Hoyt Axton – The Jeremiah Records Collection

About this release

Few composers could list an array of artists as diverse as BB King, Steppenwolf, Elvis Presley, Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, John Denver, Waylon Jennings, The Crusaders, The Kingston Trio and Ringo Starr who have covered their songs. Hoyt Axton’s best-known song ‘Joy To The World’, a # 1 hit for the American vocal band Three Dog Night in 1971, starts with the line “Jeremiah was a bullfrog, was a good friend of mine”. Hence, after many albums with the Vee-Jay, Capitol, A&M and MCA labels through the 60s and 70s, when Axton started his own record label in 1979 he named it Jeremiah Records.

This 5 CD clamshell box set features all five Jeremiah Records albums in facsimile wallets, and along with a 32 page booklet featuring the lyrics, musician credits, and annotation.

The first album “Rusty Old Halo” features ‘Della And The Dealer’, a hit in both the US and the UK, as well as three more US country hits. Follow-up album “Where Did The Money Go?” (1980) featured more hits, while 1981’s “Live” featured renditions of his songs made famous by others, like ‘No No Song’, ‘Lion In The Winter’, ‘Never Been To Spain’ and ‘Joy To The World’. Released in 1982 and 1990, “Pistol Packin’ Mama” and “Spin Of The Wheel” bookended Axton’s TV and film career in the 80s, most notably in “Gremlins”.

Axton’s music al guests across the albums include Dr John, Stephen Stills, James Burton, Glenn D. Hardin, Jeff Baxter, Garth Hudson, Paul Butterfield, Bill Kirchen, and Byron Berline.

Jim Chesnut – I Sure Do Miss My Hair

Jim Chesnut creates Americana country music with both melody and story.

 

Album Notes
I found a malignant tumor at the base of my tongue in June of 2017. I stopped performing for several months during treatment and watched several hundred hours of NCIS reruns. I love that show.

During that time I wondered if I would ever be able to produce another album; but, as I slowly began to regain my strength, I began to tire of the sofa and started writing songs again; and here are a few of them.

I would like to thank and recognize three talented musicians for their invaluable contributions to this collection. First, my feisty friend, Jerry Blanton, played pedal steel and lead nylon guitar. Second, A-list studio player, Alan Kolby, played lead electric guitar, and third, Don McRee (who never quits ’till he gets it right) played harmonica.

I would be remiss if I did not recognize my muse and wife, Christine, for her unwavering love and support through this ordeal. I have included a newly recorded version of I’ll Love You Forever (our wedding song) on this album to express my undying gratitude to her for her presence in my life. She inspired two other songs, Just in the Nick of Time and Before I Met You, which are also included in the album. It ain’t easy being married to mercurial me!

This CD would not be possible if not for the San Antonio medical professionals who treated and cared for me during this uncertain time. Dr. Richard Newman (an ENT specialist) referred me to Dr. Lon Smith (an oncologist) at the START Center, which is staffed by an incredible group of people—so caring and proficient. Dr. Mark Weinstein (a dermatologist) took care of some chemo-caused lesions on my scalp and neck.

Finally, I wish to thank my friends Daniel Laser, Jim Hartwell and Rick Dryden who drove and/or accompanied me to a variety of appointments during the treatment months. I could not have done this without your help.
—Jim C.

Samara Lubelski – Flickers at the Station

Biography:

Samara Lubelski… Songwriter, Singer, Multi-Instrumentalist, Improviser, and Engineer…

With a voluminous musical pedigree, the list of artists (individually and collectively) that Lubelski has played/performed/recorded with, reads out like a best-of the who’s who of the art, noise, free, improv, experimental, etc. Hall of Fame, The Tower Recordings, MV and EE, and Thurston Moore are just a few to mention.

Her first solo outing, 1997’s “In the Valley”, was a major installment in the recorded legacy of experimental string music, a dense exploration of drones and resonance. The Fleeting Skies followed in 2004 with a full-band recording of lush psychedelic folk-rock. Since then, Lubelski has released a wonderfully colorful series of albums: “Spectacular Of Passages” (2005), “Parallel Suns” (2007), “Future Slip” (2009), “Wavelength: (2012), and “The Gilded Raid” (2016).

