It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Okay, well it’s actually grim and rainy in my neighborhood, but it does smell more like spring than winter so that’s something. It is however and beautiful day for music being created.  Austin Lucas and Amanda Shires are both celebrating birthdays today.

Austin is probably considered country by the punk folks and punk by the country folks, but he’s a really shockingly good blend of both.  And we all know there’s plenty of that to go around, but Austin’s brand is exceptional, so if you haven’t discovered him already, get to it.  He’s on tour in Europe soon with Glossary, so even more of the world will hopefully discover, embrace and adore him like I do. (Buy directly from Last Chance Records.)

Amanda “Pearl” Shires is perhaps one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met.  It doesn’t hurt that she sings like an angel, writes great songs and is charming and funny too.  I’ve never seen anyone introduced to her music (or her personally) that wasn’t completely taken with her.  I Love her last two albums, but most especially the song “Mariann Leola” off West Cross Timbers, because it makes me remember my own grandmother and feel both weepy and joyful.  Even the saddest of her songs uplift me in someway, even if it’s just knowing someone else once felt the same way.  She has a new album in the works and I can’t hardly wait for it!  (Buy from iTunes or Amazon.)

Hard to believe, but true: we’re coming back!

Did you ever think, at like 4 pm, that you really needed to just close your eyes for like 15 minutes? And then when you woke up it was dark and you weren’t even sure where you were or what day it was? And when you got it together you realized it was like 11 pm and you’d slept for like 7 hours and totally screwed up your whole evening?

Yeah, um, our three year hiatus was kind of like that. In fact, let’s just say that we’ve literally been asleep for the last 3 years. I think that’s best, then I don’t have to reveal the torrid details of what really went down.  It’s been dirty, y’all, the low down kind, and all full of the things country songs are written about.  Luckily I was asleep, so I missed how bad it really was.

But hey, we are back.  Back back.  Like for real back.  And shiny and new. Got a new crew, a whole new format, and tons of good stuff coming your way in 2013.  Are you excited?  I’m excited.  Let’s raise a glass of Kentucky’s best to that and settle in for the ride.

Gone fishing

If you are feeling up to it, feel free to write a country song about me:  Living in the swampy, hot south, plagued by severe storms and tornadoes.  Lost a tooth (trust me it’s a story you don’t want to hear).  Lost my man.  Am all bruised up (related more to the tooth and not at all to the man).  I’m hanging it up for a while.  Sitting on the porch, sippin’ whiskey and watching the lightning and the fireflies until I’m calm and life doesn’t feel like a utter disaster.  Hiatus.  Summer vacation.  Mental health break.

In the meantime there’s some new albums you should be listening too: Continue reading

All those bits and pieces

There’s still a day left to enter and win a copy of Willie Nelson’s Naked Willie. Contest ends at midnight tomorrow, so finish up your taxes and go over and enter!

The new podcast is also up. It’s a good listen for a grey spring day. Even if you aren’t in Nashville where the weather isn’t cooperating with the season you should still go download it and listen.

And now that I’ve got your reminders out of the way, I need to clean up some of tabs I’ve had open in my browser for weeks. Here’s some things I’ve been meaning to share with you: Continue reading

All definitely worth more than $5

If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know at least two things about me: I love Lucero and I love Drag the River. The other things you may have gleaned about me from reding these pages are probably better left undiscussed.

This week I’ve been rattling around, as I do, slightly disorganized and trying to do way more than I have time for. As always I start my day by reading 624,729 blog posts from various sources. Often I make lists of things I want to share with you all and mostly I never ever get around to doing that. I swear, I’m working this I am totally going to get better about it. Sometimes I don’t share because it’s just too personally depressing. Like this post about Lucero’s Ben Nichols at SXSW. These are the moments in life that I knowing I missed them just breaks my heart. If nothing else to have heard new songs and finally have seen Last Pale Light in the West performed live [You’re missin’ out, lady. Although it’s comparable to any time Ben closes out with an acoustic, my love of the book bumps those songs up a notch–Mick]. You know, assuming there is the possibility of a Lucero related show that I was sober enough remember. Which would totally happen at SXSW, right? Right? Yeah, maybe it’s better that I wasn’t there…

Speaking of Ben Nichols, you all know about $5 Cover already, right? If not, as far as I can tell, it’s sort of a faux/extra real reality show in which actual musicians play themselves and their own music and “act” in loosely scripted scenes making up a show about how musicians in Memphis live ( assuming that real life really is like a soap opera). Well they’ve got the Nichols’ behind the scenes video up. Mostly he talks about how easy it is to play himself. Hee hee hee. It’s damn amusing. Probably not as great as having been at SXSW would have been, but it’s something, right?

So I suspect you all actually regularly check the Suburban Home Records site? So you know that in addition to lots of other wonderful things, there is also a new record from Drag the River’s Jon Snodgrass, Vistor’s Band. No, I don’t have it yet, if I did, instead of these tiny bits of news you would all be reading my long, incredibly spastic love letter to Mr. Snodgrass. But, hey, has a streaming version [Plus Drag the River’s posthumous collection of rare 7″ and B-sides, also worth a listen or twelve–Mick]you can listen to! So go on over there, give it a listen, get acquainted with the music and then after you buy the album, you can put it on a listen while you read my future musical love letter to Jon.

Well that took just about forever

I know, I know, it’s been like a year, right? A year of few posts and many promises. But really we are almost there. I’m settling the last details incrementally. And doing this slow, slow, slow rolling launch of the new stuff. In the meantime, there’s like a million little things I should be telling you about.

First up, you all met Mick, right? He’s an asshole [So very true–Mick], but I kind of love him, which hopefully means you will too. I didn’t bring him in for a dissenting viewpoint or anything. I mean his musical tastes mostly mirror mine but I expect he’ll like things I won’t, and vice versa.

Also, I’ve been messing around with the RSS feed, so I am sorry if you have gotten posts multiple times, or not at all, or in some funky order, or all garbled. I expect it’s all fixed now and flowing smoothly. If you haven’t been getting updates, well, you wouldn’t know, would you? Make sure you don’t miss Mick’s recent posts on Amanda Shires and Waylon Jennings, or Daisy’s recent podcast post, or my post about DS Yancey.

Have y’all been over to Southern Brand? It’s awesomesauce. Not just music, but books, food and just plain livin’. There’s a nice boy, somewhere down South here, writing this all up for you. Go check him out, he’s definitely someone you want to be porch sittin’ and drinking with come summer time.

I think right now everyone in the twang world is at SXSW. Well, everyone but me. East Nashville is like a ghost town, as all the musicians have headed south. Even worse they are sending me text messages about the delicious food they are eating and all the fun they are having. Next year I am going, even if I have to hitch-hike. I expect the tacos alone will make it worth it.

Oh hey we have a Facebook fan page going on. I don’t know exactly what I am going to do with it yet, but come be our fan. We are your fans, so it’s only fair to keep it mutual.

I am sure I had like a hundred other things I wanted to tell you, but my back hurts and I don’t have to work at the bar tonight, so I’m might just stop typing and go pour myself a drink. [Just one more thing I wanted to add: Ryan Bingham is releasing a new album soon, and High Noon Saloon was nice enough to offer up his first album, “Dead Horses.” It’s essentially a shorter, less cleaned up, “Mescalito”, but the first track(and one that isn’t on that album), “Big Country Sky,” is worth the download. I actually bought this album at one of Bingham’s first L.A. shows and became a fan immediately. You will too. –Mick]