Monday, August 19, 2019

PREMIERE: Lisa Bell -- "I Can't Stand the Rain"

It's never too late! Lisa Bell is releasing her first album of songs written completely by herself, Back Seat. While Bell's music has its Americana influences, she trends towards jazz, bringing a smooth sense of confidence to her songs. On "I Can't Stand the Rain," Bell and her son create a rich soundscape to explore some stormy circumstances. Bell provided more information on the song below. 

What prompted you to write the song? Is there a story behind it?

While on the writing retreat at the cabin in the woods when I wrote this, it started pouring rain, with lightning and thunder. I was bummed that it took me away from being outside. But the phrase “I Can’t Stand the Rain” came to mind, and I thought it would be interesting to use it as a metaphor for emotions in a confusing relationship. “I can’t stand the rain clouding my vision. It takes it all away, can’t make a decision.”

Was this a song that came easily to you, or did it take some time to write? 

The hook came right away, and the verses followed quickly. I developed the bridge with my son (Brendan Bell, a.k.a. DJ Covex) when he came up to the cabin to work with me. I credit him for the concept. We played with different effects on this song as well, including the sounds of rain captured outside the cabin on that trip.

Marla Rutherford Photography

This is the first album where you wrote virtually all of the songs yourself. How does it feel to have achieved that? Do you have a sense of pride from the accomplishment? 

I’m very proud of the album! While I have written lyrics and melodies for years, I always used co-writers to help develop the chord structure. I know music theory but had just never had the courage to sit down and write songs from start to finish. Once I decided that I indeed had the knowledge and tools to write, the songs started flowing.

This is an album coming from an empty nester. How do you feel that being at this stage in your life has impacted you as a performer and a songwriter? 

This is certainly my most mature album that tackles difficult topics and addresses relationships from a “been there, done that (many times), wrote the song about it” perspective. The songs came directly from my heart, and weren’t heavily influenced by anyone but me. My wisdom and knowledge informed the lyrics and passion behind every song.



Lisa Bell -- Official, Facebook

Friday, August 16, 2019

HEY! LISTEN: John Calvin Abney -- "Kind Days"

John Calvin Abney is one of the nicest people in rock'n'roll, so he would know about kind days. Abney, who's served as a sideman for John Moreland, Samantha Crain, Lee Bains III + the Glory Fires, and Porter and the Bluebonnet Rattlesnakes, has a gift for leading his own band. Last year's Coyote was a spacious sojourn into cosmic country as Porter grappled with some of the harshest realities of road life.

Photo Credit: Rambo

In "Kind Days," Abney previews a sunnier vision of the world, one full of acceptance and grace. This gives us a glimpse into Abney's next project, Safe Passage, out on September 27th via Black Mesa Records. While the song has a simple approach, the intentions behind it are not. With the backdrop of a simple picking pattern and transcendent harmonies, Abney reminds us of the importance of hope and gentleness when all seems lost.


"Kind Days" Lyrics

I heard a bird sing it's morning word
past the sirens blaring
I saw it's flight against the dawning light
and smiled while I was staring

Pre-chorus:
It's so easy, it's so easy,
to cover your eyes with feathers and fleece
But we don't need, we don't need
reminders we'll be released

Chorus:
Kind days are coming, warm nights and loving,
may you be there always.
Bad days are leaving, no use in grieving,
here come those kind days.

Certain places, familiar faces
with some years between
Was mad at myself, I blamed heaven and hell,
to send a time machine.

It's so easy, it's so easy,
to cover your eyes with feathers and fleece
But we don't need, we don't need
reminders we'll be released

Pre-chorus

Chorus

Put through the paces and daily races,
you'd rather not be running
but at the end, there'll be a friend,
and the day will be kind and sunny.

Pre-chorus

Chorus

John Calvin Abney -- 

Adobe & Teardrops: Episode 75

Rachel reflects on her last day of being 30 and has some thoughts on the new Sleater-Kinney lineup and album (and plays some of it for you.)


See Rachel at FlameCon! Get tickets here!
  1. Ben Davis Jr -- “I Think You Should” (Suthernahia)
  2. Sleater-Kinney -- “Can I Go On” (The Center Won’t Hold)
  3. Cody and the Blackouts -- “Sister Sister” (Gold)
  4. Hawks -- “Here Comes the Cull” (Truth Will Out)
  5. frog -- “Hartsdale Hotbox” (Count Bateman)
  6. Delafaye -- “Tattoo Dream” (Delafaye)
  7. Mal Blum -- “I Don’t Want To” (Pity Boy)
  8. Jason Tyler Burton -- “Date Night at the Dairy Queen” (Single)
  9. Shawn Colvin “Ricochet in Time” (Steady On: 30th Anniversary Edition)
  10. Nick County -- “If You Still Love Me” (Single) 


Rachel wrote a comic! Check it out here! Send us music via SubmitHub. Send us money via Ko-fi or Patreon. Contact Von via linktr.ee/vonreviews and say hi to Rachel on Twitter @adobeteardrops

Friday, August 9, 2019

Adobe & Teardrops: Episode 74

The best-laid plans of mice and men...

