Keep scrolling down the page for our blog/program guide.
Pics, bios, reviews, album art and more! Learn lots about all the folks on the show!
Picture Show- John Prine- “The Missing Years”
Show Me Love- Anna Wilson- “Jazzbird/Songbird”
Show Me- Jazzabillies- “Show Me”
One More Lousy Picture Show- Chip Taylor- “Unglorious Hallelujah”
Show Biz Kids- Steely Dan- “Showbiz Kids: The Steely Dan Story 1972-1980”
Side Show Blues- Todd Snider- “Step Right Up”
One Monkey (Don’t Stop No Show)- Francine Reed- “I Got a Right!…To Some of My Best”
Hot New Music:
Red River Band- Wayne Garner- “Love Drunk Fool”
Where Are You Going Now- Jaimee Harris- “The Polished Steel Sessions”
Nightclub Tan- Walk That Walk- “No Thinking Allowed”
Forever In My Dreams- The Weeping Willows- “Before Darkness Comes a-Callin’
Mercury 49- Uncle Doghouse- “Back To The Bone”
Empty Train- David Francey- “Empty Train”
Tell Me Why- Alvin Lee- “In Tennessee”
No Telling- Tom Russell- “Indian Cowboys Horses Dogs”
Stories We Could Tell- The Mavericks- “Mono”
Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends- Willie Nelson featuring Rosanne Cash- “To All The Girls”
You’ve Been Telling Me Lies- Kate Meehan- “As Long As I’ve Sung The Blues”
Why Don’t You Tell Me So- Hammertowne- “”Hammertowne”
Tell It Like It Is- Otis Redding and Carla Thomas- “King & Queen”
** Keep scrolling down the page for our informative blog/program guide. Follow along as you listen! **
Picture Show- John Prine
An acclaimed singer/songwriter whose literate work flirted with everything from acoustic folk to rockabilly to straight-ahead country, John Prine was born October 10, 1946, in Maywood, IL. Raised by parents firmly rooted in their rural Kentucky background, at age 14 Prine began learning to play the guitar from his older brother while taking inspiration from his grandfather, who had played with Merle Travis. After a two-year tenure in the U.S. Army, Prine became a fixture on the Chicago folk music scene in the late ’60s, befriending another young performer named Steve Goodman.
Prine’s compositions caught the ear of Kris Kristofferson, who was instrumental in helping him win a recording contract. In 1971, he went to Memphis to record his eponymously titled debut album; though not a commercial success, songs like “Sam Stone,” the harsh tale of a drug-addled Vietnam veteran, won critical approval. Neither 1972’s Diamonds in the Rough nor 1973’s Sweet Revenge fared any better on the charts, but Prine’s work won great renown among his fellow performers; the Everly Brothers covered his song “Paradise,” while both Bette Midler and Joan Baez offered renditions of “Hello in There.”
-Jason Ankeny, AllMusic.com
Prine took five years between his ninth studio album and this, his tenth — enough time to gather his strongest body of material in more than a decade. From the caustic “All the Best” to the cliche compilation “It’s a Big Old Goofy World,” Prine’s gifts for emotional revelation and off-the-wall humor are on display in abundance, and he’s aided by excellent production (courtesy of Heartbreaker Howie Epstein) and strong backup musicians. The Missing Years won the 1991 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album.
-William Ruhlmann, AllMusic.com
Photo by: Jim Shea
Show Me Love- Anna Wilson
JAZZ has a new “It Girl”… Anna Wilson is finally “fading, fading into view,” to quote the Jazzbird/Songbird chanteuse and the poignant lyric from her upcoming single “Polaroid.” After recording five studio albums, becoming the queen of the jazz vocal duet on her critically acclaimed Countrypolitan Duets album, achieving status as an award-winning ASCAP songwriter whose works appear on over 7 million RIAA certified records, and lending her philanthropic spirit through music in her partnership with Habitat For Humanity International, this dynamic and diverse songbird has much to sing about.
Her new album Jazzbird/Songbird, due out on Transfer Records in 2015,is a modern day approach to old school record making, when albums were created as a complete thought and experience for the listener from beginning to end.
Show Me- Jazzabillies
Missouri based western swing group featuring Jimmy & Starla Queen.
