Category: Southern Music

Album Review: Caleb Caudle – Paint Another Layer on My Heart

Caleb Caudle‘s “Paint Another Layer On My Heart” does what I believe to be Caleb‘s best quality as a songwriter; tells a story. Each track on this album vividly “paints” a picture of the meaning behind the songs and the lyrics leave little room for questions or second-guessing. The only thing this album really leaves room for is a place to insert your own life experiences and emotions and watch how every song can relate to each one of us; it’s amazing, sad, beautiful, and heart-breaking.

The 10-track, sophomore album from Caudle, has a glaring underlying theme that rattles true within the state of touring musicians today: The hardships of life on the road. Caudle doesn’t leave room for guessing. These songs are full of lyrics about missing your loved ones, not being home for the holidays and frankly, having to face your own demons and misery on your own, without anyone else to blame or make excuses. It’s not all puppies and rainbows, it’s real life music but somehow Caudle has figured out how to make it sound beautiful.

Caudle was able to corral some other great musicians within the “alt country family” to assist in the instrumentation and backing vocals on “Paint Another Layer on Heart”; Whit Wright of American Aquarium (pedal steel) and Lydia Loveless (vocals). Loveless wastes no time in making her presence known and solidifies her spot on the album with her harmonies on the very first track “How’d You Learn”. On the track “Another Night”, which is a personal favorite of mine, Wright’s pedal steel screams through the shadows while Caudle‘s bellows lines such as “I make up excuses, and I feel less useless, try not to scratch on the 8.” Woah. I’ll give you a second to let the goose bumps subside and your eyes to dry up… Although I had a really tough time choosing my favorite track on the album, it was between “Come on October” and “Trade All The Lights”, I had to go with the latter; it’s full of emotion, desire, want, despair and it also perfectly blends the backing vocals of Loveless and the sweet, soft riffs of Wright’s pedal steel with Caudle‘s descriptive lyrics to create a beautiful song that will remain one of my favorites of 2014.

Paint Another Layer on My Heart, which was released by This is American Music (T.I.A.M), is a great nod to the more classic country/singer-songwriters of our times. Caleb‘s Caudle approach of painting glowing pictures through each song, writing honest, real, relatable lyrics is refreshing and inspiring; I can’t recommend this album enough. Do yourself a favor; get the album, catch a live show (he tours like a man running from the law), and see why “Paint Another Layer On My Heart” has received a spot on my “best of 2014” list.

You can find the record on iTunes or at thisisamericanmusic.com.

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Southern Rock Resurgence: What is Old is New

Southern rock didn’t die when Skynyrd did; it just needed sometime to grieve and regroup.

The genre “southern rock” has kind of disappeared over the years and it’s time to be revived. Beards, long hair, whiskey, cigarettes, denim, American flags and Muscle Shoals are still intact so why is southern rock not? Lack of bands fitting the criteria for the genre? Did the evolution of music quietly push the southern rock genre out of the picture? Maybe it really did just fall to the way-side when the 80’s came along and after Van Zandt died? I’m not entirely sure as to why it went away but it’s time that it came back home; I’ve missed it.

Wikipedia defines Southern Rock as: “A subgenre of rock music and a genre of Americana. It was developed in the Southern United States from rocknroll, country music, and blues and is focused generally on electric guitar and vocals.”

I don’t know about you, but I personally know musicians whose bands fit this description EXACTLY. So what the hell wiki music gods? If that’s the checklist, then what are you waiting on!? It’s already hard enough for bands to find a place to fit in, not to mention find a radio station that will even play their tunes but yet these stations have no problem playing Statesboro Blues 9 times a day… How about throwing some new southern rock in the mix, hoss? Is it classic rock? No, not yet; however, listening to Tuesday’s Gone for the 300th time in a week doesn’t make the song any more classic than if you played it once….sorry back on topic now…

I think over the years that southern rock has unfairly gotten associated with the term “redneck” and confederate flags (which is an entirely separate discussion in itself) and that’s completely unfair. It would take a lot less time to just copy and paste the DBT lyrics from “The Southern Thing” to hammer this point home and frankly, Hood can get the point across better than I but he’s not here is he!? 😉 Now, the word southern already embraces “rednecks” and “country livin” so it’s not as if we don’t have our work cutout for us but if you look back at the origins of southern rock: blues and soul and gospel, these three styling’s are very important developing factors for this genre of rock music and are historically dominated by black musicians so throw the redneck BS out of this equation; it’s about the music not color of skin.

