This is good stuff….the song finds Bruce delivering a vocal that is a bit higher than his normal tone…allowing for urgency and the conclusion of the message! This just shows his willingness to stretch and work on his voice….the vocal pushed much more to the back…as the band really takes over the song…in a classic E-Street way!

Ain’t Good Enough For You—-This is a much more honky-tonk style track that at times manages to get on my nerves. as the piano takes over the song, the pounding becomes a bit to much for me. this reminds me of very early Tom Petty….really, the music produced by these two entities are pretty entwined!

Fire—-Made huge with a Disco infusion by The Pointer Sisters, I much more prefer the seductive delivery that Bruce manages to load this song with. This is fantastic stuff and still shows even further the versatility of Springsteen and his writing capabilities…the man knows a damn good melody when he writes on…this is clear!!!

Spanish Eyes—-Returning to a full on Alt-Country sound that is full of the kind of tales that only Bruce can conjure up, this is an incredible song. I love the laid back and lazy feel of the song…even though the lyrics are sexually charged and full of a seductive quality. This is just fantastic…I will be listening to this for quite sometime!!!

It’s A Shame—-Slow, sexy and delivered with a guitar sexiness that is addictive, Bruce enters with a lazy vocal that further adds to the sexiness of the song. This is just incredible stuff…allowing some nice back drop vocals from Steven, you again question how old this stuff really is…this is incredible….I can’t get enough of this!!!

Come On [Let’s Go Tonight]—-This could have very well come from The River sessions….reminding me of many of the songs from that release…one has to wonder if that release was already well ‘written’ by the time this previous release came out..these sessions seemed to have produced a huge wealth of material. This is just wonderful…melancholic, intense and full of touching lyrics…one of America’s great singer/songwriters!!!

Talk To Me—-Allowing the band to once again take the spotlight, the vocal again seems almost secondary to the song. This is full of a nice saxophone laden track that switches back and forth between the organ and the drums…delivering a huge Americana sound that is just addictive as hell. Bruce delivers a classic vocal…seductive, inquisitive and driving…this is so nice…this almost reminds me of Elvis Costello for some reason?

The Little Things [My Baby Does]—-This band works so well together…I’m sure they were just as amazed when back a while ago, Bruce decided to start recording ‘solo’ records. This has never sounded better…one of the best things Springsteen ever did was to re assemble the E-Street conglomerate. This is classic stuff…that the whole band contributes to!

Breakaway—-Returning to that much more sedate and almost acoustic sound, the remarkable thing about the quiet nature of the song is the realization that there is a huge band that is playing behind this guy. The E-Street band is not a little affair…there is about a dozen of them isn’t there? You would never know that from the quiet and restrained delivery of this song…just magnificent!!!

The Promise—-The title track to this release finds Springsteen delivering another of those huge story songs that would have fit so well on the Nebraska release I again wonder how many songs like this that this man must have up his sleeve. This is remarkable…poignant and delivered in a remarkably clear voice, this is classic stuff. I could never ask for more from this release…a cornerstone, a highlight and a favorite!!!

City Of Night—-Clocking in at over 7 minutes, this is perhaps the most ‘demo’ sounding track on this release. This really reminds me of Elvis Costello and his recurrent Country fixation. This is damn near perfect…allowing a spotlight for every member of the band..one by one you hear the emerging sounds and you are left with only the best taste in your mouth…this is fantastic…I can only hope that there is much more to come!!!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

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Charlie Louvin / The Battle Rages On

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 1200000011UTC 12 by marky7235

The Battles Rage On

Charles Elzer Loudermilk (born July 7, 1927), known professionally as Charlie Louvin, is an American country music singer and songwriter. He is best known as one of the Louvin Brothers.

At age 83, Louvin has just released this, his 20th full length release!

The Analysis:

Smoke On The Water—-Louvin continues to deliver, in his weathered and remarkable voice, warnings of what the world will become if we do not all embrace the love of Jesus Christ….all the while set to a remarkable retro country delivery that calls to mind the very best of the past while still allowing room for Alternative Country listeners to still embrace…a remarkable man!!!

