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TraceJay Farrar always provided the darkest, grittiest moments in Uncle Tupelo, so it comes as no surprise that Son Volt is a rawer record than A.M., the first album by Wilco, a band led by his former partner Jeff Tweedy. Throughout Son Volt's debut, Trace, the group reworks classic honky tonk and rock & roll, adding a desperate, determined edge to their performances. Even when they rock out, there is a palpable sense of melancholy to Farrar's voice, which lends a poignancy to the music. Trace isn't a great step forward from Tupelo's last album, the lovely Anodyne, but it is a fine continuation of the ideas Farrar has pursued over the course of his career.1. Windfall
2. Live Free
3. Tear Stained Eye
5. Ten Second News
7. Loose String
8. Out of the Picture
9. Catching On
10. Too Early
11. Mystifies Me
$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
New MultitudesNew Multitudes is an intimate interpretation of American icon and musical legend Woody Guthries previously unrecorded lyrics from a dream team of Americana torchbearers: Jay Farrar (Son Volt), Will Johnson (Centro-matic), Anders Parker (Varnaline) and Jim James (My Morning Jacket). What makes this album such a rarity in todays music world is the allowance of the songs infectious simplicity to stand alone in all their glory. In doing so, Farrar, Johnson, Parker and James, pay the greatest compliment to Woody Guthrie and the collaborative spirit he so greatly embodied. This is an album which seamlessly converges the sepia-toned essence of the time honored past with the risks needed to forge the future.
Under the invitation of Nora Guthrie, Woody's daughter, to tour the Guthrie archives, each of the four songwriters were offered the chance to plumb and mine the plethora of notebooks, scratch pads, napkins, etc. for anything that might inspire them to lend their voices and give the words new life.
These guys worked on an amazing group of lyrics says Nora. Much of it was culled from Woody's times in L.A. Lyric wise, it's a part of the story that is still mostly unknown. From Woody's experiences on L.A.'s skid row to his later years in Topanga Canyon, they are uniquely intimate, and relate two distinctly emotional periods in his life.
Musically, it is the sense of collaboration that makes New Multitudes not just another trite and traditional acoustic regurgitation of back porch blues. From the ragged jangle of its opening track, Hoping Machine, the loping lilt of Fly High, the floorboard stomp of No Fear, to the lush warmth and sudden sonic gut punch of My Revolutionary Mind, the cohorts deliver a lesson in discovering a song's sweet spot time and time again. It's the function and preparedness of each artist's dogged work ethic gleaned the old-fashion way; veracious songs, road weary odometers and sweat stained live shows, all attributes of the man they are honoring.1. Hoping Machine
2. Fly High
3. My Revolutionary Mind
4. VD City
5. Old L.A.
6. Talking Empty Bed Blues
8. Careless Reckless Love
9. Angel's Blues
10. No Fear
11. Changing World
12. New Multitudes$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Still Feel Gone1991's Still Feel Gone is the sophomore release from the seminal alt-country group Uncle Tupelo which famously spawned both Jeff Tweedy's Wilco and Jay Farrar's Son Volt upon its demise. The least country sounding album of the band's four record output, Still Feel Gone's 13-tracks unceremoniously pay homage to their garage and punk-rock roots, offering what is arguably the best document of the full range of the band in the process.
From the country stomp of Looking for a Way Out, to the lap-steel driven Still Be Around and Watch Me Fall, through the Minutemen tribute D. Boon and the solitary shuffle of True to Life, Still Feel Gone finds Uncle Tupelo courageously using the momentum of their impressive debut to not only champion their influences but prove what they're truly capable of in terms of both sound and vision.1. Gun
2. Looking for a Way Out
3. Fall Down Easy
5. Still Be Around
6. Watch Me Fall
7. Punch Drunk
9. D. Boon
10. True to Life
11. Cold Shoulder
13. If That's Alright$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Notes Of Blue (Awaiting Repress)Led by the songwriting and vocals of Jay Farrar, Son Volt was one of the most instrumental and influential bands in launching the alt.country movement of the 1990's. A movement that was the precursor to what is now widely referred to as Americana.