One More Lousy Picture Show- Chip Taylor
The New York Times says it best about Chip Taylor. “If you only know him as the as the guy who wrote ‘Wild Thing’ and ‘Angel of the Morning” — you don’t know him! Chip Taylor is making some of the most distinctive acoustic music around today.”
Creating distinctive music that is also enduring and influential has been Chip Taylor’s métier over the course of what is closing in on five decades as “one of America’s finest songwriters as well as a masterful singer and performer,” says Rolling Stone. His two best-known songs are only some of the many pop, rock, country and R&B chart hits he wrote in the 1960s (Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield and Frank Sinatra all recorded his songs). Taylor was then one of the pioneers of the pivotal country-rock movement as a recording artist in the 1970s. His 1973 album, Last Chance, remains a beloved cult classic. But after refusing to play by the Nashville establishment rules, Taylor gave up music for full-time professional gambling in 1980.
“Chip Taylor could’ve rested on his laurels years ago and still been way ahead of everybody else today. Lucky for us he didn’t and he’s making some of the most relevant music out there,” said Buddy Miller just last year. Since returning to music in 1996 he has enjoyed elder statesman stature within the Americana, contemporary folk and singer-songwriter scenes as an artist in his own right as well as in collaboration on albums and in performance with Carrie Rodriguez, Kendel Carson and John Platania. In a remarkable and prolific run, Taylor has released nearly an album a year since his return, each rising high on the Americana chart. As England’s The Guardian notes, “Chip Taylor, like Johnny Cash, is well worth rediscovering by a new generation.”
Show Biz Kids- Steely Dan
Most rock & roll bands are a tightly wound unit that developed their music through years of playing in garages and clubs around their hometown. Steely Dan never subscribed to that aesthetic. As the vehicle for the songwriting of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, Steely Dan defied all rock & roll conventions. Becker and Fagen never truly enjoyed rock — with their ironic humor and cryptic lyrics, their eclectic body of work shows some debt to Bob Dylan — preferring jazz, traditional pop, blues, and R&B. Steely Dan created a sophisticated, distinctive sound with accessible melodic hooks, complex harmonies and time signatures, and a devotion to the recording studio. With producer Gary Katz, Becker and Fagen gradually changed Steely Dan from a performing band to a studio project, hiring professional musicians to record their compositions. Though the band didn’t perform live after 1974, Steely Dan’s popularity continued to grow throughout the decade, as their albums became critical favorites and their singles became staples of AOR and pop radio stations. Even after the group disbanded in the early ’80s, their records retained a cult following, as proven by the massive success of their unlikely return to the stage in the early ’90s.
Walter Becker (bass) and Donald Fagen (vocals, keyboards) were the core members of Steely Dan throughout its variety of incarnations.
-Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic.com
1967-1968: Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, erstwhile students at Bard College, discover common interests in jazz, blues, popular music and contemporary literature, particularly so-called Black Humor. They begin collaborating on songs which they perform in various pickup bands.
1969: Fagen and Becker attempt to peddle their songs door to door in the famous Brill Building, home to many if not most of the schlock music publishers of the day. They are eventually signed to a publishing deal by a small company owned by 60’s group Jay and the Americans, who are enjoying a brief revival of their popularity due to their hit remake of the Drifters’ “This Magic Moment”.
1970: Fagen and Becker join the Jay and the Americans’ touring band
1971: On the recommendation of staff producer Gary Katz, the partners are signed as staff songwriters by Jay Lasker, president of ABC/Dunhill Records in Los Angeles. They move to Los Angeles where they are given a small office-with-piano in which to grind out the hits. A desk drawer in the office still contains the brown bag lunches of the previous song-writing team to use the office. The team interprets this touching detail as a symbol of the impermanence of success in the pop music scene. They proceed to write a series of classic but unrecordable cheesy pop songs, while secretly planning to assemble their own band and record their own album.
1972: After rehearsing after hours in the unfinished new wing of ABC Records office, the intrepid little band hits the studio and records their first album. The album, entitled “Can’t Buy A Thrill”, is released under the name “Steely Dan”, which has been unceremoniously lifted from William Burroughs’ novel, “Naked Lunch”. The charter members are: Denny Dias (Guitar), Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (guitar), Jim Hodder (drums) and David Palmer (vocals).