More Than A Name On The Wall—-Although this has a familiar Country wail to the music, this is truly accessible to Adult Contemporary listeners as well. The voice…weathered and real as anything you could ever ask for…has a charm and loneliness to it that you feel an urge to listen to over and over again…this is a remarkable man…the tales he manages to tell in just a few moments are a dying art…this is wonderful.

I Wonder If They Ever Think Of Me—-Louvin enters with this track, sounding remarkably clear and young. An ode to those who are locked up in prison and facing isolation and loneliness, Louvin manages to paint an amazing picture. He sings in an upper register that is so damn pleasant and addictive…I will be listening to this for a while!

There’s A Star Spangled Banner—-Returning to a more upbeat and crystal clear retro Country sound, this song manages to border a bit on bluegrass and brings a magical smile to my face. Louvin…steady in his patriotism and his love for America produces songs that lets you know how proud he is of his descent and his pleasure to have fought for his Country. This is great fun…and is perfect for the just passed Veterans Day.

Just Before The Battle Mother—-Gosh….I love this guy almost more than I love George Jones….who is perhaps my all time favorite. This is catchy as hell…delivered with a remarkably clear voice that does not come close to belaying this man’s age. The guitars have a slight Spanish flair to them…and the melody is Classic Country…few can touch this stuff…just amazing!!!

What We’re Fighting For—-This has an amazingly fresh sound to it…all the while the slide guitar reminds us that this is Classic Country. Louvin continues to serenade us and tell us magnificent stories in a few minutes…which is a pure form of Art. This sounds like this could have been written a tad bit of time ago, but it is again quite timely…full of patriotic references and reminders of why we are lucky yo be Americans!

Mother I Thank You For The Bible—-Louvin returns to his Bible-beating ways and delivers a classic track that only he can deliver! Charlie allows his age to shine through wonderfully well on this track as he bids his Mother goodbye as he leaves for war. This is tender and heartfelt…delivered with a true emotion that reminds you of the importance of religion, faith and belief while under pressure of life. This is fantastic!!!

A Soldier’s Last Letter—-Well, it seems like this entire release is full of those types of songs that are reflective of a soldier’s point of view. This song is so damn poingnant…this is as you would expect…a letter that is delivered with an added letter from the government…telling Mom that son has been killed in the war…the lonely fiddle only makes the message even more emotional..this is incredible!

Weapon Of Prayer—-Wow….this is pretty much my favorite on this release…just for the intermittent fiddle that allows the song to be much larger than I expected. Louvin is joined by another voice that is so steeped in Bluegrass that it is instantly contagious and remarkably accessible…you will listen to this over and over…this is damn fantastic!!!

Robe Of White—-Continuing in the stream of sad stories of boys who have gone off to war, this is remarkable just because the ability that Louvin has to tell a tale in just a few moments. There are some really nice harmonies on this song….the tale is even more heightened by those harmonies….this is sad…but magically full of pride and joy. This is incredible!

Searching For A Soldier’s Grave—-I guess the title of the song pretty much tells you about the content….this is pretty cut and dry. The harmonies that are on the song are incredible…I love the gentle delivery and the slight departure from the classic trademark Country sound…taking on a more exotic flair…all the while staying true to the Louvin sound. I love this guy!

Down By The Riverside—-Delivering the classic really Countrified version of this religious track, Louvin ends this release on a high note…allowing you to lift yourself from the slight sadness that this record leaves you with. Very nice!!!!

**** out of 5

The Avett Brothers / I And Love And You

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 80000009UTC 12 by marky7235

I And Love And YouThe Avett Brothers (pronounced /ˈeɪvɨt/) is a folk-rock band from Concord, North Carolina. The band is made up of two brothers, Scott Avett and Seth Avett, who play the banjo and guitar respectively, and Bob Crawford who plays the stand-up bass. They are often joined on tour by cellist Joe Kwon. Following on from Seth and Scott’s former rock band Nemo, the Avett Brothers combine bluegrass, country, punk, pop melodies, folk, rock and roll, honky-tonk, and ragtime to produce a sound described by the San Francisco Chronicle as having the “heavy sadness of Townes Van Zandt, the light pop concision of Buddy Holly, the tuneful jangle of the Beatles, the raw energy of the Ramones.”

