Showing posts with label Great Peacock. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Great Peacock. Show all posts

Oct 9, 2020

Album Review / Great Peacock / Forever Worse Better

 By Matthew Martin

On Great Peacock's third outing, Forever Worse Better, they have finally created what they've been looking to create for the past few years. This is revitalized Heartland Rock. The band is tighter on this release. Everything seems to be in sync, making for a hell of an album.

The album is a much more personal effort for Andrew Nelson who has described some of the self-doubt and relationship failures that were the muses for some of the better songs on the album (and the best of GP's career). With songs like, "Heavy Load" and "All I Ever Do" there is a clear growth in songwriting both lyrically and musically. It takes a lot to be able to put to words the emotions that come with those feelings and relationships that just always seem to be pulling us down. 

But nowhere on the album is the clear growth of Great Peacock more evident as "High Wind." This is the standout song on the album for me, and quite frankly, I think this is the best song of their catalog (subject to change). From the opening kickstart of the drums to the chugging of the guitars, musically this song is a barnburner. I hear it and immediately feel like I'm hearing my favorite Petty song but not a cheap imitation. And the lyrics are a perfect encapsulation of the album. On this singular song, Andrew laments not only his aging but also his relationship problems. But, there's hope in the song. You know we all have these problems, but the most important part is doing the most while you can. Live it up. In these weird, covid fever dream times, it's a song that feels so pertinent.

The album is full of these songs- "Rock of Ages" and "Learning to Say Goodbye" are beautiful, meaningful, and triumphant. These songs are a testament to the band and their ability to have taken these songs out on the road and truly fine-tune their sound. The soft songs are sonically textured in a great way. The rockers are there. And, the intertwining of Andrew and Blount Floyd's guitars and voices is something to behold. Frank Keith's basslines are tight and keep everything together. This is a group hitting their stride, finding their voice as a band, and hopefully they have a lot more left in them.

Go buy the album and support Great Peacock any way you can.


Forever Worse Better is available today on Bandcamp, Amazon Music, etc. 

Jan 2, 2019

Matthew's Top 10 Albums of 2018

by Matthew Martin


1- Brandi Carlile - By The Way, I Forgive You
Brandi Carlile's album this year was by far and away the album I listened to the most and the one that had the most emotional punch.  Brandi's voice is perfectly suited to the songs of heartbreak, being a new mother, and being a touring musician.  The production is immaculate and if Hold Out Your Hand doesn't get you moving, you're clearly a lost hope. This is a perfect, timeless album.

2- American Aquarium - Things Change
When BJ lost his band a couple of years ago due to whatever reasons, I thought the American Aquarium name would be retired.  Instead, BJ found a new backing band and came back stronger than ever.  These are some BJ's strongest songs he's written since Burn. Flicker. Die. And, the band!  I'll be damned if this band doesn't seem even tighter.  When BJ has been at his lowest point, band-wise, he's given us masterpieces and this album is no exception.  

3- Lucero - Among The Ghosts
To follow Lucero's career has been an amazing transition from country/punk 4 piece to a straight-up Memphis rock and roll band complete with a horns section.  For their 9th (or 10th if you count The Attic Tapes) studio album, the guys took it back to their roots and left the horns out for the most part.  What they gave us was their best album since 1372 Overton Park.  It's a musically concise album cutting away any fat and letting the songs and band speak for themselves.  Ben Nichols has written some of his most interesting songs to date about Civil War battles, touring, and shoot-outs.  In a catalog full of incredible albums, this one is certainly at the top.

4- Cody Jinks - Lifers
I remember when I first heard Cody Jinks a few years ago, I wasn't immediately a fan.  I don't remember what made me think that- maybe just wasn't in the right headspace or something.  But, that has completely changed.  Jinks released the album that will likely (and seems to already have) boost him to the ranks of Simpson or, potentially even Stapleton.  Jinks's voice is velvety smooth and his band is right on the mark.  The songs are a perfect mix of hard-life livers, hard-night havers, and hard-love lovers.  It's incredibly relatable to those listening and it's the kind of tunes we've come to expect out of Jinks over the last few years.  Yet another very good album in Jinks's short, but incredibly respectable output.

