Aug 232017

exy – August 23, 2017 at 02:10PM

The MekonsBack in 1987, the ROIR label released a tape called New York — one of many rather roughshod titles from the then-cassette-only New York outpost. The quasi-legit collection almost sounded like a bootleg, the kind of thing that would be traded in dubs from fan to fan. New York was the only live Mekons album ever in-print (though it was reissued in 2001 as New York: On the Road 86-87). That changes now with Existentialism.

Similarly, Existentialism also often sounds like a boot, but that’s a deliberate artistic decision. It was reportedly recorded around a single microphone at the Jalopy Theater in Red Hook, Brooklyn. At times, the rhythms overwhelm, yet this isn’t precisely a record that rocks.

102 MB  320 ** FLAC

The Mekons long ago began weaving in elements of American country and British folk, threading it through the nervy art-punk at their core, a maneuver that only gains resonance as the band slides into middle age; it’s defiance that has turned into a credo. Older they may be, but they’re restless, and when Existentialism was recorded in the summer of 2015, the songs were as new to the band as they were to the audience. The Mekons chose to cut the songs not long after composition, a move that only underscores the urgency behind the project.

Despite the haste, there are no stumbles on Existentialism, though there is rawness. The group is too good to let things careen out of control, but they’re smart enough to play upon the suggestion that things could. Certainly, this adds passion to the performance; it’s the sound of a great band creating great noise. The album pushes levels into the red, but sometimes it suggests more sonic detail than could be achieved from one mic. There’s little separation in the harmonies, and plenty of midrange smear, but instruments pop to the forefront.

Beneath the racket, there are ideas—some expanded upon in an accompanying 96-page book and the Mekonception video that documents the whole shebang—but they’re impossible to ignore in the songs themselves. Images of terror, upheaval, and loss float through the words. Turmoil bubbles to the surface on “Fear and Beer,” a pub singalong for the age of Brexit, but “1848 Now!” makes allusions to revolution past, one of several sly nods to history. The best musical tip of the hat is how “The Cell” plays with the melody of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” without ever following its contours.

Politics and tradition are nothing new to the Mekons, but what makes Existentialism resonate is that it’s an album of the moment, for the moment. As an aural document, it’s kinetic and crackling, a live recording that captures the excitement of a concert. As a complete piece, it says something powerful; it’s a call to arms for old punks, unrepentant artists, and assorted freaks, all pushing against the tides of modern life. It’s the Mekons and friends and family gathering together in a small room, shouting songs of protest and singing sad melodies, realizing there’s strength in being together, even if their numbers are dwindling.

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Aug 232017

Ron Olesko – August 23, 2017 at 02:04PM

Airing live on WFDU on Sunday, August 20, 2017 from 3-5pm

Re-broadcast Saturday, August 26, 2017 (with a bonus hour) on

Tim Erbach was my guest this week. The Jersey City based singer-songwriter performed live in our studio and discussed the upcoming Hudson West Folk Festival – the city’s first folk festival which will also feature artists like The Mammals, the Chapin Sisters, Diana Jones, Matt Nakoa, Abbie Gardner and others.  The event will take place on Saturday September 9.

New and recommendedUncle Bonsai Problems (Yellow Tail), Aztec Two-Step Naked (self), The Early Mays Chase the Sun (Bird on the Wing).

(Tune in to for the 2-hour version of WFDU’s TRADITIONS each Sunday from 3pm to 5pm Eastern Time over WFDU-FM 89.1 in the NYC/Northern New Jersey area, or on the web at or The full 3-hour program airs each week on the following Saturday from 6:30-9:30pm Eastern Time at (The 2-hour version is also available via on-demand stream for two weeks after the WFDU airing by clicking HERE. TRADITIONS is a Sing Out! Radio Partner.) 

