Here's Hayes Carll with "The Love That We Need" from his forthcoming album Lovers and Leavers.
Feb 12, 2016
Mar 21, 2014
Tyler McCumber Band - Saracene Sessions: Tape 1
By Kelcy Salisbury
I just got a copy of the new Tyler McCumber Band album, Saracene Sessions: Tape 1. This is the first release I've heard from McCumber since Catch Me several years back.
Now to be fair, I would consider Tyler a friend although I've yet to meet him in person, so let me give a brief review of my impressions of Catch Me to put my thoughts of it in perspective to my feelings about this new release.
Catch Me had moments that hinted at talent and a well honed musicianship that seemed like there was SOMETHING there. What it was was difficult to pin down. Was McCumber a Kevin Fowler-esque slightly hackneyed self of "White Trash Farm" or was he the Randy Rogers type "Music Man" with a dash of Wade Bowen on "Hollis, OK" or was he the he the Hayes Carll type of "Uncle Sams Gun?" There were a lot of approaches but none seemed completely his OWN.
On Saracene Sessions: Tape 1, the total opposite is true & it's the best possible thing that could have happened.
Tyler refers to his music as "Rural Rock" and it truly is. Yes, it will hopefully and deservedly get airplay on TX Country radio. But it's not Texas country. It's no more country than Cross Canadian Ragweed in their Red Dirt heyday or Ray Wylie Hubbard at his greasiest.
This is the record The Tyler McCumber band had in them all along & I had my doubts until this week. McCumber isn't blessed with the greatest pipes in this business. His band isn't the musical titan of the scene (they are no slouches by any means either).
The record is the purest combination of storytelling songwriting, musicianship and production that I've heard all year. It may be the most perfect I've heard in 5 years.
I can't say the record grabbed me at first listen. I was preoccupied with family matters and listened to it only as background music. When I finally had the chance to pay attention tonight and really listen to it a couple of times through: HOLY BARKING SPIDERS BATMAN!
I can't really describe the album but to say that you can hear influences of many artists though it owes much more to ZZ Top than any traditional country influence. That is to say, it is funky, full of soul, garnished with blues elements, just country enough to garner country airplay and dripping with songwriting that tells of stories you can't disbelieve.
It's Texas music beyond a doubt, but the regional references aren't the clichés. There are dark stories aplenty but there is a message of positivity lying beneath the surface. This is a rare skill & one just being honed on Catch Me. There is nothing trite or hackneyed on this album.
"Whisky Shots & Stitches" is an early contender for Song Of The Year.
There is no doubting the stories McCumber tells & there is no question in the listener's mind that they are hearing the truth.
His voice fits the material perfectly and the production, while not perfect is just right for the music, if that makes any kind of sense.
The "political" songs "Don't Blame The Gun" & "Roughneck" ring of Charlie Daniels and Jason Boland, respectively, but the sound is all his own.
I don't know that I've heard a band or a songwriter grow this much between two albums any time in a decade or more and that's a huge part of my opinion. Tyler McCumber is a GREAT songwriter. Javi Garcia once told me so [Editor's Note: NAMEDROPPER!], but based in Catch Me I had my doubts. Those are erased.
Early contender for album of the year? Absolutely. Check Tyler OUT on Facebook or search www.lonestarmusic.com for copies. itunes soon I hope. This deserves to be heard.
This is an album I hope my daughter appreciates in 20 years. Granted, that may sound like hype, but it's the highest praise I can give an album of such great songwriting & Saracene Sessions: Tape 1 is deserving of all that.
Feb 1, 2014
Dec 23, 2013
Dec 3, 2013
With their cover of Hayes Carll's "Stomp and Holler," here's Hard Working Americans, the new Americana supergroup featuring Todd Snider, Neal Casal, Duane Trucks and Chad Staehly.
Nov 13, 2013
Nov 8, 2013
Feb 19, 2013
Corb Lund (featuring Hayes Carll) - Bible on the Dash
(listen at this link)
This song is about using the Holy Word as a smoke screen to throw cops off the trail of any illicit behavior by sinful musicians touring the south. I am so turned off by this vulgar premise, I can hardly listen to the song.
I assume Mr. Lund and Mr. Carll were partaking of the devil's vine and suckling at the devil's teat before proceeding on their hell-ride from town to town, proselytizing to the trucker cap and pearl-snap shirt wearing masses. Being the enlightened liberal sort, they assumed it was okay for them to disregard some local trivialities such as red lights and speed limits. Being from the' open-minded' great white north and the self-important state of Texas, these two are already high on themselves, so it must have made for quite the ego trip.
