GETTING TO KNOW DRAG THE RIVER:

I have to admit that this intro was a little harder than I expected to put together. I am a big fan of Drag The River or I wouldn’t be slapping these tunes up here for people to get to know the band but wow the history here is daunting by itself. Couple that with the amount of work produced by the band and its members and I had a pretty huge project staring me in the face. Of course I didn’t let that stop me from putting together a set of tapes that will hopefully show the band’s growth as well as their history. I should make it clear that I didn’t even try to find music from everyone who has been in this band and simply pulled from own collection. That may be a little lazy but if I had tried to track down a little from every single member this intro wouldn’t have come out until next month. So we all just have to make do with I had laying around and hopefully three tapes will be enough to make anyone go out and track down the full DTR catalog as well as the works of all the members current and present.

This first tape is all Drag the River all the time. The first three tracks are off of Hobo’s Demo’s (2000) which was recorded in ’96 and ’97 at the Blasting Room in Ft Collins, CO. Chad Price and Jon Snodgrass played and/or sang on all the tracks and a slew of other musicians in and out of the studio such as Chad Rex, Paul Rucker, and Zach Boddicker. This session also produced Chicken Demo’s (2004) which tracks 7 thru 9 hail from but which was released after Closed. (2002) which is where tracks 4 thru 6 can be found. I decided on release order for this one and freely admit it was an arbitrary decision. The next three tracks, if you managed to keep up through the above mess of a description, come from It’s Crazy (2006) and track 10 is the first DTR track I ever heard and the one that caused me to fall in love with this band. Tracks thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen all make an appearance on You Can’t Live This Way (2008) and the last three tracks can be found on Bad at Breaking Up (2009). This does not represent the full catalog of releases as there have been EPs and other appearances along the way but I feel it covers the major releases for DTR and gives a good solid overview of the band as a whole.


Tape 1 – Track Archive

The next tape, much to my dismay, only has one track from the whole band live. I was shocked to discover I hadn’t collected much live DTR and will have to remedy that in the near future. This tape is mostly Jon Snodgrass live and couple off his Visitor’s Band solo release. That covers the last track and the all the middle tracks but the first two tracks are Chad Price live and are well worth listening to. Chad’s has his first solo effort in the breech and ready to fire over at Suburban Home (there’s even a single track sneak peak) and I really wish I had more of him to put on this tape but woe and alas it is what it is.


Tape 2 – Track Archive

I almost didn’t make this last tape, and then after making it almost didn’t post it but decided it was a neat look at the forces that created DTR and the history of, admittedly only a small few, the band members. These are all tracks from the bands that the members of DTR played in prior to forming DTR with the exception of tracks seven, eight, and nine which are from Chad Rex and the Victorstands gravity works fire burns. The first three tracks are from Armchair Martian which was a Jon Snodgrass punk band. The next three are from the Karl Alverez days with All, yet another punk band, which was the kicking, screaming, live-birth of the Descendants when Milo Went To College. These three tracks are off of Allroy’s Revenge. The last three tracks are also from All but feature Chad Price and are from Mass Nerder. While not even close to a complete rundown of all the bands that the members of DTR have played in this tape should serve as a decent overview of the history and the roots of Drag The River. Since it is, according to Jon, “Chad’s and my band” I think I captured the history of the driving forces behind the alt-country powerhouse that is DTR.


Tape 3 – Track Archive

With such an amazingly dynamic lineup over the years I can’t do justice without listing the members, past and present, and tossing some links out to any current projects they may be working on and any projects that may have passed away but still have some internet presence left hanging around. So without further ado, and according to wikipedia (which may be wrong) I present Drag The River’s members:

And of course the standard linkage:

Suburban Home Records
Drag The River Homepage
Drag The River Myspace
Drag The River on PunkNews
Prior Drag The River Coverage on 9b
Drag The River on Wikipedia

LUCERO MESSAGE BOARD SUMMER COMPILATION:

Ahh Summer. Yards to be mowed, grills to be lit, beaches to be enjoyed, beers to be drank, sports to be watched and, obviously, all of this needs a soundtrack.