HOUR 1 (Exclusively on Blues and Roots
ARTIST “Tune / Song”
ALBUM Label – Website
Theme: HARVEY REID “Dirty Dish Rag”
Solo Guitar Sketchbook Woodpecker Records –
O’Connor Band Live! OMAC Records –

JAY UNGAR AND MOLLY MASON “Homegrown Tomatoes”
Relax Your Mind self –
LUCY KAPLANSKY “Swimming Song”
Over the Hills
IRISH MYTHEN “Summertime”
Sweet Necessity self –
CLIFF EBERHARDT “Summers In New Jersey”
Cornelia Street Songwriters Exchange Stash –
DANNY QUINN “Summer Roads”
Vacant Chair self –

JOEL MABUS “God Don’t Like It – I Don’t Either”
Different Hymnals Fossil Records –
Party of One Rounder – ,
Avalon Blues (1963) Rounder –

SARAH JAROSZ “Early Morning Light”
Undercurrent Sugar Hill Records – ,
Before the Meteors – Live in Bozeman, Montana self –
ALICE HOWE “Nothing But You”
You’ve Been Away So Long self –
PAUL SIMON “The Sound of Silence”
Paul Simon – Songwriter Sony Legacy –

TOM CHAPIN “Talk to Your Baby”
Threads Sundance Music –
LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III “Be Careful There’s A Baby in the House”
Recovery self –

HOUR 2 (WFDU Broadcast starts here)
Naked self –

THE EARLY MAYS “Oh Babe It Ain’t No Lie”
Chase the Sun Bird on the Wing Records –
Galax Gearbox Records –
A Black & Tan Ball self –

Little Blue Car Soona Songs 0 –
Wildflower Blues Cinquefoil Records –
SHAWNA CASPI “Tennessee Waltz”
Forest Fire self –

UNCLE BONSAI “Brand New World”
Problems Yellow Tail Records – ,
APPLEWOOD ROAD “I’m Not Afraid Anymore”
Applewood Road Gearbox Records – ,
Dreaming in Vinyl Narrow Lane Records –

NOCATAMBULE “The Cloone / March Reel / The Abbey”
A Sweetish Tune self –
MATTHEW BYRNE “Nancy From London”
Horizon Lines Factor Arts –

TERRY EASTON “Sandblaster Blues”
Claremont 2:05 P.M. self –

PAUL SACHS “The Best Hope Can Do”
Love is Love self –

Guest: TIM ERBACH – performed live in our studio and discussed the upcoming Hudson River West Folk Festival.
Tim Erbach “Hotel Pen”
live in the studio
TIM ERBACH “Come On John Muir”
live in the studio
TIM ERBACH “Air Conditioning and Alcohol”
live in the studio
TIM ERBACH “Delta 88”
live in the studio

 (Click on the link below to hear Tim Erbach on WFDU-FM’s TRADITIONS.

Originally broadcast on August 20, 2017)


LAURA ZUCKER “The Things My Father Gave Me”
Say Yes self –

PETE’S POSSE “The Hungry Irishman”
Parodies & Hilarities self –
On That Other Green Shore Corvus Records –
Singin’ Vessel Recordings –
DEBORAH ROBINS “Bowling Green”
Home Fires Zippety Whippett Music –
Ron Olesko


1000 River Road

Teaneck, NJ 07666
click here for Traditions Archive
click here for Ron’s Soundcloud page

The post TRADITIONS playlist #17-34 appeared first on Sing Out!.

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Aug 232017

Trigger – August 23, 2017 at 01:23PM
This troubling turn, which takes the concerning trend of the rabid consumerism embedded into the lyrics of today’s popular songs, and brings it to a point that can only be described as Objectophilia, which by definition, is a form of sexuality focused on inanimate objects as opposed to human beings.

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Aug 232017

madmackerel – August 23, 2017 at 12:52PM

We are completing a trio of Americana themed posts today with Bay Area bluesman Blind Lemon Pledge whose love of pre-WWII Country Blues imbues his compositions with an whimsical, old-time flavour.

Haunting, sombre tracks like The Hills Of West Virginia feel like a precursor to freewheeling-era Dylan / stripped down Springsteen.

Have a listen.


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Aug 232017

– August 23, 2017 at 11:06AM

Americana Music Show #366 features the debut album from Lukas Nelson & The Promise Of The Real. Lukas Nelson has been making waves on the festival circuit with his unique kind fo country rock and you’ll get to hear a double shot from his debut, self-titled album. You will also hear the new albums from Eliot Bronson, Lilly Hiatt, Blank Range, Eli Cook and Jeremy Pinnell. Plus this week features more new music from Ray Wylie Hubbard, Wild Ponies, and India Ramey.

