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Walks For MotoristsWhite Hills are proponents of psychedelia as transformation. The music made by Dave W. and Ego Sensation is risky and cutting edge, rooted in dystopian futurism and hyperconscious of society's constant desire for a new and better drug. That progressive aesthetic is at the heart of White Hills' newest album Walks For Motorists, a radically stripped-down record that emphasizes rhythm and groove. The album bursts forth with a new kind of intensity, one born out of laser-focused precision and detail-oriented songwriting. Possibly surprising to fans familiar with the Hawkwindian guitar squall of earlier albums, the songs on Walks For Motorists began as a keyboard melody or bass line, and several songs on the album don't even feature guitar at all. This is propulsive, open music, surreal to its core but made to inspire people to get out of their seats and move.1. No Will
2. £SD or USB
4. Lead the Way
5. I, Nomad
6. We Are What You Are
7. Automated City
8. Life Is Upon You
9. Walks For Motorists$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
H-P1Musically, H-p1, White Hills second full-length for Thrill Jockey, expands on the explorations of previous albums in ambience, noise and space rock all led by guitarist Dave W.'s blistering guitar solos. A notable difference is the addition of synthesizer player, Shazzula, for the recordings. Shazzula has performed with the group in Europe on and off throughout the last year.
There was no compression used on the record. Instead distortion boxes were used to enhance the natural dynamics of the songs. The recordings captured a natural ebb and flow of the instruments within each song. For this reason I did not ride the faders while mixing the record to bring out certain instruments over others. It is the way it happened when it was recorded. said Dave W.
This is the most fully realized White Hills album to date and the one that takes them furthest from their pure space rock roots. It is also their most angry record. It is a reaction to what White Hills sees as government co-opted and controlled by corporations. It is a wake up call.1. The Condition of Nothing
3. No Other Way
5. Upon Arrival
6. A Need to Know
7. Hand In Hand
9. H-p1$22.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Glitter Glamour AtrocitySonically, it is radically different from anything else coming out of the New York underground at the time, and it set the template for the singular concoction of heavy psychedelic music, krautrock, and a worship of pure sound they have explored in different variations ever since. Throughout the album the band explores themes of greed, misinformation, war, hypocrisy and their outcomes within the world's political and economic systems, presenting these weighty topics with the same air of mystic understanding that underpins their music. Glitter Glamour Atrocity includes the song "Under Skin Or By Name," the longest running staple in the band's live set, which the band performed in the acclaimed film Only Lovers Left Alive at the request of director Jim Jarmusch. It is one of only two performances in the movie, which is enamored with the music making process and record collector culture.1. Air Waves
2. Under Skin or By Name
3. Spirit of Exile
5. Somewhere Along the Way
6. Long Serve Remember
8. Glitter Glamour Atrocity$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Weezer (White Album)Weezer's self-titled, tenth studio album (referred to as The White Album) is the highly anticipated follow up to 2014's Everything Will Be Alright In The End. The album features Thank God For Girls (insanely catchy new single-NPR) which has charted across multiple genres and is currently sitting in the top 10 at alternative radio.
Hailing from Los Angeles, CA, Weezer-Rivers Cuomo (vocals/guitar), Brian Bell (guitar), Scott Shriner (bass), and Patrick Wilson (drums)-has sold over nine million albums in the U.S. and over 17 million records worldwide. The alt-rock band has proven themselves a force in the industry with a 20-year catalog that features chart-topping hits such as Buddy Holly, Say It Ain't So, Hash Pipe, Beverly Hills, Perfect Situation, Pork and Beans, El Scorcho, Island In The Sun, and more.1. California Kids
