ROCK REPORT: DRAG THE RIVER & CORY BRANAN (IN THE ROUND) @ RUDYARD'S; HOUSTON, TX

I don’t think I’ve missed a Cory Branan show in any town he’s played that I was within a hundred miles of since I met some years back in Fayetteville, AR. However I had never seen Drag The River until a few nights ago. I had seen Jon Snodgrass with Cory on their last tour but it was without Chad Price. I still haven’t seen the whole band and since my going to the Suburban Home Records 15th Anniversary Party fell through I won’t be seeing the whole band in just a few days and yes I am fucking bitter about it! I did, however, get to see something damn cool. Right before Cory took the stage to open for Jon and Chad, Jon suggested they play in the round, which apparently isn’t their normal style, and let me tell you it was pretty damn cool. Aside from Jon not playing “Back to God” (and I quote) “Why won’t you all request songs we remember how to play!” I got to hear everything I wanted to hear. I didn’t shoot this show on my wife’s camera so no bad ass shots like last time but I did buy a Flip and video some select songs. I learned a couple of things as well. Number one: The more I drink the worse off I am as a camera man and number two: AA batteries only last about thirty minutes in a Filp. Other than that I got a dozen songs on video not counting Cory and Jon’s little 9B exclusive at the end of the night while the staff was trying to make us all leave since the bar was nine kinds of closed.

Seeing all of these guys trade songs back and forth and accompany each other on favorites was an amazing experience. Songs that I’ve heard thousands of times took on a whole new aspect. It was hard not to sing along with every last one of the songs and I failed at some points so you can hear me on the video if you listen close enough and for that I apologize. Seeing Jon sing along with Cory was cool and finally seeing Chad do “This Cross” was nearly a religious experience. I drank, bought drinks, and sang along probably way too loud. It was one of the best nights I’ve ever had. If you missed The Budget Helicopter Tour then you missed one of the best tours of the year. I may not be able to make it to Denver this week but I got to see three of my favorite artists on stage exchanging songs and it was a damn good time. Since I don’t have any audio of this show and you all damn sure better know every song by these boys I am just going to post the videos. Since there are a ton of them you’ll have to click the link to see them all…

Nine Bullets Exclusive – Cory Branan w/Jon Snodgrass – Daddy Was a Skywriter

Continue reading “ROCK REPORT: DRAG THE RIVER & CORY BRANAN (IN THE ROUND) @ RUDYARD'S; HOUSTON, TX”

TOP 5: MAKES ME THINK OF 9B

Romeo here. Despite rumors to the contrary I have not shuffled off this mortal coil. I will forgo any explanation of my absence and just make with the Top 5!

So this Top 5 is all about you, our faithful readers, and my curiosity. I want to know what songs make you think about us or the site with the caveat that you can’t use Nine Bullets by Drive By Truckers because it’s so easy it’s pretty much cheating.

For me the songs that make me think about the site are a mix that goes way back to when I first encountered AIV on the Lucero message board, which is sadly only a shadow of what it used to be, and stuff AIV posted that stuck with me or was really bad ass. AIV has turned me on to some damn amazing music over the years, much like the Lucero board did back in the day, and writing for 9b has turned me on to some damn cool people so this one was a lot of fun. I picked mostly songs that make me think about when I met AIV or stuff he posted rather than songs that remind me of the site because I write here about everything I listen to so I could claim just anything reminds me of 9B. But enough of my jabbering, here’s my Top 5:

  • Whitey Morgan and the 78s – Goodbye Dixie | This band will forever remind of AIV after his response to my never having heard of them while we were hanging out together at SXSW 2010. They are a great band and I hope they are working on something new so we can write about them even more.
  • Two Cow Garage – Swingset Assassin | This is one band I probably would have overlooked had it not been for AIV’s stellar write ups on them. A lot of people were talking about them back when and as usual I ignored the crowd to my own detriment but AIV kept pushing them and this track is one he posted that always sticks out in my mind. They are now one of my “can’t live without” bands thanks to AIV and 9B.
  • Drag The River – Me & Joe Drove Out To California | I can’t say that AIV or 9B turned me on to this song or band but for some reason I have fond memories of Lucero Message Board Compilations, 9B, and some amazing times attached to this particular track. Maybe I was just overplaying it at the time who knows.
  • The Takers – St. John’s Son | This is one that is all 9B for me. AIV is a Florida boy as are these boys and his write up got me to listening to them. I know they are a Suburban Home band and I generally like anything from Suburban Home but the Florida connection makes me want to road trip to FL and visit AIV whenever this song comes on.
  • Those Darlins – Wild One | Last but certainly not least comes Those Darlins. Maybe my favorite discovery that I wouldn’t have heard about if it hadn’t been for 9B. Wild One is a song that could be about me to my wife or about certain of my ex-girlfriends to me so it stands out a bit.

