Clearing out the Reviewshine Inbox

A few (very) quick hitters today as I continue to attempt to clean out my inbox over at ReviewShine

First is a band from Belgium by the name of Grant Moff Tarkin. I was immediately drawn to this band by their name… a not so subtle nod to Peter Cushing’s Star Wars villian, Grand Moff Tarkin. The core of the group is made up of the singularly named Julax on vocals and the similarly singularly named Huddie on lead guitar. The duo have been writing songs together for most of the past decade and have honed a pleasant, if sometimes ominous, sound that blends the worlds of traditional folk and off-kilter indie rock. Their second full-length album, Long Lost Son, was released late last year, and is full of songs like the title track that I’m featuring here.

Grant Moff Tarkin: Long Lost Son (Buy Album)

We move from Belgium to Wisconsin for our next artist… Madison’s Whitney Mann. Whitney released her debut EP The Way Back Home in 2009, and it’s a fine debut filled with modern sounding songs of country heartache. Whitney claims to take equal influence for her music from Willie Nelson and Ingrid Michaelson. Both influence are evident, but the lonesome pedal steel that frames most of these songs along with the twang of her voice and the pain in the lyrics give this collection a strong country feel. This is the lead track… the remorseful “Call the Cops.”

Whitney Mann: Call the Cops (Buy Album)

We return to Flagstaff, AZ (remember Nolan McKelvey from a few weeks ago… he actually appears on this album as well) now for Dave McGraw and Crow Wing. McGraw’s latest offering Coyotes Came Around is full of catchy tracks that are also full of surprises. The bluegrass riffs of the album opening “Cat Creek” give way to the reggae inspired “Westmoreland” and the pop leaning “Burn.” All of these songs, though, are built on strong folk foundations to create a blending of sounds that fits the true definition of Americana.

Dave McGraw and Crow Wing: Cat Creek (Buy Album)

Finally, a band from right here in Knoxville that I’m embarrassed to say I’ve overlooked until now. The Hotshot Freight Train have been playing together since 2005, and even appeared on WDVX’s Blue Plate Special last year… yet somehow it took them posting their new album Poetic Devices and Personal Vices on ReviewShine for me to notice them. The band takes most of their inspiration from the Rock & Roll side of roots music. They consequently have a much heavier sound than the other bands featured here today. The band also claims the works of southern authors such as Cormack McCarthy and Flannery O’Conner as a major influence on their songwriting. Their debt owed to major literary figures even shows in the band’s name… taken directly from the writings of Jack Kerouac. This train is headin’ down the track…

Hotshot Freight Train: I Love You Now (Buy Album)

One Response to “Clearing out the Reviewshine Inbox”

  1. Can't seem to get the Whitney Mann track to play. Is anyone else having problems with this track?

    Does anyone have any ideas on how to fix it? I've tried uploading it a few different times.

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