2. Wind In Our Sail
3. Thank God For Girls
4. (Girl We Got A) Good Thing
5. Do You Wanna Get High?
6. King Of The World
7. Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori
8. L.A. Girlz
9. Jacked Up
10. Endless Bummer$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-SAD-6016xThe Rural Alberta Advantage
The WildLate in 2016, the trio of Nils Edenloff, Paul Banwatt, and Robin Hatch hit the road for a unique set of shows in some of their favorite venues across North America and Europe. They had been hard at work writing their next album and wanted to work out the new material the way they love best: by bringing it to their fans in person. As Nils put it, "I've never been good about focusing on a theme or having a specific plan at the outset of a new record. For me, writing music tends to be more of a constantly evolving process, like following one strange trail after another until a song has come to its general conclusion. This time around, we're following that natural writing process more and inviting the fans to come along those trails with us." Over the ensuing months, they took the lessons of the road into the studio, laying ten new tracks to tape. Earlier this year, fans had their first chance to hear the results with the release of singles "White Lights" and "Beacon Hill." Now, the full fruit of their efforts can be found on The Wild, which will be released via Saddle Creek and Paper Bag. The Rural Alberta Advantage's percussive folk songs about hometowns and heartbreak, and relentless tradition of touring have taken the trio from humble recognition amongst indie rock die-hards as Canada's best unsigned band to sold-out tours and devoted fans around the world with featured coverage from Spin Magazine, Pitchfork, The New York Times and Rolling Stone all taking note. The band has been nominated for two 2012 Juno Awards (Best New Group and Video of the Year for their song "Stamp"), long listed for the 2011 Polaris Award, and awarded the CBC Music Prize for Best Independent Artist in 2014.1. Beacon Hill
2. Bad Luck Again
3. Dead / Alive
5. Toughen Up
6. White Lights
8. Selfish Dreams
9. Wild Grin
10. Letting Go$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Razorblade Suitcase (In Addition)
Razorblade Suitcase: In Addition 20th Anniversary
Remastered 2xLP 180 Gram Black And White Swirl Vinyl
Featuring 4 Rare Bonus Tracks
Featuring 4 Rare Bonus Tracks from Razorblade Suitcase era- Old, Sleeper, Broken TV and Bubbles. Metallic silver gatefold vinyl with new, re-interpreted art and design. Printed inner sleeves and huge poster with complete album lyrics (includes lyrics for 3 songs not available on original album art.) Inside of the gatefold includes liner notes from original album producer Steve Albini.1. Personal Holloway
2. Greedy Fly
4. Insect Kin
5. Cold Contagious
6. A Tendency to Start Fires
8. Straight No Chaser
13. Distant Voices
14. Old (BONUS TRACK)
15. Broken TV (BONUS TRACK)
16. Sleeper (BONUS TRACK)
17. Bubbles (BONUS TRACK)$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Feast Of The Hunters' MoonSugar Hill Records is proud to announce the upcoming release of Feast of the Hunters' Moon, the debut album from Portland, Oregon-based Black Prairie. Featuring three-fifths of The Decemberists and two of the city's finest folk stylists, the heavily acoustic debut was produced by Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, Death Cab for Cutie) and embodies the rich sonic landscape of the Portland music scene while integrating the diverse backgrounds of its members. As described by dobroist Chris Funk, the band's sound bridges the music of Clarence White and Ennio Morricone in a way that defies genre characterization.
Decemberists guitarist Funk and bassist Nate Query hatched the plan to start a primarily instrumental string band while on the road. Funk began to spend time playing the square-necked Dobro guitar, and the pair recruited fellow Decemberist Jenny Conlee to play accordion. Portland musicians Annalisa Tornfelt and Jon Neufeld then filled out the ranks on violin and guitar, respectively.