5- Ryan Culwell - The Last American
This album hit me harder than any other album on this list.  Just by sheer surprise and being completely blown away by Culwell's voice and music composition.  This is the album it takes folks quite a few albums into their career to get to.  But, this is Culwell's 3rd.  And it's a masterpiece.  The songs are barnburners and gut-wrenchers.  It's a perfect mix.  This is perfect Southern American music.  It sounds like Tom Petty channeling Mark Knopfler.  There's going to be a lot to hear from Culwell in the future, so I definitely suggest you go ahead and hop on the bandwagon now. 

6- Great Peacock - Gran Pavo Real
I've been a fan of Great Peacock for a few years now and after their last album, I was excited to see where they would go.  As I would go to shows over the next few years, it became clear they were going to go in a more electric direction.  And, they absolutely did.  This album is a rocker full of the harmonies and introspective lyrics you've come to expect.  This is the one you reach for on Saturday night around midnight.  

7- Caleb Caudle - Crushed Coins
Caudle has been pumping out perfect country songs for a while now.  On Crushed Coins, Caudle hit his full stride.  The songs are his best set of songs he's put out.  The music and production are absolutely perfectly suited for his voice and his songs.  NYC In The Rain is a perfect song and a perfect Caleb Caudle song.  I don't think there's anyone else I can imagine singing this song other than Caudle.  If you haven't checked out Caudle, this album is the one to start with.  It's Caudle at his best.

8- Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - The Difference Between Me and You
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears have been making music for over 10 years now and let me tell you, they haven't lost a step.  If anything the music has grown more electric, more biting, and louder.  2018 Black Joe Lewis is still writing those 2008 funky party songs, but now he's writing songs about issues he sees going on in this country.  If you like The Stooges, James Brown, and pissed off Steve Earle, this is the album for you.

9- The Pollies - Transmissions
I'm a sucker for any album The Pollies put out.  In my mind, they're one of the best bands out there and it's a complete shame that more people don't know them.  On Transmissions, The Pollies have written a perfect set of Southern pop rock songs.  It's hard not to bob your head along to these songs.  If you've been looking for our generations answer to Big Star, you have no need to look any further.  Keep an eye on The Pollies and do yourself a favor and buy this album.

10- Whitey Morgan and the .78s - Hard Times and White Lines
When it comes to straight-up, hard-edged country, there's not a single person doing it better than Whitey Morgan.  He and his band have again written a damn incredible country album.  You can always bet the bank on Morgan to only release the best of the best.  You will not get filler or cheap songs.  You're going to get songs about living out on the road, the things that does to relationships, and ways to pass the time when out on the road.  It ain't a pretty life, but when Morgan sings about it, it sure makes you wanna try it out for a while.

Dec 13, 2018

Farce the Music's Top Albums of 2018 (11-25)

Our Top 25 Albums of 2018 were voted on by all contributors (including 2 new ones) again this year:  Kelcy Salisbury, Robert Dean, Kevin Broughton, Jeremy Harris, Trailer (me), and Matthew Martin 
(with friend Chad as a tiebreaker). We welcomed Kasey Anderson and Scott Colvin as first time voters. Today, we reveal numbers 11-25 of our favorites and tomorrow will count down the top 10!

