Duets, Rachel Yamagata featuring Ray Lamontagne (from the Warner Brothers release Elephants… Teeth Sinking Into Heart)
As sparse as it is breathtaking, this acoustic ballad finds two weary lovers quietly trying to reclaim a faded relationship. Yamagata and Lamontagne’s breathy vocals are a magical combination.
Do Your Thing, Babe, the Right Ons (from the 2Fer Records release 80.81)
Sounding as if they burst from the Detroit scene, circa the late 1960’s, Madrid’s Right-Ons know how to bring the party. They recently spent a few weeks in Boston recording a new album and celebrated its completion by absolutely tearing up a local club. But don’t take my word for it, have a listen for yourself.
Audio Download: The Right Ons, “Do Your Thing, Babe”
Motel Stars, The Kickbacks (from the self-released Even the Blues)
If you can follow the logic, the unreleased title track from the band’s previous album has finally arrives on their latest release. Nonetheless, the song is a stand-out filled with the bands trademark foot-tapping melodies punctuated with a healthy dose of horns.
A Few More Days, The Sideshow Tragedy (from the album Itinerant Youth)
This Austin trio pours it on with a potent mix of Chris Whitley and Axl Rose (pre-Chinese Democracy). Singer/guitarist Nathan Singleton is a wizard on the slide and steel guitars while bandmates Jeremy Harrell (drums) and Justin Wade Thompson (bass) pound out the beats. Live they are even more impressive, as I found out when I stumbled across their gig on my way home a few weeks ago.
Audio Download: The Sideshow Tragedy, “A Few More Days”
[Source: The Sideshow Tragedy]
Where Was She On Monday, TAB the Band (from the North Street Records release Long Weekend)
The Boston-based power trio takes a break from their typical classic rock sound. Anchored by a Byrds-esque guitar line and the band’s harmonies, this track is two minutes and forty seconds well spent.
Easy Fit, Jerry Fuentes (from the self-released A Kid on 4th)
New York by way of Texas singer-songwriter Fuentes knows his way around a pop melody, constructing his songs around sparkling choruses. Melancholy reigns supreme on this ballad as Fuentes sings, “It’s cruel that you can use someone and never blink an eye, you get them soaking wet then leave them out to dry.”
What Love Can Do, The Resentments (from the Freedom Records release Roselight)
What started as a Sunday night jam session has blossomed into a long-standing musical entity with give albums to their credit. An acoustic-based groove The quintet’s acoustic-based grooves set the stage for their infectious roots anthems. Supple harmonies are their trademark, in this case supplemented by a rousing accordion.
Just a Rough Couple of Days, Jud Newcomb (from the Freedom Records release Ride the High Country)
Scrappy Jud has built a reputation as a top Austin guitar-slinger, as a member of the Resentments as well as a frequent side-man for Beaver Nelson and Jon Dee Graham. His increasing solo output shows that he’s got the song-writing chops to go with his instrumental talents.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Many Rivers to Cross, Jimmy Cliff (from the 1972 Island Records soundtrack release The Harder They Come)
Not sure what made me pull this from the archives but glad that I did. Cliff’s blend of melancholy and jubilation is an inspiration on this soulful ballad.
About the author: Mild-mannered corporate executive by day, excitable Twangville denizen by night.