Well that’s it for me. Some of that list may be cheesy but it’s my list dammit! Now it’s your turn.

Autopsy IV says: Before you ask. No, I didn’t put Romeo up to this. Next, I don’t have a list since there is no song called, “I’m so fucking awesome people shit their pants when I walk by…..TWICE!” but rest assured, if there was….it and 4 remixes of it would be mine. As it is, I’ll make do with this little ditty:

Mickey Avalon – My Dick

STREAM THE "NEW" DRAG THE RIVER ALBUM: PRIMER


Drag the River’s break-up turned nonbreak-up turned…well….I don’t even know what it is these days has spurred the release of another new(ish) cd, Primer.

The 20 tracks were hand selected by Jon and Chad and while there is probably a track or two missing Primer probably looks like the mixtape you would make if you were trying to turn someone on to Drag. So, check out the full album stream below and then go order it.

BEST OF THE CHAD PRICE 10 BREWERIES IN ONE DAY TOUR:


Back in mid-October Chad Price and a merry crew departed from the offices of Suburban Home Records in a party van with the intent of doing 10 shows at 10 different breweries in support if Chad’s new album, Smile Sweet Face (9b.net review). Our good internet buddy (and stellar show taper) James Freeman from That’s The Thing About That went along for the ride to record the shows. He culled those recordings down to the best from it all and released it earlier this week and he was kind enough to allow me to repost it over here. I hope y’all enjoy it as much as I am:

Here is the track listing:

Odell’s

01. So Long Hoss
02. Static
03. Cursed

Road 34

04. Booze N’ Pills
05. The Death Of The Life Of The Party
06. Barroom Bliss
07. Your Paralyzing Wings
08. Lost Angel Saloon

Tasty Weasel

09. Lizzy
10. When The Lights Go Down In The City (Journey)
11. Medicine

Left Hand Brewery

12. Beautiful And Dammed
13. This Cross
14. Mr. Crews
15. This War
16. Peachy Tuscadero

Upslope

17. Johnny Come Lately (Steve Earle)
18. Your Voice Is Music

Avery Brewery

19. Caleb’s Grave
20. With Broken Hearts
21. Tobacco Fields
22. Cathy’s Clown (The Everly Brothers)
23. Leavin’ In The Morning

Great Divide

24. Modern Drunkard
25. I Know It’s Over (Jeff Black)
26. Loving Touching Squeezing (Journey)
27. Brookfield *
28. J.J.’s Driving *

*With Dan Utter on harmonica

You can download the entire show here.

Also, if you miss Drag The River proper (full band) as much as I do James has a show from this past August featuring a full band. You can find it here.

CHAD PRICE – SMILE SWEET FACE


Drag The River/All singer Chad Price’s solo debut is in the running for album of the year and as far as I am concerned it’s there without a doubt. I’ve had this album for a few days now and I have been trying to put how I felt about into words and failing. To start with I love the album from start to finish but I haven’t been able to find the words to impart how Smile Sweet Face makes me feel. I can’t review this album by just telling you how cool Chad’s lyrics are or how the understated acoustic accompaniment sounds amazing. There is something more to this album than just sounding good and having the right hook at the right place. It makes me feel something and last night I was finally able to put my finger on what that thing is. It feels like coming down…

I don’t mean it feels like crashing after a weekend of doing blow like a Wall Street trader in the nineties. I mean that Chad Price has created a mood across this album that feels like the sweat filled moment after sex where you fall back on the bed exhausted but more than satisfied. The slow chords and Chad’s heartfelt vocals slow everything around you down just a little bit. The opening line in The Cross is “It feels good when the sun’s out, feels good with my arms outstretched on this cross” and only gets better from there. With the mood waxing and waning across these ten tracks I suppose this album won’t be one that everyone likes. Actually I know it won’t because my brother just didn’t get it and all I could do is stare at him dumbfounded and confused. I guess if you are anything like him then you probably won’t feel any empathy when Chad belts out “Between church and a meth lab / can’t go on living without her laugh”. If you fall into that crowd then I truly feel sorry for you.

