Chattanooga, TN –
Picking the Winning Horse
Premonitions of Artistic Grandeur
Dr. McCormack asked me to compile a list of artists I have listened to, and enjoyed, over the brief time I have produced The American Music Hour for WUTC. Oh, the perils of expressing one's opinion publicly. None the less and only trying to help, I give you my new favorites:
In the category of Old-Time:
The two bands that really struck me this year were the Reeltime Travelers and the Dickle Brothers. The Travelers out of Johnson City play very traditional mountain music. Geographically, they are in close proximity to the very center of Southern Appalachia, where the Scottish and Irish traditions hold to this day, even to the occasional off brand of Gaelic spoken conversationally. The less likely heroes of traditional music, The Dickel Brothers hail from Oregon. They play only period string music from the early 20th century on period instruments. They are very authentic and energetic. The Reeltime Travelers can be reached at www.reeltimetravelers.com. The Dickel Brothers have two releases on vinyl: The Dickel Brothers Vol.'s I & II.
In the category of Bluegrass:
Just recently, Cleveland Carlson gave me a copy of the Steep Canyon Rangers CD. This is a young band that might not have the virtuatistic chops of Nickel Creek (and I bet they are sick of comparisons), yet are so much more grounded in the roots of bluegrass, it makes for a much more earthy music
In the category of Singer/Songwriter:
God bless Richard Buckner. You might have already heard of him but he's new to me, and he's brilliant. Also, I may be prejudiced, but my friend Rob Faucette has a low-fi release called Mockingbird which I love; you can get it on his websight www.robfaucette.com.
In the category of Country:
I've been listening to a band called Dodd Farrelle and the Tinfoil Stars recently and like them very much. Contact them at www.dodfarrelle.com
And I still love Rock n Roll:
Without even mentioning Wilco, I will give praise to Slobberbone, clever and punchy pop-rock reminiscent of Lowest of the Low. Also worthy of mention is Snowglobe, a Flaming Lips/Beatles rock band which is a very intelligently written and hooky regional band. Try to get your hands on their eponymous LP.
The award for Miscellaneous goes to 16 Horsepower and their new album. Dense music you have to listen to as one would watch a movie. Challenging and dark, they've been compared to Flannery O'Conner, if she were a musician.
So that is my best expert opinion on new music. It's what you would hear if you came over to my house for a beer. Thanks for letting me spout my thoughts. If you have arguments or agreements, send them to the station, I love to argue.