mp3: Cross Canadian Ragweed – Hammer Down
mp3: The Black Keys – Just a Little Heat
mp3: The Felice Brothers – Hey Hey, Revolver
i’m really not in too much pain (i ain’t skimpin’ on the hydrocodone, though); the worst part is……… i’m hungry as shit. i’m tired of soup and jello.
So to end this blogging hiatus and to make me even hungrier, here are some good food-related tunes:
mp3: Stoney LaRue – Texas Cookin’ (live – Guy Clark cover)
mp3: Cody Canada – Juicy Fruit (live – Jimmy Buffett cover)
mp3: Old Crow Medicine Show – Chicken Pie (unreleased)
mp3: The Band of Heathens – Cornbread
buy Band of Heathens (2008)
mp3: Ray Wylie Hubbard – Heartaches and Grease
buy Snake Farm (2006)
mp3: The Wood Brothers – Chocolate On My Tongue
buy Ways Not To Lose (2006)
mp3: Robert Johnson – Come On In My Kitchen
buy The Complete Recordings (1990)
mp3: Slaid Cleaves – Breakfast in Hell
buy Broke Down (2000)
mp3: The Felice Brothers – Take This Bread
buy The Felice Brothers (2008)
This isn’t brand new news, but This Mornin‘….. favorite The Avett Brothers are set to release a new disc soon. A second EP in their Gleam series is due out July 22nd.
i don’t have too much info on the EP, but i know that for the first time, a Ramseur release will be available on Vinyl. Awesome.
“The record walks calmly and powerfully among fragile and hard-learned
themes of life and song, passing through loss, change, hope, death,
dedication to family, late nights in the hospital, love as always, and much more.”
As far as what’s gonna be on it, word on the street is it will include a couple new songs they’ve been playing live: If I Get Murdered In The City and My Heart Beats Like a Kick Drum
mp3: The Avett Brothers – If I Get Murdered In The City (live)
i got this track from a Captain Obvious post of an interview with Scott Avett.
Here’s another song of theirs that blows my mind. Love the intro:
mp3: The Avett Brothers – Pretty Girl At The Airport
buy Mignonette (2004)
Buy the first Gleam EP from the brothers here.
Since leaving The Great Divide, Mike McClure has focused not only on his solo career, but also his work in the studio – as producer and engineer. In 2004, Mike teamed up with fellow Okie musician Travis Linville and invested in a recording studio in Norman, OK – Dirtybird Recording. (Travis, whom i’ve been meaning to mention here recently, fronted The Burtschi Brothers and is currently promoting his new solo acoustic album See You Around). Mike’s reputation as a producer preceded him, and the studio was immediately booked solid. When the two finally found time to record some of their own stuff, they knew just how to go about it – a collaborative album. And McBurtschi was born:
The Burtschi Brothers & The Mike McClure Band
mp3: Mike McClure Band – Queen of the Midnight
mp3: Mike McClure Band – Lost In The Dream
The two bands split time on this disc. Mike’s selections for the album show his versatility – a couple acoustic laments, a couple rockers, a gospel tune, and then something new just to throw you off – Lost In The Dream. This groovy tune showcases his unique guitar stylings and is unlike anything i had heard from Mike before – i feel like putting on jazzy suit and struttin’ down the sidewalk when i hear it.
mp3: Mike McClure Band – Don’t Fear To Tread
mp3: Mike McClure Band – Remain
Working with another artist who has his hands in all aspects of music, Keith Sykes, Mike took off to Memphis, TN to record Camelot Falling. i’m also currently reviewing the catalog of Ryan Adams, and in addition to having different styles, the two musicians also have differing approaches to making albums. While Ryan has a unique mode, or even genre, per album, Mike perfectly intertwines all of his muses for one album. On this record, Mike chose to pay homage to a couple of his musical heroes by doing some covers. i posted and talked about his cover of Van Morrison’s Into the Mystic here, and his rendition of Neil Young’s Roll Another Number is an album highlight. Mike’s faith plays a huge role in his music, as he is always sure to include some sort of gospel tune. Traveler (posted here) tells of a battered soul asking for complete forgiveness by putting himself at the mercy of his Lord. The record is topped off with a resurrected Great Divide song. The title cut off his last record with the band, Remain is a hopeful song that… remains one of Mike’s best works to date.
