The Wynntown Marshalls – After All These Years 2017

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As the title “After All These Years” might suggest, this is a retrospective set marking Edinburgh’s ringing guitars Americana outfit’s ten years together, during which time The Wynntown Marshals have released three albums and assorted EPs as well as having gone through some line-up changes. They’re represented in this 16 track collection that, along with rarities and fan favourites, also includes three previously unreleased new numbers pointing to the road ahead.

It opens with the country rock Low Country Comedown with its thoughts of home and the life of a band on the road from their 2013 The Long Haul album, singer Keith Benzie dust-hoarse vocals recalling Miracle Legion’s Mark Mulcahy. That album also offers up the Byrdsian family-themed Canada, the quieter, more reflective Curtain Call with its tale of a magic trick gone wrong and the Neil Young influenced Tide.

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Debut album Westerner yields three numbers, the gently chugging pedal steel coloured Ballad of Jayne, the spare, slow-paced seven-minute Thunder In The Valley and the chirpier jangle of Snowflake with its Sweetheart of the Rodeo flavours.

Their most recent, critically acclaimed album was 2015’s The End of the Golden Age from which four tracks feature: Being Lazy, a brass warmed number from now departed bassist Murdoch Macleod, with its local landmark references and a dash of glockenspiel. The Gram Parsons influenced Red Clay Hill, with Hannah Elton-Wall from the Redlands Palomino Company on harmonies. The nautical-themed piano whale hunting ballad Moby Doll, and, of course, the jangling title track itself.

Although titled after the opening track of their self-titled 2007 EP debut, the number itself doesn’t figure, though you do get The Burning Blue, a song themed around WWII RAF pilots. Also from that EP is 11:15, a song about the storm and floods of 1829 that devastated farms from Inverness to Montrose that opens with rumbling drums before breaking out into the trademark chiming guitars.

Which leaves the new numbers, the first up being Your Time, guitar and organ underpinning a wistful song about an unequal relationship, followed, some tracks later, by the unrequited love of the yearning Odessa with its organ backing and a fine guitar solo. The final new track closes the album and is, in fact, a recording of Different Drug from the debut EP, the new line-up bringing a fuller, more relaxed sound with the addition of keyboards and more fluid guitar.

They don’t get the wider commercial acclaim they deserve but, as the sticker on the front of the sleeve says, they truly are “Europe’s best Americana band.” So, here’s to the next decade.

We highly recommend that you purchase this album .

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William The Conqueror – Proud Disturber Of The Peace 2017

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William The Conqueror – Proud Disturbed Of The Peace2017 seems to be the year of artists going solo, independent, or otherwise walking away from major record deals. Ruarri Joseph has established himself a member of this trend, leaving his solo folk career behind for more grungy shores, hoping that a new direction would allow him to loosen the restraints on his creativity which was otherwise being restricted by record label demands.

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Joseph’s new band William The Conqueror (featuring drummer Harry Harding and bassist Naomi Holmes) is another reminder that separating oneself from a major industry label can be artistically freeing, and their debut album Proud Disturber Of The Peace is a sign that William The Conqueror know how to work that new found freedom into a consistent and enjoyable album.

After one listen to the band’s debut release it is clear that trying to label Joseph’s newest project with a specific genre presents a challenge. There are hints of country in the guitar hooks and bluesy rhythms are peppered throughout the album, while the overall feel and the band’s laid back approach to performance says good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll.

Mojave 3 – spoon and rafter 2003

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Mojave 3 is a firm all time favourite here and a little bit of me always hopes that they return with more amazing music . Spoon and Rafter was released on 22 September 2003 in the UK, and a day later in the US. After the break up of Slowdive in 95 Neil Halstead formed the birth of Mojave 3 and released 5 amazing albums

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The Schramms – One Hundred Questions 2000

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Shaped from former members of Yo La Tengo, The Human Switchboard and Peter Stanfel’s Bottlecaps, The Schramms have been a Hoboken and New York fixture since 1985.

Finding a place in the sun both in the U.S. and in Europe, they have become one of rock’s most respected and talented bands.

