Thursday, February 21, 2013

Who's Going to DelFest?

DelFest is here. Well almost; the actual festival is Memorial Weekend (May 23-26); but the lineup is here. And what an awesome lineup it is. Two sets from Trey, Del McCoury, Old Crow, Yonder Mountain, Trampled, the Stringdusters and CCD. Plus the Masters of Bluegrass (Del McCoury, Bobby Osborne, J.D. Crowe, Bobby Hicks, and Jerry McCoury). There's no doubt that I'm finally going to head to Cumberland Maryland for this festival. Three day tickets are $140.

The Del McCoury Band
Trey Anastasio Band
(2 sets) • Old Crow Medicine Show
Yonder Mountain String Band • The Masters of Bluegrass
Trampled By TurtlesCarolina Chocolate Drops
The Travelin’ McCourysThe Infamous Stringdusters
Greensky BluegrassThe Campbell Brothers
Sarah JaroszPikelny, Sutton, McCoury, Bulla & Bales
Davisson Brothers BandLarry Keel and Natural Bridge
Elephant RevivalMissy Raines and The New Hip
The Rambling RooksReverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
Hackensaw BoysJoe Craven
MamajowaliSpirit Family ReunionBlue Mafia
and more TBA!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Beer Review: Blue Mountain Brewery Steel Wheels ESB

It's been over a year since our MyJoogTV episode featuring The Steel Wheels and the Blue Mountain Brewery Steel Wheels ESB. Time flies. And while browsing the beer section at Trader Joes, what do I come across? None other than the bottle form of the Steel Wheels ESB - $9 for a pint. The bottle itself is pretty cool, with a sketching of the band surrounding a single microphone. Old time style. The beer is sweeter than I remembered, plenty of caramel malt flavors - and a rich creaminess. The tail provides some hop balance (30 IBUs), perhaps a little more needed for my palette - but a solid beer nevertheless. Pair this one with Red Wing.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Album Review: Wood & Wire's Self Titled Debut Album

Just this week I was selling the virtues of the old South Austin Jug Band, when I learn that one of its founders, mandolist Matt Slusher, is part of  Wood & Wire - a  four piece bluegrass outfit out of Austin. Co-founder, in fact. Along with the other co-founder and guitarist Tony Kamel, bassist Dom Fisher, and  Trevor Smith on banjo; the band released their debut self titled album in early February. These are all original tracks blending Austin's country and American sound with more traditional mountain bluegrass that Slusher describes as “Dirty Texas Grass.” Throughout the CD, the picking is tight, whether its the flat head guitar, bass, mandolin, or banjo - that perhaps is the most enjoyable aspect of the CD. That and the vocal harmonies. And then when they add Brittany Haas and her fiddle in “Fool Out of Me" - that could be my favorite track. Or "Rambler's Blues". Or "Coal Mining One". Select yours, there's thirteen to choose from. And check out their upcoming tour dates with the Yonder Mountain String Band.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Album Review: Stone Blind Valentine - Burn Like a Field

Last week our friend, Emily Hurd, sent us a review copy of her latest project: the Stone Blind Valentine - Burn Like a Field. The band is an acoustic trio of Hurd and fellow Chicago musicians Colby Maddox and Gregg Ostrom, with the debut album recorded in 2 days at Chicago's King Size Sound Labs.

I was won over at  Promised Land, the lyrics and vocals reminding me of Hurd's Long Lost Ghosts, and the soothing flat picking and mandolin from Ostrom and Maddox. This song, on its own, is worth purchasing the album.  But don't ignore the other tracks. Chicago blues mingle with the fiddle in Extra Extra;  bluegrass in Gold Fever; sweet harmonies in Crown the Kings; and gospel jazz in Whiskey Neat - that's how I enjoy my bourbon. Or perhaps this video of Think What You Will will convince you. Cheers.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Album Review: Chris Knight - Little Victories

For the past, oh, I don't know, ten years, Chris Knight has been writing and recording songs that have affected my conscious more than any songwriter. I'm talking about Enough Rope, Dirt, Long Black Highway, and Crooked Road; all songs that describe the determination and anguish of country life. Knight continues that feat with Little Victories - another gritty and raw release that is both political and powerful.  It starts with the first track In The Mean Time with "Sometimes I wonder where my next dollar gonna come from...I keep my head up, if sumptin' falls out of the sky". Then there's the title track, where Knight trades verses with John Prine. "Little Victories" seems to sum up life the last few years. So does You Can't Trust No One - with "can't we all come together" but "pack a picnic lunch ..and pack your gun". My favorite tracks: Out of This Whole and Hard Edges - back from Trailer Tapes. And, yes, Chris Clark is back on mandolin. Knight does it again.