Sept. 22 • Madison Theater
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 19, 2012
You know who there aren’t enough of in America? Guys like Paul Thorn. Thorn plays a loud version of Americana, a bluesy, Southern Rock. His
lyrics often illustrate stories about rough lives, hard times and rowdy
women, making him a sort of funkier Johnny Cash.
July 18 • The Redmoor
0 Comments · Monday, July 16, 2012
It’s not hard to believe that Hayes Carll is
from Houston; it seems he embodies so many great things about the music of
Texas. A country drawl mixed with Rock & Roll, Carll’s most recent album, KMAG YOYO, was the Americana Music
Association’s No. 1 album in 2011. His strength really lies within his
songwriting; his song “Another Like You” won the American Songwriter’s No. 1
by Brian Baker
Posted In: Reviews
at 11:16 AM | Permalink
It has become both fashionable and profitable for artists in the later stages of their careers to release albums comprised of old standards or covers of instantly recognizable Pop hits. Leave it to Neil Young to follow that convention and then knock it upside its head. On Americana, Young resurrects Crazy Horse, his longtime and long dormant backing band and the foil for realizing some of his grimiest, grittiest Garage Rock fantasies, with the express purpose of revisiting some of America’s most beloved Folk odes, Blues tales and campfire singalongs.The irony of the album’s title is that while Young retains the familiar lyrics to chestnuts like “Oh Susannah,” “High Flyin’ Bird,” “Tom Dula,” and “Jesus’ Chariot” (better known as “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain”), he completely guts the songs’ classic melodies in favor of Crazy Horse’s noisy bluster and squall, reconfiguring the jaunty tunes to fit his well documented musical universe. There is a seriousness of intent to Americana (Folk and Blues have long detailed the country’s ills in song and Young has selected an interesting set list in that context) but there is also a hootenanny jam quality to the sessions; the songs typically end with comments by Young and the band about the sweet chaos they’ve just created. The exceptions are fascinating; although the standard Crazy Horse murk and howl are evident on The Silhouettes’ “Get a Job,” Young and company retain the Doo-Wop hit’s famous backing vocals and melody lines, a pattern repeated on “Travel On,” “Wayfarin’ Stranger” and “This Land is Your Land” (because how many liberties can you take with Woody Guthrie?). Young and Crazy Horse are having so much fun on Americana, it almost plays like a Jimmy Fallon sketch, but clearly the fun is in the performance and not at the expense of the song, although finishing with “God Save the Queen” (and a children’s chorus singing the American rewrite, “My Country ’Tis of Thee”) could easily be perceived as a pointed and appropriate political jab. Whether playing anarchic deconstructionists or faithful translators, Americana is tattooed with Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s indelible and singular stamp.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 2, 2012
The local Roots music scene and its
fans have a cool new music venue to check out. This Friday-Sunday is the
grand opening of Plain Folk Café, a converted two-room schoolhouse
(originally built in 1913) featuring coffee, beer, food and regular live
music from area Folk, Bluegrass, Americana and acoustic acts.