It’s the early part of the year and the new releases haven’t been rolling in yet. There are several on my list and hopefully several on yours. So while we wait for the new goodies this podcast feature a lot of looks back. Some songs a year or two and others even more. I hope you enjoy.

Track Listing: talking about playing cards and bottle caps
02.Cat Power – Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again (I’m Not There)
03.Two Cow Garage – Alphabet City (The Wall Against Our Back)
04.The Glands – I Can See My House From Here (The Glands)
05.Uncle Tupelo – Give Back The Key To My Heart (Anodyne) talking about Thriller
07.The Bottle Rockets – Welfare Music (The Brooklyn Side)
08.Larry & His Flask – Closed Doors (Daytrotter Session)
09.Southern Bitch – Sand Mountain (EP)
10.Myrnabirds – What We Gained In The Fire We Lost In The Flood (WWLITFWGITF)
11.The Pollies – Song For Carter (Where The Lies Begin) talking about wrastlin’
13.Joey Kneiser – St. Christopher (Moonlight For The Graveyard Heart)
14.Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – When The Other Foot Drops – Uncle (100 days,100 nights)
15.Lucero – Hey Darlin’ Do You Gamble? (1372 Overland Park)
16.Lucinda Williams – Concrete And Barbed Wire (Car Wheels On A Gravel Road) talking about bands that don’t exist any more.
18.The Star Room Boys – Was There Something In Her Eye? (Why Do Lonely Men And Women Try To Break Each Other’s Heart)
19.Paul Westerberg – Silent Film Star (Mono)
20.Kelly Kneiser – Alone At Night (Kelly Kneiser) saying goodbye
22.Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Stagger Lee (Murder Ballads)

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In observance of International Women’s Day, this week’s episode of Ninebullets Radio was guest hosted by Ms. Beverly Capshaw and featured nothing but women singers. Beverly did a great job playing a little bit of everything from classic Lucinda Williams to a Drake cover performed by Sarah Jaffe. Make sure you check out the stream via the archived stream of the show.

Below is the playlist for March 08, 2012

01. Bettye Lavette – They Call It Love
02. Sarah Jaffe – Shut It Down
03. Lucinda Williams – Disgusted
04. Jessica Lea Mayfield – Trouble
05. First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar
06. Liz Durrett – Knives At The Wall
07. Gillian Welch – Caleb Meyer
08. Sharon Van Etten – Serpents
09. Audra Mae and the Almighty Sound – Ne’er Do Wells
10. Michelle Malone – Tighten Up The Springs
11. Sleepy Vikings – These Days
12. Patty Loveless – Two Coats
13. Julie Miller – All My Tears
14. Driftwood Fire – Appalachian Hills

Bold = Request

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Episode 62: aired 03.08.2012


Hailing from Auburn, Alabama and named after the cemetery where they used to practice The Pine Hill Haints has been turning out what they call Alabama Ghost Music since 2000. AIV covered them here on 9B when he discovered them by accident as an opening act back in 2007. I have to admit I hadn’t read that piece until I searched today to see if they had been mentioned here. I discovered them by accident this week but through different circumstances. These folks didn’t seem like the usual 9B fare on first listen but the second time through the album I began to understand that they were more then a single listen could contain. While not the gothabilly vibe that AIV like they are dark in their own way and their self-defined Alabama Ghost Music is more than fitting.

Fronted by Jamie Barrier and his lovely wife (on washboard) Katie “Kat” Barrier along with Matt Bakula on washtub bass and tenor banjo, and Ben on snare drum it is apparently not uncommon for former members to show up and join the Haints on stage during shows. From traditional bluegrass sounds to tracks that seem like someone tossed some little swimmers from The Reverend Horton Heat, Buckwheat Zydeco, and Niick Cave into a test tube, grabbed a turkey baster, and impregnated Lucinda Williams they manage to not turn their ghost songs and murder ballads into shtick. To Win Or Lose has a decidedly southern flavored offering with lyrics flow through topics like figuring out how much drink it will take to rid oneself of memories of an evil lover mingling with the happy go lucky sounds of the banjo and squeeze-box leaving a body oddly upbeat after the dark poetry. It’s honestly one of the stranger albums I have come to enjoy recently. The lyrics, if you read them while listening to the music, wouldn’t seem to fit but once you slap on some headphones and give it a good listen you realize that there’s some magic there. Aside from their original work on this album they also toss in a cover of Woody Guthrie’s The Ranger’s Command rounding out and already damn fine album. But don’t take my word for it check out the tracks below.