Black Prairie's songs consist mostly of instrumentals; their arrangements draw from bluegrass and old-time string band traditions, while Conlee's accordion and Tornfelt's violin instill klezmer and gypsy elements to the band's unique and vibrant sound. The quintet sometimes takes an almost-classical approach to composition, with songs containing multiple movements that ebb and flow in a way that differs greatly from traditional pop or bluegrass structure. The band decided it would be a shame not to make use of Tornfelt's vocal ability, so she sings on a handful of tracks as well. The thirteen album tracks include mostly original compositions by the five band members, with a smattering of traditional material intertwined throughout.1. Across the Black Prairie
2. Red Rocking Chair
3. Back Alley
4. Ostinato Del Caminito
5. A Prairie Musette
6. Crooked Little Heart
7. Annie McGuire
8. Atrocity at Celilo Falls
9. Tango Oscuro
10. Single Mistake
11. Full Moon in June
12. Home Made Lemonade
13. The Blackest Crow$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Source of PrideCyan Haze On Milky White Colored Vinyl
Source of Pride is the second full-length album by Roman Ruins (Graham Hill). The album continues his exploration into the distinctive yet evolving sound of his solo recording project. The songs on Source of Pride formed as Hill moved his family from Oakland to New Orleans, where he now lives and works as an architect and a father to 2 young children. Hill often worked late at night, which helped define the aural landscape that belies each track. As the songs began to take shape, Hill's wife remarked how every time I'm pregnant, you're pregnant with an album. The lyrical themes on Source of Pride address the relationships, rituals, and revelations that constitute family.1. Loved One
3. Why Do You Cry
5. Family Ties
7. Drifting Home
8. Wedding Day
9. Loved One (Moss Of Aura Remix)
10. Loved One (Meanest Man Contest Remix)
11. Sister (High Chief Remix)
12. Why Do You Cry (Monster Rally Remix)
13. Family Ties (Yalls Remix)
14. Brothers (Conveyor Remix)$15.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
REDD-CAM-331xMother Hips, The
Pacific DustFor the band's seventh full-length studio album, The Mother Hips have never been more primed to share their well-traveled tales, the long days and nights on the road, the gritty politics, the smart inward reflections and most of all the music, all delivered with a most appealing balance of Americana storytelling and their California-burnished rock. Pacific Dust's compositions about penning a song in your kitchen at 3:00 am (the thundering album opener White Falcon Fuzz), record company politics (garage-rock boogie Third Floor Story), and a father and son's relationship through music (on the ballad Young Charles Ives) indeed tell the story of many American rock bands. But here's why it matters: The Mother Hips have survived, and in fact thrived, throughout the journey and Pacific Dust, with its bittersweet melodies, poignant lyrics, and strong and gritty musicianship, is a perfect example of why.
Earlier albums such as Part-Timer Goes Full, Green Hills of Earth, and Red Tandy have become almost cult classics among indie music buffs, and the band's most recent 2007 release, Kiss the Crystal Flake, offered proof that the band still continues to attract new supporters. Over the years, the band has worked with and played alongside a slew of renowned/respected colleagues including super-producer Rick Rubin, Wilco, Johnny Cash, and many others. Today, armed with their newest release Pacific Dust, The Hips are poised to take their experience and talent to yet another level.$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Ghosts (Awaiting Repress)Female London-based duo Smoke Fairies are releasing Ghosts, a vinyl album compiling their first two singles and an EP, being issued by 453 Music.
Their unique interweaving of ethereal vocal harmonizing and swampland guitars draws inspiration from sources as seemingly contradictory as the rolling hills of the pair's native Sussex and the foothills of the Appalachian mountains; the smoky jazz cafes of New Orleans to the sunny meadows of the English countryside... try to pigeonhole the Smoke Fairies? You might as well try to capture a storm in a whisky bottle.
This music wells up from deep in their souls, sometimes dark, sometimes delicate and unmistakably shaped by a distinctly British sensibilities and filled with a delicious tension -- at once warm and haunting; soothing and unsettling. Following in the footsteps of artists like the Velvet Underground, Led Zeppelin (on their respective third albums), and Jefferson Airplane they've overhauled their musical roots and brought something new to the world. ''Frozen Heart,'' for instance, is a paean to love whose influences span five decades and all manner of traditional genres, putting all those the pieces together in a strikingly fresh and original way.
Now with four very collectible singles under their belts, (including a one-off on Jack White's label Third Man Records) they are established in the UK, and are selling out their own shows in the capital. In 2010, the North America beckons again as they release Ghosts and plan on extensive touring. They recently played at SXSW 2010 in Austin, TX in March and will begin touring North America May of this year, supporting Laura Marlin.Side A:
When You Grow Old
Living With Ghosts
We Had Lost Our Minds
He's Moving On
Riverbed (Bonus track available exclusively on vinyl download only)$11.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Pushing My LuckRobert Belfour's sophomore effort for Fat Possum -- at 63, he is one of the youngest artists on the roster and is by far the most polished, if the Delta blues can ever really be called that -- proves his debut was indeed only a beginning.
