Archive for category Bluegrass

New Music Preview: Michael Kiwanuka | y/y | Snowmine | Justin Robinson & The Mary Annettes

Here is some more awesome new music…

Michael Kiwanuka has two EPs out in 2011, and has been compared to Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and Otis Redding

I’m Getting Ready by MichaelKiwanuka


The Brooklyn based y/y reminds me of Fourtet mixed with Animal Collective.

PlayPlay by yyband


Check out Snowmine on Shaking Through with free mp3 download.

Snowmine – Curfews by wvmusic


The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ founder, Justin Robinson is starting a new project called Justin Robinson & The Mary Annettes.




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Introducing: Andy Cook — “Under The White Pine”

Andy Cook is an awfully nice fella. Cook recently relocated to Columbus from Oberlin, a small city in northeast Ohio. He has gained some notoriety around the capital city by playing both solo shows and dates with accompaniment as Andy Cook and the Wanderloons. I caught one of the 20-something’s performances at a local art gallery a few weeks ago, where a really cool project called the Community Music Jukebox — a digital music jukebox featuring only local artists, and they’re placed at art- and music-oriented places around the city, with songs for just 25 cents. Cook is one of the artists featured on the brand-spankin’ new music box, and he performed at the get-together celebrating its unveiling.

It’s immediately apparent from watching Cook perform that he lives to write, sing and record music. Cook fell into songwriting following the passing of his mother at a very young age, and it’s clear he relishes the opportunity to be a musical storyteller. The 10 songs on his debut record Sing, Dionysus are as interesting for the composition — Cook plays the banjo, guitar, Wurlitzer, drums and more on the record, in addition to singing and having help from countless friends and Wanderloons — as they are for their lyrical strength.

The track we’re featuring here, “Under The White Pine,” features a fantastic male-female vocal pairing, with Cook’s friend Haley Antell taking center stage for a bit. Cook was kind enough to tell us a little bit about how the song, which was partly inspired by the William Carlos Williams poem “The Red Wheelbarrow“, came to be:

(Bandmate) Eric Cronstein and myself recorded that particular song at my apartment in Oberlin, Ohio. The upright bass being played by Laura Dykes, who would later be the bass player for the Wanderloons for little over a year. We asked another fellow Oberlin Musician/Singer/Songwriter, Haley Antell (who would also become a Wanderloons member for the same span as Laura) to come over and record backing vocals for the song. Originally the end part was going to have my vocal melody mixed as the lead vocal and have Haley singing her part as a backing harmony but when she started singing her harmony with me, it was very obvious that we needed to rework the end section of the song around her part. I think it’s incredibly powerful just like her voice and personal touch as a singer… The rest was all built around really great mistakes.

Andy Cook – Under The White Pine by The Wounded Jukebox

The second song we offer here is the one that told me I needed to meet Cook after his set at the art gallery. It’s entitled “Wind and Willow’s Song of Boats.” Lyrically, I think it’s the strongest track on the album. And the banjo, backing harmonies and string accompaniment flesh out Cook’s words quite nicely.

Andy Cook – Wind And Willow’s Song Of Boats by The Wounded Jukebox

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Smoke Signals: “Black Holes”

Smoke Signals are a soulful trio from Shelton, Connecticut. They recorded their self-titled LP with Christian Latts, the lead guitarist for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and you can sort of get the same folksy blues vibe from “Black Holes,” their piano-driven first single. Watch the video for the song, which is footage of the band recording the track in a lovely home studio, and you get an idea of why the song feels alive. The pounding and plinking of piano keys, the wine and bend of strings from some bluegrassy guitar, that realistic thud of people stomping for percussion — it all adds to the super-cool flavor of this track.

Coley O’Toole, Joe Ballaro and Zac Clark make up Smoke Signals, and on “Black Holes” they got some help from Rocco Deluca. Their self-titled album is available now on Bandcamp as a name-your-price download. Grab “Black Holes” below.

Smoke Signals – Black Holes (featuring Rocco DeLuca) by The Wounded Jukebox

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Mandolin Orange: “Haste Make”


When songwriter Andrew Marlin and instrumentalist Emily Frantz come together as Mandolin Orange, they trigger the instinctual reaction within our natures towards the love of harmonies and guitar.  Our brains seem hardwired for it.  And the Marlin/Frantz combo don’t just harmonize with their voices.  With any number of stringed fancy (mandolin, guitar, fiddle, violin), they draw images up like water from a well, of vast greens under bigger blues.  Standing atop of the underground success their debut album, Quiet Little Room brought them in 2010, Mandolin Orange began a southern tour September 24th in support of their forthcoming DOUBLE LP entitled Haste Make | Hard Hearted Stranger.  It officially drops November 8th, but you can score it now at their shows if you’re so inclined (see tour schedule below).  From the Haste Make portion of the collection, we get a sneak peek at the title track.

“Haste Make” is mighty kind on your brain, visiting all the right nooks and crannies without ever overstaying its welcome.  But it’s most certainly welcome to.

