Graham Lindsey’s light amid the darkness

Graham Lindsey – “Tomorrow is Another Night”

With a voice that reminds favorably of Steve Earle and Bob Dylan, Wisconsin’s Graham Lindsey has an arresting way with words and a painfully clear gaze on the human condition. His minimal, elegant accompaniment seems to draw as much from European folk musics as it does from more distinctly American forms. This song grows with repeated listens – on first pass I was moved, by the third time I was convinced this is major. What a magnificent, smart, and poetic lyric. I get angry when I discover artists like this, who deserve a lot more exposure than they are likely to get during this age of corporate ersatz musik. But b4 I get on that soapbox again, let me just say: TWO MONTHS TO GO! I have posted a song a day for all of 2009, and I am proud to share and shout about each and every one of them. Give this mp3 a spin, and if you like it as much as I think you will, do yourself a favor and pick up the perfectly titled album – “We Are All Alone in This Together” on SPACEBAR Recordings. I bought it after posting another Lindsey gem called “Old Roger” back in August. A gr8 record from an artist who merits our support. Thanks, getting off soapbox now! Love, SuperFan

Graham Lindsey
“Tomorrow is Another Night” (mp3)
from “We Are All Alone in This Together”
(SPACEBAR Recordings)

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Ben Kyle’s bittersweet Romantica

Romantica – “Queen of Hearts”

Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, now living and performing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Ben Kyle is an old school song smith whose music echoes his transatlantic journey. There’s so much heart in this track, it practically bleeds out the speakers. An accomplished vocalist with gr8 songs, teamed up with a dynamic and sensitive backup band that breathes his every line like it’s their own, well, this is the sort of stuff stars are made of.

Romantica
“Queen of Hearts” (mp3)
from “America”
(2024 Records)

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Graham Lindsey’s new old school country folk

Graham Lindsey – “Old Roger”

Graham Lindsey‘s latest album, “We Are All Alone in This Together” is one of the freshest country records to come along in recent memory – a hard left and several states away from your standard Nashville fare. Lindsey’s first brush with fame came at the tender age of 12 as a member of the punk novelty trio, Old Skull, and he has since grown into a full fledged singer-songwriter with a distinct and original voice. On “Old Roger,” the troubadour’s punk roots shine through as clearly as his love for Bob Dylan and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot. A gritty work of great imagination.

Graham Lindsey
“Old Roger” (mp3)
from “We Are All Alone in This Together”
(SPACEBAR Recordings)

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Amy Allison’s dreamy walk down “Sheffield Streets”

Amy Allison – “Why Must It Be”

“What’s all this about walking on air?” asks Amy Allison in her quietly stunning revelation about love, “Why Must It Be?” Allison’s unique voice and unpretentious melodic inventions have brought her recognition amongst country pop aficionados, including Dave Allen and Elvis Costello – both of whom collaborated on her latest full-length of original material. The musical combo is top notch, the production simple yet tastefully inventive. Unexpected fat sax section parts sit beautifully atop a sultry swing country drum shuffle, all of it providing spotless accompaniment for the song’s nakedly honest lyrics. GR8 work, as pretty as it is real.

Amy Allison
“Why Must It Be?” (mp3)
from “Sheffield Streets”
(Urban Myth)

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Sharon Lang’s long slow look at the Skyline

Sharon Lang – “Skyline”

A completely dry and honest acoustic guitar recording lays the foundation for this tale of toil and striving. Sharon Lang builds this song in an unhurried, softly ominous way, her purring whisper-sing getting richer and warmer with each verse. A naked singer-songwriter testimony, without a shred of protection from accompaniment or cute production tricks. Tip o’ the hat to Moose for this yummy discovery. Enjoy with those Sunday pancakes.

Sharon Lang
“Skyline” (mp3)
from “Lovers and Thieves”
(Per Capita Records)

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Santogold shines brighter and brighter

Brooklyn’s Santogold continues her massive roll in 2009. Here is one of the tracks that propelled her to international recognition in ’08. This is not an artist locked in any genre set. Instead, she hits genres head-on like a bowling ball, sending the pins flying every which way. “L.E.S Artistes” is a gem, with Santogold’s voice floating luminescent over tracks that will sound bright and new even years down the road.

Santogold
“L.E.S Artistes” (download mp3)
from “Santogold”
(Lizard King)
L.E.S. Artistes (play)

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The Coal Men Mine the Country for Rock

The Coal Men – “Nightingale”

For Dave Coleman, recording music is about capturing a moment when it happens, rather than creating the impression that a moment happened with the endless menu of studio tricks available these days. With that philosophy, his band The Coal Men made their album Kids With Songs on an old 16 track analog reel to reel tape machine, mostly live in the studio, and the result is lovely. In a Stones, Replacements and Elvis Costello ballpark, but with a distinctly Nashville slickness and southern twang, this is an old school record that more than holds its own in the new school world. Fans of the Jayhawks, Wilco, and the Old ’97’s are gonna love this.

The Coal Men
“Nightingale” (mp3)
from “Kids With Songs”
(Funzalo Records)

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“Lust In Space” with the Trailer Park Rangers

Trailer Park Rangers – “Lust in Space”

When we come across a title like “Lust In Space” by an artist named Trailer Park Rangers, our expectations run understandably high. This record does not disappoint. I hear everything from Bob Dylan and Joe Strummer to David Byrne and Captain Beefheart, in front-ranger David T. Carter’s voice, with a crack steel string and vocal harmony ensemble accompanying him as only veteran musicians can. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, from the storied Northern California towns of Graton and Petaluma, the Trailer Park Rangers. Outstanding work.

Trailer Park Rangers
“Lust in Space” (mp3)
from “Lullabies of All the Mess”
(FlightSafe Music)

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Wisely “On My Way” to greener pastures

Wisely – “Through Any Window”

A lazy summer folky pop song, as sweet and refreshing as lemonade in the shade when the Mercury tops 100. This Los Angeles based artist known simply as Wisely lives up to a name that could easily be considered pompous. The vocal has that Beatle-y double tracked sound and it works brilliantly over a clear-as-day acoustic guitar snuggle. Refreshing!

Wisely
“Through Any Window” (mp3)
from “Wisely”
(Ella Records)

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Juliana Hatfield shines on and on

Juliana Hatfield – “Shining On”

When I think of Juliana Hatfield, I think of that Replacements song, Sadly Beautiful. She’s a brave and lovely soul, and this is a real grown up record from the former Blake Baby. Redemptive and powerful work from this tireless lyricist, sometime rock star, and club touring veteran.

Juliana Hatfield
“Shining On” (mp3)
from “How to Walk Away”
(Ye Olde Records)

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