Showing posts with label Iron and Wine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iron and Wine. Show all posts

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Iron & Wine - first entry out of the gate for Album of the Year

In music like politics early front runners can gain an adavantage. Using the political analogy, I believe Iron & Wine has just won the The Iowa Caucus. Ironically, some loyal fans are rebelling. It seems they never wanted Sam Beam to move away from the introverted, etheral sound, to which they became accustomed.

On Kiss Each Other Clean we discover that Beam's voice has a range that he has never unleashed. He hasn't lost the muted raspy tone of previous efforts. He just shows so much more. The melodies aren't hidden on this album. While it may be a new direction, it moves with the brush strokes of a diverse pallet. From the first listen, it is clear that Kiss Each Other Clean will be a career defining album for Iron & Wine.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Amos Lee- Mission Bell

On January 25th, Amos Lee is going to release Mission Bell on Blue Note Records. Mark your calendars, this early January release will remain on many best of lists by the end of 2011. Characteristically, Lee's soulful voice is the focal point of the album. However, the sound of Mission Bell exhibits more texture than his previous releases. The project is produced by Joey Burns, from Calexico. His imprints are seen on every song. Mission Bell has a compelling echo, that adds a new dimension to Amos Lee's sound, and perfectly matches the lyrical theme of each track. 

It is an album about searching. The search is not temporal. Instead, the search is a cerebral journey. "Windows are Rolled Down" takes place at the interseciton of lonliness and renewal. The dichotomy of despair and hope pull the listener in two different directions. Conversely "Flower" is infused with a hope that is more optimistic, in fact it is a mature form of Naivete. Some songs, like "Stay With Me" are more atmospheric, but the soulful side of Lee is not lost or overshadowed on "Mission Bell", as shown by the song "Learned a Lot". However, an album with this much texture is perfect for guests like Sam Beam (Iron and Wine), Lucinda Williams and Pieta Brown. Willie Nelson also appears on the final track to make the exit from Mission Bell equal to its' entrance.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Settin' the Woods on Fire: This Week's Charts

This is a bi-weekly feature in which I post on AWT the top albums and debuts in the airplay charts from Americana Music Assoc., XM Cross Country and FMQB Non-Commercial Adult Alternative chart. Links to all of these charts are found to the right in the AWT favorite links list. These are the first charts I am posting for 2008.

Americana Music Association - Airplay Week og January 7th
1) Steve Earle - Washington Square Serenade
2) Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand
3) Levon Helm - Dirt Farmer
4) John Fogerty - Revival
5) Ryan Bingham - Mescalito
6) Shooter Jennings - The Wolf
7) Dwight Yoakam - Dwight Sings Buck
8) Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez - Live from Ruhr Triennale
9) Gougers - A long Day for the Weathervane
10) Various - Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino

33) Tift Merrit - Another Country
37) Sara Cox - Crowded is the New Lonely

XM Ch.12 Cross Country - Cross Checking week of Jan. 7th
1) Ryan Bingham - Mescalito
2) Levon Helm - Dirt Farmer
3) Bleu Edmondson - Lost Boy
4) The Bridge - Th Bridge
5) Miles from Nowhere - Bloodlines
6) Dwight Yoakam - Dwight Sings Buck
7) Shooter Jennings - The Wolf
8) Deadstring Brothers - Silver Mountain
9) Cross Canadian Ragweed - Mission California
10) Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez - Live from Ruhr Triennale

47) Red Stick Ramblers - Made in the Shade
48) Steeldrivers - Self-Titled
49) Marah - Angels of Destruction

FMQB AAA Non-Commercial - Airplay Week of Dec. 31st
1) Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand
2) Bruce Springsteen - Magic
3) Iron & Wine - The Shepherds' Dog
4) Radiohead - In Rainbows
5) Neil Young - Chrom Dreams II
6) KT Tunstall - Drastic Fantastic
7) Steve Earle - Washington Square Serenade
8) Eddie Vedder - Into the Wild
9) Spoon - GaGaGaGaGa
10) Levon Helm - Dirt Farmer

18) Jack Johnson - Sleep Through the Static
22) Sheryl Crow - Detours
24) Keller Williams - 12

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Best of 2007

This is My updated Best of 2007. Wilco is still #1. The debuts are Lyle Lovett at #5, Oakley Hall at #16, Josh Ritter at #20, Iron & Wine at #30, Mary Gauthier at #33, Bettye Lavette at #38, Slider Pines at #40, Alberta Cross at #41 and finally Steve Earle at #45. Also, as usual, I did some rearranging based on further reflection.