In stark contrast to his labelmates, Belfour strictly plays acoustic blues, but he plays them with the same dark, trancelike feel of Junior Kimbrough, haunting spookiness of Fred McDowell, rhythmic intensity of John Lee Hooker, and sprawling drawl of Lightnin' Hopkins. Ted Gainey aids Belfour on a drum kit.
While the first album was all of a piece, and everything but the vocal seemed to be recorded at the same level (and even then, Belfour couldn't always be understood among the ringing guitars and shuffling drums), Pushin' My Luck is nervier, a bit more edgy. Belfour's truly nearly unbelievable singing is a bit more in the foreground, enough to add to the hypnotic repetition in his music, while the drums -- played no more elaborately than Meg White's in the White Stripes -- are mixed just a tad higher, bringing it extremely close to the punch this stuff has when played in front of a live audience.
Fans of Kimbrough's guitar playing -- or Ali Farka Toure's, for that matter -- will be instantly drawn to the polyrhythmic, droning chords and ambling, elegantly raw, slippery fills that Belfour plays, whether it's on Hill Stomp, the title track, I Got My Eyes on You, Sweet Brown Sugar, or I'm Gonna Leave, which closes the set. The vibe is the same everywhere; this is deep, hot Mississippi blues full of a slow, steamy, writhing sexual vibe; twisted soul; and a sense of foreboding mystery that cannot be mentioned, let alone explained.
This is the first great blues record of 2003 and if it isn't nominated for the W.C. Handy Award, the damned foundation should be disbanded on the basis of deafness. I hope this guy lives to be a 100 and makes a record every year he's on this planet. Forget everything you just read: This record is amazing; just buy it.
- Thom Jurek (All Music Guide)1. Hill Stomp
2. Breaking My Heart
3. Pushin' My Luck
4. Go Ahead On
5. You Got Me Crying
6. I Got My Eyes On You
7. Sweet Brown Sugar
8. Stayed Awake
9. Crazy Ways
10. I'm Gonna Leave You
$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Atrocity ExhibitionHe is unmatchable in flow, delivery, and voice. Danny Brown has all the tools to be the greatest working rapper. -PITCHFORK
Atrocity Exhibition is one of the freshest and boldest-sounding rap albums in recent memory, a sonic swirl inspired by the work of Talking Heads and Joy Division that nonetheless sounds like nothing else from the past or present. Featuring contributions from producers like Evian Christ, Petite Noir (who also lends vocals to the world-weary clang of "Rolling Stone"), Black Milk, the Alchemist and frequent collaborator Paul White, the album is full of laser-beam guitars, gym-teacher whistles, creaking vocal samples, and air-raid drones. It is the most intriguing take on hallucinatory rap since the heady heights of Cold Vein or Madvillainy.
Known for his wide range of collaborations, including everyone from Purity Ring, the Avalanches and Rustie to Schoolboy Q, E-40, and Ghostface Killah, Atrocity Exhibition sees a continuation of this carefully curated mix. Kelela lends her snaking vocals to the intriguingly murky "From the Ground," Cypress Hill's B-Real delivers "Get Hi"'s languid hook, and Earl Sweatshirt, Kendrick Lamar, and Ab-Soul all convene for the twinkling ominousness of album standout "Really Doe." "When XXX came out, all of us were peers, and those were the three rappers who were the best," Brown explains on having the star-packed trio appear on the track. "I felt like we were competitors, they made me want to step my game up. I wanted to put the hottest rappers in the game on there."
This album is a highly personal take on Brown's ruminations on life and the changes that have occurred -and those that didn't - following the ups and downs of career success. Atrocity Exhibition makes for a thrilling third installment in the Danny Brown biopic, one not to be missed.1. Downward Spiral
2. Tell Me What I Don't Know
3. Rolling Stone (featuring Petite Noir)
4. Really Doe (featuring Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul & Earl Sweatshirt)
6. Ain't It Funny
8. White Lines
10. Dance In The Water
11. From The Ground (featuring Kelela)
12. When It Rain
14. Get Hi (featuring B-Real)
15. Hell For It$21.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The Summer of the Shark
First Time Pressed To Vinyl
LP Pressed To White Vinyl
Portastatic's The Summer of the Shark will be available for the first time on vinyl
as part of a monthly series of reissues to mark the 25th anniversary of Merge
Mac McCaughan, co-founder of Merge Records and frontman of the band
Superchunk, began recording solo albums under the name Portastatic in the
early '90s. Beginning with this album, Portastatic evolved from a lo-fi side
project to become McCaughan's main focus throughout Superchunk's long
hiatus in the early '00s.