Photo by: Frank Ockenfels
Side Show Blues- Todd Snider
Singer/songwriter Todd Snider first garnered attention for his timely alt-rock satire “Talkin’ Seattle Grunge Rock Blues,” a folk-rock song that struck a chord with younger people fed up with angry alternative rock bands, and at the same time, appealed to aging rockers who grew up with the folk revival of the 1960s. Snider was born in Portland, Oregon, and grew up in Santa Rosa, Austin, Houston, and Atlanta. After moving to Memphis in the mid-’80s and establishing residency at a local club named the Daily Planet, he was discovered by singer/songwriter Keith Sykes, a member of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band. Sykes began to work with Snider to help advance his career, and after passing on demo tapes of Snider to Buffett, he was signed to the star’s Margaritaville Records. Snider’s debut album, Songs for the Daily Planet was released in the fall of 1994; “Talkin’ Seattle Grunge Rock Blues” was added to the album as an afterthought only after intense lobbying by a Canadian music critic, and ultimately became a minor hit.
On his second effort, 1996’s Step Right Up, Snider and his band, the Nervous Wrecks (comprised of lead guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Will Kimbrough, bassist Joe Mariencheck, drummer Joe McLeary, and keyboardist David Zollo), continued blending bluegrass, blues, folk-rock, and country-rock to forge their own distinctive sound.
-Richard Skelly, AllMusic.com
Picking up where he left off with his exceptional debut Songs for the Daily Planet Todd Snider continues his ragged-but-right blend of folk, country and rootsy rock & roll on this 14-song release. At times brilliant, Snider’s songwriting talent is still intact, as is his passionate voice and the superb instrumental backing by his band the Nervous Wrecks. The first single “I Believe You” is a hopeful testament of the singer’s faith in human nature. Keen observations of social and political issues are honestly presented, using wit and humor as in “Side Show Blues,” “Tension,” and with kick-in-the-gut seriousness — “T.V. Guide,” “24 Hours a Day.” It’s not all weighty stuff though — the swampy “Moon Dawg’s Tavern” and the Chuck Berry-esque rocker “Late Last Night” are just plain fun. Hear him out; he’s got a lot to say.
-Jack Leaver, AllMusic.com
Photo by: Ken and Leola Ristau
One Monkey (Don’t Stop No Show)- Francine Reed
Vocalist Francine Reed can’t remember a time when she didn’t sing. In her youth, the Chicago-born, Phoenix-raised song stylist sang in church and in grammar school. She began singing professionally with her family when she was five and continued into her teens. She got married young and had four children, whom she ended up raising alone. She worked a variety of day jobs and kept her singing career an avocation until 1985, when some friends introduced her to Lyle Lovett. Lovett was interested in finding a female vocalist for his new band and found his singer in Reed. She toured with Lovett for ten years as a member of Lovett’s Large Band, and did several TV performances with the Texas singer/songwriter. While her association with Lovett continues, she has embarked on the kind of solo career she always wanted when working the day jobs to support her family.
To date, Reed has recorded two albums for the Atlanta-based Ichiban label in 1995 and 1996. Her amphitheater performances with Lovett must have surely had an effect on sales of both of her records. Reed also got a few other nice breaks, including the chance to do some singing for TV commercials. Tom Cruise cranks her album up in a scene from the 1993 movie The Firm.
-Richard Skelly, AllMusic.com
There aren’t many women who can sing the blues like this semi-legendary Atlanta-based belter, and as the title indicates, I Got a Right! compiles 13 audience favorites onto one CD. Since the original recordings of most of these tunes were tied up in legal wrangling when Ichiban records went under, Reed and longtime collaborator Marvin Taylor simply took the band back into the studio and re-recorded the suckers, boasting proudly in the liner notes that most of these versions came on the first or second take. It’s a smart approach that captures the fresh feel of Reed’s raucous live shows, where songs like “Been There, Done That” and “One Monkey (Don’t Stop No Show)” have earned her a Mae West-like reputation. Fan and friend Willie Nelson stops by for a duet on the lilting, New Orleans-style jazz of “The Night Life,” and Reed finds a personal anthem of sorts in the brassy “Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues.” Her band is in top form here, with a sizzling horn section and smoking guitar solos from Taylor, but Reed is undoubtedly the star of this show, howling, wailing, and growling with every ounce of passion in her soul. If you’re a blues fan and don’t know Francine Reed, here’s a wonderful chance to find out what you’ve been missing.
