Angela Meyer – Consequence

A breathe of new life into Western music, Consequence takes on a landscape as untamed and romanticized as the American West itself.

“I WRITE SONGS FOR EMPTY ROOMS AND BROKEN HEARTS
IN HOPES TO FILL THEM UP.” -ANGELA MEYER

A storyteller with a passion for her listeners, Angela pulls in the crowd with a sweet voice and brutal honesty. She knows what it means to be out in the audience, her earliest memory is dancing in a smoky tent while her mama sang on stage at the Iowa State Fair. Even before she could talk, Angela sang along with the radio and listened to the record player in her grandparent’s home. They introduced her to country music and gave her a guitar for Christmas. Compared to her 10 year old self, the guitar was so large she laid it flat across her lap to learn three chords. Angela has never strayed far from those three chords and the truth, finally picking up the guitar to accompany her songwriting at 15. Music has always been her favorite escape, and at just 16 years old she landed her first paid gig to start sharing her songs from the stage.

In her now 25 years of life, Angela has witnessed many changes to “country music” and how it is defined. Angela sees it as the fans speaking up about what’s getting radio play lacking authenticity. Listeners don’t need to be educated on music theory or the music industry to know what they are hearing is over-produced & under-thought. In a world more concerned about image than content, Angela boldly offers authenticity in her artistry. She does not give a second thought to the fact that she is a young woman; she just delivers her intention with conviction. Each person she encounters lends inspiration that only a hundred lifetimes could give. That translates to writing that paints a whole picture of the human experience, wisdom far beyond her years.

Angela is taking her lifetime dream of being a country music artist and turning it into her lifestyle. Her goal is to make music her career and help people along the way. Currently, she is finishing up her first album, Consequence, to be released April 21st, 2018. She performs live shows across the country at cowboy poetry gatherings, western events, and other events. Along with playing live shows, she also posts videos to her YouTube (angelacmeyer) and Facebook (angelameyer23) every Thursday.

The Isaacs – Favorites Revisited By Request

The intricate, family harmonies of The Isaacs are a benchmark phenomenon throughout the gospel, country and bluegrass communities. This all-new recording showcases those GRAMMY®-nominated blends as Sonya, Becky, Ben and Lily have re-recorded some of the classic, best-loved songs of their award-winning careers.

Mike Aiken – Wayward Troubadour

Biography – The Story of This Wayward Troubadour

Life on the fringe has its benefits, not the least of which is the perspective from an outsider’s view. Northwind Records is proud to announce the release of Mike Aiken’s seventh studio album, WAYWARD TROUBADOUR. Aiken’s 11song package is the anticipated follow-up to the Grammy nominated Captains & Cowboys (produced by Dan Baird, Georgia Satellites). As the first track’s title indicates, ‘Everything Changed’ with this album. Another conceptualized work that each of us can relate to, WAYWARD TROUBADOUR tells tales of trouble and charm.

It has been five years since Captains & Cowboys made its debut and Aiken says he wasn’t going to stop, not until he achieved what he was after. “I had a very clear sound in my head for this album, one I’ve always wanted to capture and I was not going to settle. At this point in my career I don’t have time for folks who don’t believe in the music 110%. These are the folks I want to write, record and perform with.”

Of the eight original songs on this album, six are co-writes. Two Lane Highway was penned with Henry Paul (Outlaws, Blackhawk, Henry Paul Band) who also lent his talents to mandolin and vocals on this timeless, sweet track. Nashville Skyline, written with Chris P James (Burrito Brothers), covers the troubadour’s view of Nashville as seen from any highway leading in to town. Mike included two very different songs he wrote with Paul Jefferson, the Bob Wills-esque, Everything Changed, and the tense song about not being judgmental, Hard Working Working Girl. Longtime friend and co-writer, Tim Buppert and Mike created the more frivolous offerings with Hangover Helper and the Gypsy Jazz-flavored, A Little Lazy In Your Life. The three covers were chosen for their content and the songwriters, rather than audience familiarity – Real Mean Dog (Robbin Thompson, Gregg Wetzel) for Robbin, longtime friend, fellow sailor and songwriter, Dead Man Runs Before He Walks (Mark Collie, Shawn Camp) for its somber story, and Penelope (Christopher Hynes) for its reminder that the grass is not always greener elsewhere. The self-penned songs Travelin’ Bone and Chesapeake give an autobiographical peek into Mike Aiken.

