Buffalo Rose – The Soil & The Seed

Folk and Soul-grass with soaring vocal harmonies.

 

 

 

The Soil and The Seed by Buffalo Rose is a well-produced, cozy folk record with soulful harmonies. Vocalists Mariko Reid, Lucy Clabby and Shane McLaughlin join together to create a wall of sound, with the gently plucked guitar (McLaughlin), dobro (Malcolm Inglis), bass (Jason Rafalak) and mandolin (Bryce Rabideau). In 12 tracks, Buffalo Rose energetically tackles a variety of  Americana-ish songs, ranging from boisterously upbeat (ripe for singalongs) to gently sweet and tenderly sad.

The album-opener, “God Willing,” is a fun stomp- and clap-heavy number, but the band shines brightest on tracks like “Poison Oak.” It’s a bittersweet number about learning from heartbreak, and finding light and a home after the hurt. The beautiful female vocals softly sing: “I opened up the blinds and let the sun in,” an affirmation about inviting happiness back into your life.

Craig Duncan & The Appalachian Orchestra – Smoky Mountain Fifties

Pop hits of the 1950’s featuring Hammered Dulcimer.

Performed on authentic mountain instruments. Includes bluegrass inflected renditions of “Sixteen Candles,” “All I Have To Do Is Dream,” “Bye Bye Love,” and more.

Craig Duncan is no stranger to the Nashville music community. His talents on violin, fiddle, hammered dulcimer, mandolin, guitar, bass, and viola can be heard on numerous Nashville recordings. A graduate of Appalachian State University and Tennessee State University, Craig is a member of the North American Fiddler’s Hall of Fame and Who’s Who in Music and Musicians.

Pony League – A Picture of Your Family

This album is a peek into the space between the moments that have shaped us, both as people and a band. It’s a spring cleaning of emotional baggage, dusting off neglected cracks and corners only to find a comforting beauty in the accidental symmetry of what’s been left behind. A Picture of Your Family. Please enjoy!

Love,

Pony League

I love a good cinematic songwriter. I want to be completely transported into the world that you’re creating with your music– include all the minutia of your daily life if that means that you can paint a picture so crystalline that I can’t help but see myself lost in it. I’ve talked ad nauseam about the way I think Jake Ewald has perfected the craft– but where would he be if it weren’t for acts like Billy Joel or Bruce Springsteen? Those two men spared no detail and made sure to include whatever necessary to help the world they were creating come to life. That’s a quality that I’ve come to cherish as I’m getting older, and it’s one that I’m happy to report I’ve found in a band called Pony League.

The band recently announced their new record, A Picture Of Your Family, will be released on March 23rd through hometown-hero record label Break Kids Recordings and I couldn’t be more excited to share the title track with y’all! There’s something about this track that just draws you in– I don’t know if it’s the vulnerable nature of the vocals and piano or if it’s the drawl that helps make the story-telling feel authentic and serene. It’s one of those songs you can’t stop listening to because you love the fact that you feel something when you’re listening to it. You’re taken out of your own head, the negativity of real life slips away, and in a true Walking In Memphis kind of way– you can’t help but feel a little somber but somehow full of joy.

When asked about the song, vocalist Gus Fernandez said: “‘A Picture Of Your Family’ is an attempt to capture the fleeting emotions that come rushing during unexpected moments of quiet or “in-between moments”. You know when you’re at home at a time where you’re usually at work or school, and the light peeks through the window in ways you’ve never noticed? Or if you’ve ever booked a really early flight and found yourself in a cab before the sunrise looking out the window while the world still sleeps. This song is about the buried treasures that pop into your mind (or at least my mind) in that unexpected state of rest. In my case, it started with a glance at an old family photo that I walk by every day. On this particularly quiet day, the photo sent a rush of nostalgia through me and I found myself wondering how I’d gotten here.”

Charlie Jackson and the Heartland Railway – Charlie Jackson and the Heartland Railway

Singer-songwriter Charlie Jackson emerges with his debut album featuring his band The Heartland Railway.

Singer-songwriter Charlie Jackson is backed by his band The Heartland Railway. Alternative country inspired by Jason Isbell, Dwight Yoakam, and Ryan Adams among others.

Poor Man’s Wiskey – Juniper Mountain

A concept album about a psychological journey that unfolds as the album develops, it is filled with pain and regret but also a universal story of great hope and love that can carry us through difficult times.

Album Notes
The concept of Juniper Mountain began in the year 2001 with two instrumentals (“Red Haired Boy” and “The Ballad of Seamus O’Mally”) and the idea of creating a concept album about these two separated lovers and the plight of the protagonist. The story centers around his journey from Ireland to America to earn money to marry, but he is immediately drafted off the boat into the Civil War. From there he battles with psychological impacts from the war as he works his way ultimately to San Francisco. It is a story filled with pain and regret..but also a universal story of a great hope and love that can carry us through difficult times. This is a journey that unfolds as the album develops. It is a throwback to yesteryear when albums were listened to in their entirety and that get better the more it is dug into.