Ain’t about no hatred better raise a glass / It’s a little about some rebels but it ain’t about the past / Ain’t about no foolish pride, ain’t about no flag / Hate’s the only thing that my truck would want to drag…You think I’m dumb, maybe not too bright / You wonder how I sleep at night / Proud of the glory, stare down the shame / Duality of the southern thing.

There are a lot of good bands out here that can easily carry the torch for southern rock’s building comeback; I even think Duane Allman would approve. Many of these musicians/bands just happen to be from the south and play rocknroll; put two and two together genius, what else would you call their style of music? Check out the associated playlists for some great bands who are sticking to their guns. It’s a little bit country, it’s a little bit rocknroll and a lot of bit great music. It’s Southern Rock and it’s time for a resurgence.

Playlist:

  • Dirt Track – Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires (AL)
  • Devil’s in the Details – Glossary (TN)
  • Never Gonna Change – Jason Isbell/Drive By Truckers (AL/GA)
  • 1000 Dollar Car – Ned Van Go (TN)
  • Benjamin – Arliss Nancy (CO)
  • If My Heart Don’t Fail Me – Efren (GA)
  • I Can’t Stand This – Kentucky Knife Fight (KY)
  • The Grant – Lauderdale (AL)
  • Choke – The Black Cadillacs (TN)
  • Look at Me – Those Crosstown Rivals (KY)
  • Campaign Song ’93 – Jon Snodgrass (MO/CO)
  • Super 8 – Jason Isbell (AL)
  • Do The Crawl – Dexateens (AL)
  • 8 AM Blues – Natural Child (TN)
  • Coming Through the Pines – Blackfoot Gypsies (TN)
  • Tim Tim – Bohannons (TN)
  • Don’t Owe You a Thang – Gary Clark Jr (TX)
  • Clark Ave – American Aquarium (NC)
  • Rebel Man – The Pollies (AL)
  • Rock and Roll Forever – The Whigs (GA)
  • Chippewa – Benjamin Booker (LA)
  • Tears Don’t Matter Much – Lucero (TN)
  • Radar Gun – The Bottle Rockets (MO)
  • Fourth of July – Porter and The Pollies (TX/AL)
  • Alphabet City – Todd May (OH)
  • Zip City – Drive By Truckers (AL)
  • When I’m Gone – The White Buffalo (LA)
  • Missouri Boy – The Hooten Hallers (MO)
  • The Prettiest Waitress in Memphis – Cory Branan (MS/TN)
  • The Southern Thing – Drive By Truckers (AL/GA)
  • Heartbroken, in Disrepair – Dan Auerbach (OH)

Click here to listen on Spotify.

So, looking forward, out of all 30 tracks ONLY 3 bands/artists listed above are beyond the Mason-Dixon Line. Furthermore, Todd May is always playing in the south with Lydia Loveless, Dan Auerbach has lived in Nashville for a while now (too long if you as Jack White), and Arliss Nancy may as well be from the south, just ask them. They love boiled peanuts, whiskey, the Allman Brothers, and “pulling buckets,” so they get a special pass and I’ve adopted them as Alabama residents; deal with it.

Summer Shindig Mystery: Hayden Crawford?

summer_shindig_II_poster_webIn mere hours, Tuscaloosa’s Bama Theatre will be the place for one of the most wonderful events of the summer. (Note: I am saying this with all of the bias.) You will fall in love for the first or second or eighth time and be mesmerized by the stage. (Note: All of the bias.)

There is so much talent on the stage, but it’s also a bit hard to write about all of this talent. I mean, I’ve done it before.

When Blaine Duncan & The Lookers, The Bear, Looksy, and Belle Adair take the stage tonight, it is an event worthy of an actual shindig. But let’s dig into a mystery for a second. The question is: Hayden Crawford?

“Hayden is a weird little guy, but his music makes me wanna reach for a fresh Dookie sandwich.”