When the yocal sheriff or deputy dared to approach their sin-chariot, one of these two jackwads made sure to slap a stolen Gideon Bible on the dash like some handicap placard in a Walmart parking lot. For shame. The Word is not a shield for iniquities. It is a sword against the same.
I feel bad for these enforcement officers, unwise to the worldliness of these jaded Americana purveyors. I feel worse for the souls of Carll and Lund. Each time they performed this ruse, ol' Satan himself turned up the temperature of their future holding cells a few degrees, laughing through his fearsome teeth all the while.
If I hear of either of these vile artists putting on a show in my state (probably in the wretched sin-den of Oxford), I will alert local authorities to their scam. Perhaps you should overlook the cheap, unruffled pages of the Holy tome and use the good sense the Lord gave you. If it smells like the mary jane, and drives like an idiot on COPS and bears the reddened eyes of a pot junky, perhaps this is not the touring van of a Christian artist. No sir, these fellows are spreading evil and should be brought to justice.
"Bible on the Dash" is not so much a song as it is encouragement for other wayward singers to use the same dastardly fraud to get away with their crimes against decency and God. Corb and Hayes, fall upon your knees and beg Him to set your path toward righteousness.
Nov 28, 2012
Aug 30, 2012
Jul 6, 2012
Mar 19, 2012
Dec 29, 2011
My tastes were more oriented towards roots-music this year than any in recent memory and The Damn Quails put out a stunning debut that satisfied my yearnings like no other. The unique voices of Bryon and Gabriel combine for divine harmonies and their writing is the class of contemporary bands that fall into the "red dirt" scene, or nearly any scene for that matter. There isn't a weak song on the offering and what's more, nearly every tune spent time lodged in my brain on replay at one point or another. Brilliant work, epic even. Best songs: All of them, but if you must have 1 or 2 …"Fool's Gold" and "Mary" always slay me.
Wrapped around the undeniable song of the year, "Codeine," is an album that more than pulls its own weight. Isbell fans may have hoped for something louder, but what they got was an artist-defining gem of a southern rock and soul record. Strong lyrics, excellent musicianship and plenty of easy-to-love melodies make this an album most anyone can appreciate, and true music lovers will adore. Best tracks: Codeine, Alabama Pines.
The boys went and growed up on us. While Hellbound Glory is still infatuated with the darker subjects - addiction, dysfunctional families and death, in particular - their songwriting has improved a great deal since their last album. Not that it was ever bad. It's just that this time around the songs are better developed. The hooks are hookier and the subject matter comes across more naturally - it no longer feels like they're trying to shoehorn in every deviant behavior and curse word they can, just because they can. This is a band on the rise and with material this good, they may eventually break down the wall between alt and country. Best tracks: Better Hope You Die Young, Knocked Off the Horse.
What else is there to say about Hayes? Rapier wit. Songwriting that recalls the greats of country and folk music. Memorable, affable voice. Actually has something to say. Just enough weirdness to keep him a little mysterious. Check, to all of those. This guy's the real deal; one of the few artists I'll buy an album from without hearing a single note. He never disappoints, never rests on his accolades. Thanks for another winner, Hayes! Best tracks: Another Like You, Chances Are.
Jimbo calls this "catfish music," and I see no better way to describe it. Confederate Buddha is a melting pot for southern music - R&B, rock, folk, country and swamp soul, all mixed, matched and sifted out at different times on the record. Mathus' writing is in turns poetic, straight-forward or abstract, all expertly crafted and emotionally performed. Best tracks: Cling to the Roots, Aces and Eights.
Bonnie Raitt, Janis Joplin and Neko Case in a blender vocals. Transgendered Hayes Carll songwriting chops. That was weird. …this album is great.
Best tracks: Are You Ready to Die, Hell's Bells
The in-demand producer of #6/former hair band member/former 90's alt-rock band, the jack - nay master - of all trades turns in this hook-driven smorgasbord of power pop, hard rock and jangly country-flavored rave-up goodness. This album alongside #8 would make a killer party soundtrack. Best tracks: Synthesizers, Suckerpunch
If this is a sellout, I wish every artist who's been accused of such had such a well-done betrayal of ideals. The Black Keys expand their blues rock sound to (bluesy) glam rock and power pop without missing a step or making it sound contrived. Sometimes you just need to turn off your inner-critic and enjoy. Fun, fun, fun! Best tracks: Gold on the Ceiling, Nova Baby
Adele somehow straddles the huge divide between modern pop and "old people" soul music with great success. Even the songs that lack lyrically are made great by Adele's huge (but never diva-esque) voice. There hasn't been an artist in some time that brought together so many people in mutual admiration. This is a chick album that dudes can be unashamed to love. It's an old-school album that kids can groove to. Excellence. Best tracks - Rolling in the Deep, Someone Like You.