24. Handsome Jack - Everything's Gonna Be Alright
The best rock ‘n’ roll album of 2018, from a power trio in Buffalo, N.Y. The Robinson bros. might have killed The Black Crowes, but the spirit of the band breathes through these guys. ~Kevin Broughton

23. (tie) Larkin Poe - Venom and Faith
Rebecca and Megan Lovell (formerly of the bluegrass band The Lovell Sisters with older sister Jessica) are mostly “known” as touring musicians for the likes of Kristian Bush and Elvis Costello…among others. On their fourth full-length album, the sisters absolutely hit the sublime with their powerful brand of roots rock and blues. Rebecca’s sultry and soulful vocals blend perfectly with Megan’s hot bluesy slide guitar licks for one of the finest albums in recent memory. ~Scott Colvin

23. (tie) Western Centuries - Songs From the Deluge
Great musicianship from the closest thing to a country super-group 2018 has seen. These guys are all heavily grounded in bluegrass, yet this album synthesizes all the best parts of American roots music. Come for the three-headed monster of vocals and songwriting, stay for the pedal steel. ~KB

22. Amanda Shires - To the Sunset
More than a decade into her solo career, Shires has established herself as one of the truly great songwriters and instrumentalists of her generation. With To the Sunset - an album that is by turns plaintive, unbridled, and fragile - Shires made what is, at least to this point, the album of her career. Calling it a "Rock" record or an "Americana" record is reductive; To the Sunset is an Amanda Shires record and, at this point, she's good enough to be her own genre.  ~Kasey Anderson

21. Lincoln Durham - And Into Heaven Came the Night

20. High on Fire - Electric Messiah
Is there any project Matt Pike is involved with that sucks? Pretty sure that’s impossible. Check out "Sanctioned Annihilation" & "Drowning Dog."  ~Kelcy Salisbury

19. Sleep - The Sciences
The Sciences is one of the year’s best records and moves beyond, “good follow up to Dopesmoker,” and places Sleep as the undisputed heirs to the throne of Black Sabbath. The Sciences is not only a neck breaking, sludgy love song to the universe, it’s a poem to the mysteries of faith, but it’s also a masterpiece. ~Robert Dean

18. Blackberry Smoke - Find a Light
These guys are working hard. Consecutive years with top-flight albums, they retain their Southern rock identity without being chained to it. This is an all-American band. ~KB

17. Great Peacock - Gran Pavo Real
I've been a fan of Great Peacock for a few years now and after their last album, I was excited to see where they would go.  As I would go to shows over the next few years, it became clear they were going to go in a more electric direction.  And, they absolutely did.  This album is a rocker full of the harmonies and introspective lyrics you've come to expect.  This is the one you reach for on Saturday night around midnight. ~Matthew Martin

16. John Prine - The Tree of Forgiveness
People are always naming "greatest living songwriters" like John Prine isn't still teaching a masterclass every time he drops new music. Admittedly, that isn't as frequent as in the past, but on The Tree of Forgiveness, Prine reminds us why he's the undisputed. Tuneful, insightful, and bright, this isn't a late-life woe-is-me dirge-fest like many elder statesmen and women give us; this is prime Prine. ~Trailer

15. Caleb Caudle - Crushed Coins
Caudle has been pumping out perfect country songs for a while now.  On Crushed Coins, Caudle hits his full stride.  These songs are the best set of songs he's put out.  The music and production are absolutely suited for his voice and his songs.  "NYC In The Rain" is a perfect song and a perfect Caleb Caudle song.  I don't think there's anyone else I can imagine singing this song other than Caudle.  If you haven't checked out his work, this album is the one to start with.  It's Caudle at his best. ~MM

14. Ashley McBryde - Girl Going Nowhere
The truth: Ashley McBryde doesn't fit the boring sonic pastiche that is mainstream country radio. Her songs are too good, her voice too unique. She deserves airplay and stardom though, and I hope she's one of the new leaders to push the door down. Girl Going Nowhere is a statement of being, filled with catchy and well-crafted songs. "Tired of Being Happy" is an absolute gem. ~Trailer

