Chicago artist Rachel Ries first reached a wider audience on a collaborative 2008 EP with Anais Mitchell called Country EP. However, her solo work doesn’t ring with as much twang as that title would suggest. Over the course of her career she’s shed more and more standard country forms, stretched out her storytelling into impressionist verse, gained confidence as a piano composer, but she’s smartly kept the focus on her spectacular voice. Her newest full-length, Ghost of a Gardner, supports that voice with a range of impressive instrumentation–from lush chamber arrangements to sparse guitar-percussion to this album’s version of a rocker, “Mercy.” A voice like Ries’ could send most pop songs back down their singer’s throat with shame, but though the voice is the center of this album, the arrangements are allowed to be weird and assertive, and you can feel a lot of smart voices at work. Several of the songs here appeared in sparer forms on her 2012 EP Laurel Lake, and to me the expansion wins in all cases. But if this album is a little busy for you, I would still highly recommend her (freely available) earlier albums. Ries’ kind of pop music looks to the likes Regina Spektor, Patty Griffin, Patsy Cline, Dennis Wilson, Harry Nilsson and does great by them. A theatrical album that satisfies as deeply and reliably as a folk one.
For the first time in my short radio career I had to program a show last night despite not feeling very well. While the show (i think) turned out pretty good it was really tough to get inspired to search out much brand new music. I did manage to get some brand new songs from Denver’s Bonnie and the Beard, Portland’s Michael Dean Damron, Orlando’s The Woolly Bushmen, Louisiana’s Hurray For The Riff Raff and the internet’s Noah with his “semi-viral” cover of LMFAO’s “Sexy And I Know It.”
If that sounds like the good stuff go put some ears on the archived stream of the show and thanks for tuning in.
Below is the playlist for May 17, 2012
01. Todd Farrell – Ninebullets Radio Intro
02. The Woolly Bushmen – Just Don’t Know
03. James Leg & Left Lane Cruiser – Ramblin’ On My Mind
04. Truckstop Darlin’ – Miss You More
05. Anais Mitchell – Welcome The Hadestown
06. Bonnie & The Beard – Sweet Devil Whiskey
07. McDougall – Gates Of Victory
08. Noah – Sexy And I Know It (LMFAO Cover)
09. New London Fire – Other Side Of Town
10. Lucero – I’ll Just Fall
11. Matt Woods – A Company Town
12. Michael Dean Damron – Autotune The World
13. Hurray for The Riff Raff – Born To Win (Part I)
14. Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside – Write Me A Letter
15. The Lumineers – Ho Hey
16. Murder City Devils – Rum To Whiskey
Bold = Request
P.S.: If you like this show, do me a favor and post about it on your Facebook/Twitter/Blog. It’ll do a lot to help these bands reach new ears…and in the end, that’s what this is all about. It’ll also help bring the existence of the radio show to more people’s attention & the more people there are listening/paying attention to the show the more likely it is to stay on the air.
Episode 72: aired 05.17.2012
It’s a day late (works been nuts) but here is the the 9b April 2012 Spotify playlist. This playlist features every band that was featured on ninebullets in the month of April that was also on Spotify. I hope you enjoy it and if you do, pass it along to some friends. Like I keep saying, every new pair of ears these bands reach is a potential fan/head at show.
This month’s playlist checks in at 31 tracks and features: The Counting Crows, The Only Sons, Otis Gibbs, Anais Mitchell, Claire Brown and many others. So, when you’ve got some time to kill, give it a listen:
I start this article knowing that the bulk of the 9b readership is not gonna like this album. I don’t care. As the owner of the site, I reserve the right to occasionally write about something most of the readers are gonna make a lemon face upon hearing. That said, I’m pretty confident there are a few of y’all out there that are gonna love this album. Perhaps even as much as I do. If that’s you and you figure out why you love it so, please let me know.
I don’t find Young Man In America to be a terribly easy album to listen to, but I find it utterly impossible to ignore when it’s playing. Anais’ soulful and equally nerve grating voice never allows it to fade, as so many albums are wont to do, gracefully into the background while the music rarely settles into a rhythm long enough for you to start predicting where it is gonna go next. All of this combines into something fantastic. My wife and I were listening to it one night and I called her the Americana Bjork. Not sure how accurate that is ‘cause, to be honest, I can’t listen to Bjork. That’s just what comes to mind when I listen to this album.
Give it a listen and tell me what you think.