The Pine Hill Haints – Never Gonna Die
The Pine Hill Haints – Scar
The Pine Hill Haints – How Much Poison Does It Take

After listening to this album I really want to see these guys live. I’m just sayin’…

The Pine Hill Haints on MySpace
Razorcake interview with Jamie Barrier


Maybe it’s because I grew up reading too much Hemmingway, watching too many Steve McQueen and John Wayne flicks with my dad, and listening to too many Rolling Stones records, but I seem to have been born with, or developed, a predisposition against female artists. Aside from a select few (Lucinda Williams, Aimee Mann, Patti Smith, Jesse Sykes, Victoria Williams, Cat Power, Aretha, etc.), it all sounds pretty much the same to me. Before I go on, I want to clarify that statement by repeating that it all sounds the same to me. This is to say that, to my ear, there’s not a discernible difference between, say, Feist and every other indie chanteuse in the world. I’m not saying the differences don’t exist, I’m just saying my ears – bludgeoned by years of the ‘Mats and Mudhoney – don’t pick them up. It’s my problem, I’m aware of it, I’m working on it.

All of that said, when I came upon Amanda Zelina’s record, Love Me ‘Til I’m Me Again (yeah, you’ve got to get past a clunky title), I was immediately taken aback, not just by Zelina’s voice but by the arrangements – reverb-drenched, spacey and distinct.

Before David Sitek buried Scarlett Johansson‘s voice in a sea of murky reverb, guitars, and synthesizers, arrangement was an aspect of record-making that seemed to go largely ignored by female artists in lieu of exposing their distinct voices, quirky and/or insightful lyrics, or both – as if arrangement and performance were somehow mutually exclusive.

Zelina’s voice is breathy and ethereal – two words often associated with female artists and perfected by the aforementioned Chan Marshall – but what sets Zelina apart is that she’s able to drift effortlessy back and forth between that breathy, reedy whisper and a full, powerful wail that owes a large debt to Carla Thomas (example: Zelina’s cover of “Try A Little Tenderness”). In short, she bridges the gaps between folk, rock and soul without seeming contrived or pedestrian. What Ray Lamontagne did for the cookie-cutter “sad guy with guitar” genre, Zelina does for coffee shop sirens everywhere.

Love Me ‘Til I’m Me Again may not show up on any end-of-the-year best of lists, but it’s a powerful effort from an artist who has given herself a very good chance at finding a foothold in a very crowded genre.

Amanda Zelina – My Version Of It
Amanda Zelina – Try A Little Tenderness

Amanda Zelina’s Official Site, Amanda Zelina on myspace

Tim Easton – Porcupine

To say Tim Easton has spent the better part of the last decade “toiling” in relative obscurity would be stretching it – he records for New West, seems perennially omnipresent at SXSW and the Americana Music Conference, and counts Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams among his friends and fans – but Easton’s is not a name you hear mentioned in the same breath as Adams, Tweedy, Farrar and the like.

The cause? I suppose one could tab the general crapshoot nature of the music industry as partly to blame but the fact is, Easton had yet to make that career-defining record that anyone could point to when recommending Tim Easton to the uninitiated listener. Adams has Heartbreaker and Strangers Almanac to his credit, Tweedy’s got Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and so on. Tim Easton has written a lot of great tunes, and made a couple of very good records, but there’s not one prevailing work that anyone could or would point to as “must-have Tim Easton.”

Easton’s new record, Porcupine, may change that discussion. If it is not “The” Tim Easton record, it’s certainly the closest he’s come yet to a streamlined, cohesive “artistic statement,” whatever that’s supposed to mean.

Put more simply, Porcupine is Easton’s best record, top-to-bottom. Easton vacillates deftly between a raspy, Dylanesque weeze and a slightly more tender, drawling vocal approach that vaguely reflects the Joshua Tree desert where Easton spends a good deal of time, his razor-sharp ruminations floating over jagged, jangly guitars and carefully revamped blues and folk licks.

If there is a defining theme to the records, it is found in a line from the chugging “Broke My Heart,” as Easton declares, “there’s only two things left in this world / love and the lack thereof.” Easton’s characters spend the majority of Porcupine in search of love, trudging their way through the lack thereof. It’s a broad landscape, but Easton has supplied a nice little soundtrack for the ride.

Tim Easton – Broke My Heart
Tim Easton – Baltimore

Tim Easton’s Official Site, Tim Easton on myspace, Buy Porcupine