The Analysis:

I And Love And You—-Beginning with a mournful piano and a vocal to match, this track is steeped in emotion and a story telling quality that is comparable to the classic acoustic Springsteen. When the Brothers combine their voices it is a thing of quiet beauty that leaves you breathless. This has a nice lush string arrangement and the constant piano setting a mood that leaves your head hanging a bit but manages to fill you with joy as well. This is just wonderful!

January Wedding—-Introduced by a classic and simple banjo, the vocal is so clear that you are able to catch every word and sink into the story that is magically told in just minutes. This is wonderfully simple yet magnificently complex…when the song becomes a bit more lively…you are sucked into the slight honky-tonk feel of the song. This is magnificent…I’m sorry I waited so long to add this to my collection. This is just wonderful…I will be listening to this for a very long time.

Head Full Of Doubt/Road Full Of Promises—-Although rather lush in arrangement, the constant of the strings add much depth to this song. The Avett brother that adds the vocal on this track really reminds me of classic Bruce Hornsby. The track has a melody that is amazingly familiar and comfortable…yet you can’t quite grab it out of your brain. The story is full of real life…politics, love and life all compressed and covered with a gentle instrumentation that makes you feel wonderfully warm all over. I love this band!

And It Spread—-This is a bit more upbeat at the onset, although it loses none of the charm of earlier tracks. The Brothers seem to trade-off vocals from song to song, but the magic really happens when they combine voicves…giving the songs a magical lazy feel that you are sucked into whether you like it or not. the fiddle that gently plays in the backdrop gives the song a wonderful Alt-Country feel that you wish you heard more often. This is a MAGNIFICENT release!!!

The Perfect Space—-Stark and naked, this begins with a wonderful mood setting intro. The vocal enters in a predictable way…with the ‘other’ Brother taking vocal duties…he has a much more Country-inspired delivery and seems to prefer the slower paced songs. This is a track that is full of isolation and trying to find direction in life…the lyrics are so vivid you dream of them and they find a place in your brain for days…reminding you to enjoy this day and live it….as age is coming at you fast and you seem to lose your relevance as it progresses. This comes magically alive in the second half and delivers an energetic edge that almost takes you aback…this is fantastic.

Ten Thousand Words—-With a nice gentle guitar intro, the song grows a bit as it progresses but allows you to stay in one place despite it. The vocal is so crystal clear as your brain sucks in every single word…words that matter no matter where you are in life. This is experience and emotion that allows you to feel your own feelings in an unashamed way. The Brothers sing together on this track in Indigo Girls style and the result is nothing less than magnificent. I could never ask for more from one band…jeez…I’m slow…whay did I wait a year to get this?

Kick Drum Heart—-Energetic and featuring a piano intro that border on honky-tonk Blues, this is right in line with the recipe of the band…one brother takes the more energetic while one brother in more comfortable with the slower more introspective stuff. But it really works…allowing for a nice variation and energy all over the disc. This is just warm and fuzzy with every turn. Fantastic!

Laundry Room—-With both piano and guitar at the onset, this is another of those songs that carries a melody that is so familiar you are hooked right away just because of it. The strumming is pretty magnificent…and the lyrics are magnificent. The joined vocals give the song a lonely feel that leaves you a bit hanging, but overall this is joyful. When the strings kick in and the drum becomes a bit more lively, you have an almost Bluegrass style delivery that fills you with so much joy your heart might burst. When Avett speaks of dreaming all night long and waking with a head full of songs…you are inspired and awakened. This is magical!

Ill With Want—-With an intro piano that reminds me of Bridge Over Troubled Water, the sound quiets to allow for the vocal that tells more tales of one’s most inner thoughts and feelings…put on display for everyone to share. This is simply wonderful…the depth of the words strike a chord for me…at the point i am in my life…wanting more but not knowing what. Needing more but not knowing how to get it…this brings magical tears to my eyes….knowing I am not the only one who feels this way. Thanks guys!

Tin Man—-With a nice upbeat tempo, this is timely…as it breaks the more introspective mood of the previous track. This is lively but no less emotional than anything else on this disc. The vocal is light and airy and really borders on fun…even though the song is not necessarily happy. This also speaks of a sense of isolation, desperation and aloofness of emotion. This speaks to me in a truly intimate way…this is human emotion that is conveyed by people who are not afraid to share it.

