Showing posts with label Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. Show all posts

Dec 18, 2020

Farce the Music's Top 20 Albums of 2020

 Voted on by: Megan Bledsoe, Robert Dean, Jeremy Harris, Trailer, Kevin Broughton, Matthew Martin, Travis Erwin, Scott Colvin, and (tiebreakers) Chad Barnette.

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20. Kathleen Edwards - Total Freedom

Welcome back! This first collection of songs from Edwards in 8 years is warm and lush, her music still fitting like a soft leather glove. That’s not to say the songs are all comfy, there’s ample amounts of hard-lived emotion and sharp lines. She hasn’t lost a step! ~ Trailer


Despite everything 2020 was good if only for returning Kathleen Edwards to us. Eight years removed from her last album (Voyageur), Edwards is back with her familiar brand of songs that comfort, caress, and importantly make us smile when it was needed most. ~ Scott Colvin


19. Elizabeth Cook - Aftermath

Cook’s most varied album of her career sees her pulling together threads of country, glam rock, and other genres to create a still-cohesive piece of art that’ll get your feet moving, heart pumping, and mind considering. One of her best. ~ Trailer


18. Margo Price - That’s How Rumors Get Started

I read a lot of reviews for That’s How Rumors Get Started when it came out, and the gist was “she’s not making country records anymore.” To which I say, “so what?” That’s How Rumors Get Started is a great album. Period. Whether it’s country, California country, or Stevie Nicks-esque soft rock is inconsequential. Just put it on and enjoy the ride. ~ Scott Colvin


17. Jesse Daniel - Rollin’ On

America needs many things in 2020. At or near the top of that list is The Bakersfield Sound, and Jesse Daniel delivers both a faithful send-up and a high standard for others to meet going forward. Rollin’ On exudes hope, as you’d expect from an artist who’s emerged on the redemptive side of addiction. The best pure country album of the year.

His was the last real show I saw B.C. (Before Corona), and I remember how excited I was about Daniel’s future. At the turn of a bad year, I’ll emulate his optimism: 2021 is gonna be a great year for this troubadour. ~ Kevin Broughton


16. Ashley McBride - Never Will

When people say the state of mainstream country is beyond repair, introduce them to Ashley McBryde. When they say that women only sing about happy endings and heartbreak, introduce them to Ashley McBryde. When they say that you can only make it big in Nashville if you sell out, introduce them to Ashley McBryde. And don’t give McBryde or this record any qualifiers; she is not the best mainstream country artist in 2020, and this is not the best mainstream country album; rather, she is one of the best artists and this is one of the best albums in all of country music this year. ~ Megan Bledsoe


15. Jaime Wyatt - Neon Cross

For my money, there is not a better straight up honky tonk country album released in 2020 than Jaime Wyatt's Neon Cross. Shooter Jennings produced this album beautifully as well. Jaime's vocals are incredible and the incredibly personal lyrics are deceptively strong and deep. I think this was my most listened to album of the year and I don't think it will be out of rotation any time soon. The title track and "Rattlesnake Girl" are indicative of Wyatt's songwriting and vocal ability. The self-assurance Wyatt sings with draw you in from the beginning and there is no let-up throughout the album.  ~ Matthew Martin


14. Arlo McKinley - Die Midwestern

Everyday on my way to work I pass a small town, crap bar with a sign full of misspelled words and local bands that played the other bars in town last week. Then one day just before this album was released, there it was, spelled correctly and everything. ARLO MCKINLEY with a date he’d be performing. That date, the weekend after Ohio closed all the bars due to rising Covid rates. Thankfully this album was around to play the lonesome sound 2020 demanded, just not live like I wished. ~ Jeremy Harris


Seventeen years is a long time to wait for a follow up album, and beyond that, Payne has a lot to live up given his royal lineage and ties to Outlaw hierarchy. This album lived up to all of it and perhaps even exceeded expectations. ~ Travis Erwin