-Bret Love, AllMusic.com
Red River Band- Wayne Garner
Born and raised in eastern Oklahoma, primarily growing up in Native American communities Wayne Garner was deeply influenced by the people, the land and the struggle around him. He started playing guitar and creating music early on to find a voice for the story that was growing within. Finding moments of joy and reflection in the sounds of Radney Foster, Steve Earle, George Ducas, Buddy Holly, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, as well as other great storytellers and wordsmiths. Wayne started performing gigs in high school, playing in southeastern Oklahoma and Texas around the places and people he called home. After school, life took him to college and football, he was away from everything he knew, but music was always his first love and it was there he found it’s path. Although the path left him homeless and living in his car at times he has never lost sight of music being his true passion. Opening for and playing alongside Shooter Jennings, Jason Boland, Charlie Robison, Bart Crow and many other greats, the young road-worn troubadour and his band have already logged thousands of miles playing 150 plus dates a year in front of loyal crowds at far-flung, late-night clubs and halls all over Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas. Recently signed with Smith Music Group, his second album “Love Drunk Fool” was released on January 29th, 2016 and stayed on the front page of Itunes featured new releases and recent releases for 2 months.
Where Are You Going Now- Jaimee Harris
Jaimee Harris is a unique musical voice rising out of a deep well of Texas singer/songwriters. Her songs draw on universal themes of love, longing and family, while her style incorporates all the best that Americana has to offer. Planted somewhere between country and roots music, Jaimee is comfortable in her own musical skin. She began playing guitar at age 5, and she started writing songs almost immediately. She hasn’t stopped. Drawing from musical influences as diverse as Patty Griffin and Led Zeppelin, Jaimee’s musical palette is as broad as it is deep.
SAN MARCOS, Texas – Americana website Polished Steel announces its debut release The Polished Steel Sessions (due May 13), a digital collection of previously unreleased original songs by the best in Central Texas and beyond. “All songwriters have songs that haven’t fit older albums or new songs that may or may not make it onto a future record,” says Brian T. Atkinson, who curates the Polished Steel site and produced the new collection with Jenni Finlay. “This record gives them a home and showcases songs in their natural form, raw and acoustic and cut in just one or two takes.”
The Polished Steel Sessions features all new recordings by a dozen artists including Adam Carroll, BettySoo, Bill Chambers, Jaimee Harris, Curtis McMurtry, Verlon Thompson and Walt Wilkins, among others. The musicians found sessions an exciting opportunity to release unrecorded songs.
Photo by: Daniel Cavazos
Nightclub Tan- Walk That Walk
As one of the premier bands on the impressive Boston blues scene – Walk That Walk is an east coast phenomenon, but its Midwestern roots run deep. The group’s material and performances are influenced by the fertile sounds of Detroit and Chicago, where the electric blues were ignited in the 1950s. The group has been on the scene for many years, beginning their long-standing blues testimony back in 1992.
>> Read more…
Forever In My Dreams- The Weeping Willows
“The writer who refuses to explore the darker reaches of the heart will never be able to write convincingly about the wonder, magic and joy of love.”
— Nick Cave
ABOUT THE WEEPING WILLOWS
These words are particularly apt when applied to The Weeping Willows’ second album, Before Darkness Comes A-Callin’. Recorded in Los Angeles with multiple Grammy winner, Ryan Freeland and a small cast of players hand-picked to leave all the right gaps and spaces, this record should be received as a mature, melancholic sequel to their debut. But listen a little harder and you’ll hear that the record is filled with that all of that wonder, magic and joy of which Nick Cave speaks.
That’s hardly surprising because, in a way, every song penned by The Weeping Willows is a love song. They’d deny that, of course. These tracks, they’d claim, are works of imagination – tales of cruelty, tragedy, murder and betrayal, all populated by gamblers, sinners, infidels and travelling salesmen (read: wandering musicians). Ask Andy or Laura to define their work and they’d probably hit you with phrases like “cautionary tales”, “murder ballads” or simply “folk songs”, but in truth these are love songs – each and every one of them.
“Their authenticity and craft as singers, as songwriters and in Andrew Wrigglesworth’s sublime guitar playing makes this a hypnotic and alluring album. Dark folk, blues and country musings on nature, death and doomed romance suit them well and puts Wrigglesworth and Laura Coates right up there with the finest Americana music you’ll hear this year.”