But you already knew I would like Chad’s solo effort considering how much I dig Drag The River didn’t you? What surprised me is how much this wasn’t a Drag The River album. I expected more Caleb’s Grave and what I got was something completely different. This is a different baring of the soul than the stuff Chad has done with DTR and rightfully so. This isn’t DTR minus Jon Snodgrass it is a powerful and moving collection of stripped down, soul baring, sometimes keening tracks that shouldn’t be missed.

Chad Price – This War
Chad Price – With Bleeding Wrists
Chad Price – Your Voice Is Music

You can pick this up over at Suburban Home in just about any format you like. I recommend grabbing the deal, I don’t know how long they’ll offer it for, where you get access to everything they release for life starting with this very record…

THE ROCK REPORT: THE SUBURBAN HOME 14th ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND, DENVER, COLORADO

This is a neat musical scene we run in. It’s a scene where even the biggest and most popular artists can be found sitting at the bar before they go on stage. There are few barriers and less ego between you and the people making the music you love. As a result, should you choose, you can build these miniature friendships with the bands. Don’t get me wrong, when I call them “miniature friendships” I don’t mean that as a slight, what I mean is that they’re not like regular friendships. They’re based around small conversations a couple of times a year that are eventually jettisoned by the electronic conversations that brought us together. That said, within the scene they’re still genuine and everyone still remembers each other’s names when they’re in the same town and knows bits and pieces of one another’s personal lives. That’s the real appeal of these little festivals I go to. Sure, you’re gonna see a lot of awesome music, but at the same time you’re gonna get to hang out with a lot of friends for the weekend to catch up, drink together and bullshit about typical crap like sports. The result is the musical version of a family reunion, which explains why people from as far away as Florida, New Jersey & California would descend upon Denver, Colorado for two nights of music.

I arrived early Friday afternoon, and after navigating the airport/super shuttle maze to the hotel I elected to take a small nap in an effort to offset the time difference. The lineup for Friday night was Look Mexico, In the Red, Jr. Juggernaut, Josh Small, Austin Lucas, Jon Snodgrass and Joey Cape. I made a point to get to the show early enough not to miss anything since that’s what I came for and, really, after cooking dinner (Yes! My hotel room had a stove…more drinking money!) what the hell else was I gonna do? I wasn’t even at 3 Kings for 10 minutes before finally getting to meet Virgil (Suburban Home owner) in person. The guy is as genuine and nice in person as he is on the internet and managed to hang out with folks all weekend, while also making sure everything kept moving along smoothly. Meeting him made me even happier about the praise we pile on his label and I take back that apology I made about the amount of coverage we’ve been giving SH last week. I’m not sorry and you can expect more. Before the first notes of the weekend were played I also ran into one of my favorite people in music, Shane Sweeney of Two Cow Garage. Hugs and small talk were exchanged and the the show began.

