Andre Williams & The Sadies: Night & Day

Andre Williams and the Sadies

Andre Williams & The Sadies
Night & Day

28 May 2012
Yep Roc

Canada’s finest live band, The Sadies, have reunited with explicit soul singer/cult legend Andre Williams for Night and Day on Yep Roc Records. Night and Day is the result of sessions that began in 2008 at Key Club Studio in Detroit and captures Andre, then 70 years old and still using at the time, at his most raw, honest, and immediate. No filter.

Andre is aided by a stellar cast of musical friends, dirty bluesers who have earned the trust of the ancient hustler, including Jon Spencer (who directed these sessions) and Matt Verta-Ray of Heavy Trash, Danny Kroha of Detroit’s own gutter-blues superheroes, The Gories, the unsinkable Mekon, Jon Langford, and of course, behind it all, The Sadies’ long-time line-up of Dallas Good on guitars and keys, his brother Travis Good on guitars and fiddle, Mike Belitsky on drums, and the mighty Sean Dean on the bass. The result is a raw, gritty slice of raunch rock that has attitude in spades and the hooks and playing to back it up.

Sun Kil Moon: Among The Leaves

Sun Kil Moon - Among The Leaves

Sun Kil Moon
Among The Leaves

29 May 2012
Caldo Verde

“Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek revels in the succulent melancholy of sad autumn evenings in the backseat, garlanded with the shadow words of life’s heaviness, clearly woven by a master of spiritual spelunking.”Filter

“Kozelek manages to sublimate his pain into a grandiose yet good-humored catharsis throughout the uniformly superb Among the Leaves.”Under The Radar

Among The Leaves is the 5th full length album by Mark Kozelek under the Sun Kil Moon moniker. Played almost entirely on nylon string guitar, this 17-song all original album was recorded between October 2011 and January 2012 in San Francisco. Among The Leaves – words which caught Mark’s attention from a John Connolly novel – finds Mark relaxed, singing playfully about his life as a musician while retaining the melancholic spirit of his 20 year catalog. Mark’s love for San Francisco and Northern California are at the heart of this new album. “My first album (Down Colorful Hill) was released in 1992” says Kozelek, “but creatively, I feel like I’m just beginning. The new album was written and recorded impulsively, without second guessing. I didn’t have that kind of confidence in the past.” Unlike Red House Painters’ epic Rollercoaster, described by Rolling Stone as “the slowest and mopiest self revelations ever put to tape” or Sun Kil Moon’s Ghosts of the Great Highway, which Billboard Magazine called “heartbreaking,” Among The Leaves displays a more raw and humorous side of Mark’s songwriting. Aaron Prellwitz, recording engineer of Red House Painters and all 5 Sun Kil Moon albums describes the latest effort as “wonderfully direct.” Kozelek curiously ties together legends Joe Frazier, Bobby Fischer and Ed Gein in ‘The Winery’, ‘‘Song for Richard Collopy’ is a touching tribute to the late San Francisco guitar repairman, and ‘Sunshine In Chicago’ – written just before taking the stage at a Chicago venue last year – is a funny, self deprecating poke at life on the road. Though Among The Leaves is mostly in the solo, nylon string style of Admiral Fell Promises, a new ensemble of players joined Mark for a portion of the record, recalling the same spirit as April and Tiny Cities, but with a fresh, new sound. The album will be available digitally, on vinyl, and as a LIMITED EDITION DOUBLE CD SET.

Glenn Jones: The Wanting

Glenn Jones

Glenn Jones
The Wanting

September 13, 2011
Thrill Jockey

“Like all the best dreams.”Mojo

“The Wanting boasts both technical excellence and a cosy, welcoming atmosphere. A simple combination, perhaps, but a hugely rewarding one.”Drowned in Sound

The Wanting, Glenn Jones’ first album for Thrill Jockey, was recorded in a fourth floor apartment on Commonwealth Avenue, Allston, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, overlooking the commuter train line. If you listen carefully to the record, you can occasionally hear trains going by in the background. Reuben Son recorded the album between December 12, 2010, and April 20, 2011. The Wanting was mixed and mastered by long time collaborator Matthew Azevedo. Simply put, The Wanting is a collection of original compositions for solo acoustic steel string guitar, six-string, 10-string and bottleneck, and 5-string open-back banjo. A little background and context may help. So in his own words:

“The ‘60s, as has been drummed into our heads to the point of tediousness, was a period of musical growth and exploration. And while there does seem to have been something in the water back then that everyone of a certain age was sipping, I came of age late in that decade. In 1967, my head was blown off by Jimi Hendrix’s second album. After hearing it, I bugged my old man till he bought me my first guitar. I was 14. Today, I consider myself to be part of a tribe of acoustic finger-style guitar players whose main inspirations are the “American Primitive” or “Takoma school” guitarists, those centered around John Fahey.

