Boy in a Well is complex; it’s a manically conceived, historically situated, emotionally underscored, plot-driven fictive universe. It’s demented, unpredictable, taboo, ambitious, and yet distinctively cohesive.
Birmingham/Nashville group’s second full-length has one foot firmly planted in reality as the other tip-toes in and out of mental complexities, self-perception and altered-state illusions. The results are revealing, exhilarating and profound.
Rowdy punk rock insolence to the right, a bottle in a bag; organic three-chords-and-the-truth frankness to the left—one eye in the rearview mirror and one eye on the rough road ahead. Sidelong is a record that will make you sit up and take notice. This is a new voice for a new country.
Never a genre loyalist, 'ADIOS' finds Branan (much like his musically restless heroes Elvis Costello and Tom Waits) coloring outside the lines in sometimes jarring shades of fuzz and twang. You can trust Branan to take you somewhere unexpected.
At its core, Heart-Shaped Mountain is an album about love and growth. At a time when divisiveness fills the headlines, Ha Ha Tonka is fighting the good fight and building narrative tributes to friends and loved ones, memories past, and prospects of the future.
The Bad Testament lands somewhere west of the Old Testament and south of an AA handbook. It’s a record of hard-grinding lost love, blues and deep, dark Americana.
William Elliott Whitmore & Esmé Patterson are both critically acclaimed and beloved by their fans for their distinct voices and style of songcraft.
Slingin’ Rhythm is just right, a finely honed, day-in-the-life brand of juke joint rhythm sitting in the sweet spot of American music invention between country, hillbilly, jazz and western swing.
The many touchstones (a gamut stretching from The Beach Boys and The Boswell Sisters, to Trip Shakespeare and Dr. Dog) were gathered on the shores of late night AM radio and get tossed at the listener with a giddiness that jumps outta the grooves.
On I’m Glad Trouble Don’t Last Always, his fifth album and third for Bloodshot Records, Luke Winslow-King draws from a deep, dark creative well, turning heartbreak and divorce into an inspired soundtrack for picking up the pieces.
The album plays like the jukebox at the full service honky-tonk saloon, jazz club, Tin Pan Alley pitch house, and blues joint along the tracks. Get off at the Carrboro station.
Struggles between balance and outburst, infectious choruses fronting emotional torment are sung with a sneer, a spit, or a tenderness and openness that is both intensely personal and universally relatable. It is, as the title suggests, real.
Side A is a down home slice of Alabama jive, all syncopation and kazoo. It'll have you dancing around the bonfire, shoes off and your drink on...