McCaughan wrote the songs on The Summer of the Shark in 2001 while
Superchunk was on tour in support of Here's to Shutting Up, which was
released mere days after the September 11 attacks and would be the band's
last studio album for nine years. The resulting batch of songs was the last
Portastatic album recorded almost entirely at home; it was also the most
emotionally resonant, and musically compact collection to date.
Upon the album's release, then Chicago Tribune reporter John Cook wrote
of the album: "It is the most effective and moving musical answer yet to what
has happened to us over the last two years. Faced with an enormous
catastrophe, McCaughan elected to make a small record. There are no heroes
rushing up stairwells and no dissections of good and evil-only scared,
confused people and local heartbreaks."
Recorded at McCaughan's home studio in Chapel Hill, The Summer of the
Shark included contributions from Janet Weiss (Wild Flag, Quasi, Sleater-Kinney), Tony Crow (Lambchop), Margaret White (Versus, Matt Pond PA),
Matthew McCaughan (Bon Iver, Hiss Golden Messenger), Aaron Oliva, and
John Plymale.1. Oh Come Down
2. In the Lines
3. Windy Village
4. Through a Rainy Lens
5. Don't Disappear
6. Swimming Through Tires
8. Noisy Night
9. Clay Cakes
10. Drill Me
12. Hey Salty$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Volume 2 (1928 - 1932) (Awaiting Repress)
Six LPs, 800 Digital Tracks, Two Definitive Large-Format Books. All Housed In A Polished Aluminum Case Evoking The Era's High Art Deco Stylings And America's Own Machine Age Modernism.
800 Newly-remastered Digital Tracks, Representing 175 Artists
90+ Fully-restored Original 1920s-30s Paramount Ads From Chicago Defender
6 X 180g LPs Pressed On Alabaster-white Label-less Vinyl, Each Side With Its Own Hand-Etched Numeral And Holographic Image
250 Pg. Large-Format Clothbound Hardcover Book Featuring Original Paramount Art And The Label's Curious Tale
400 Pg. Encyclopedia-Style Softcover Field Guide Containing Artist Bios & Portraits And Full Paramount Discography
Polished Aluminum And Stainless Steel Cabinet, Evoking 1930s High Art Deco Stylings And America's Own Machine Age Modernism
First-Of-Its-Kind Music And Image Player App Containing All Tracks And Ads, Housed On Sculpted Metal USB Drive
Last November, Jack White's Third Man and John Fahey's Revenant issued The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-27), the first installment of the curious tale of America's most important record label. It was called spectacular (New York Times), unprecedented (Rolling Stone), breathtaking (Boing Boing), a cabinet of wonder, indeed (Pitchfork), and the most perfectly realized attempt to combine music and documentation (Fretboard Journal) and damnedest musical objet d'art (Nashville Scene) folks had ever seen.
Third Man-Revenant now presents the final volume in the Paramount story - The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume Two (1928-32).
As Volume Two begins, Paramount is entitled to a breather - in the previous 5 years it's been home to giants like King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Alberta Hunter, Blind Blake, Ethel Waters, Ma Rainey, Papa Charlie Jackson, Eubie Blake, Fletcher Henderson, Big Bill Broonzy, Roosevelt Sykes, James P. Johnson, Jaybird Coleman, Clarence Williams, and Fats Waller.