Slight Figure Of Speech—-Wow…two really upbeat songs in a row…this is a surprise to me. Make no bones, this is no less revealing or emotional than anything else on this release…just delivered in a very different way. The backdrop vocals almost gives this song a doo-wop 50’s sound…and the vocals are hard to catch at times because they are delivered rather fast…none the less, this is timely and delivered in a light-hearted manner that is needed to break up the more mellow edges of this CD.

It Goes On And On—-Again, this is a bit more upbeat and bombastic, but still keeps that Alt-Country feel intact. The lyrics lay naked the feelings and emotions of first love and first experiences and how it changes one forever. This is nice, but not a favorite of mine.

Incomplete And Insecure—-An introspective track that allows you to enjoy that you are not the only person who feels incomplete and insecure. This is delivered with a nice piano sound and a gentle tambourine that you unconsciously tap your foot to. The lyrics are so vivid and personal…you wonder how difficult it is to share all of this with the mass public. When the strings kick in the song swells with an emotion that makes you euphoric and glad that this band exists. What a triumph of a recording!!!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

Ray LaMontagne And The Pariah Dogs / God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 220000008UTC 12 by marky7235

God Willin' & The Creek Don't RiseRaymond Charles “Ray” LaMontagne (pronounced /lɑːmɒnˈteɪn/) (born June 18, 1973) is an American singer-songwriter. Reportedly[citation needed], after hearing a Stephen Stills song, LaMontagne decided to quit his job at a shoe factory and pursue a career in music. He has since released four albums, Acre of Land, Trouble, Till the Sun Turns Black and Gossip in the Grain. In the UK, Trouble was a top 5 hit, and the title track of the album was a top 25 hit. Till the Sun Turns Black was a top 40 hit in the U.S. A soft-spoken person who is known for his raspy voice, LaMontagne has won a number of awards for his music and has performed at several charity events.

LaMontagne’s fourth studio album, God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise, was released on August 17, 2010.

Repo Man—-Beginning with a nice lazy guitar and a slow tambourine, the mellow sounds of the band slowly emerge from that one distant chord. The song turns into a nice almost funky Alt-Country jam that is full of expression and feeling…even before you hear any vocal at all. This is a nice jam session…Ray enters with that trademark rasp of his and this becomes a nice barn blues track that leaves you feeling warm and comfortable. Really nice

New York City’s Killing Me—-Much more my speed, most of you know I’m not a real fan of Blues oriented music. This is much more Alt-Country…the kind of low and mellow song that is made for whiskey and campfires. The gentle melody makes me feel so comfortable and the lyrics could be about your city or mine…the need to escape the hustle and bustle of life is universal. The slide guitar is magnificent and creates a masterful lonely feeling. This is brilliant!

God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise—-Stark and with that low twang that constructs only the best and most memorable Country tracks, this takes a while to get started. When Ray enters with the rough voice of his, you will fall in love. This is wonderfully delivered and the lyrics will leave you with your head hanging low and your mind reeling from the raw emotion of the meaning of it all. This is fantastic. Really another new favorite…really?

Beg Steal Or Borrow—-A bit more upbeat in tempo, this still has a remarkable back woods feel that warms you from the very first notes. Ray has a way with words that most songwriters are lacking these days…these are sentiments that are made to make you think and ponder…digest and do something with. This is a dying art form…real words with real emotions that are designed to touch the listener regardless of whom they are. This is wonderful….buy this record!!!

Are We Really Through—-So full of gentleness, the simple guitar strains are enough to bring instant tears to your eyes and goosebumps all over your body. The vocal is remarkably clear…Ray seems to have cleared his voice before this one. The lyrics are introspective and remarkable insightful. this is full of real hurt and true feelings…you could never ask for more from a songwriter. This is stark and beautiful!

This Love Is Over—-A bit more full-bodied, the guitar has less twang….but the vocal more than makes up for it. This has a slight, country-blues feel to it that is wonderful. The twang appears by the third bar and Ray is in full despair mode. This is wonderfully delivered…the classic somebody done me wrong song…but manages to make it sound fresh and like nothing you have ever heard before.

