Tag Archives: Country

Introducing…Dirtwire

Dirtwire, the Bay Area-based electro-acoustic duo of David Satori (Beats Antique) and Evan Fraser (Hamsa Lila, Stellamara), have just released their new EP, The Carrier, which is out now. Dirtwire’s self-described “…back porch Electro-cana” style is sure to inspire everyone from electronic dance gurus to traditional world and roots music toe-tappers. Their new EP will surely not disappoint.

The duo, which recently kicked off their West Coast tour are hitting up Denver, Seattle, Portland, Eugene, Arcata, Colusa, Sebastopol, Oakland and Sacramento in support of the release.  Full details at thecarrier.dirtwire.net.

Their infectious performances feature both live instrumentation and electronic production. David Satori recently chatted with The Grateful Web about Dirwire’s dedication to using rare and seldom heard (at least to Western ears) instruments such as the Turkish jimbush and the Zimbabwean mbira fused with more familiar elements such as the piano and slide guitar. Two tracks from the new EP, Damn Rooster and The Well (featuring Rising Appalachia), have already garnered a combined 66,000 streams on Soundcloud. The Well touches on water conservation and the proliferation of drought, an important problem in their home state of California and continues in the long tradition of music as a tool to draw awareness to social and environmental issues. The Well is available for free download at thecarrier.dirtwire.net.

Dirtwire’s Fraser and Satori, both talented multi-instrumentalists, belong to the Bay Area’s luminescently vibrant electronic world music and dance community in many ways. Satori co-founded Beats Antique, a performance/music group, which has risen to tremendous popularity through festivals such as Burning Man. Fraser performs with global groove-infused bands Hamsa Lila and Stellamara. The duo met while studying world music composition at the California Institute of the Arts and released their first recording as Dirtwire in 2012.

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Immigrant Union Go On Tour In Support Of New Album, Anyway, To Be Released This Month

Australia’s Immigrant Union will embark on a cross-country tour of the United States this fall in support of their second full-length, Anyway, to be released on 23 September. With a psychedelic folk sound that frontman Brent DeBoer describes as: “…spiritualised being baptised in a river of Creedence Clearwater,” Immigrant Union will play several major American cities in October and November, highlighted by an appearance at The Americana Music Festival this week on 18 September.

In anticipation of the tour, the band is offering their new single, The End Has Come, as a free download which has also premiered exclusively on Hellhound Music. The End Has Come features Courtney Barnett, the singer/songwriter who Rolling Stone called a “…hybrid of Kimya Dawson and Kurt Cobain” and will be available to those who join Immigrant Union’s mailing list via the band’s official website.

According to the music blog The Sound of Confusion, Immigrant Union feature “…lighthearted and occasionally witty lyrics and you can tell that all involved are experienced musicians.” Dubbed “…something of a supergroup,” Immigrant Union consist of DeBoer from The Dandy Warhols, Bob Harrow from The Lazy Sons and four other well-known players on the Melbourne scene. The band recorded their self-titled full-length debut album with producer Gregg Williams (Sheryl Crow, The Dandy Warhols, Blitzen Trapper).

It was the summer of 2004 when Brent DeBoer of The Dandy Warhols was killing some time in Australia and had a chance meeting with Melbourne’s Bob Harrow. This initial exchange led to a spontaneous trip to the country and an all-night session. The friendship grew.

DeBoer and Harrow soon recruited the talented vocalist and keyboardist, Peter Lubulwa, and the band quickly planted its roots in alt-country-folk, bound by a communal love for classic rock and roll. Part psychedelic folk, part traditional country rock, Immigrant Union have since built their name through stellar live performances at some of the Australia’s most iconic venues and boutique festivals.

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Introducing…Rachel Dawick

Kiwi songwriter Rachel Dawick is pleased to announce the release of her new single, Biddy of the Buller, from her forthcoming double album The Boundary Riders.
 The new lively country single Biddy of the Buller takes the listener on a visual journey through the life of goldminer Bridget Goodwin as she sits smoking her clay pipe confessing her past sins.

Recorded live in Katikati with Paul Hoggard, the single features Rachel Dawickon vocals and guitar, Jon Sanders on ukelele, Andy Laking on Double Bass, Dave Khan on violin and Chris Koole on percussion.

Rachel Dawick

Rachel Dawick

Rachel said: “Biddy of the Buller, that is Bridget Goodwin, is one of the six women who lived in NZ in the 1800s whose journeys are followed through the course of the show album. Biddy was a four-foot, pipe smoking goldminer who lived with two men in a shack near Lyell along the Buller River. She was a tough character working and living alongside two men in water up to her hips, panning for gold every day. She defied the notion of what a woman in Victorian society should be like trying to survive in a newly settled colony in a man’s world. She was a generous, whisky loving, hard working, Irish born woman whose way of life helped paved the way for women in NZ to gain the vote on the 19 September in 1893.”