That quote is from Adam Morrow of Callooh! Callay!, Belle Adair, and the Lookers and in our joke speak, this is a compliment. Hayden Crawford is from Tuscaloosa and currently resides in New Orleans. I first came to know him through being told by Blaine Duncan himself that Hayden was a big fan of mine. We had never met in person. Also, I only wrote stuff like this. And in this case, Hayden was kind of a weird little guy. His only picture on his Twitter profile is a screencap of when I added him on Goodreads. I’m still trying to figure out if that was genuine or to keep the bit alive. By that time, Hayden was a full member of the Lookers, performing live alongside members of the band that I talked to for this piece. If anybody knows the enigma of Hayden Crawford, multi-instrumentalist and serial warbler, it’s the people he hung out with on the After She Dies tour of 2013.

“Hayden is awesome. He’s a great guy: sarcastically sweet and sweetly sarcastic,” said Blaine Duncan on his former member. I’ll let Blaine explain his own experiences with Hayden. “He is loyal, dependable, and professional. He can any instrument with strings, which benefits us because he is pretty willing to fill any role. He’s a great songwriter, too. That helps because he has great ideas for song arrangements. He’s one of my favorite folks, and though I’ve known him only five or six years, he’s a close friend.

Duncan adds, “I guess my favorite thing about Hayden is something that I can relate to (and something he’ll openly admit, so I’m not telling tales out of school) – he doesn’t know much about a guitar as far as technical aspects, like strings, amps, repair, but he can play one as good as anyone. He can tell you the key and chord structure of a song within seconds of hearing it. That’s somewhat common with guitarists, but probably not as common with guitarists who don’t change their own strings. That story serves as a good metaphor for him: really great but not too concerned that he is.”

We’re getting closer to the mystery, but I also wonder if Hayden himself can shed some light on his own self-identity: “In addition to being a Taco shirt enthusiast, Hayden Crawford enjoys many humorous cotton fabrications. Let us not forget the likes of Santa Claus drinking champagne in a hot tub shirt, black guitar shirt, and the classic crawfish salting a bed of fries shirt.”

So Hayden likes a lot of T-shirts and is great at music. Yup. Mystery solved. However, since Crawford is a former Lookers member, just what in the hell does this piece have to do with anything? I mean, other than the bias.

After the Shindig, there is an afterparty show at the Alcove with Hayden Crawford, Daniel Elias Crisler, and the two-piece Della Ray. It will be an atomic bomb of weirdness. I recommend it on that alone. Anything to funnel through some sort of weirdness helps, though. But honestly, I don’t know if I can fully say I get Hayden Crawford still. Maybe there isn’t a mystery and people just are as they are.

 

Mutual friend Jeff Hanson put it best: “[Hayden’s] darkest secrets are that he has no

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secrets at all.”

Album Review/Interview: JOSH NOLAN

3Rising from a small, blue collar town, buried in the Appalachain Mountains, lies Kentucky’s answer to the New Jersey sound that time forgot; Fair City Lights by Josh Nolan. Nolan’s album is a refreshing, much needed nod, to the early rock and roll sounds of singer/songwriters from the likes of Tom Petty, John Mellencamp, Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen. ‘The Boss’ will obviously be the first thing you’re reminded of when you listen to the album but it’s has so many more layers than that; dig in and find out for yourself… I fully expect it to be included on a whole lotta “best of 2014” list; I know it will remain on mine.
The album,  “Fair City Lights,” kicks off with a track titled “Do it Right.” It’s a great opening song because it adequately shows off what Nolan is brining to the table but only through subtle hints. Therefore you can’t fully grasp his brilliance until you listen to the entire album (the tracks are perfectly placed like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle). Coming out of the gate with his boots on tight and head on straight Nolan masterfully weaves between country ballad type tunes such as; East Kentucky Skyline, Brave Heart Too, and Do it Right into more rock n roll, gritty tracks such as; Lulbegrud Revival (Golden Age), When I was Young, and Waiting on the Night like a horse racing for the finish line at the Kentucky Derby. The closing track on the record, Between the Lights, starts out with a somber fiddle and ends with a fasted paced lyrical delivery in which Nolan is all but literally thanking his influences. This isn’t just my favorite track on the album; it’s is the perfect track to close out this beautifully crafted, debut album from Kentucky’s own Josh Nolan.
Bottom-line: The album is great; an instant classic. It’s also a perfect soundtrack for driving around with the windows down and singing along “to the voices on the radio.” Do yourself a favor, pick up a copy of this album; you won’t regret it.
FCL4
I was fortunate enough to pick Josh Nolan and pick his brain a little about the album. Not only is the album fantastic, Josh is a great dude and once you meet him, you’ll love his music even more….
 
