Category: Folk Rock

The Mountain Goats “The Sunset Tree”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#721 in the Series) is The Mountain Goats, The Sunset Tree There’s something about the Mountain Goats that provokes delirious, unbridled reverence amongst a large portion of their fans; a level of veneration that goes beyond that which many bands can claim. I’m not talking about gangs of screaming kids or the usual “I‘m your number one fan!” type of nutcases you get at almost every gig, but a deep, profound respect that comes from a band having touched some part of a fan’s life in an important way. Maybe it’s Mountain Goats’ main man John Darnielle’s way with a witty, insightful lyric. Maybe it’s his way of telling dark tales of...

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band “Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#709 in the Series) is Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy Most music fans will know the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (if they know them at all) as the makers of “Will The Circle Be Unbroken”, a superb album which has become semi-legendary in certain circles, with good cause. It was an essential purchase when it came out in 1972, a wondrous 3 LP set within which tribute was paid by a younger generation to some of the most revered performers of traditional Country music. The likes of Mother Maybelle Carter, Earl Scruggs and Roy Acuff were on board for a seminal release on which both sides of...

Fairport Convention “By Popular Request”

Posted 18 May 2012 in Albums of 2012, Albums of the 10s, Folk Rock

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#701 in the Series) is Fairport Convention, By Popular Request Fairport Convention, in part to mark their 45th anniversary put us, their fanbase, to the voting box last year to surmise which 20 tracks they would like to see the current, and longest standing version of the band perform. A band which brought, among many other notables, Richard Thompson and Sandy Denny to the awareness of the musical world. Of these 20 tracks 13 were chosen, it is my intent to give a track by track assessment of this outing, one which surely may be placed alongside many of their other finest outings in their long history. You can see it below....

Jenny Lewis With the Watson Twins “Rabbit Fur Coat”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#674 in the Series) is Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat. I wasn’t familiar with Jenny Lewis when she appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel Show a few years back. I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of her, since I was a little familiar with her band Rilo Kiley. I guess just not enough. I had just walked in the door, flipped on the TV as they took the stage on that Kimmel episode.  I really liked what I was hearing. This was my sound. This was square in “my wheelhouse” to lean on a cliche. It was at the end of a day when I was in one of my “Gram Parsons moods” so her...

Bill Quateman "Bill Quateman"

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#669 in the Series) is the debut self-titled album by Singer / Songwriter Bill Quateman. In 1972 I heard a song on WXRT called ‘Changing of the Guard.’ ‘XRT has always given a run down on what they had just played. Usually as a set.  I loved the song and waited to hear who it was by.  Well That’s when I first heard the name Bill Quateman. So made my trek to Hegewisch Records and bought his debut.  Mind you I didn’t look at the song list. Well somehow I got the album wrong.  The song I heard was Steely Dan.  But I screwed up what I was looking for and ended...

Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks “Where’s The Money?”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#639 in the Series) is Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, Where’s The Money? What do I look for in a band? Some of the elements that I like to see to make me really like an artist are 1) Great Musicianship. 2) Great Writing 3) Uniqueness, and a little 4) Sense of Humor for good measure. When you throw all those in the pot you usually get something that’s fairly entertaining to listen to. One of my all-time favorite bands that easily qualifies on all four fronts is NRBQ and another one would be these guys Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks. In fact I’m giving this great album another listen...

The Felice Brothers “The Felice Brothers”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#610 in the Series) is The Felice Brothers – “The Felice Brothers” The first time I saw a photo of The Felice Brothers (before I’d even heard them) they looked and dressed almost exactly like The Band famously did on the cover of their classic second album. Straight away I knew…..this lot are gonna be good! And I was right. It wasn’t until about 2 weeks later, when the album came out, that I finally got to hear them and they certainly didn’t let me down. Mining a seam of that “old, weird” American music which Bob Dylan and The Band explored on The Basement Tapes, they also threw in a distinct...

Suzanne Vega “Solitude Standing”

Today’s Cool Album of The Day (#606 in the Series) is Suzanne Vega, Solitude Standing. Solitude Standing was singer – songwriter Suzanne Vega’s second release.  It contained the hit song, “Luka.” I always thought that it was a song about spousal abuse. As I did my research on the album, I actually found out that it’s about child abuse. These are Suzanne’s own words… “          A few years ago, I used to see this group of children playing in front of my building, and there      was one of them, whose name was Luka, who seemed a little bit distinctive from the other children. I always remembered his name, and I always remembered his face, and I didn’t know much...

Mason Proffit “Wanted”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#598 in the Series) is Mason Proffit, Wanted. The Mason Proffit name is quite well known in these Chicago parts. I’m really not so sure outside of this market. I look forward to hearing from those not in our backyard. Mason Proffit was a mid to later 60s to early 70s band that was founded and fronted by the Talbot brothers, Terry and John-Michael. They both played guitar and supplied the writing and the vocals. They were actually one of the originators of country-rock.  It would be nice to see their name included more when someone tosses out names on the subject.  They really should be recognized more. One song that you may...

Iron and Wine “Kiss Each Other Clean”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#571 in the Series) is Iron and Wine, Kiss Each Other Clean (Warner Brothers US, 4AD Worldwide) Sam Beam is a chap who may have sneaked under your radar (he did mine for a while), mainly because Iron & Wine is not the type of band to receive mass airplay on radio or T.V.  What they are about, fortunately for us, is crafting superb albums full of beautiful, heartfelt songs. First some details. Iron & Wine is one of those bands that isn’t really a band at all. It’s basically one man, Sam Beam, who writes and sings and plays on everything. It’s pretty much Sam and whoever he chooses to work with...

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