Normally, i’ll pull up the playlist, scroll through and pick a song i want to post. From there i let shuffle do the rest. There was no question which song was going first today. I’ve been playing this one over and over since i picked it up:
Sometimes the full breadth of a great artist’s talent isn’t recognized until their demise. Of course there are/were people along the way that fully understood the presence they were in. i’m here today to make sure that doesn’t happen with Mike McClure. In my circle of friends, as well as in the right circles within the Texas Music/Red Dirt scene, Mike is considered a genre pioneer, a captivating songwriter, an inventive guitarist, and hopefully soon enough – a legend.
Mike honed his musical chops with the successful Stillwater, OK band The Great Divide. Formed in ‘93, Mike and band began releasing albums independently before signing with a couple major labels. Citing lack of effort and enthusiasm from the both Atlantic and Broken Bow, The Great Divide released their final album with Mike as the frontman independently.
Possibly a little bitter from label troubles (as well as bandmate problems), Mike decided to leave the band in ‘02 and embark on a solo career. Since releasing his solo debut, Twelve Pieces, in July of ‘02, Mike has formed a band (with a couple lineup changes along the way) that – just last week – released its 5th record. The Mike McClure Band has released all these albums independently – and this could help explain Mike’s lack of exposure – but for now, i’m okay with that. i know how great he is and i don’t have to fight the masses…..
You can add talented producer to Mike’s list of accolades as well. Not only has he produced everything with his name on it, he holds the production credits on a number of Texas/Oklahoma band’s discs as well. He began by helping to produce Cross Canadian Ragweed’s second album, Highway 377, in ‘01 with fellow Great Divide member J.J. Lester. Ragweed has called on Mike’s personal touch for all four of their subsequent albums. Some other names Mike has produced records for include: Stoney LaRue, Jason Boland & The Stragglers, and The Dedringers.
So, there’s my attempt at a bio – i’ll get a little more in-depth with each album as i get to it. This is lookin’ like it’ll end up being longer than i expected, so i’ll break it up into a few parts.
To start off, here’s a couple good songs from The Great Divide to show where he’s coming from:
mp3: The Great Divide – Nowhere Woman ~ from Revolutions (1999)
mp3: The Great Divide – Fly On ~ from Remain (2002)
After Mike’s departure, The Great Divide attempted to continue with a new lead singer – to no avail. When you lose your frontman, songwriter, and lead guitarist – you’re pretty much done.
mp3: Mike McClure – Driftin’
My most prized album of his, this mainly acoustic disc (one song featuring Cody Canada of Cross Canadian Ragweed is a screamin’ electric tune) shows that sometimes simple is the best way to go. Stripped down and bearing his soul like never before, Mike shows the world (ok, maybe just Oklahoma and Texas) that he has arrived as a solo artist. The majority of these songs were ones that Mike had floating around that either didn’t fit with his former band, or he was unwilling to give up to them. Some about self-doubt, some about self-improvement, some gospel…..
all perfectly written.
if you’re gonna start somewhere, start here………
Everything Upside Down
mp3: Mike McClure Band – Open My Door
mp3: Mike McClure Band – Just Not Good Enough
Never one to be pigeon-holed or genrized, Mike followed his acoustic debut with a full on, guitar soaked rock album – the debut of the MMB. At 19 tracks, he decided to put out three 4 song EP’s in the months prior to the full album release. Fitting the rock & roll motif, these EP’s were simply titled ‘gun’, ‘brass knuckles’, and ‘throwing star’, and helped to fund the entire recording process. Just Not Good Enough is a song written about the troubles that led to Mike leaving The Great Divide. If you saw my last Instrumental Interlude post, i posted another track from this album that’s the intro to Open My Door. Get ‘em both and listen to them together….
Perfectly spaced between the ROCK are few slower, ballad-ish songs. Check out She Gets To You, Lay Your Head Down, and Moon Is Almost Full – definitely one of Mike’s most image-inducing writing efforts – but i’ll talk more about that one later…………
If you like what you’ve heard, check out
The Gospel According to Mike
a entirely Mike McClure gospel post…..
Go To Part 2 —————->
You can read about all of Ryan’s “sessions” here
With the release of the Ryan Adams Box-Set seeming more-and-more as likely as Chinese Democracy (both the political endeavor and the Guns N’ Roses reunion album), i figured i better not hold my breath and go ahead and post some of what i have. I suspect that the box-set, if it ever sees the light of day, will be remasterd and possibly deepened, but these session recordings are often bare, and sometimes rough demos.