Most of the early bands Friday were bands I wasn’t terribly familiar with. Look Mexico was pretty enjoyable while In The Red was really, really heavy. Jr. Juggernaut was entertaining enough and their singer sort of looks like Seth Rogen. However, it was Josh Small who provided me the first wow moment of the weekend. Josh is small in demeanor but has a powerful presence on stage. Later in the night I was talking to him and I said he was like a tenor version of William Elliott Whitmore. He really appreciated that comparison, so I thought I’d share it with y’all. I really have no idea why I’ve ignored him all this time. I’ve heard his name but never bothered to check out his music. If you’re in that same boat, now is the time to stop. Trust me. After Josh the night just went nuts. The elevation (or the fact that I cooked and ate a huge dinner) was allowing me to drink a ridiculous amount of whiskey without really feeling it as Austin Lucas took the stage. About halfway through Austin’s set Two Cow joined him on stage to perform a mini-set of Austin’s songs, Two Cow style. Holy. Fucking. Shit. It was the muscle of Two Cow meshed with the grace of Austin, and it was completely ridiculous. I’m saying it now. I want to see a Suburban Home Under The Influence release of an Austin-fronted Two Cow so the rest of world can experience it. This whole ‘Two Cow killed it’ attitude will be a running theme. Outside of Tim Barry, they were the stars of this particular weekend. Jon Snodgrass had the arduous task of following the AustinTwoCow amalgam and he did it with the grace and professionalism that has come to define Jon. He came up and started running through crowd favorites like a pimp serves up hoes. What’s that? Wanna hear “Me & Joe”? “Me and Joe went out to California…..” If you were there you know what I’m talking about, and if you weren’t then you need to start getting out to more Jon Snodgrass/Drag The River shows. Not to be outdone by Austin, Jon also brought the Two Cow boys up to finish up his set, and watching that happen reminded me of how much I miss Drag The River proper. After Jon’s set I had to go. The East coast/Midwest time difference + an obscene amount of whiskey had won the battle and I shared a cab back to the hotel and called it a night over some reheated dinner.

Saturday got started early ’cause the Suburban Home garage sale started at noon and promised some of the SH roster playing in an intimate acoustic environment. That sentence should really clue you in to the level of sheer awesomeness that occurred on an otherwise dreary Saturday afternoon. I’m not gonna go into too much detail about the show at SH’s office, ’cause I think some things are best left for the people that were there, and even if I wanted to tell you about it I don’t have the grace with words that would be required to relay how it went down. I was expecting (and I think the original plan was) minisets by some of the musicians in attendance. What happened, however, was so much more organic and spontaneous, as Josh Small, Tim Barry, Devon from The Takers, Micah and Shane from Two Cow, Austin Lucas, and Andy Thomas (Suburban Home employee) passed around a single guitar, playing songs and telling stories for a couple of hours. Honestly, Saturday afternoon alone easily made the trip worth the money. After the music I headed back to the hotel to watch some NCAA football, cook some dinner and grab a nap before Saturday night (the main reason I came up to Denver) kicked off.

Saturday night’s line up was The Takers, The Revenge, Mike Hale, Ninja Gun, Chad Price, Two Cow Garage and Tim Barry. Since The Takers are one of the bright spots of Florida music, I had zero intention of missing their set, so I arrived at 3 Kings nice and early. Now I gotta admit, for the first couple of hours of Saturday night I was a little off my game. I’d gotten drunk in the afternoon only to go back to the hotel and take a short nap. If you’ve been there you know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t you will once you turn 21. I am happy to say that The Takers did Florida proud, while once again proving to me that they’re the best thing in Gainesville at the moment. I’m going to be honest, I used the bulk of The Revenge (who, IMO are horrible), Mike Hale and Ninja Gun’s sets to try and get my groove back (drink more whiskey), watch the OU/USC game and bullshit with various folks, so I don’t have too much to say about them.  By the time Chad took the stage, though, I was front and center (albeit a little wobbly). Chad’s set included some tracks from his upcoming album, as well as a few crowd favorites. Chad was followed by the emerging juggernaut that is Two Cow Garage. In the middle of their set I sent the following to Facebook: “Two Cow Garage is making America wish they were in Denver right now.” Now I know that’s not true, but that’s only because most of America is lazy as fuck and has no idea who Two Cow is. As a side note, when I started ninebullets the Drive-By Truckers were my hands-down favorite band on earth. Over the years Lucero has managed to wrestle that belt away from DBT. Nowadays, Lucero has one serious contender for the crown in Two Cow. Two Cow put on a typically blistering show that may have even surprised some of their own faithful.

