Tag Archives: alt country

December 26: Jay Farrar was born in 1966

jay farrar

As a founding member of Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt, songwriter Jay Farrar helped popularize the alt-country movement of the 1990s. He also launched a solo career during the following decade, making it plain that his musical ambitions stretched far beyond the retro-leaning twang of his contemporaries.
~Mark Deming (allmusic.com)

“Woody has always been a reference point for me, as well a source of inspiration along the way. I was brought up around his music at a pretty early age, … The reference in the song relates more to the way my own children have become fans, I guess (laughs). If there was no Highway 61, we may not have had Bob Dylan or Leadbelly .”
~Jay Farrar

Son Volt – Windfall (Austin City Limits, 1996)

Continue reading December 26: Jay Farrar was born in 1966

Today: 16 Horsepower released Sackcloth ‘n’ Ashes in 1996


“Well, at first the band were simply called Horsepower, but a lot of people thought that was something to do with heroin. That really pissed me off, so I decided to put something in front of it to distract them. “I got ’16’ from a traditional American folk song, where a man is singing about his dead wife and 16 black horses are pulling her casket up to the cemetery. I liked the image of 16 working horses.”
– David Eugene Edwards (NME, 1996)

16 Horsepower originated out of the “Denver scene” around 1992. Edwards teamed up with bassist Keven Soll and drummer Jean-Yves Tola (yeah he is French), and the trio soon discovered a common love for country music, traditional music (from all corners of the world), and the darker bands of the ’80s, like Joy Division, the Gun Club, and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.

They toured extensively the first years, sometimes as opening act for bands like MorphineLos Lobos and the Violent Femmes.

Edwards said at the time that he regularly checked out Library of Congress records, old Appalachian music, and that he just listen to it for hours and hours. He expressed his for love Irish and Cajun music too, and how he saw it as all interconnected. All this seeped into Sackcloth ‘n’ Ashes.

When Edwards was writing about early America, he was referring to the darkest aspects of USA’s past: the slavery, the war with native americans and the rape of a fertile land. He’s also thinking of the moral decline and violence of the Wild West that found sinners having to answer to a form of justice much higher than that of Man’s. He writes about a young and more primitive country, he write about the punishments for wrong-doing that were much more severe and eagerly executed than today. The word of God was also the word of the state and the executioner. Edwards and the songs he wrote with Sixteen Horsepower existed in that world.

16 Horsepower – Haw (official video):

“The music of the church was the most important thing to me , that’s where I learned the doctrine, where it came to me. That was how I was spoken to.”
– Edward Eugene Edwards (grandson of a Nazarene minister)

Continue reading Today: 16 Horsepower released Sackcloth ‘n’ Ashes in 1996

Dawes Live at WNCW 13th of June 2012

It’s not some message written in the dark,
Or some truth that no one’s seen,
It’s a little bit of everything.

The California-based quartet Dawes has  made a name for themselves with their great harmonies and songwriting.  With roots in the great Laurel Canyon sound of Gram Parsons, David Crosby, Jackson Browne, and other 70’s west-coast icons, bandmates Taylor Goldsmith, Griffin Goldsmith, Wylie Gelber and Tay Strathairn went into WNCW’s Studio 13th of June for a great performance and talk about Middle Brother, Robbie Robertson, and of course their own great recordings.

Dawes was a great discovery for us in 2011 and they just keeps getting better.

The fantastic Million Dollar Bill:

Interview about songwriting, Middle Brother and more:

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Video Premiere: Para by Calexico

The Americana/alt. country band Calexico have a new album called Algiers coming out at the end of the summer, and yesterday they premiered their new video to the track Para.

Great track, very intense.

The new album will be released September 11th.


Or you can listen or download the song here:

Track list for Algiers:

01 “Epic”
02 “Splitter”
03 “Sinner In The Sea”
04 “Fortune Teller”
05 “Para”
06 “Algiers”
07 “Maybe On Monday”
08 “Puerto”
09 “Better And Better”
10 “No Te Vayas”
11 “Hush”
12 “Solstice of a Vanishing Mind”

– Hallgeir

Look out for: Saturday City

Saturday City is an accoustic 60’s inspired indie/pop duo consisting of brothers, Magnus (29) and Stian (23) Gulbrandsen from Moss, Norway. They have a pleasant, mellow but fresh sound that reminds me of Iron & Wine or William Fitzsimmons but with the added harmony parts.

We’ve played together in a couple of bands that just stopped functioning, we then decided to go for it, just the two of us.

– interview NRK

Stian is also a member of  Death By Unga Bunga (Oya Festival booking), we will check them out later this summer. Magnus is also a guitarist in The Dahlmanns.

Misty Grass:

Their musical favourites include Townes Van Zandt, Bruce Springsteen, early Bee Gees, John Martyn and Beatles (and more). Very good taste in music and the influences seep into their lovely songs. They’ve described their music as “Folk/country-ish but with a “beatlesque” touch”. That’s about right, I think.
Continue reading Look out for: Saturday City