ALBUMS OF THE MONTH:
Light of X, by Miranda Lee Richards
LA-based Richards is a testament to persistence. Eight years have passed since The Herethereafter, her 2001 debut release. Yet in 2009 Richards picks up right where she last left us. Light of X is steeped in the Gram Parsons Laurel Canyon-sound, layered with a gentle pop sheen. “Savorin’ Your Smile” is a fine example with Richard’s breezy vocals and a laid-back rock beat. “Here By the Window” is a real gem, starting as a gentle ballad before taking on a smoky jazz club feel. At the center of it all is Richard’s voice, delicate and evocative, that makes you want to close your eyes and lose yourself in its dreaminess.
Audio Download: Miranda Lee Richards, “Early November”
[Source: Nettwerk Records]
Heartless Bastard Motherfucker, Frank Turner (from the Xtra Mile Recordings release First Three Years)
Turner is an intense and colorful lyricist, never pulling his punches. He hearkens back to the early years of Billy Bragg, albeit armed with an acoustic guitar to Bragg’s electric. Turner’s warm tenor and melodic acoustic guitar always give his songs a positive vibe, even on this obscenity-laced track. Oh yeah, his acoustic cover of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” shouldn’t be missed.
Oh Boy, Joe Ely (from the Rack ’em Records release Live Chicago 1987)
One son of Lubbock Texas pays homage to another (Buddy Holly) in this vintage Ely performance from Chicago in 1987. Ely’s reputation as a live performer is legendary and have attracted fans like the Clash, themselves no slouches when it came to live shows… [Note: This release is available only through Ely’s web site and Waterloo Records.]
Nashville, Tennessee, Frank Turner (from the Xtra Mile Recordings release First Three Years)
“And If I knew anybody who played pedal steel guitar I would get them in my band and then my band would get real far, but I was raised in middle England not in Nashville Tennessee and the only person in my band is me.”
Audio Download: Frank Turner, “Nashville Tennessee”
[Source: Xtra Mile Recordings]
The Way You Can Get, the Gourds (from the Yep Roc release Haymaker!)
These guys continuously amaze me. They are so frequently classified as a country and bluegrass band but it is all a façade. These guys are rockers at heart and this rockabilly song is all the proof that I need. (See Kelly’s full Twangville review here.)
FROM THE ARCHIVES:
Part of this Earth, the Del Fuegos (from the 1989 release Smoking in the Fields)
This is my favorite track from the Fuego’s 1989 heartland rock masterpiece. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Of course those of you with kids can still hear a touch of the band today – lead Fuego Dan Zanes has gone on to a successful career making children’s music.
Audio Download: Del Fuegos, “Part of this Earth”
About the author: Mild-mannered corporate executive by day, excitable Twangville denizen by night.