When Texas Jonny Tyler told me, “That new Waylon Payne album is pretty good,” I thought, “’Waylon Payne?’ That sounds like a great pro wrestling name.” On reflection, (1) this album is damn fine, with sharp lyrics and a honky-tonk sensibility; and (2) the name of the album sounds like a stable of wrestling villains. ~ Kevin


12. Run the Jewels - RTJ4

2020 may not have been an ideal year for most but if there was a soundtrack it’d be RTJ4. A guided tour of struggle and protest, on point lyrics, and some awesome beats. The perfect album for an imperfect year. ~ Jeremy


11. Sturgill Simpson - Cuttin’ Grass, Vol. I

As someone who has never really been a Sturgill apologist, this album made me a believer. It is something special to be able to reimagine an entire album’s worth of one’s work at all, let alone with such fresh, engaging results. It takes something even more special to deliver a bluegrass album with nuance and restraint, and Simpson does just that, proving that bluegrass is not always about instrumental prowess, but sometimes about simplicity and emotion. ~ Megan


10. Tami Neilson - Chickaboom!

I am such a sucker for female fronted garage rock. I got into Tami Neilson a few years back with Don’t Be Afraid and enthusiastically devoured Chickaboom! when it was released. I don’t have this on vinyl...but I will…and hopefully soon. ~ Scott


9. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Reunions

There's a real late-80s/early-90s undercurrent to most of Isbell's latest release from the production with high-hitting snares, slight reverb-laden vocals, and high-flying guitar solos. But, this works well for Isbell who creates brand-new sounds within the old sound. Isbell's voice is about as good as it's ever been. It's remarkable to hear him sing a murder ballad so beautifully - I had to listen to the song "River" a couple of times to clear the dissonance between the beauty of the song and the darkness of the lyrics. But, that is what Isbell is so adept at doing. He shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. ~Matthew


8. Futurebirds - Teamwork

Futurebirds have always been road dogs. Their show has always been one that seems just about ready to go off the rails in the best possible way. Their albums have always been really good, but with Teamwork, Futurebirds put in what feels like their most personal set of songs which includes the Futurebirds' best songs: "Broken Arm," "Rodeo," and the absolutely incredibly raw emotional gut-punch "Waiting On A Call." ~ Matthew


7. Ruthie Collins - Cold Comfort

The album’s opening track might be my favorite cut of the year. “Joshua Tree” was inspired by the relationship of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. Other favorites of mine were “Dang Dallas,” “Wish You Were Here,” and “You Can’t Remember.”  ~ Travis


I remember the first time I listened to Cold Comfort. I put it on as background music and then “Joshua Tree” started playing. The background music was brought to the forefront and the world became the background. Starting at that moment my least productive physical moments were hidden behind the sweetness of Ruthie Collins. Wasted time is a thing to relish. ~ Jeremy


6. Ward Davis - Black Cats & Crows

The title track was the first track I heard here and was strong enough to have me digging in for more. “Sounds of Chains” keeps the murder ballad alive and in gritty capable hands. The fourteen tracks here take you for an emotional ride and the collection feels traditional, without ever coming across as cliché. even on the Alabama cover, “Lady Down on Love.” ~ Travis


5. Chris Stapleton - Starting Over

I look on Stapleton as the Miles Davis of country music. Seems like he can show up in a studio and just churn out high grade stuff. (Sturgill is a lot like that. But Sturgill didn’t release any new material this year.) This record dropped in December and re-ordered my top 10. Stapleton’s a beast.  ~ Kevin


4. Zephaniah OHora - Listening to the Music

It was a high bar to cross, but Ohora’s sophomore effort exceeds 2017’s lofty This Highway. On Listening to The Music, Zeph channels Merle Haggard, both vocally and spiritually. I’m not sure what was more 2020 about the song “All American Singer: (a) that it’s genuinely courageous in woke America to say “not everything has to be about politics;” or (b) that some p***y at No Depression put Zeph on blast for NOT being political enough, smearing Merle Haggard in the process. ~ Kevin


