VIDEO: Truth and Salvage Co. in the studio

truthandSalvageCotitleThe coolest band in my world.  I’ve heard some of the new records’ songs on a demo.  Great hang backstage at the Avett Brothers show in Indy.  Always good dudes.  And they rock like I want a band to rock, with some country, some gospel and some Memphis soul.

Check out this video.  Best part?  As they are listening  to Joe South’s original take on “Games People Play” – great tune.


I saw Mellencamp do a Joe South medley for his encore at Cobo Arena in Detroit during the Scarecrow tour.  It killed.  Georgia Satellites did decent cover on 1989’s Land of Salvation and Sin album.

Oh, and at the 1:55 mark, the camera goes 90 degrees sideways, and we hear people singing “for he’s a jolly good fellow” and see a dog barking.  Surreal and kinda beautiful.

Album Review: The Lumineers

The debut record from The Lumineers wallops with a roots-rock punch of backwoods-via-NYC soul, mixed with giddy realism and music surprising and powerful.

Riding the rootsy sound, the Denver, Colo-based band, was founded by two New York City guys, guitarist Jeremiah Fraites and drummer Wesley Schultz.  They added multi-instrumentalist Neyla Pekarek through a craigslist ad when the pair moved west. They have been touring with another guitarist and bass player.

The band sold out a Friday, May 25 show at Radio Radio, and added a second show on Thursday. When they rolled into Indianapolis, it was with a self-titled debut full-length effort that reflects an Avett Brothers influence, but has echoes of an acoustic Gaslight Anthem, Springsteen-esque musical spiritualism, Arcade Fire majesty, and a hint of Blood on the Tracks-era Dylan.

“Ho Hey” is the song they have been playing on the TV stops (in the past two months, the band has appeared on “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and on “Conan”) and smartly builds with shouted backing vocals, a kick drum banging  in 4/4 time, and  a loose recording full of talk and echo.

“Stubborn Love” is a melancholy ode to not letting go even when you should, driven by acoustic guitar and violin.  “The Big Parade” mines gospel roots (“All my life I was blind, now I see”), with a soft, incessant backbeat.

“Flowers in Your Hair” opens the record with Dylan storytelling – a short two-minute taste of what is to come.  “Classy Girls” follows, telling the story of a meeting at a bar, a full-on narrative with a thrilling chorus.

“Morning Song” ends the album with a crashing electric guitar and lots of space to sing about a girl leaving.  Jeff Tweedy and Wilco would be proud. Songs reward patience, as opening notes build to include more instruments.

The cinematic words and sugar-coated rustic hooks of the record win us over; it’s a very good, – and at time s thrilling — gospel-stamped, folk-fried American rock album.

Lumineers website

Old 97’s in Bloomington, plus Q&A w/ Blackberry Smoke and Billy Joe Shaver recovers from heart surgery

Avett Brothers

The Avett Brothers, out on the road for more than a year promoting the gorgeous I and Love and You album, have announced Live, Volume 3 is coming out on CD/DVD on October 5. The show is from August 8, 2009 and was recorded in Charlotte, N.C.

The Old 97’s rocked a show at Bloomington’s Bluebird on Wednesday night (July 21). In honor of that, head to their Facebook page – they’ve added a free digital three-song EP. I saw them when they came through Indy last summer, playing a gig at the Vogue – read the award-winning review here.

Have you heard the Georgia Satellites/Black Crowes/Cross Canadian Ragweed-influenced country rockers Blackberry Smoke? You should. The website That Nashville Twang has posted a Q&A with the band’s Charlie Starr. Worth a read for gems like Starr saying some of the best advice he’s received was from ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, telling him to “get some good lookin’ boots”.

Outlaw country legend Billy Joe Shaver is recovering from heart surgery and is expected to resume performing in August. The Texas music hero cancelled three July shows due to chest pain and had minor heart surgery on July last Tuesday. Shaver, 71, also suffered a heart attack on stage at Gruene Hall in 2001.