13. Brent Cobb - Providence Canyon
A great follow-up to 2016’s “Shine On Rainy Day.” The last three songs of that record were swampy and a little menacing, a thread woven through this album, particularly on “If I Don’t See Ya’” and “.30-06,” with their bad-boy Skynyrd feel. But when I hear “King of Alabama,” I’ll always remember the one time I got to see a then-fledgling musician, Wayne Mills. It was in Tuscaloosa in 2002, the night before heavy underdog Auburn beat Alabama 17-7. I was blown away then by the guy’s talent, and to this day I regret I never saw him again. No one that night or any other would ever dream of his fate: “It was a friend who took him from his family.” Cobb has done Mills fitting memorial, and made another great album. ~KB

12. Sarah Shook & The Disarmers - Years
It’s not often I can look to my hometown for musical pride. Let’s be honest, until Sarah Shook came around, Foreigner’s Lou Gramm might be Rochester, NY’s most notable artist (C’Mon, admit it, “Jukebox Hero” and “Urgent” were freaking awesome). Shook is a total badass and this album proves it. ~SC

11. Shooter Jennings - Shooter
Shooter is a portrait of a man who’s come to terms with his abilities, goals, and what he’s after. You can’t write a bunch of feel-good tunes that go hard with the beers, without a sense of purpose and humility …otherwise it comes off contrived and douchey, AKA most of the garbage pop country radio peddles. ~RD


Albums beyond the top 25 that appeared on multiple ballots: 
Janelle Monae - Dirty Computer
Hawks and Doves - From a White Hotel
Colter Wall - Songs of the Plains
Vince Staples - FM!
Eric Church - Desperate Man
JP Harris - Sometimes Dogs Bark at Nothing
Mike & the Moonpies - Steak Night at the Prairie Rose
Buffalo Gospel - On the First Bell
Pusha T - Daytona

Sep 26, 2018

Matthew Reviews Great Peacock… Playing HIS Wedding Reception

Photo by Darcy Ferris

by Matthew Martin 

I'm going to do something a little unusual here.  I'm going to tell you about one of my favorite days I can ever remember up until this point in my life.  On Saturday, September 15th, I made a pretty big life change.  I married my best friend and it was amazing.  It was in front of a church built in the 1800s with much of its stained glass still intact.  The weather was perfect, if a little hot (but, it's September in TN, what can you expect).  All that was something I could never forget.  But, then we got to the reception and it was the most fun I've had at a wedding (yeah, I know I'm biased) because we did something a little unusual: we got one of our favorite bands to play our wedding.  That band is Great Peacock.

One of the first dates my wife and I went on was to see Great Peacock at Hill Country here in DC.  It was a hell of time back then, and time has done nothing but made Great Peacock better.  One of our concerns with having a band many of our friends had never heard of (not for lack of our trying, I want to add) was whether or not people would be inclined to dance to songs they didn't know.  This turned out to be a ridiculous concern as people were out on the small dance floor we had and the surrounding grass almost immediately.  

When we were talking to the guys in Great Peacock, we made it clear that we didn't want them to be a wedding band, we wanted them to be exactly who they were.  So, if they wanted to play a couple covers, those covers should be songs they wanted to do, not songs we wanted them to do.  Although, I will say that we requested for them to play "Wildflowers" by Tom Petty for our first dance and it was perfect.  

Needless to say, they ripped through their songs at near perfection.  They played songs from their first and second albums, which we love.  They played songs such as "Take Me To The Mountain", "Tennessee" (which my dad specifically requested), "Miss You Honey", and "Let's Just Get Drunk Tonight."  Oh, and on "Let's Just Get Drunk Tonight" the guys let me come up and play harmonica.  Now, I'm not one to usually do something like that because of things like, oh I don't know, over a hundred people looking back at me, but my wife and I talked about it and this was something she really wanted me to do.  I'm glad I did, because the joy it brought my family was special.  

Photo by Darcy Ferris

They ended their night on "Desert Lark", that is, until the 150+ people at the wedding shouted for them to play one more song.  So, they played their always hell-on-wheels version of Whiskeytown's "Hard Luck Story."  It was the perfect cap to the perfect day.   Maybe it was the moonshine my dad was handing out (don't ever question my country bonafides, son), maybe it was the joy of being at a wedding, or maybe it was the perfect backdrop of an old pre-Civil War era cabin, but this was by far my favorite time seeing Great Peacock perform.  