– The Music (themusic.com.au) (Feb. 2016)
“The (Weeping Willows) record is a stunning evolution for a band who doesn’t take their musical craft lightly, an impressive masterclass in songwriting and storytelling, Before Darkness Comes A‐Callin’ is definitely an album worth spending some time with…”
– Tone Deaf (tonedeaf.com.au) (Feb. 2016)
“With Before Darkness Comes A Callin’, The Weeping Willows have delivered a world class Americana album ingrained with integrity and a good tip of the hat to the traditional elements of the genre. If this is the current quality of Americana music in Australia, we’re in good hands…”
– Americana Australia (facebook.com/americanaustralia) (March 2016)
“The Weeping Willows have created a real country‐folk gem with their debut record. They take us back to what is beautiful about traditional country music: tender harmonies, wonderful guitar picking and lovingly crafted songs.”
– Les Thomas, Unpaved’ (unpaved.com.au)
“This is music that mixes songwriting, storytelling, virtuosic playing and the simple delight of two perfectly matched voices singing in harmony to excellent effect.”
– Chris Familton, Post to Wire (posttowire.com)
Mercury 49- Uncle Doghouse
New bluesy roots music from Sweden!
Empty Train- David Francey
David Francey is a Scottish-born Canadian carpenter-turned-songwriter, who has become known as “one of Canada’s most revered folk poets and singers” (Toronto Star). Born in Ayrshire, Scotland to parents who were factory workers, he moved to Canada when he was twelve. For decades, he worked across Canada in rail yards, construction sites, and in the Yukon bush, all the while writing poetry, setting it to melodies in his head and singing it to himself as he worked.
A truly authentic folk singer, Francey is a documentarian of the working person who never imagined earning a living from his music. But when he was in his 40s, his wife, artist Beth Girdler, encouraged him to share his songs and sing in public. The reaction was instant. His first album Torn Screen Door came out in 1999 and was a hit in Canada. Since then, he has released eleven albums, won three Juno Awards and has had his songs covered by such artists as The Del McCoury Band, The Rankin Family, James Keelaghan and Tracy Grammer.
Francey also had the honour of receiving the prestigious SOCAN Folk Music Award as well as taking home the Grand Prize in both the International Acoustic Music Award and in the Folk category for the John Lennon Songwriting Award.
“David’s straightforward songs tell honest stories of real people and real places. Poetic perception and a keen eye for the heart of the matter are trademarks of the man and his music. His songs and stories are a direct connection for audiences seeking depth and meaning in the day-to-day.” Shelter Valley Folk Festival
David Francey was born in Ayrshire, Scotland where he got his first taste of the working life as a paperboy. At age 10 he was devouring the newspapers he delivered, establishing a life-long interest in politics and world events while developing the social conscience that forms the backdrop of his songs.
“…one of Canada’s best loved troubadours” Greg Quill, Toronto Star
“DavidFrancey is one of my fave conversationalists. Great stories, great songs.” Amanda Putz, host of CBC’s Bandwidth
“He’s like those Texas songwriters, the Guy Clark’s and Van Zandt’s and such, who take life and set it to music, in such plain but perfect language. Oh, and it rhymes. And it’s catchy. Each song is a bit of common sense philosophy, mixed with a tiny bit of sadness and a lot of love” CBC New Brunswick
“A Francey record is best served with a pint over a few moments to yourself to sit back and enjoy” View
Tell Me Why- Alvin Lee
Born in Nottingham England, ALVIN LEE began playing guitar age 13 and formed the core of the band Ten Years After by aged 15. Originally influenced by his parent’s collection of jazz and blues records, it was the advent of rock and roll that truly sparked his interest and creativity, and guitarists like Chuck Berry and Scotty Moore provided his inspiration.
The Jaybirds, as Lee’s early band was called, were popular locally and had success in Hamburg, Germany, following the Beatles there in 1962. But it wasn’t until the band moved to London in 1966 and changed its name to TYA that international success beckoned. The band secured a residency at the legendary Marquee Club, and an invitation to the famous Windsor Jazz & Blues Festival in 1967 led to their first recording contract. The self titled debut album surprisingly received play on San Francisco’s underground radio stations and was enthusiastically embraced by listeners, including concert promoter Bill Graham who invited the band to tour America for the first time in the summer of 1968. Audiences were immediately taken with Lee’s distinctive, soulful, rapid fire guitar playing and the band’s innovative mix of blues, swing jazz and rock, and an American love affair began. TYA would ultimately tour the USA 28 times in 7 years, more than any other U.K. band.