Wayward, by definition, is difficult to control, unpredictable, non-conforming. It took three studios and almost as many years to complete this troubadour’s collection of true north. Tracking began in Austin, Texas late in 2016. Aiken then found his way to Latitude Studio South in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee. Here is where the magic started, where the wayward musicians could be themselves and Mike could begin to capture what he heard in his head on the vintage equipment.

Tom Hurst (Gary Allan, Sister Hazel, Wang Chung, Backstreet Boys, Tracy Lawrence) on drums set the tone and character Mike was after. David Roe, bass, (Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakum) came to track mostly electric and a couple of upright tracks. The vibe was right and the bass a-thumping. Ten of eleven tracks ended up with upright. Kenny Vaughan, acoustic, electric (Marty Stuart) shared the guitar work with Mike adding grit, tension and color. Ben Probus rounded out the band on fiddle. This small band of special folks were like-minded in the studio to bring the collaborative sound Aiken was looking for.

Tracking and mixing were completed in Deep Creek, Virginia when Aiken brought the project with longtime friend and mixing engineer Skip DeRupa. The two had not worked together since Just Add Salt in 2008 but they picked up as if no time had passed. DeRupa understood exactly what Mike was going for and set about mixing each song for what it needed.

If anybody has earned the title of WAYWARD TROUBADOUR, Mike Aiken has. He ran away as a kid to play music, he became a licensed USCG Captain, he has sailed over 30,000 bluewater miles on his own sailboat and logged countless miles on the road performing in North American and Europe.

Put this record on and become part of the journey.

Band

Mike Aiken – vocals, guitars, mandolin
Amy Aiken – vocals, percussion
Andrew Piland – vocals, guitars, keys, accordian
Jordan Ponzi – vocals, bass

Volume Five – Milestones

Recorded, Mixed and Mastered at Mountain Fever Studios / Willis, VA by Aaron Ramsey
Executive Producer: Mark Hodges

Fresh off the win of TWO International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards, Volume Five has emerged with new music being released on Mountain Fever Records today. “Now That’s a Song” is the first single from an upcoming album due early next year.

Founded by Glen Harrell (fiddle & vocals), Volume Five includes the talents of Patton Wages (banjo & vocals), Colby Laney (guitar & vocals), Chris Williamson (bass & vocals), and Jacob Burleson (mandolin & vocals). These five musicians together blend into a band with true and proven staying power. With countless IBMA, SPBGMA, and Dove Award nominations to their credit, the band walked away with IBMA’s Emerging Artist of the Year and Song of the Year honors just last month in Raleigh, NC. Their previous album, Drifter, received rave reviews, produced several charting singles, and hit Billboard’s Top 5 Best-Selling Bluegrass Albums chart.

With their career moving with an upward trajectory, Volume Five is coming out of the gate strong with “Now That’s A Song,” the first single from their new album. “I had been looking for a good uptempo song and contacted Bob Minner to see if he had anything fresh to send me,” says Glen Harrell. “This one caught my ear right away and I thought ‘now that’s a song.’ A few moments later, after reaching the chorus, I realized that was actually the title of the song! Bob co-wrote this with Shawn Lane and we think it’s a winner!”

With an unexpected, almost subtle dobro kickoff, “Now That’s A Song” blazes into a spirited, straight-up bluegrass melody supporting a sweet lyric telling of a long-time love. Harrell’s lead vocal moves flawlessly with the words while the makeup of V5 proves exactly why they are turning a genre of music noted for its musical dexterity, on its ear.

The Price Sisters – A Heart Never Knows

Recorded last summer in Nashville, A Heart Never Knows combines The Price Sisters’ talents with producer Bil VornDick and performances from a group of notable musicians including Bryan Sutton, Charlie Cushman, Mike Bub, Dennis Crouch, Alan Bartram, Ruth McLain, and Justin Moses. The album offers a satisfying mix of obscure gems from pioneers such as the Carter Family and the Delmore Brothers, coupled with stunning new songs from some of today’s top songwriters.

At just twenty-three years old, twin sisters Lauren and Leanna Price are poised to become the torchbearers for traditional bluegrass as it enters its eighth decade. While their playing is thoroughly rooted in the classic style of Bill Monroe, their smooth, polished sibling vocal harmonies infuse the music with a fresh, contemporary appeal.

With well-chosen songs, creative arrangements, impeccable musicianship and stellar vocal harmonies, A Heart Never Knows confirms that The Price Sisters have arrived, and that the future of bluegrass is in good hands!

Catherine Thompson – Western Serenade

Western classics featuring vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, classical guitar, bass, harmonica and piano by Catherine Thomposon, mandolin by Chris Firebaugh and percussion by Neal Anderson.

