"One eye on the sunrise, one eye on the clock…"

Posted by Payton | Posted in one liner | Posted on 08-09-2009

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Hayes Carll – Little Rock
buy Little Rock (2005)

Passing through Arkansas today; spending the night in Memphis. Let me know some things to do if you know the area.

Mailbox Music: Christmas Edition…

Posted by Payton | Posted in christmas, mailbox music | Posted on 12-14-2008

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Free music has been a rising theme in the world lately – at least the one i live in. Bands have been experimenting with giving away creations in order to simply get their music out to more people. And what better time of year for this generosity than the Christmas season. i got a few leads in my inbox the other day that lead me to some free holiday downloads:

Frontier Ruckus – Driving Home, Christmas Eve
and a video

The Gougers – Just Because It’s Christmas
here’s the page link

Also, Hayes Carll’s folks sent word that if you join his Lost Highway mailing list by December 17th, you’ll get a link to download his festive tune I’m Grateful for Christmas This Year (on the 17th, naturally).

And while we’re in the spirit here, i thought i’d share a few more Christmas tunes with you. i, of course, have many more… traditional Christmas songs in my collection, but just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean i will forgo my usual posting standards nor step too far out of my preferred genre realm.

Randy Rogers Band – Please Come Home For Christmas
Old 97’s – Here It Is Christmas
Fire Apes – Last Christmas
Asylum Street Spankers – Mele Kalikimaka
Bright Eyes – Blue Christmas

Merry Christmas

Make It Stop….

Posted by Payton | Posted in Uncategorized, rant | Posted on 11-12-2008

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i’ve been flipping back and forth from tonight’s CMA Awards, and i swear it’s the funniest thing on TV…. well, it would be if weren’t dead serious. It’s like a dogshow in that the only people that really care about it are the ones there on the stage. But the sad thing is, these idiots are put there by real people, who really like this music, really buy it… really sing along. They make it a lucrative business. Why else do you think Jessica Simpson and Hootie jumped on the bandwagon? The artists know exactly what they’re doing. They’ve found a loophole in the system. Those few that write their own music simply cater to the ignorant ‘middle America’, writing simple songs that will undoubtedly get played played at every barbecue, high school party, and rural wedding across the country. It’s shameless exploitation.

How can so many stupid fucking Americans actually buy this crap? What kind of shallow person has their musical desires fulfilled by each and every “i love America” spewed out from the prettiest faces money can buy and records labels can hand pick off a reality show.

“Oooh he said he’s from the county…. SO AM I. I love this guy!”
“She drives a pickup. My grandpa has one of those. I’m gonna buy her record now.”
“Look, he wears a baseball cap with the edges perfectly frayed like mine. He’s cool. So am I”

Fuck Me.

It’s no wonder most people laugh when at you when you say you like country music. What chance do we have to be taken seriously when this is the face of it.

Kid Rock is on now, singing a thoughtless regurgitation of one of the most overplayed songs in history. And everybody loves it – mindless people that listen (and enjoy) whatever the local radio station puts on the airwaves. i haven’t had my radio on FM for about 5 years now, so i don’t know the songs, much less most of the acts, on my TV tonight. Half of ‘em can’t even sing. They just hop around the stage under a spotlight, waving their arms around cause they don’t possess the talent to play a guitar – while the real musicians are hidden behind them in the dark.

Some ‘award show’. The same 5 people present and receive all the trophies. The same songs are nominated in categories like ‘Best Single’ and ‘Best Song’ – what’s the fucking difference? It’s just another chance for these chumps to selfishly show their perfectly made up faces to the world, and pat themselves on the back for creating musical genocide.

At least the chicks are hot. That’s all this show has going for it.
That and George Strait.

If you’re here, you most likely feel the same way, so i’m preachin’ to the choir. But i just had to get this off my chest.


The Everybodyfields – Be Miner
Caitlin Cary & Thad Cockrell – Please Break My Heart
The Felice Brothers – Whiskey In My Whiskey
Gillian Welch – Look At Miss Ohio
Hayes Carll – Long Way Home

Check out Setting The Woods On Fire for more REAL COUNTRY MUSIC

"Gonna find me one and ring its neck…"

Posted by Payton | Posted in one liner | Posted on 08-25-2008

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Hayes Carll – Chickens

Gotta love a cheerful blues song.
Hayes co-wrote this one with his pal Ray Wylie. RWH’s influence is unmistakeably present, down to the unusual percussion – drumstick inside a tin can?
Hayes defends his love of fried chicken and explains his apathy toward the weather. Meanwhile, there’s a chicken playin‘ a solo.

Get yourself a gift today.

