Town Burned Down is the long lost proto Drive-By Truckers album featuring Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley. This was recorded in 1990. As a reminder, that’s before Nirvana’s Nevermind. The Adam’s House Cat album has sat unreleased until last week. The album has a sound informed by The Replacements, The Rolling Stones, and some R.E.M. (maybe a touch of early Clash) and was definitely ahead of its time. Hard to imagine if this album hadn’t been shelved that Patterson and Cooley wouldn’t be even more central to the Alt-Country genre. One they’d eventually become such a central part.
Instead, Uncle Tupelo, for many, have become the first chapter to that scene. No Depression, a music magazine that specializes in covering the genre was named after Uncle Tupelo’s first album, which was also released in 1990. So Town Burned Down is more than scrappy demos, but rather proof of an alternate music history that could have been, but wasn’t. But how does it sound? Continue reading “Adam’s House Cat – Town Burned Down”
Aaron Lee Tasjan circulates in the Americana scene where far too many acts come across like they’re doing their best Waylon or Haggard impersonation–or Ryan Adams (or all three). A genre that gets much of its appeal by looking back to a time before the digital innovations of today took away some perceived purity in previous music.
Of course, the Americana music is not unique in creating a genre out of nostalgia. Not even close. In fact, in many ways, Americana itself has roots in the Alt-Country acts of the mid-to-late 1990s. There was also the garage revival acts of the 2000s. The 1980s are being mined by seemingly everyone these days. Disco has also been reinvented. The grunge movement of the 1990s was obsessed with the hard rock acts of the 1970s. The punks of the 1970s thought their prog-rock peers were missing the point. Continue reading “Aaron Lee Tasjan – Karma for Cheap”
Ruston Kelly released his debut album, “Dying Star,” on September 7th, 2018. Many who follow the country music scene may recognize his name as the husband of Kacey Musgraves, but marrying Musgraves is not where Kelly’s music career began. He began as a songwriter, landing a publishing deal with BMG Nashville in 2013 and penning “Nashville Without You” for Tim McGraw. Last year he released an EPcalled “Halloween.”
“Dying Star” opens with “Cover My Tracks,” a mid-tempo song with a minor key chorus that wouldn’t have been completely out of place on Counting Crows’ August and Everything After. In other words, delivered with a vibe that’s accessible, but bittersweet. In the second track, “Mockingbird,” Kelly delivers a song more comfortably within the Americana wheelhouse with a Ryan Adams inspired vocal timbre, sang from the throat. With some nice acoustic guitar finger picked flourishes to open and close.
That’s when my favorite song on “Dying Star” comes in. Continue reading “Ruston Kelly – Dying Star”