Texas Heat – That Hot and Blue Guitar

Bernd Wolf, Texas Heat, February 3, 2018

I really have to tell you all about our new album, “That Hot And Blue Guitar”. We’ll release it on Friday, February 23, 2018. It’ll almost coincide with Johnny Cash’s birthday on February 26, but that is not intentional. It just so happens, even though this is an album about Johnny Cash. But let’s start at the beginning.

“There’s this great studio around the corner from where I live. I’d like to record a band there. How about it, Bernd?” These may have not been the exact words, but that’s how it all started. My friend Danny Hendriks, now formerly frontman and lead singer of the Music Road Pilots, started talking to me about “this studio”. De Moor Studios in Wijchen in the Netherlands, that’s what he was talking about. Texas Heat hadn’t recorded anything in years, and all our old CDs were long sold out, and I wasn’t allowed to have them repressed or use the recordings in any form. Since these were all my songs, though, songs I had written, I could always go back and record them again. This was the time. I thought we needed a PureCASH album to sell at our shows, and get this Johnny Cash theme done and settled to be able to move forward. So, with a lot of planning and checking different schedules, we went to Wijchen in November. It hurt to not be able to see my son Dean on his birthday, the first time ever in 17 years, but it was the only weekend that worked. So Elli, Jens, Gunnar and myself hit the road and drove to Wijchen. We checked into our B&B somewhere in the vicinity, and with great excitement, we drove over to the studio. Danny greeted us and introduced us to the studio owner, Jules Peters. What a nice guy! And looking around the recording room, I knew this was gonna be great if we managed to play well. Three days… well, two and a half, actually, of hard work lay ahead. Sunday at around 6pm, we stopped the session. We had recorded all eleven songs with the full band, worked on individual tracks here and there, recorded some extra guitars and left the rest for another weekend. We had to record the vocals and record some more guitars. We went home tired and happy, knowing there was more hard work waiting in the future. There was one moment on this weekend where I knew that the album was going to be great. Danny and I listened to “Etta’s Tune”, a song written by Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal about Etta and Marshall Grant that we recorded for this album, when Elli came into the control room and said, “Is this us? Really? Cool!” From the very first note on that we recorded, I knew Danny was the right guy to record us.

Two months later, in January 2018, Elli and I drove out to that area again to record the remaining guitars and all the vocals (we had recorded scratch vocals while recording the band, of course). Saturday morning, we started the second round of recordings in the attic of Danny’s house. The guitars came in great, a little editing here and there, and then it was time to start singing. Danny had a number of great studio mics. We tested them all, recorded some lines and compared, then made a decision as to who would sing through which microphone. The fun we had recording the band in November was at least repeated, if not doubled. Three singers… three Country singers, that is, supporting each other to get the timings, the phasings, the notes, the sound and, most importantly, the emotions down on tape… ah, excuse me, hard disc. If I hadn’t experienced it in November, it would have become more than obvious here what a hard worker with great ears Danny is. What a pleasure to work with him! We ended up getting everything recorded by Sunday night. Erwin Van De Ven, a supernice guy, great Bluegrass picker and great repairsman, dropped by on Sunday to bring Danny a guitar he had worked on. And since he brought his mandolin, we thought there certainly was room on our record for a Gibson F5. You can hear him beautify “Redemption Day”, a Sheryl Crow song that we arranged the Texas Heat way. It now has a certain Bluegrass touch. A Gibson F5 and a Fender Tele on the same song, that’s as close as I could come to also salute my other hero, Marty Stuart.

Going home that night, I knew I could have recorded the one or other extra guitar here and there, but the album was really done. Mixing was next, and sending tracks back and forth by Whatsapp sure is a modern way of working together. And I was yet to get in touch with the last person missing in this puzzle, and to say the best was saved for last would not be fair towards Danny and Erwin and my band, but Dion Vermaes sure was worth the wait. Dion mastered our album at De Moor Studios, and, once again, what a supernice and super talented guy he is! Make no mistakes about all this – it was our good, no… our dear friend Danny Hendriks who coordinated all these people and the whole timeline. About a week ago, after two weeks of mixing and talking back and forth, making some suttle and some not so suttle changes, adding reverb here and there, talking about differences in sounds, moving instruments in the mix from the right to the left and back again, finding a guitar missing I wanted to record but forgot to, making a change that makes up for that missing guitar, I had to make a decision in what order I’d want the songs. Elli and I found the right order, I guess. There is no other possible order.

