Best of Indiana: Roots-Rock in 2010

At Rockforward, we live right in the middle of Indiana,  and fan our reach outward from Indianapolis.  Here’s the best of what we heard this year from (mostly) Hoosier roots-rock artists.

2010 Local Roots Rock/Americana Album of the Year
Cara Jean Wahlers/”Goodnight Charlotte”How did this quiet, intelligent, duet-like release from an acoustic guitar player and cello player get to the top of my roots-rock/Americana list full of worthy candidates?  Especially coming from a guy (me) who unabashedly enjoys the gritty side of loud guitars, drums and a sweet Hammond B-3?  It happened because this is a deserving place for “Goodnight Charlotte”, as Wahlers’ and Grover Parido’s cello quietly cuts into your heart with hauntingly beautiful music and lyrics that evoke black and white movies. Continue reading “Best of Indiana: Roots-Rock in 2010”

NYC 80’s roots-rockers The Del-Lords recording new album

In the 80’s, The Del-Lords, roots-rockers from NYC, fused an electric mix of rock, rockabilly and East Coast country music. They carried the story further with energetic live shows. And now, 25 years after their kinda-heydey, they’ve released “Under Construction”, an EP of the rough mixes from their new album, presented as a work-in-progress. (find it on their website).

Produced by Eric “Roscoe” Ambel (who is cool if only for his work with Dan Baird and The Bottle Rockets – but he’s also a founding member of the Del-Lords), the project is one of dozens that Ambel has been working on. He posted the band links to hear his work on his website. Continue reading “NYC 80’s roots-rockers The Del-Lords recording new album”

Ex-Elms guitarist Thom Daugherty tours with The Band Perry

Thom Daugherty (former guitar player for The Elms) took a gig touring with The Band Perry, a new country music sibling group. The band, including Daugherty, appeared on ABC’s “The View” last week. Signed to Republic Nashville in summer 2009, the group has released a pair of songs to radio, and the second, “If I Die Young”, went to #1 on the country radio chart this summer.

That’s the song they played on the show.

The sister, Kimberly Perry, fronts the band with her two brothers: Reid and Neil. Kimberly has a huskier Jennifer Nettles (Sugarland) voice, and a bit of Miranda Lambert sass. It’s pretty good country radio pop. I like the first single, “Hip to My Heart”, better than the song that went to the top of the chart.

On the show, Daugherty lent backing guitar, and popped out once late in the song (at the 2:49 mark) with a nice seven-second (hey, it’s TV; everything is tightened up) gritty mini-solo. Best little piece of the song. And good for Daugherty, who has also been working on his production chops in addition to taking some of these side gigs.

One more note:
The Band Perry’s self-titled debut album that came out in October 2010 was produced by Paul Worley, who won a couple Grammy’s doing the same thing for the first two Dixie Chicks albums.

New Springsteen five-song concert – watch here

In an old building in Asbury Park last week, Bruce Springsteen and the E St. Band (plus horns and longtime Jackson Browne musical partner David Lindley on violin) taped a live show.  They invited about 60 fans.   The premise?  Live versions of songs from the new/old The Promise album,  which are mostly great-but-unused songs from 1978’s Darkness on the Edge of Town sessions.

The result.  An amazing, intimate, loose and intense 30 minutes slice of Springsteen.  Thom Zimny (who has become Bruce’s filmmaker) puts us on the stage, as close as most will ever get.

Songs From The Promise” was filmed on December 7 inside the Asbury Park boardwalk’s historic Carousel House.  The concert features the world premiere E Street Band performances of four tracks from The Promise (“Racing in the Street (’78),” “Gotta Get That Feeling,” “Ain’t Good Enough For You,” and the title track), plus “Blue Christmas.”


Springsteen, E St. Band recording new video for pre-Christmas webcast

On Tuesday, December 7, Bruce will be convening the E Street Band on the Jersey Shore to play tracks from The Promise for a future webcast.

The webcast, to be added sometime between now and Christmas, is a new venture into the digital media for Bruce, and his first exclusive self-produced webcast.

And unlike the Darkness ’09 film that is included in the new box set, a small number of fans will be extras for this filming. It’s a video shoot, with all the stops and starts that come with it. And it’s likely gonna be a cold, windy December afternoon.

Bruce and the band will playing performance debuts of songs from The Promise, and a small crowd will be allowed into in an intimate space when they capture it on film.