Showing posts with label Caroline Spence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Caroline Spence. Show all posts

Jun 28, 2019

Top 25 Albums of 2019: 1st Half Report

This is Trailer’s top 25. The year-end list will be a collaborative effort from FTM contributors.

1. Vandoliers - Forever

2. Ian Noe - Between the Country

3. Molly Tuttle - When You’re Ready

4. Tyler Ramsey - For the Morning

5. Baroness - Gold and Grey

6. Austin Meade - Waves

7. Caroline Spence - Mint Condition

8. Dee White - Southern Gentleman

9. Charles Wesley Godwin - Seneca

10. Kalyn Fay - Good Company

11. Reba McEntire - Stronger Than the Truth

12. Joshua Ray Walker - Wish You Were Here

13. Emily Scott Robinson - Traveling Mercies

14. Yola - Walk Through Fire

14. Flatland Cavalry - Homeland Insecurity

16. Randy Rogers Band - Hellbent

17. Jenny Lewis - On the Line

18. Rod Melancon - Pinkville

19. Mary Bragg - Violets as Camouflage

20. Quaker City Night Hawks - QCNH

21. George Strait - Honky Tonk Time Machine

22. Karly Driftwood - Too Mean to Die

23. Jade Bird - s/t

24. Randy Houser - Magnolia

25. Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow

Apr 29, 2019

Album Review / Caroline Spence / Mint Condition

By Matthew Martin

I remember the first time I heard Caroline Spence.  She was opening for John Moreland at Jammin' Java in Vienna, VA.  I was expecting to be blown away by Moreland, but was yet again extremely happy I got there for the opener.  Caroline Spence opened and completely blew me away.  I left feeling gut-punched, not only by Moreland, but by Spence.  She sang incredible songs with a wonderful, strong voice.

On Spence's latest album, Mint Condition, she continues her strong streak of albums.  There are songs for every mood and occasion, but one thing remains constant; Spence's perfect songwriting ability.  The production on the album is also great.  It allows Spence's voice and lyrics to be the star of the show.  There isn't much flair in terms of added instruments or needless solos.  Sure, they're there, but they add flavor rather than a distraction.

As for the songs themselves, I think these are some of Spence's greatest.  She deals with trying to get out of town to turn your life around ("Angels or Los Angeles").  Or, she sings about the insecurity that comes with relationships and growing up ("Who Are You" and "Song About A City").  My favorite song on the album, "Sit Here and Love Me,” is at once crushing and beautiful.  This perfect song about dealing with depression and the need to just have a loving ear and it caught my attention immediately; I continue to go back to it more and more.  Sometimes the solution to any problem is to just love and be loved.  It's beautiful and I hope if nothing else, you listen to this song intently.

Spence can also write a damn good, clever line with the best of em.  On the great "Who's Gonna Make My Mistakes" Spence muses, "Talking to this man is like looking at an ashtray, something was there but there ain't much left..."  Lines like that are strewn throughout the album here and there.  You gotta pay attention and with Spence's voice, that isn't hard to do.  She demands attention.  She deserves your attention.  Come for the voice, stay for the songwriting.

The album finishes with the title track, "Mint Condition."  This song is a great representation of all that is Caroline Spence.  At once beautiful, clever, and graceful, the song is a perfect way to end the album.  Spence can write the hell out of a love song.

I think Spence is one of the songwriters we don't hear nearly enough about.  She consistently puts out great albums and this album is no different.  Go buy it.  You won't be disappointed.  Go see her when she comes near your town.  She's worth every damn cent.  I know I can't wait til she comes to D.C. so I can hear these brand new songs live.


Mint Condition is available Friday.

Aug 3, 2015

Live Review: John Moreland with Caroline Spence - 7-29-15 - Vienna, VA

John Moreland with Caroline Spence
7-29-15 - Jammin' Java - Vienna, VA
by Matthew Martin 

There are shows that are raucous.  There are shows that are full of bros.  There are quiet shows full of very respectful and amazing music lovers.

Then, there are those at a John Moreland show.  I could say that those people going to a John Moreland show are just more respectful than most concertgoers, but that would be wrong.  By the time the first chord is struck and the first word is sung, the crowd is already in complete awe.  This is just a fact at a John Moreland show.  You shut up because there is honestly nothing more you can do.  You are transfixed on this amazing talent on stage.

But, let's not get ahead of ourselves.  Openers are very important and this particular night was no exception.
Caroline Spence
Opening for Moreland was Caroline Spence.  If you haven't heard of Caroline Spence, you should really give her a shot.  She had a wonderful voice and is really one hell of a song-writer.  Two songs that really stuck out to me were "Whiskey Watered Down" and "Bless Your Heart."  If you're on this site, reading this review, chances are you are going to like her.  You should buy her new album, Somehow, and go see her if she is around.  I had never heard of Caroline Spence and so as I was doing a little research on her after the show, I came across this Rolling Stone article listing her as one of the 10 New Country Artists You Need To Know: Spring 2015.  Don't pass her up, folks!

Maybe 15 minutes after Ms. Spence finished her set, John Moreland took the stage to a loud round of applause.  As he settled onto his stool, the crowd began quieting down, then, as mentioned above, Moreland begins and the crowd is stunningly quiet.  I can't recall who it was now, but someone on Twitter (I believe it was Todd Farrell, Jr.) had said before that their favorite thing to witness was a crowd realizing they were in the midst of something special when John Moreland began playing.  I agree.  100%.  It is unbelievable.  I put it up there with watching Tim Barry.

For an hour and a half, Moreland played songs from his first solo album, Earthbound Blues, through the excellent new album, High On Tulsa Heat.  There were a couple of songs in there that I believe were new as well.  During the show, Moreland doesn't speak much, but when he does, he is clever, wry, and self-deprecating.  Before breaking in to "You Don't Care For Me Enough To Cry," he states, "This is a song I recently discovered was too sad for Dallas-Ft. Worth morning television."

This was my second time seeing Moreland, and I was glad to see that the crowd for this show was at least triple the size it was last time.  I hope he continues trending upwards, and with the recent success of this little circle of music we listen to (whatever you want to call it), I believe he will.

I don't think I need to tell you to go see John Moreland if he's in your area.  You know him, you love him- why wouldn't you go see him?  There are few musicians that I can't imagine missing when they come to town and Moreland is absolutely at the very top of that list.  Yeah, you'll feel all of your feelings, but hey, that's what songs are for, right?


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