SuperPost: The Road…..

Posted by Payton | Posted in super post | Posted on 07-04-2008

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No, even though i have been talkin’ a little about books lately, this post is not about the Cormac McCarthy novel. There are countless songs that have been written about/inspired by that mixture of gravel, cement, and tar we like to call The Road.

Rather than save it for last, i’m gonna start with the song that inspired this post. It could be construed as too literal, but Jerry Jeff was best at being blunt.
mp3: Jerry Jeff Walker – Life on the Road
buy Scamp (1996)

Since the introduction of the automobile, Americans have long had an affinity for The Highway. Whether it represents the distance between a man and his lover, the treacherous path taken while transporting precious cargo, or a mythical place where the good go to be bad, the highway has always possessed transcendental qualities.

mp3: Owen Temple – Tennessee Highway
buy General Store (2002)
mp3: The Everybodyfields – Out On The Highway
buy Nothing Is Okay (2007)
mp3: Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited (alt take)
buy No Direction Home – The Bootleg Series, Vol. 7 (1995)

There’s something special about the feeling you get from being on The Road. Whether you’re a traveling musician or not, there’s a calming effect that comes from the mixture of the soft hum of your tires on the blacktop, the wind in your face, and the surrounding scenery. The long stretches with nothing to do except bounce stuff around in your head have no doubt spawned some of your favorite songs from your favorite artists.

mp3: Hayes Carll – Down The Road Tonight
buy Little Rock (2005)
mp3: Bruce Robison – Driving All Night Long
buy Long Way Home From Anywhere (1999)
mp3: Patty Griffin – Long Ride Home

buy 1000 Kisses (2005)
Of course, the best part about a road-trip of any kind is that there is no TV and no movies – that leaves one of two things: Good Conversation or Good Music. i’m the type of person that will always find time to listen to music, but so many people only give themselves the chance when they’re in the car. One of my favorite things to do is use the time during a drive to subject anyone in the car (willing or not) to a little music schoolin’. And the right music will always lead to good conversation.

If i know there’s a road-trip in my future, i make sure i stock my toolbox o’ music with some Max Stalling. As of yet, i haven’t said much about Max, but he’s a got a knack for conversational songs (the topic of a forthcoming post) as well as drivin’ music. i can’t quite pinpoint what it is about his sound, but it will take your mind off of the road and make your destination seem that much closer.
mp3: Max Stalling – The Rock Song
buy Comfort In The Curves (1997)

for more Max Stalling drivin’ music, check out I-35, Runnin’ Buddy, Travelin’ Lite, Dime Box TX, Probably Corsicana, and Green Lights. Jeez…… i could have made this post with only his songs.

mp3: Blake Powers – Old Blevins Road
from Old Blevins Road (2001)

mp3: Bleu Edmondson – What I Left Behind
buy Southland (2001)

mp3: Brandon Rhyder – Back Roads
buy Conviction (2005)

Often portrayed as a metaphor for life itself, The Road takes on deeper responsibility when it determines the destination and not simply the gettin’ there.

mp3: The Avett Brothers – Salina
buy Emotionalism (2007)
mp3: Reckless Kelly – Desolation Angels
buy Under The Table & Above The Sun (2003)

mp3: Walt Wilkins – I Chose This Road
buy Mustang Island (2005)

i’ll leave you with some gems from Townes……

“it’s a hard road you’re travelin’/you can’t walk it alone/find a big man to stand beside you”

“mother thinks the road is long and lonely/
little brother thinks the road is straight and fine/
little darling thinks the road is soft and lovely/
i’m thankful that old road is a friend of mine”

“there’s lots of things along the road i’d surely like to see/
i’d like to lean into the wind and tell myself i’m free/
but your softest whisper’s louder than the highway’s call to me/
close your eyes, i’ll be here in the mornin’/
close your eyes, i’ll be here for a while”

New Digs…..

Posted by Payton | Posted in Uncategorized, new digs | Posted on 06-04-2008

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This past weekend i got to let off some steam and relax whilst floating the Guadalupe River with some friends. For those not familiar with how you float a river – well…. you sit in an inner-tube connected to a chocked-full ice chest and let the river do the grunt work.
While down there, i stocked this new computer up with a stash of new tunes – some ripped off from friends, and some i bought.

i’ve mentioned how i buy a lot of my music from LoneStarMusic.com before. The store’s home base is in the quaint hill country town of Gruene, TX. If you’re ever in that neck of the woods, go in —–> cool people and free beer (and sometimes cd’s)…….