Appearing at the famed Woodstock Festival, Lee’s virtuoso performance was one of the highlights and remains today a standard for many other guitarists. Captured on film in the documentary of the festival, his inspired playing catapulted him into superstardom, and soon the band was playing arenas and stadiums around the globe. Although Lee later lamented that he missed the intimacy of smaller venues, there is no denying the impact the film made in bringing his music to a worldwide audience.
Although technically he never left, Alvin Lee is back. Recorded in 2003 at original Elvis guitarist Scotty Moore’s Nashville home studio, with Moore as the mastermind behind the sessions (although due to ear problems he only plays on two tracks), along with Presley’s drummer D.J. Fontana on the skins, this would be a listenable effort regardless of who was singing. With ex-Ten Years After’s Alvin Lee playing guitar and taking the lead vocals it’s a powerfully compelling disc that approximates many of the Sun label greats. Recorded predominantly live in the studio and sounding it, these songs — mostly originals written expressly for the sessions and an unexpectedly rip-snorting run through of the TYA chestnut “I’m Going Home” — find Lee at his most enthusiastic. He’s clearly having a blast returning to his roots with some of the original architects of the sound backing him up, and that energy jumps out of the grooves.
-Hal Horowitz, AllMusic.com
No Telling- Tom Russell
Tom Russell songs have been recorded by such icons as Johnny Cash, Dave Van Ronk, Jerry Jeff Walker, Doug Sahm, Joe Ely, Nanci Griffith, Iris Dement, and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, among others. No less than Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the legendary poet, has said that he shares “a great affinity with Tom Russell’s songs, for he is writing out of the wounded heart of America.”
Americana singer/songwriter Tom Russell was born in Los Angeles in 1950. Raised on the cowboy music of the American West, he grew up to be a talented songwriter, and began issuing albums under his own name in the early ’70s. Russell’s material, however, was also recorded by such luminaries as Johnny Cash, Guy Clark, and Dave Alvin, to name only a few. While much of Russell’s work mined the country tradition, he was also known to flavor his work with Tex-Mex, folk, and the cowboy music of his youth.
-Johnny Loftus, AllMusic.com
Stories We Could Tell- The Mavericks
“The world has too much strife, racial and social divides being fed 24/7; it’s non-stop. It turns normal, loving people into brainwashed zombies who can’t come together. Maybe it’s the hopeless romantic in me, but I’d like to make a place where all people can come together.”
— Raul Malo
It sounds like lofty “hippie speak,” something the Grammy winner jokes about, but Raul Malo, the son of Cuban immigrants, and his musical comrades believe in bringing people together – often in the name of good times and great music – which is the most universal language of all.
“One of the things we love about our shows is we get all walks of life, all ages, all colors, all politics, all genders, all religions,” frontman Malo states.
From their earliest shows as a garage band playing the punk clubs on Miami Beach, The Mavericks have had a skill for getting people to groove. Drawing on a mix of classic country, cow-punk and standards, Malo and company left South Florida, bringing their rhythmic fervor and Latin machismo, along with Malo’s lush baritone, to the world.
In 2013, after numerous years as a band, multiple gold and platinum albums, world tours, breakups and reformations, The Mavericks recorded their critically-acclaimed album IN TIME and re-introduced music lovers to the band’s genre-defying melting pot of pop music.
With the new release of MONO, The Mavericks find themselves making the most relevant music of their career.
Few bands have gotten as far in Nashville while displaying little if any concern for the conventions of Music City record making as the Mavericks, and since they reunited in 2012, they seem to realize there isn’t much of a place for them on the radio in a market saturated by bro-country, so they’ve followed their own muse, which has served them quite well in the past. 2015’s Mono doesn’t sound like a country album, but it sure sounds like the Mavericks, dipping into a variety of different styles with soul, smarts, and a sense of fun while Raul Malo’s glorious voice sweeps over it all.
