Category Archives: Americana

Peter Cooper

Peter Cooper’s “Fifty Country Songs that Every Songwriter Should Know” – American Songwriter.

Back in 2010 in the Ma/June issue of American Songwriter, which was their Country Music issue Peter Cooper put together a list of 50 country songs every songwriter should know. They are not necessarily the top fifty Country songs, rather they are 50 songs that every country songwriter should know if they want to know how to write a great country song!!. Here are the top 25 songs:

1 “Lost Highway” – written by Leon Payne – recorded by Hank Williams

2. “The Gambler” – Don Schlitz – Kenny Rogers (writer, artist)

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Eliot Bronson

Eliot Bronson – Eliot Bronson

Eliot BronsonEarlier this week I saw an interesting name at number 19 on the Roots Music Report’s Folk Chart, Eliot Bronson! Then I saw Eliot Bronson again at number 19 on the FAR Chart. Finally, I saw Eliot Bronson at number 1, on the Euro-Americana Chart! Since I know that those Europeans know their Americana music, I knew I had to check out Eliot’s new album, simply titled Eliot Bronson. Now you would think that since the album is self-titled, it is a debut album. If you did that, you would be wrong! The 35 year-old Baltimore native, has previously released two solo albums, Blackbirds in 2011 and Milwaukee in 2012. Prior to those releases Eliot was one-half of the successful awarding-winning duo The Brilliant Inventions. The other half was Josh Lamkin. The Brilliant Inventions….. From Wikipedia:

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New Americana from Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen – Cold Spell!! – I Love his Mandolin!

[spotify track=”null”]With thoughts of Rob Ickes swirling in my mind last night, I listened again to Cold Spell, the new release from Frank Solivan andCold Spell Dirty Kitchen, on the way to work at Target last night. Ickes is a guest on the album and as usual provides some great dobro to go with Solivan’s fine mandolin picking!!

Cold Spell is the third release from Frank and his band and with each release the band and Frank’s star has risen!  Back in August, when the band released  Cold Spell rel it rose to No 3 on the Billboard Bluegrass Charts! In addition, Frank and the band have been nominated for the following International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards…..

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“Into the Morning” with Two Bluegrass Masters – Jim Hurst and Rob Ickes – “Going Down that Road Feeling Bad”

This afternoon I was listening to the latest release from Breaking Grass Just as Strong, after listening for a while, I went and found a video of the band seems that the band has everything I like fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, and bass, wait! There’s no dobro! But I listened anyway and they are a damn fine band without the dobro and I will listen to Just as Strong a few more times before I write about it…. but thinking about the dobro got me thinking about Rob Ickes, and then I came across this post and thought I’d post it again!!!

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The Infamous Stringdusters – Let It Go! and we’re all in for a treat!! (Video)

Infanous StringdustersAlabama once sang “If you’re gonna play in Texas, you gotta have a fiddle in the band”. I’ll change that and add “if you’re gonna make me happy, you better have a dobro in the band” and a fiddle and banjo wouldn’t  hurt!! Well, The Infamous Stringdusters have a dandy dobro player, Andy Hall, fine fiddler Jeremy Garrett, a bouncy, bombastic?? banjo player in Chris Pandolfi in combination with the guitar of Andy Falco and bass of Travis Book and listening to their latest album Let It Go today made me very happy!! And obviously a lot of other folks Let It Go is No 1 on the Roots Music Report Bluegrass Chart, #8 on the Americana Music Chart and No 3 on the Billboard Charts. After emerging eight years ago, they’ve grown from wunderkids to established stars with chart toping albums and Grammy nominations! Each year they have grown a little more and increased their crossover appeal  The band appears on stages as diverse as Telluride, Grey Fox, Bonnaroo and High Sierra. A quote on their website sums it up well…..

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Morning Train of Thoughts…. From “Goodbye Walker Percy” to Goodbye, Jesse Winchester.

I’ve written before about how I like music that creates a “sense of place” and as  was listening to some acoustic guitar this morning, some of that music crept into the jukebox in my head. The first song that did, because of the acoustic guitar that I was listening to, was Brooks Williams’ song “Goodbye Walker Percy” Every time I hear this song I am transported to somewhere in the south sitting along the banks of the Mississippi, sipping a mint julep!

Next came thoughts of Jack Williams. The first song of Jack’s that appeared in the jukebox was his song to his mother  “Mama Lou” So I went and listen to that got hungry and went and made breakfast. But as I was watching “Mama Lou”  I spied on the sidebar his song “The Old Buck Dancers Gone” A song he wrote about the death of author James Dickey.

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“Into the Night” with Two Bluegrass Masters – Jim Hurst and Rob Ickes – “Going Down that Road Feeling Bad”

Rob Ickes and Jim HurstSo last night before listening to Cameron Milford again and reading that Rob Ickes had played on his album, I found this video of Rob Ickes and Jim Hurst performing one of my favorite songs “Going Down the Road Feeling Bad”.I was impressed by the guitar picking of Jim Hurst on the video, and of course, I always am impressed by Mr. Ickes! After watching, I went and read a little about Mr Hurst and discovered that he had been a member of Claire Lynch’s band …. From Jim’s biography at his website:

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Today in Music – Nov 11, 1941 – Jesse Colin Young was Born – Happy Birthday, Jesse!!

Today we celebrate the birthday of the leader of The Youngbloods and solo artist Jesse Colin Young!  Who was born Perry Miller on November 11, 1941 in New York City. His mother was a violinist and his father an accountant.  From 1969 to 1972 Young recorded four albums with band mates: Jerry Corbitt(guitar), Lowell “Banana” Levinger (keyboard/guitar) ,and Joe Bauer(drums). Obviously, “Get Together ” was their biggest hit! One of my favorite songs of the Youngbloods comes from the album Rock Concert.It’s a Lovely Day”

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Life’s Soundtrack – A Busy Work Day in the Pines Music by Old Buck!

In the PinesToday I was in the Pines of South Jersey testing concrete that’s being used in the re-construction of the spillway, for the dam at the upper lake at Camp Inawendiwin Tabernacle, NJ. So I thought it only fitting that the soundtrack to the site should have a little twang to it. The band I chose for the ride to the site is a new band with an “old name and music type - Old Buck from  Walkertown, NC  and they play some mean old timey music. On their Facebook page they describe their music as “kickin’ stringband fiddle music and songs. kick ass, cookin’, and flat out“.

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Lunchtime Music from Batdorf and Rodney – “One Day”…..

Off the ShelfSo sometime in 1971 or 72, I was walking through the  Graham Area lobby at the University of Florida and two guys were playing guitars and singing. I sat down and listened and was blown away by the songs. When they finished, I asked if the songs were theirs and they said, no they were covering Batdorf and Rodney. Within a matter of days, you know I was at the local record store looking for their album!! What I found was Off the Shelf and that album has been “off the shelf” and on my record player, in my CD player and now on my mp3 player for the last forty years.

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