But just as it seems the label might be losing steam, it begins a second act that threatens to dwarf its first. In its final 5 year push from 1928-32, Paramount embarks on a furious run for the ages, birthing the entire genre of Mississippi Delta blues and issuing some of the most coveted recordings in the history of wax - a staggering playlist including Skip James, Charley Patton, Son House, Tommy Johnson, Blind Roosevelt Graves, Willie Brown, King Solomon Hill, Tampa Red, Georgia Tom Dorsey, Little Brother Montgomery, Lottie Kimbrough, Rube Lacy, Meade Lux Lewis, Buddy Boy Hawkins, Ramblin' Thomas, Jaydee Short, George Bullet Williams, Cow Cow Davenport, Clifford Gibson, Ishman Bracey, Charlie Spand, Jabo Williams, Louise Johnson, Blind Joe Taggart, Geeshie Wiley & Elvie Thomas, and The Mississippi Sheiks.
Paramount simply killed. But more than that, it changed how this country thought of itself. It was the first and most comprehensive chronicler of what America really sounded like in the 1920s and '30s - on its street corners, at its fish fries and country suppers, in its nightclubs and dance halls and showtents. In the process, Paramount - not some preservationist-minded enterprise like the Library of Congress - inadvertently created the most significant repository of this young nation's greatest art form.6 LPs feature tracks from the collection.
USB Drive contains 800 digital tracks by 175 artists across the Paramount family of labels.$469.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP + 2 Books - 6 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Another LifeJames Maddock affirms his status as a fixture in downtown Manhattan's folk and Americana scene with his album 'Another Life.' As NPR says of the British transplant, "his timeless songwriting style, which seems to draw from great songwriters of every era, conveys quiet confidence and lovely intimacy."
Nodding to '70s rock with shimmering acoustic guitars, an understated rhythm section and flourishes of fiddle, mandolin, piano and dobro, 'Another Life' bridges the mainstream appeal of songwriters like Jesse Harris and Norah Jones and the quirkier sensibility of Loudon Wainwright. With funding entirely from fan contributions through PledgeMusic, Maddock worked with producer Matt Pierson, multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell (who's played with Bob Dylan and Levon Helm) and bassist Tony Scherr (who plays with Norah Jones).
The 13 songs on 'Another Life' paint a portrait of a man reaching the midpoint of his life, a natural progression from themes in Maddock's earlier releases. He's looking back on roads not taken, and isn't always sure he chose the right one. On the title track, Maddock wants an extra 50 years to try "acting, white-water rafting," "some illegal substances," even having a kid or three. "I've Been There Too," built around an indelible guitar riff, shows Maddock's knack for instrumental hooks as well as lyrical ones. "Don't Go Lonely," in a well-timed moment of levity, hints at reggae with dub bass, bubbling organ and the chorus's entreaty to "go get high, go get found, go crazy on this town / don't go lonely."
After fronting the Columbia Records band Wood, whose debut 'Songs From Stamford Hill' was featured prominently on TV shows such as "Dawson's Creek," Maddock moved from England to New York City in 2003. His 2009 album 'Sunrise On Avenue C' won a New York Music Award for Best Americana Album, while follow-up 'Wake Up And Dream' ranked among the top albums of 2011 in WFUV's (NYC) Listener Poll. He's performed with Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nile, Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors) and David Immergluck (Counting Crows), sang on an album with Susan McKeown, and is a resident artist at Rockwood Music Hall. According to radio legend Vin Scelsa, Maddock's heartbreakingly beautiful and exquisitely crafted music touches the soul.1. Another Life
2. Arizona Girl
3. Timing's Everything
4. Ive Been There Too
5. That's Heavy
6. What I Miss
7. Easy To Give
8. Don't Go Lonely
9. What Have I Done?
10. Strategies For Life
11. Better On My Own
12. If I Had A Son
13. Making Memories$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
REDD-FAT-0711xJimbo Mathus & The Tri-State Coalition
Dark Night Of The SoulThis musical DNA has been in Jimbo Mathus since birth. His father and relatives
were all skilled musicians who filled the house with old folk, country and blues
tunes. By the age of eight, Mathus was joining them on mandolin and by his
teenage years had learned guitar and piano. High school led to playing in punk
and new wave bands, the most notable being Johnny Vomit and the Dry Heaves
and The End, with future Oblivian Jack Yarber. Post high school, Mathus studied
Philosophy at Mississippi State University before leaving to travel around
America. In doing so he worked various jobs, including an influential stint as
a barge tankerman on the mighty Mississippi River. Settling in Chapel Hill,
N.C., he drummed in the cult rock band Metal Flake Mother prior to starting
the Squirrel Nut Zippers. This ahead-of-its-time retro roots band scored a hit
with "Hot" and performed at President Clinton's second Inauguration and the
1996 Summer Olympics. Following the Zippers' split, Mathus worked with such
noted artists such as Buddy Guy and Elvis Costello, and collaborated with North
Mississippi Allstars guitarist Luther Dickinson and Alvin Youngblood Hart in the
South Memphis String Band. He also recorded his own albums (including one
dedicated to his childhood nanny Rosetta Patton, the daughter of Delta blues
icon Charley Patton).