Enter the Lucero Message Board Compilation.

Yup. Like a superhero showing up just in time the new compilation was posted this week and I couldn’t think of a better way to close out this week than with a post about it. As always, you can head over to the Lucero message board for some dialog on why each song was submitted and while you’re there you can contribute to next months.

Lucero Message Board Summer Comp can be downloaded here.

Track Listing:

  1. The Fox Hunt – Better Than This (Lucero Cover)
  2. Lucero – American Girl (live)
  3. Deer Tick – Houston, TX
  4. Cory Branan – Karen’s Song
  5. Ha Ha Tonka – Close Every Valve to Your Bleeding Heart
  6. William Elliott Whitmore – Old Devils
  7. Hoots & Hellmouth – What Good Are Plowshares If We Use Them Like Swords
  8. The Only Sons – Lay Back Down
  9. The Evening Rig – Goddamn, I Could Use A Drink
  10. Jon Snodgrass w/ Cory Branan – Alone and Distanced
  11. Two Cow Garage – Humble Narrator
  12. Chad Rex & The Victorstands – Build a Rocket
  13. Flogging Molly – Salty Dog
  14. Michael Dean Damron –  Angels Fly Up
  15. Austin Lucas – Kith and Kin
  16. The Lemonheads – Waitin Around to Die
  17. Cheap Trick – Sick Man Of Europe
  18. The Dexateens – Can You Whoop It
  19. Trampled by Turtles – Empire
  20. Matthew Dean Herman –  Blackbird
  21. Lyle Lovette – Fat Babies
  22. Ray LaMontagne – Let it Be Me
  23. Uncle Tupelo – Moonshiner (live)
  24. Kingston Trio – We’ll Sing in The Sunshine
  25. Against Me! – You Look Like I Need Drink

Also, special thanks to Romeo Sid Vicious for putting together a stream of the compilation for those that prefer such a thing you can listen to it here.

NINEBULLETS.NET JUNE PODCAST:

Whew! Talk about getting this one in just under the wire. This month was nutzo with 80 Proof Music, a brief break and all sorts of other stuff. No matter though cause we’re coming in on time with some great music to fill your July 4th weekend up with.

I decided to shorten up the nine bullets intro music this month. I’m not very happy with how it ended up and I hope to make a better edit of it in the coming weeks or I’ll just go back to posting the whole song. What do you think? Do you like hearing all of Nine Bullets each month or would you prefer a shortened version of it?

This month’s podcast includes a new track by one of our favorite rock bands, The Whipsaws as well as a track from fellow Alaskan, Matthew Dean Herman which comes from his Evan Phillip’s (The Whipsaws / E.S.P.) produced debut, Blackbird. The album is fantastic and I’ve got a nice little write-up about it I plan on posting next week. As you’ll see in the track listing below there is also a fun little segment of cover songs and we round things off with a rocking/punk-blues segment followed by a set of songs with a more traditional blues sound.

I decided to close the show with some nerdcore hiphop tracks. The Master Onion song is from an old video game called PaRappa The Rapper that I just adored. I followed that up with two artists from Scrub Club Records that have just been blowing me away for the past week. You can download both of their albums over on Scrub Club for free and I’d advise you to do it….they’re doing the whole nerdcore thing on a totally new level.

July is gonna be another crazy month. I am hitting up Nerdapalooza and The Deep Blues Festival in July. I’m sure I am gonna be exposed to (and get) a shit ton of new music and my guess is that the July podcast will be focused on that stuff….I dunno about you, but I can’t wait.

