Review: Bluegrass at the Roots by Lily Brothers and Don Stover

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Apr 272005
 

A Smithsonian Folkways reissue of a 1961 record from The Lilly Brothers. According to the liner notes, most bluegrass artists of the day were adapting their bluegrass music styles to the emerging trends in country music in order to stay commercially viable. The Lilly Brothers, on the other hand, stayed true to the old style bluegrass sound. The songs are very very old and the style is deep hillbilly. It’s nice to hear music this primitive performed in such a sincere spirit and I like the fact that the Lilly Brothers focus on the songs rather showing off their banjo picking virtuosity like so many bluegrass performers do.

Taproot Tracks:

Track Number / Title / Notes

3 / Forgotten Soldier Boy / about abandoned soldiers of WW1. Timely.
8 / Hide you in the blood /(of Jesus) / The don’t write gospel like this anymore.
13 / John Hardy / my favorite banjo riffs on the CD. Not complicated but unusual banjo chords.

Review: Rough Guide To Bottleneck Blues

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Apr 262005
 
Rough Guide To Bottleneck Blues
Rough Guide To Bottleneck Blues,
originally uploaded by cspowers.

“Bottleneck blues” refers to the technique of playing the guitar in “open chord” mode and sliding a bottle, steel cylinder or bone up and down the fretting. This was a popular style in the early days of blues as the guitar was starting to replace the banjo because it was easier for the performer to learn. He/she could play this way and be making music before learning chording. It’s kind of a poor theme for a Rough Guide CD, but think of this CD as a good sampler of very old, very deep Delta Blues. It’s tough to pick one track over another. Everyone should play some old school blues every once in a while and this CD has a good collection. Also, there are some instrumentals on here that would make good background music.

Taproot Tracks:

Track Number / Title / Notes
10 / I Be’s Troubled – Muddy Waters
3 / God Moves On The Wate / Blind Willie Johnson
4 / Falling Down Blues / Furry Lewis
1 / Guitar Rag / Instrumental
12 / St. Louis Blues / Instrumental Buy online links here

Play List: April 16, 2005

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Apr 172005
 

*** = show highlight
Hour 1
Song / Artist / Title / Time
Do 4 U / Gourds / Blood Of The Ram / 3:54
Going To The Country / Steve Miller Band / Number 5 / 3:47
Leavin’ On My Mind / Hacienda Brothers / Hacienda Brothers / 2:43
***Ten Days / Jon Shain / Home Before Long / 4:04
Record Lady / Lyle Lovett / I Love Everybody / 4:11
***Almost Fed Up With The Blues / John Hiatt & The Goners / Beneath This Gruff Exterior / 4:37
Thirteen Women / Bill Haley & His Comets / The Best of Bill Haley & His Comets / 2:54
Trouble Trouble / Choosy Beggars / Bring It Back Alive / 2:51
The River / The Waifs / Shelter Me / 3:20
***Lune De Minuit / The Bluerunners / Honey Slides / 3:20
Rio Grande / Dave Alvin / Ashgrove / 4:25
If I Left You / Kelly Willis / Easy / 3:09
Morning Train / Precious Bryant / The Truth / 2:41
I Gotta Get Drunk / Willie Nelson / Crazy: The Demo Sessions / 1:40
Tennessee Square / Whiskeytown / Whiskeytown: Faithless Street [Reissue] / 2:49

Hour 2
Song / Artist / Title / Time
Down The Road Tonight / Hayes Carll / Little Rock / 3:38
Memories Are Made Of This / Johnny Cash / Unchained / 2:19
You’ve Taken Me Places I Wish I’ve Never Been / Heather Myles / Highways & Honky Tonks / 2:22
Round Eye Blues / Marah / Kids in Philly / 4:11
***Sweet Jane / The Nerve / www.the-nerve.com / 6:49
Something Big / Tom Petty / Hard Promises / 4:44
Sink Hole / Drive-By Truckers / Decoration Day / 3:26
***Back To Me / Kathleen Edwards / Back To Me / 3:30
Spit On A Stranger / Nickel Creek / This Side / 2:34
Volcano / Damien Rice / KGSR Broadcasts Volume 12 / 4:42
***Drivin’ Wheel / Ray Wylie Hubbard / Delirium Tremolos / 6:44
I Feel Like Drinkin’ Today / Tommy Alverson / Heroes And Friends / 5:31

