McDougall – Reaching for Some Light

Reaching For Some Light

McDougall is one of those guys who I’ve always liked and who’s hung out on the periphery of my regular rotation due to some reason or another. He’s one of those artists that I’ve really and truly enjoyed in smaller doses but never really inspired a binge of listening to an album over and over again with the exception of his project Brothers of the Last Watch with John Johnson of Hillstomp (I still binge play that one). Reaching for Some Light changes that completely as I’ve been listening to it for three days solid at this point. I don’t know if it’s the subject matter, the full band sound, the lack of instrumental tracks, or something else entirely but it really speaks to me on a level that goes beyond liking it enough to pull it out every once in a while and giving it a listen. This is not a record that would collect dust in my collection.

There is a definite departure from the folksy roots that attracted some to Scott McDougall and I think that the stories being painted here are perfectly suited for the style of music that was chosen as a canvas. There’s a thread of hope running through this music that the world needs right now and that’s why I chose today to write about this album. There are times when things seem awfully bleak and those time seem to be coming more frequently. That could be because I’m getting older, because of a 24 hour news cycle in an always connected society, or because things are actually worse. I don’t care what the root cause might be, the fact is that hope is getting harder to hold on to. Music is one of the most important things in my life and I rely on it to provide many things and right now hope is one of those things and Reaching for Some Light provides a spark that’s easy to stoke in to something more. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a happy album per se, it’s got it’s darker moments for sure but that thread of hope is commodity that’s important these days.

As far as the music itself goes McDougall played most of the instruments and while there are some very fleshed out tracks there are still some stripped down compositions. I feel like the mindfulness that went in to the instrumentation of each track shows just how much of himself Scott poured in to making this album. While the instrumentation changes as necessary this is still a very cohesive album that’s easy to listen to all the way through. When it’s over it leaves me with both a desire for more while at the same time a sense of completeness. That may sound contradictory but what I want is more like from McDougall and at the same time I can’t help but feel that this installment, this record, is a complete work with nothing feeling left unsaid.

The lyrics feel like Scott is reaching inside himself and sharing more reality with us. In a complete change in what I usually find attractive, the blood and guts style of so many of my favorites, there is a richness here in discovering musings on things that are good in life. Hope, love, and even faith all play a role in these songs which seems very real. Every time I listen to this one it feels like I’m being reminded that no matter how dark things look, how bleak our prospects seem, that I’ve got it pretty damn good and I should look at my life and be grateful for what I have and actually take the time to think on those things. I don’t know about you but I need a reminder of that more often than not. I really think that the production, instrumentation, lyrics, track order, and everything else all play together in such a perfect manner that Reaching for Some Light can be nothing less than Essential Listening and I hope you feel the same. There are times when the title describes everyone I know and maybe this will help someone find that sliver of light they need to step over whatever life is putting in their path. You can grab this one on Bandcamp along with his other albums.

I mentioned a lot of things in the article so here’s some extra linkage for you:

McDougall’s official site
McDougall’s FB Page
Brothers of the Last Watch on Bandcamp
Brothers of the Last Watch on FB
Hillstomp’s official site
Hillstomp on FB
Hillstomp on Bandcamp

Ajax Diner Book Club – 3/2/15 KRFC Ft. Collins CO

Booker T & the M.G.’s “Big Train” from Soul Dressing

Adam Faucett “Melanie” from Blind Water Finds Blind Water

The Cedar Shakes “From The Guts” from This Western Road

James McMurtry “Ain’t Got a Place” from Complicated Game

Micah Schnabel “Middle Child Complex” from Not The Boy You Used To Be

Robert Chaney “Patch It Up” from Cracked Picture Frames

Charlie Parr “Dead Cat On The Line” from Rooster

Drive-by Truckers “Grandpa Rock City” from Dragon Pants

Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires “Can’t Get Right” from Arkedelphia

