New music is created in studios, bedrooms and studios every day. We at Twangville are fortunate and honored that many emerging artists chose to share their music with us. Join us below and in future installments to see what we find in the Twangville mailbox.
Potlatch, The Bean Pickers Union (self-released)
If music is at its finest when it paints a picture, then this album is the rural equivalent of a Hopper painting. From the haunting “Photograph” to the edgy beat of “Warrior” to the reflective folk of “Home”, songwriter Chuck Melchin skillfully explores the back roads of Americana. Potlatch is a remarkable achievement, the kind of album that you want to put on in your car and keep driving until the record is through.
The Company You Keep, The Morning Pages (Zealous Records)
This Brooklyn group would be equally comfortable in a Southern revival tent as they would in a backwoods bar. An especially tasty upright piano provides a down-home flavor, delivering a consistent feel from start to finish.
Against the Grain, Three Day Threshold (Hi-N-Dry Records)
Three Day Threshold are the spiritual cousins of the Dropkick Murphys. The sixteen tracks on this release are somewhat diverse but all have a cow-punk base. On the rock end of the spectrum is energetic “Softly,” countered by the classic country tear-jerk ballad “Thrown Out.” The latter track features the endearing opening line “Been thrown out of moving cars, fancy joints and honky tonk bars but I never thought I’d be thrown out by you.”
Dark Southern Hearts, American Gun (self-released)
I’m ashamed to admit how long its taken me to listen to this album, perhaps the first one that I received in the Twangville mailbox*. The band bills themselves as having acoustic roots but their shining moments occur when the bar-band rock takes hold. Stand-outs include “Picture,” the high-energy opening track, the heartland-rocking “Tears” and the reflective “Sound of Blue.” (*It has taken me so long, in fact, that the band is readying their next release — stay tuned!)
Golden Daze, The Wildbirds (Pat’s Record Company)
This Wisconsin quartet delivers the rock equivalent of a caffeine fix. Rhythm-heavy riffs are the band’s call to arms, with a feel similar to the Strokes.
Don’t Mess with Our Routine, Ray Mason (Hi-N-Dry Records)
New England’s Ray Mason has been playing music for 40 years, long enough to have been honored with his own tribute album. His latest hearkens back to the legendary Band with a nice blend of roots, blues and country. I’m particularly partial to album opener “Don’t Turn Me Down” with its horn section and southern groove.
About the author: Mild-mannered corporate executive by day, excitable Twangville denizen by night.