3. Tennessee Jet - The Country

A cinematic masterpiece from a Renaissance man, Tennessee Jet draws on the likes of Sergio Leone and William Faulkner to craft his characters. This is literary songwriting combined with punchy production and execution. The crown jewel on an album of gems? A grungy, scary, 3 ½-minute movie soundtrack about the creepy death of Johnny Horton. And of all the covers of “Pancho and Lefty,” -- I’ll plant a flag right now – none equals the four-headed monster version here by TJ, Jinks, Elizabeth Cook and Paul Cauthen. ~ Kevin


2. The Wilder Blue - Hill Country

A mashup of The Damn Quails, Flatland Cavalry, and The Bellamy Brothers - but with their own blood pumping through this vital music, this probable side-project may have garnered enough attention to become a front-street project soon; at least I hope so. This is a fantastic album full of great lyrics, killer harmonies, and memorable melodies. ~ Trailer


A late add to my list, but wow. There’s a lot of purity here in these harmonies and spot-on acoustic guitar licks. A half-dozen of these songs should be on mainstream radio right now, but what can you do?  ~ Kevin


1. American Aquarium - Lamentations

No one speaks their mind like B.J. Barham and that is why his music tends to be so provocative.  ~ Travis


With American Aquarium's latest album, BJ Barham has turned in his most poignant and pointed set of songs of his career. With the incredible production by Shooter Jennings and the tighter than ever musicianship, American Aquarium have released their hands-down most mature and best album to date. This is officially the highwater mark for American Aquarium. The opening, title track sets the tone for the album and it takes off from there. ~ Matthew


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(Top Others Receiving Votes: Brandy Clark - Your Life is a Record; Marcus King - El Dorado; Katie Pruitt - Expectations; Steve Earle - Ghosts of West Virginia; Nicole Atkins - Italian Ice; Kesha - High Road; Great Peacock - Forever Worse Better; Gabe Lee - Honkytonk Hell; Brent Cobb - Keep ‘em on They Toes; Tessy Lou Williams - s/t)


May 19, 2020

Carl Outlaw, Real Country Fan, Reviews Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit’s Reunions


I’m back and Trailer wants me too review a whole album? Nice way to welcome a brother out of “lock down” (lol, as if I’ve been doing any thing different). I don’t no who Jason Isbell is but Trailer assured me that its the kind of music he usually promotes on this website. 

I didn’t listen to this album. I just went on my Reddit to see what people who thinks like me think of Jason Isable. They said he’s a loony liberal so I didn’t listen too it. Sorry Trailer. You can’t induct me in two you’re communist think tank. In fact, I might not ever write for this blog again. Its dangerous to promote this kind of life style. If you don’t except are president and his beliefs 100% than your a sheep. Think for your self!

I seen the first song is called “What Have I Done to Help” and so I read the lyrics and its just about feeling guilty because he’s rich. All you gotta do is donate some to charity and your good, buddy. Song over.

People some times call this “alt-country” so since that’s close to “country” I admit to listening for 5 seconds, but their was nothing country about it. “Dreamsicle” is a song about a popsicle and its like folk or pop or something but its definitely something I’d be embarrassed for my homies to here playing out of my truck speakers. If there is any instrument besides a fiddle, steal guitar and maybe an acoustic guitar, its not country music, or even close.



This stuff myaswell be Luke Bryant music. Who’s she? Anyway, I see on the picture their’s a woman in the band. She’s to pretty to be in a real country band, so theirs another clue. 



I read the lyrics for one more song since folks on r/DontTreadonCountryMusic was complaining about it. Its called “Be Afraid” and I thought with a title like that it might be okay, but its not. Its a song telling us music fans to stop telling singers to “shut up and sing” or something like that. But I don’t care, SHUT UP AND SING. If a commie told me that breathing air is good for you I would put a bag over my head. LOL. In this song Jason tells other bands that they are p***ies if they don’t sing about politics. Well spill my vape juice, that’s some bullshit. Your a p***** if YOU DOES SING ABOUT POLITICS. Accept Charlie Daniels, it’s fine when he does.