On most of 'Dark Night's' tracks, Mathus' acoustic guitar is surrounded by
the electric guitar played by his longtime sideman Matt Pierce and pal Eric
"Roscoe" Ambel. (Ambel produced 'White Buffalo' but on 'Dark Night' he focuses
exclusively on his righteous guitar playing.) The album's raw, rock sound arose
from the fact that most of the tracks were recorded live in the studio with
Mathus' band, the Tri-State Coalition, which he found "very liberating way of
doing it." Mathus feels very in synch with his bandmates (keyboardist Eric
Carlton, drummer Ryan Rogers, guitarist Pierce and guest bassist and Drive By
Trucker Matt Patton) since they have played together now for several years.
"The intensity you're hearing on this album," he proclaims, "is the spirit of a
band that is put ting it's shit on the line ."1. Dark Night Of The Soul
2. White Angel
3. Rock & Roll Trash
4. Shine Like A Diamond
5. Writing Spider
7. Burn The Ships
8. Fire In The Canebrake
9. Hawkeye Jordan
10. Casey Caught The Cannonball
12. Butcher Bird$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Broken PeopleAmerican music is a mile-wide river that beckons black and white, urban and rural, dreamer and doer alike to launch their vessels. All the streams of style and genre flow into it; its tributaries are blues and jazz, mountain and folk, rock, soul and R&B.
The release of the debut album by Muddy Magnolias, Broken People, marks the launch of a great new vessel onto that waterway. The album showcases a confluence of style and sound as colorful as it is unlikely, steeped in that river of influence, yet bracingly fresh.
With Broken People, Jessy Wilson and Kallie North take us on an 11-song journey with its origins in two widely divergent backgrounds that came together in a friendship and creative partnership with world-changing resonance.
North was raised in southeast Texas and began singing with her family and studying piano at an early age. She grew to love rich vocal harmonies singing in church choirs and listening to artists like the Carpenters, Alison Krauss, James Taylor and the Eagles. By her early teens, she was singing lead parts in church and in musical theater productions at her high school. Her palette grew when a friend turned her on to the Grateful Dead, and after high school she spent every spare moment in the clubs of Austin, absorbing everything from alt-country and jam bands to New Orleans funk. She met her husband at a concert and moved with him to his native Mississippi. There, on their isolated farm, she had her awakening, starting a career as a photographer, capturing the spirited, deep history of the Mississippi Delta.
"To me, the Delta is the most overlooked and mysterious place," she says. "It was the birthplace of America's music, and all the legends were influenced by everything that came out of it. I went on this personal exploration to learn about the Delta blues and the region's history. I picked up a camera and started taking pictures, blogging about what I was experiencing, and I tapped into all the creative energy lying dormant inside me." When her husband gave her a guitar, she began spending her days on the porch of their farm learning how to connect her first chords. From there, the songs began pouring out and she knew she had to find a way to get to Nashville and write songs professionally.
Wilson, raised in Brooklyn, was in love with music from her earliest days. She was singing before she could talk, and was 5 when her mother recognized her passion for music. "I would cry because I couldn't hit the high notes in Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey songs," she says. Influenced by greats from Aretha and Smokey Robinson to Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige and The Notorious B.I.G., she began auditioning in the highly competitive New York entertainment scene and was working professionally in musical theater by the age of 10. Her mother took her to nightclubs where she experienced a variety of live performances. She attended New York's top performing arts schools, including La Guardia High School, the "Fame" school, where she discovered her love for gospel music and took part in the gospel chorus for four years. She worked at Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village, making $500 a weekend while still in high school.