The model par excellance, and the fountainhead, John virtually single-handedly created a style of solo guitar playing, as well as an audience to support it. He was also, for people like me, the inspiration to try making some kind of coherent music utilizing the acoustic guitar myself. Playing like the people who influence you, however, only gets you so far. No matter how much one loves a particular player, or how long one studies their work, it’s all but impossible to beat them at their own game. You’re always at a disadvantage. Better, therefore, to make up your own game, devise your own strategies, invent your own rules. This is what Fahey and Robbie Basho did, as well as such lesser-known players of the early-to-mid ‘60s as Max Ochs, Harry Taussig, Fred Gerlach, Dick Rosmini and others.

Luke Roberts: Iron Gates at Throop & Newport

Luke Roberts

Luke Roberts
Iron Gates at Throop & Newport

March 20, 2012
Thrill Jockey

“Roberts’ vocals are tender and bruised, and their smallness can be legitimately heartbreaking… These songs are fiercely internal, which also makes them remarkably hard to shake…”Pitchfork

“Roberts harks back to a time where songs where simply stories about life, accounts of the musician and of all he had gone through to get to where he was today. The musical history is not lost on Roberts and often he does a great service to those roots.”The 405

In the year since Luke Roberts recorded his debut Big Bells and Dime Songs a lot has changed. Luke now owns a guitar (a Collings 000 2H model) that his sophomore album was written on, he has moved from Brooklyn to Montana to Nashville, his childhood home, and the songs were written over a long period of time in his Brooklyn apartment (as opposed to largely on the bus down to the studio on the debut). The combination of changes made a significant and noticeable impact on the songwriting and arrangements found on The Iron Gates at Throop and Newport.

The album was recorded in Nashville by Marky Nevers, revised and tweaked at a few studios in Brooklyn, and finally mixed at RonnieJone$ound by Kyle Spence (of Harvey Milk). The Iron Gates at Throop and Newport is a big leap forward in Luke’s songwriting. The songs were recorded and reworked or rearranged and in some cases re-recorded. While Luke’s plain spoken lyrics are still present, they are now embedded in far more complex and dynamic arrangements. Where the debut was a raw country blues style recording with minimal editing and accompaniment, Iron Gates features many additional players from drums to harmonica, and notably the fiddle and mandolin of country player Billy Contraraz, and the backing vocals of Emily Sunblad.

Karen Dalton: 1966

Karen Dalton - 1966

Karen Dalton
1966

January 24, 2012
LIGHT IN THE ATTIC

“Essential to anyone searching for modern folk’s head waters.”Q Magazine

“The old-timey accompaniment and Dalton’s bluesy vocals perfectly suit Hardin’s exquisitely sad songs.”Uncut

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Karen Dalton was a remote, elusive creature. A hybrid of tough and tender with an unearthly voice that seemed to embody a time long past. As is often the case with such fragile beings, she instinctively understood that the only way to survive the harshness of the world around her, was to keep herself hidden. So it comes as no great surprise that she rarely sang in public or ventured into the unnatural setting of a recording studio. Only twice, for 1969’s It’s So Hard To Tell Who’s Going To Love You The Best and then again for 1971’s In My Own Time, was she coaxed from her habitat into the studio. Other times she made music in casual settings, sitting around a kitchen table or wood burning stove with her friends, singing and playing until daybreak.

In 1966, Carl Baron brought his reel to reel over to her remote cabin in Summerville, Colorado and recorded one of those exquisite musical evenings. Karen and Richard Tucker were rehearsing for a gig when Carl hit the “Record” button. The result is a 45-year-old tape, carefully exhumed, documenting Karen at her most raw and unfiltered. On it are Fred Neil and Tim Hardin songs we’ve never heard Karen give voice to before, as well as traditional songs she uncannily makes her own, including a devastating version of ‘Katie Cruel’, that is so powerful, it is as if the ghost of Katie Cruel seeped into her blood. This recording is a window to her Summerville cabin opened, allowing us to eavesdrop on Karen Dalton at her most pure and unaffected.

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