Michael Wilks – Full Steam Ahead

Michael Wilks, Newcastle NSW based singer, songwriter and musician has gained a great deal of recognition and radio airplay in Australia and America with his 2015 and 2016 song releases “Back Seat of My Car”, “No More” and “City Lights”. His current single “Simple Times” is currently number 31 on the American Music Charts (as at January 26th, 2018).

Michael was signed to Winter Records in Nashville USA, where he recorded his EP “A New Direction” in March 2016, which includes the single “City Lights”. The resulting songs have earned Michael a place as a 2018 finalist for the ICMA Awards and the AAMusicLinx Awards, the winners of which are due to be announced during the (Australian) Tamworth Music Festival in January 2018. Having spent the Month of March 2016 in Nashville, Michael returned to Australia reinvigorated and inspired to pursue his love of music and write more, digging deep for the words that strike a chord. The quality of the songs and his musical ability has resulted in Winter Records inviting Michael back to Nashville.

Michael returned to America in August 2017 to record his new album “Full Steam Ahead” (yet to be released) and undertake a promotional tour of the midlands of American, crossing 8 states and covering almost 8,000km in under 2 weeks. It was a very successful tour if the popularity of “Simple Times” is anything to go by, with a return to Nashville planned either for 2019 or 2020.

Michael entertains with both his originals and cover songs engaging with the audience in a light hearted and truly Australian witty way, leaving the crowd asking for more. Combining Country, Rock, Blues and Classics with a few other eclectic elements that make his show unique. Michael loves hitting the road with his guitar and his duo partner, and with his home town of Newcastle, every point on the compass is an option, even as far east as Nashville in 2017.

ichael’s influences include Eric Clapton, The Eagles, The Beatles, Striper, Metallica and Johnny Cash, and with a classical piano background and many years playing lead guitar, his skills musically are unquestionable, and he engages the young and old and everything in between.

Great Peacock – Gran Pavo Real

Andrew Nelson and Blount Floyd make music enriched by their native South. Influenced by Pop Melody as well as Traditional Folklore. It’s old art for the new generation.

Anthemic acoustic guitar riffs mixed with contemplative finger-picked melodies. Lyrics spanning from reflective to whiskey-drunk. Dramatic vocal builds alongside gentle harmonies. Waves of folk crashing against shoals of rock and blues. Together, these traits define both the heart of Americana music as well as the soul of Great Peacock’s new album, Gran Pavo Real.

It may seem improbable how well these rising folk rockers feel the pulse of the Americana genre, yet trace their roots to an alcohol-fueled night of creativity among the band’s founding duo, singer/guitarist Andrew Nelson and fellow guitarist Blount Floyd.  Somehow the country-rock loving Nelson and the 90’s country-music-influenced Floyd hit on the idea, almost joking, of creating a folk band…with an animal in its name…thus creating the blurry vision that is now Great Peacock.  Perhaps the band’s unorthodox heritage is what allows Gran Pavo Real to stand out as its own sound in a musical landscape inundated with “authentic,” cookie cutter, offerings.

With Gran Pavo Real, the band has taken a remarkable step in the complexity of their lyrical songwriting. On “One Way Ticket,” Nelson muses about a restless spirit taking flight: “I’m a Rolling Stone/Yeah I can’t sit still/I’m a one-way ticket/heading straight downhill/ I’m a backroad Baptist with stories to tell/Got a one-way ticket to keep me out of hell.” On the album, whether pining, reflecting, or simply going on a bender, the lyrics have a poetic flow that allows them to impact with deeper meaning.

While the band’s dramatic, anticipation-charging musical builds and drops are still present on many of the songs, there are plenty of works that feature a tender intimacy that pair well with the album’s more emotional pieces. Where “Take Me Down” has all the scratchy guitar, moody organ, and rolling beat needed for a jamming, festival-ready, hazy head-nodder, “Oh Deep Water” contrasts with bright guitar accents, preaching organ, and contemplative mallet-struck drums. Where “Heartbreak Comin’ Down” features a toe-tapping, gritty, southern rock, touch of rockabilly flair, “Begging To Stay” is a lyrically sin-laden, hymn-vocal power ballad that conjures delightful images of Meatloaf making an Americana album. For an interlude, there is the lighthearted, honky-tonking, booze-dripping “Let’s Get Drunk Tonight,” which feels like a tribute to Floyd’s country music past, the band’s Nashville home, and a reminder not to take itself so seriously. While touching on abundant inspirations, the album’s tracks are bound by the band’s wide love for music.

