Archive for July, 2009

A Little Knox Music: Scott Miller’s For Crying Out Loud

Posted in Knoxville Music, Scott Miller on July 10, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

This is long overdue, and I apologize for that. My wife and I were moving into our new house the week this album saw its official release, and I guess I just never got around to posting this. I started several times to try to write some huge, song-by-song review with elaborate deconstructions of the music and lyrics. I never felt as though I was doing it justice… and I guess I gave up a bit. I’m sorry.

I’m not going to do an elaborate review here now either. I’ll just tell you that Scott Miller and the Commonwealth have never disappointed me before. If you’ve been paying attention to this blog at all over the past year, then you know that already. I named this thing after one of his song lyrics and have posted on him more than any other artist since I started doing this. Just trust me when I say this one is good too.
Or you could take other people’s words too. The album’s been out for a couple of months now, so there are plenty of glowing reviews out there already. Twangville named it one of the “Albums of the Month” for March/April. Americana Roots calls it a “great ride.” Heck… there are positive reviews all over the place. The album also spent the last month and a half in the top five on the Americana Album Airplay Chart.
I got Scott himself to talk about the album with me when it was released, and posted my interview with him back in April. If you missed it the first time (it didn’t have an mp3 with it… so it didn’t get picked up by The Hype Machine), go ahead and check it out now. Scott talks very openly about the writing and recording processes on the record. He also reveals the story behind “I’m Right Here My Love,” a beautiful duet with Patty Griffin, and one of the most heartfelt and emotional songs he’s ever written. Seriously… go read the interview.
Now that you’ve done that… here are a couple of tracks. After that story, I have to share “I’m Right Here My Love” with you. I’ll also throw in the rocking opener, “Cheap Ain’t Cheap,” just to even things out a bit.
In one of my scrapped attempts at a previous review I noted that this album should rank right there as one of Scott’s best efforts. And it should.
He opens the album with the lyric, “I got nothin’ for you,” but that’s simply not true. What Scott Miller “got” is twelve solid tracks that will inspire you to take action (“Cheap Ain’t Cheap”), move you to tears (“I’m Right Here My Love”), and move you out of your seat and onto the dance floor (ironically… a cover of Tom T. Hall’s “I Can’t Dance” with harmony vocals from Tim O’Brien). Give it a shot.
Scott Miller & The Commonwealth: I’m Right Here My Love (Buy Album)
Scott Miller & The Commonwealth: Cheap Ain’t Cheap (Buy Album)

Birthday Notes

Posted in Birthday, jenny lewis, Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers, youtube on July 7, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

***My first several posts here don’t have time and date stamps on them for some reason… but I’m pretty sure that today (or possibly yesterday… sometime this week for sure) is the one year anniversary of A Fifty Cent Lighter & A Whiskey Buzz. Now that we’re 150+ posts and nearly 55,000 visitors into this thing, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has stopped by, commented, and (most importantly) enjoyed the music over the past year. Hopefully, a lot of you have found something new here that you have then gone out and purchased for your own collection.

If you have discovered a new favorite here and would like to leave a comment about it on this post, that would be great. Thanks again.

***YouTube Time!!!

As I mentioned last week, my wife and I made a road trip to Asheville to see Jenny Lewis at The Orange Peel on Thursday night. The Heartless Bastards got things rocking to start the night and really set the tone for Jenny and her crew. Jenny kept the entire room in a trance with a presence that filled the whole stage and a killer band that kept up with her at every turn.

The set was primarilly filled with music from her two solo albums Acid Tongue and Rabbit Fur Coat, with the only Rilo Kiley tune being a solo acoustic version of “Silver Lining” at the beginning of the encore. Although she played a relatively short set, it was packed with almost all of my solo favorites and made for quite an enjoyable show. Jenny also worked two brand new songs into the set which I will now share with you via YouTube. These two videos were shot in St. Louis during an earlier stop on the tour.

“Big Wave”

“Just Like Zues”

…And here’s one video from the Asheville show. It’s the solo/crowd sing along version of “Silver Lining.” Thanks to the original tapers for these videos.

***Finally, for those of you in and around Knoxville… there’s a great chance to take in a free live show later this week.

Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers will be playing as part of Old City Live Thursday night in Knoxville’s Old City. Clyne first came to prominence as the front man for The Refreshments, a pop-rock outfit from Arizona that came out of the same scene as The Gin Blossoms. The Refreshments had a few minor radio hits with “Banditos” and “Down Together” in 1996. You might also know them as the band that performs the instrumental theme for Fox’s cartoon hit King of the Hill.