McDougall “Restless Friend” from McDougall

Pops Staples “Somebody Was Watching” from Don’t Lose This

The Soul Stirrers “Time Brings About A Change” from Joy In My Soul

Sly & the Family Stone “Everyday People” from Anthology

The Forty Fives “Go Ahead And Shout” from High Life High Volume

Superchunk “breaking down” from I Hate Music

Sour Boy Bitter Girl “Yellow Ribbon” from The Days After The Fire

McDougall – Self Titled

mcd

News of a new McDougall record is big news around these parts. We’ve written about him multiple times (here and here) and he’s been played on both radio shows. A one-man band that alternates between guitar and six-string banjo with heavy doses of bass drum and hi-hat mixed in, McDougall’s true talent doesn’t come from the instruments he plays but from the sensation his music releases. He tells stories, stories of travel and exploration but even though the adventures seem just out of reach, we are still compelled to seek them out.

“Another Kind,” the first song on this self-titled album has the line “I’m on the corner, ready to go” and that sense fills the entire album. It’s a great first song because it pulls the listener into the world of the record and propels them into the following 11 songs. By the time the cymbals kick in halfway through “Flying in Circles,” I’m on the locomotive or whatever McDougall is driving and eager for the adventure.

There are a multitude of one-man bands in our scene and very few of them deliver the quality of music found on this album. The uniqueness of playing all the instruments doesn’t overshadow the quality of the songwriting. The third song, “On The Mend,” is a contemplative number about trying to live life another way. All the instrumental flair that McDougall is known for is stripped down and we’re left with a beautiful song.

I’ve been enjoying rock instrumentals a good bit lately so I was pleased to find a couple of them here. One of the things McDougall is able to capture in his instrumentals is an emotional arch and narrative that he also has in his vocals. The four instrumentals are well-placed and perpetuate the forward momentum of the album that “Another Kind” starts. The next to last song “Something To Take With You” builds all of the momentum of the album and takes it to an ecstatic climax while the quiet and listlessness of the final “Conversation With The Setting Sun” closes the album perfectly.

McDougall’s self-titled album is complete, adventuresome and ESSENTAIL LISTENING. I spoke briefly to McDougall about his new album I asked if he was going to make vinyl. He said he’d been thinking about it but didn’t know if it was financially plausible. I told him I would by a vinyl copy and if you feel the same way let him know in the comments and we’ll see if we can get that ball rolling.

 

Another Kind

Restless Friend

 

Official Site, On Facebook, Buy Album

[Playlist] Ninebullets Radio – 09.20.2014 – 88.5FM WMNF Tampa

We did the damn thing. If you wanna hear it, put your ears on the archive of the show.

Below is the playlist for September 20, 2014 [Artist – Song (Album)]

01. Drive-By Truckers – Zip City (Southern Rock Opera)
02. Jason Isbell – Cover Me Up (Southeastern)
03. Parker Millsap – Old Time Religion (Parker Millsap)
04. Otis Gibbs – The Darker Side Of Me (Souvenirs Of A Misspent Youth)
05. Two Cow Garage – Swingset Assassin (Speaking In Cursive)
06. Have Gun Will Travel – Take Me Home, Alice (Fiction, Fact or Folktale!)
07. The Takers – Friends in Bottles (Taker Easy)
08. Matt Woods – Deadman’s Blues (With Love From Brushy Mountain)
09. Big Shoals – 12 Steps (Still Go On)
10. American Aquarium – Burn. Flicker. Die. (Burn. Flicker. Die.)
11. Will Quinlan and The Diviners – Acrimony Blues (Navasota)
12. Sturgill Simpson – The Promise (Metamodern Sounds In Country Music)
13. Arlo McKinely & The Lonesome Sound – Sad Country Song (Arlo McKinely & The Lonesome Sound)
14. Kierston White – Love Songs (Don’t Write Love Songs)
15. Chuck Ragan – Vagabond (Till Midnight)
16. Doc Dailey & Magnolia Devil – She Has Her Moments (Catch The Presidents)
17. McDougall – Ready, Begin (A Few Towns More)
18. John Mellencamp – The Brass Ring (Plain Spoken)
19. Willie Nelson – The Songwriters (Band Of Brothers)
20. John Moreland – Gospel (In The Throes)
21. Nikki Lane – Right Time (All Or Nothin’)
22. The Wind + The Wave – From The Wreckage Build A Home (From The Wreckage)
23. Hiss Golden Messenger – Southern Grammar (Lateness of Dancers)
24. Ben Stalets – Don’t Call Me Lonely (Dear Golden)
25. David Mayfield – Rain On My Parade (Strangers)
26. Becky Warren – Off My Back (The Iraq EP)
27. Adult Boys Thunderband – Mothers Love Me (Abducted Again)