Old Before Your Time—-With a really nice banjo intro, this is much more upbeat than most of the other things on this release. This song, although pretty deep in introspection and feeling, has a much lighter feel. Ray delivers his clearest vocal yet…this is wonderfully fresh and could be played on the radio with little or no problem. It is sad to think that only a select group of people will ever hear the mastery of this man…I would love nothing else but to play it from the highest building in the village square. Our lives would be so much better!

For The Summer—-Returning to a more somber palate, the song slowly opens up with a nice back beat shortly after it begins. The vocal is crystal clear and full of slide guitar that puts you in that perfect country mood. This is so accessible and pleasant…wonderfull written, the band that backs up this record is pure perfection. This is the best anti-big-city music I have ever heard!

Like Rock & Roll And Radio—-Beginning with a lonely harmonica, the tone is already set for this song before the first guitar strum or a single word is uttered. Ray enters with that slight rasp and begs for confirmation of love and emotion. Saying all of the words that we are so afraid to speak out loud, Ray is masterful at putting his emotions on display. This is stark, haunting, lonely and incredibly beautiful. This man has a magical way of touching my heart.

Devil’s In The Jukebox—-This is a nice way to round out this release…taking on a more bombastic feel, the guitars are more steel oriented and the tempo is a true toe-tapper. The vocal sounds weathered and years beyond its actual age. The harmonica is a train station type of delivery…making you yearn for old wide open spaces and care free days where people sat around in a big old barn and jammed the night away…falling into bed with sheer exhausted joy at the creativity. This is freakin’ wonderful!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

Conor Oberst And The Mystic Valley Band/Outer South

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 130000008UTC 12 by marky7235

To All The Lights In The WindowsConor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band is the name taken by Conor Oberst and his backing band, which is composed of Nik Freitas (guitar), Taylor Hollingsworth (guitar), Macey Taylor (bass), Nate Walcott (keyboards/organ) and Jason Boesel (drums).

Outer South is the fifth solo studio album by American musician Conor Oberst and the first to be credited to Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band. It is Oberst’s first solo album to include songs written and sung by his bandmates. Nik Freitas, Taylor Hollingsworth and Jason Boesel each contributed two songs apiece, and bassist Macey Taylor sings a song written for him by Oberst. The album was released through Merge Records on May 5, 2009.

The entire album was made available on April 7, 2009, to stream on the Merge Records website for a limited time.

Slowly [Oh So Slowly]—-Beginning with a nice steel guitar sound that reeks of Alt-Country, the vocal enters and further cements the sentiment. This is wonderfully vivid and warm. I was never really into Conor until Monsters Of Folk came along…this does not disappoint…if you liked that release, you will love this.

To All The Lights In The Windows—-This is freakin’ magnificent….I though that the majority of the MOF release was all M. Ward….this opens up m,y eyes and allows me to know how important Conor was to the entire thing. This is wonderfully contagious…it will stay in your brain…this is emotional…the lyrics are as vivid as a museum painting…and the music all come together to create a moment in time you can not easily forget. This is exquisite!

Big Black Nothing—-This is just brilliant…this is better than anything I have heard in the past few months coming out of the Alternative music market. the vocal is not Conor, but still carries a remarkable warmth. The Alt-country feel of the song allows you tap you foot to a nice steel guitar that has a classic country sound.. Think of Tom Petty without the nasal stuff going on and you have a great feel of this song.

Air Mattress—-I really do not much care for this…the vocal is not Conor, but rather a band member that I’m not sure of…it tries to hard to sound like a Dylan knockoff that really fails to materialize…ugh…..

Cabbage Town—-Oberst returns just in time to vocal duties and you again fully realize why you love this guy. This is beautiful…even though the track is a bit more upbeat and raucous, the vocal still has a remarkable warmth and solace that you will turn to over and over and over and over…this is wonderful!

Ten Women—-Wow…this is remarkable…Oberst delivers a vocal that is full of ghosts of the past and drips with the loss of the present all in one line. The gentle delivery, accented by the backdrop of other band members adds so much to the feel of the song. This is a weeper…if it catches you in the right mood. The slide guitar is magnificent and the sadness runs through every single instrument that plays….truly wonderful.