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Aug 232017

madmackerel – August 23, 2017 at 09:53AM

We’ve already shared tracks from Micah P. Hinson’s new album The Holy Strangers, but nothing that compares with this!

Micah Book One, is the centrepiece of the record and at almost 8 minutes long, finds our man reading from the chapter of the same name. A sparse, compelling and sometimes downright uncomfortable tale of gluttony and religion wrapped up in almost apocalyptic despondency.

Listen below and pre-order the album here.


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Aug 232017

Tom Druckenmiller – August 23, 2017 at 07:59AM

When I was a kid my family loved to sing. My Sister had a lovely soprano voice and my Dad sang all these out dated silly songs that at the time embarrassed me. Now I’d give anything to hear him sing again.

This week on the Sing Out! Radio Magazine, I’ve collected some of my favorite sing along songs. Singing always helps to raise the spirits and in these difficult times it just might help. So, sing along … on this week’s edition of The Sing Out! Radio Magazine!


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Artist / “Title” / CD / Label

Pete Seeger / “If I Had A Hammer” (excerpt) / Songs of Hope and Struggle /
              Smithsonian Folkways

The Western Flyers / “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter” / Wild Blue Yonder / Versa-Tone

Matt Watroba / “We Shall Not Be Moved” / Community Sings Vol. 1 / Common Chords

Pete Seeger / “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream” / Songs of Hope and Struggle /
              Smithsonian Folkways

Eric Bibb / “Follow the Drinkin’ Gourd” / Jericho Road / Stony Plain

Bessie Jones / “Amazing Grace” / Let Your Backbone Slip / Rounder

Sally Rogers / “Lovely Agnes” / The Unclaimed Pint / Flying Fish

Tom Rush / “Circle Game” / Circle Game / Elektra

Anne Lindsay / “You Really Got a Hold on Me” / Soloworks / Violindsay

Finest Kind / “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” / Silks & Spices / Fallen Angle

The Western Flyers / “Tennessee Waltz” / Wild Blue Yonder / Versa-Tone

The Malvinas / “How Can I Keep From Singing” / God Bless the Grass / Soonasongs

David Mallett / “Inch by Inch” / Danid Mallett / North Road

Tom Paxton / “Ramblin’ Boy” / Ramblin’ Boy / Elektra

Steve Goodman / “Lincoln Park Pirates” / Live at the Earl of Old Town / Red Pajamas

Stan Rogers / “The Mary Ellen Carter” / Between the Breaks … Live! / Borealis-Fogarty’s Cove

Pete Seeger / “If I Had A Hammer” (excerpt) / Songs of Hope and Struggle /
              Smithsonian Folkways

The post Podcast: Sing Out! Some Great Singalongs
Episode #17-34 | airing 8-23-17
appeared first on Sing Out!.

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Aug 232017

Paul Kerr – August 23, 2017 at 07:56AM


In my opinion, the best Americana band not actually from North America hail from our own capital city.” So wrote Alan Morrison of The Herald when he included The Long Haul in his list of the top 50 Scottish albums of 2015, placing it at number 10. Back then we concurred (although we’d have bumped the album into the top five) but then Blabber’n’Smoke have been big fans of The Wynntown Marshals ever since we first heard them ten  years ago. Yip, ten years. If The Marshals were a married couple this would be their tin anniversary but instead of us buying them a gift they’ve offered one to us in the form of a retrospective album – 16 songs, 13 culled from their three albums, assorted EPs and singles along with three previously unreleased songs.

Rising from the ashes of The Sundowns (a fine band in their own right with their 2006 album Calabasas getting a 10/10 review from Americana UK), their first recording, a self-titled six song EP was a startling debut, confident and full of swagger. Their epic song about the ‘The Muckle Spate’ of 1829, 11:15, was an immediate classic and evidence that the band were able to sing about their Scottishness amidst any amount of pedal steel and twang guitar. Since then there has been three full albums and several EPs with After All These Years cherry picking from these and while the songs aren’t in chronological order it’s a fascinating opportunity to track their progress. While they have always acknowledged their debts to the likes of Uncle Tupelo and The Jayhawks, the various musicians who have populated the band over the years have left their mark as influences as varied as hair metal bands and more left field Americana acts such as The Weakerthans have inveigled their way into what ultimately is a Wynntown Marshals sound. Much of this is down to the one point of singularity throughout the records, singer Keith Benzie who has been there from the start and who was the band’s only songwriter in the early years. His voice identifies the band and it’s little changed from the early years, his relaxed and slightly worn vocals always winning (just listen to Being Lazy and be convinced).

