Friday, August 31, 2012

“Day By Day” with the Downbeat Project

Over at VirginiaWineTV, we pair our wine videos with local Virginia based artists and for September, Charlottesville based The Downbeat Project is the featured artist. We first heard this band playing at the Devils Backbone Brewery during The Festy, and spent some time in the brewpub enjoying their funky sound over a few pints of ale. Fast forward to today and our subject at CrossKeys Vineyards & Estates requested The Downbeat Project provide the intro music to their video. We readily agreed and after sampling and then downloading their latest EP, “Day By Day”, decided to feature the band for our remaining videos of the month. We used the third track, In Your Arms, because of it's crystal clean opening; but this is a powerful song throughout. And to understand the rockin'-side of the band, listen to Shakedown - it's easy to discover why the Downbeat Project rocks out live shows. The EP is just $5 online - so this is a no brainer. Cheers to local wine and local music.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Melody Walker - Gold Rush Goddess

We recently received Gold Rush Goddess, a very cool release from Melody Walker that we can only subscribe as soothing vocals with a bad-ass attitude.  Just listen to the title track; the blues-infused Get Back; or the a capella turned bluegrass ramble in Do What You Love Blues. You want soothing; then check out the mini-lullaby in Stars Align, the hypnotic Martinez, and the only cover, Dreaming. Ms. Walker and partner Jacob Groopman fuse Appalachia with various West Coast sounds to form a very impressive set of music.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Album Review: River City Extension - Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Your Anger

This week we learned about an exciting eight person band out of New Jersey,  River City Extension, and their completely entertaining CD Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Your Anger. I mean, this release has everything; a little Americana, Rock, Funk, Pop-Rock -> no two songs are the same. And there's even a rhythm section here and there as well as a simulated fife and drum corp (see Lord, I Have Changed - a favorite). There's love songs; apologizing songs, semi-gospels -> all with nice melodies, tight instrumentals,  and interesting songwriting - courtesy of front man Joe Michelini. When I first started listening, Michelini vocals reminded me of Justin Townes Earle and then when Golden Tongue (Thanatopsis) came on, the song could have been right out of The Good Life or Yuma. I was hooked.There's a lot more to be hooked on; the harp in There & Back Again; the subtle horns in the title track; and the final track, Lord, I Have Changed, seems a perfect closing. Get this CD.

Mike Costaney, Dan Melius, James Ramirez,
Patrick O'Brien, Joe Michelini, Jenn Fantaccione, Sam Tacon, Nick Cucci

Monday, August 20, 2012

Caroline Herring's CAMILLA coming August 28th

On August 28th, country -folk singer Caroline Herring will release her 6th CD, CAMILLA - ten songs that will depress, inspire, and reflect. They are songs of injustice, but also beneficence. "The album is filled with stories of people traveling long hard journeys who are ultimately rewarded by self-worth, resolution, or the promise of kindness." The CD is worth the cost simply for Traveling Shoe, a gospel hymn aiding by Mary Chapin-Carpenter and Aoife O’Donavan.  Simply Beautiful. As is Flee As A Bird.  The bravery of the 1961 Freedom Riders are encountered in White Dress, out right brutality in the title track, and kindness and perseverance in Black Mountain Lullaby. The agreeable and dis-agreeable nature of the human existence. The simple fact is that Herring is one talented songwriter and has the vocals to move the listener.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

John Prine & Emmylou Harris Duet at WolfTrap

Last night John Prine and Emmylou Harris were the co-bill for an awesome show at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap. The night featured each artist performing separately with their bands, but also included duets between Prine & Harris with In Spite of Ourselves, Angel from Montgomery, and in the encore, Paradise. What a duo - I would love to hear an entire evening of them performing together - Prine's powerful songwriting and simple melodies combined with the angelic voice of Harris. Will Kimbrough sitting in again on the banjo would be an added bonus. Prine started the evening off like last time with Spanish Pipedream and made sure he included Lake Marie and on the complete opposite side - Lets Talk Dirty In Hawaiian. The most moving song in Harris' set was her tribute to Gram Parsons and when John Starling, formerly of The Seldom Scene and now fronting John Starling and Carolina Star joined her onstage. Thanks to both artists for appearing in the DC area.