BHAMFM: There’s not a whole lot to the cover art, it’s pretty simple, any special reason?
JN: The font on the cover is my mothers handwriting. Mom used to get paid to write peoples wedding invitations. When I tried to write the title it just looked like someone dropped a tackle box on a scratch-off ticket. So basically, someone’s Save-the-Date looks a lot like my first record.
 
BHAMFM: So you write like a 4yr old, noted. I’ve heard through the grapevine (if that grapevine has a lot of hair, tattoos, and also plays in a Lexington, Ky based band) that you played most, if not all, of the instruments on this album. True of false?
JN: I didn’t play the horns on the fiddle and on “Waiting on the Night” my sister played the drums but other than that I can be blamed for the rest!  Starlit Lorentzen (Flickertail Holler) played the fiddle on “Between the Lights. She listened to the song a few times, I gave her the melody and let her play it. I’d point out what I liked and where I liked it. We’d cut and paste, so to speak. The finished product ended up being, essentially, four sections of a solid take; I don’t think it took much more than an hour and that was the first the actual time she had even played the song.
 
BHAMFM: Wow. Well nice work, my friend. Gimme two random facts about the album. 3,2,1 GO!
JN: I wrote all but the first verse and chorus of “Til the World Runs Out” the night before I did the vocal tracks. “Brave Heart, too” was a working title I had given a riff I wrote on the clock while working at guitar center; only then it was Brave Heart II. I finished the music, which was a completely different vibe, and wrote the lyrics; starting with that stupid pun. The lyrics ended up being not so Dude Ranch era Blink and I flipped the music around and rearranged it to let the narrative be the foreground. I had the idea for the accordion intro when I was in the studio; I had initially planned for that to be an organ.
 
BHAMFM: Well the album is one of my favorites of the years. I look forward to much more outta you in the future! One last question; Do you still work at guitar center?
JN: Liquor store
BHAMFM: Like a boss.
 
Links:
 
 
Track Listing:
 
  1. Do it Right
  2. Waitin’ On the Night
  3. Come Mornin’
  4. Brave Heart, Too
  5. When I Was Young
  6. East Ky Skyline
  7. Lulbegrud Revival (Golden Age)
  8. ‘Til the World Runs Out
  9. Between the Lights

Alabama Live Music Calendar 3/27-3/29

Looking for trouble? Justin’s back and BHAMFM has the one true and final list on what’s popping off this weekend.

Friday (3/28)

Birmingham/Tuscaloosa –

  • ·         The Nick: Andy Lees / Mockingbird Sun
  • ·         Sound & Page: Jillian Edwards
  • ·         Zydeco: Unknown Hinson / Fifth on the Floor
  • ·         Workplay: Icon for Hire / A New Kind of Hero
  • ·         Iron City: Marc Harris / Aretta Woodruff
  • ·         Black Market (5pts): Geeked Out Tour
  • ·         Avondale: Chad Fisher Group / Preservation Hall Jazz Band
  • ·         Moonlight Mtn: Jenny & Tyler / Levi Weaver / Vanita Joines
  • ·         Stillwater Pub: Stephen McCullough Band
  • ·         Iron Horse Café: Cowboy Mouth
  • ·         Alys Stephens: Ailey II
  • ·         Pale Eddie’s: Chris Posey Trio
  • ·         Green Bar: Green Bar

Huntsville/Muscle Shoals –

  • ·         Moe’s (Providence): Tim Cannon                                                      
  • ·         Voodoo Lounge: .45 Surprise                                
  • ·         Sports Page: Artifas/SLG                                                         
  • ·         Humphrey’s: Billy Dawn Burnes                          
  • ·         The Foyer: Grayson Owen                                       
  • ·         Bandito (southside): Bourbon & Shamrocks                                                               
  • ·         Amemdment XXI: Drew Richter / Chelsea Cerha                         
  • ·         Furniture Factory: Scott Morgan & Juice                        
  • ·         Lone Goose Saloon: Blue Handel Band                                            
  • ·         Jefferson Street Pub: Chad Bradford                                
  • ·         Lee Ann’s: Crush                                           
  • ·         Stem & Stein: Jason Cunningham                         
  • ·         VBC: Lee Gibson                            
  • ·         Blue Pants Brewery: Gentle Ben                         
  • ·         The Brick (Decatur): Plato Jones                       
  • ·         Macs Sports Bar(athens): Jacob Reynolds / Daniel Jones
  • ·         116 E Mobile: Pine Hill Haints / Daniel Elias + Exotic Dangers
  • ·         The End Theatre: Battle of the Bands (Them Damn Dogs)