Ms. Lubelski has also studio-engineered records for Double Leopards, Sightings, and Mouthus, amongst many others. Her current projects include an improvisational duo with Marcia Bassett and a long-standing collaboration with German collective Metabolismus. Additionally, Ms. Lubelski has worked with the prolific Thurston Moore on a variety of outings, including playing violin on Mr. Moore’s solo records “Trees Outside the Academy” and “Demolished Thoughts” and recording and touring with his band Chelsea Light Moving.

Her most recent collaborative album is with Body/Head’s Bill Nace, which came out on Nace’s Open Mouth imprint earlier this year. “Flicker At the Stations” on Drawing Room represents Lubelski’s most current full-length offering. 

“Flickers At The Station”:

There are experimental musicians that know how to well craft the best of pop music, and there are pop musicians that know how to experiment at upper echelons of instinct. Samara Lubelski is both of these musicians in one. It may be a bold statement, but yes, it is true, every word. Her breadth of experience in both of the otherworldly sides of these spheres grants her an enlightened gift in song writing. It is elegant and transporting, and it coalesces in that golden new age of purple and orange psychic pop music that ducks its head into the present realm from time to time.

“Flickers At The Station” is an album that showcases Lubelski at a creative apex. Beautiful and breathtaking, it is a forever keeper of a baroque pop record. It’s late evening music. It’s early morning revelation music. It’s a glorious day unto itself. The pure connection between Lubelski’s outré improv and instrumentation and her pop–psychic songwriting is in complete harmony.

Recorded in 2017 in Germany with Lubelski’s forever time collaborators, Metabolismus, and others, “Flickers At The Station” is an essential statement of baroque glory. It’s a cerebrally sensed listening expedition with all future endings open and most hopeful. Bless yourself with this one.

credits

released May 11, 2018

Scott Matthew – Ode To Others

“It’s the first album I’ve written that’s not concerning romantic love. Even though there’s a sense of romance to it, but it’s not connected to my personal romantic love at all. It’s about people and places that aren’t concerning my immediate romantic pain”.

Scott Matthew laughs when he says this last sentence. He is laughing a lot in these days. It`s as if not only a weight has been lifted, but rather something new and beautiful in his life has also begun in his music. The pain may not have gone. But on Ode To Others it seems Scott has changed his point of view from the inside out.

“God, you must have had such a horrible life” most people might have thought of Scott, he says. “With the last album ‘This here Defeat’ I got really tired of showing that. I didn’t want this new album to be about that stuff. So I set about writing songs about different subjects. Odes to people that I love or admire, even fictitious people – and places that are in my heart. And that was really refreshing to me.”

The Public and the Private, the big things and the small things merge together within the lyrics he wrote for Ode To OthersWhere I Come From is the Ode to his father Ian, Cease And Desist is dedicated to his deceased uncle Paul and in Not Just Another Year he celebrates his best friend Michael, on the occasion of the anniversary of his relationship – which, cursed life – has meanwhile come to an end.

As he views these people, who mean a lot, sometimes even everything, he also broadens his outlook onto places from the past and the present.
Places like his Australian childhood (Flame Trees is a cover from the Australian band Cold Chisel); New York, where Scott has been living for 20 years now, meanwhile as an American citizen (The Sidewalks Of New York, a historic song originally written by J.W. Blake in the late 19th century) or the medieval, Portuguese village Santarém where he assures himself as a ecstatic wanderer his literal access to the world, „What I love most maybe glory lost / Or the sadness that’s sweet / Or the ones under our feet“.

Scott`s eye on the world is the one of a loving, of an admirer, but sometimes of a mourner too. For example The Wish is a song about the massacre in Orlando (June 12, 2016) when a single perpetrator invaded the Pulse club and shot 49 people dead, most of them members of the LGBT community. A few hours later Scott wrote the lyrics, expressing a sense of total powerlessness: „This is an assault against love / Still no-one helps, they just pray above / And I wish I could help / I wish I could have helped”.

