Revered mandolin player, guitarist, banjoist, dobro, and steel guitar player Billy Cook has died. Known for working with band such as Bob Wayne and the Outlaw Carnies and the .357 String Band…
Apparently not enough hearts have been broken, not enough tears cried, not enough minds sent swooning, and not enough sorrow sown. If you want something done right, you often have to do it yourself, and the Queen of Underground Country is back to show all you whipper snappers how it’s done.
The Dirty Ol’ One Man Band Scott H. Biram is gearing up to go screaming and howling all across the United States in 2019, and he’s dragging a cadre of cool performers along with him that should get dark roots and underground country fans salivating. The Urban Pioneers and The Goddam Gallows will be joining him.
Though they never hit the big time or won any major awards, those who are familiar with the legacy of the .357 String Band know they were one of the most important bands in underground roots music history, combining break neck speed, world-class instrumentation, compelling songwriting, and a punk attitude.
The new Urban Pioneers album ‘Hillbilly Swing Music’ is true to the title, filled with fun ditties and infectious reels that reawaken the simple joy of primitive American string music in a way that is invigorating and fun, yet still enriching with intelligent turns and deceptively-smart songwriting.
The 4th Annual Westport Roots Festival occurred this Memorial Day weekend in Kansas City’s Westport District, with over 80 bands participating on six separate stages. One of the most anticipated and talked about moments of the festival was the reunification of Jayke Orvis and The Broken Band.
The Westport Roots Festival in Kansas City, MO is getting ready for an action packed Memorial Day weekend May 26-28, with over 80 bands on six separate stages taking part in the fourth annual event in the city’s Westport District. Organized by The Westport Saloon and Little Class Records, the event will be headlined by…
word has come down that Jayke Orvis has decided to suit up once again with the Goddamn Gallows on their upcoming nationwide tour. Stepping aside for the moment is banjo player Joe Perreze. “I will be back with them onstage in the future and look forward to enjoying the show from the audience in the meantime,” says Perreze. The Gallows will be touring behind their latest album “The Maker.”
This isn’t any slick and polished nouveau bluegrass with lilting runs and brazen compositional poise, this is Stringbean and Grandpa Jones slapping away at strings while sucking on corn pipes trying to entertain folks on back porches and beyond. Unpretentious and fun, and fairly authentic to the Appalachian traditions, The Urban Pioneers will make you chuckle and strut, and see the timeless value in the old traditions of primitive country.
Like a wild animal pacing restlessly in a cage all day and then suddenly let free, Lindsey’s presence was an immediate burst of energy spilled on stage as he feverishly fulfilled his role as the Damn Band’s and Assjack’s screamer/singer. But if that’s all you knew of Gary Lindsey, you may hardly recognize him in a black sport coat and fedora, fronting Black Eyed Vermillion or The Pleasure Tide…
New West recording artist Austin Lucas has just announced a string of new tour dates across the United States and a few stops in Canada, but this won’t be your garden variety Austin Lucas tour. Joining him on stage in acoustic collaborations will be mandolin extraordinaire Jayke Orvis, Jon Snodgrass, Canadian singer/songwriter Northcote, and Caleb Caudle for select dates.
So who could step up of in the country music vocal duo space who could duel with the heavyweights of the mainstream, and offer more substance to that category like The Civil Wars did? Of course there will only be one Civil Wars and nobody will be able to replace them completely, but here are some ideas who could have a similar impact.
Old Crow Medicine Show’s new album Remedy is the first album the string band has released since officially minting a #1 song in the form of Darius Rucker’s take on “Wagon Wheel”, and the first as the freshest members of the prestigious Grand Ole Opry. 2013 was a big year for the buskers, and the band has gone from riding praise from Doc Watson and the kind mentoring from David Rawlings ….
Call them the underground roots house band or the underground roots All-Star Band, either way the super couple of fiddle player Liz Sloan, and upright bass player (and banjo player, apparently) Jared McGovern have comprised, and do comprise the backbone of so many hard-working, road-weary roots bands, it’s a wonder they have any time to breathe, let alone record their own album.
The greatest album, and the greatest recorded song will never be able to trump the truly live musical experience where music is shared in real time with both the artist and listeners. It is in this spirit that each year I assemble a list of the Best Live Performances to reinforce that as technology and the busying of life incrementally encroach upon us, we must remember that the live music show deserves its own attention and reverence.
2013 has been self-proclaimed by Saving Country Music as the “Year of the Songwriter,” and this list of candidates for SCM’s Album of the Year reflect that dynamic of an elevated bar of songwriting excellence that these 8 artists have set. There is no arbitrary number of slots for candidates for this award. Nominees are chosen only if they have a legitimate chance of winning…
It’s been nearly 5 years since songwriter, performing artist, and pioneer of underground country J.B. Beverley released his last album with the country band The Wayward Drifters, and now he’s finally back with a new record, but it’s not with The Wayward Drifters, or exclusively a country project. Since “Stripped to the Root” might lend to a little curiosity, we decided to place a call to J.B…..
One of the great things about roots music is its Gothic legacy of cautionary tales, ghost stories, murder ballads, messages to the infirmed, and other such methods of macabre that allow country and roots artists to paint in dark colors when they so choose. This makes roots music one of the best realms to draw from when putting together your Halloween playlist.
The underground country movement initially formed around the mid 90’s not because somebody launched a website or a record label. It wasn’t because of a festival or because someone came up with a special name for a new genre. It came from the songs artists were writing, recording, and performing; songs that spoke very deep to the hearts of hungry listeners.
I actually come from the camp that believes that if Mumford & Sons weren’t so popular, more core roots fans would respect them. But it is really hip to hate and undervalue Mumford right now. Let’s hope that the current backlash doesn’t hurt every band with a banjo, because there’s many great string bands out there that and mix high energy and heartfelt songs into the string band concept.
2013 has come on strong here recently for quality albums, with some real contenders for the coveted “Album of the Year” distinction released just in the last week. Any “Best Of” album list for 2013 is also going to reflect the leadership and creativity displayed by country music women, which has become one of the year’s underlying themes so far.
If you’re looking for an act that is still virtually unknown, one that is buried deep in the underground and that embodies the raw energy of the roots movement and not just a commercially-viable watered-down derivative, one whose active ingredient still works on even the most hardened of roots addicts, then Jayke Orvis and The Broken Band might be your drug.
The Farmageddon Records family suffered a grave loss last week when Richard Laferte II unexpectedly passed away Saturday, January 5th while visiting family and friends in Maine. Following a formal time of remembrance, the gathering turned to celebrating Richard’s life through music. The celebration included the reunification of 3 original members of the .357 String Band, Jayke Orvis, Derek Dunn, and Joseph Huber.
Where 2011 felt like a high water mark year for live performances and an average year for recorded projects, 2012 feels vice versa. When I look back on 2011, it seemed like there were moments I experienced that I will never top the rest of my life. 2012 is the year that some albums and songs were released that may never be topped. Still there were a quite a few memorable performances worth noting.