Auburn/Montgomery/Mobile –

  • ·         Bourbon Street: CBDB
  • ·         The Foxhole(Columbus): Ancient River
  • ·         Alabama Music Box: Sex Party / Boyfriend  / Roman Gabriel Todd’s the beast
  • ·         Soul Kitchen: Jon Pardi

Saturday (3/29)

 

Birmingham/Tuscaloosa –

  • ·         The Nick: Spirits & Melchizedek Children / Abby GoGo / Nick Lutsko
  • ·         Zydeco: Bob Margolin / Secret Midnight Band
  • ·         Workplay: Dirty Guv’nahs / Cerus & Cereus Bright
  • ·         Iron City: Stephen McCullough Band
  • ·         Moonlight Mtn: David Olney
  • ·         Stillwater Pub: Beaver Brothers Band
  • ·         Iron Horse Café: Reckless
  • ·         Café’ Firenze: Hunting Delilah
  • ·         Urban Standard: The Oarsmen
  • ·         Pale Eddie’s: Josh Gilbert
  • ·         Egans: Economy Cartel
  • ·         Rhythm & Brews: Farmer’s Daughter

Huntsville/Muscle Shoals –

  • ·         Moe’s (Providence): Travis Posey                                                     
  • ·         Voodoo Lounge: Local Orbit / Drip Centric / Jonny & the Black Frames                         
  • ·         Sports Page: Fuzzy Gouda
  • ·         Hideaways: Open Mic                                                                
  • ·         Humphrey’s: Stone Senate                      
  • ·         Station (Madison): Sean Rivers                                           
  • ·         Bandito (southside): Andrew & Ant (Beatles Tribute)                                            
  • ·         Amemdment XXI: Bro. Ric Patton       
  • ·         Furniture Factory: Black Eyed Susan                               
  • ·         Lone Goose Saloon: 3/4 Boogie                                          
  • ·         Jefferson Street Pub: Tom Perkins   
  • ·         Lee Ann’s: Groove                                       
  • ·         Stem & Stein: Brian Holder                     
  • ·         Backwaters: Kings Haze                           
  • ·         Straight to Ale: .45 Surprise                  
  • ·         The Brick (Decatur): Black Label      
  • ·         Macs Sports Bar(athens): Daniel Jones
  • ·         FloBama(shoals): Whiskey River Kings

Auburn/Montgomery/Mobile –

  • ·         Bourbon Street: Something Delicious
  • ·         Standard Deluxe(waverly): BlueGrass Festival
  • ·         Balcony Bar(au): Mang
  • ·         Alabama Music Box: Mandown / Mustachios
  • ·         Soul Kitchen: Jermaine Quiz/ PhoneauXX / Tony Scratchere

 

Sunday (3/30)

Birmingham / Tuscaloosa –

  • ·         The Forge: Broadside
  • ·         Avondale Brewing: Lefty Williams Band
  • ·         Stillwater Pub: Heath Green

Huntsville/Muscle Shoals –

  • ·         Kaffeeklatsch: Freddy Earl (Blues Jam)
  • ·         Lone Goose Saloon: Jonathan Byham
  • ·         Flying Monkey Arts Center: Bach in Tahiti / HSO Casual Classics

Mobile –

  • ·         Soul Kitchen: Getta LoDa Records Show

 

If you see any venues/bands I missed or has incorrect info, let me know! – JT

(Twitter- @jtiddy82 / @bamabandbooking)

Weekend Show Lineup 3/7-3/9

The Southeast’s most comprehensive concert calendar is back. GET UP, GET OUT AND GET SUMTHIN’ Y’ALL!