When we had set out to thinking of the reception, we asked ourselves what could possibly make our special day even better.  We kicked around a DJ, we kicked around a bluegrass band, but ultimately we thought we'd share with everyone the band that we both believe in and genuinely love.  Sometimes it's hard to convince people to go to a show of a band they'd maybe only heard of but with busy schedules just never got around to checking out.  So, we wanted to make it easy for them.  And, we also knew that the music would be perfect.  And it was.  We had aunts, uncles, cousins, old friends, new friends, grandmothers, and our parents out there dancing, throwing their hands up, and shouting with reckless abandon.  It was a magical moment and it wouldn’t have been close to being possible without Great Peacock.  They picked up new fans from Dallas, TX to London, UK.

So, on that note, I'll leave this by saying, go see that band your friends have been raving about.  You don't know how much your presence might mean and you might also find your next favorite band.  The guys in Great Peacock make some of the best music out there right now.  I am confident in saying that.  They are tight, they are professional, and they have all the chops you'd want from a band.  And, to top it off, they are genuinely some of the nicest dudes I have met.  I'm glad we got to share this special day with them.  Go see em and go buy their music wherever you buy music.

Photo by Matt DeFina


Great Peacock's latest album, Gran Pavo Real, is available on Spotify and all the usual locations.

Mar 23, 2018

Album Review / Great Peacock / Gran Pavo Real

by Matthew Martin

When I first heard Great Peacock's EP a few years ago, it felt like it was the beginning of something special - an inside peek at the beginning of the rise of an obscure band.  5 years later, and it still feels that way when I hear a new Great Peacock offering.  The band's sophomore album is no different as the band takes a slight turn away from the gentle, melodic Americana and more towards the psychedelic, Americana-tinged rock. 

The last output, their great Making Ghosts album, was everything we had been promised from their self-titled EP.  It was a melodic outpouring of yearning tunes with Blount Floyd and Andrew Nelson's voices working perfectly together.  The band toured restlessly off that album, coming to DC at least 4 times, I believe, during that time.  Around the last couple of times the guys came through, you could hear something shift in their music.  There were 2 acoustic guitars on stage, then there was one acoustic and one electric, then there were only electric guitars.  The songs began to shift sonically and jam a little more.

On Gran Pavo Real, those new sounds are apparent with the opening organ-heavy jam of "Hideaway."  The harmonies of Floyd and Nelson are still there and the heartbreak-driven tunes are still there, but there is a shift in the tone towards a Pneumonia-era Whiskeytown.  But, never to fear, there are still hints of the old Great Peacock there - "Begging to Stay" and "Miss You Honey" being the two most akin to their previous album.  

There's always a bit of concern with a new album from an artist you really like - are they going to hit the mark they were aiming for and if they do, is it the mark we're wanting to hear?  Will they grow in a way that stays close to their sound but sees them exploring new themes and sounds?  On all accounts, I think Great Peacock hits every note right on this Gran Pavo Real.  They take a chance moving away from their first album and coming up with an even better version of themselves.  They're bluesier ("Heartbreak Comin' Down").  They're subtler at times ("All I Really Want is You").  And, they're just all around better.

This is the kind of album that's just right for the upcoming Summer.  It's going to be on my stereo all year long, for sure.  There's a song for every occasion, high to low.  And the music is rollicking and a damn good time.  You should go buy this album, and then buy another for a friend.  Then, go to every show these guys put on near you.  Let's make the world know Great Peacock.


Gran Pavo Real will be released next Friday, March 30th and you can pre-order it at iTunesBandcamp, and other music outlets.

May 13, 2015

Great Peacock Perform "Take Me to the Mountain"

From their tuneful new album Making Ghosts, here's Great Peacock with "Take Me to the Mountain." RIYL: Rhett Miller, Ryan Adams, Whiskeytown.


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