Since 1999, Clyne has been fronting The Peacemakers, and band that covers a lot of the same musical ground as The Refreshments with a slightly twangier edge. That edge will be on display Thursday night in Knoxville, and you can get a taste of it here on the song “Counterclockwise” from the 2004 release Americano.

“The kids are lighting firecrackers… Boom, boom, boom!”

Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers: Counterclockwise (Buy Album)

Happy 4th

Posted in Dave Alvin on July 4, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Be safe and have fun

Dave Alvin: Fourth of July (Buy Album)

Live Music Bucket List: Jenny Lewis

Posted in jenny lewis on July 2, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Real quick post today just to brag that I will be scratching Jenny Lewis off of my Live Music Bucket List tonight at the Orange Peel in Asheville.

I’ll try to work on posting my full Bucket List, or artists I want to see live before I die or they do, sometime in the near future. For now, though, let’s all just bask in the musical glory of Jenny Lewis.

Here’s one from her first solo album Rabbit Fur Coat. If you’re at the Orange Peel tonight, look for me. I’ll be the guy wearing a WDVX hat.

Jenny Lewis: Rise Up with Fists (Buy Album)

Sons of Bill: One Town Away (Repost)

Posted in Sons of Bill on July 1, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

I had originally posted about Sons of Bill earlier today… but that post was gobbled up by Blogger. That was only after the songs I provided were nixed by my file host,

I’m not sure why that happened since I’m 100% sure I had permission from the copyright holders to post songs from the album. I know the artist and their management had nothing to do with it. Outside of that, I know nothing.

I’m reposting the article here without the links to the songs. The only links I’m going to add to this post are the ones that direct you to the artist’s webstore where you can still purchase the album.

Hopefully, I’ll get this all figured out some way or another.

The story of how I was introduced to Charlottesville, VA’s Sons of Bill is an interesting one.About a year ago, I received free tickets to see Robert Randolph and the Family Band at a club here in Knoxville. I thought it was an exclusive show for staff and supporters of WDVX and a couple of other local radio stations. It was supposed to be a small, intimate show… I thought.

As it turned out, almost every media outlet in town was handing out free tickets like candy. Listener call ins, email blasts, free downloads… you name it. The small show became a giant, claustrophobic mass of humanity (and probably a fire code violation) as hundreds of people tried to cram into one tiny club to hear Randolph’s sacred steel guitar. It was way too much for my wife and I to handle. We left without hearing The Family Band play their first note.

The saving grace of the evening turned out to be the opening band, a group of guys from Charlottesville who I had never heard of before. The Sons of Bill are, quite literally, the sons of Bill Wilson (an associate professor of philosophical theology at UVA)… Sam, James, and Abe Wilson along with childhood friends Brian Caputo and Seth Green. I’ll admit to not expecting much from the opening act that night, but came away quite impressed. Bill’s boys caught my attention early with a rousing cover of Robbie Fulks’ “Let’s Kill Saturday Night,” and held it through the rest of the set with their own brand of straight forward, country flavored, southern rock. It was a great show.

I hadn’t heard anything from them since. They showed up in Knoxville once or twice after that, but I was never able to attend any more shows, and I couldn’t find their debut album anywhere in town. That’s why I was so pleased to see their sophomore effort One Town Away pop up in my inbox at ReviewShine.

The album doesn’t disappoint. Its twelve tracks are filled with heartbreak and informed by the sounds of Hank Williams Sr. and Townes Van Zandt (both of whom are namechecked on the album) as well as Steve Earle and Tom Petty. The album was tracked live in the studio with Grammy winning producer Jim Scott (Wilco, Kathleen Edwards, Dixie Chicks, Chuck Prophet) in less than two weeks immediately preceding Scott’s work on the new Wilco album.

The album succeeds in capturing that live energy that I fell in love with in that overcrowded bar in Knoxville. The five-piece band sounds like just that… a five piece band playing live on the record. The only outside presence is that of steel guitarist Greg Leisz (Todd Snider, Jonatha Brooke, Beck, Dave Alvin, etc…) who appears on four tracks. The result is a hard rocking album that is deeply rooted in country sounds and ideals. The songs are big enough that they wouldn’t seem out of place at an arena rock show… and authentic enough to be right at home coming from the stage of the smoke filled hometown bar.

Here (were) two of the more restrained tracks from the album. First is the opening track, the sombre elegy “Joey’s Arm.” The second is “Charleston,” a reflection on lost love, and one of the songs I remember from that show I saw last year. It sounds a lot better hearing it in the comfort of my home than it did that night when I was crammed in with a few hundred of my closest friends.

(Buy Album)