Mandolin Orange – Haste Make by The Wounded Jukebox

Mandolin Orange Tour Dates:

09.30 • City Stage (Wilmington, NC)

10.02 • Books to Be Read Outdoor Stage (Ocracoke Island, NC)

10.12 • Preservation Pub (Knoxville, TN)

10.13 • The Down Home (Johnson City, TN)

10.14 • L.A.B. (Asheville, NC)

10.15 • The Evening Muse (Charlotte, NC)

10.26 • Barn Jam (Awendaw, SC)

11.08 • Eddie’s Attic (Decatur, GA)

TeamClermontPublicity_Picture17_7(The Haste Make|Hard Hearted Stranger double LP will be self-released 11/08/11)

[Official Website] [Facebook] [Myspace]


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Summer-Winter: Bewildered

summer-winter pic 2

When a breeze hits you, there’s a hidden moment when the wind is running across your face/through your hair that you feel superbly alive.  Some of us need that sense of air circulating in our lives to avoid feeling stifled, and stuck: a hand out the car window/ a ceiling fan on in the winter.  Terry O’Hara expertly evokes those feelings and sensations of wild movement on his new record, Bewildered.  Under his moniker Summer-Winter, he constantly sings and instrumentally wanders from the center of an aural Autumn laced field, taking the time to explore under every root and leaf.  And beautiful stages for sound are set on each song, where violins, cellos, banjos, mellotrons, and pedal steel guitars can paint rural backgrounds behind condensed breaths and flocks of migrating birds.  Album stand outs like “Yer Dead”, “Shine” and “Drink Till the Drinking” are superb in their patience, allowing the music to seep out and permeate before O’Hara and Co. light their match.  There isn’t another record I’d rather have with me on a drive through the Fall suffering back roads than the wonderful example of spirit on Bewildered.

Stream/Download it via Bandcamp here.
Summer-Winter – Yer Dead by The Wounded Jukebox

Summer-Winter – Shine by The Wounded Jukebox

Summer-Winter – Tricks by The Wounded Jukebox

FINAL8(Bewildered is available now)


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The Best of Matt’s 2011ish July


This is a vigorous nod towards the folks over at Under The Radar Magazine, whose staff often list their favorite songs of their month accompanied with nonsensical pictures, and a further chin tilt to our beloved Allison over at Radio Potato who displays her seasonal finds on the regular. These are the (secret) songs that I loved the most in the month of 2011’s July.  If you were a friend leaving me so you could move to California and pursue your love of art and sea; these would be smattered throughout your goodbye mix tapes that you could listen to while you ate velvet cake on a suede couch.

Also, if you could explain the video for Ane Brun’s new single to me, I would be appreciative.



Richard hawley – tonight the streets are ours by anrohero

Niki & The Dove – Mother Protect by neumagazine


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Live Cuts: New Mumford & Sons |The Shins | Jeff Tweedy | Ryan Adams

Live CutsRecently, a number a great artists have debuted new projects and songs at their concerts and performances.  It’s a great way for them to test out a possible song, and a fantastic treat for the audience.  Read on for our first edition of Live Cuts.

Mumford & Sons – “Lover’s Eyes” (Live)

They made a huge television debut with Bob Dylan at this year’s Grammys, and their STILL on tour promoting their first and their great album Sigh No More.  But lately Mumford & Sons have been including a brand new song in their set list.  It’s from their yet unnamed second LP, due out late 2011.  They performed this recording of “Lover’s Eyes” in New York just recently.

The Shins – “Untitled”  (Live)

Fans of The Shins (me) have been waiting a loooooong time for the fourth record from the tender rockers.  Lead singer James Mercer has been busying himself with collaborations with Danger Mouse and the random solo performance.  There’s still no word when an album will be released, but Mercer and Shins drummer Joe Plummer unveiled a new song (“Honest Tool”?) from that LP at a benefit concert in Portland early this year.

Jeff Tweedy – “Born Alone”/ “Open Your Mind” (Live)

I’ve never said this on TWJ before, but Wilco is my favorite group of damaged angels on Earth.  I haven’t written about them, and I probably won’t.  Can’t seem to give away my feelings for them.  Needless to say, I’m very excited for their 2011 tentatively entitled Get Well Soon Everybody.  And they’re releasing in on their very own label, dBpm Records.  It’s a possible double-disc, with 20 (TWENTY) songs that will include a 14 minute blue-grass anthem with 10 verses.  Oh how Dylan “It’s Alright Ma’ I’m Only Bleeding”-esque.  Wilco has already announced a 7” due out in June, for a song called “I Might”.  It will include a bottom side cover of Nick Lowe’s “I Love My Label”.  And as said on their Facebook page, the 7” will first be available for purchase at Wilco’s own summer festival; Solid Sound.

BUT, we’ve gotten even more previews of what could be included, due to Jeff Tweedy’s recent and very short solo-tour.  This past April, Tweedy performed “Born Alone”, a soft meandering wonder, at Montreal’s Olympia Theater.  With lyrics like “I was born to die alone”, it fits right in with past Wilco material (Sky Blue Sky).
Jeff Tweedy (New Song, Live) by

And not much later, Tweedy appeared as a guest on Canadian television show, George Stroumboulopoulos (seriously?) Tonight.  He performed an intimate “Open Your Mind” on a beautiful beautiful guitar.

Ryan Adams – “Dirty Rain”/ “Untitled”/ “Untitled”/ “Untitled” (Live)

He’s planning a return to old form.  At least that’s what was evidenced by a recent surprise performance in Los Angeles where he opened for Emmylou Harris.  He performed a four-song set of entirely new material from his new record produced by Glyn Johns.  “Dirty Rain” is the only solid title we have, but the others have possible titles of “Ashes & Fire” and “Shining Thru The Dark”.
Ryan Adams – “Dirty Rain” (New Song, Live) by

Big thanks to DiS and Twenty Four Bit for the heads up!


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