While i sort out all this new music (and, if i can get to it… my life), here’s a sampling of some the best so far:

mp3: The Replacements – Can’t Hardly Wait

mp3: Bob Dylan – Who Killed Davey Moore?

mp3: Travis Linville – Hard Knocks
buy See You Around (2008)

mp3: Hayes Carll – Wild As A Turkey
buy Trouble In Mind (2008)
for jojo.

i had always seen The Jayhawks mentioned with the likes of Uncle Tupelo and Whiskeytown as being big players at the start of the alt-country scene, and picked up a track or two, but never really listened to ‘em. At the lonestarmusic store, i picked up their last album, Rainy Day Music, and was immediately blown away.

i still can’t find a song to skip, but try these on……

mp3: The Jayhawks – All The Right Reasons
mp3: The Jayhawks – One Man’s Problem

New Digs……

Posted by Payton | Posted in new digs | Posted on 04-11-2008

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My New Digs for this week are some of the first stand-outs from a few of the albums i’ve picked up recently. The initial surge from the flood of Spring releases has hit, and i would have until about May to catch up, but Konk comes out next Tuesday – and that’s a big one.


The Kooks’ Inside In/Inside Out was a huge debut album (it was #2 on my best of 2007 post). i don’t even look at record sales, but judging simply from the buzz, if you will, it garnered for those skinny Brits, they’re doin’ alright. This hype will carry on for Konk, but i’m excited to see what the’ve done with it. Having another killer album may very well solidify their names….. somewhere. And i’m not trying to insinuate and sort of Second Coming or anything, but i definately hear some of whatever it was The Stones had (have – whatever) in their guitars and hook writing. And i’m rooting for ‘em. i always wanna be in the presence of greatness – everybody wanted to see Davidson make it to the final four, but i wanted to see 4 #1’s, so i was rooting for Kansas - record-breakers, never before’s, and especially beginings of legends. Buy it Tuesday…


These New Digs are mostly upbeat, since it generally takes a little longer (hearing the lyrics) to pick out great slow songs:

mp3: The Black Keys – Psychotic Girl ~ from Attack & Release
mp3: The Black Keys – Same Old Thing ~ from Attack & Release
The groove initiated by the banjo in Psychotic Girl is what pulled me into that tune. And the flute in Psychotic Girl is a throwback that hints on The Marshall Tucker Band.

mp3: The Felice Brothers – Greatest Show On Earth ~ from The Felice Brothers
This song effortlessly wanders between a slow-rolling ballad and a raucus barroom jam complete with old-time piano and trumpet. They carry on the same attitude with this one:
mp3: The Felice Brothers – Love Me Tenderly ~ from The Felice Brothers

mp3: Hayes Carll – Don’t Let Me Fall ~ from Trouble In Mind

mp3: Hayes Carll – Willing To Love Again ~ from Trouble In Mind
Hayes can sometimes drift a little too far on the Honky-Tonk side for my taste, so i tend to perfer the slower ones like these (and Long Way Home posted here).

i also just got a copy of Loaded from The Wood Brothers, but i’ve got something else planned for that one….


Spring Album Release Forecast….

Posted by Payton | Posted in Uncategorized, album release | Posted on 02-19-2008

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Alright, so February is almost over, and i’m pumped. Beacause, starting in March, a flood of great albums are coming out. Seeing as i’m pretty new to this music journalism (hardly…) world, i don’t have any cool new friends on the inside to give me any exclusive news or tracks, but i’ve got a couple tricks up my sleeve. For some of these that are coming out a little further in the future, i’ll re-remind you, but here are the forthcoming album releases on my radar:

3.4.08 (Big Day)

The Black Crowes – Warpaint (Silver Arrow)

The first release from the soulful Black Crowes in 7 years is set for early March. 10 of the 11 tracks were written by Chris and Rich, and the album marks the debut for two new band members: guitarist Luther Dickinson and keyboardist Adam MacDougall.

1. Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution
2. Walk Believer Walk
3. Oh Josephine
4. Evergreen
5. Wee Who See The Deep
6. Locust Street
7. Movin’ On Down The Line
8. Wounded Bird
9. God’s Got It ~ this is the same song that OCMS did on Big Iron World, written by The Reverend Charlie Jackson
10. There’s Gold In Them Hills
11. Whoa Mule
pre-order Warpaint here

The Felice Brothers – The Felice Brothers (Team Love)

The band (3 out of 4 are actual brothers), from upstate New York, released Tonight at the Arizona in the UK early last year. Upon returning to the States, they hooked up with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes for some concert dates, and consequently he signed them to his label. The’ve been called ‘backwoods americana’ and have a perfectly un-polished sound with hints of Dylan, Townes, and Neil Young. Their self-titled American debut is due out March 4th.