In summery, this is a bad album and I’d rather listen to Georgia-Florida Line than Mr. Isabell and his Unit. And I’d rather slice off my pecker with a dull spork than listen to them so you no its bad. 



Jan 23, 2020

Ferris Bueller's Day Off: Country Reaction Gifs

When you get in a rental car and Dustin Lynch is playing

Me, listening to Dustin Lynch's new album for 10 seconds

♫ ♬ Oh the movers and the shakers down on Morgan Street ♫ ♬

Why do people like Tyler Childers so much?

♫ ♬ and the songs that she sang in the shower are stuck in my head ♫ ♬

After politely telling your ex-best friend you don't want to attend the Kane Brown concert with him

When a guy uses a Mitchell Tenpenny line to try to pick you up

When Charlie Sheen says FGL is his favorite country group

Dec 21, 2017

Farce the Music's Top 20 Albums of 2017


Our Top 20 Albums of 2017 were voted on by all contributors again this year: 
Kelcy Salisbury, Robert Dean, Kevin Broughton, Jeremy Harris, Trailer (me), and Matthew Martin 
(with friend Chad as a tiebreaker).

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1. Tyler Childers - Purgatory
Appalachia has passed the torch to its newest great storyteller; welcome to the big time, Tyler Childers. If anyone has doubts, ask yourself if Sturgill Simpson would produce this guy if he were anything but the genuine article. Childers has set himself an incredibly high bar here; but with a couple listens no one will doubt he’ll raise it higher on the next one. Here is the real deal, and he’ll be around for a long, long time.  - Kevin Broughton

Childers' voice along with the great production on this album were home-runs.  Add in the killer lyrics that have just enough humor to break the darkness in the issues plaguing rural America and you have this incredible album.  I had not listened to Tyler Childers prior to this year and now I can't get enough of him. - Matthew Martin


2. Turnpike Troubadours - A Long Way From Your Heart
The best country band in the world delivers yet another classic. The sparkling instrumentation, the master-class songwriting, the mythos, everything is here and it's a joy to behold. - Trailer

As I wrote on its debut, this album is wonderfully more of the same we’ve come to expect from these champions of the Red Dirt universe. Nobody writes a bittersweet broken-heart song better than Evan Felker, as evidenced in “The House Fire.” - Kevin


3. Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit - The Nashville Sound
Jason Isbell is the best there is in music right now.  I don't think it's even close.  The voice, the music, and the songs are all perfect.  After Isbell's last couple of quieter, more introspective albums, I was really looking forward to hearing Isbell cut loose a little more.  This album was not a disappointment on that front and even threw in a couple of tear-jerkers for good measure.  This year I got engaged, and hearing 'When We Were Vampires' is a song that crushes me every time.  For the rockers, 'Cumberland Gap' and 'White Man's World' are going to go at the top of the Isbell cannon.  After listening to these songs and this album all year, I can't even imagine Isbell's shows without these songs.  They are some of Isbell's best.  I know Southeastern may be Isbell's high water mark, but this album shows that he's not resting on his laurels.  He's going to continue to make incredible, hard-hitting music for years to come. - Matthew

If ‘Vampires’ doesn’t make you cry you may be a zombie. - Jeremy Harris


4. Colter Wall - s/t
Granted, producer Dave Cobb has an inexhaustible Midas touch. But you’d assume in situations 
like this one – producing the debut album from a star in the making from Canada – he’d largely
 just stand back. Listen to Wall’s deep, dark baritone and tell me he’s 22 years old; great golly, 
he is. Here’s the gold standard for folk albums in the twenty-teens, featuring the year’s best 
murder ballad, “Kate McCannon.” Tyler Childers’ singing harmony vocals on the traditional 
ballad “Fraulein” is the cherry on top.  - Kevin