Next up was Tim Barry. The fact that I am staring a new paragraph for Tim’s set is important. It’s the best literary equivalent I can think of to show Tim’s set the same amount of reverence the crowd and the weekend’s bands showed him. I do a lot of shows every year. A lot. Probably five (or more) for every show you see. I’m not saying this to brag, I am saying this to convey the significance of what I’m about to talk about. Not since I saw Konrad Wert (Possessed By Paul James) freeze an entire field in their tracks have I seen the reverence to an artist that I saw on Saturday night when Tim Barry played. Touring bands see a lot of people play and usually they’re more than happy to BS and converse during a set, but as Tim played I surveyed the crowd. Every band present was crowded stage right or at the door to the back. Every fan/attendant was pushed as close to the stage as they could get with a drink held forward as they screamed every word of every song. Almost every person in the bar stopped and watched Tim and he delivered in spades (as if anything else would be possible). Tim probably won’t ever experience any form of commercial success and time will most likely cover all of his material, but I imagine he is okay with that. Tim’s music is a lot like him. It’s here, it’s now and there ain’t an ounce of fake, simile or metaphor about it. And when you witness that you have to stop and appreciate it, much like all of Three Kings did that night. Tim could easily become the face of this genre if he wanted to, but the simple fact is that it ain’t that important to him and you gotta love that.

That was it. I woke up and left, still drunk, on Sunday morning, leaving another awesome weekend in another state behind me while wondering how the Buccaneers might do that afternoon back home (they got bitch slapped). I’m poorer in pocket but richer in experience and (albeit miniature) friends, and that’s what life’s about. I love everyone (especially the travelers) I met this weekend. We’re kindred spirits and good people and hopefully, one day, we’ll hear every band we love on FM Radio. Till then, we’ll bump into one another at various nondescript weekends/festivals around this country and drink, reminisce and catch up, perfectly content in our own anonymity.

See y’all next year.

Two Cow Garage – Should’ve California
Josh Small – Come Down
Drag The River – Old Sad Songs
The Takers – Curse of a Drunk
Tim Barry – Avoiding Catatonic Surrender

The plan was to take a bunch of photos but as is the norm I watched more and photoed less. The pictures I did take can be seen here and if you watch Jana Miller’s site I imagine you’ll see a lot more posted there in the coming days/weeks.

THE FOX HUNT – THE FOX HUNT 7" CDEP

Autopsy IV checking in here. Having managed to not only survive Denver but to come out of it inspired I’m getting back into the swing of things here in ninebullets.net land. Everything here happens according to a schedule that is generally laid out in the beginning of the week but sometimes something comes along that forces me to buck the schedule and type on the fly.

Today is one such case.

This morning I received and email from The Fox Hunt informing me that their self-titled EP had been released. Normally, I don’t post about EPs at all preferring instead to focus on full-length albums but when new Fox Hunt material becomes available, I don’t give two shits about it’s length, I’m telling y’all about it.

The Fox Hunt EP is the first new original material to come from The Fox Hunt boys since their debut album (and ninebullets.net 2007 Album of The Year winner), Nowhere Bound. When I originally reviewed Nowhere Bound I described The Fox Hunts sound as such, “Somewhere on the highway between Drag the River and Lucero, there is an exit with a dive bar. The Fox Hunt, out of Martinsburg, West Virginia, is that bar’s house band.” The new material doesn’t stray far from this sound instead focusing on producing 4 more simple, genuine songs with terrific melody and those smooth harmonies Fox Hunt fans have come to know and love.

Now, I know y’all are dying to buy the album so head on over to We Are Big House and pick it up. Both the CD and vinyl come in a 7” package and the vinyl comes with a card so you can download the mp3’s.

The track listing is:

1. Drinking Game
2. Darlin’ I Can’t Stay
3. Greenbrier River
4. Bigger Man

PLEASE CONSIDER WHERE I'VE BEEN (AN INTRO TO TIM BARRY):

Stepping out of the legendary punk band Avail and into bare feet and the occasional tour bus Tim Barry has carved his name in the hearts of alt country fans everywhere. From the opening strains of Laurel Street Demos’ Idle Idylist to his presence on the Revival Tour, he is a powerhouse. His songs evoke the kind of emotion that Southerners grasp on a level not available to the rest of the world. From train songs to heartbreaks Tim covers the range. His influences range from punk to vintage country and his songwriting shows it. While I refer to his music as alt country it really transcends the genre. There is an honesty to this music that is rare in any genre. You can listen to a few of these songs and say “Mr. Barry your punk is showing” and not be off the mark and still on others you can hear the haunting melodies of the country greats. I don’t think any music fan won’t find something to like in Tim’s catalog.