here’s one from it:
mp3: The Felice Brothers – Wonderful Life

pre-order The Felice Brothers here

Whiskeytown – Stranger’s Almanac (Deluxe Edition) (Mood Food/Geffen)

i don’t know who decided to put this re-issue together, or why, but who fuckin’ cares. This isn’t just a re-mastered edition with a couple bonus tracks; this thing is like discovering an attic full of old vinyls. Ok, maybe not that cool, but listen: It’s a 2-disc set, the first of which is the original album (13 tracks) plus 5 bonus tracks from unreleased radio performances:

Bonus Tracks:

14. Houses on the Hill (live)
15. Nurse With the Pills (live)
16. I Don’t Care What You Think About Me (live)
17. Somebody Remembers the Rose (live)
18. Turn Around (live)

and disc 2 (19 of the 21 tracks are previously unreleased):

1. Indian Gown
2. 16 Days (acoustic version)
3. Somebody Remembers the Rose (acoustic version)
4. Avenues (acoustic version)
5. Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart Tonight (acoustic version)
6. Houses on the Hill (early version)
7. mp3: My Heart Is Broken*
8. I Still Miss Someone (Johnny Cash cover) (acoustic version)
9. Kiss & Make-Up
10. Barn’s on Fire
11. Dancing With the Women at the Bar (early version)
12. Dreams (Fleetwood Mac cover)
13. Breathe
14. Wither, I’m a Flower (previously released)
15. mp3: Luxury Liner**(Gram Parsons cover)
16. Theme for a Trucker
17. Streets of Sirens (previously released)
18. Turn Around (alternate version)
19. 10 Seconds
20. Ticket Time
21. The Rain Won’t Help You When It’s Over (True Believers cover)
* The song linked here is from a solo concert of Ryan’s (with help from Caitlin Cary) at The Brewery in Raleigh, NC in ‘99. The quality isn’t great, but here the song is stripped down to its core – Ryan is strumming just enough to keep in time. The vocals are amazing and, compared to the version that showed up on Jacksonville City Nights, much slower, which reveals just how, well…. heartbreaking the song really is.
** i don’t know if this is the same version that’s gonna end up on the re-issue, but it is a studio cut i picked up somewhere along the way.
pre-order the Deluxe Edition here
Justin Townes Earle – The Good Life (Bloodshot)

The son of Steve Earle and namesake to Townes Van Zandt has a lot to live up to. And from what i’ve heard, he’s doin’ a pretty good job. He’s got just enough of his daddy’s gravelly growl, but with a little more energy. His background consists of performing in bluegrass/ragtime bands to full-out rock bands, and, of course, with his dad. He previously put out an EP, Yuma, from which i already posted a track.

1. mp3: Hard Livin’
2. The Good Life
3. mp3: Who Am I to Say
4. Lone Pine Hill
5. South Georgia Sugar Babe
6. What Do You Do When You’re Lonesome
7. Turn Out My Lights
8. Lonesome and You
9. Ain’t Glad I’m Leavin’
10. Faraway In Another Town

no pre-order found, but some info here



The Black Keys – Attack and Release (Nonesuch)
i’ve already posted a couple tracks from The Black Keys, but i haven’t really said much about ‘em. They’re an indie rock/blues duo (Dan Auerbach – guitar/vocals – and Patrick Carney – drums) from Akron, Ohio. If you listened to the tracks, you already know that they produce raw, in-your-face, super groovy electric rock music. They’ve got five previous releases – some recorded in Carney’s basement, and some in an abandoned tire facotry. Attack and Release will be their most polished record as of yet. Not only did they record in a real studio, but they enlisted the help of producer Danger Mouse. He’s the guy that famously remixed The Beatles White Album with Jay-Z’s Black Album. If you’re ever in the mood for some really loud, powerful tunes, put on The Black Keys.


1. All You Ever Wanted
2. I Got Mine
3. Strange Times – you can buy this single from iTunes now
4. Psychotic Girl
5. Lies
6. Remember When (Side A)
7. Remember When (Side B)
8. Same Old Thing
9. So He Won’t Break
10. Oceans & Streams
11. Things Ain’t Like They Used to Be
pre-order Attack and Release here and get a free tote bag with it???
Mike McClure Band – Streamline (Boohatch)
Streamline is tentatively scheduled for release on April 1st. This is simply info straight from Mike himself via his MySpace blog. Unless you’re into the Texas Music/Red Dirst music scene, you probably haven’t heard of Mike. He previoulsy fronted the somewhat successful country band The Great Divide. He split with them to go solo in ‘02 and since has put out five albums – one of which was a collaboration with fellow Okies The Burtschi Brothers. i plan on doing an artist spotlight on Mike soon, so i’ll stop there. The only confirmed tracks for Streamline are The Eagle and the Crow, and Supposed To Be. The following track was up on his MySpace a while ago, and could show up on the album as well:
mp3: Mike McClure – Another Place To Run
here’s another MySpace track that was posted at some time. A cover of a ZZ Top song that kinda sounds like some late night goofin’ off in his home studio:
mp3: Mike McClure – Legs

ordering information will be posted when i find it
Hayes Carll – Trouble in Mind (Lost Highway)

i’ve already posted some info, as well as one song, from this release here. You can also hear a few of the tracks on Hayes’ MySpace.

