Category: Americana

American Music Club “California”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#401 in the Series) is American Music Club, California The Ones That Got Away. It’s a list that surely every music fan has got: the great unsung heroes, the bands or artists that you consider to be utterly brilliant but who simply do not, for whatever reasons, get the credit and recognition they so deserve. I’ve certainly got such a list and you can be damn sure that very near the top of it is this band, American Music Club. Formed in San Francisco in 1983, A.M.C. were roughly contemporary with bands such as R.E.M. and The Replacements and like both those fine bands they went on to create some of the very...

Linda Ronstadt “Heart Like a Wheel”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#393 in the Series) is Linda Ronstadt, Heart Like A Wheel Laurel Canyon is a stretch of Los Angeles wonderland that runs through the Hollywood Hills from the Sunset Strip to the San Fernando Valley. That curving, stretching, boulevard of hipness and “California Noir” is where Carole King escaped to create her “Tapestry” masterpiece.  It was in Laurel Canyon, while living on Lookout Mountain with Joni Mitchell, that Graham Nash wrote “Our House”.  Leading the “Soft Parade” of Laurel Canyon artists, musicians, singers, and songwriters that included Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther, Warren Zevon, The Mamas and the Papas, the various incarnations of The Flying Burrito Brothers including Gram Parsons, most of The Eagles,...

John Fogerty ‘The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again”

Posted 28 May 2011 in 00s, Americana, Singer / Songwriter, Walt Falconer

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#388 in the Series) is John Fogerty, The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again Creedence Clearwater revival, in 1973, was the hottest band on the planet.  The group  was praised as the successors to the Beatles hit making machine with a strong string of hit singles that included  “ Proud Mary”, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”, “Bad Moon Rising”, “Green River”, and many more. John Fogerty, the main songwriter, leader, and lead singer , was one of only a handful of artists to make The Rolling Stone list of the 100 greatest guitar players (40), and the 100 greatest vocalists (72). So what do you do as an encore on the heels of...

Band of Horses “Infinite Arms”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#382 in the Series) is Band of Horses, Infinite Arms Band Of Horses have come a long way in the last seven years or so. Formed circa 2004 in Seattle by South Carolina native Ben Bridwell and his friend Mat Brooke, early promise saw them land a deal with that fine city’s most famous label Sub Pop. Two albums, Everything All The Time and Cease To Begin followed fairly quickly (Brooke left after the former and formed his own band Grand Archives) and some amazing live shows helped cement their reputation. Along the way they also found time to gather up a pretty fanatical group of followers. I well remember my first introduction...

EmmyLou Harris “Hard Bargain”

Gram Parsons has been gone for over 35 years now. Yet his influence on Emmylou Harris isn’t just hinted at in her sound. No, every so often, she gathers up that internal feeling and writes another great song to honor her dear friend. See: Boulder to Birmingham. I want to make sure that people know the other side of the story. We always hear how much Gram had to do with Emmylou’s early career. I want to make sure that people realize that this wasn’t a one way street. Emmylou may have helped Gram even more. Yes, you read it right. I’m referring to the Flying Burrito Brother era of Gram’s career and even into the period where he...

Chris Isaak “Baja Sessions”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#369 in the Series) is Chris Isaak, Baja Sessions OK, let’s cut straight to the chase here. This album was never going to be a ground-breaking, innovative classic. It was never going to change the face of modern music and it was never going to be sitting atop any “Greatest Album Of The Decade” polls. Heck , it’s probably not even Isaak’s best album. It was never about that. What it IS about though, undoubtedly, is a whole lot of laid-back, easy-going summertime fun ! Pure and simple. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that now is there ? Sometime in the early 90’s, Chris Isaak and his band found themselves down in...

BoDeans “Joe Dirt Car’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#359 in the Series) is BoDeans, Joe Dirt Car. Today we once again take a look at a live album. As you probably know, we only do this on Saturdays.  This one is from the Waukesha, Wisconsin band the BoDeans. The BoDeans hit the scene in the mid-80s.  They’re still going strong today.  They are led by two front men, guitar vocalists Kurt Neumann and Sam Llanas.  After those two, it’s been a complete revolving door.  It didn’t start off that way. They were a pretty stable band from the start to the early-90s.  Bassist Bob Griffin was around for a long time as well. To me, The BoDeans started off strongly. I...

Nanci Griffith “One Fair Summer Evening”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#325 in the Series and #25 in the Live, Saturday Night Series) is Nanci Griffith, One Fair Summer Evening. “Variety; Learning about different types of music; bringing different genres to different people.”   These were just some of the objectives that we publically discussed when we started this project just about a year ago. We’re most definitely going to continue in that direction tonight.  This is one of those albums that requires you to “be in the proper” mood. However, when you are, this album is about as good as it gets. “What mood is that?” you ask?  Mostly a mellow feeling I’d say, interested in hearing some wonderfully written songs being sung by...

Drive-By Truckers “Southern Rock Opera”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#324 in the Series) is Drive-By Truckers, Southern Rock Opera This is really an interesting project.  Drive-By Truckers had been around since 1996. They had released three albums. None that would make them household names, not even “trailerhold” names. For years they (actually mostly band leader Patterson Hood) had been thinking about a project that would eventually go a long way to raising their popularity to what it is now. That would be the double album Southern Rock Opera.  It was a tribute to the rock music of the south, leaning heavily toward Lynyrd Skynyrd.  It would not just feature Skynyrd, but southern rock and southern lifestyles in general. As alluded to earlier,...

The Jayhawks “Tomorrow the Green Grass”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#312 in the Series) is The Jayhawks, Tomorrow the Green Grass. A lot of great music has come out of Minneapolis, but I think of the Replacements, Husker Du, or Prince as acts that are identified with the Twin City area. The Jayhawks have a much different feel, and their alt- country-rock sound is just the kind of music that made an impact in the 90’s. Tomorrow the Green Grass was their 4th album, and the final release with Mark Olson. The Jayhawks continued on with a more pop feel for three more albums, fronted by founding member Gary Louris. When the band formed in 1985, they were opening for Alex Chilton in...

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