Bold = Request

Ninebullets Radio on Facebook
You can stream Ninebullets Radio here
You can download Ninebullets Radio here: Hour 1 / Hour 2
If you like Ninebullets Radio please drop a 5 spot in the Tip Jar.

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 193: aired 09.20.2014

Links Around The Web

bullets-linked

And now back to your irregular rundown of what’s happening on the internet.

 

mcdA couple of weeks ago McDougall played a festival here in Ft. Collins. His set was one of the highlights of the day. He also told me that he has a new record finished and that he’s hoping for a release by the end of the year. But this post isn’t about that-McDougall recently debuted his cooking skills. (Humor & new songs are also on display)

Watch his episode of Dinner & A Show here: It’s really great.

 

glossary is still on a hiatus but here’s a really in depth and interesting interview with Joey about his creative process. The I Think We Should Talk blog has the scoop.

 

tcgkexpIf you’ve caught Two Cow Garage in the last few months you’ve most likely heard two new songs. One by Shane & one by Micah. Depending on the soundsystem at your local rock club, you’ve probably had trouble making out all the lyrics. If you watch music videos on youtube you’ve most likely come across KEXP, the community station in Seattle, because they’ve had a ton of great guests. World collided when Two Cow Garage recently went into the KEXP studios. Part of their 16 minute set was those two new songs. Enjoy these beauties.

 

Finally, that cooking show with McDougall was so rad I need to share the first episode of Dinner & A Show with The Hooten Hallers.

[Playlist] Ninebullets Radio – 11.09.2013 – 88.5FM WMNF Tampa

For the firs time ever we took the show on the road this weekend. It was weird and I was a little uncomfortable but the music was spot on. So, locate a free 2 hours and put some earholes on the archive of the show.

Below is the playlist for November 09, 2013 [Artist – Song (Album)]

01. Sunday Valley – All The Pretty Colors (To The Wind and On To Heaven)
02. White Trash Blues Revival – She Don’t Care (Now Honey, Now Baby, Now Listen…)
03. Husky Burnette – Highway 41 (Tales From East End Blvd.)
04. Scott H. Biram – Sinkin’ Down (Something’s Wrong/Lost Forever)
05. McDougall – Ready, Begin (A Few Towns More)
06. Lincoln Durham – Beautifully Sewn, Violently Torn (Exodus of the Deemed Unrighteous)
07. The Dexeteens – Sunsphere (Sunsphere EP)
08. John Moreland & The Dust Bowl Souls – Low (Everything the Hard Way)
09. Valerie June – Wanna Be On Your Mind (Pushin’ Against A Stone)
10. Drive By Truckers – My Sweet Annette (Decoration Day)
11. Chuck Ragan – Nomad by Fate (Covering Ground)
12. Todd Farrell – My Currency is Doubt (All My Heroes Live In Vans)
13. Chris Knight – Nothing On Me (Little Victories)
14. The Fox Hunt – i’ll drink cheap (Long Way To Go)
15. Tim Barry – (Memento Mori) (28th & Stonewall)
16. Frank Turner – Photosynthesis (Last Minutes & Lost Evenings)
17. Possessed By Paul James – Sweet But Bitter Life (There WIll Be Nights When I Am Lonely)
18. Arliss Nancy – Benjamin (Wild American Runners)
19. Lucero – The Closer You Get (High Cotton)
20. Andrew Combs – Emily
21. I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House – Mayberry (Mayberry)
22. Have Gun Will Travel – Standing at the End of the World (Fiction, Fact or Folktale?)
23. Two Cow Garage – Hey Cinderella (Death of the Self Preservation Society)
24. The Builders And The Butchers – Dirt In The Ground (Western Medicine)
25. Brother Paul – Never Ending Dream (Brother Paul)
26. Matt Woods – Deadman’s Blues
27. Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside – Do Me Right (Untamed Beast)
28. Austin Lucas – So Much More Than Lonely (Stay Reckless)
29. The Vansaders – End of the Line (Stuck In New York City)
30. Drag The River – History With History (Drag The River)
31. The Whiskey Gentry – Holly Grove (Holly Grove)
32. Hellbound Glory – The Feud