See Rachel at FlameCon! Get tickets here!

 
  1. Tim Higgins -- “Blight” (Single)
  2. Team Dresch -- “Your Hands My Pockets” (Single)
  3. T Buckley -- “Should’ve Bet on a Broken Heart” (Miles We Put Behind)
  4. Kississippi -- “Easier to Love” (Sunset Blush)
  5. Spirit Family Reunion -- “Whoopie Ti Yi Yo” (Ride Free)
  6. The Painted Roses -- “Vice” (Single)
  7. Angela Perley -- “Don’t Look Back Mary” (4:30)
  8. The Barren Spinsters -- “Punching Above Your Weight” (Ten Steps to Cynical Thinking)
  9. One Way Traffic -- “(Your) Couch” AND “What a Day” (Turn Right)
  10. Yasmin de Laine -- “Original Sin” (Single)
    LISTEN HERE!
Rachel wrote a comic! Check it out here! Send us music via SubmitHub. Send us money via Ko-fi or Patreon. Contact Von via linktr.ee/vonreviews and say hi to Rachel on Twitter @adobeteardrops

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

HEY! LISTEN: Jade Marie Patek -- "Me and Bobby McGee"

Jade Marie Patek's got traditional music in her blood -- even if she's drawing from a different one than her grandfather, polka legend Joe Patek. Patek calls her genre of music “marble rye bread,” showing infusions of Americana/Texas Country with flares of blues, funk and soul. She's earned her own bona fides as well, having been recently nominated for Texas Regional Radio Music Award's New Female Vocalist of the Year. Patek's last single, "Drive," was nominated for Texas Music Picker's Song Of The Year.


On this cover, Patek sticks closely to her hero Janis Joplin's cover -- until about halfway through when she adds in that marble rye. The band kicks it up to a quick two-step beat that, smoothly but improbably, culminates into an almost gospel-like ecstasy in the repetition of that final chorus. The song also illustrates Patek's impressive pipes, which remind me of a grittier Margo Price. I wouldn't normally highlight a cover, but I loved the way that Patek and her crackshot band kept things loose and took old Bobby to places even he probably never thought he'd go.



Jade Marie Patek -- Official, Facebook

Monday, August 5, 2019

Jake Riley and the Social Workers -- For All and None

When I've been telling people that work has been intense this summer, I really meant it. Jake Riley's album came out a month ago, and I'm only just getting around to telling you about it. (Though I did feature it on the podcast when it came out!) However, the album is just as good a month in. Riley's lyrics are urgent and cutting -- and marshal some of the finest works of Western literature to the cause. You may be familiar with Riley from his stint with Lance Howell in Big Shoals. Riley was working on his qualifying exams for his PhD, and both his time and the road and the stacks powerfully influenced this album.


While most of the band has worked in -- or has a degree in -- counseling, For All and None isn't necessarily comforting. It's therapeutic, in that Riley exposes some of his innermost demons for all of us to see -- and relate to. "Accidental Accent" stands out as the song that most accurately portrays my own experiences with self-doubt, for what that's worth. "Ecological Thought" gets into what we're all too afraid to say about climate change. "Drown" borrows heavily from T.S. Elliott's "Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock" -- the bane of my 11th grade English class. In general, the band sticks close to Midwestern roots rock, making songs that truly plumb the depths into common-sense anthems of solidarity. Riley pushes his pen deep into the places we rarely go, either with ourselves or with a trained professional.



Jake Riley and the Social Workers -- Official, Facebook, Bandcamp

Friday, August 2, 2019

PREMIERE: Tucker Riggleman and the Cheap Dates -- "Neck Breaker"

I've been drawn to Tucker Riggleman's music precisely because it's so intense and raw...yet has an intriguing sense of distance. Riggleman and his new band, the Cheap Dates, are giving us a brand new EP today with Heaven, and it's a little less twang and a little more growl. You can see their tour dates below.


Riggleman's lyrics can be a bit opaque, but he's got a gift that makes the emotions behind them shine through, even if the words aren't something that lines up with your experience. On "Neck Breaker," Riggleman propositions a sometimes-lover while the Cheap Dates tear through the song at, well, a break-neck pace:

Even if I never catch you
At least it's pretty work to do
You're never easy on the heart
But you're easy on the eyes


Riggleman brings a growl of desperation to the song that reminds me of NQ Arbuckle. There's an earthiness to that immediacy that sucks me in like a moth to a flame. One of these days I'll get to see Tucker in person, but if you're in the West Virginia area you can and should avail yourself of the tour dates above.


Tucker Riggleman -- Facebook, Bandcamp