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Pics, bios, reviews, album art and links to where you can purchase the music featured on the show!
July, You’re A Woman- Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen- “Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen”
5th Of July- The Refugees- “Three”
Three Days In July- The Infamous Stringdusters- “The Infamous Stringdusters”
July Waits- Sophie Zelmani- “The Ocean And Me”
July Sun- Ray Bonneville- “Roll It Down”
July Sun- Matt Cox Band- “Tracks In The Sound”
Hot New Music:
The Big Push- Barrelhouse Chuck & Kim Wilson’s Blues All-Stars- “Driftin’ From Town To Town”
Runaway- The Hello Strangers- “The Hello Strangers”
Working Like A Dog- Mark Jungers- “I’ll See You Again”
Comin’ Home Baby- Lori Carsillo- “Sugar And Smoke”
Colorado Bluebird Sky- The String Cheese Incident- “Song In My Head”
Suitcase Full Of Sparks- J Wagner- “The Runaway Kid”
Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard- Paul Simon- “The Essential Paul Simon”
Back In Your Own Back Yard- William Galison and Madeleine Peyroux (Featuring Carly Simon)- “Got You On My Mind”
Train Yard- Ray Wylie Hubbard- “The Grifter’s Hymnal”
Dad’s Yard- Catie Curtis- “Hello, Stranger”
Lost In The Back Yard- James McMurtry- “Where’d You Hide The Body”
Barnes’ Yard- The Rural Alberta Advantage- “Departing”
When The Rooster Leaves The Yard- Lefty Frizzell- “Life’s Like Poetry”
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July, You’re A Woman- Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen
Since Frank Solivan left the cold climes of Alaska for the bluegrass hotbed of Washington, D.C., he’s built a reputation as a monster mandolinist — and become a major festival attraction with his band, Dirty Kitchen. Solivan and banjoist Mike Munford (2013 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year), guitarist Chris Luquette (IBMA Instrumentalist of the Year Momentum Award winner) and doghouse bassist Dan Booth simmer a bluegrass/newgrass stew from instrumental, vocal and songwriting skills so hot, they also earned 2012, 2013 and 2014 Best Bluegrass Band honors from the Washington Area Music Association.
5th Of July- The Refugees
Each of The Refugees –Cindy Bullens, Deborah Holland and Wendy Waldman-has logged more than three decades in the industry, with nineteen solo albums and multiple Grammy Award nominations to their credit, featuring musical styles that blend country, rock, folk, and Americana. To describe them as eclectic would be an understatement. These three women have utilized their intense drive and relentless passions to create an entirely new sound.
Three Days In July- The Infamous Stringdusters
Though it may sound like hyperbole, the simple truth is this: there’s no other band quite like the Infamous Stringdusters. Emerging from a lively community of friends and colleagues that’s taken root in Nashville, they’re six musicians poised at the point where youthful energy is balanced with maturity, inspiration with discipline and creativity with experience—exactly the sweet spot where the greats of bluegrass have made their most lasting marks.
Schooled in tradition, yet able to stretch out in jam band style improvisation, endowed with razor-sharp vocals, fiery instrumental abilities and a rapidly growing repertoire of well-crafted original songs and tunes, the Infamous Stringdusters are as fresh an addition to the bluegrass—make that, the music—scene as has come along in many a year.
Photo by: Harrison Buck
July Waits- Sophie Zelmani
With no musical background and without ever having performed in public, Zelmani rose to the top of the charts with her debut album. In spite of being known as very shy, she soon reached an audience all over Europe and Asia with her tender singer/songwriter country. Zelmani got her first guitar at the age of 14 and was taught some chords by her father. She learned to write songs, and almost ten years later, sent a few tapes to various record companies.
-Lars Lovén, AllMusic.com
July Sun- Ray Bonneville
“Like gunpowder and opium.”
— Ray Wylie Hubbard
“Bad Man’s Blood confirms Bonneville’s stature as of Americana’s foremost singer-songwriters.”
— Austin Chronicle
“a master of the slow burn, the gentle funk, the infectious rhythm.”
— The Ottawa Citizen
“an absolute master…one of the most skilled songwriters of that dark slow smoldering yet fiery blues/roots music”
“Few can ride a groove like Canada-born, U.S.-raised Ray Bonneville.”
— No Depression
Every now and then, you run across someone with a library’s worth of stories to tell. But unlike the raconteurs who regale friends with well-embellished versions of their exploits, these storytellers have lived so much, they reveal chapters of their hard-won wisdom slowly, carefully, like layers peeled from an onion.