However, paralyzing helplessness in the face of unbearable violence should not be the last word. This is clear with the beginning of the new album and the first Song End Of Days, an ode to the resistance and the resisting that, in this case, is directed against the policies of the current incumbent US President. Scott Matthew uses “we” for those who do not want to submit and accept. „We may be trembling with fear, it won’t hold us back / We ain’t going away / We’re gonna stay till the end of days“ . Love directs and fulfills this attitude.The narrator of this song does not want to encounter hatred with hatred, but with the universal power of love that never fades and lasts until the end of days.

None of his last five solo records is as diverse; as beautiful orchestrated and complex in arrangements as Ode To Others. This is the result of the collaboration with Scott’s live guitarist, co-writer and producer Jürgen Stark„I didn’t even know whether I liked my songs – before Jürgen came along and gave them all this personality and all this wonderfully intricate layering“.

He’s very proud of his new album Scott Matthew says: „I think it’s one of the best albums we’ve done so far, for a lot of reasons. The idea of minimalism wasn’t very prominent on this album. But it’s not bombastic to me. It’s still got intimacy, but also all this intricate layers. And in the end – all this history.”

One could think of the album Ode To Others as a musical new beginning of Scott Matthew. But that is not quite true. It is rather the result of a change of perspective. From one who looks out into the world of the present and the past and thereby discovers himself in a new way, as a loving, admiring, sometimes even as a contemptuous observer.

A look at the others can also be a look at yourself, as a view back could be also a view ahead.

Abe Partridge – Cotton Fields and Blood for Days

Every now and again an album comes along that absolutely blows me away and I can   t wait to share it with you out there in Internetland      and this album from Alabama singer-songwriter Abe Partridge is one such.

It was the stark opening track Colors that initially caught my attention; with Partridge sounding like a prodigy of Townes, Guy and Rodney the way his lyrics poetically twist and turn via a grizzled and lived in voice over a jagged acoustic guitar and  a cello or violin.
It was only on the third time I listened to track #2 Ride Willie, Ride that I actually realised that it was a love song from a songwriter to Willie Nelson; and the actual title is Ride Willie Ride (Or Thoughts I Had While Contemplating Both the Metaphysical Nature of Willie Nelson and His Harassment By The Internal Revenue Service) and boy; is the world a better place for this song being in it!
Just as I thought I had a handle on where Partridge was coming from track #3 I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker turned everything upside down. Who among us can resist a dirty electric guitar intro followed by the opening lines    Put on my black steel toes/and my free jacket from Goodwill/Gonna get me some dark sunglasses just like Dylan used to wear/ gonna go to my barber and tell him/won   t you do me the wildest of hair   ? That   s not even the best bit; but I will leave you intrigued enough to buy the album and hear it yourself.
Like the very best of his ilk Partridge is no    one trick pony    as that last song proves; but it   s his haunting acoustic ballads about his home town Out of Alabama Blues and The Ghosts of Mobile that make him stand out from his contempories and peers; and not just because he sounds like every single word comes from the darkest recesses of his worn out heart.

 

Choosing a favourite here hasn   t been easy; even before I actually heard it I hoped Our Babies Will Never Grow Up To Be Astronauts would live up to the title; and it does with ease; and it was a similar gut wrenching feeling I had with Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down; and hearing him channel his inner RL Burnside had me slapping the steering wheel with delight when I heard it that first cold morning.
But; and it   s eventually become an easy choice; Prison Tattoos is even better than I   d ever dared hope for from reading the title on the sleeve. This could easily be a lost Townes Van Zandt or Jim White song remixed by Nick Cave as the layers of choppy electric guitars and piano are played without the aid of a safety net as Partridge   s grizzled and Demonic voice purr out a delightfully dark tale.
WOW      .I love my job on days I discover diamonds like Abe Partridge; and you are welcome to fall in love with him too; there   s plenty here for everyone.