Difference Is Time—-With a gentle and easy feel, the vocal again is not Conor but is pretty damn great none the less. This is full of classic Country sounds…they don’t even try to fit in the mainstream and it only serves to bring a smile to my face. This is remarkably emotive and wonderfully delivered with a nice sense of sadness and joy all crunched up into one masterful composition. I love this stuff.

Nikorette—-A bit more upbeat, this is just classic stuff because it reminds me so much of a certain MOF track. Oberst delivers a vocal that is full of emotion and energy…you cannot deny the vivid imagery that he paints with his lyrics…this is a wonderful talent that he uses to the full extent. I love this stuff…my Black Metal friends would call me a poseur…oh well, I like as I like.

White Shoes—-Acoustic and full of the most desolate Springsteen sounds you can imagine, Conor comes through with his vocal delivered with a slight echo…making the song sound even more lonely and empty. This is achingly beautiful and layered with lines and lines of words that make your brain ponder and re-ponder the meanings and sentiments of the song. This brought magical tears to my eyes and only served to remind me of my loneliness. Brilliant.

Bloodline—-Returning to a more upfront and alt-country feel, this is bright and shiny and delivered just in time. this breaks up the release rather nicely…allowing you to recover from the devastation of the previous few tracks. this is nicely delivered with a nice and sunny outlook…even though the lyrics are not full of positive and exciting words…just though provoking. I love this stuff.

Spoiled—-Beginning with a nice pickin’ and a grinnin’ instrumental line, Oberst enters with a vocal that is almost rushed….filling every single silent period with one line after another. This is wonderful…I love the chorus…this is full and delivered with a great emotion as Conor ponders why enough is never enough with his frustration over an unsatisfied partner. This is brilliant…I get so much from this song.

Worldwide—-At times, depending on my mood, it seems as if this song were written just for me. Conor delivers lines that are personal yet remarkably applicable to the everyman…perhaps that is the appeal of this music. The music is a classic Alternative Country style delivery that warms you soul…the steel guitar is very present and the snare drum is used more than anything else…this is a magnificent story song that I am still convinced is about me!

Roosevelt Room—-This is delivered with such a bluesy aggressive nature that it almost seems out-of-place on this record. Regardless, it only goes to show the diversity of Oberst and this is again reminiscent of some of the tracks on the MOF release. This is aggressive and delivered with a great blues style guitar that somehow manages not to get on my nerves. Wonderful.

Eagle On A Pole—-A really nice return to the more introspective type of music that this band makes and pleases me so much. Conor reaches way down into his gut at times to deliver a vocal that is deep and emotional. this is magnificent…I still refuse to understand why this guy is not a huge recording star and just manages to stay alive thanks to independent labels. This is some of the best stuff I have heard in a long time…perhaps I have a new love affair as M. Ward falls to the wayside and allows room for Conor. This is brilliant….I love this man!

I Got The Reason, No. 2—-Wow….this is just wonderful. The slide guitar that introduces the song makes me warm and tingly all over….the gentle flowing nature of the song makes me hanf=g my head and listen with clear intensity. Conor enters with his vocal and delivers line after line that resonates with my very sould…this is intense, real and without a doubt one of the best tracks on this release. This is magnificent…when the song opens up a bit it becomes even more lively but  never lacks any of the emotion despite the fact. this is wonderful…making me think about the past…the present and the future. Wonderful!

Snake Hill—-Wow…what the fuck!!!! This is great….with a huge dose of bluegrass and the vocals that remind you of the deepest of the backwoods, the band is magnificent. this is not a vocal from Conor, but it is still one of the best on the release. This is magnificent…you must hear this….want a copy…let me know.

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

Peter Wolf/Midnight Souvenirs

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 240000005UTC 12 by marky7235

Midnight SouvenirsPeter Wolf (born Peter W. Blankfield; March 7, 1946) is an American rock and roll musician, best known as the lead vocalist for the J. Geils Band from 1967 to 1983.

Midnight Souvenirs is the seventh album by Peter Wolf, released in 2010.

