april 2014

Title: Scratch
Artist: Morphine
Album (year): Yes (1995)
Submitted By: hoosier buddy
Comments: This album comes out swinging…not punching, but swinging. The first three tracks either have you on the bus with the rest of the merry pranksters, or not. Scratch is one of those songs where the feel contrasts with the subject matter; the singer really does not seem to mind starting over from scratch. Is it the epitome of cool, or an inability to care? Methinks the former.

Title: 12 Steps
Artist: Big Shoals
Album (year): Still Go On (2014)
Submitted By: Bryan Childs (ninebullets.net)
Comments: Debut album from a new band out of Gainesville.

Title: Late for the Sky
Artist: Andrew Rose Gregory (Jackson Browne)
Album (year): The Covers EP (2012)
Submitted By: @philnorman
Comments: One of Jackson Browne’s best, covered by an incredible singer-songwriter in his own right, Andrew Gregory. Yes, Gregory, as in The Gregory Brothers of schmoyoho youtube auto-tuning celebrity. Andrew’s solo work gets overshadowed by internet silliness, and I know I’m submitting a cover, but check out his The Lost Year album, and also his stunning interpretation/musical setting of The Song of Songs.

Title: Sweet Tooth Boogie (Unreleased from The Wildness)
Artist: The Bones of J.R. Jones
Album (year): Reliable the Unreliable EP (2014)
Submitted By: @BoogieStudio22
Comments: I was introduced to The Bones of J.R. Jones, with a free EP via NoiseTrade (no longer available), in March. He’s got a great folk sound. I like this little ‘boogie’ number so have a listen.

Title: I’m A Little Mixed Up
Artist: Betty James
Album (Year): Released on 45 by Chess (1961)
Submitted By: Truersound
Comments: Heard this on an electric blues comp, dug the hell out of it. So much swagger in the delivery of the vocals, so much interplay between the guitar and rhythm section. A perfect song, a house rocker as they say.

Title: Milk In The Fridge
Artist: Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons
Album (Year): Hey Kid (2014)
Submitted By: @popa2unes
Comments: Luckly one of my boys is also a fan and gets to see the band often in the Columbus Ohio area, at the record release party earlier this year he got me an autographed CD, and I swooned. I bet you think, I think this song is about me

Title: Slow Death
Artist: Flamin’ Groovies
Album (year): I’ll Have A…Bucket of Brains: The Original 1972 Rockfield Recordings for U.A. (1995)
Submitted By: TheSecondSingle
Comments: In my opinion, one of the top three finest Rolling Stones rip offs of all time, but with a little of that Groovies jangle that makes them fun.

Title: Broke My Heart
Artist: Tim Easton
Album: Porcupine (2009)
Submitted By: toomuchcountry
Comments: I’m not sure where I’ve been the last 10 years to have missed the music of Tim Easton. In late March, I took in an in-the round showcase to see East Nashville and Couch By Couchwest faves Eric Brace, Peter Cooper and Jesse Lafser. Easton was the fourth, and I dug each song he performed. I’m now playing from behind and digging his 2009 release Porcupine. And is there anything more obvious to offer a flippant “feel bad for you” than hearing of a broken heart?

Title: Opossum
Artist: Adam Faucett
Album (year): Blind Water Finds Blind Water (2014)
Submitted By: Trailer

Artist: Eddie Noack
Title: Psycho
Album: Psycho: The K-Ark and Allstar Recordings, 1962-1969
Submitted By: Mad Mackerel
Comments: OK so we’ve only just discovered Eddie Noack, best known for this, his 1968 cover of Leon Payne’s serial killer song Psycho. Rockabilly tinged, country cult classic. Pure genius.

Artist: Miles Davis
Title: “Jeru”
Album: Birth of the Cool (1949)
Submitted By: Gorrck
Comments: listened to this on vinyl on my birthday back in March. It was the only cool there was. I am a nerd.

Title: The Heavy Things
Artist: Micah Schnabel
Album: I’m Dead, Serious
Blurb: I have been helping take care of a dear friend who lost his fight with cancer at 9:20 April, 9 2014. This is one of the songs I’ve had on repeat since then. It’s been helping me deal with the loss and the grief. I thought it appropriate to share.

Title: Amphetamine
Artist: Steve Wynn -& the Miracle Three
Album (year): Static Transmission (2003)
Submitted By: Simon Lellow
Comments: This track popped up on shuffle in the car on the way to work a couple of weeks ago, I hit repeat, rolled the window down and gave an impromptu performance – to anyone who witnessed it, sorry. KEXP https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKMxflK_dok

Artist: Rod Picott
Album: Hang Your Hopes on a Crooked Nail
Year: 2014
Label: Independent
Comments: I picked this because I have been listening to this record a lot lately and it’s my favorite off it.



You can’t hide when they all know your name” Rod Picott sings in “Where No One Knows My Name”, the pivotal song on his new album Hang Your Hopes On Crooked Nail.

