REVIEW: Clint Maul: Thrift Store Dress EP

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Clint Maul is back again with a new EP, five songs at about sixteen minutes. I for one am pretty stoked that this is out, everything Clint Maul has done so far has been gold and this is no exception. This might be my second favorite thing he’s put out so far. As far as the ‘band’ most of what comes through is an acoustic and steel guitar. Right now it’s just up for download over on his bandcamp page, so head on over there and get a copy, be sure to throw the man some money because this is one of the best pieces of country music to come out this year. I hope there are plans to put this sucker out on a 7” or something.

‘Three Kings’ A perfect intro song, exactly the type of thing I expect to hear when I hear Clint Maul. I think it sets the mood for the rest of the EP greatly too, a slow relaxing pace. Simple country band sounds coming through under Clint’s easy going vocals. It’s a whiskey sippin type of song.
‘Could You Please Drive Faster’ Reminds me a little more of big country of years ago. I would totally see Willy Nelson or Merle Haggard recording this song; needless to say it’s a great one.
‘Thrift Store Dress’ The title track, opens up already heavier sounding than the rest of the EP with a very bass backing. The middle of the EP is the perfect spot for this song because it’s a middle song; it’s still great but just not quite as great as some of the other songs on here.
‘Every Little Thing’ I’ve got a lot of favorite songs on this EP and this is just another one of them.This is a great example of why this is so good, song four, coming to the close and we’ve still got top quality hit after hit songs coming to you. This is the perfect song to listen to at night sitting on the front porch.
‘About You’ This is probably the song that you’re average alt-country fan will like, it really reminds me of something Lucero or Drag the River might do. It’s a great song, one of the best on the EP.

1. Three Kings
2. Could You Please Drive Faster
3. Thrift Store Dress
4. Every Little Thing
5. About You

Get it from Clint Maul HERE

REVIEW: 4H Royalty: Colossalalia

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Zach Boddicker, Andrew Porter, and Rob Beuhler come together to form Denver’s 4H Royalty, a refreshing new take on country music. In the land of alt-country and shitty popular country music 4H Royalty doesn’t quite fit into either category as you’d expect them do. There’s more of a rock sound into their music, but no where near enough to alienate the sound, this is still really good country. Some of these remind me of some of the popular Nashville sound that was coming out of the late 80′s, when things were starting to change-up but still pretty decent.  The very first thing I noticed about this CD when I got it was that the insert and inlay was all cut out from a case of PBR and hand written in marker, I already knew I was going to enjoy this. The first thing I noticed about the album when I popped it in was the great sound. I have no idea how much it cost to record but this thing sounds like a million bucks, it’s really impressive. Some people might actually be off put at first by the production value, but those people are the dumb ones, this is by no means just an over produced all sound and no substance thing. Here’s a rundown of a few songs, but trust me, any song not mentioned specifically isn’t bad, all thirteen songs are damn good and shouldn’t be passed over.

‘Rosenberg Family Band’ When I talked about that 80′s country sound this song might fit into that more than any other on the album.
‘Chinese Turquoise’ This just sounds like something you should be listening to with the windows down driving around on a hot summer day.
‘Rock & Roll Blowout’ This might be my favorite song on the album, so good.
‘The Breaks’ Seems like something you’d hear coming out of the jukebox in the classic smoke-filled, pool playin bar.
‘Tires in a Landfill’ A quick pick up in pace from the previous song ‘Rubber City Girl’ this one’s pretty fun.
‘Orbison Eyes’ Also a contender for best song on the album.
‘Walk of Shame’ A quick paced get stuck in your head song, you’ll listen to this one a lot.
‘You Didn’t Have to Do That’ A slow, real fucking good, song closes the album out. I will be looking forward to the next 4H Royalty album.

1. Rosenberg Family Band
2. Chinese Turquoise
3. Woo Girls
4. Rock & Roll Blowout
5. The Breaks
6. Rubber City Girl
7. Tires in a Landfill
8. Orbison Eyes
9. Scratch & Dent Man
10. What’s Too Dumb to Be Said
11. The Project
12. Walk of Shame
13. You Didn’t Have to Do That

REVIEW: Tim Barry: 28th & Stonewall

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Since putting Avail on the back burner Tim Barry has shifted his attention to country music. He’s put out album after album of great stuff. This is his third full length album and he continues to bring great country music to the masses. “Alt-country” seems to be the new wave of real country music as Nashville seems to be more interested in shitty pop country, and guys like Tim Barry seem to be happy to keep that old spirit alive. While I think this is his third best album out of the three it is by no means bad, he’s just put himself at a high standard already.