FRIDAY (3/7)

 

Birmingham/Tuscaloosa:

· Bottletree – Yellow Ostritch / Pattern is Movement

. Parkside – Great Peacock / Heath Green

· The Nick – Agent Orange / McPherson Struts

· Sound & Page – Belle Adair

· Zydeco – Whiskey Myers / The Bama Gamblers

· WorkPlay – Willie Sugarcapps / Will Kimbrough / Grayson Capps / Corky Hughes /

Sugarcane Jane

 

Atlanta/Athens:

· Eddie’s Attic – Cumberland Collective / Brian Collins

· Drunken Unicorn – Miniature Tigers / Bear Hands

· Variety Playhouse – Black Lips / Deerhunter

· Terminal West – Little Country Giants / Seven Handle Circus

· 40 Watt (Athens) – Jonathan Richman

· Melting Pot (Athens) – Highballs

· Thousand Hills Coffee (Roswell) – Caleb Caudle / Scott Low

 

Nashville/Huntsville/Shoals:

· Marathon Music – St. Vincent / Noveller

· Exit/In – (Freakin’ Weekend 5) Diarrhea Planet / Turbo Fruits / Hunters / etc…

· Saints M/C Clubhouse (HSV) – Peewee Moore

· 3rd & Lindsley – The Wood Brothers

· High Watt – Hayes Carll / Scott Nolan

· 116E Mobile (shoals) – The Kernal / Robert Ellis

· Mercy Lounge – The Cunning / Allen Thompson Band

· War Memorial Auditorium – Of Mice and Men / Bring Me The Horizon

· Volcano Room @ Cumberland Caverns (McMinnville) – Jason Isbell / Steep Canyon Rangers

 

Louisville/Lexington/Little Rock:

· Rocky’s (Bowling Green) – Those Crosstown Rivals

· Cosmic Charlie’s (Lex) – Tim Easton / Coralee and the Townies

· Buster’s (Lexington) – Tyler Childers / Blind Corn Liquor Pickers

· WhiteWater Tavern (Ark) – Adam Faucett / High Magic

 

Knoxville/Chattanooga/Memphis/Asheville (NC):

· The Well (Knox) – Local H / Gamenight / Bad Dudes

· Orange Peel (Ashville) – Shovels and Rope / Hurray For The Riff Raff

· Long Branch Saloon (Knox) – Seagulls / Burns Like Fire / Roundheels / Quartjar / Minderbinders / Your Favorite Hero

· Clayton Center (Maryville) – Bela Fleck

· Hi-Tone (Memphis) – The Fox and the Bird

 

Auburn/Montgomery/Mobile/parts of FL & MS:

· Freebird Live (Jacksonville Beach) – J Roddy Walston & the Business / Clear Plastic Masks / On Guard

· Deep Search Records – Gunther Doug / Buffalo Rodeo

· The Loft (Columbus, GA) – St. Paul and The Broken Bones / Stereo Reform

· Standard Deluxe (Waverly) – David Bazan

 

SATURDAY (3/8)

Birmingham/Tuscaloosa:

· Egans (Ttown) – Those Crosstown Rivals / Sloss Minor / Ned Van Go******

· Iron City – Lindsey Hinkle

· Bottletree – Dan Sartain / Nothing / Weekend

· Jupiter (Ttown) – Whiskey Myers

· Zydeco – Wick-it the Instigator / Dmfr

· The Nick – Signs of Iris / Death of Paris / Jared & The Mill / Form Constant

·

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Rhythm & Brews (Ttown) – Farmer’s Daughter

 

Atlanta/Athens:

· Masquerade – Ron Pope / Alexis Keegan / Action Bronson / Neil Cribbs

· Smith’s Olde Bar – Lilly Hiatt / Wille Sugarcapps / The Grahams

· Tabernacle – St Vincent

· 40 Watt Club (Athens) – Wild of Night / Space Trucks / Reptar /

· Abbey Road (Marietta) – Lefty Williams Band

· The Earl – Com Truise / The Phantoms

· Mill Town Music Hall (Bremen, GA) – Kansas

 

Nashville/Huntsville/Shoals:

· Moe’s BBQ – Providence (HSV) – Luke Dunkin and Andy Abernathy (*I’ll buy everyone a beer*)

· 3rd & Lindsley – The Wood Brothers

· Stone Fox – Moonface

· Mercy Lounge – White Denim

· Soulshine Pizza – Blackfoot Gypsies / The Night Owl / John D’amato / etc… (Mando Blues Bday Bash)

