Archive for December, 2008


Posted in Autumn Boukadakis, Neko Case, Patty Griffin on December 10, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

This week’s theme over at Star Maker Machine is “Winter Wonderland,” and we’re all supposed to post songs about snow… which I did. However… It’s a bit tough for me to get into the winter spirit when it rained all night last night here in East Tennessee. Right now the temperatures are near sixty degrees and we have rain predicted for most of the rest of the week. Hardly a “Winter Wonderland.”

Which brings me to today’s post… a brief mini-mix of songs for a rainy day.

We’ll start with “Rain” from Patty Griffin’s 2002 album 1,000 Kisses. Patty is one of my favorite artists and is one of the best songwriters in the biz today. “Rain” is also my wife’s favorite song.

After that, “Rain Down” from Autumn Boukadakis’ (she goes by simply “Autumn”) 2008 album Velvet Sky. I was not aware of Autumn’s music until I was sent a copy of her sophomore album recently. She is a songwriter from Austin, TX who has covered Patty Griffin on each of her first two albums and works with Fats Kaplan and Danny Flowers on her new album. If you can judge an artist by the company they keep… I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on Autumn in the future.

We finish with Neko Case’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “Buckets of Rain.” Neko’s version of this song first appeared on a Starbuck’s Coffee CD called Sweetheart 2005: Love Songs in 2005. A live version can be found on her Live from Austin, TX CD from last year.

So here you go… songs for a gloomy rainy day.

Patty Griffin: Rain (Buy Album)
Autumn: Rain Down (Buy Album)
Neko Case: Buckets of Rain (Buy Album)

Hello world!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 9, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Links and such…

Posted in Alison Krauss, Buddy and Julie Miller, Neko Case, Robert Plant, Scott Miller, Tennessee Shines, The Steeldrivers, youtube on December 9, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

Just a few links to get you through the week…

* Scott Miller has made his new CD For Crying Out Loud available for pre-order at his website. Only 1,000 copies will be offered between now and December 17th online and at Miller’s shows… and once they’re gone, they’re gone. Orders placed before the 17th should arrive by Christmas. If you don’t get in on the pre-order, then you have to wait until March for the official release. All pre-order copies also include an enhanced CD feature with a twenty minute video on the making of the album that will not be on the official release. Oh yeah… Patty Griffin appears on the album as well. Get yours now.

* A couple of local acts have been added to this month’s edition of Tennessee Shines. Knoxville’s own Alex Leach and the Watauga Mountain Boys, Todd Steed and the Sons of Phere, and Christabel and The Jons will join Elizabeth Cook and The Hackensaw Boys for the show on New Year’s Eve. As always, the show will be hosted by Jim Lauderdale and broadcast live on WDVX.

* In my Top 5 post on Neko Case, I mentioned that she has just finished recording her new album. Well… the album now has a name (Middle Cyclone), a release date (March 3), and a killer album cover…

* March 3rd is also the release date for Buddy and Julie Miller’s newest effort, Written in Chalk. It comes eight years after their last collaboration, the self titled, Buddy and Julie Miller. Julie has been in ill health for the last few years, and it will be great to hear her voice once again. Julie wrote the majority of the songs on the album, and friends Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, and Robert Plant come along for the ride on the album. Here’s a taste of that 2001 release…

Buddy and Julie Miller: Forever has Come to an End (Buy Album)

* Speaking of Robert Plant… The nominees for the 51st Annual Grammy Awards were announced last week, and the world of Americana was well represented. The Robert Plant and Alison Krauss collaboration that took home two wins at the Americana Music Awards in September, is now nominated for five Grammys… including Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Pop Collaboration with Vocals, Country Collaboration with Vocals, and Contemporary Folk/Americana Album. Competition in the Americana category includes Joan Baez, Ry Cooder, Rodney Crowell, and Emmylou Harris.

* The biggest news for me on the Grammy front, however, is the news that The Steeldrivers have been nominated for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for the song, “Blue Side of the Mountain.” As long-time readers know, Steeldrivers’ lead singer Chris Stapleton is an old high school buddy of mine, and I could not be more thrilled for the success he is having in Nashville.