Dave Schramm can also be heard as a featured guitarist on current works by Richard Buckner, Freedy Johnston, Soul Asylum, The Replacements and Whiskeytown.

This Album establishes the depth and sophistication of these veteran song crafters. This time, they’ve enlisted J.D. Foster to produce. This release is tight, and precise. The songs belong together and make for a flowing, detailed and intriguing work – like a book you cannot put down.

The band is joined by such luminaries as Richard Buckner, Syd Straw and Jeb Loy Nichols who all share in the vocals and the atmosphere.

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Lift To Experience – The Texas Jerusalem Crossroads 2017 (remix)

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Well i said to myself that i wasn’t going to purchase this AMAZING album AGAIN , But guess what i ? i did . How could i not purchase this , it is one of the greatest albums ever made by three dudes that make you feel that you just been hit head on by a train of wonderful noise .

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The band set out to create a brand new mix of “The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads” with engineer Matt Pence 15 years after its original release. The album was originally recorded live to tape, and Matt Pence was able to mix from those original recordings and capture the energy of the three musicians playing together in the room.
… If there was ever a case of an album being ‘ahead of its time’ this probably is it. Akin to Slint’s Spiderland in many ways, lift to experience ‘s the texas jerusalem crossroads came seemingly out of nowheresville middle-America (Denton, Texas in this case) and only made a small ripple at the time, the summer of 2001. The band disappeared shortly after, satisfied with their contribution (even if critically and commercially it wasn’t…

…an overwhelming success at the time) but also citing an interest in their solo careers – most notably, lead guitarist/vocalist Josh T. Pearson’s – and a changed world post-9/11. To date, last year’s appearance at Guy Garvey’s Meltdown Festival at the Royal Festival Hall remains their only live performance since.

It’s fascinating looking back on critics’ initial response to The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads years later. In general, no one could deny the band’s ambition in taking on such a ‘big concept’ 90-minute record about the biblical end of the world taking place in Texas (rather than Jerusalem’s actual location in Israel), but there’s a resistance to those same religious allegories and questions Pearson mulls over this 90-minute epic, coupled with the band’s own meta-self-referential plot within the tale. For the uninitiated, The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads begins with “the Angel of the Lord” appearing in front of the band one dark Texan night, prophesising the end of the world is coming and they must “lead the children of Israel to the Promise Land” which turns out to be in Texas. Across the next 90 minutes, Pearson wrestles with his specifically American-Christian struggles with forming a successful band with “a smash hit” as he negotiates with God himself in ‘Waiting’.

On that summary, it’s perhaps understandable that initial audiences weren’t really sure how seriously to take Lift to Experience’s debut (and only) full-length record. Were they actually speaking from a privileged religious point of view – the album certainly isn’t an outright criticism of Christianity – are they in fact as arrogant as they suggest in ‘These Are the Days’? – “So all you haircut bands, doing headstands/thinking you’ll turn the world upside down/Put your guitars up over your shoulders/A new sort of experience is taking over /’cos we’re simply the best band in the whole damn land/and Texas Is The Reason.” – is this meta-fictional narrative just simply pompous and pretentious?

Similarly, by the summer of 2001, musically, audiences would now be fairly used to the epic “post-rock” record. The beginning of this millennium was a pretty incredible time for music considering what was coming just around the corner. Bands who at the end of the previous century had posited themselves as outsiders prophesying, if not maybe the end of the world, certainly a catastrophic change to it, were already releasing big ‘statement’ albums – Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s Lift Yr. Skinny Fists…, Explosions in the Sky’s Those Who Tell the Truth… – while other already gloomy bands changed their established style post Y2K to point to the huge imminent technological changes, both in their music and what it means to us, on its way – Radiohead’s Kid A, Fugazi’s The Argument, Unwound’s Leaves Turn Inside You; however all these bands removed themselves from their art’s focus. While there is no way any of these artists knew exactly what was coming – which fellow Texans Explosions in the Sky found out the particularly hard way – there seemed a general trend in 2000 and 2001 that something was coming.

