Folk Best Sellers
Our best-selling folk titles!
'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.
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.
American Love Song finds Bingham honing his creativity on two distinct levels, the personal and the cultural. The record is co-produced with Charlie Sexton, the superb Austin guitarist who has played for years in Bob Dylan s touring band. American Love Song was recorded at Arlyn Studios and Public Hi-Fi in Austin with additional recording at Matter Music/Stella Sound in Los Angeles.
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.
Patty Griffin represents an extraordinary new chapter for this incomparable singer-songwriter and immediately stands among the most deeply personal recordings of her remarkable two-decade career. The album -- which follows 2015's GRAMMY Award-nominated Servant Of Love -- collects songs written during and in the aftermath of a profound personal crisis, several years in which she battled -- and ultimately defeated -- cancer just as a similar and equally insidious disease metastasized into the American body politic. Yet as always, like very few others, Griffin's power lies in how, as Holly Gleason in the Martha's Vineyard Gazette observed, ''her songs seem to freeze life and truth in amber.'' It's in how Griffin can express the strikingly intimate while never making it about herself, all wrapped in sparse arrangements that breathe an incomparable force and import into her songcraft.
In order to survive this long hot season of discontent, you gotta have something new to turn up and tune into! It's vital to chew down on stuff that's not just all negativity, you know? If you wanna stay positive, throw Ty Segall's ''Fried Shallots'' into your brain pan and flame on for a quick snack.
''Fried Shallots'' is a handful of numbers from different times and places over the past few years that all work together in a weird way. That's something that we should all be striving for: all working together in a weird way. For Ty, that requires rock with the gears shifting and stripping, tempos and tropes mashing up; a primal outburst, a quick-and-fuzzy soundtrack of rock, folk, r'n'b and pure power pop, to give us a chance to chill and do the new century twist for just a minute. That's good, for in twist we trust!
''Fried Shallots'' isn't simply just good fun. The profits from this release will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union, whose defense of our rights is badly needed now - especially in the face of the government pigs who don't care about the constitution and are determined to thin our herd so that they and their corporate sugar-daddys can grow ever fatter off the deprivations of the common man-clan! Don't you let 'em do it! Organizations like the ACLU help secure freedoms that allow individuals to stay individual in the face of the choking tides of oppression. Ty Segall's ''Fried Shallots'' is here to help us surf those tides and not be swept under.
Comprised of 11 new, original songs all written and produced by Citizen Cope - AKA Clarence Greenwood - Heroin & Helicopters marks a return to Cope s grassroots approach to musicianship, one that is colored by hard work, hustle and heart, irrespective of the obstacles he s encountered throughout his more than 25 years as a career artist. Citizen Cope came up with the title Heroin & Helicopters after an encounter with Carlos Santana, who has been a Citizen Cope fan since before their 2002 collaboration on his rework of the Cope song Sideways. Santana was at a Citizen Cope show at San Francisco's Fillmore when he told Cope to "stay away from the two H s - heroin and helicopters," saying both had fatal results for people in music. To Cope, the quote reflected a larger pattern in society - a metaphor for addiction and instant gratification, both themes that thread throughout the record. The album tackles Cope s personal struggles with religion, political manipulation, hollowness in the entertainment world, and spiritual enlightenment, as he contends with his own role in those societal institutions.
On Songs of Bob Dylan, Joan Osborne unleashes her sizable gifts as a vocalist and interpreter upon The Bard's celebrated canon. With performances honed by the time Osborne spent polishing them during 'Joan Osborne Sings The Songs Of Bob Dylan' two critically acclaimed two-week residencies she performed at New York City's Café Carlyle in March 2016 and 2017, the seven-time Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum-selling singer and songwriter, whom The New York Times has called 'a fiercely intelligent, no-nonsense singer,' winds her supple, soulful voice around Dylan's poetic, evocative lyrics, etching gleaming new facets in them along the way.