Although The Marshals can be considered (on paper at least) to be a bit of a moveable feast with members coming and going, in reality there’s been a healthy heartbeat throughout with only occasional surgery required. Guitarist Iain Sloan was on board for the second album, Westerner, while bassist Murdoch MacLeod was well embedded by the time The Long Haul came out. Both added not only their instrumental talents but, along with Benzie, wrote songs with the result that The Long Haul was a major step up from Westerner while the trio along with newly added keyboard player, Ritchie Noble, and drummer Kenny McCabe achieved their summit (so far) with the excellent The End Of The Golden Age. By then the band had garnered enough accolades to be signed to the premier European Americana record label, Blue Rose, a significant salute.

To the album then and it’s notable that from the start The Marshals are fully formed. From Westerner, Snowflake is a cracking country quickstep while Thunder In The Valley is a fine example of Benzie’s narrative tales and a harbinger of things to come with the addition of keyboards. Of note is their reinterpretation of LA Guns’ Ballad Of Jayne which is transformed into a very fine slice of yearning country rock, the band fully cocked, guitars squirreling around sweet pedal steel and a sturdy rhythm section. Much of this was carried onto The Long Haul, the sound more fleshed out with more democracy in the writing and it’s MacLeod’s Tide which takes the accolades here as The Marshals roam around a carousel swirl of dreamlike guitars on an impressionistic tide of sound. It’s a live favourite and deservedly so but the snappy chiming guitar rock of Canada, the churning Low Country Comedown and the magnificent Curtain Call, a tale of Victorian magic gone wrong suffused with melancholic strings, attest to the mature nature of the album.

From The End Of The Golden Age, Red Clay Hill buzzes and burns with sizzling guitars as Benzie again salutes the local landscape turning a coal bing into a romantic destination and the title song is just a joyous slice of power pop with sublime harmonies that’s as good as anything Teenage Fanclub have turned out. Meanwhile the wistful Being Lazy floats on a bed of acoustic guitars, sublime pedal steel and gilded keyboards as Benzie emotes quite wonderfully.

If the above isn’t enough to pull you in The Marshals offer up three unreleased songs. Different Drug is a reworking of a song from the first EP and an opportunity to see how the band have evolved from a country rock combo into a more organic creature, the guitars more tantalising as the keyboards add colour and warmth.  Your Time  is in a similar vein to the songs from The End Of The Golden Age, guitar and organ to the fore as Benzie turns his hand to another fine (and perhaps autobiographical) tale. Finally, Benzie and the band offer up a sumptuous tale of unrequited love on the glorious Odessa replete with ecclesiastic organ and a restrained but emotive guitar solo.

So, 10 years of The Wynntown Marshals, encapsulated. To go back to the opening sentence here, they are the best Americana band in the land although they transcend that genre (especially as no one seems able to define it). Simply put, The Marshals have matured into a thrilling rock band able to spin an excellent tale over their multilayered sound – in fact they sound just like, well, The Marshals. Here’s to the next ten years.

There are two gigs to celebrate their tenth anniversary and the release of After All These Years. The Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh on September 1st and then at The Hug & Pint in Glasgow the following night. The album is available to order here.


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Aug 232017

madmackerel – August 23, 2017 at 06:54AM

Full of wild west thrills and chills, new EP The Phantom and The Black Crow is the journey of Wild the Coyote, a dark, folk-rock storyteller and performer from the small country town of Templeton, on California’s coast.

Check out a couple of tracks from it, The River and The Hollow Woods.



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Aug 232017

wbwalker – August 23, 2017 at 03:00AM

The Music Featured On This Weeks Episode Is From The Following Albums:

Cody Jinks – I’m Not The Devil (2016)

Jason Eady – Jason Eady (2017)

Justin Payne – Coal Camp (2017)

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All music is used with permission.

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