There are many comparisons to be made between then and now. At the beginning of the millennium, George W. Bush has been sworn in on a wave of right-wing populism after eight years of controversial liberalism, scaring everyone out of their late Nineties stupor into a decade defined by war which would carry on into the next presidency. If in 2001 The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads risked being sanctimonious, 2017’s collective doom-mongering makes this album suddenly very relevant indeed – just when we thought white, American privilege couldn’t surprise us any further they go ahead and elect a fascist.

It also helps that we as an audience are now much more smart to Pearson’s intentions. Given his tremendous solo career in the subsequent time, we are familiar with his wry sense of humour and very real religious and spiritual considerations. Equally, we now live in a very changed world both socially (well, kind of) and musically 15 years on where meta-fictional concept double-albums – such as Fucked Up’s David Comes to Life – is now not such an alien concept in indie music.

Musically, The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads speaks for itself. It is a tour-de-force in musicianship and songwriting, especially impressive for a three-piece. For 90 minutes, the world really does sound like its ending as this trio blast through sonic explosions on their respective instruments, move to delicate, reverb-soaked moments of sorrow and back again over the course of this double album. Another big reason for the record’s underrating at the time is the very valid argument of its sketchy production – hence the real reason for the re-mastering. While the original is still impressive, there often lacks a clarity between each member’s input and layering from the Cocteau Twins’ original mix, which thankfully has now been fixed by Matt Pence (Jens Lekman, Yuck, True Widow) so that the guitars shimmer, the bass rumbles and the drums explode.

With that in mind, along with America’s current climate, there is no reason why The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads shouldn’t finally find its place in indie-rock music’s canon. It is a stunning singular work, hugely visual and symbolic like a great film or novel that highlighting individual tracks is kinda empty when it so clearly should be enjoyed as a whole. Let’s just hope the Angel of the Lord’s prophecies doesn’t come true.

Richmond Fontaine – Thirteen Cities 2016

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The complete Tucson sessions including seven extra tracks.
2007: the snap-pocket shirts, sideburns, literary leanings and pedal steels of alt-country are simply memories from the ’90s. Movement hero and harbinger Jeff Tweedy has led Wilco far from the decade-old roots rock rusticisms of Being There, finding purchase in experimental landscapes dotted with the detritus of modern living. Many have forgotten that Ryan Adams once fronted a marvelous alt-country band called Whiskeytown, as the bedheaded man-child jettisons off into the pop star stratosphere, bouncing from rock to pop to punk to country (again). Not so for Richmond Fontaine, who are led by archetypal old-school-styled alt-country hero Willy Vlautin.

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The intelligent and slightly shaggy Vlautin, who has published a successful novel (and whose voice contains the perfect blend of fragility and gravel for this type of fare), writes smart songs — poetic weepers that ride strains of deep twang and pedal steel and lash sweet pop melodicism to country intonations.

For their seventh album, Thirteen Cities, the Portland, OR band headed into the deserts of Tucson to work for the third time in a row with J.D. Foster, who is known for producing Calexico and Richard Buckner. Calexico pitch in significantly with horns on the euphoric, sprightly pop-country of the opener, “Moving Back Home #2.” Elsewhere, on the busily titled “$87 and a Guilty Conscience That Gets Worse the Longer I Go,” sweet cries of pedal steel trail the mini sketches of Vlautin’s narrator, who witnesses enough suffering and depravity (a near-death boxing match, a tractor-trailer crash, a teenage runaway in a sexual tryst) to spur him into the kind of deeply beautiful and downtrodden existential crisis that was once Tweedy’s stock-in-trade (e.g. “Far, Far Away” from Being There). By the time one gets to “Capsized,” whose down-by-luck narrator drifts, sells his possessions, and estranges himself from all palpable life, you begin to get the sense that the deeper Vlautin plunges his characters into despair, the brighter the twinkle of exultation in his eye. But all would be for naught if he didn’t breathe rare life into these literary tales with melodies that often take breathtaking little turns and swoops.