‘Thing of the Past’ The intro song, a great tune, exactly what you’d expect from Tim about living simple instead of worrying about everything material.
‘Bozeman’ Things slow way down with this one there’s a full band here but this could easily be an acoustic song and you wouldn’t notice a decline in the quality of the song at all.
‘Gabriel Intro’+’Prosser’s Gabriel’ This one is an acoustic piece about slavery, freedom, war. This one is great.
‘Walk 500 Miles’ Another acoustic song, about loneliness.
‘No BS warm up’ Some random trumpets and such warming up.
‘Will Travel’ Full band, piano, trumpets, everything, this song is sounds like a hobo music party, and that’s a high compliment from this guy.
‘Moving on Blue’ A somber piano song here, this one’s just a damn good song.
‘Downtown VCU’ The tempo picks back up here, this one would fit in perfectly on Tim’s first album. This is my favorite songs on the album, a workin man’s song.
‘Short G’Bye’ A great one about movin on, and trying to do what you can acoustics are a plenty here again.
’11/7′ This song is pretty depressing, but Tim still makes it a great song.
‘With Ease I Leave’ A slow country tune, you’d think the album is winding down to a slow end until…
‘Memento Mori’ The beat picks up here, this one is one of the best songs on the album too, Tim and a guitar with some hints of help from some other instruments in the background, very subtle.
‘Bus Driver’ A fun little song to close it up about callin it quits.

1. Thing of the Past
2. Bozeman
3. Gabriel Intro
4. Prosser’s Gabriel
5. Walk 500 Miles
6. No BS warm up
7. Will Travel
8. Moving on Blue
9. Downtown VCU
10. Short G’Bye
11. 11/7
12. With Ease I Leave
13. Memento Mori
14. Bus Driver

Get 28th & Stonewall from Amazon HERE

REVIEW: Joey Cape and Jon Snodgrass: Liverbirds

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Joey Cape is a pretty talented dude from the band Lagwagon. And Jon Snodgrass is a guy you might know from Armchair Martian, and Drag the River, he’s a favorite of mine. The two of them come together to bring us a split album. A lot of acoustic tracks being laid down, and a lot of it (all of it) is great stuff. I think this is some of the best stuff to date that Joey Cape has done, and Jon, he continues to pull it out being top quality as I’d expect. These two compliment each other really well on this record, if you’re a fan of either, or just of the acoustic/folk/country stuff you should be checking it out.

Joey Cape:
1. To All My Friends
2. Whipping Boy
3. Making Friends
4. Angry Days
5. Alien
Jon Snodgrass:
6. Break You Frame
7. Jessicas Suicide
8. Losing Everyone
9. Spiderman Wolfman
10. Mexican Song

REVIEW: Drag The River/Chris Wollard & The Ship Thieves: Split

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It’s been a little while but fear not, Drag the River is back and they’ve brought some friends for a split record. Four songs, two by Drag the River and two by Chris Wollard & The Ship Thieves. The first listen to this I thought Drag the River knocked it out of the park but wasn’t really feeling the Chris Wollard & The Ship Thieves stuff. Luckily I don’t listen to things just once, the second time around I realized how quick to judge I was as the middle of this record is almost as good as the bookends. The Drag the River songs are exactly what you’d expect, the band doing what they do best. The first song is a really slow-paced one, good for whiskey sippin. At the end of the record they’ve got a quicker paced song that’s pretty damn catchy. As for meat of this country sandwich Chris Wollard & The Ship Thieves brings some good folk sounding stuff, the first song is a pretty straight forward song, something like Johnny Cash was doing on his American albums. The second song Chris brings out is something more with an, oddly enough, Drag the River sound, somewhat ironically titled ‘A Way With Women’. This is a really great song. All around this is four great song you need to check out.

1. Drag The River: Maroon
2. Chris Wollard & The Ship Thieves: Together Cross The Happy River
3. Chris Wollard & The Ship Thieves: A Way With Women
4. Drag The River: No Exception

REVIEW: Austin Lucas: Somebody Loves You

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Suburban Home Records is at the alt-country game again with Austin Lucas’ “Somebody Loves You”. This album starts off really good, the first song is a solid country tune, unfortunately it quickly runs out of steam as the rest of the album is not as good as the album titled opener. Over all it’s a good country album but at times I find myself being bored with it. It shows Austin’s potential to write and preform great songs but I don’t think this is his best display of this talent.

1. Somebody Loves You
2. Singing Man
3. Resting Place
4. Shoulders
5. Wash My Sins Away
6. Fountain Of Youth
7. She Did
8. Life I’ve Got
9. Precious Little Heart
10. Go West
11. Farewell

Get Somebody Loves You from Amazon HERE

Weekly Band Profile: Tim Barry

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Name: Tim Barry
From: Richmond, Virginia
Web Site: http://www.timbarryrva.com/
Lifespan(musically): 1990-present
Genre: Folk, Country, alt-country
Best Release: Rivanna Junction
Releases:
Tim Barry/Frank Turner
Tim Barry    Live at Munford Elementary
Laurel Street Demo
Rivanna Junction
Manchester
28th & Stonewall
Info:
Tim Barry, known to most in the punk rock community from hardcore band Avail. Well after a while Tim stopped doing Avail and started doing his own thing. His own thing it turns out is very very different from his former band. Tim brings his guitar and busts out some country folk tunes for us to enjoy, and he seems like he’s enjoying it as well. He’s got three solid album releases under his belt, a demo you can still get pretty easy a split with Frank Turner and a great live 7″ from an elementary school. If you’re into any of the folk country stuff that seems to be floating around now a days you have to check this guy’s out, it’s some of the best around.

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