Ray Bonneville didn’t even open his storybook until his early 40s, some 20 years after he started performing. But with a style that sometimes draws comparisons to JJ Cale and Daniel Lanois, this blues-influenced, New Orleans-inspired “song and groove man,” as he’s been so aptly described, luckily found his rightful calling.
Photo by: Mischa Sherrer
July Sun- Matt Cox Band
Since first picking up a 6-string at the ripe age of 14, Shenandoah, IA, native Matt Cox has gone on to produce an illustrious catalog of timeless songs, hymns full of lonely highways, distillery lunch breaks, longing and realization. After handling sticks for Phoenix, AZ, based Junk Ditch Road for a short stint in 2002 then later establishing his self as a vibrant part of the Omaha singer/songwriter scene, Cox released the celebrated Folker’s Travels in 2007. Since his formative time in AZ, Cox has begun to define his singular style and toured a good part of the United States. Reaching new fan bases in towns like Denver, CO where he played an integral part of A Moveable Feast, a songwriters co-op, and Austin, TX where he was invited two years in a row to perform at their prodigious SXSW festival. Meanwhile local stages like The Waiting Room, Barley Street Tavern, and McKenna’s Blues, Booze & BBQ – allow Cox to bring his foot-stomping, white-boy blues & old-time country to a constantly ever-growing fan-base.
The Big Push- Barrelhouse Chuck & Kim Wilson’s Blues All-Stars
2010 Grammy Award nominee, and 2013 & 2014 BMA Pinetop Perkins piano player of the year nominee Barrelhouse Chuck is the only Chicago blues pianist to have studied under Sunnyland Slim, Pinetop Perkins, Blind John Davis, Detroit Junior and Little Brother Montgomery. Barrelhouse Chuck draws on this distinguished lineage to create a blues, boogie-woogie and barrelhouse piano style that places him at the forefront of this celebrated tradition.
Born in Ohio (Columbus, OH – July 10, 1958) where he first learned to play the drums at the age of 6, Barrelhouse Chuck, whose real name is Charles Goering, later switched to the piano and was living Gainesville Fla when he heard his first Muddy Waters record with Otis Spann on piano. This was a major turning point in Chuck’s life.
After that Chuck started buying the records of every blues artist he could find. A quick study on the keyboards, it wasn’t long before Chuck had formed his own band and began opening for Willie Dixon, B.B. King, and Muddy Waters and Chuck was playing with the great Bo Diddley. It was also during this time (the middle 70′s) that Chuck and some of his friends began following Muddy Waters around to get some first hand exposure to both Muddy and his then current piano player, Pinetop Perkins.
‘We used to follow Muddy all around down South. We would wait in parking lots for the Van with Illinois plates to roll up. Pinetop Perkins & Willie Smith would recognize me and get me into their concerts. Then invited me to be back stage with Muddy and the band. Afterward, I’d go out to breakfast with them. I was just in awe.’
Harmonica player, songwriter, and singer Kim Wilson is as much a student and historian of classic blues as he is one of the U.S.’s top harmonica players. Simply put, Wilson has taste; when he enters the recording studio, he has a clear vision of what he wants his next record to sound like. Aside from all this, he’s also an extremely hard worker and a major road hog, spending upwards of 200 nights a year on the road, playing festivals and clubs throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe with his own Kim Wilson band and leading the Fabulous Thunderbirds.
Although he’s long been known as the charismatic frontman for the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Wilson’s solo albums — which feature bands of his own choosing for different tracks — is where the genius in his work shows through most clearly.
Runaway- The Hello Strangers
What does Austin-influenced, rural-Pennsylvanian, indie sister-folk sound like? Verbosity aside, it sounds uniquely like The Hello Strangers, a sister duo, comprised of Larissa Chace Smith and Brechyn Chace, whose haunting harmonies and original, wittingly noir songwriting style are the backbone of their sound.
The Hello Strangers just released their first full-length, self-titled album with multi-award winning (Grammy, Emmy, Dove, Tele) IMI Records in Nashville, Tennessee. The album features 11 originals and 2 covers, including “What You Don’t Know,” written by, and featuring on vocals, Jim Lauderdale; and “Que Sera, Sera,” an homage to their grandfather, Ronald Chace, who sang with Doris Day.
In 2012, Larissa and Brechyn won AirPlay Direct’s “Win An Americana Record Deal” contest, giving them the opportunity to work with Steve Ivey of IMI, and a host of other talented industry professionals, on their 2014 album.
