About this time last year, every website and periodical that regularly does these type of things put out their “Best of the Decade” lists. Problem is, they were all wrong. All of them. And not just for country music. For ALL of music, and for movies, TV shows, whatever. Why? No, not because I’m a raging culture snob, because officially the decade does not end until tonight.
.357 String Band
As with the Albums of the Year, 2010 will go down as a high water mark for the amount of top quality songs released.
A Song of the Year can’t just be good, it has to touch you. You have to be a different person, in whatever small way, after listening to it. Points are rewarded for things like catchiness and accessibility, but you’ll have to get at least a little bit deep to makes this year’s list. Great songs speak to many people, but to each individual in different ways. We also saw a lot of songs this year with an epic approach, whose sheer vision and grand design deserves to be highlighted.
.357 String Band, Hank III, Hellbound Glory, Hillstomp, Jayke Orvis, Joseph Huber, Lucky Tubb, Possessed by Paul James, Reverend Deadeye, Roger Alan Wade, The Boomswagglers, Trampled by Turtles, Wayne Hancock
Jayke Orvis isn’t just a songwriter and mandolin player, he is a composer. When I first heard the song “Raise the Moon” on .357 String Band’s first album, I knew this was more than mere throwing words and chords together. “Dreadful Sinner” from his new album Its All Been Said is in the same vein, with tight arrangements in a composition-based approach that is more like classical music than anything.
Mandolin maestro Jayke Orvis is hitting the road once again as his own man, with help from some familiar faces. The former .357 Sting Band member, and occasional member of The Goddamn Gallows has roped in the greatness of James Hunnicutt, along with Joe Perreze on banjo and Fishgutz (The Goddamn Gallows) on bass, aka ‘The Broken Band’ for a tour through the South and Midwest starting mid January.
Following is my list for the essential albums for 2010, broken down into a few of categories.This is meant to compliment the Album of the Year candidates in this super-packed year for stellar music. Hopefully next year, Saving Country Music can branch out a bit and cover the more traditional mainstream acts, but it will always be on top of the smaller acts trying to get their music out there, not instead of them.
.357 String Band, Brigitte London, Dale Watson, Farmageddon Records, Hank III, Hillstomp, Jayke Orvis, Joseph Huber, Legendary Shack Shakers, Lucky Tubb, Peewee Moore, Pete Berwick, Reverend Deadeye, Shelli Coe, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, The Shivering Denizens, Those Poor bastards, Tom VandenAvond, Trampled by Turtles, Wayne Hancock, Whitey Morgan & The 78's
2010 has been a bumper crop year for outstanding REAL/Outlaw/roots/underground/insurgent country to say the least. The result is some projects that may have been serious candidates for Saving Country Music’s Album of the Year in another calendar cycle will not appear, and the requirements must become even more rigorous. For an album to be considered this year, it must be a top-caliber project not just for this year, but for all-time.
.357 String Band, Deguello Motel, Feed The Family, Hank III, Hellbound Glory, Jayke Orvis, Justin Townes Earle, Lucky Tubb, Old Highs and New Lows, Possessed by Paul James, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Roger Alan Wade, Scott Biram, Wayne Hancock
It might be easy to gloss over just how good of a songwriter Joseph Huber is from his work with the .357 String Band. The break neck nature of their music tends to make your brain focus on the energy instead of the enigmatic lyricism and above average song structuring. But slow the songs down and you can see it, and that is exactly what Joe has done with Bury Me When I Fall.
A couple of weeks ago, I caught up with Bob Wayne before his gig at Austin’s Hole in the Wall to discuss a few things, including the slight delay in the release of his new album Outlaw Carnie and his relationship with the traditionally heavy metal label Century Media, as well as the new band lineup, and how he lets Andy Gibson beat him at video games.
Joseph Huber, one of the primary songwriters and banjo/fiddle player for the high-octane bluegrass outfit The .357 String Band has released a solo album called Bury Me Where I Fall. This album marks a completely different direction from the punk-inspired string music Joe & .357 are known for, but not in the emphasis on top-notch songwriting. Joe takes a more poetic, Townes Van Zandt approach to the lyrics, and a more artistic approach to the music.
