Bloodshot Records has been on the scene since the early days of what some people call alt.country. Early Bloodshot artists include Ryan Adams, The Old 97’s, Alejandro Escovedo and Jon Langford. They have recently reached their 20th years of releasing albums and chose to celebrate by putting together the compilation While No One Was Looking.
The concept is a fairly unique one: Bloodshot asked musicians they liked and respected to record their own version of a song that was released on Bloodshot in the previous 20 years. This double CD (3LP) includes several cool but unsurprising offerings like Chuck Ragan covering Cory Branan’s “Survivor Blues”, Superchunk crushing their fellow North Carolinian’s “Come Pick Me Up” and Daniel Romano doing a tune by Jon Langford & The Sadies. It’s fun to here artists you know doing songs by other artists you know, especially when you can see the parallels that led one to the other.
Clocking in at 38 songs, While No One Was Looking also has the unexpected moments that every compilation needs. Hearing the Handsome Family bringing their gothic overtones to The Bottle Rocket’s “1000 Dollar Car” is a trip and a half. I also really enjoyed the gender flips, Carolyn Mark singing an Alejandro Escovedo classic and William Elliott Whitmore tackling one of my favorite Neko Case tunes is worth the price of admission.
Overall, While No One Was Looking has way more winners than not, as compilation-heads are sure to understand, and the uniqueness of the tracklisting makes it a must have for diehard fans and radio DJs.
Listen to two songs from the record Here and Here
Buy While No One Was Looking directly from Bloodshot Records
MANY THANKS TO MS. BEVERLY CAPSHAW FOR SITTING IN FOR ME LAST NIGHT WHILE I ATTENDED THE USF BULLS FINAL GAME OF A MISERABLE SEASON. I’LL BE BACK NEXT WEEK WITH VON FROM AMERICANA ROCK MIX JOINING ME IN STUDIO.
Ninebullets Radio is a radio extension of the blog ninebullets.net that airs every Thursday night in Tampa, Florida on WMNF 88.5 FM at 10pm Eastern. The show is archived for one week after it’s original air date and is available for streaming here. Also, don’t forget to head over to Facebook and like the Ninebullets Radio page.
Below is the playlist for December 01, 2011.
01. Damion Suomi & the Minor Prophets – The Call
02. Farmer Not So John – Pen Across The Page
03. Willie Nelson – December Day
04. Will Quinlan – Unreleased (live at Americana Fest 07)
05. Sleepy Vikings – Dear Long Distance
06. Truckstop Coffee – Thank You
07. Neko Case – Favorite
08. The Snakehealers – Second Hand Blues
09. Kathleen Edwards – Going To Hell
10. Jim Ward – Broken Songs
11. Matt Woods – Port St. Lucie
12. Centro-Matic – Only In My Double Mind
13. Pete Stein (Truckstop Coffee) – Blackbird
14. Two Cow Garage – Brothers in Arms
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 48: aired 12.014.2011
It’s been a while since I just wrote about a song (the others are here and here), and even though this won’t actually get posted for a week or more, tonight is made for a night of meditating on “Wayfaring Stranger”. This weekend was horribly overshadowed by death with an internet/real life acquaintance losing his wife many decades before he should have, and our tech guru, Trevor, losing a pet. I know some of you have no idea how sad losing a pet can be, but anyone who’s ever lost a household pet knows how dark that grieving process can actually be. To both Don and Trevor I offer my deepest condolences, and in my own weird way I’m writing about this song for y’all.
“The Wayfaring Stranger” or “Poor Wayfaring Stranger”, like most traditional folk songs, is of an unknown and oft-disputed origin. Depending on who you ask, the song’s origins are Appalachian Folk, Old Irish, or Catskills Folk, with some even theorizing that its origins rest in the Negro Spirituals and that there was a deliberate concealment of the song’s origins. Based on my own limited knowledge and experience from researching other traditional folk songs, I get the feeling that it either started in the slave fields of the old South or came to the Appalachian people via the Irish. Like most other traditional American folk songs there are thousands of variations of “Wayfaring Stranger”, which take great liberties in title, melody, harmony and lyrics. The version we’re most familiar with now was popularized in the middle of the twentieth century by musical researchers and performers such as Pete Seeger and Burl Ives.
The song tells of a wayfaring stranger’s hardships and struggles on this mortal coil and the final reward of reuniting with their loved ones in the afterlife. It has been covered by more people than you can shake a stick at, but here are some of my favorites:
Burl Ives – Wayfaring Stranger
Scott H. Biram – Poor, Wayfaring Stranger
Laura Love – Poor Wayfaring Stranger
Strawfoot – Poor Wayfarin’ Stranger
Eva Cassidy – Wayfaring Stranger
The Best of the Rest:
16 Horsepower – Wayfaring Stranger
Doc WatsonMerle Watson – Wayfaring Stranger
Emmylou Harris – Wayfaring Stranger
Greenland is Melting – Wayfaring Stranger
Jack White – Wayfaring stranger
Johnny Cash – Wayfaring Stranger
Natalie Merchant – Poor Wayfaring Stranger
Neko Case – Wayfaring Stranger
It’s been a while since we posted a Lucero Message Board compilation. Really, I’m not too sure what’s going on. The curator of the comp hasn’t been coming around too much, but we have been graced with a “Spring” compilation. It’s shorter than most, but what it lacks from a numbers standpoint it more than makes up for from a quality point.
Also, since it was such a hit in my April podcast, I put the Gillian Welch/Old Crow Medicine Show version of The Band’s song “The Weight”. I hope y’all enjoy this comp, I know I am. As always, you can head over to the Lucero message board for some dialogue on why each song was submitted and while you’re there you can contribute to next month’s. The compilation can be downloaded here.
Here is the tracklisting:
- Blue October – Angel
- Olin and The Moon – Drivin West
- Son Volt – Down To The Wire
- Joey Cape – We’re Not In Love Anymore
- Centro-Matic – 74 Cuts, 74 Scars
- GRIT – Goin’ to Meet Jesus
- William Elliot Whitmore – Johnny Law
- Justin Townes Earle – Black Eyed Suzy
- Frank Turner – Love Ire & Song
- Neko Case – People Got A Lotta Nerve
- The Fox Hunt – Screw Me Up (Live)
- Phosphorescent – Walkin’
- Jr. Juggernaut – Another Two Weeks
- Against Me! – Borne On The FM Waves Of The HEart
- Darkbuster – Try to Make it Right
- Son Volt – Cocaine and Ashes
- Josh Small – Peek Out My Window
- Austin Lucas – Somebody Loves You
- Gillian Welch & Old Crow Medicine Show – The Weight (Live at St Lukes in London)
- The Weepies – World Spins Madly On