The Hello Strangers were born out of the Austin, Texas music scene in 2006 when sisters Larissa Chace Smith and Brechyn Chace wrote their first song together, entitled “Pregnant in Jail.” Based on true events, it was a preamble to a string of original tunes the pair crafted in a little cottage off South Congress Avenue. Soon, however, the mountains of Pennsylvania beckoned the girls back north, and so they packed up their lives, dogs, and Larissa’s husband and returned to their two-stoplight hometown.
The move has since proven to be a boon for the duo.
Music has changed a lot to my ears over the years. When I was growing up, the lines between genres were very decided and kind of easy to decipher. Nowadays. it’s not that simple. What was “Country,” back in 1988 might still be Country, but it might also be known as Americana. That’s where you have The Hello Strangers.
Hailing from Pennsylvania, the sister duo of Larissa Chace Smith and Brechyn certainly wouldn’t have been considered mainstream in 1988, as folk-ish cuts on this disc like “Conococheague” hints at. But, there are moments here – like “Runaway,” “What It Takes To Break A Heart,” or “Ruined,” where these ladies conjure up memories of some of the great work of acts like Emmylou Harris and Sweethearts of the Rodeo.
But, all in all, The Hello Strangers don’t need classifications. They are just – for lack of a more sophisticated term – Damn Good.
-Chuck Dauphin, July 14, 2014, musicnewsnashville.com
Photo by: Ryan Smith Photography
Working Like A Dog- Mark Jungers
In life and in art, Mark Jungers is a reality dealer. A trailblazing Americana singer, songwriter and musician with By God sod busting roots, Jungers lays out the perils, the pitfalls and the pleasures of life in equal measure. And, accompanied by a like-minded music-making crew, Jungers uses a mixture of country, folk, rock and more to get that reality across with soul, conviction and a solid backbeat.
Jim Beal, Jr.
Freelance music journalist
KSYM- Third Coast Music Network DJ
On his 7th release, “I’ll See You Again,” Mark Jungers spins tales of fate, misconception, conditional and unconditional love; and murder. With the gray-colored populist sentiments of Woody Guthrie to the black as night swings of Cohen, the songs are strong and reminiscent of Petty, Young, or Cash (Unchained).
Comin’ Home Baby- Lori Carsillo
“Lori Carsillo is a vocal musician of relaxed, cool self-assurance and her voice is special for its unfiltered feelings and melodic warmth.”
- Herb Wong, jazz historian, producer, Black Hawk Records & Palo Alto Records founder
A noted presence on the Bay Area jazz scene, Lori Carsillo (an Italian name, pronounced: “car-SILL-oh”), is a vocalist of subtlety and sophistication. The nuance of her phrasing is constantly fresh and compelling. Her repertoire, a mix of well-known favorites and forgotten gems, draws praise from listeners as well as fellow musicians, as does her innate musical sense and down-to-earth nature. She sings with an unaffected, unpretentious style, never overreaching, and always at ease.
…With a lovely voice, superb phrasing, an impressive range…
Savvy Bay Area ingenue, turns a deft phrase, sweetly reworks melodies and convincingly touches 10 standards.
San Francisco-based vocalist Lori Carsillo chose some of the Bay Area’s best – and most under-appreciated – musicians for her moody debut CD, Bittersweet (Tru Blu Lu Records). Composer Cole Porter probably never envisioned Carsillo’s seductive delivery on his “Get Out of Town.”
Based in the San Francisco Bay area, Lori Carsillo has a simple and direct delivery, a coolly sensuous voice, and an improvising style that is quite subtle. Her choice of notes is excellent, she swings at all tempos. One suspects that a lot more is going to be heard from Lori Carsillo in the future.
L.A. Jazz Scene
This singer has a smoky, sensuous feeling accentuated by the wonderful choices of ballads and love songs.
Lori Carsillo has a winning combination of natural talent, warmth, and wit.
Colorado Bluebird Sky- The String Cheese Incident
The bluegrass-based jam band the String Cheese Incident is comprised of mandolinist/violinist Michael Kang, guitarist Bill Nershi, bassist Keith Moseley, pianist Kyle Hollingsworth, and percussionists Jason Hann and Michael Travis. Formed in Boulder, Colorado, in 1993, the group’s self-described “sacrilegious mix of bluegrass, calypso, salsa, Afro-pop, funk, rock, and jazz” quickly built up a following on the local club circuit, and within six months of their formation they earned an invitation to open the legendary Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
They initially gigged simply in exchange for free lift tickets at ski resorts throughout the western U.S., but as the String Cheese Incident’s popularity grew they began taking their music more seriously, soon averaging upwards of 170 live dates each year and eventually setting up their own record label, Sci Fidelity.
