Friday
Oct082010

Tim O'Connell 'It's My Song Dammit' Tall Man  

The title refers to the fact that O'Connell wrote a song he wrote was recorded by Johnny Cash but only got a release on the Unearthed box set. Rick Rubin commented that it was a song that Johnny Cash had brought in but didn't know who wrote it, Rubin felt it summed up Cash. That song A Singer Of Songs is not included here instead we get ten new songs that range from acoustic styled country to the full bluesy rock riffing of Little Radio, a song that sums up O'Connell approach to life, family and music. About finding his love for music on a little radio and about finding something you love to do. Other songs run from the uptempo upfront Thank You For Being A Friend to the duet with Jill Walsh on Talkin' About Love, a theme that permiates the album with other titles like This Must Be Love, Without You and There's Nothing You Can Do. There's a soulful track That Rightous Road that features the Vanderbilt University's Voices of Praise

Gospel Choir that is another uplifting song. O'Connell produced the album with P.G. Banker in Nashville but other than that there are no musician details. Overall O'Connell has a warm and expressive voice the music is a mix of rootish music, mainly uptempo with a full band and is a good listen that will please many with it's positive attitude and catchy song craft.

Friday
Oct082010

Mark Wayne Glasmire 'Life Goes On' Traceway Music

A singer songwriter who plays music that hints of 70's crossover country/folk storytelling that was epitomized by the likes of John Denver or Dan Fogelberg. In other words gentle, easy listening tales that are melodic and musical. It's produced by Glasmire and John Albani in Nashville and features a selection of players including Wanda Vick who brings a folky, bluegrass element to the easy-on-the-ear proceedings. On occasions the song take on a harder theme as on Everything Is Gonna Be Alright a song that deals with job loss and a father's protective title mantra to his worried family, but one that turns out to have a positive message. Positivity is a key element of the music on offer here, an undemanding, life-affirming set of songs that would find favour with many who were fans of the aforementioned Denver and Fogelberg's style of music. Glasmire does what he does well but some of us may be looking for something with a harder edge and deeper roots but there are many others looking for the kind of lighter relief that Mark Wayne Glasmire so obviously delivers with style. 

Friday
Oct082010

Lynn Miles 'Black Flowers (volumes 1-2)' True North

The convincing voice and the strong sons of Lynn Miles are the core of this album which features Miles accompanied only by her guitar or her piano playing on a set of new and old songs delivered in their rawest and purest setting highlighting the songs in the fashion that they were, doubtless, first conceived and played. The effect is that of listening to Miles in an intimate setting and hearing the songs in that light. There are 20 songs featured on the two CD which makes it a pleasurable listen for those acquainted with her music or those who like their songs of love, life and location straight up. Otherwise it may be a little too much for new listeners who may find any of her previous, well received and fuller sounding albums a better place to start but either way these songs testify to Miles' talent and her take on human traits. wwwlynnmilesmusic.com

Friday
Oct082010

Emil Friis 'The Road To Nashville' Southern Imperial

This Danish artist is releasing his third album of Americana styled original songs. The album opens with a voice and piano track that is, in truth non to enticing, but starts proper with the title track a compelling song that features some mariachi styled trumpet that adds much to the atmosphere. Recorded in a studio in southern Sweden over a two-day period which results in a lose and effective mood across the entire album. The overall sound might be described, loosely as David Gray singing alt-country, but that only gives a superficial idea of his music. Friis has produced the album with a tight set of like-minded musicians who give Friis' self-written songs the depth they require. This could easily have emerged from the USA, or even from the fringes of the city of the title track. Friis writes and sings in English and if you weren't aware you not know that this was not his native language. But that the language of roots American music is pretty universal and travels well as evidenced here. It is a strong and intriguing album that makes you want to hear Friis' earlier efforts but this, by all accounts is a looser more soulful take on the music he makes a perfect introduction to his muse. www.myspace.com/emilfriis

Friday
Oct082010

Mark Bates 'Down The Narrow' Self-release

That Bates only cover here is a version of Townes van Zandt says a lot about his aspirations and intentions. It's a pretty good interpretation too. His own songs are good too. That he has the talent Duke Levine on board suggest that Levine thinks so too. Bates posses a voice that does his songs justice and a way with words. His songs as delivered can loosely be described as Americana and beyond. Some of the songs make hard choices. Go On is about leaving while the final track Death Sucks is fairly self explanatory. But the song itself is delivered with not a little humour and a little touch of New Orleans. Other songs start for an equally downbeat premise but are delivered with some panache. A Drunkard's Holiday would be one such song. The other songs are equally full of nuances and angles. The playing and production are, throughout, a perfect match for bates singular take on life. Shotgun With The Devil has a banjo to give the songs a certain mood while the songs expands and illuminates the unsettling nature of the song. Down The Narrow is an album of fairly wide open music and an one that is a strong listening experience for those with a broader view of roots music but one worth the effort to discover. Judging from this I begin to wonder if he's any relation to Norman. myspace.com/markbatesmusic