The 10 songs on Notes Of Blue are inspired by the spirit of the blues, but not the standard blues as most know it. The unique and haunting tunings of Mississippi Fred McDowell, Skip James and Nick Drake were all points of exploration for Farrar for the new collection. The album opens with the country soul of "Promise The World", followed by "Back Against The Wall", a song that could stand alongside the great Son Volt songs of their early albums.
Farrar possesses one of the most distinctive voices in roots, rock, country or any genre. He exudes a soulful longing combined with a wise-beyond-his-years command that is as arresting and compelling as ever. As a songwriter, Farrar's depth and poetic penchant has been the foundation of a thoughtful, deep and intelligent body of work. Both attributes are on full display on Notes Of Blue, as he touches on themes of redemption and the common struggle, both of which are at the core of the blues. Whether you call it alt.country, Americana, roots rock, insurgent country or just good ol' rock 'n' roll, musical trends appear and disappear on regular basis. Notes Of Blue is a testament to the legacy of inspiration and creative spirit that Jay Farrar and Son Volt continue to uphold.1. Promise the World
2. Back Against the Wall
4. Cherokee St
5. The Storm
6. Lost Souls
8. Sinking Down
9. Cairo and Southern
10. Threads and Steel$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Honky TonkHonky Tonk is Son Volt's first album together in over four yeras. Lead singer Jay Farrar was busy being part of the critically acclaimed album New Multitudes, along with Jim James, which helped to expose him to a whole legion of new fans. Honky Tonk continues his ongoing exploration of America's landscape through the redemptive power of its music. Yet for all its hearkening back to a classic sound, Farrar and company make Honky Tonk feel vital, fresh, and new.1. Hearts and Minds
2. Brick Walls
3. Wild Side
4. Down the Highway
6. Livin' On
7. Tears of Change
8. Angel of the Blues
11. Shine On$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
There's A Blue Bird In My HeartAnders Parker has a recording of new music coming out June 17th, and it is called There's a Blue Bird in my Heart. Released by his new record label, Recorded & Freed, the album of nine distinct tracks was created in Burlington, Vermont. The initial tracks were all cut live with his band Cloud Badge, before the process relocated to Athens, Georgia for additional recording and mixing by the legendary David Barbe (Bob Mould, Drive-by Truckers, Son Volt), and guest appearances by local Athens talent. This is the first release of new Parker material in over four years. A.P. did not sit idle during the interim, having recorded and released more than twenty-three tracks with the Woody Guthrie-inspired New Multitudes supergroup that also included Jay Farrar, Jim James, and Will Johnson. He also released a beautifully lyrical album of music with longtime ally Kendall Meade called Wild Chorus under the band name, Anders & Kendall. All of these efforts add to the continued entries in the ledger of his life's body of work that include his work with Space Needle, Gob Iron (also with Jay Farrar), five albums recorded under the anonymity of the name Varnaline, five albums recorded under his name, and a live "field recording" from a Portland, Oregon tour stop in 2005.1. The Road
3. Don't Let The Darkness In
5. Silver Yonder
6. Feel It
7. Epic Life
8. Jackbooted Thugs (Have All The Best Drugs)
9. See You On The Other Side$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
AnchorsFeaturing Special Guest Sheryl Crow On Little Bit Of Rust
"I hit a wall," says Will Hoge. "I was doing the best touring of my career and I had a great, steady gig writing songs, but I was falling out of love with being in a band. I had to figure out what was next."
For Hoge, what came next was a quest to reclaim the joy and the magic that had drawn him to music in the first place. He let his band go and hit the road for roughly a year of solo shows, crisscrossing the country by himself with just a guitar and a keyboard. He felt rejuvenated by the freedom and began writing material that reenergized him, that made him feel like a kid falling in love with rock and roll all over again. Those songs ignited a dormant flame somewhere deep within his soul, and now they form the bulk of Anchors, his strongest and most nuanced album to date.
