september 2009

thumbnailTHE COALMEN: KIDS WITH SONGS— If you can imagine a band that can really rock, flat-out rock, no BS, in the style of early Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers while also keeping one foot in hard country, and writing original songs with the soul, detail and craft of Radney Foster's personal missives, you would have before you the Coalmen. Kids With Songs has it all, musically, lyrically, vocally and in its sturdy, no-frills arrangements so smartly designed for maximum atmospheric punch while keeping a discrete distance so as to make the vocals, the narratives, the most prominent and memorable feature of the mixes.

HONEY DON'T: HONEY DON'T—Carl Perkins liked to think of his music as being of the "feel good" variety, owing to its propulsive rhythmic thrust and high spirits (sometimes literally, as in being the product of too much alcohol consumed in the Sun studio during sessions); taking its name from a Perkins classic, and advancing a subtle, low-flame rhythmic pulse, Honey Don't will also have you feeling good, not necessarily from the physical energy expended by those in their orbit but rather from being in the company of honest, unpretentious, unself-conscious artists who make a body grateful to be right here in the moment with this band.

thumbnailBRANDON RICKMAN: YOUNG MAN, OLD SOUL— Let's face it. A young man worrying about turning 30 and lamenting how fast the years have flown by, observing the first fleck of grey in his hair, well, in certain quarters this fellow is not going to engender much sympathy. Say hello to the Lonesome River Band's Brandon Rickman as he presents himself on his first solo outing, Young Man, Old Soul. Having distinguished himself a guitarist and singer with the celebrated LRB, Rickman means to bring his album title to life in a collection of songs that, had they been sequenced in a different order, would have played like a roman à clef, a portrait of the artist coming to grips with adulthood, keenly aware of time's relentless march and what The Honeymooners resident philosopher Ralph Kramden called "the glorious results of a misspent youth," only in this case it's not meant to be funny. This narrative thread is present anyway, in a tale told in flashback, jumping from the present to the past and back, with Rickman as an omniscient narrator blessed with rueful 20/20 hindsight.

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Founder/Publisher/Editor: David McGee
Contributing Editors: Billy Altman, Laura Fissinger, Christopher Hill, Derk Richardson
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