Here's the only video I was able to capture last night before told to put the camera away.

Update:emmylunatic has posted a couple videos of the show on YouTube such as Angel from Montgomery.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

2012 Music on the Mountaintop Rounding the Corner

Time to start planning another trip to the mountains, this time to Boone NC and the 2012 Music on the Mountaintop - held August 24-26 at the Grandfather Campground. General admission tickets for the three days are $99.00 + fees with %50 single day tickets available for Friday\Saturday and $40 Sunday.

Those are the basics, here's why you should go. The host band is Railroad Earth and not only will the guys be performing, but they will be leading musical workshops throughout the weekend. The remaining lineup consists of Dr. Dog, Sam Bush, JJ Grey & Mofro, Greensky Bluegrass, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Futurebirds, The Hackensaw Boys, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge, The Black Lillies, River Whyless, Rose’s Pawn Shop, Naked Gods, SalemSpeaks, and Monroeville.

We really look forward to seeing Holy Ghost Tent Revival, particularly after our MyJoogTV episode.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Floydfest XI - The Confluence of Music and Mountains

Another Floydfest, another short storm, and another long weekend of inspiring music and stories. I was hesitant planning a trip to the Blue Ridge this year, but the Friday night headliners of The Drive-By Truckers and Leftover Salmon were more than enough inducement to plan a road trip. And neither disappointed with the Truckers playing many old favorites - even when sometimes it seems recollection of the lyrics were a bit difficult.  But it didn't matter. Their sound was spot on, they looked relaxed and having fun - and we have Patterson Hood's solo CD Coming soon. Also seen on Friday were the rock n' roll of American Aquarium and Ha Ha Tonka as well as the folk music of Molasses Creek - a group that we saw many of their members the previous week in Ocracoke.

Saturday was geared towards Scott Miller, the former V-Roys leader who has returned to the Commonwealth in order to spead the word of Virginia's greatness - and to run the family farm near Stanton. I love Miller's songwriting, music, humor, mojo, etc - so I made sure I was present for his early start on the Virginia Folklife Stage and in the Pink Floyd Beer Garden. It references an extremely sullen moment, but "Appalachian Refugee" is a must listen. Sandwiched between Miller at both stages were Doug & Telisha Williams, Justin Jones, Morwenna Lasko & Jay Pun, and Chris Thile. Add in Danny Knicely, Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band, David Wax Museum, and Hoots & Hellmouth and its no wonder I never made it to the Dreaming Creek Main Stage all day. Why couldn't I hang for Anders Osborne?

The same held true on Sunday. The culprit was Darrell Scott who was performing at the Virginia Folklife Stage and then the Hill Holler Stage a little later. Also at these stages were Ricky Scaggs (with and without the Kentucky Thunder) and the Steep Canyon Rangers. Add in Glory on the Floor and Yarn in the beer garden and I never ventured to half the grounds all day. Getting back to Scott, he was as weary as us having just arrived from a flight from Scotland. Pretty relevant since his music resonates with the Scots-Irish traditions of the Appalachians. At the folklife stage he described his songwriter process in terms of "Double-Headed Eagle" and "East of Gary". Later we heard these songs and many more on the Hill Holler - showing why A Crooked Road is a must purchase with songs like "A Father's Song", "Long Wide Open Road", and the title track.

Ricky Scaggs was even more moving on the Folklife porch describing his days with Ralph Stanley, meeting Bill Monroe, and the life and times of PeeWee - his historic mandolin once owned by "PeeWee" Lambert of Stanley Brothers fame. Scaggs also talked about how relevant bluegrass music is today, and used Barry Gibbs of the BeeGees as an example. Gibbs appeared with him last weekend in Nashville at the Opry and Ryman and Scaggs is recording one of Gibbs songs on his upcoming CD.

Awesome weekend. Already thinking about next year. Here's Darrell Scott performing "Double-Headed Eagle".