The forthcoming double album The Boundary Riders and the accompanying 52 page book is a collection of musical tales told through the perspective of a woman following her own journey discovering these hidden voices and bringing their remarkable lives into the public eye.

The release is celebrated with a free presentation of the journey at Auckland’s Central City Library on September 19 at 5.30pm and followed by the premiere performance of The Boundary Riders Show with full band at The Vic Theatre in Devonport on the 2 October as part of the Auckland Heritage Festival.  Tickets $25/20 are available to purchase at www.thevic.co.nz.

The single Biddy of the Buller is available now via Amplifier, Bandcamp and iTunes.

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Introducing…Jane Allison

Welsh singer songwriter and actress Jane Allison Stanness (Nighty Night/Hunderby) is releasing her debut solo Americana album Just Another Girl under the name Jane Allison.

Jane Allison Just Another Girl

Jane Allison Just Another Girl album artwork

Written in Berlin in 2011 while Jane was living there amidst the soft lit, subterranean, demiurgic world of artists, misfits and poets, the record was recorded and produced in 2013 by Alonza Bevan at Kula Shakers studio’s deep in the heart of the Ardennes in Belgium. It was finished off with some sweet country, bar room licks in hub of Bristol’s Country roots scene by Mark Legassick (Howlin Lord) and Country Dave Caven with the help of Stew Jackson (producer Massive Attack).

Just Another Girl has a down home Country vibe, coloured with a flavour of Jane’s childhood influences such as Young, Cohen and Baez. Telling tales of secrets, passion, longing, loss and redemption her songs and voice alike betray substance, thoughtfulness and vulnerability delivered with an authenticity that is captivating and memorable.

A couple of tracks off the album have already had some radio airplay in the USA as well as in the UK and Berlin.

Just Another Girl is due for release Sept 6 as a CD and a digital download.

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Introducing…Immigrant Union

Immigrant Union have recently announced the first single and video from their second full-length, Anyway. The video for the new single, I Can’t Return, was directed by Mike Bruce (Noel Gallagher, Black Mountain, Paul McCartney) and stars Omar Doom (Inglorious Bastards) and Carolyn Stotesbery (Love and Mercy).

Featuring a psychedelic folk sound that front man Brent DeBoer describes as: “Spiritualised being baptised in a warm bath of Creedence Clearwater,” Melbourne’s Immigrant Union hit the national spotlight in 2011 with their acclaimed rendition of Rose Tattoo’s, Bad Boy For Love, on Adam Hills Tonight on ABC TV. The performance occurred just before the band travelled to Portland, Oregon to record their self-titled full-length debut album with producer Gregg Williams (Sheryl Crow, The Dandy Warhols, Blitzen Trapper).

Forged through a chance drunken meeting between DeBoer and Harrow, their shared love of music led to a trip to the country and an all night jam, solidifying a friendship that would form the basis of Immigrant Union. Immigrant Union have already put out a self-titled debut album and will follow it with Anyway later in 2014. Part psychedelic folk, part traditional country rock, Immigrant Union have been building their name through stellar live performances at some of the country’s most iconic venues and boutique festivals.

Director Mike Bruce was eager to work on the video for I Can’t Return. According to Bruce, when DeBoer approached him to make the video, he jumped at the opportunity: “I’m always excited to work with such talented people as Mr. DeBoer. When I heard I Can’t Return, I knew I had to deliver a video worthy of the song.” He and DeBoer thought of several scenarios that represent points of no return but eventually settled on the dark premise seen in I Can’t Return. The video tells the tale of a man who discovers his girlfriend is cheating on him when he accidentally finds incriminating pictures on her phone. His response is to take her on a small plane, fly her to a proper cruising altitude and then jump out of the plane – a suicidal leap that leaves his girlfriend at the helm, powerless and paralysed by fear. Bruce explains the thinking behind the final scene: “It’s really just a morbid fantasy we sometimes have when we’re in a bad situation that there seems to be no escape from. This guy decides, fuck it – if I jump out of this plane, there’s no way I can go back.”

According to Bruce, picking Omar Doom for the role of the emotional ninja was a no-brainer: “Like DeBoer, Omar is a friend and just one of those guys that has this effortless “cool” about him. He also did everything I asked of him which was a lot and I have a lot of respect for actors who are willing to do whatever it takes to get what is needed. I literally put him through the ropes and he never complained.” Doom explains why he was eager to star in the I Can’t Return video: “After years of being a devoted fan of The Dandy Warhols, I was thrilled when I was approached to act in a music video for Brent DeBoer’s side project, Immigrant Union.”

