Archive for October, 2010

Weekend YouTube: Gram Parsons

Posted in Gram Parsons, Ryan Adams on October 31, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

This coming Friday, November 5, is the birthday of the father of Cosmic American Music… Gram Parsons.  He would have been 64.

The Old 97’s: The Grand Theatre Volume 1

Posted in Old 97's on October 29, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

The Old 97’s new album The Grand Theatre: Volume 1 was released earlier this month.  I’ve had my hands on it for a few months now, and I finally had the time this week to put together a little review of the album.  Listen to the review below, and then listen to a track from the album.

Oh yeah… you can also read a review of the album I wrote for Country Standard Time.

Grand Theatre: Volume 1 Audio Review (Buy Album)
The Old 97’s: Let the Whiskey Take the Reigns (Buy Album)

ReviewShine Late Thursday/Early Friday: Mad Tea Party

Posted in Mad Tea Party on October 29, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

Every Wednesday, I feature a brief review of at least one album that has been submitted to me through the ReviewShine website. I have cleverly titled this recurring segment “ReviewShine Wednesday. I’ve had some connection problems with my home computer this week… so we’re a couple of days late this time around.

Asheville’s Mad Tea Party have always been a little different.  The duo made up of ukulele player  Ami Worthen and multi-instrumentalist Jason Krekel have been recording together since 2004 and first caught my attention when WDVX started playing their 2006 release Big Top Soda Pop. Their newest effort is a 7″ EP called Rock n Roll Ghoul and is made up of four extremely fun tunes based in retro rock and pop with a decidedly garage feel (at least as garage as a uke can get).  The brevity of the four-song collection (run time is less than ten minutes), makes it no less enjoyable.  Rock n Roll Ghoul should be a part of every Halloween party playlist this weekend.

I’m sharing the spooky psychedelia of “Possessed” along with a YouTube vid of the EP’s title track.

Mad Tea Party: Posessed (Buy Album)

Weekend YouTube: Old 97’s

Posted in Old 97's, Rhett Miller on October 23, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

The Old 97’s new record came out a couple of weeks ago.  I’ve had my ears on it for a couple of months now and have been working on getting something posted here about it.  Hopefully, that will happen this week.

In the meantime… you can read a review of the album that I wrote for Country Standard Time and check out these YouTube vids of some of the songs from the album.

WDVX Fall Fund Drive

Posted in Greg Horne, R.B. Morris on October 22, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

Today is the final day of the WDVX Fall Fund Drive, but there is still plenty of time to call or go online to support East Tennessee’s Own listener supported community radio station.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with WDVX… It is a locally owned, non-commercial, Americana radio station dedicated to keeping real radio and real music on the air.  I’d call it my favorite station even if I didn’t work there as a DJ on Wednesday and Friday nights.  You can listen on line at our website,

For about a week and a half now, we’ve been taking to the airwaves to ask our listeners for financial support to keep the music going on WDVX.  As a non-commercial station, we rely on our listeners to provide funding to help keep us on the air.  We have these fund drives twice a year, and they routinely serve as the single largest funding source for the station.

The drives are a lot of hard work, but we also try to have fun on the air while these things are going on.  Lots of guests, volunteers, and artists are constantly stopping by to chat on the air and play some live music for our audience.  I had several artists share the air with me during this fund drive, and like to share a couple of performances from their visits with you here.

During this drive, I was visited by local Knoxville musicians Karen E. Reynolds, Mic Harrison, Greg Horne, and R.B. Morris.  Greg and R.B. brought their guitars along with them and were nice enough to share some songs with me that I’m now going to share with you.  This is what you’re missing by not tuning in and supporting WDVX.

Neither of these songs have an official studio release.  The Buy links point to the artists’ websites.