Bold = Request

Ninebullets Radio on Facebook
You can stream Ninebullets Radio here
You can download Ninebullets Radio here: Hour 1 / Hour 2
If you like Ninebullets Radio please drop a 5 spot in the Tip Jar.

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 149: aired 11.09.2013

[Playlist] Ninebullets Radio – 08.31.2013 – 88.5FM WMNF Tampa

What a rough day. Every electronic device I had was in full rebellion. That said, we managed to get through the show and even got some good tunage in. In the play list strikes your fancy carve out 2 hours for the archive of the show.

Below is the playlist for August 31, 2013 [Artist – Song (Album)]

01. The Ergs! – Stinking of Whiskey Blues
02. Holly Williams – Waiting On June (The Highway)
03. Hurray For The Riff Raff – People Talkin’ (My Dearest, Darkest Neighbor)
04. Rachel Brooke – Ashes To Ashes (A Killer’s Dream)
05. Left Lane Cruiser – Electrify (Rock Them Back To Hell)
06. North Mississippi Allstars – Shake Em On Down (Shake Hands With Shorty)
07. Black Joe Lewis – Come To My Party (Electric Slave)
08. Have Gun Will Travel – Take Me Home, Alice (Fiction, Fact or Folktale?)
09. Justin Townes Earle – Lone Pine Hill (The Good Life)
10. Chris Knight – Carla Came Home (The Jealous Kind)
11. Valerie June – Wanna Be On Your Mind (Pushin’ On A Stone)
12. John Paul Keith – New Year’s Eve (Memphis Circa 3AM)
13. Cory Call (Arliss Nancy) – Greenwood (PV Undercover)
14. Jon Snodgrass – Splendid Isolation (PV Undercover)
15. John Moreland – Gospel (In The Throes)
16. Amazing Rhythm Aces – The End Is Not In Sight (Stacked Deck/Too Stuffed To Jump)
17. Austin Lucas – So Much More Than Lonely (Stay Reckless)
18. Doc Dailey & Magnolia Devil – She Has Her Moments (Catch The Presidents)
19. I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House – Mayberry (Mayberry)
20. McDougall – Ready, Begin (A Few Towns More)
21. Todd May – Alphabet City (Rickerbacker Girls)
22. Glossary – Almsgiver (The Better Angels Of Our Nature)
23. Doc Feldman & the LD50 – Bless This Mess (Sundowning The Station)
24. Counting Crows – Good Time (Hard Candy)
25. Micah Schnabel – American Static (When The Stage Lights Go Dim)
26. The Takers – Social Smoker (Taker Easy)
27. Truckstop Coffee – 16 Ounces (For Dear Life)
28. Lincoln Durham – Living This Hard (The Shovel Vs. The Howling Bones)
29. The White Buffalo – BB Guns and Dirtbikes (Once Upon A Time In The West)
30. Frank Turner – The Road (Last Minutes & Lost Evenings)
31. FSU Marching Chiefs – FSU War Chant

Bold = Request

Ninebullets Radio on Facebook
You can stream Ninebullets Radio here
You can download Ninebullets Radio here: Hour 1 / Hour 2
If you like Ninebullets Radio please drop a 5 spot in the Tip Jar.