Recorded with an all-star band comprised of drummer Jerry Roe (Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Darius Rucker), bassist Dominic Davis (Jack White, Wanda Jackson), and guitarists Brad Rice (Son Volt, Ryan Adams) and Thom Donovan (Lapush, Ruby Amanfu), the album is a prime showcase for Hoge's soaring, gritty vocals, as well as his remarkable gift for crafting complex characters with real emotional depth and plainspoken profundity. Over the course of eleven tracks (including one with special guest Sheryl Crow), Hoge weaves elements of vintage country, literate folk, and heartland rock into a passionate, genre-busting masterpiece, one that offers an unflinching portrait of the messy challenges of adulthood and the ways in which we persevere (or don't) through hard times.
Beginning with the release of his acclaimed 2001 debut, Carousel, Hoge established himself as a masterful songwriter and performer as well as a critical favorite, with Rolling Stone comparing him to Bob Seger and John Mellencamp and NPR praising his "sharp, smart, passionate rock 'n' roll that seems to exist out of time." He built up a loyal fanbase the old fashioned way, maintaining a steady studio output and a relentless touring schedule of more than 200 shows a year, including bills with the likes of My Morning Jacket, the Black Crowes, and Drive-By Truckers, in addition to festival slots from Bonnaroo to Austin City Limits. In 2012, the Eli Young Band hit #1 on the Billboard Country chart with their Platinum-selling recording of Hoge's song "Even If It Breaks Your Heart," earning Hoge nominations for CMA, ACM, and GRAMMY Awards. Soon he was performing everywhere from the Grand Ole Opry to The Late Show with David Letterman, his music was soundtracking a high-profile Chevy truck campaign, and he'd signed a major publishing deal.
When the inspiration ran dry, though, Hoge took a gamble on himself and walked away from it all in order to pursue the kind of art that truly moved him, to make something that mattered. If Anchors is any indication, it was a safe bet indeed.1. The Reckoning
2. This Grand Charade
3. Little Bit of Rust (feat. Sheryl Crow)
4. Cold Night in Santa Fe
5. Baby's Eyes
6. This Ain't An Original Sin
7. Through Missing You
9. Angels Wings
11. Young As We Will Ever Be$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Rhythm MachineFania records founder Jerry Masucci nurtured a group of musicians who collectively defined the New York-based Latin American dance music called salsa. Masucci packaged his stars in touring revues patterned after the R&B revues mounted by Motown, Stax/Volt and others. The Fania All Stars could thus play such large venues as Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden, promoting both their individual careers and recordings such as Rhythm Machine, which features some big-name jazz guests. Ruben Blades leads a stellar vocal lineup that includes Adalberto Santiago, Hector Casanova, Ada Chabrell, Nancy O'Neill, and Johnny Pacheco, who also plays flute and percussion. Jon Faddis and Randy Brecker are the headliners of a four-piece trumpet section, backed by three trombones, flutes, harp, vibes, and other assorted instruments. --John Swenson1. Ella Fue (She Was The One)
2. En Orbita
4. Peanuts (The Peanut Vendor)
6. Verao Vermelho
7. Steady (Fijo)
8. Juan Pachanga (DayLight)$36.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Natch'l BluesTaj Mahal's second album, recorded in the spring and fall of 1968, opens with more stripped-down Delta-style blues in the manner of his debut, but adds a little more amplification (partly courtesy of Al Kooper on organ) before moving into wholly bigger sound on numbers like She Caught The Katy And Left Me A Mule To Ride and The Cuckoo -- the latter, in particular, features crunchy electric and acoustic guitars and Gary Gilmore playing his bass almost like a lead instrument, like a bluesman's answer to John Entwistle. Most notable, however, may be the two original closing numbers, You Don't Miss Your Water ('Til Your Well Runs Dry) and Ain't That A Lot Of Love, which offer Taj Mahal working in the realm of soul and treading onto Otis Redding territory. This is particularly notable on You Don't Miss Your Water, which achieves the intensity of a