Today was going to be the release date for Bob Wayne’s new album Outlaw Carnie, but despite a big press push the last few days, it will not come out until January 25, 2011. Wayne had originally been warning folks the new album wasn’t going to be out until early 2011, but then Oct. 26 had been thrown out there as the date. The new album also at one point was going to be called “From The Camper to the Cadillac.”
“I would have left anyway because I was not happy with a lot of things. It could have been so easy. Just the way it happened, the way it went down is what made me so hurt by it. Just tossed out like a bugger, or like a groupie.”
“I know it happened for a good reason. I’m happier now anyway. You know, if it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t be playing with The Gallows. I’m just thrilled to be with these guys.”
Last week an article was posted on No Depression lamenting the glossification of bluegrass. Of course my first thought was to point out bands like Trampled By Turtles, The .357 String Band, Split Lip Rayfield, The Hackensaw Boys, Larry & His Flask, and many others. But aside from that, I think you can make a […]
.357 String Band, Justin Townes Earle, Larry & His Flask, Natalie Maines, No Depression, NPR, NPR Music, Old Crow Medicine Show, Split Lip Rayfield, The Dixie Chicks, The Hackensaw Boys, Trampled by Turtles
Last October, I stepped onto Joe Buck’s legendary motorhome for an interview, and during our conversation he dropped the bomb that he’d signed to Century Media and was going to be working on a record with legendary producer Jack Endino. This was big news, because Joe Buck was about the last person I envisioned signing […]
When maestro mandolin player and songwriter Jayke Orvis left the .357 String Band, some heavy metal transplants were screeching that he took all of their grittiness, guts, and anger with him. Taking that theory to its natural conclusion, I guess a few were expecting his solo project to be some sort of bloodletting ritual that […]
When I first heard Old Crow’s self-titled album, I ate it right up. With instant classics like “Tell It To Me” and “Wagon Wheel,” OCMS became a popular band for such a rootsy, raw sound, and a major influence in alt-country/roots music. But as I listened to that album and their subsequent releases, my mood […]
Yes, I know you are all probably tired of hearing me yap about the Muddy Roots Festival coming up this weekend, but now there is a way for ALL of us to participate, whether we make it out there or not. The Festival, in conjunction with thealternateroot.com has released a FREE compilation of music from […]
Jayke “Goddamn” Orivs, (a name I coined, thank you very much) formerly of the .357 String Band and now of The Goddamn Gallows, has finally set a hard and fast release date of June 29th for his solo project called It’s All Been Said. Originally there had been some chatter about it being released in […]
.357 String Band, Album, Banjer Dan, Black Eyed Vermillion, Cover, Farmageddon Records, Gary Lindsey, It's All Been Said, James Hunnicutt, Jayke Orvis, JB Beverley and the Wayward Drifters, record, release date, The Goddamn Gallows, Vinyl
I picture a post-Apolcolyptic scene: ghost towns full of crumbling buildings and rubble, smoke filling the sky and blocking out the sun, the result of a society that gave no value to art, heritage, and truth; a vast wasteland of grayness. Then all of a sudden in the midst of all the death and decay, […]
.357 String Band, Album, Andy Gibson, Black Eyed Vermillion, Brittney Spears, CD, Compilation, Dave Smith and the Country Rebels, Hellbound Glory, Izzy and the Kesstronics, Joe Buck Yourself, Joey Allcorn, Last False Hope, Little Lisa Dixie, Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours, Old Red Shed, Outlaw Radio, Rachel Brooke, Review, Roger Alan Wade, Ronnie Hymes, Shooter Jennings, Six Gun Britt, Taylor Swift, Ted Russell Kamp, The Boomswagglers, The Dad Horse Experience, The Fisticuffs, The Goddamn Gallows, Those Poor bastards, Tompall Glasser
Well ladies and gentlemen, we were a week late, but we got the REAL Country Roundtable Volume 2 done. Topics discussed include: Why so many REAL country bands are coming out of the Midwest and Upper Midwest (and not the South). Has the .357 String Band “lost something” since mandolin player Jayke Orvis left. And […]
On the latest episode of the It Burns When I Pee podcast, Joe Huber of the .357 String Band let it be known that the high octane bluegrass band plans to continue touring and backing up Bob Wayne once the platoon gets back from a stint in Europe this month. “Bob is one hilarious dude […]