For dull reasons, ‘Spillin’ The Beans is a day late this week, but never mind, this week’s column is about a very interesting album, Amerikana, by yet another band I’ve not previously heard of, and that band is The Stevenson Ranch Davidians, even though they have been around in various forms since 2006, although they haven’t released anything since 2009, which makes me feel better about my ignorance of their existence.
A couple of years ago I read an article about the Country Music Awards which referred to an artist called Chris Stapleton – he stole the show with two duet performances with Justin Timberlake (I have a secret crush on Justin Timberlake btw). I’d never heard of him. As you’ve hopefully now learned from these posts, my next move was to check out the impressively bearded man. He has a decent heritage as a successful songwriter for other artists and had recently released his own solo album called Traveller (new album due soon). It is the most gorgeous collection of soul searching tunes about life and love. Soon after my introduction to Stapleton, a friend with a huge music knowledge and much tidier beard than all the fellas in the pictures, suggested tracks by The White Buffalo and a group called Blackberry Smoke.
The White Buffalo, or Jake Smith to his mum, has a larger solo output than Stapleton. He drew a wider audience after some of his music featured in the popular biker-club TV series Sons of Anarchy. His most recent album, Love and the Death of Damnation, came out at about the same time as Stapleton’s Traveller. His versatile voice lends a mournful tone to his musical stories which feature a gritty reality at their core. Again – beautiful.
And so to Blackberry Smoke; a loveable crew of southern rockers with real variety to their repertoire. They can do heavyish rock, classic country sound and funkier soulful stuff. There’s often a little glint of humour about their output. Apparently they are great live and have a reputation for being a hard working band.
I love the music these artists offer up, but I know next to nothing else about Americana/Southern Rock/Country. The other day I was listening to Chris Stapleton’s new single and wondered where all the women of this genre are. I’m not talking the old style female country singers we all know. I’m talking the new generation. Where are they? I could go and do my own homework, but where’s the fun in that, when I have you guys to help me out? I know at least 2 of you will know something about this.
Yet again ‘Spillers I come to you to fill in the gaps in my musical knowledge. What can you tell me about all this and who else should I be tracking down?
That time of year again. Work is slow, lots of tedious photoshopping to do, needed a new mellowish playlist i could work to. Mostly folkish, some old, some new, some blue. More females than usual, twee alert for some strings, bit of jangle, bit of gentle groovy psychy and soulish surf pop, and a familiar stonker to wrap it up. Because at some point it’s going to be spring and i’m going to have to get out of the house.
If I remember rightly, The ‘Spill massive isn’t completely won over by the Fleet Foxes. I wouldn’t normally ‘buke, but in this case, well, you’re just plain wrong.
They’re one of the few bands I’ve fallen in love with from literally the first note I heard. In an age of music overload, mp3s and short attention spans, I listened to their first album regularly and reverently, just like the old days. I used to play it when Innis was a baby: she was pretty much guaranteed to be asleep by the end of White Winter Hymnal . I’d usually sit in the rocking chair in the dark and listen to the rest of the album.
Anyway, they’ve got a new record out, and I love it already:
You can download it free from their website, http://www.fleetfoxes.com
Oh, shall we have one more song while we’re at it? I think Mykonos may be their finest moment.
This is a radio programme in San Marcos, Texas – you can listen to the station live at http://ktsw.txstate.edu/specialty_shows/TheOtherSide.html
At the mo they’re playing the Sugarcubes…unfortunately the Americana programme isn’t on till 8pm their time, which is even later for us now we’ve put our clocks forward. So I won’t be listening but maybe you transatlantic folk would like to – they’ve promised to play some In And Outlaws!