1. Drunken Poet’s Dream
2. It’s A Shame
3. Girl Downtown
4. Bad Liver And A Broken Heart
5. Beaumont
6. mp3: I Got A Gig
7. Faulkner Street
8. Wild As A Turkey
9. Don’t Let Me Fall
10. A Lover Like You
11. I Don’t Wanna Grow Up
12. Knockin’ Over Whiskeys
13. Willing To Love Again
14. She Left Me For Jesus

pre-order Trouble In Mind here


Flight of the Conchords – Flight of the Conchords (Sub Pop)
Unless you were living under a rock last summer, you heard about Flight of the Conchords. Brett and Jermaine are “New Zealand’s fourth most popular digi-folk paradists” (self-proclaimed). They created an HBO comedy show that aired on Sunday nights after Entourage after becoming popular as comedians that performed hilarious, satirical songs on Comedy Central and various late-night talk shows. On their show, they play a very unsuccessful band with no social skills – and spontaneously break into stupid songs. Ok, so that doesn’t sound very funny, but i promise it is. Anyway, their debut album, that includes re-worked songs from the show, is due out at the end of April. Check ‘em out:

mp3: Flight of the Conchords – Business Time

mp3: Flight of the Conchords – If You’re Into It

both from The Distant Future [EP] - Grammy nomination for the Best Comedy Album


The Dedringers – Sweetheart of the Neighborhood
- scheduled for Spring ‘08 release

The first time i saw the Dedringers, i hadn’t heard of them, but they were opening a show for Mike McClure. i was blown away. These guys – younger than i was – stole the show as much as an opener can. Really original songs, all with some sort of errie, haunting quality. Then, they were just a duo – Sean Faires and Jonny Burke. Since, they have added drums and bass and, more importantly, grown much more popular. By befriending fellow musician and producer McClure, as well as many others in the Texas Music realm, they starting getting bigger gigs and continued to impress people with their ‘wise-beyond-their-years’ songwriting talent. They self-released an EP titled Definately, Purposely Infinite (produced by McClure) as well as a Live At The Continental Club in Austin album that were both sold at their shows. Their debut album, Sweetheart, was produced by R.S. Field, who has done work for Billy Joe Shaver and Hayes Carll. Here’s the previoulsy released (i think i bought it from their MySpace page) title track from the album – most likely this is not the version that will be on Sweetheart, though:
mp3: The Dedringers – Sweetheart of the Neighborhood

happy shopping….

Hayes Carll: Trouble in Mind…

Posted by Payton | Posted in Uncategorized, album release, artist spotlight | Posted on 02-09-2008

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One of my favorite artists that i often forget about – maybe cuz he’s pretty selective when it comes to puttin’ records together. Hayes Carll’s patience, however, pays off. 2005’s Little Rock remains one of the best albums in my collection. A perfect mix of grungy, country rock tunes and slower, seething ballads. His debut, Flowers and Liquor (2002), is groovy, sometimes pretty funny, folk-rock. From the small amount of info i’ve heard about his 2008 release (due out April 8th), he could only have improved. He spent a month in the studio with the help of Darrell Scott and Will Kimbrough – just to name a couple. Although not prolific in the studio, Hayes does quite a bit of touring and festival attending. He just returned from Musicfest in Steamboat, and before that he was on an “end of the year rock and roll jamboree and toga party tour” with John Evans and The Sideshow Tramps. Stingaree is Hayes’s own annual music festival that takes place at Crystal Beach on Bolivar Island near Galveston (happening April 18-20 this year).

Heres a leaked track from Trouble In Mind that’s about his time on the coast. See if you can’t tap your foot a little:

mp3: Hayes Carll – I Got A Gig

some of my favorites from Little Rock:

mp3: Down The Road Tonight
mp3: Long Way Home
mp3: Chickens

and one from Flowers and Liquor:

mp3: Naked Checkers



mp3: The Sideshow Tramps – New Train ~ from Medicine Show (2007)