She sang backup for Alicia Keys in her teens, then worked four years with John Legend, and through him with legends like will.i.am, Kanye West, Raphael Saadiq and Babyface. Legend mentored her in songwriting and recording before she began writing songs on her own for American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino and others. Inspired by her evolving love of songwriting, she too moved to Nashville, looking for a wider creative palette. There, while meeting with then-BMI executive Clay Bradley, her eye settled on a photograph of "a rundown juke joint piano" in his office.
"I want to meet whoever took that photo," she said. The photographer was North-it had been taken during her creative awakening in Mississippi-and the subsequent meeting led quickly to collaboration and an epic friendship.
"The first day we wrote together," says North, "there wasn't much thought that we were blending genres and worlds. That never came up. It was just natural. She had never written a country song and I was writing them every day. We sat down to write one but when we listened back it was a country R&B song. And we decided to become songwriting partners." Before long, they had their first cut as collaborators, and they were off and running.
"The spirit of the Muddy Magnolias existed from the moment we met," says Wilson, "but we didn't know we were the Muddy Magnolias yet." North was toying with the idea of a solo career; Wilson had aspirations of making history as an African-American female songwriter in Nashville. Their new friendship was a game-changer.
"We spent a whole year writing, trying to understand what our message was when we combined our stories," says Wilson. Then one day over afternoon wine at Burger Up, their favorite hangout in the 12 South section of Nashville, both admitted to be being at a crossroads. "The next thing you know," says North, "Jessy said, 'What if we made a record together?' It was like all of our dreams in one."
"We went back to that same office on Music Row where I saw the photograph," says Wilson, "and sat down side by side in Clay's office and said, 'We've got something to tell you. We're going to make an album together.'" Bradley believed enough to sign on as their manager. They held three days of band auditions and found four best friends who had been playing together since college, primarily doing jazz. The fit was perfect, providing just the right sonic backdrop for their soulful approach and high-energy delivery.
As they continued to write and perform, opening for the likes of The Zac Brown Band and Gary Clark, Jr., they put together a project that crosses genres effortlessly, showcasing two voices that soar together in a blending of cultures as electrifying as if Janis Joplin and Tina Turner, or Whitney Houston and Lee Ann Womack had joined forces.
Broken People combines poetic imagery and vocal passion, with the musicianship and production of Motown or Muscle Shoals by way of the raw honesty of Sun Records. Of course it deals with love, longed for and unleashed, in songs like "I Need A Man," "Why Don't You Stay" and "Devil's Teeth," but the album soars as it reaches for bigger themes, dealing with the need for hope in "Take Me Home," for love on a societal scale in "Shine On" and "Brother What Happened," and hope for the future in "Got It Goin' On." With "Leave It To The Sky," the two, joined by John Legend on vocals and piano, make a powerful case for spiritual solutions, and few songs in the modern lexicon are as steeped in present-day reality as the gospel- and R&B-tinged title track.
"Ultimately," says North, "this album is a result of an unlikely friendship and is a testament to what can happen when you diversify your relationships."
"It's about getting out of your comfort zone and being rewarded with a great friendship," adds Wilson. "We've both felt the power of that."
"Our path is so much better and our lives are so much richer because of it," says North, "and we want to bring people along on this journey."
"We want to see what society would be like if we all reached out in ways we normally wouldn't," adds Wilson.
And that is the magic and the message. The music of Muddy Magnolias, live and on record, comes from a place where the Mississippi meets the A-Train by way of Nashville. Whether yours is the back porch or the front stoop, Spanish moss or window box garden, dusty country lane or crowded subway car, rural honky-tonk or uptown club, this is music that beckons. Muddy Magnolias are collaboration without boundaries, musical healing in a landscape of the heart, and all of us who treasure creative energy, honest art and the possibilities of love and unity, are better for their arrival.1. Broken People
2. Brother, What Happened?
3. Got It Goin' On
4. Why Don't You Stay
5. Take Me Home
6. Shine On!
7. It Ain't Easy
8. I Need A Man
9. Devil's Teeth
11. Leave It To The Sky (feat. John Legend)$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now