Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Nomadic Life Springs Forth Jason Tyler Burton and Headwaters

With all my WineCompass duties in July, I missed the July 8th release of Headwaters, the sophomore release from Jason Tyler Burton. But I've been catching up all day with the release on a continuous loop. Not one sour grape in the bunch. And I can't decide which track I enjoy most. I thought A Garden Grows, then The Waltz, then A Finer Line, then the powerful title track, and so on down the line. All are characterized by Burton's soft, easy vocals; subtle harmonica, strings, and guitars; and phenomenal backing vocals. Must be either Katy Taylor, Jessika Soli Bartlett, Rachel Panitch, or Lynsey Shelar. The inspiration for the album comes from Burton's wandering ways - specifically trying to find the source of the Green River in the mountains of Wyoming:
In 2007, he and his wife ventured west from Kentucky to the Utah wilderness, leaving behind the security of a career in higher education, with a desire “to take some risks and live a better story,” living out of their van and working with the National Park Service and other seasonal jobs. The idea for the album came to him while searching for the source of the Green River in the mountains of Wyoming, recalling his childhood pastime. The songs on Headwaters were born out of the stories he encountered while living this nomadic life in the heart of the American West, stories about the search for meaning and belonging.
Listen often and pair with Bitter Creek Brewing, located not far from the Green River in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Cheers.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Album Review: The Nightowls - Good As Gold B-Sides

Seems like just a short while ago that I first learned of Austin's favorite soul, funk, Memphis horns, Motown styled The Nightowls through Good As Gold. On September 9th, the band will release a followup EP:  Good As Gold B-Sides, and believe me, it's as enjoyable as its companion. There are just four tracks, and front man Ryan Harkrider and the remaining eight members of The Nightowls make you long for more. Nobody Ever Wants to Leave is my favorite track, Austin's new theme song; but the bluesy soulful Either Way is close behind. The horns are the highlight throughout - I'm mean, what's not to like about that sound. Once again pair with Austin's music friendly brewery, Thirsty Planet Brewing. Cheers.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Album Review: Brian Pounds - Strikes and Gutters

When I received the Strikes and Gutters EP from Brian Pounds, I was immediately impressed by his smooth, soulful vocals. I guess The Voice was a relevant venue to display his talents.  Then you add in the pedal steel and I'm hooked. The pedal steel is played by Brian Douglas Phillips (also the producer) and I enjoy listening to the interplay between Pounds' vocals and the country twang of the instrument. Pounds' songwriting is also passionate and honest, the opening track reminds me of the late Brad Payne, whereas I feel Keep My Hands to Myself was written for JJ Grey. Fred Mandujand (drums), Matt Wiley (electric guitar), and Billy Masters (electric guitar) round out the supporting cast; and I looking forward to following this obviously upward mobile musician. Pair with Austin's Adelbert's Brewery. Cheers.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Album Review: The Slambovian Circus of Dreams - A Box of Everything

A Box of Everything is pretty much what you get with this latest from Tthe Slambovian Circus of Dreams. The opening track Rocket is a Tom Petty-ish rhythmic kaleidoscopic entry into the album which then leads into the title track - a more 70's-ish orchestra rock song.  The band was formed in Sleepy Hollow, New York - a pretty interesting place in itself - and is fronted by Joziah Longo (guitar/harmonica) accompanied by Sharkey McEwen guitarist/mandolin); Tink Lloyd (accordion, cello, uke, theremin, melodica); and Eric Puente (Percussion).

 There's a lot going on in the album - just look at the instruments played by Lloyd. A Petty sounds returns with Tink (I Know I'ts You) with some solid guitar work by McEwen; followed by some early slide guitar in my favorite track - The Trans-Siberian BiPolar Express. Sunday In The Rain is another cool track; as is Lost Highway. And that's just the first half of the release; there are 13 cool and entertaining songs with the second half lending itself to some fantasy (see Talkin' To The Buddha) - probably a Sleep Hollow thing. Pair with local Prospero Winery.