Since I vowed last month to stop at 50, some albums had to come off. My apologies to the following artists, Hoots & Hellmouth, Eillen Jewell, Pieta Brown, 2 Cow Garage, Willy Mason, Pela, Brandi Carlisle, Martin Sexton, Okkervil River and The Derailers. For a year in which you hear so much negative press about the music industry, 2007 is a banner year. The major labels may have committed Pop suicide but the indie world is as or even more prolific as ever. Enjoy the list and feel free to tell me how you agree or disagree. Also, make no hesitation to trash me or my intelligence in any way you see fit. I'm used to it.

1) Wilco - "Sky Blue Sky"
2) Patty Griffin - "Children Running Through"
3) White Stripes - "Icky Thump"
4) Kelly Willis - "Translated From Love"
5) Lyle Lovett - "It's Not Big It's Large"
6) Wrinkle Neck Mules - "Wicks Have Met"
7) Jason Isbell - "Sirens of the Ditch"
8) Assembly of Dust - "Recollection"
9) Kane, Welch, Kaplin - Kane Welch Kaplin
10) Hackensaw Boys - "Look Out"
11) The Shins - "Wincing the Night Away"
12) Ryan Adams - "Easy Tiger"
13) John Doe - "A year in the Wilderness"
14) Son Volt - "The Search"
15) Peter Case - "Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John"
16) Oakley Hall - "I'll Follow You"
17) The Broken West - "I Can't Go on I'll Go on"
18) Elliot Randall - "Take the Fall"
19) The Basement - "Illicit Hugs and Playground Thugs"
20) Josh Ritter - "The Historical Conquests of"
21) Paul McCartney - " Memory Almost Full"
22) Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles - "Diamonds in the Dark"
23) Kim Richey - "Chinese Boxes"
24) Joe Henry - "Civilians"
25) King Wilkie - "Low Country Suite"
26) Modest Mouse - "We Were Dead Before he Ship Ever Sank"
27) Giant Bear - "Giant Bear"
28) Josh Rouse - "Country Mouse, City house"
29) Feist - "The Reminder"
30) Iron & Wine - "The Shepherds Dog"
31) Olav Larsen and the Alabama Rodeo Stars - "Loves' Com to Town"
32) Elizabeth Cook - "Balls"
33) Mary Gauthier - Between Daylight and Dark"
34) Grace Potter and the Nocturnals - "This is Somewhere"
35) Dale Watson - "From the Cradle to the Grave"
36) Spoon - "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga"
37) The Gourds - "Noble Creatures"
38) Bettye Lavette - "The Scene o the Crime"
39) The National - "Boxer"
40) Slider Pines - "Road, Avenue, Railroad"
41) Alberta Cross - "The Thief and the Heartbreaker"
42) Charlie Louvin - "Charlie Louvin"
43) Infamous Stringdusters - "Fork in the Road"
44) Nathan - "Key Principles"
45) Adam Hood - "Different Groove"
46) Steep Canyon Rangers - "Lovin' Pretty Women"
47) Rocky Votolato - "The Brag and Cuss"
48) Steve Earle - "Washington Square Serenade"
49) Joe Ely - "Happy Song from Rattlesnake Gulch"
50) Cadillac Sky - "Blind Man Walking"

Friday, September 21, 2007

Releases September 25th

There are a number of good releases slated for Sept. 25th but here are a just a few I am most excited about:

Bettye LaVette with Drive-By-Truckers - Scene of the Crime. Recorded at the vaunted Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The combination of Lavette's soul and the Truckers' grit is a recipe for success.
Click to Hear Samples

Billy Joe Shaver - Everybody's Brother. This album was produced by John Carter Cash. From the samples I have heard, he did a nice job of adding production value without taking away Shaver's live feel.

Video of "Get Thee Behind Me Satan" with John Anderson:

Iron & Wine - The Shepherds Dog. Judging by the first single, "Boy with a Coin," Sam Beam is at again with his atmospheric folk music and transcendent lyrics.
Stream at Sub-Pop

Pieta Brown - Remember the Sun. Read my previous review to see what i thought of this mesmerizing release by the daughter of Greg Brown.