Van Alston helped with the production of this session and says it was intended to be part of a 4-disc Demolition series given over to Lost Highway. Obviously only one of the discs was released, and i’m not sure if the other two parts are some of the aforementioned sessions, but it sure makes you wonder how much goodness is still out there somewhere. Much of this session is made up of the random electric guitars and screaming that we sometimes see Ryan feel like he needs to excrete – reminiscent of some of the weird stuff he had streaming out of the Spaceship on DotComMuthaFucka. But as with all of his work, there are some hidden gems. The real songs on Exile show everything from his deep Stones influence to his very Whiskeytown-sounding stuff.
mp3: Ryan Adams – The Last Dance
mp3: Ryan Adams – Why You Wanna Lemme Down
Because i feel like being nice today, and because if the legal guys at Geffen/Interscope/whoever can’t even figure out who has the rights to this material, i figure i can’t get busted for posting this:
Download a Zip File of the complete Exile on Franklin Street session.
Rak takes that laid-back attitude and brings it to another level. It seems like it was a more candid recording session – with far less overdubing and track usage. It also shows the band experimenting with new things: many more co-writes from various band members, use of the piano, and Hugh Harris even takes the lead vocals on a couple tracks (Kinda like those sporadic Stones songs that Keith takes the reins on……).
mp3: The Kooks – No Longer (written and sung by Hugh Harris)
This is one of those experimental tracks. Groovy, well-written, and catchy – all the things that i like about The Kooks. It uses some amazing contrapuntal harmony techniques that always grab my attention (y’know kinda like the row, row, row your boat deal you did in music class). This one could have easily held its own on Konk. Hopefully this is just proof that is more than one budding talent in this band.
Another standout track on Rak is Eaten By Your Lover. The quirky lyrics, piano, and short length (only 1:06) sorta echo something off the bonus disc that came with Spoon’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga.
mp3: The Kooks – Eaten By Your Lover
One of the things that kept bothering me about Inside In/Inside Out was the fact that at the beginning of Time Awaits, they have this bluesy, acoustic – sitting around mics in the studio -feeling and then they tear it apart with electricity and borderline obnoxious guitars. So the shift into that more acoustic style is what pulls me into a lot of the tracks on Konk/Rak. If you’ve heard Konk, you’ve heard some of this styling on Tick of Time. It’s the song where they start singing one, break into laughter, and start a completely different song. If you happened to like the groove of the inital try – your’re in luck. It shows up on Rak:
mp3: The Kooks – Hatful of Love
It’s full acoustic (just brushes on the drums) and live-in-studio style.
Another standout track is the opener, Watchin’ The Ships Roll In, that kinda reminds of the opener on their debut, Seaside. They also have a beachy-sounding reggae, alternate version of See The Sun from Konk. The bonus disc ends with what could be considered Luke’s most introspective tune with a solo piano ballad called Brooklyn.
i’d like to post these songs for those of you who weren’t lucky enough to get the limited edition, but i’ll probably have to take those that i did post down soon – i think the initial songs i posted from Konk a few weeks back were the ones that got my Album Release Forecast, Vol. 2 post deleted. Download while you can……
You can get the Limited Edition of Konk from Amazon here.
The Wood Brothers‘ sophomore effort, Loaded, is a soothing, groovy record much like their debut. Bluesy songs that bump along with the beat created by Chris Wood and his big bass. Oliver wood provides soulful vocals and resonator guitar. The main difference in the second album, however, is the additional help from some other great artists in the folk scene.
Amos Lee, whom i caught on ACL the other day, provides backup vocals on Pray Enough. He also shares the lead vocals with Oliver on Angel – a cover of the Hendrix tune. The choppy guitar in the song kinda gives it a reggae feel, of which i think Hendrix himself would approve.
mp3: The Wood Brothers – Angel
mp3: Amos Lee – Sweet Pea ~ from Supply and Demand (2006)
You might recognize this song from one of those AT&T more bars commercials.
The other guest appearnace on Loaded comes in the form of female backup vocals. Frazey Ford of The Be Good Tanyas beautifully adds to the soul in Oliver’s voice on the track Don’t Look Back.
mp3: The Wood Brothers – Don’t Look Back
mp3: The Be Good Tanyas – Light Enough To Travel ~ from Blue Horse (2000)
From this inovative female folk trio from Canada’s first album.
Other standouts on the album include Loaded (posted a while back), Postcards From Hell, Twisted, and an almost unrecognizable cover of Dylan’s Buckets of Rain.