Happy Birthday Peter Buck

Posted in Peter Buck, R.E.M. on December 6, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

Really quick post today to wish a happy 52nd birthday to R.E.M. guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Peter Buck. Buck was born on this day in 1956 in Berkeley, CA, and his chiming guitar went on to define the sound of one of the most important American bands of the last quarter century.

I wrote extensively on Buck and some of his side projects back in August, so I’m not going to write a whole lot here today. I just want to share a few tracks that highlight Buck playing with R.E.M. at various stages of their career.

First is a song called “Wolves, Lower” from R.E.M.’s 1982 debut EP Chronic Town that fully displays Buck at his early, jangly best. Next, we’ll skip ahead to 1992’s classic release Automatic for the People for “Monty Got a Raw Deal,” a song Buck composed on a bouzouki. We’ll follow that with the fuzzed out arena rock of “Star 69” from 1994’s Monster, and close with “Living Well is the Best Revenge” from 2008’s Accelerate… just to prove Buck still has it.

R.E.M.: Wolves, Lower (Buy Album)
R.E.M.: Monty Got a Raw Deal (Buy Album)
R.E.M.: Star 69 (Buy Album)
R.E.M.: Living Well is the Best Revenge (Buy Album)

Not sure what to do now…

Posted in Uncategorized on December 5, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

As you may have already guessed, there is no Friday Top 5 today. I had the topic all figured out (Top 5 Cover Songs of 2008). I even had the songs picked out and was excited to start writing.

Of course, that was before last week’s Top 5 post was deleted by blogger. It was the second post I’ve had removed from the site and the third time I’ve had files removed from my hosting site. I’ve written about this a few times in the past, and others have certainly laid out what’s been happening in the blogosphere much more eloquently and in much more depth than I ever could.

Now, I don’t want to belabour the point, but the situation has become quite frustrating and has taken a lot of the joy out of writing about the music I love. The only goals I ever had in writing this blog were simply to have fun and introduce people to some new music. The problem becomes that I can’t introduce people to new music if the music I share is being deleted along with the words I’ve written to describe it. It does take a bit of the fun out of things too.

I have a post ready to be published on Saturday that I wrote earlier in the week. After that, I think I’ll take a bit of a break while I try to come up with new options for hosting for both the blog and the files I share here. I’ve already had a few suggestions for places to go, but I’m open for any more ideas as well. I’m looking over wordpress even as I write this. I’d love to find another free site host and another cheap file host.

I was actually set to celebrate my 20,000th visitor later this week. Instead, I’m looking for a new home.

Don’t worry though, I’m still working out my best of 2008 lists, and my wife and I are busy compiling our 2008 mix CD. Hopefully, I’ll be able to share all of it with you… somewhere. Of course, I’ll let everyone know here if I have to move to a new server or address so you can update your bookmarks and links.

Thanks to everyone who’s been visiting here and leaving comments over the past few months. It makes it a lot easier to keep doing this when I know that people are reading and enjoying what’s here.

Free EP from Matt Pond PA

Posted in Matt Pond PA on December 1, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

Very quick post this morning because I wanted to share something that I found out about last night.

You may remember that I mentioned a band called Matt Pond PA a few weeks ago in my post about great bands I had discovered through other music blogs. Well, last week the group released a free EP online called Freeep. The EP contains nine songs (three instrumentals) and clocks in at just over 31 minutes of music. If you were intrigued by the earlier Matt Pond PA songs I posted here or are just a fan of the band in general, I highly suggest taking the time to download this disc.

You can read a bit about the project (and watch a video for “People Have a Way” from 2007’s Last Light) here. The entire EP is available for download here. If you like what you hear on the freebie, you can purchase more of Matt Pond PA’s music (and other stuff) from their online store.

Here’s a taste of the Freeep.

Matt Pond PA: Hearts and Minds (Download EP)
Matt Pond PA: Imperfect (Download EP)