· Exit/In – Daniel Ellsworth / The Great Lakes (album release), Alanna Royale, Blank Range

· Straight To Ale – Mandolin Orange

 

Louisville/Lexington/Little Rock:

· Lville Palace – Crosby Stills and Nash

· Cosmic Charlie’s(Lex) – Local H / Summer Smoke / Heyrocco

· Maxine’s (LR) – Fox and the Bird / Kristen Cothron

· Revolution Music Room (LR) – Keller Williams / More Than A Little

 

Knoxville/Chattanooga/Memphis/Asheville (NC):

· Scruff City Hall (Knox) – Blackfoot Gypsies

· Zepplin’s (Clayton, GA) – Caleb Caudle / Scott Low

 

Auburn/Montgomery/Mobile/parts of FL & MS:

· Alley Bar (Gump) – Timmeh

· Standard Deluxe (Waverly) – Robert Ellis

· Alabama Music Box (Mobile) – Sol Cat / Tedo Stone / Today the Moon / Tomorrow the Sun

· Jack Rabbits (Jacksonville) – Speaking Cursive / Little Books / Matrimony

· St Augustine Amp – Steve Miller Band

 

 

SUNDAY (3/9)

Birmingham/Tuscaloosa:

· WorkPlay – New Madrid / The Dirty Lungs / Cold Cold Sweats

· The Nick – The Grahams / Lilly Hiatt

· Good People Brewing – Jonny Fritz / Steelism

· Moonlight on the Mountain – Mandolin Orange

· Bottletree – Small Black / Oberhofer / Teen / Wild Party

 

Atlanta/Athens:

· Masquerade – Tribal Seeds / New Kingston / Inna Vision

 

Nashville/Huntsville/Shoals:

· Exit/In – Com Truise / The Phantoms / Black Cat Sylvester

· Bluegrass Underground – Keller Willams / Travelin’ McCoury’s / Hayes Carll

· Fontanel – Keb’ Mo

 

Knoxville/Chattanooga/Asheville/Memphis:

· Emerald Lounge(Asheville) – Blackfoot Gypsies

 

Louisville/Lexington/Little Rock:

· New Vintage – Hollis Brown

· Headliner’s – Brett Dennen / Foy Vance

 

Auburn/Montgomery/Mobile/parts of FL & MS:

· The HandleBar (Pensacola) – The Front Bottoms / So So Glos

· Jack Rabbits (Jacksonville) – Agent Orange

 

***If you see someone(s) I missed, let me know. My Twitter is @jtid82. See you at the rock show! *** – JT

 

Album Review :: Those Crosstown Rivals – Hell and Back

Those Crosstown Rivals prove Rock n Roll is still very much alive with the new album “Hell and Back”

TCR3

Pumping fists, loud drums, squealing guitars, cold beer, stale smoke, blood, sweat, and tears. Not only does that describe the atmosphere of the last time I saw Those Crosstown Rivals (TCR) play a live show, it’s all the things that make Rock n Roll great. Add hard working, determined, passionate, and talented to the word bank; and you have all the right ingredients needed to make a REAL rock n roll band. Well, Those Crosstown Rivals have successfully met all of those credentials and their new album, Hell and Back, is proof that rock n roll will never die.

First and foremost, Hell and Back successfully does what a lot of records have trouble doing; it harnesses the energy, passion, and emotion of a live performance and seamlessly translates that through this album. It will only take you 35 seconds (check me, I tested it) into this album before you have to make a decision: One, play it safe and just stick to listening to your local “rock” stations, or buckle up and get ready for a ride through the southern streets of Kentucky at 200mph; leaving nothing behind but fire and smoke. TCR wastes no time in making it very clear what they’re bringing to the table on this album with the title trackHell and Back. Imagine a boxing match; round one, bell rings, gloves touch, BAM! Right outta the gate you get hit with a left/ right combo that leaves yours face numb and your ears ringing; you now know you’re in for one helluva fight. Oh, did I mention that your opponent is the devil? “The Devil stood before me, snarling, bloody grin, I said you picked you picked a fight, you ain’t gonna win. I’ll go to hell when the whiskey drowns me and I stop living fast, I’ll go when Kentucky sends me so you can kiss my ass.” Boom. Lights out, Lucifer; you just got knocked the f**ck out! This track isn’t about fighting with your demons or anything like that though, this is song is about fighting for your family, your loved ones, they’re lives. This track, like a handful of other TCR tracks (new and old) was written by Erica Minks, Bryan’s wife. Erica was literally fighting for her life most of last year during the making of the album. These lyrics are more than just words; they are the battle cry of someone refusing to give in, refusing to quit, and eventually coming out on top. You think these boys are tough? I wouldn’t bet against Erica either; she’s already proven you’ll lose.

