September 23, 2015

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Music Spotlight: Jason Isbell

Jason Isbell is a folk/americana/country singer and songwriter from Northern Alabama.  Isbell's sound is truly classic- a gritty voice coupled with a shower of meaningful lyrics.  NPR's Jason Heller's review of Isbell's music provides a glimpse into the creative mind of the artist: 

"Isbell's music, without a doubt, is steeped in the more simmering sounds of Americana, from country to soul to Southern rock. Still, it reaches far beyond the confines of his homeland and yearns for a more universally emotional connection."

My favorite songs include Something More Than Free, 24 Frames, & Traveling Alone. 

You can follow Jason Isbell on Twitter @JasonIsbell.  His music is available here.

Hogjim is a small business specializing in innovative guitar gear.  To check out some of their products, click here.

September 16, 2015

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Music Spotlight: Spirit Family Reunion

Spirit Family Reunion is an Americana-based band from Brooklyn, New York.  It's easy to fall into rhythm with this band when your listen to their sound.  The band puts together this collective feel that radiates with color with each note.  This is especially evident at their live shows, as Ann Powers noted in a recent NPR article

"These Brooklyn-based musicians have called what they do "open-door gospel," and indeed, at their shows they fling open the imaginary barrier between players and listeners, entreating the crowd to shout, sing and dance right up to the stage. The band tends to sing in a circle, like the Sacred Harp choirs who meet in church halls across rural parts of the nation, raising praise for each other in glorious intimacy. The members of Spirit Family Reunion have chops to spare, but they aren't here to show off. They're here to connect."

Rolling Stone had similar praise for the band: 

"They fit in seemingly everywhere, and have an impressively varied roster of festival appearances under their belt to prove it, culminating with Austin City Limits Festival next month. Chalk it up to an undeniable onstage energy, which infuses barnburners like "Put Your Hands Together When You Spin the Wheel" and "Wake Up Rounder" with a ramshackle charm. It's addictive stuff — and will make even the most flat-footed bust a move."

My favorite songs include It Does Not Bother Me, I Am Following The Sound, Once Again, & I'll Find A Way. 

 

You can follow Spirit Family Reunion on Twitter @spiritfam.  Their music, including their April 2015 album release, Hands Together, is available here.

Hogjim is a small business specializing in innovative guitar gear.  To check out some of their products, click here.

September 08, 2015

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Music Spotlight: Gregory Alan Isakov

Gregory Alan Isakov is a folk musician born in Johannesburg, South Africa, now residing in Colorado.  His music is folk to the bone, his tone is a gorgeous constant, and his music floats from note to note with incredible delicacy.  The talent is there, and the music produced mirrors that.

Often noted for his impressive lyric writing ability, Isakov has this to say: 

“My songs have nothing to do with me; they have a life of their own. A lot of times I won’t know what a song is about when I’m writing it. It just has a certain feeling about it.”

My favorite songs include The Stable Song, Time Will Tell, Saint Valentine, Amsterdam, & That Sea the Gambler. 

You can follow Gregory Alan Isakov on Twitter @GregoryAIsakov.  His music is available here

Hogjim is a small business specializing in innovative guitar gear.  To check out some of their products, click here.

August 25, 2015

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Music Spotlight: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats are a band from Denver, CO.  Recently featured on the Tonight Show, the band is comprised of seven members (including an organist and horn section), led by the gritty, gospel voice of Nathaniel Rateliff.  NPR's Jason Heller's recent review of Rateliff and the band's Tonight Show performance describes perfectly what attracts many people to this folk/americana/soul collection:

"The born-again spirit of vintage soul music poured out of the man [Rateliff], measurable mostly in gallons.  Then he danced.  His message? Simple: He preached the gospel of bacchanalian abandon.  The stage was his pulpit, and from it he thundered."

For the most part, the music climate is one that looks for unique voices to sing mainstream songs suited for the radio.  With Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, the uniqueness pours not only from Rateliff's outstanding vocals, but from the six other band members (Joseph Pope III, Patrick Meese, Luke Mossman, Mark Shusterman, Wesley Watkins, & Andy Wild)- each of whom provide an aspect to the band that adds a synergically beautiful quality to the music.  

My favorite songs include Howling at Nothing, Shake, Thank You, & S.O.B. 

You can follow Nathaniel Rateliff on Twitter @NRateliff.  Their music is available here

Hogjim is a small business specializing in innovative guitar gear.  To check out some of their products, click here.

August 19, 2015

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Music Spotlight: Mandolin Orange

Mandolin Orange is Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz, a duo country/folk/bluegrass band from Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  The melodies forged by the duo are subtle and throughly enjoyable.  David Menconi expressed this wonderfully in his recent article on the band: 

"Marlin’s drawl rolls along at an easy-going amble, punctuated by a touch more insistence from Frantz. Distinct as their voices are, they still intertwine beautifully when they harmonize."

I love the way the various string instruments lay softly behind the melodies of Marlin and Frantz, as the lyrics dance beautifully from note to note.  My favorite songs include There Was A TimeOld Ties and Companions, Daylight, and Waltz About Whiskey. 

You can follow Mandolin Orange on Twitter @Mandolin_Orange.  Their music is available here

Hogjim is a small business specializing in innovative guitar gear.  To check out some of their products, click here.