With Thirteen Cities, Richmond Fontaine employ varnished beauty to exceed the already high-water marks set by 2004’s Post to Wire and 2005’s The Fitzgerald.

sinners and saints – on the other side 2017

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Sometimes you need a friend to laugh with and sometimes you need a friend to cry with. The two-man band Sinners & Saints, from Charlotte, NC, fits the bill for both. Whether they’re crooning about heartbreak or tearing it up with joyful abandon, you’ll feel happier for having listened. Perry Fowler and Mark Baran infuse their acoustic, country-tinged tunes with compelling harmonies and foot-powered percussion on repurposed drums from an abandoned kit.

Since the band’s formation in 2011, Sinners & Saints has been gathering a following of fans who turn to their whiskey drinking, shit kickin’, sweet loving music for a good time but find something more – an irrepressible optimism even in dark times. We’re all sinners and we’re all saints, and we’re all in it together.

The band has shared the stage up and down the east coast with the likes of Flogging Molly, Shovels and Rope, Robert Earl Keen, Daniel Romano, St Paul & the Broken Bones, SUSTO, Sun Kil Moon, Bombadil, and many others.

Sinners & Saints will be releasing their second full-length album, On The Other Side, in early 2017, in partnership with

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Grandaddy – Last Place 2017 (PROMO)

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Well this morning just became “fucking” epic with the arrival of the new Grandaddy album “Last Place” . A massive thanks to Zach for sending this out, this is going to be so hard to beat, Grandaddy return with a brilliant album of just what you expect from them .

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Last Place, is the new album from Grandaddy: Jason Lyte (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Kevin Garcia (bass guitar), Aaron Burtch (drums), Jim Fairchild (guitar), and Tim Dreyden (keyboards). The band formed in Modesto, CA in 1992, and after four albums disbanded in 2006. Jason Lytle relocated to Montana, where he happily made two solo albums, and reconnected with the natural world around him. Eventually, though, life uprooted him again, taking him to Portland, Oregon until he eventually returned to his former home of Modesto. The return to California was practical (he needed to be near his bandmates) but also appropriate, as he had started writing songs that he felt would be fitting for another Grandaddy album. Following a second reunion tour in the summer of 2016, the band announced the new album would be released on Danger Mouse’s 30th Century Records along with releasing a video for the single, “Way We Won’t.”

Last Place, is a perfect addition to the band’s celebrated, critically-acclaimed catalogue, that includes their breakthrough sophomore album, Sophtware Slump, and their debut, Under the Western Freeway. It’s a symphonic swirl of lo-fi sonics and mile-high harmonies, found sounds and electronics-gone-awry mingling with perfect, power pop guitar tones. Lytle’s voice sounds as warm and intimate as ever, giving graceful levity to the doomsday narratives that have dominated the Grandaddy output. Last Place is written, performed, and produced by Jason Lytle.

Ryan Adams – Prisoner 2017

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As i sit here listening to the new arrival of the Ryan Adams album ” Prisoner” i cant help but notice and pick up on , that this album was written while struggling through a very public divorce and a rather fucked up one that could destroyed this man . But happy to say that the divorce has gave us a really superb album and a first of new songs since 2014 .

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Prisoner follows that remake of Taylor Swift that Adams does not look back on fondly as he has quoted in several interviews . This album opens up with “Do you still love me “and has a great punchy vibe going through it with some superb keyboards . I don’t want to go to much about this album other than just grab a copy of it when it gets released .

the kid carsons

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Well siding with the insane stereo have been after this release for a while now and we can gladly say its here , and as soon as it landed on the desk it went straight on the player with a smile .  the bother and sister duo morgan and chad  have delivered one hell of an album here with the tuneful harmonies and heartfelt songs .

this self titled album opens up with “i try” and it confirms with the vocals  and other instruments that its going to be an emotional ride playing this. With a line from the song stating “another plan to fall apart”  with a harvest moon round your neck, this has depth and leaves you thinking about the song .

the kid carsons album is what alt/country is about for us at siding with the insane stereo , it has depth , conviction and full of emotion its polished with bright jangly guitars on songs like “the weight” and with the most effective lap steel playing i have heard in a long time . so we are kinda keeping fingers crossed that “cosmic americana” and “grievous angel promotions” continue there amazing work and bring these guys to the untied kingdom .

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