-Mark Deming, AllMusic.com
Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends- Willie Nelson featuring Rosanne Cash
As a songwriter and a performer, Willie Nelson played a vital role in post-rock & roll country music. Although he didn’t become a star until the mid-’70s, Nelson spent the ’60s writing songs that became hits for stars like Ray Price (“Night Life”), Patsy Cline (“Crazy”), Faron Young (“Hello Walls”), and Billy Walker (“Funny How Time Slips Away”) as well as releasing a series of records on Liberty and RCA that earned him a small but devoted cult following. During the early ’70s, Willie aligned himself with Waylon Jennings and the burgeoning outlaw country movement that made him into a star in 1975. Following the crossover success of that year’s Red Headed Stranger and “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” Nelson was a genuine star, as recognizable in pop circles as he was to the country audience; in addition to recording, he also launched an acting career in the early ’80s. Even when he was a star, Willie never played it safe musically. Instead, he borrowed from a wide variety of styles, including traditional pop, Western swing, jazz, traditional country, cowboy songs, honky tonk, rock & roll, folk, and the blues, creating a distinctive, elastic hybrid.
-Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic.com
You’ve Been Telling Me Lies- Kate Meehan
Blues out of Australia.
Why Don’t You Tell Me So- Hammertowne
HAMMERTOWNE, is a combination of seasoned veterans and young, new generation bluegrass prodigies. Some might describe the band as traditional, while others might describe them as progressive. Although they write and arrange most of the songs they perform, their Eastern Kentucky musical roots keeps their music in close accord with the pure, undiluted, hard driving bluegrass music that they all grew up on. In their neck of the woods, BLUEGRASS isn’t just music…….it’s a way of life.
Tell It Like It Is- Otis Redding and Carla Thomas
One of the most influential soul singers of the 1960s, Otis Redding exemplified to many listeners the power of Southern “deep soul” — hoarse, gritty vocals, brassy arrangements, and an emotional way with both party tunes and aching ballads. He was also the most consistent exponent of the Stax sound, cutting his records at the Memphis label/studios that did much to update R&B into modern soul. His death at the age of 26 was tragic not just because he seemed on the verge of breaking through to a wide pop audience (which he would indeed do with his posthumous number one single “[Sittin’ On] The Dock of the Bay”). It was also unfortunate because, as “Dock of the Bay” demonstrated, he was also at a point of artistic breakthrough in terms of the expression and sophistication of his songwriting and singing.
-Richie Unterberger, AllMusic.com
Otis Redding never recorded a lighter, more purely entertaining record than King & Queen, a collection of duets with Stax labelmate Carla Thomas. In all likelihood inspired by a series of popular duets recorded by Marvin Gaye — indeed, “It Takes Two,” Gaye’s sublime collaboration with Kim Weston, is covered here — the record serves no greater purpose than to allow Redding the chance to run through some of the era’s biggest soul hits, including “Knock on Wood,” “Tell It Like It Is,”and “When Something Is Wrong with My Baby,” and while clearly not a personal triumph on a par with either Otis Blue or The Dictionary of Soul, the set is still hugely successful on its own terms. Redding and Thomas enjoy an undeniable chemistry, and they play off each other wonderfully; while sparks fly furiously throughout King & Queen, the album’s highlight is the classic “Tramp,” where their battle of the sexes reaches its fever pitch in supremely witty fashion.
-Jason Ankeny, AllMusic.com
In the glorious decade and a half of sound that was Stax in the ’60s and early ’70s, Carla Thomas was the Queen of Memphis Soul. She was born in Memphis in 1942, and 18 years later she recorded a duet with her father Rufus Thomas, giving the fledgling Satellite label its first taste of success with the regional hit “Cause I Love You.” As her 18th birthday drew nigh, she cut her first solo single, the teen ballad “Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes).” Written a few years earlier and rejected by Vee-Jay in Chicago, it gave Satellite its first national hit, breaking the Top Ten mark on both the R&B and pop charts. Shortly thereafter Satellite became Stax, and Carla proceeded to claw her way onto the national charts another 22 times with such immortal slices of soul as her answer song to Sam Cooke, “I’ll Bring It on Home to You,” as well as “Let Me Be Good to You,” “B-A-B-Y,” “Tramp” (with Otis Redding), and “I Like What You’re Doing to Me.” Carla released six solo albums and, with Redding, one duet album on Stax between 1961 and 1971. In 2007 a live album she recorded for Stax at Washington’s famed Bohemian Caverns back in 1967 was released in its entirety, including an impromtu cameo set from her father, Rufus Thomas.
-Rob Bowman, AllMusic.com