gospel performance and comes complete with a Stax/Volt-style horn arrangement by Jesse Ed Davis that sounds more like the real thing than the real thing. Ain't That a Lot of Love, by contrast, is driven by a hard electric guitar sound and a relentless bass part that sounds like a more urgent version of the bassline from the Spencer Davis Group's Gimme Some Lovin'. This LP reissue includes a trio of bonus tracks: a faster-paced rendition of The Cuckoo with a more prominent lead guitar, the slow electric lament New Stranger Blues featuring some good mandolin-style playing on the guitar, and the rocking instrumental Things Are Gonna Work Out Fine, which is a killer showcase for Davis' lead electric guitar and Taj Mahal's virtuosity on the harmonica.1. Good Morning Miss Brown (Album Version)
3. I Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Steal My Jellyroll (Album Version)
4. Going up to the Country, Paint My Mailbox Blue
5. Done Changed My Way of Living
6. She Caught the Katy and Left Me a Mule to Ride
7. The Cuckoo (Album Version)
8. You Don't Miss Your Water ('Til Your Well Runs Dry) (Album Version)
9. Ain't That a Lot of Love$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Condolences (Gray w/Black Splatter)Pressed On Gray Vinyl With Black Splatter
A grimly glamorous ghoul who first slithered from the cobwebbed shadows of Charlotte, North Carolina, in the early 90s, WEDNESDAY 13 has firmly established himself as the world's premier purveyor of balls-out horror punk insanity. With a vivid and vile imagination that has endeared him to countless fans of riff-driven macabre over the last two decades, he has been one of rock's most prolific protagonists, spreading his credo of grave-robbing rock 'n' roll and Hallowe'en debauchery around the globe and unleashing a seemingly endless stream of blood-spattered albums and EPs.
"All my favorite stuff, like KISS and ALICE COOPER and TWISTED SISTER, those guys set the bar pretty high," he states. "I always wanted to do something in the worlds of those bands. That's the blueprint. It had to be as outrageous and crazy as that and I wanted to be on someone's wall one day and have their parents say 'Oh my god, what is that?' The formula's still there from when I started doing it as a kid and started wanting to be in a band. It's just GI Joe and Dracula!"
After several years of sharpening his creative teeth, WEDNESDAY 13 emerged from the fetid crypt of obscurity with his band FRANKENSTEIN DRAG QUEENS FROM PLANET 13, those masters of snotty schlock rock that released an astonishing five studio albums and six EPs between 1996 and 2002. Always the leader of the revolting pack, WEDNESDAY 13 then became a bona fide international rock star as frontman for the MURDERDOLLS, his collaboration with SLIPKNOT's Joey Jordison. The band took the world by storm, with Europe and the UK, in particular, succumbing to the feral charms of 2002 debut album, »Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls«; a raucous eruption of big tunes and bad attitude that noisily redefined the horror punk genre. After MURDERDOLLS went on an extended hiatus in 2004, WEDNESDAY 13 embarked on a widely lauded solo career that again provided him with an outlet for his relentless outpouring of fiendish musical and lyrical ideas. Albums like »Transylvania 90210« (released by Roadrunner in 2005), »Fang Bang« and »Skeletons« all cemented our pallid hero's reputation as the bastard son of ALICE COOPER and THE MISFITS, while his outlaw country project, BOURBON CROW and one-off glam metal vehicle, GUNFIRE 76 proved that he had sufficient versatility to survive outside the graveyard and abattoir.
MURDERDOLLS reconvened in 2010 for the vicious »Women And Children Last« album and another successful world tour before disappearing once more into the freezing midnight fog, leaving WEDNESDAY to revive his solo career with a few thousand volts of wicked electricity yet more highly praised albums and tours including 2014's scintillating acoustic opus »Undead Unplugged« and the following year's thunderous »Monsters Of The Universe: Come Out & Plague«. However, absolutely nothing that WEDNESDAY has created in the past has even touched upon the horrifying potency and allure of his brand new studio album, »Condolences«.