August 11, 2015

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Music Spotlight: American Aquarium

American Aquarium is alternative/country/indie band hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina.  The band reminds me of Houndmouth, with overtones of Whiskeytown present.  American Aquarium released their sixth original album, Wolves, in February of 2015.  In Eric Swedlund's review of the Wolves album for Paste Magazine, he begins with a perfect summation of the band's identity: 

"At one end of American Aquarium’s music is the beckoning call of the road, the neon excitement of nightclubs and bars, the urgency of rock ‘n’ roll, a life unbound and free.  At the other end is home, an inescapable identity forged by bloodlines and place, those unwavering roots set deep and sturdy."

My favorite songs include Wolves, Jacksonville, & Hurricane. 

You can follow American Aquarium on Twitter @USAquarium.  Their music is available here

Hogjim is a small business specializing in innovative guitar gear. To check out some of their products, click here.

August 03, 2015

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Music Spotlight: Charlie Worsham

Charlie Worsham is a country artist originating from Grenada, Mississippi, now residing in Nashville, Tennessee.  An artist with incredible talent and a bright future, Worsham's debut album 'Rubberband' is tailored towards modern country.  Worsham will soon get in the studio to record his sophomore album, but will wait until he can record the entire album all at once- citing artistic value.  Worsham said when the album is released, it will be autobiographical and document life moments that range from becoming an adult as an only child to reclaiming his self-assurance in his talent.

"As a ridiculously talented multi-instrumentalist and student of great songs, he's developed a unique modern country sound built around the traditional acoustic instruments he grew up on." - CMT Artists

My favorite songs include Could It Be, Someone Like Me, & Mississippi in July.

 You can follow Charlie Worsham on Twitter @charlieworsham.  His music is available here

Hogjim is a small business specializing in innovative guitar gear. To check out some of their products, click here.

 

July 23, 2015

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Music Spotlight: Sturgill Simpson

Sturgill Simpson is a country artist born in Kentucky, now residing in Nashville, TN.  The best introduction to Sturgill Simpson and his music is laid out in the opening of a recent Kansas City Star article

"Sturgill Simpson has a voice and a songwriting style that evoke other eras of country music, but he’s much more than a revivalist and a re-enactor. He’s an artist who applies his own flavors and flair to several country traditions, and the results have made Simpson something of a cult hero." 

Simpson's outstanding songwriting and ability to craft country music in a unique, yet traditional way has garnered applause all over the United States.  Kevin Coffey of the Omaha World-Herald had some very high praise for Simpson: 

"Simpson has maybe the greatest voice in country - it can lull you in a love song or shake down walls - and hands that sizzle up and down the fretboard."

The praise doesn't stop there for Sturgill Simpson.  Simpson was recently mentioned on ESPN's The Russillo Show by Max Bretos, as an artist he enjoys listening to. 

Sturgill Simpson's music is something that truly represents the culture in Nashville, Tennessee- rooted, yet refreshingly unique.  My favorite songs include Turtles All the Way Down, You Can Have The Crown, Living the Dream, & Some Days. 



You can follow Sturgill Simpson on Twitter @SturgillSimpson.  His music is available here

Hogjim is a small business specializing in innovative guitar gear. To check out some of their products, click here.

July 15, 2015

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Music Spotlight: Striking Matches

The Striking Matches are a folk/americana/country duo out of Nashville, TN.  Their debut album, Nothing but the Silence was released in March of this year.  Most often compared to the boy/girl duo of The Civil Wars, the duo that comprises the Striking Matches bring incredible guitar play, outstanding song writing, and beautiful vocal harmonies.  Helen Brown of The Telegraph shares a similar sentiment: 

"Imagine a noisier version of The Civil Wars: squaring up and trading electric licks before coiling their voices together in sweet harmony."

My favorite songs include Trouble Is As Trouble Does, Nothing But The Silence, & Make A Liar Out Of Me. 

You can follow Striking Matches on Twitter @strikingmatches.  Their music is available here

Hogjim is a small business specializing in innovative guitar gear. To check out some of their products, click here.

July 07, 2015

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Music Spotlight: Houndmouth

Houndmouth is an americana/indie/folk band from New Albany, Indiana.  What I love about this band is the old school feel they bring to a new school musical world.  Their sound reminds me of The Strokes meets The Format.  Dave Simpson from The Guardian executes a similar sentiment

"Legend has it that when Rough Trade’s Geoff Travis first saw Indiana quartet Houndmouth at the SXSW festival, he offered them a deal on the spot. It’s easy to hear why: their songs are instantly euphoric. Exuberant opener Sedona sets the tone for this second album, matching the giddy, ethereal atmosphere of early Fleet Foxes with a killer Strokes riff and an invitation to “hop on in, in a stagecoach, baby, gonna take you for a spin.”

My favorite songs include Sedona, Penitentiary, Black Gold, & On The Road.  It is easy to fall in love with the unique yet familiar sound that Houndmouth produces.  The stellar harmonies, the raw emotion, and the classic feel all contribute to an incredible musical creation.  Houndmouth's music isn't a product- it's art.  That alone is hard to find in today's music culture. 

You can follow Houndmouth on Twitter @Houndmouth.  Their music is available here

Hogjim is a small business specializing in innovative guitar gear. To check out some of their products, click here.