Tragedy w/Shelby Lynne—-If you picked up this release searching for that long-lost Geils sound, let me break the news to you…you will not find it here. This is the best Alt-Country that i have heard in quite sometime…Wolf combined with Lynn create a wonderful landscape…Wolf sounds amazingly like Costello at times making me wonder where his inspiration came from. The music is pleasant down home strumming that warms you all over….I think I’m going to like this a lot.

I Don’t Wanna Know—-From the onset, this is steeped with a comfortable down home sound that you can not ignore…when the harmonica kicks in, you know that you are in for a treat. coming in sounding amazingly like tom Petty, this is smooth, contagious and down right pleasing. Who knew wolf had this in him…this is a long way from ‘Centerfold’!! Amazing.

Watch Her Move—-With a really nice steel guitar and a monstrous drum sound, the vocal enters again sounding like a long-lost Petty CD. This is exquisite…this is not for every day listening, but every day that you listen will make you grow even fonder of this release. Wolf has a twang to him that makes you wonder if this has been his hidden passion all the while.

There’s Still Time—-This begins so gentle and sedate….the vocal enters and the song becomes a nice blues oriented ballad that sticks in your brain whether you like it or not. the backdrop of female vocals round out the song and gives it a marvelous country flavor that appeals to every fan everywhere. This is fantastic!!!

Lying Low—-With a nice rhythm that literally defines this type of music. Wolf enters the fray and weaves a tale that you pay attention to simply because you are actually able to catch every single word in the song. The guitar is a nice mix of ambling and galloping Country beat that sucks you in and takes over your brain cells. This is wonderfully Alt-Country/Pop music that should be heard by everyone.

The Green Fields Of Summer w/Neko Case—-Wolf enters this gentle fray sounding forlorn and lonely….Case has the voice that is just built for this type of Alt-Country and the song is what it is because of her magnificent vocal. Wolf sounds sad and lonely and Case warms you up despite it all….this may very well be a match made in heaven….this is that delicious.

Thick As Thieves—-Ugh…..from the onset I do not care for this…as the song finally opens up, this is a bit to Rock-A-Billy for my tastes but none the less, Wolf delivers a great vocal. I just could do without the music…a bit to erratic and here and there for me.

Always Asking For You—-This is so damn pleasant and contagious that by the second bar you are ready to push replay. The guitars and drums work in tandem to create a magnificent rolling country sound that the voice is able to wrap it self around with a beautiful competency. This is literally brilliant…I love this. I could not ask for more…for me…the stand out on this release.

Then It Leaves Us All Behind—-This is sedate and beautiful. Wolf sings along with a female backdrop singer that rounds out the song in a brilliant way. this is like a warm blanket on a cold night…one that becomes your favorite because it is so fuzzy and warm. This is fantastic…everyone should hear this masterful recording….a favorite of mine for the last month, it has a permanent spot on my playlist.

Overnight Lows—-With a bass line that begins the song remarkably like the Rickie Lee Jones classic ‘Chuck-E’s In Love’, the song slowly develops into a more blues oriented song that I really do not care for. This falls much more in the Geils territory [by no means a favorite band of mine]. Next…..

Everything I Do [Gonna Be Funky]—-From the onset, I can just tell that this is little to bluesy for my taste…not really feeling this…too abrupt a change in the material content…..what is up with that!!!

Don’t Try To Change Her—-Returning to the full on slide guitar Country complete with harmonicas and gentle swaying, Wolf again pulls off a remarkable Petty impersonation that pleases me from the very first note. This is remarkable and I must admit…THIS Peter Wold, I simply adore. This is really high on my favorite tracks on this release…kudos Pete!!!

The Night Comes Down [For Willy DeVille]—-The guitars in the opening strains even have that Mike Campbell sound that you think of when you hear a classic Petty song. Even the drawl of Wolf is similar…the most remarkable thing about the song are the inclusion of the background vocals…they round out the track and give it texture and luxury. Fantastic!!!

It’s Too Late For Me w/Merle Haggard—-This is classic down home country that Wolf manages to pull off with out the least bit of hesitation. When Haggard enters the fray…you are transported to a different time and a different place…this is wonderful…fantastic…memorable and classic. A song I can not live without.

****1/2 out of 5