I have missed him the last couple of times he has been through Houston and it is much to my dismay. I don’t have a single cool story to tell about this man. In fact I am pretty much a new fan. I had heard his name floating around amongst my musical peers but I had never listened to his solo music. I had been an Avail fan for a long while but for some reason I had skipped Tim’s solo career. Last year I got a copy of the Revival Tour’s stop in Denver and Dog Bumped was the first time I had ever heard Tim Barry. Since then I have procured all of his released music and it’s been in heavy rotation since I first bought Laurel Street Demos last year. Much like most of the other intros I have put up Tim is a Suburban Home Records Artist and that’s, at least around these parts, a mark in his favor. While his solo catalog is small compared to bands like Drag The River there is so much ground covered in the few LPs he has released that it never ceases to amaze. Choosing these tracks was no easy task and I did sit and ponder which tracks to include. I hope that I have done Mr. Barry justice in my choices.

(I did things a little differently on this set of tapes and included the albums in the ID3 tags so there isn’t a track to album list for each tape. You’ll just have to buy them all!)

Tape 1 Track Archive

Tape 2 is two tracks off of each of Avail’s full length albums. Tim’s method of delivery may have changed but these tracks will show you that from his humble punk rock beginnings to his quieter method these days the intensity hasn’t gone anywhere. I couldn’t choose a favorite part of Tim’s career if I tried. Although Pink Houses holds a special place in my heart. I probably listen to more of his solo stuff nowadays but that’s just where I am at. Also I’m old…and GET OFF MY LAWN!

Tape 2 Track Archive

Tim has a new album in the works so be sure to keep your eyes on Suburban Home Records for more details…(Editors Note: Or, you can just keep coming around here…we’ll let you know when it’s released…believe you me.)

Linkage:
Tim Barry’s Website
Tim Barry on Suburban Home
Tim Barry on MySpace

SUBURBAN HOME RECORDS TURNS 14 & GIVES YOU THE GIFT (of free music):

Another week and there’s more Suburban Home posting on ninebullets.net. Look, in 3 days I’ll be boarding a big silver bird and heading out to Denver for the Suburban Home 14th Anniversary Party and anytime there is free music in the offering I feel obligated to tell y’all about it. So, I feel justified and like I said on the August podcast, they aren’t paying us or anything, we just like what they’re doing.

With that said, let’s talk free shit.

From Suburban Home Records:

With Suburban Home’s 14th Anniversary, we have made the decision that we would like to give everyone in the world one free album. We are a bit biased, but we think that Suburban Home is one of greatest record labels in the world while also being one of the smallest, least known record labels around. We hope that our offer to give you a free album will entice you to pick a release from one of our artists and hope that it will encourage you to tell others to grab an album, too.

No strings are attached to this. Trust me. You pretty much have to be a Grade A asshole not to take advantage of this offer. Grab the new Taker’s album, fall in love with Two Cow Garage, get personal with Tim Barry or drunk with Drag The River. Doesn’t matter, just take advantage of the offer.

The Takers – Curse of a Drunk
Two Cow Garage – Your Humble Narrator
Tim Barry – Tacoma
Drag The River – Embrace The Sound

FREE ALBUM: DRAG THE RIVER – LIVE AT THE STARLIGHT

Well. We’re gonna close this week of free albums out with a proper Friday album, Drag The River’s “Live At The Starlight”.

Here’s the story of how this album cam to be offered up for free:

As some of you may or may not know, the CD version of “Live at the Starlight” has been out of print for a while now. Whenever a release goes out of print, a handful of enterprising individuals take advantage of the inability to easily purchase the release and sell their own copy(ies) through sites like Ebay or Amazon for outrageous prices. One such individual has “Live at the Starlight” for sale for $80 on Ebay. You can’t blame people for doing this, but Jon felt that if we gave the album for free, no one would feel the need to spend so much money on the CD.

The quality of this album is second to none and it serves as a great entry point into the Drag The River discography. So go download it and then drop Mr. Jon Snodgrass an email to say “Thank You”.

That’s it for our week of free albums here on ninebullets but should you want more free music you should head over to A Truer Sound. Coincidentally, they’ve been posting about free albums all week too.

Great minds think alike I suppose.

Drag The River – Get Drunk