Okay, that’s enough typing, let’s get to the track list and the music:

  1. Ninebullets Podcast Intro [00.00.00]
  2. The Whipsaws – Dr. Please [00.12.03]
  3. Autopsy IV Commentary [04.40.25]
  4. Matthew Dean Herman – Blackbird [05.49.00]
  5. Jace Everett – Bad Things [09.57.45]
  6. Autopsy IV Commentary [12.38.75]
  7. The Takers & Austin Lucas – Mama Tried (Merle Haggard cover) [13.27.50]
  8. Todd Snider – Corpus Christie Bay (Robert Earle  Keene Cover) [15.38.00]
  9. Jon Snodgrass & Cory Branan – Wild One (Thin Lizzy Cover) [19.27.75]
  10. Autopsy IV Commentary [21.22.75]
  11. Little Foot Long Foot – Junebug [22.22.25]
  12. Seasick Steve – Cheap [25.53.00]
  13. The Pack A.D. – Blackout [29.55.00]
  14. Scott H. Biram – Judgement Day [32.27.75]
  15. Autopsy IV Commentary [35.00.00]
  16. Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Cootie Starks & Neal Pattman – Prison Blues [35.41.50]
  17. Swampcandy – South County [40.16.00]
  18. Mississippi Marvel & Lightnin’ Malcolm – Black Mattie’s Face [42.13.25]
  19. Kenny Wayne Shepherd, George Butler & The Howlin Wolf Band – Spoonful [44.19.25]
  20. Autopsy IV Commentary [49.36.75]
  21. Master Onion – Chop, Chop [51.19.25]
  22. Kabuto The Python – Open Season (feat. Margaret Thatcher) [53.40.50]
  23. Dr. Awkward – Geekquilibrium [57.30.00]

As always, any suggestions on how to make this thing better are always appreciated. As are any efforts to promote and advertise it….so please, Tweet about it, post links on message boards, post myspace bulletins and force your little sister to listen to it.

Download this episode (right click and save)

TAMPA/ST. PETE: TO DO ALL NEXT WEEK: GRAYSON CAPPS/CORY BRANAN/JON SNODGRASS/JOEY CAPE/CITRUS CIRCUIT TOUR

You know what they say, “when it rains, it pours”, and such is the case next week with three shows in four days. While I don’t expect anyone else to adhere to such a rigorous schedule I do think you could find something you like in one (or more) of these shows. If you do make it out to any, find me and we’ll tell fish tales over a beer.

WEDNESDAY 6/24 @ THE RITZ: GRAYSON CAPPS

I am so excited about this show. Honestly, I just assumed Grayson Capps would never come to Florida. BUT! Here he is and he’s bringing his full band, The Stumppknocker’s, with him.  If the sound of Southern soul mixed with back-country stomp with a little road-house blues sounds like something that might tickle your fancy, you need to get to The Ritz on Thurday night for this show.

When I last wrote about Grayson I said, “I find myself drawn to the drunks, whores and vagabonds that haunt Grayson’s songs. They’re like old friends you keep up with via letters in the mail, and with a new album comes new updates.” It’ll be nice to finally meet this motley crew of characters in person.

Grayson Capps – Going Back To The Country
Grayson Capps – Ike
Grayson Capps – Mermaid
Grayson Capps – Junior & The Old African Queen

THURSDAY 6/25 @ NEW WORLD BREWERY: CORY BRANAN, JOEY CAPE & JON SNODGRASS

The following night, Joey Cape (Ladwagon/Me First & The Gimmie Gimmies), Jon Snodgrass (Drag The River/Arm Chair Martian) and Cory Branan will be playing New World Brewery. All three of these guys have crossed paths and shared stages at various times in their careers, but this is the first time all three have played together. This tour was engineered by Jon (and booked by the fine folks at AES Presents) and, as I understand, it will mimic The Revival Tour where the artists will all share the stage. Should make for a fun show.