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 139: aired 08.31.2013

THE NINEBULLETS.NET PODCAST: EPISODE 31

The rules are that every last podcast of the year (this show was created in December) is always a recap show. Some rules are breakable, others, such as the last podcast of the year, are not. Thusly, this show is some of my favorite songs of the year as they fit into the overall mix. Which is a form of saying, this isn’t a countdown or a list. I pulled a shit fuck of songs and set out making this podcast paying much attention to the overall flow of things. That said, every album that found a song on this podcast is completely awesome and you should be firing up Spotify and Bandcamp and whatever other means you employ to check each of them out.

In closing I’d like to say thank you for sticking with us/me this year. There were many times I thought just closing up shop and walking away from the site was the best thing to do. It’s been a tough year and while I’ve not completely abandoned those thoughts, I am increasingly happy we limped through the dark times.

With that said, enjoy episode 31 of the ninebullets.net podcast.

Track Listing: [Artist – Song (Album)]

01. Alone At 3AM – Another Round (Midwest Mess)
02. Fistful of Beard – 5th Ave. (Until We Know Better)
03. Arliss Nancy – Failure (Simple Machines)
04. Those Crosstown Rivals – Kentucky Woman (TCR/Arliss Nancy Split 7″)
05. JKutchma & The Five Fifths – I’ll Survive (Pastorals)
06. The White Buffallo – The Whistler (The Whistler Single)
07. The Mastersons – You Don’t Know (Birds Fly South)
08. The Great Unknowns – Homefront (Homefront)
09. McDougall – Ready, Begin (A Few Towns More)
10. Chris Knight – Nothing On Me (Little Victories)
11. The First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar (The Lion’s Roar)
12. American Aquarium – Burn.Flicker.Die (Burn.Flicker.Die)
13. Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – Righteous, Ragged Songs (There Is A Bomb In Gilead)
14. Snakehealers – Easy Young, Easy Old (Cure All)
15. Doc Dailey & Magnolia Devil – She Has Her Moments (Catching The Presidents)
16. OFF! – Feelings Were Meant To Be Hurt (OFF!)


Download this episode (right click and save)

Charles Hale's Best Records of 2012

16.Cory Branan – Mutt

It seems like every review of Mutt talks about there being this style, then this style, then another, and what they never say is that every song on Mutt is incredibly well written.  Every song on Mutt is incredibly well written, I said it twice to make up for other’s neglect.

Badman

15.The Sparklers – Crying At The Low Bar

The review of this album generated a good bit of positive feedback.  I was surprised people liked it as much as they did.  It’s a really good record and because of the reaction I ended up listening to it more than I probably would have otherwise.  Thanks y’all.

Weren’t For Bars

14. Justin Townes Earle- Nothing Can Change The Way You Feel About Me Now

This record has grown on me over the course of the year.  Earle has talent and he’s not afraid to mix things up.  I don’t think this record has as much Memphis on it as most people do but it’s damn fine nonetheless.

Movin’ On

13. David Wax Museum – Knock Knock Get Up

The songwriting seemed to take a bit of a backseat on this release, compared to the two previous DWM records, but the sounds and the rhythms are top notch.  The band has seemed to receive a ton of recognition from this record and I’m confident they deserve every word written.

A Dog In This Fight

12. Todd Snider – Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables

One of the nice things on this record is that because Todd plays a lot of electric guitar his bitter venom on a couple of songs is more deadly than usual.  It’s a rough record by design and I’d march up the pyramids with Todd if he told me to.

In Between Jobs

11.Dinero – Sheep

I’m listening to this record as I type this, for the gazillionth time, and it’s still strange and beautiful and kind of makes me feel the way last year’s Cave Singers record made me feel.  Word is there is a shortish LP coming from Dinero coming in the early part of 2013.

Daddy’s Money

10.Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – Live In Alabama

Yes it’s a live record and without any new originals but it’s so damn good.  I feel like I just wrote the review of this record a week ago so I don’t have any new thoughts.  Just listen to it and find the video from their appearance on Letterman, old David was pretty pumped up it.

Heart On A String

9.John Fullbright – From The Ground Up

The more I listen to this record the more I dig it.  Fullbright is young to be composing music the way he is.  He isn’t afraid to be understated and restrained but there’s plenty of punch on this Grammy nominated album.