It’s his ninth album, and after spending a lot of time with his old albums last fall, I think it’s his best to date. I loved his last album Welding Burns, but I just can’t stop playing this album and “Where No One Knows My Name”. Now remember; you’re all getting a couple of huge treats in the coming months: Otis Gibbs has made his best album to date, and his songs are better then ever (if that was even possible) – it probably drops this summer. The Mighty Truckers have made their best rock-album since The Dirty South – where Cooley at times outshine Patterson as a songwriter.. And among these awsome goodiebags – Rod Picott has written a bunch of songs that’ll stand up to any of those albums any day.

He visited Norway last year, with his “Rod Picotts Circus of Misery and Heartbreak”-tour, and charmed the socks of the audiences he met over here. Even though many of the songs are about hardships, and both personal and social downfall – he balances that with a wit and sense of humor between the songs that kept me laughing all throughout the show.

Rod Picott grew up with Slaid Cleaves, and has written a bunch of songs with his old friend. Picott being the strongest songwriter of the two, in my humble opinion. He’s written songs with Fred Eaglesmith – and live he tells the story of when Eaglesmith fell out of his car because of a defective door. And his previous albums features his then-girlfriend Amanda Shires on the fiddle.

This album features – among others; Dave Coleman from The Coal Men on guitars, and RS Field on piano. Guitars and piano is also contributed by Joe Pisapia.

And the star of the album are Rod Picotts songs. His last album Welding Burns had a common thread running through it – songs about hard work. Seen through the working man, welding and sheetrock hanging.

Then it’s this album, and it has a lot of heartbreak on it. It kicks of with “You’re Not Missing Anything”, a song that captures the feelings of intense loss after a break-up with a significant other. Picott mediates the narrators feeling of emptieness, but without bitterness or bad wishes towards the leaving party. It’s just a tale of how hard it is to handle the fact of someone leaving. But Pitcott does it so eloquently it’s a treat to witness, even though the lyrics are sad enough to make you want to go hide in a dark corner to cry in peace…

Two coffee cups, here beside the bed.
I made too much again, sometimes I forget.

You left some things, I’ll just keep them here.
I’ve got a little place, for souvenires.


You’re not missing anything, baby now
just  laughing and crying.
You’re not missing anything, baby now
just living and dying.

There are more broken hearts in “Dreams”, later on – complete with a Jeff Lynne’sk guitar that soars above the song and gives it a mood that sets it apart. And then there’s those words again. Those haunting words that make you hang on to them and try to decipher whatever deeper meaning they might have, in hope to avoid similar situations…

You can’t hold on to what you never had,
But you still dream, when you close your eyes.
Trains howl all night long, your broken heart still beats,
and echo repeats. And you still dream…

When I first got this album, back when Picott toured Europe last fall and released it over here, I put it on and didn’t really pay attention – just playing in the background. And suddenly I caught myself thinking “How the HELL did he get away with putting an unreleased Johnny Cash-recording on his album??”. That was “Mobile Home” – where he starts off sounding like Johnny Cash in his American Recordings phase for the first verse.

Complete that with a lyric that hits every nail on the head, crosses all the t’s and dots all the i’s, you’ve got a song that’s impossible to get away from.

The narrator in the song has bought himself a mobile home, and even if it seemingly starts off well, it looks like he can’t quite get comfortable…

Well we pulled  up the carpet and linoleum,
we drank some beer and had some fun

Painted the plastic, made it look like wood
It took all weekend, but it looked pretty good.
No trees, no yard where the dog can bark
Just a home on wheels, at the trailer park.

The other people at the trailer park seems slightly annoying, and his neighbour plays along to Aerosmith on his fake Les Paul all day. The instrumentation on the song is brilliant in it’s simplicity, and gives the words enough room to breathe.

 Ain’t it strange it’s called a mobile home.
You just sit there, you ain’t going anywhere.

The Circus of Misery and Heartbreak continue on “Memory” – which reminds me of english folk-singers from the 70’s, and on “All The Broken Parts” a harmonica sets the mood for the song. Even though the majority of the lyrics are about loss in some way or another, the album never gets depressing or shows any negativty. Picott is a careful observer, and leaves room for anyone to interpret the backstories and endings.

One of the best examples of his craft hides behind the simple title “Milkweed”, where the loss of a close-but-perhaps-not-so-close person is the basis for a song where the song works out almost like a painting. The details are what makes the song. He paints his characters vividly, but only through items in the house and the persons actions. It quite a brilliant little gem, that one…

Who’s gonna cut the milkweed now that he’s gone?
Who’s gonna cut the dead trees down?

Who’s gonna sing that gospel song,
and get the words all wrong?

Get this album! Settle down for the evening, and just listen. You won’t be sorry. This IS Essential Listening.

Get the album at Rod Picotts website, on CD or MP3. Stalk him on Facebook or Twitter.

Where No One Knows My Name

Mobile Home