5. Chris Stapleton - From A Room, Volume 2
This album was everything I want from Stapleton- it's bluesy, it's rowdy, and it's beautiful.  
The man can sing a damn song.  He makes you feel what he's singing, the way the best of the 
soul-singers of yesteryear could do.  This is one of the big-hitters of country music and it's completely, unequivocally deserved. - Matthew

This is the best pure country album for the last two or three years, from the man with hands-down 
the best voice in the genre. I had this playing in the background at work and a colleague asked, 
“Is this Waylon?” Well, yeah, pretty much. Take note, Nashville: Stapleton’s topping the charts, 
no thanks to you. - Kevin


6. Gregg Allman - Southern Blood
I don’t think he ever made a better solo album, and it’s so just bittersweet that we get this 
one from beyond the grave. His covers of the Grateful Dead’s “Black Muddy River” and 
Little Feat’s “Willin’” add a sweet touch. Given all Gregg’s givens, let’s be thankful he was 
here for 69 years. Rest easy, man.  - Kevin


7. Jason Eady - s/t
Eady does it again. Another great album. - Jeremy

The album gently grabs your attention with the song “Barabbas” and holds it throughout with 
some of the best songwriting of the year from a genuine craftsman. This Texan – by way of 
Mississippi – hits full stride with a fine album produced by the legendary Lloyd Maines and 
featuring the backing vocals of Vince Gill.  - Kevin


8. John Moreland - Big Bad Luv
From the album cover and title you’d think rap. 
From the sound of his voice you’d think awesome. - Jeremy

He writes compelling songs about feelings and situations we are all familiar with.  
He's heartbreakingly good and this album is proof that Moreland deserves even more 
accolades than he's receiving now.  With an incredible voice and lyrics; it's hard to not 
feel gut-punched at least 2-3 times per song.  - Matthew


9. Shinyribs - I Got Your Medicine
Just a fun album, start to finish. Adult-size portions of soul, real (as to what is today called) 
rhythm & blues, and gospel should keep this record in heavy rotation. - Kevin

Even a non-dancing, non-fun-having dude like me feels the desire to tap a foot every time I hear this album. It's soulful, funny, real, and my favorite thing Kevin Russell has done since the Gourds.
- Trailer


10. Travis Meadows - First Cigarette
There’s some real sad stuff on this one. If Isbell makes you feel weird and emotional,
 Travis Meadows will bring you down even more. - Jeremy


11. The Steel Woods - Straw in the Wind
A perfect balance of country and rock, and with some fine storytelling. Check your mirror,
Blackberry Smoke; these guys are on your heels. - Kevin

I was already impressed by Straw in the Wind. Seeing them live took my appreciation for
this band to a new level. They deserve any and all accolades headed their way. - Trailer


12. JD McPherson - Undivided Heart and Soul
What this country needs is more rockabilly, and this Okie delivers in spades. This is just lots of fun. It’s got a dash of British pub rock, just enough to remind us of Elvis Costello & Nick Lowe. Shake your hips, Daddy-o. - Kevin


13. Chris Stapleton - From A Room, Volume 1

Chris Stapleton continues his career with another solid album of covers and originals.  Not quite as good as Volume 2 in my opinion, but worth every bit of accolades it's received. - Matthew

There’s a magic formula that combines the best of 1 and 2 that makes it a much better album. 
With this formula 1 tops 2 by a lot. - Jeremy


14. Zephaniah OHora - This Highway
This album is an authentic, organic tribute to the golden years of country music, recalling Hank Snow, Marty Robbins and Ray Price. Another hit for the so-called “neo-traditionalists.” - Kevin


15. Steve Earle - So You Wanna Be An Outlaw
On a scale of 1 to Steve Earle, how do you feel about Trump? 
Just kidding, Steve steers clear. - Jeremy






18. Hellbound Glory - Pinball
This may be the best Leroy Virgil or whatever his name is now’s best album yet. - Jeremy







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