Great Peacock allows its influences to expand the band’s sound beyond the formalistic traps of a folk identity, while still embracing enough heartfelt classic charm that even purists will embrace. Gran Pavo Real serves as a showcase of the band’s diverse style and the broad Americana landscape.

Fourth Moon – Ellipsis

Having met four years ago and formed the band 2016, consist of renowned young artists – Moshen Amini (Talisk & Imar) Concertina/ David Lombardi (Holiday On iO) fiddle/ Geze Afank (Event Horizon ) Fltue- Pipes & Whistles/ Jean Damei (Event Horizon)  Guitar.

Hailing from Glasgow / South of France / Vienna/ – initially meeting up at Limerick!  sharing a common ground,  while bringing together their diverse music history, bring an explosive and stunning, and refreshing sound. With host of individual awards under their belts including the 2016 BBC Radio Scotland Young Musician of the Year, 2015 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Winner, 2015 MG ALBA Up and Coming Artist of the Year nomination, Musician of the Year nomination for both the MG Alba Trad Awards and then BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Piping championship titles in Germany/Austria and upwards of 5 All Britain titles, Fourth Moon are coming with a bang with this their first CD.

Pretty Gritty – Seven Year Itch

 

There is something simply divine coming out of Portland Oregon and it’s the duo Pretty Gritty. Their release Seven Year Itch is a colorful palette of their songwriting and multi-instrumental skills. Sarah and Blaine have a sound that is a timeless treasure, they also succeed in bringing something fresh to the rootsy-Americana genre. Pretty Gritty is a flawless fit.

A bold start off with ‘If I Was a Carpenter‘ shows the grit and the amazing harmonies that these two our capable of. The simplicity of a stripped down song out the gate only means one thing; you are good!  They enchant you from the beginning.

Having shared stages with Tim O’Brian, Tony Trischka, Chris Eldridge, Rod Picott, Lake Street Dive and Joe Newberry.  This is a show you will want to see. They are equals in this project. It is their mesmerizing vocal harmonies and beautifully crafted songwriting that really tug at the heartstrings and earn them life-long fans.

‘Bone to Pick’ can’t help but remind you of a Johnny Cash and June Carter duet. Yet they equally have their own standout style. ‘Coming Loose’ is a handcrafted track that again shows the perfection and beauty in their partnership.

The duo originally formed in Maryland in 2010, but after completing 2 (completely DIY) National tours, Sarah and Blaine decided to relocate to Portland, OR.  At first they hit the streets, busking downtown, but it didn’t take long for folks to take notice.  Pretty Gritty are now playing at venues all over the Pacific Northwest. In 2015, Pretty Gritty began their relationship with producers Fred Cannon & Paul Buono at Creative & Dreams Music Network (Nashville, TN) where they recorded their Lonely Road EP (released Feb 2016).  Pleased with the experience, everyone decided to continue the relationship and return to the studio to record a full album, Seven Year Itch, due to release later this month.

Standout track and the single off Seven Year Itch is ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore‘. The song gives you the real sense of the ups and downs of love, the nothingness’ and the hope. The video for this track captures every lyric effortlessly.

Blaine said the collective ideas of both Sarah and him were on target with Ian Rushing (Toy Box Studios) before they even discussed their wants for this video. “He simply gets it and us! The video translates the song perfectly by painting a picture that is both sad and beautiful. While outlined with hope.”

‘Every Road’ brings an edgy country pop radio hit for the album, making it a standout addition to their collection. ‘Somthing’s Gotta Give’ is intricately textured with stringed instruments and their breathtaking harmonies. The stylistic ‘Save Yourself the Trouble’ and ‘The Town’ again shows more in this duo’s arsenal. The start to finish flow of this album is nearly perfect in every way.

Bottom line the whole album from Pretty Gritty is highly listenable and highly recommended.

Baxter Stone – Slowburning

Baxter’s music is a journey that visits blues, bluegrass, alt-country and rock and has been known to write a pop song with a mean left hook.

Baxter Stone is an Australian musician who has played in bands from Adelaide to London. Adelaide Bands Primitive Painters, Puppethead and Melbourne Bands Lipstick Jack, Two Dollar Moon being the most notable with forged a duelling guitar with singer songwriter Jim Gamack.

Slowburning is the result of a collaboration with Baxter Stone and Alun Lane. While Baxter was living in London.

The two musicians met at an open mic jam night in London that Baxter was hosting and built the album from single solo performances recorded by Baxter originally as demos and instrumentation was added by Alun Lane.

Alun Lane is a London born and bred musician a session guitarist and multi instrumentalist who contributed drums, bass, guitar, keyboards and various instruments to the compositions.

Baxter also plays some additional bass, guitar and keyboards.
David Williams plays bass on some tracks