Monday, March 25, 2013

Fifth On The Floor - Ashes & Angels

Fifth On The Floor is a Southern-Rock/Country act out of Lexington, KY.  I had heard a few track off of their earlier releases which I thought were ok.  A little too "jacked up" for my ears but definitely a sound that had potential.  Well that potential is reached with their third release Ashes & Angels.  The band has gone through some lineup changes and some refinements to their sound and all of the pieces seem to come together on this release.

At times hard charging southern rock and at other turns there is some pretty traditional country sounds complete with a mournful steel guitar.  The first track I heard was January In Louisiana which I think gives you a pretty good snapshot of what Fifth on the Floor is all about.

Along with Shotgun and Wild Child this track finds FOTF in full kick ass rockin' mode while Angels in the Snow, Whiskey, and Wine are most definitely in the country camp.  The mix of styles flows well from song to song for a great listen.

Fifth On The Floor has made a pretty damn fine that should appeal to southern rockers and less mainstream country fans alike. Grab a copy from the band, pop a cold one and enjoy.

Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell - The Paramount 3/24/13

 Damn, I forgot my camera...everyone else seems to get good pictures with their phone but me.  Oh well, at least the show was really good.

I have to admit I am not all that well versed in the music of Richard Thompson.  I've owned Shoot Out The Lights for years, but never moved past that release.  After seeing him with his Electric Trio I think I may have to dig a bit deeper.  An absolutely tremendous guitarist.
 Emmylou and Rodney are out on tour in support of their duets album Old Yellow Moon.  What seemed like a can't miss on paper turned out to be a can't miss album.  These two old friends and colleagues have made a great record featuring some well chosen covers which are performed exactly as you would want them to be.
The show last night featured that album, some other covers and a smattering of their own signature songs.  The band was tight, the singers were in fine voice and a good time was had by all.  The show was as good as I expected but I wonder what was up with the crowd...old-timer WFUV fans who appeared to be snoozing!  Oh well, their loss.  Catch this show if it comes your won't be disappointed.

Here are a few better shots courtesy of Larry Dell'Erba.

Robben Ford - Boulton Cener on 3/15/13

I always like to hear Robben Ford play.  He has one of the most identifiable guitar sound to these ears and I try to catch him whenever I can.  Last summer he was working out some new material and playing some blues at BB King's in NYC.  This time around he is out in support of his newest  Bringing It Back Home.  The set leaned heavily on the new album with a few songs from some of his more recent effort sprinkled in. 

Robben is firmly in the soul-blues realm this time out and the material he has chosen is perfectly listenable and make for a nice little show.  I am not one of those fans who expects the hits and oldies, but it would be nice to get one or two from his earlier work (both with and without The Blue Line).  I didn't hold up much hope so I was not really disappointed, but maybe just once...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Holly Williams - The Highway

Being Hank's grand daughter gets you a listen.  Genetics has to count for something doesn't it?  You get the play by birth right.  You get played about a gazillion times this month by making one of the finest records I have heard in a good long while.  Holly Williams "The Highway" is the first great record of 2013.

One listen to the lead track Drinkin' and I was hooked.  The perfect mix of songwriting, singing and playing...Americana defined.  Check out the official video.

There are some upbeat tracks and some ballads any of which blows away what is being sold by Nashville as country music in 2013.  Railroads should be a hit on CMT but that'll never's too good.  There is so much to like here from the title track to the very last Waitin' On June.  The last one is one giant "ball in the throat" song written in her maternal grandfathers voice about his life with his wife.  If we all get to live that life we will leave this earth winners in my book.  Stellar song writing.

I can recommend this one enough.  Go grab yourself a copy from iTunes, or even better yet on vinyl, you won't regret this one folks.  Here's a little more video to whet your appetites.