Charles Hale

Apr 162014

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Lenny Lashley’s Gang Of One “US Mail” from Illuminator

Aretha Franklin “Son Of A Preacher Man” from This Girl’s In Love With You

Black Joe Lewis “Skull Diggin’” from Electric Slave

Waylon Jennings “Low Down Freedom” from Honky Tonk Heroes

Sturgill Simpson “Life Of Sin” from Metamodern Sounds In Country Music

Sixteen Horsepower “Brimstone Rock” from Low Estate

Rick Danko “Java Blues”

Arliss Nancy “Directions Never Hold” from Wild American Runners

I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House “From Bad To Worse” from Mayberry

The Box Tops “Everything I Am”

Kevn Kinney “Not Afraid To Die” from McDougal Blues

Sam the Sham & The Pharoahs “How Do You Catch A Girl”

Valerie June “Somebody To Love” from Pushin’ Against a Stone

Langhorne Slim “Back To The Wild” from Be Set Free

Eddie Hinton “I Want It All” from Very Extremely Dangerous

Otis Rush “You Reap What You Sow” from Duane Allman Anthology Vol. II

Uncle Tupelo “Watch Me Fall” from Still Feel Gone

Six String Drag “Bottle Of Blues”

Apr 112014

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Brown Bird “Thunder And Lightining” from Salt For Salt

Hillstomp “Meet Me At The Bottom” from Portland, Ore

Mike Watt &The Black Gang “30 Days In The Hole”

Chuck Ragan “Gave My Heart Out” from Till Midnight

Brittany Howard & Ruby Amanfu “When My Man Comes Home” from I Wonder

Only Sons “Cutting Corners” from American Stranger

Rum Drum Ramblers “Sure Sign”

Scott H. Biram “When I Die” from Nothin’ But Blood

Arc Iris “Whiskey Man” from Arc Iris

Shovels & Rope “Jonnny 99” from Johnny 99 / Bad As Me 7″

Jason & The Scorchers “White Lies” from Lost & Found

Have Gun Will Travel “Wolf In Shepherd’s Clothes” from Postcards From the Friendly City

Peter Mulvey “Sympathies” from Silver Ladder

Ben Nichols “This Old Death” from Last Pale Light In the West

Charlie Parr “Ellen Mayhem” from Rooster

Hank Williams III “One Horse Town” from Lovesick, Broke And Driftin’

Apr 082014


In early 1980 Peter Buck was working at Wuxtry Records when he met Michael Stipe. Chances are good that you know the rest of that story. But this record review is about a different story, the story of Peter Buck’s second solo record, I Am Back To Blow Your Mind Once Again, a grandiose title for a humble record. If you haven’t heard Buck’s first solo record from a couple years back then you are no doubt curious about what a Peter Buck solo record sounds like.

For starters, Buck sings. His voice is gruffy, confident and filled with snarls. But what does the music sound like? To me the record sounds like the music Buck would have made in 1980 if Stipe hadn’t started coming into the record store all the time. I Am Back… is filled with crunchy guitar driven garage rock with the kind of hooks that would make Joey Ramone proud.

I don’t exactly know why I say this, but it’s hard to believe that a guy that’s sold millions of records could make an album like this. There are no hints of pretense or success. However, there is urgency and debauchery mixed with an understanding of how to play loose and fast while crafting excellent garage rock songs.

Joining Peter Buck is longtime collaborator Scott McCaughey as well as Kurt Bloch and Bill Rieflin. Corin Tucker from Sleater Kinney sings lead on one song and Patterson Hood does one of his spoken word things about the fall of the south on a song. But throughout the record what is most prevalent is the bizarre and oddball joy that exude the grooves and must have been present in the recording sessions.

Normally this is where I would stick in a couple of songs for you to check out but since Peter Buck decided to only release I Am Back... on vinyl I can’t do that. But this website has some minute long samples you can check out.

Not only is I Am Back To Blow Your Mind Once Again Essential Listening, it is one of my favorite records of 2014 so far.

Buy I Am Back… Official word from Peter about the record

Apr 032014

What! What! It’s a playlist of songs including a shout-out and dedication to our own Autopsy IV.

Charlie Parr “Jesus Was A Hobo” from Barnswallow

Lucero “When You Decided To Leave” from That Much Further West

Low Anthem “The Horizon Is A Beltway” from Oh My God Charlie Darwin

Valerie June “You Can’t Be Told” from Pushin’ Against a Stone

Arliss Nancy “Hold It Together” from Wild American Runners

Kinks “Around The Dial” from Give the People What they Want

War on Drugs “Eyes To The Wind” from Lost In the Dream

Adam Faucett “Benton” from Blind Water Finds Blind Water

Matt Woods “Ain’t No Living” from With Love From Brushy Mountain

Peter Buck “Ride That Road” from I Am Back To Blow Your Mind Once Again

Todd Farrell Jr. “Pawnshops” from All My Heroes Live In Vans

Two Cow Garage “Your Humble Narrator” from Speaking In Cursive

Arc Iris “Powder Train” from Arc Iris

Apr 022014



I love that a record like this exists. Also, I love that this record exists. Big artists need to move units, people and company have invested in them and there is a demand on their creates. Touring bands make records to sell at shows, they make records to help them get shows. Most touring bands survive because people are willing to buy beer and listen. Then there are bands like Marah that have gone the route of a touring band, succeeded and decided to keep going. There is no pressure on Marah, no record label counting on a new record and needing that record to sell. There is freedom in a band Marah’s size. They have an audience but kept themselves free to do as they like. That freedom is how Mountain Minstrelsy has come to exist.

I lost track of Marah for several years and in researching Mountain Minstrelsy I learned that the Bielanko brothers were no longer making music together but David and his partner Christine had continued on. Mountain Minstrelsy is not a rock record and the story of it is worth a full read. The basics are that David and Christine found a song book in rural Pennsylvania that was filled with collected song lyrics and fragments. They set out to recreate or re-imagine the songs. This version of Marah includes an 8-year old fiddle player that is something else.

Instead of grasping at accurate and original renditions Marah “collaborated with ghosts” to make this record. Each song is rough around the edges, easily singable and glorious. Mountain Minstrelsy is adventuresome and old-timey. It is imperfect and perfect. It sounds nothing like Marah and everything like Marah. I firmly believe that if you like the sound of the songs below you will enjoy the entirety of this record.

Also, I suggest you read what David Bielanko says about Mountain Minstrelsy because he describes it better than I ever could. Read Here.