-Jason Ankeny, AllMusic.com
Suitcase Full Of Sparks- J Wagner
A child of Albuquerque, New Mexico and one time park ranger of the Joshua Tree National Park, J Wagner weaves stories filled with red rocks, creosotes, and sagebrush of the American Southwest into tangible and intimate songs. He is well known for writing songs that other performers cover. His music has been covered and recorded by a variety of notable musicians such as Gregory Alan Isakov, Victoria Williams, Bart Crow, Shannon Wurst, 3 Penny Acre and many countless others. Along with being a finalist in the Kerrville Songwriting Competition, his co-write “If I Go, I’m Goin” was in season four of Showtime’s television series “Californication”. He now resides in central Texas where the Austin American Statesman refers to him as “The number one best bet” and the Dallas Morning News labels him as “A Texas Folk Music Staple”.
Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard- Paul Simon
Paul Simon is one of the most successful and respected songwriters of the second half of the 20th century. Rising to fame in the mid-’60s, Simon’s songs were mature and literate, but also melodically engaging, and spoke to the concerns and uncertainties of a generation. As the 1960s gave way to the ’70s and ’80s, Simon’s work tended to focus on the personal rather than the larger world, but he also expanded his musical palette, and helped introduce many rock and pop fans to world music.
Paul Frederic Simon was born in Newark, New Jersey on October 13, 1941. His father, Louis Simon, was an educator who also led a small jazz combo, while his mother, Belle Simon, taught English; when Paul was a few months old, they moved from Newark to Queens, New York. Paul grew up with a passion for baseball and music, particularly jazz and folk, and as he entered his teens, he developed a taste for the doo wop and R&B sounds that were a staple of Alan Freed’s radio broadcasts, as well as first-generation rockabillies such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. When Simon was 11 years old, he met Art Garfunkel, and the two became fast friends who discovered they shared an interest in music. Paul and Art formed a harmony duo in the style of their heroes the Everly Brothers, and made their stage debut at a junior-high talent show.
-Mark Deming, AllMusic.com
Back In Your Own Back Yard- William Galison and Madeleine Peyroux (Featuring Carly Simon)
Born and raised in New York City William’s earliest musical training was in classical piano, but at the age of eight he switched to guitar, the better to emulate his heroes, The Beatles. He pursued the guitar throughout his high school years, during which time he acquired his love of jazz, and went on to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. There, at the age of eighteen he again decided to change instruments, because, as he puts it, “I was one of a million guitarists at Berklee”. Inspired by the playing of Toots Thielemans and Stevie Wonder he became the only harmonica player at the school and played “till I got dizzy”.
While attending Wesleyan University in Connecticut, William studied with the late saxophonist Bill Barron and was also inspired and influenced by the university’s renowned program of world music. Returning to New York in 1982, he quickly made a name for himself, playing at such clubs as the as the Village Gate, the Blue Note, and the Lone Star Cafe, with musicians the likes of Jaco Pastorius and Jaki Bayard. His own group attracted an enthusiastic and loyal following while performing weekly at Preacher’s Cafe in Greenwich Village.
In recent years Galison’s unique sound has been heard in an impressive variety of musical contexts. He has performed with artists across the entire spectrum of popular music. From rock legends Sting and Carly Simon, to jazz greats Eddie Gomez and Les Paul to Brazilian stars Astrud Gilberto and Toninho Horta. Recently, he made his classical debut, performing Gordon Jacob’s “Suite for Harmonica and Orchestra” to critical acclaim. His harmonica has been featured on the stage- in the national tour of the Broadway musical “Big River”, among others and in the soundtracks of many movies including “The Untouchables” and “Bagdad Cafe”, both nominated for Academy Awards. He is also heard many television shows (including the theme of “Sesame Street”) and countless commercials.
