Josh Halverson – Year Of The Thunderbird

Josh Halverson’s “Year Of The Thunderbird” is out today … Find it on iTunes, etc.

“There’s a consistent lyrical urging (as there is in all good roots music) to take up a modest life, live and create among one’s people, drink in the world’s natural loveliness, and remember that all of those things are connected.” – The Dentonite

Rob Baird – Wrong Side Of The River

Rod Baird’s “Wrong Side Of The River” is out May 13th on Hard Luck Recording Company. Get it on iTunes, or in independent record stores across the nation.

“The worlds that Rob Baird builds in his songs are classic American wastelands. They are places where good and evil, law and chaos and so many other societal dichotomies evaporate like the moisture in the air. But the wasteland also offers freedom, clarity and the potential for redemption.” -NPR Music

“… soulful melodies and blues-battered lyrics that reflect the westward journey to rediscovering his music and redefining himself.” -Rolling Stone

“The expert mix of galloping beats, soaring pedal steel, robust organ and the album’s greatest instrument, Baird’s commanding presence, all make Wrong Side of the River the best kind of road-trip album, especially for when that dotted white line goes for days.” -Lone Star Music

Be sure to check out the trilogy video for “Ain’t Nobody Got A Hold On Me / Wrong Side Of The River / Horses” in the VIDEO section.

 

Rooney Pitchford – Familiar Places

Grab Rooney’s Familiar Places from bandcamp.com.

“Rooney Pitchford, the mustachio’d, Kickstarter-funded, guitar-strumming baritone, has just released his debut LP Familiar Places. It opens with a one-two punch: the twangy, world-weary title track — a song about the pain and fatigue of accumulated experience —and the impassioned country jam “Becky,” which narrows in on the more specific past. But this one-two punch is a bit of a feint. By the end of these two tracks, the predominant musical style is country, but that’s not the whole story.

Indeed, although labeling Pitchford’s debut as country is a bit reductive, some still may label him as a country revivalist. Which is simply to say that — unlike many country artists — he’s in touch with the roots of the genre. Like great artists who’ve played country in the past (Johnny Cash, Ray Charles [circa “Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music”], Willie Nelson, etc.), Pitchford draws from other genres whose roots seamlessly intertwine with those of country and western music — rock, soul, gospel, Americana, and the blues. If this makes him a revivalist, then I hope to see more revivalists in the future.

Drawing from all these disparate influences, Pitchford is more than a country-radio songster singing about whiskey (although he does reference said beverage on “CD Jam”). “Long Talkin’ River,” a standout track from his debut, evokes soul and gospel with its affecting vocals and piano accompaniment. “CD Jam” evokes Americana and folk with its descriptive storytelling and acoustic picking. Lyrics like “Things don’t get started here till one or two in the afternoon / But Jim’s been up since dawn doing what it is Jim likes to do / We spend the day just saving money gotta have some left for Friday night / I got a job as the backdoor man at the continental club tonight” wouldn’t be out of place alongside Woody Guthrie’s “Dustbowl Ballads” or Bruce Springsteen’s “Nebraska.” As if this wasn’t enough to illustrate Pitchford’s wide variety of influences, the closing song on Pitchford’s debut is called “A Eulogy for B.B. King.” And it comes with a killer guitar solo that is all blues and rock n’ roll.

All this is to say that Rooney Pitchford’s new album “Familiar Places,” like all good albums, makes us question the purpose of labeling music at all. Whether it’s country, soul, blues, or rock n’ roll, the designations fade away when you listen, leaving you only with the question of how it resonates with you.”

The Stanford Daily