So, finally, three days ago, I received the masters, and I’m happy. The album sounds great! It is way about time to thank Danny Hendriks for his hard work, patience, know-how, his perfect coordination, his friendship and all the fun we had! If you want to record a great record, you should go and contact Danny and his company For The Record Music. More thanks go out to Jessie, Danny’s wonderful wife, for her great hospitality. To Jules Peters at De Moor Studios: I hope YOU are satisfied with our results! Your studio is a great place, my friend! Thanks for inviting us and letting us put some serious boom-chicka-boom through your facility!  To Erwin Van De Ven: thanks for stopping by and putting some of your talent into our record! And thanks for taking care of my boxes. Finally, to Dion Vermaes: Thanks for your talent and for putting the right finishing touches to our record! To you all: We’ll be back!

One last word: These songs, at least eight of them, are a piece of my heart. I’m proud of these songs, I’m proud of these recordings, I’m proud of my band! Please support us and everybody involved in this project by buying this record. Support independent musicians and all these extremely talented people involved in their projects!

Scotty McCreery – Seasons Change

 

It took a long time for Scotty McCreery to get to his third record, Seasons Change. Five years to be precise, a half-decade that saw the American Idol finalist undergo some major life changes, chief among them a departure from his post-Idol record label Mercury Nashville. The imprint dropped him following “Southern Belle” — a 2015 single that didn’t crack the Top 40 — and he resurfaced in 2018 on Triple Tigers with Seasons Change, a record whose very title acknowledges that he’s no longer the eager, bright-eyed kid he was at the dawn of the decade.

The change isn’t just superficial. For the first time, McCreery co-writes every one of the songs on an album, teaming with a host of professional Nashville songwriters, including Jessi Alexander, who co-wrote Lee Brice‘s tear-jerker “I Drive Your Truck” and David Lee Murphy, who had a hit back in 1994 with “Dust on the Bottle.” Many other writers are involved on Seasons Change, but those two indicate the tenor and tone of the album: It’s an album whose heart belongs in a different era, one that feels much older than McCreery‘s 24 years. Despite a few surface affectations, such as the faintest hint of a drum loop on the ballad “This Is It,” the retro-soul groove of “Barefootin’,” and a feint toward hip-hop cadence on “Move It on Out,” there’s nary a trace of the R&B influence that’s so fashionable in the late 2010s, nor is there anything resembling the bro-country of the early 2010s. This is an album firmly and proudly rooted in the tuneful mainstream country of the ’90s. Frankly, this is a good fit for McCreery. A singer who always sounded a fair bit older than his years, he feels comfortable with the throwback sensibility of Seasons Change, as if he’s finally found a home. There’s a charm to his light touch, but that wouldn’t be enough to make Seasons Change as ingratiating as it is. That’s all down to all the smartly constructed commercial cuts, given a handsome polish by producers Frank RogersDerek Wells, and Aaron Eshuis. When combined with the singer’s ease, these elements turn Seasons Change into McCreery‘s best album yet.

Forest Black – I Just Wanted You To Know

A call back to previous eras of country music.

Album Notes
This album is mostly a tribute to a late friend of mine, Raymond “Chock” Chitty. He wrote 2 songs featuring on this album, the primary one being the title track. This album is hopefully going to be another catalyst to cause a return to form in country music. While I believe country music is starting a return to glory, beginning with recent rise to fame of Chris Stapleton, I hope to attribute to this. I believe that traditional country music has always had more soul and substance, and I hope that this album has that for y’all to enjoy.

Jerry Jeff Walker – It’s About Time

Throat cancer nearly felled Jerry Jeff Walker last year as he wrapped recording for It’s About Time. That brush with mortality now adds a reflective tinge to the progressive country stalwart’s first album in nearly a decade. Even as his voice settles into a lower key, Walker continues spinning gorgeously easy melodies and true narratives on a life now more front porch than rowdy bars. “It took me years to give it up, but I felt I might lose her love, or myself,” Walker acknowledges on sobriety ode “Rain Song,” reeling hard-earned epiphanies. Opening trifecta “That’s Why I Play,” “California Song,” and “Because of You” all gracefully take stock of what matters, as does a turn on Guy Clark’s “My Favorite Picture of You.” Walker maintains an ear for others’ songs, most notably on dusky ballad “South Coast” and barrel piano roll “Ballad of Honest Sam,” while his son Django’s “Somethin’ Bout a Boat” – covered by Jimmy Buffett – gets a Seventies Hill Country makeover.