This album, consisting of 8 tracks, is a beast of a rock n roll record from start to finish. Fast-paced, heavy, bass riffs lay the foundation for this rowdy album, while the drums hit with so much force you can feel it in your chest and the loud, squealing, decibel-busting guitars riffs perfectly weave in and out of the tracks like a man-possessed and running from the law. Technically speaking, this album is broken up into two sides: The first four songs show the fear of the unknown; when the sun comes up, are things going to be forever changed? Your nervous, anxious and angry; hanging by a thread not knowing what tomorrow brings and you refusing to accept anything different. The Ugly Side may be the most heartfelt, emotional song on this album. Look past the fuzzy, screaming guitars, and the deadly, piercing drums, and take a real hard listen to the lyrics; they are haunting, horrific, emotional, and beautiful. “I kissed your lips, before they took you away, looked you in the eyes but couldn’t find the words to say. I’ve never felt so alone laying in a hospital floor, covered in your blood, I can’t take this shit no more.” That’s pure emotion, pure heartbreak, because it’s real; TCR isn’t afraid to show there vulnerabilities, their real sides, I hope you’re prepared.

The second half of this album is more about remaining positive and acknowledging the fact that some things will never change; you just have to accept the facts, learn to deal, remain optimistic and continue living your life; “I live this day, I live it just for you, just to get by and to get on through” (Look at Me). You can’t forget to enjoy life either, whether it’s reminiscing about past memories like in The Diary“I’ve got a Lucero record spinning on my mind, the one we fell in love to on those summer nights” or reiterating your feelings to the one you love like in the pedal steel driven ballad The Rain: “You know there ain’t no times like the good times. When it rains it rains for a while but leave me here today with one thing, just leave me here today with your smile.” Damn boys. Underneath all the hair, beards, tattoos, scars, and sweat-drenched clothing lies a heart; a big one at that. Who knew!? The final track on this album, Blood, Sweat and Tears, is a rock n roll anthem of sorts that I challenge you not to like. On a record where the track listing is laid out like chapters of a book, Blood, Sweat and Tears is the perfect conclusion. It’s a foot-stomping, fist-pounding tune that will leave you singing the chorus on repeat in your head after the first listen. It’s pure unabashed rock n roll at its finest.

This album isn’t very long, it only consist of 8 tracks but those 8 track mesh together so perfectly it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Those Crosstown Rivals accomplished exactly what they set out to do with this album; play damn good, loud, wild, southern, rock n roll. Don’t be surprised when after the album ends, you catch yourself starting it right back over from the beginning; it’s that good and deserves its own place in any rock n roll or punk rock fan’s collection. Want to know how they were able to bring the heat to this album similar to the intensity of their live shows? All the instrumentation except for a couple leads, keys, and pedal steel were recorded live, in a room, with just the four of them present; every song was recorded in 1-3 takes. This album is definitely on my radar for a best of list of 2014; only one question remains for the boys from Kentucky, “Where we going from here?”

Those Crosstown Rivals are: Bryan Minks (guitar/vox) Cory Hanks (bass) Nick Walters (guitar) and TJ Taylor (drums). However, one person who doesn’t get enough credit for their part in this band (and putting up with this gang of misfits) is Erica Minks. As I said previously, Erica is responsible for writing a handful of the songs TCR has published. Grab a digital copy of Hell and Back now from any of the following and pre-order the album today!

Bandcamp – http://thosecrosstownrivals.bandcamp.com/album/hell-and-back

Itunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/hell-and-back/id827721851

Track Listing:
Hell and Back
The Ugly Side
Six Strings
Be a Man
The Diary (90 mph)
The Rain
Look At Me
Blood Sweat and Tears