Cory Branan – The Prettiest Waitress in Memphis
Joey Cape – Errands
Jon Snodgrass – Brave With Strangers
Cory Branan & Jon Snodgrass – Wild One (Thin Lizzy Cover)

SATURDAY 6/27 @ NEW WORLD BREWEY: THE CITRUS CIRCUIT TOUR with LAURIS VIDAL, TRUCKSTOP COFFEE, HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL & THE TAKERS

After giving the liver a brief break on Friday, the musical week plans to knock us out with a right hook powered by another all-Florida band lineup brought to us by thxmgmt. This is the second all-Florida band mini-tour thxmgmt has done this month. Like the last, the idea is to get a collection of Florida bands together who can pull within their own markets and put them all on the road together with the “home band” headlining their respective market. This time we’re getting Tampa’s own Have Gun Will Travel, Lauris Vidal (Daytona Beach), Truckstop Coffee (Lake Worth) and the latest Suburban Home Records signee, Gainesville’s own The Takers.

To say this is a must-see show is a complete understatement. Everyone in the Bay Area should know how good HGWT is at this point (and if you don’t then shame on you), and the amount of love ninebullets has shown Truckstop Coffee over the years is still pitifully inadequate. In addition, I’ll finally get to see the *much hyped* honky-tonk outfit The Takers.

This will be one of the best nights of music of the year and it’s all homegrown. In addition, it’s a Saturday night so there’s no reason not to go.

Lauris Vidal – Good Years, Dark Clouds
Truckstop Coffee -Way Down South
Have Gun Will Travel -Blessing And A Curse
The Takers – Taker Easy

JON SNODGRASS – VISITOR'S BAND

Since Drag The River “broke up”, it stood to reason that Jon and Chad would be releasing solo efforts. It was my understanding that Chad should have one coming out by the end of 2009, and while I wouldn’t put the notion of another Drag The River album completely to bed, Mr. Snodgrass was the first to strike with Visitor’s Band.

Over the course of 2008 Jon managed to book studio time on both coasts and places inbetween to record Visitor’s Band. He also managed to pull in a few collaborators like Chad Rex, Joey Erg, Chris Pierce and ninebullets.net faves, Two Cow Garage.

It would be easy to assume that the album just sounds like a Drag album without Chad singing on any of the tracks, but that would be selling the album short. While the album is rife with Drag The River familiarities, namely the comforting sound of Jon’s voice and it’s nasally twang, Visitor’s Band spends a lot of time rocking in a way that is more Armchair Martian than Drag The River. The real star of the cd is Jon’s voice itself.  During the slow, sad songs it’s there to comfort and wallow in the misery with you and during the rockers it’s there to pound shots and sing-along with you, swaying shoulder to shoulder.

As an added bonus, the final track of the album follows the Drag The River tradition of being the entire album again, but instead of just being the entire album as one track, Visitor’s Band offers up the entire album again acoustically. It’s a fantastic addition to an album that was already Essential Listening.

Jon Snodgrass – Brave With Strangers
Jon Snodgrass – Remember My Name
Jon Snodgrass – Song For Jake Nichols To Sing

Jon Snodgrass on myspace, Buy Visitor’s Band

GUEST POST: LENNY AND THE POOR BOYS

Hey guys and gals. I’m sitting here in Colorado waiting for the sun to come up so I can get out of this room and onto the mountain. The nice thing about having an east coast internal clock is that I get up early enough to have coffee and eat without rushing.

Today’s guest  post comes from the owner of the Colorado based (see the tie in there?) label, Suburban Home Records, Virgil Dickerson. It is about a band that quite frankly, I’ve heard of numerous times but had never heard. I hope  y’all like it.

When a post from Bryan looking for Guest writers popped up on Twitter, I emailed Bryan letting him know my interest in contributing. Being a big fan of Ninebullets.net and having a background in zine publishing (Suburban Home started as a zine in 1995), I was thrilled when Bryan gave me the opportunity to write a little something. I asked him if there were any guidelines to which he replied, “No guidelines at all outside of take it seriously…I put alot of time and effort into ninebullets. Other than that, have fun with it.” Fair enough. At this point, I started thinking long and hard about an incredible band that I could share with all of you. I ruled out about writing about one of our bands (but let me shamelessly plug a few of our bands that I hope are on your radar – Drag the River, Two Cow Garage, Tim Barry, Austin Lucas, Yesterday’s Ring, The Takers, Jon Snodgrass, and Ninja Gun). I considered writing about Murder by Death only because Bryan told me he wasn’t a fan (I love them very much), but decided against it. I thought about writing about the new Justin Townes Earle, “Midnight at the Movies” which I got a promo of this week and am digging big time, but since I know that Bryan also loves them, I figured he would soon be writing about the album himself. After further thought, I could only think about one band that I think everyone should know about. This band is Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys.

Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys are from Boston, Massachusetts, and I first heard about them from Drag the River. Drag the River were given some early demos by Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys when Drag played a show with Dropkick Murphys. Chad and Jon loved those songs so much, they started playing “Cambridgeport Saloon” and “Leaving in the Morning” live and during the recording sessions that would become “It’s Crazy”, they recorded a cover of “Leaving in the Morning” which became the first song on the album. I had always thought “Leaving in the Morning” was a Drag the River original, but I was told that this was a song written by Lenny. After hearing that, I decided to pay a visit to the band’s myspace page and I am sure I listened to the 2 songs on their profile (“Cambridgeport Saloon” and “Lonely Days and Whiskey Nights”) about a million times. I loved every second of those 2 songs and immediately looked everywhere I could to find a copy. That search lead me to the Ludeboy Records’ site where I didn’t hesitate to mailorder the album although the $16 price seemed a bit high. I had heard that the label was slow at sending out mailorder and after 2 weeks, I still hadn’t received a copy of the album. A really kind friend burned a copy and mailed it to me and I received it before the copy I had purchased.

As I thought would be the case, I absolutely loved every song. Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys perfectly marry Country and Punk Rock unlike any band I have ever heard. Lenny has fronted the street punk band, Darkbuster, for years and he brings that energy to Honky Tonk Country. The upright bass and pedal steel guitar give the band a much older sound than you would otherwise think. The songs tell stories of late night bar fights, boozing, salvation, their favorite Ramones’ song, more boozing, and they even cover the Lowenbrau theme song. In one particular song, Lenny sings “I’m Thirty Something and I don’t Feel Old, Still listening to Punk Rock still like my beers cold,” and I think that lyric spoke to me more than any other lyric. I loved this record and this band so much, I contacted the band. I mentioned my interest in working with them and hopefully putting out their next album. This is when they told me that after their bass player passed away, the band pretty much fell apart. This my friends, is a true tragedy. I have spoke to the label that released their album and mentioned my interest in licensing it for release on vinyl, something I still want to do. With any luck, this will one day happen.

Although Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys are not active, Drag the River did play a show with Lenny the last time they were in Boston. Lenny, if you read this and are ever looking for a label to put out anything, please drop me a line.

Friends, I hope you like this band as much as I do. Thanks Bryan for letting me rant.

Leaving in the Morning (by Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys)
Cambridgeport Saloon (by Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys)
Lonely Days and Whiskey Nights (by Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys)
Leaving in the Morning (by Drag the River)

AROUND THE WEB IN AMERICANA MUSIC:

This is a new thing I am trying out. Since I am now contributing to the music side of Creative Loafing’s website I am trying to post a rundown of what’s going on in Americana music and it’s related blogs over there every Friday and since I am posting it there…well, why not post it here. So, without further ado:

  • It’s been unseasonably cold this week which I’m sure has resulted in another cover or two on your bed. In the spirit of covers the Lucero Message Board put together a compilation of bands doing cover songs. It’s worth checking out for the Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s cover of Danzig’s “Am I Demon” alone. You can download it here.
  • In Drive-By Truckers news: In a recent article Patterson Hood mentioned that the band has began work on a new, as if yet untitled, album. And in even better news he said “I feel it’s time to make a big, loud, rowdy rock record“. Thank God! I’ve always liked the loud rocking Truckers over the newer kinder Truckers of recent albums. In other DBT news, NME had an article this week about the new Booker T album, Potatoe Head, in which DBT is his backing band. The album, out April 20 (420…get it…), also features Neil Young on guitar. Booker T, Neil Young and The Drive-By Truckers….how could this album not be awesome?