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Review: Make It Through This World by Greg Trooper

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Apr 122005
 

When I saw the cover art of this CD I thought, “Oh God, Not Another Sensitive Singer/Songwriter type.” But I keep playing this CD over and over. Yes, this is a singer/songwriter focused CD and for good reason. This guy can write great lyrics and his songs have been picked up by lots of big names in the country scene, including Steve Earle and Vince Gill. But he doesn’t sing mopey songs with boring music. These are easy going, kinda mellow, foot tapping songs with catchy refrains and refreshingly upbeat lyrics. Think Van Morrison but more twangy. Think Lyle Lovett but less jazzy. A strong CD from beginning to end.

Taproot Tracks:

Track Number / Title / Notes
1 / Dream Away These Blues / electric guitar based rock with gospel undertones
5 / Don’t Let It Go To Waste / most country song with fan-damn-tastic lyrics
2 / This I’d Do / Nice harmonies
3 / Green Eyed Girl / A traveling song, kinda feels like a Grateful Dead song musically
7 / I Love It When She Lies / Feels like a texas hill country song

Play List: April 9, 2005

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Apr 102005
 

*** = show highlight
Hour 1
Song / Artist / Title / Time
Can’t It Be Me / Forty Twenty / Sober And Stupid / 4:28
Waiting For Somebody / Kristie Stremel / Here Comes The Light / 3:06
Beautiful Dawn / The Wailin’ Jennys / 40 Days / 3:21
Worried Messanger / Jon Shain / No Tag, No Tail Light / 4:00
Oh Lonesome Me / Anna Fermin’s Trigger Gospel / Down To The Promised Land, Disc 1: 5 Years Of Bloodshot Records / 4:49
One More Dollar / Gillian Welch / Revival / 4:34
Reconsider Me / Johnny Adams / Night Train to Nashville (Disc 2) / 3:50
*** The Mercenary Song (3:01) / Cory Morrow / The Cory Morrow Band / 3:00
Fast As I Can / James McMurtry / No Song No Supper / 5:18
I See You Clearly / Navigators / Glory, Glory / 4:17
High Heel Sneakers / Cary Hudson / The Phoenix / 3:57
*** Your Sister Cried / Mary Gauthier / Mercy Now / 5:00
Earthmover / Southern Culture On The Skids / Plastic Seat Sweat / 3:05

Hour 2
Song / Artist / Title / Time
It’s The Whiskey That Eases The Pain / Darrell Scott / Aloha From Nashville / 4:03
You Should See My Girl / Anthony Neff / chase your burden / 2:03
Blueboy / John Fogerty / Blue Moon Swamp / 4:04
I’m So Lonesome / Grandpaboy / Dead Man Shake / 2:39
Nothing But The Wheel / Peter Wolf / Sleepless / 4:35
Her House / Gladys / Revival Volume II / 2:38
Stick To Me / Graham Parker & The Rumour / Graham Parker Ultimate Collection / 3:28
Wildest Dreams / Kim Richey / Bitter Sweet / 4:32
Texas Tommy / Steve James / Fast Texas / 3:27
On Time / Gourds / Blood Of The Ram / 2:58
Thinking / Fred Eaglesmith / Lipstick Lies & Gasoline / 3:17
Isabella / Jake Brennan And The Confidence Men / Love And Bombs / 2:11
Un Beso Al Viento / Los Super Seven / Los Super Seven / 2:31
Lochloosa / Mofro / Lochloosa / 4:05
Shanty Town / Johnny Cash & June Carter / Carryin On With / 2:37
A Man of Constant Anxiety / Bottle Rockets / Blue Sky
Blue-Collar Dollar / Kevin Gordon / Cadillac Jack’s #1 Son / 2:21

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