Photo by: Dan Rous
Vocalist Madeleine Peyroux can best be thought of as a Billie Holiday for the 1990s. Like Holiday, Peyroux was marketed as a jazz singer, when what she seems to do best is sing blues music. Though Peyroux may remind some listeners of Holiday, there are differences; she has her own sense of phrasing and interpretation. Her 1996 Atlantic Records debut, Dreamland, is a brilliant recording, as Peyroux’s distinctive voice is not hindered by overly intricate arrangements. Most of the accompaniment on the record is light and sparse, the way it should be for a singer with such a unique voice. Her debut album features a cast of top players from the New York jazz scene, including pianist Cyrus Chestnut, drummer Leon Parker, guitarists Vernon Reid and Marc Ribot, and saxophonist/clarinetist James Carter.
Peyroux was born in Athens, Georgia, and raised between Southern California, Brooklyn, and Paris. She began singing at age 15, when she discovered the Latin Quarter in Paris and became enamored with several street musicians. By 1989, she was working with a group of musicians called the Riverboat Shufflers, and after working for a while as a hat passer for the group, she began singing with them.
-Richard Skelley, AllMusic.com
Train Yard- Ray Wylie Hubbard
A leading figure of the progressive country movement of the 1970s, singer/songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard remains best known for authoring the perennial anthem “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother.” Born November 13, 1946, in Soper, Oklahoma, Hubbard and his family relocated to Dallas during the mid-’50s; there he learned to play guitar, eventually forming a folk group with fellow aspiring musician Michael Martin Murphey. Befriended by the likes of Jerry Jeff Walker and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Hubbard later formed a trio named Three Faces West, which regularly performed at the Outpost lub in Red River, New Mexico, a musical hotbed also trafficked by artists including Steve lb and Bill & Bonnie Hearne. Upon the breakup of Three Faces West, Hubbard toured the southwestern coffeehouse circuit as a solo act before forming another group, Texas Fever; they too proved short-lived, and he returned to New Mexico to again take up residence at the Outpost.
While in Red River, Hubbard rekindled his friendship with Walker, who in 1973 recorded Hubbard’s most famous (if least representative) composition, “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother,” on his acclaimed Viva Terlingua LP. The success of the album guaranteed Hubbard instant cult status within progressive country circles, and at the same time, he set about organizing a new backing band, dubbed the Cowboy Twinkies. Considered by many the first cowpunk group — their regular set lists included everything from Merle Haggard songs to a show-stopping cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Communication Breakdown”…
-Jason Ankeny, AllMusic.com
Few songwriters are as driven as Ray Wylie Hubbard; at 65, he’s writing, recording, performing, producing, touring, and scoring movies, and doesn’t give a damn if you don’t get it. His D.I.Y. aesthetic would make a punk rocker proud: he owns his own label and publishing company. For the past decade, Hubbard’s distilled his sound to its essences. The Grifter’s Hymnal, co-produced by Hubbard and George Reiff, is an organic follow-up to 2010′s A: Enlightenment B: Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C), but it’s wilder, nastier. Hubbard’s lyric trademarks are intact; he continues to poetically detail the intersecting worlds he lives in, cultural, spiritual, carnal, past and present — his poignant observations are balanced by his wicked sense of humor. But it’s the sound on Grifter’s Hymnal that grabs the listener initially.
-Thom Jurek, AllMusic.com
Photo by: Todd Wolfson
Dad’s Yard- Catie Curtis
“accessible, socially conscious songwriting and gorgeous voice”
– Sue Bell
“Any fool can write a love-gone wrong song; it takes a real genius to write a love-gone-right one. No urban songwriter does that better than Curtis.” – BOSTON GLOBE
– Scott Alarik
“Hello, Stranger” is a beautiful album. I can’t stop playing it. Charming, warm, intimate. Beautiful vocals, beautiful playing. And once more I’d like to applaud Garry West for an immaculate production.
– Evert Wilbrink
Curtis’s songs are beautifully and deceptively well crafted, her production tastefully understated, and her singing so heartbreakingly pure, pained, and devoid of artifice as to suggest she knows not only your secrets, but your soul.
– Alanna Nash
“Catie Curtis is an artist whose songs unarm me, move me to put down my defenses and just be with them. She lures me in through her kindness and respect for all beings. I have been listening to her music for years, she is an inspiration to me. She knows the power of gentleness, and the vulnerability in her voice has always undone me. Made me want to be a better person. She’s teamed up with the enourmously gifted Kristen Hall this time, and this record is one for the ages. Give a listen, then another. You’ll feel it too…”
– Mary Gauthier
Singer-songwriter Catie Curtis is one of those rare talents: someone who can spin compelling, interesting and engaging music out of domestic happiness…Highly recommended.
“…she’s one of the best singer-songwriters recording today.”