Frustrated with the arduous process of releasing his own music, our favorite black-hearted freak has thrown himself and his music into a whirling maelstrom of reinvention. The result is not just the heaviest and most authentically disturbing record of the great man's career but also a huge creative leap forward, neatly encapsulated by the new album's simple and direct title.
"It's more of a serious WEDNESDAY 13 record, I guess," he says. "The campiness has gone and it's taken a darker vibe. It's definitely not in the camp, sleazy world anymore. The band is visually stronger and that's taken things to a new level. Normally my album titles are parodies of something, like »Women And Children Last«, that's a VAN HALEN album title gone wrong! (laughs) So I wanted to make sure that this record came across as a brand new version of WEDNESDAY 13."
In musical terms, »Condolences« showcases WEDNESDAY's growing obsession with the world of heavy metal and its endless possibilities for exploring tales of horror and violence. Produced by renowned studio guru Zeuss, new songs like anthemic first single 'What The Night Brings' and the pile-driving 'Blood Sick' still exhibit a dash of B-movie weirdness and are full of WEDNESDAY's trademark twisted lyrics, but where previous albums were rooted in the worlds of punk rock and glam metal, »Condolences« is a full-on modern metal record with gigantic balls and the attitude to match. From the glowering menace of 'Good Riddance' to the grandiose hellishness of the album's 7-minute title track, it's living, breathing, murdering proof that the WEDNESDAY 13 of 2017 means business. And business is mean.
"The punk rock vibe has left the building and it's become a full-on metal vibe," WEDNESDAY agrees. "I've been the horror-punk guy for years, but this is horror metal. It's just evolution. Over the last ten years, I've become a metalhead for the most part. That second MURDERDOLLS record just amped the whole thing up, and the guys in the band have influenced me with so much other stuff. It's not just me with my SEX PISTOLS, ALICE COOPER and RAMONES records anymore! (laughs) Now I've got my band incorporating everything from death metal to rock'n'roll. It's all across the boards. There are no rules. We can do whatever we want, whatever fits."
Manifestly the strongest, heaviest and most individual album of his lengthy career, »Condolences« promises to push WEDNESDAY 13 into heavy music's upper echelons once again. With determined plans to tour relentlessly in support of the new record, the future is looking dark, dangerous, exhilarating and wildly, unapologetically theatrical.
"It's non-stop touring once the record comes out," WEDNESDAY concludes. "We just did our first video for 'What The Night Brings' and the visuals are really cool. I've incorporated a lot of stuff I've been doing live, like this devil character I've been transforming into at shows, and that got worked in. We're taking the music, the imagery and the entire stage show up a level. It's gonna be a full-on theatrical stage production, so I'll be busy as fuck on stage! I've been doing this shit for so many years, I started thinking 'How can I make this fun again?' (laughs)"1. Last Rites
2. What The Night Brings
4. Blood Sick
5. Good Riddance
6. You Breathe, I Kill
7. Omen Amen
8. Cruel To You
9. Eulogy XIII
10. Prey For Me
11. Lonesome Road To Hell
13. Death Infinity$29.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Anodyne (Out Of Stock)Seminal alternative country-rock group Uncle Tupelo was formed in the Midwestern backwater of Belleville, Illinois, by high school friends Jay Farrar, Jeff Tweedy, and Mike Heldorn. Their marriage of punk rock animus with the simplicity of American roots music ignited a major movement heralding rock's return to traditional country origins. Heldorn had departed, Ken Coomer signed on, and in 1993 the band released one final album, Anodyne, widely considered their definitive work. Recorded live in an Austin studio, the album reinterprets country, rock, and folk idioms with the compelling vision that was Tupelo's own. After parting ways, members went on to found Wilco and Son Volt, but the brief and shining moment that was Uncle Tupelo will forever cast a long shadow on American roots rock.1. Slate
3. The Long Cut
4. Give Me Back the Key to My Heart
6. New Madrid
8. We've Been Had
9. Fifteen Keys
10. High Water
11. No Sense in Lovin'
12. Steal the Crumbs$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock