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This recording, first released by Folkways founder Moses Asch in 1976 to coincide with the celebration of America’s Bicentennial, was originally recorded by Asch in the 1940s. The collection captures Woody Guthrie at his artistic best with gritty songs about the struggles of the American worker (“Waiting at the Gate,” “The Dying Miner”), unions (“Ludlow Massacre,” “1913 Massacre”), and an ode to a bad man (“Pretty Boy Floyd”). Blues harmonicist Sonny Terry sits in with Guthrie on “Lost John,” and fellow traveling companion and folksinger Cisco Houston contributes his voice, guitar, and a song (“Get Along Little Doggie”).
Vinyl: $29.98 Buy
The Milk Carton Kids’ fifth album , All the Things That I Did and All the Things That I Didn’t Do arrives from ANTI- Records on June 29. The new project marks the first time that acoustic duo Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale have brought a band into studio with them. “We wanted to do something new,” Pattengale says. “We had been going around the country yet another time to do the duo show, going to the places we’d been before. There arose some sort of need for change.” “Musically we knew we were going to make the record with a big- ger sonic palette,” says Ryan. “It was liberating to know we didn’t have to be able to carry every song with just our two guitars.” “Sometimes in singing, we’ll switch parts for a beat or a bar or a note,” Ryan says. “And things start to obscure what is the melody and what is the supporting part.” A third presence rises out of their combined voices. “There are only so many things you can do alone that al- low you to transcend your sense of self for even a short period,” Pattengale says. “I’m the lucky recipient of a life in which for hundreds of times, day after day, I get to spend an hour that is like speaking a language only two people know and doing it in a space with others who want to hear it.”
Recorded in 1958 and released on the Folkways label in 1959, this album introduced American listeners to Joseph Spence’s unique guitar and vocal styles. These field recordings by musicologist Sam Charters capture Spence in a relaxed, expansive mood—only one of the six selections in the set is under five minutes in length. Spence’s guitar style was due in part to the D tuning of his bass string, which produced a lower bass sound. Whereas many critics have called Spence’s vocal style unorthodox, they have found his guitar playing spontaneous and iconic. Some music critics have gone so far as to refer to him as the “Thelonious Monk of folk guitar.”
With their powerful harmonies and imaginative songwriting in full force, Girlpool are making new creative leaps with their new album, What Chaos Is Imaginary. Combining elements of shoegaze, folk, and 80’s postpunk with their own melodic gifts, these two great songwriters come up with a modern classic full of great tunes and sonic surprises. Impressive growth for this already celebrated band.
Freedom Highway, Grammy Award–winner and 2017 Grammy nominee Rhiannon Giddens' follow-up to her highly praised debut album Tomorrow Is My Turn, will be released by Nonesuch Records on February 24, 2017. The record includes nine original songs Giddens wrote or co-wrote while she and her band toured after Tomorrow Is My Turn's 2015 release, along with a traditional song and two civil rights-era songs, "Birmingham Sunday" and Staple Singers' well-known "Freedom Highway," from which the album takes its name. Giddens and the band will tour the U.S. in the spring; details will be announced shortly.
Dave Van Ronk was a mentor to Bob Dylan and immortalized in the Coen Bros film "Inside Llewyn Davis". This 1967 live recording was released as a CD in 1997 and comes to record stores for the first time on vinyl for Record Store Day 2018, with a bonus remix of "Statesboro Blues".
After two years of relentless touring, Colter Wall wanted to make an album about home. Drawing on the stories of Saskatchewan, Canada, the young songwriter's corner of the world takes shape throughout his second full-length album, Songs of the Plains. Produced by Dave Cobb in Nashville's Studio A, the project combines striking original folk songs, well-chosen outside cuts, and a couple of traditional songs that reflect his roots growing up in the small city of Swift Current.
Ty Segall goes all the way, flipping the Freedom coin to find passion, laughter and savagery on both sides. A head-spinning compendium of stompers, weepers, ballads, screamers, bangers and funker-uppers, all marking a different impasse, like a flag whirling into a knot, exploding and burning on contact, in the name of life and loathing and the pursuit of what you love.
Mitski warmly recalls a quote from sculptor El Anatsui, "Art grows out of each particular situation, and I believe that artists are better off working with whatever their environment throws up."
With this nerve exposed lyrically, and having dived into her new beginning, Mitski chooses her 2014 breakthrough album Bury Me at Makeout Creek to explore uncharted sonic territory, trading in large string arrangements for guitar and bass. While studying composition at SUNY Purchase's music conservatory, she previously recorded music with a full orchestra. However as college graduation inched closer, Mitski moved away from the concert hall and into the campus' active DIY scene. Upon relocating to New York following graduation, she entered stages at Death By Audio, Silent Barn, and Bed Stuy basements, entrenching her songs of love, fear, lust, and brilliant clarity into entirely sympathetic ears.
Since releasing Bury Me at Makeout Creek, Mitski has received international acclaim for her distinct, arresting sound and profoundly reflective lyrics. Pitchfork applauded the release as "inventive and resourceful," while Rolling Stone celebrated her "deep-cutting lyrics." NME said of Bury Me, "it's a record that doesn't tug at your heart-strings as much as it mercilessly pounds at them, taking to your emotions like a lead pipe to a piÃ±ata." She has also received widespread attention for her "cathartic" live shows as dubbed by The New York Times' Jon Caramanica.
"I was so young when I behaved 25," Mitski sings on "First Love / Late Spring," "yet now I find I've grown into a tall child." This veritable thesis speaks to sentiments of the poetry and beauty of struggling up the hill to adulthood. Mitski follows El Anatsui's humbling advice, cathartically revealing snapshots from her adventures in youth, and the empowerment found in sharing these stories with others. In 2015 Mitski is poised to continue delivering her particular flavor of soul-baring rock, and tour throughout North America and beyond.
MITSKI / BURY ME AT MAKEOUT CREEK
'It's all rock & roll -- no golf!' is how acclaimed singer/songwriter/violinist Amanda Shires describes her electrifying firth album, To The Sunset. She's borrowed a lyric from the effervescent track 'Break Out the Champagne,' one of ten deftly crafted songs that comprise her powerful new recording. The Texas-born road warrior, new mom, and recently minted MFA in creative writing has mined a range of musical influences to revel an Amanda Shires many didn't know existed. 'Isn't it refreshing?' Shires asks. Indeed. Distorted electric guitars, effects pedals, swirling keys and synths, and rockin' rhythms certainly suit Shire's visceral songcraft and lilting soprano.
The eighth album from Marissa Nadler, For My Crimes, is the sound of guilt giving way to truth. The songs stare down the dark realization that love may not be enough to keep two people together through distance and differing needs. By asking these difficult questions about her relationships, Nadler has found a stronger sense of self and a sharper voice as both a songwriter and a vocalist, culminating in her most evocative entry in an already impressive discography. Following the release of 2016’s acclaimed Strangers, Nadler’s new marriage was put to the test as she left the Boston area on tour. She wrote throughout 2017 about this tension, and ended up with three times as many songs as she needed. But after reviewing the demos with her co-producers Justin Raisen and Lawrence Rothman, Nadler wrote a flurry of tight but no less intense new songs in the week before arriving at Rothman’s Laurel Canyon studio, House of Lux, in early January. She considered it a challenge to herself, applying new strategies and structures to the craft of “slow music” she’s honed over the last 15 years. From that group of songs came nearly all of the singles on For My Crimes, some of the most indelible of Nadler’s career. Bolstering the intimacy of these songs is the strong feminine energy that defined their recording. Between Rothman’s fluidity with both gender and genre (as heard on his 2017 album The Book of Law), and Raisen’s track record of successful collaborations with strong women (Angel Olsen, Kim Gordon, Charli XCX), Nadler felt empowered to explore without judgment in the studio. With the exception of a single saxophonist, every player on the album is a woman of notable pedigree and distinct style, many of whom have played with Nadler over the years. In addition to cameos by Angel Olsen and Kristin Kontrol, Sharon Van Etten sings backup on “I Can’t Listen to Gene Clark Anymore” and “Lover Release Me.” Mary Lattimore joins on harp for “Are You Really Gonna Move to the South,” while the great experimental multi-instrumentalist Janel Leppin plays strings throughout the record.
See You Around is the full-length debut from I'm With Her, featuring multi-Grammy-Award-winners Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O'Donovan. Before coming together these artists co-founded seminal bands (Nickel Creek and Crooked Still) and since have collectively contributed to critically acclaimed albums from esteemed artists including Yo-Yo Ma, The Civil Wars, Kris Kristofferson, John Mayer, Alison Krauss, John Prine, and many more. This much anticipated release reveals the commitment to creating a wholly unified band sound. With each track born from close songwriting collaboration, I'm With Her builds an ineffable magic from their finespun narratives and breathtaking harmonies. The result is a collection both emotionally raw and intricate, with layers of meaning and insight within even the most starkly adorned track. Co-produced by Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Laura Marling, Paul McCartney) and the band and recorded at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios in a tiny English village near Bath, See You Around delivers a warmly textured sound that proves both fresh and timeless.
180g black vinyl w/ download card.
Nathaniel Rateliff has written and recorded his first solo record since the explosive debut of his work together with The Night Sweats. And It's Still Alright, is an intensely personal 10-song album of vibrant country-blues, badland ballads, ornate Americana and jazz-inflected R&B. Rateliff's warm baritone, ranging from gently hushed to a guttural howl, imbues these superbly drawn character studies with raw, naked emotion.
And It's Still Alright was produced by Rateliff, Night Sweats' drummer Patrick Meese and James Barone of the indie band, Beach House and primarily recorded at National Freedom in Cottage Grove, Oregon, the studio formerly owned by the late Richard Swift (who produced both Night Sweats recordings). While Rateliff, Meese and Barone handled much of the album's instrumentation, several friends make contributions including Night Sweats' guitarist Luke Mossman; bassist Elijah Thomson (of the indie band Everest); keyboardist Daniel Creamer (of The Texas Gentlemen); steel guitarist Eric Swanson (touring musician for Israel Nash) and renowned string arranger Tom Hagerman (of the instrumental vocal ensemble DeVotchKa), whose delicate orchestrations beautifully complement the album's deep emotional terrain.
And It's Still Alright's many highlights include album opener ''What A Drag,'' which sketches a vivid portrait of a disconnected relationship, ''Tonight #2,'' a haunting, end-of-the-world waltz, ''Time Stands,'' detailing an epic, desperate struggle for love and the elegiac ''Rush On,'' a heart-breaking requiem for Swift.
Unguarded and unflinchingly real, Nathaniel Rateliff's And It's Still Alright expands on the sounds and styles he's used to great affect across both his band and solo careers. It's a commanding next step in Nathaniel's evolution into one of America's most vital and essential songwriters.
Vinyl: $20.98 Buy
Remind Me Tomorrow was written in stolen time. In the four years since Are We There, Van Etten guest-starred in The OA, performed in David Lynch's Twin Peaks revival, and wrote her first film score and song for TV - for Kathering Dieckmann's Strange Weather Tig Notaro's show Tig, respectively. Van Etten also had a child, and began studying psychology. In the scraps of hours between these endeavors, Remind Me Tomorrow was born. Working with producer John Congleton, Remind Me Tomorrow reveals piano keys that churn, deep drones, distinctive sharp drums. Originally a piano ballad, "Comeback Kid" evolved into a dark, menacing anthem. "Seventeen" began as a Lucinda Williams-esque dirge, but winds up a star-spangled nod to Springsteen, exploring gentrification and generational patience. The breadth of Van Etten's new passions have inflected Remind Me Tomorrow with a wise, warped-time perspective. She explains, "I want to be a mom, a singer, an actress, go to school, but yeah, I have a stain on my shirt, oatmeal in my hair. I feel like a mess, but I'm here. Doing it. This record is about pursuing your passions." This is Remind Me Tomorrow, fusing a pained attentive realism and radiant lightness about new loves.
On What It Is, the Houston, TX troubadour Hayes Carll is leaving the past behind. “I want to dig in so this life doesn’t just pass me by. The more engaged I am the more meaning it all has. I want that to be reflected in the work,” Carll says. The new album covers a broad range of topics both timely and constant; the desire to bridge the country’s political divide, the ups and downs of relationships, and the challenge to stay present in your life as it goes by. What It Is continues the artistic risk-taking initiated by 2016’s Lovers and Leavers; his voice is strong and assured, and his songwriting as truthful as ever.
Hallelujah Anyhow is the next studio album from Hiss Golden Messenger, out September 22 worldwide on Merge Records. Its ten new songs, penned by HGM principal M.C. Taylor, were recorded with Brad Cook, Phil Cook, Josh Kaufman, Darren Jessee, Michael Lewis, and Evan Ringel. Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Tift Merritt, Skylar Gudasz, Tamisha Waden, Mac McCaughan, and John Paul White provided vocal harmonies. From the desk of M.C. Taylor, July 18, 2017: I’m from nowhere. That’s the way I feel about it now, right at this moment. Music took me and made me and gave me a purpose and I built my world with it, and now my geography is a musical one, forever. And when I break, when I think about running as far as I can, I remember that there is nothing that does me like music, and I might as well be a poor man in a world of my own device. Hallelujah anyhow. Rhythm? I learned it over twenty years in the back of rented vans, in attics and back rooms—hard places to get to, harder places to get out of. And now rhythm is my clock and I live by it. We all do. But it’ll kill you if you’re not careful. It might kill you even if you are. Hallelujah anyhow. I see the dark clouds. I was designed to see them. They’re the same clouds of fear and destruction that have darkened the world since Revelations, just different actors. But this music is for hope. That’s the only thing I want to say about it. Love is the only way out. I’ve never been afraid of the darkness; it’s just a different kind of light. And if some days that belief comes harder than others, hallelujah anyhow. Whatcha gonna do when the wall comes down? When the wall comes down? What you ought to do is let it lie—let it lie And in the gathering darkness vow to never go back It was built by man and you can tear it down Tear it down, tear it down Step back, Jack, from the darkness I’ve seen darker things than night. Hallelujah anyhow.