– Shauna Swartz
The Boston music scene has spawned so many great artists, it’s hard to keep up, from flat-out rockers like Aerosmith and Morphine to thoughtful folkies such as Patty Griffin and Ellis Paul. That’s where Catie Curtis comes in. With her instantly recognizable voice and insightful and often humorous lyrics, Curtis has steadily gained a sure footing among her peers. Curtis first garnered attention as she toured the house concert and coffeehouse circuit (circa the early ’90s) to support her independently released disc, From Years to Hours, which followed the cassette-only release of Dandelion in 1989. Her young sound had echoes of Rickie Lee Jones and her songwriting revealed an innocent yet heartfelt poetry that would only get deeper and richer with more life experience.
-Kelly McCartney, AllMusic.com
Lost In The Back Yard- James McMurtry
“The simple fact is that James McMurtry may be the truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation…”
Stephen King | Entertainment Weekly
The son of acclaimed author Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment), James grew up on a steady diet of Johnny Cash and Roy Acuff records. His first album, Too Long in the Wasteland (released in 1989), was produced by John Mellencamp and marked the beginning of a series of acclaimed projects for Columbia and Sugar Hill. In 1996, McMurtry received a Grammy nomination for his Longform Music Video of Where’d You Hide The Body. 1997′s It Had To Happen received the American Indie Award for Best Americana Album.
“James writes like he’s lived a lifetime.” —John Mellencamp
“The most vital lyricist in America today.” —Bob Harris, BBC 2 RADIO
“James McMurtry is a true Americana poet – actually he is a poet regardless of genre” —Michael Nesmith
“McMurtry might be the best topical writer performing right now and (Just Us Kids) finds him at his finest.”
—Patterson Hood, Drive-By Truckers
“America’s fiercest songwriter” – CNN
“James McMurtry writes songs filled with characters so real that you’re sure they’re going to climb out of the speakers and look you in the eyes.” —VOICE OF AMERICA
“McMurtry aims for the jugular.” —DIRTY LINEN
Texas singer/songwriter James McMurtry, known for his hard-edged character sketches, comes from a literary family; his father, novelist and screenwriter Larry McMurtry, gave James his first guitar at age seven, and his mother, an English professor, taught him how to play it. McMurtry began performing his own songs while a student at the University of Arizona and continued to do so after returning home and taking a job as a bartender. When it transpired that a film script McMurtry’s father had written was being directed by John Mellencamp, who was also its star, McMurtry’s demo tape was passed along, and Mellencamp was duly impressed, serving as co-producer on McMurtry’s 1989 debut album, Too Long in the Wasteland.
-Steve Huey, AllMusic.com
Barnes’ Yard- The Rural Alberta Advantage
In 2006 singer-songwriter Nils Edenloff, percussionist Paul Banwatt, and multi-instrumentalist Amy Cole came together to release their debut self-titled EP as The Rural Alberta Advantage. The ensuing years have brought two full-length albums (2008′s Hometowns and 2011′s Departing), widespread critical praise (SPIN, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, NPR, among others), two Juno Award Nominations (Best New Group, Video of the Year), a Long List Nomination for the Polaris Music Prize, and a hard-earned reputation as one of the most impressive live bands you’ll ever see. It was through all of this that The RAA’s latest album, Mended With Gold, took shape.
Photo by: Vanessa Heins
When The Rooster Leaves The Yard- Lefty Frizzell
Lefty Frizzell was the definitive honky tonk singer, the vocalist that set the style for generations of vocalists that followed him. Frizzell smoothed out the rough edges of honky tonk by singing longer, flowing phrases — essentially, he made honky tonk more acceptable for the mainstream without losing its gritty, bar-room roots. In the process, he changed the way country vocalists sang forever. From George Jones, Merle Haggard, and Willie Nelson to George Strait, John Anderson, Randy Travis, and Keith Whitley, hundreds of artists have emulated and expanded Lefty’s innovations. Frizzell’s singing became the foundation of how hard country should be sung.
Despite his influence, there was a time when Lefty wasn’t regarded as one of country’s definitive artists. Unlike Hank Williams — the only contemporary of Lefty that had greater influence — he didn’t die young, leaving behind a romantic legend. After his popularity peaked in the early and mid-’50s, Frizzell continued to record, without having much success. However, his recordings continued to reach new listeners and his reputation was restored by the new traditionalists of the ’80s, nearly ten years after Lefty’s death.
-Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic.com