Greg Horne: Bury Me Beneath the Barstool (Buy Music)
R.B. Morris: Bardstown Road (Buy Music)

ReviewShine Wednesday: Pat Anderson

Posted in Pat Anderson on October 20, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

Just a quick update today…

Pat Anderson is a songwriter based in Nashville who has just released his debut album Magnolia Road.  Anderson’s nine original tracks and two covers are brought to life by an extremely talented collection of players including Rob McNelly on guitars, former Jayhawk Jen Gunderman on keys, and Americana Jack-of-all-Trades Will Kimbrough on everything from guitars to bouzoukis.  The result is a solid mix of introspective down beat ballads and melodic up tempo anthems.

On first listen, your ear will likely be drawn to Anderson’s drastic re-imagination of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” (I wish I could share it here) as a lazy banjo tune.  Spend some time with the rest of the album, however, and you’ll find plenty to like in his original work as well.

Pat Anderson: The Hometown Blues (Buy Album)

Weekend YouTube: Buddy Miller

Posted in Buddy Miller on October 17, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

Let’s take a few moments here to appreciate the talents of Mr. Buddy Miller.

ReviewShine Wednesday: Driver

Posted in Driver on October 13, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

In doing some extra research on today’s band, I discovered that “Driver” is a very popular band name. I should point out before we start, then, that this is not Driver, the rock band from Northern Michigan or Driver, the hard rock band from California or even Driver, the French rapper.  This is Driver, the roots rock band from Austin, TX who have just released their debut album Dashboard Alchemy.

While the band is new, its members certainly aren’t strangers in their hometown of Austin.  Driver is primarily made up from members of Austin stalwarts Javelin Boot who found out they weren’t quite ready to take the break from music they thought they were.  Guitarist/vocalist Volney Campbell, guitarist/vocalist Scott Bonneau, bassist/vocalist Blake Patterson, and Drummer Rob Solomon are all musical vets who bring a certain level of maturity to their rock heavy sound.  Driver may put you in the passenger seat, but they’ll take you on a heckuva ride.

Driver: Don’t Drink My Whiskey (Buy Album)

Best of 2010/$5 Albums on Amazon

Posted in Alejandro Escovedo, Arcade Fire, She and Him, Spoon, Tift Merritt on October 12, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

I don’t know if you’ve noticed the Amazon search box in the sidebar on the site or not. If you have, then you know this already. If not… I have recently joined the Amazon Associates program.

What that means is that if you purchase any of the music I write about on this site through the Amazon links I provide, I get back a (very) small percentage of the sale back from Amazon.  Not only will you be helping the artists featured on the site, you’ll be helping the site as well.  This site is ad free, and I have never made one cent from it in the two-plus years I’ve been running it.  The problem with that is that I put a lot of time into things here and I have to pay a hosting fee every month for the mp3 files.  It adds up.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to all of the sudden start adding link after link or change anything on the site.  The Amazon search box in the sidebar will be the only real change.  Please feel free to use it for your Amazon shopping if you like.

I did notice today, however, that several of the albums I’m considering for my Best of 2010 list are currently available as $5.00 digital downloads from Amazon during the month of October.

If you’d like to get a leg up on the 2010 list and help out the site as well, please take a moment to download a couple of these albums.


You can find the full list of $5.00 albums here.

R.I.P. Solomon Burke

Posted in Solomon Burke on October 10, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

The King of Rock and Soul, Solomon Burke passed away early this morning on a flight from L.A. to Amsterdam.  He was 70 years old. You can read a message from Burke’s family on his website.

While I don’t consider myself to be an expert on Burke’s work, I did have the chance to see him perform at the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville at the 2005 Americana Music Conference.  Never have I seen a performer with such presence and magnetism on stage as he had that night.  He made a connection with every single member of the audience and held everyone in rapt attention as his scheduled 45 minute set stretched into an hour and a half.

Burke kept trying to wrap up his performance, but the crowd wouldn’t let him, as they begged for encore after encore.  Even Buddy Miller, who was supposed to follow Burke that night, could be seen backstage motioning for the legend to keep performing.  It was quite a scene.

Miller would later produce Burke’s 2006 CD Nashville.  Here’s a track from it along with a YouTube clip of one of Burke’s classics.

Solomon Burke: Up to the Mountain (Buy Album)