Sounding like the Black Crowes by way of Muscle Shoals, Ponderosa is a super-talented band of southern rockers who mostly steer clear of the clichés of the genre. Kalen Bush's lead vocals are stirring and the harmonies take their sound over the top. Ponderosa isn't reinventing the wheel here, but what they do, they do very well. Best tracks: Old Gin Road, Devil on My Shoulder.
13. Stoney Larue - Velvet
15. Ryan Adams - Ashes and Fire
16. Pistol Annies - Hell on Heels
17. Wilco - The Whole Love
18. Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears - Scandalous
19. Mastodon - The Hunter
20. Will Hoge - Number Seven
22. Miranda Lambert - Four the Record
23. Foo Fighters - Wasting Light
24. Justin Haigh - People Like Me
25. Frank Ocean - Nostalgia, Ultra
26. Frank Turner - England Keep My Bones
28. Bon Iver - s/t
29. Sunny Sweeney - Concrete
31. Bad Meets Evil - Hell (The Sequel)
32. Left Lane Cruiser - Junkyard Speed Ball
34. Big KRIT - Return of 4Eva
35. The Decemberists - The King is Dead
36. F*cked Up - David Comes to Life
37. Merle Haggard - Working in Tennessee
38. Eli Young Band - Life at Best
39. Adam Hood - The Shape of Things
41. Glossary - Long Live All of Us
43. Blitzen Trapper - American Goldwing
44. Dawes - Nothing is Wrong
45. Cody Canada and The Departed - This is Indian Land
46. The Civil Wars - Barton Hollow
47. George Strait - Here for a Good Time
48. Robyn Ludwick - Out of These Blues
50. Jason Boland and the Stragglers - Rancho Alto
Dec 23, 2011
Jun 8, 2011
Mar 31, 2011
Click the song titles to listen.
1. Kasey Anderson and the Honkies - Exit Ghost
(tie) Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Codeine (free & legal mp3 download of this song at the link)
3. Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears - She's So Scandalous
4. Hayes Carll - Bottle in My Hand
5. Left Lane Cruiser - Pig Farm
6. Chris Young - Tomorrow
7. Raphael Saadiq - Stone Rollin'
8. Alison Krauss & Union Station - My Love Follows You Where You Go
9. Austin Lucas- Thunder Rail
10. Ponderosa - Devil on My Shoulder
11. Sunny Sweeney - Staying's Worse Than Leaving
12. Amos Lee - Flower
13. Drive-by Truckers - Mercy Buckets
14. John Popper & the Duskray Troubadors - Champipple
15. The Decemberists - Don't Carry It All
Mar 3, 2011
Jan 6, 2011
Aug 16, 2008
Based on what you've seen here, you probably think I hate all music, but that's not true. I live, breathe and love music. I even dig many of the artists I make fun of (not you, R Kelly). Anyway, as another non-humor aside, here are my top 30 albums of '08 to this point. Feel free to chime in with your faves.
1. Drive-by Truckers - Brighter Than Creation's Dark
2. Kathleen Edwards - Asking For Flowers
3. The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
4. Hayes Carll - Trouble in Mind
5. Jamey Johnson - That Lonesome Song
6. Sun Kil Moon - April
7. Reckless Kelly - Bulletproof
8. Fleet Foxes
9. Justin Townes Earle - The Good Life
10. The SteelDrivers
12. Drag The River - You Can't Live This Way
13. Vampire Weekend
14. Aaron Watson - Angels and Outlaws
15. Damien Jurado - Caught In The Trees
16. The Black Crowes - Warpaint
17. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III
18. Paul Thorn - A Long Way From Tupelo
19. Candlebox - Into the Sun
20. Old 97s - Blame It On Gravity
21. Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers - Turbo Ocho
22. Langhorne Slim - s/t
23. The Black Keys - Attack and Release
24. Nada Surf - Lucky
25. Snoop Dogg - Ego Trippin'
26. Chris Mills - Living In The Aftermath
27. Trent Willmon - Broken In
28. R.E.M. - Accelerate
29. George Strait - Troubadour
30. Alan Jackson - Good Time
And I just got Chris Knight's "Heart of Stone" in the mail so it'll certainly be on this list soon.