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Brent Amaker And The Rodeo Release Video For Country Sky

It’s unlike Brent Amaker and the Rodeo to follow up a full length LP with another release so soon but the way the new tracks came together for the new Country Sky EP, it was clear that the band had struck a distinct, more reflective chord from the tracks on previous release, Year of the Dragon. This couldn’t be more evident than in the brand new video for the song Country Sky which features Amaker in a dreamlike backdrop of karaoke. The video premiered this week with PopMatters.

The original version of the song was featured on Year of the Dragon but the video version is a reworking with some subtle flourishes thanks to Portland-based producer Jeff Saltzman (known for his work with Stephen Malkmus, Dolorean, Death Cab for Cutie and Menomena). Saltzman had previously worked with the band on their Please Stand By album from 2010 and his returning to the Rodeo fold meant giving the new batch of songs his magic touch. Brent and company celebrated the new release at Neumos last month as the venue celebrated their anniversary. The Rodeo joined the the likes of The Thermals, The Posies, Telekenesis and others as headliners.

Additionally, Brent Amaker has announced the 50th Birthday Gala bash to celebrate the very special occasion of his own 50th birthday and has put together quite the festive line up of guests. On April 25, Brent Amaker and the Rodeo will headline a night at The Triple Door in Seattle that features a live set from The Comettes and DJ Greg Vandy as well as a free after party featuring DJ Voxie (aka Vox Mod). Perhaps the latter is an incidation of things to come between Vox Mod and Brent Amaker. Time will only tell. Advance tickets are now on sale for the event.

The Country Sky EP is out now on Fin Records. MTV Hive had premiered the song Country Sky over the summer and you can check it out here on Soundcloud too.

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Brent Amaker And The Rodeo – Country Sky EP Review

It’s unlike Brent Amaker and the Rodeo to follow up a full length LP with another release so soon but the way the new tracks came together for the upcoming Country Sky EP, it was clear that the band had struck a distinct, more reflective chord from the tracks on Year of the Dragon released last year.

Portland-based producer Jeff Saltzman (known for his work with Stephen Malkmus, Dolorean, Death Cab for Cutie and Menomena), who has previously worked with the band on their Please Stand By album from 2010, returns to the fold to give the new batch of songs his magic touch.

While he was at it, he crafted a brand new version of the single Country Sky from Year of the Dragon which acts as a fitting thematic anchor for the rest of the songs on the new EP.

The Country Sky EP has been announced for a January 21 release date on Fin Records. The new EP strikes a more contemplative tone from Brent Amaker and the Rodeo’s previous work, matched by the epic artwork.  It’s apparent that after many years of touring, the band has arrived at a place where the music matches the reputation.

The Country Sky EP contains five tracks all of which ooze the essence of country rock and roll. The EP starts with the Country Sky alternate version which has a danceable walking bass line and guitar riff. It won’t fail to get your feet tapping even despite Amaker’s low almost unenthusiastic vocals.

Track two Tomorrow features vocals from Rachael Ferguson from the Seattle female locomotive punk band NighTraiN. This extra voice helps to uncover a much softer side to Brent Amaker and the Rodeo. The guitar riffs and drum beat produces a happy, bouncy feeling to the song while Ferguson’s vocals carry a very feminine quality throughout the song. There’s an amazing piano solo using jazz and country influences making it an interesting blend that works really well. It’s good to hear a piano solo instead of another guitar solo.

Josephine sees the acoustic rhythm guitar alongside Amaker’s deep vocals introduce a darker side to the EP. This song has less of an upbeat feel to it but the lyrics are captivating, “Josephine/Skin was soft like silk/Seduction was her power/Gave herself to men/Charged them by the hour.” It’s a song about a prostitute that a man falls madly in love with even though he knows it’s dangerous. It speaks of passion, lust and ultimately the thrill of danger.

Top Of The Food Chain sees Brent Amaker and the Rodeo return to their new found uplifting sound. This track is very country rock and roll inspired with slight hints of Johnny Cash being heard in the vocals and recording techniques used on the vocals.

Good To Be Home ends the new EP on a reflective note which suits the overall feeling of the record perfectly. It has that very 50s rock and roll introduction with the acoustic rhythm guitar and electric guitar using blues notes and scales. The lyrics, “Stop…And look around/Add up what I’ve got/Put my ear to the ground/This I must confess/Home is just the best/My mistress is the road and it’s good to be home” sum up the theme behind this song – it’s all about reflecting on what you have and not focusing on what you lack. It’s appreciating the home you have even if sometimes you’d prefer to be a million miles away. This song ends the EP with an uplifting message.

Country Sky EP will be released on January 21 on Fin Records.

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