Me Wanting You

8.4H Royalty – Where UFOs Go To Die

Their sophomore effort is such a huge step up from album one and word from the 4H Royalty headquarters in Byers CO is that another record is nearly finished and songs are being written for the follow up to that one.  When listening to UFOs pay attention to the subject matter, nobody is writing songs about the kinds of things these guys are writing about.

Virtues, Spices, & Liquor

7.Andrew Combs – Worried Man

Another debut album on my list.  His four song EP was such a teaser and Worried Man lived up.  Combs is another one of those songwriter who is compared to Guy Clarke but he’s better than all the others being compared to Clarke.  I truly hope he’s a prolific writer and that this album has found enough success that more albums come on a yearly basis.  If they do I suspect Andrew Combs will be on my best of list for years to come.

Take It From Me

6.Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls

I firmly believe that these kids can make a record that can be much higher on my list.  They are so damn good already, hopefully all the success they’ve had helps them make a great record, and not the other way around.  I’m ready for whatever’s next.

Heartbreaker

5.Lucero – Women & Work

Women & Work is Lucero’s most danceable record.  It’s just fun, damn it.  It’ll never be my favorite release from them but it’s the best album they’ve made for dancing with women instead of moaning about them.

It May Be Too Late

4.Patterson Hood – Heat Lightening Rumbles In The Distance

Long gone are Patterson’s days of writing brash in your face rockers.  He’s developed into a literary rocker unafraid to present his work in calm and understated recordings.  I dig it so much because my listening preferences have happened to shift with his output.  God, I need to own this vinyl.

Better Than The Truth

3.American Aquarium – Burn.Flicker.Die

I often think of AA as the little band that could.  When I first saw them The Bible & The Bottle was fresh out and three studio albums later they’ve put out their best yet.  Does Jason Isbell turning the knobs help?  Probably, but more importantly the band has gotten tighter and tighter as the years have passed and BJ’s songwriting gets more and more consistent.  Most likely you’ve heard about AA but if you haven’t picked up Burn.Flicker.Die you’re late to the party so drink fast.

Saturday Nights

2.McDougall – A Few Towns More

I heard about this record in the Nine Bullet offices for a while before I listened to it.  Holy shit I’m glad I did.  This record is what Nine Bullets is all about.  Here’s a guy making phenomenal music that not enough people know about.  It’s not that the whole world knows about him now, but if it wasn’t for Nine Bullets I wouldn’t know about him.  Do yourself a favor.

Ask That Pretty Girl To Be My Wife

1.Spirit Family Reunion – No Separation

Their first full length is rugged but uplifting. Their songs are delivered with such fervor and unrestrained joy.  If you still believe music can make a bad day good then check out their Tiny Desk Concert. I love it, love it, love it.

I Am Following The Sound

AUTOPSY IV'S FAVORITE 10 ALBUMS OF 2012 (today):

Most years, this is a much greater presentation from myself and I’m sorry that this year isn’t the same. It’s been a shit year and that fact combined with the depression that comes with it has sapped my entire motivation to sit down and do all the HTML formatting to make this list as beautiful as (i feel) it normally is.

Presentation aside. I stand by this list wholly. I may not have been able to muster the ambition to format it like years past (I am taking pills that are intended to get me back there) but the list was as brooded, mulled and fussed over as any other year.

So. Without any further ado. Here are, in my opinion, the best albums of 2012 (with links to the original review):

10. Tin Horn Prayer – Grapple The Rails (not yet reviewed)
09. Andrew W. CombsWorried Man
08. Alone At 3AMMidwest Mess
07. The Great UnknownsHomefront
06. JKutchma & The Five FifthsPastoral
05. Lee Bains III & The Glory FiresThere Is A Bomb In Gilead
04. OFF!OFF!
03. American AquariumBurn.Flicker.Die.
02. Arliss NancySimple Machines

And my album of the year is:

01. Scott McDougall – A Few Towns More