Monday, November 11, 2019

HEY! LISTEN: Hannah Connolly -- "From Where You Are" and "House/Home"

What is it that makes some singers stand out from the rest? For me, it's that chemistry of a compelling voice, lyrics that dig deep, and sincerity. Based on Hannah Connolly's first two singles, that chemistry is going to lead to a stunning first album.


Since I've been remiss in my blogging on here, today's a double-header with "From Where You Are" as the lead-off single. (Released some time ago, but better late than never!) The song recounts the harrowing experience of Connolly losing her brother, Cullen.

"This was one of the first songs written for the album and it speaks to how I felt in the days and months after losing Cullen," she writes. "In the midst of shock and disbelief, life felt like a strange dream. The whole world was turned upside down and none of it made sense. One of the most vivid memories I have from that time was standing in the desert and looking up at the stars."



On "House/Home," Connolly confronts a major transition with grace. "This song is about the feeling of losing home, and how home can be anywhere with the people you love, but it can also feel like nowhere will ever be home again when they are gone," she writes.



Hannah Connolly -- Facebook

Friday, November 8, 2019

Adobe & Teardrops: Episode 87

Opera and riot grrl just don’t mix. Don’t worry — I don’t experiment with that here, just wanted you to share my pain. 
 This episode features much, much better music with:
  1. Jerry Leger -- “Read Between the Lines” (Time Out for Tomorrow)
  2. The Restoration -- “I’ll Never Leave You” (West)
  3. Sarah Elizabeth Haines — “Losing Game” (Pretending to Sleep)
  4. Austin Lucas -- “Alone in Memphis” (No One Is Immortal!)
  5. Little Teeth -- “Amphetamine” AND “Thinning Out” (Redefining Home)
  6. Tanya Ransom — “Armour” (Single)
  7. True Dreams -- “The Scum” (No. 1)
  8. Joan Armatrading -- “Love and Affection” (Love and Affection)
  9. Katie Pruitt -- “Expectations” (Single)
  10. Nellen Dryden — “Tullahoma” (Single)

    Send me music via SubmitHub! Send me money via Ko-fi or Patreon. Find Rachel and her comic via https://linktr.ee/rachel.cholst

Friday, November 1, 2019

Adobe & Teardrops: Episode 86

World Series bandwagoning, CD players are still king, and a little anarchist history with your traditional country music!
FEEDBACK NEEDED: Do you think there should be more songs per episode?
Also, I have a Kickstarter! Contribute here!
  1. Ags Connolly -- “Sad Songs Forever” (Wrong Again)
  2. Suitcase Sam -- “Growing Up” (Goodnight Riverdale Park)
  3. Blind Adam and the Federal League -- “How Do They Sleep at Night” (Blind Adam and the Federal League)
  4. Sayed Sabrina -- “Into the Mouth of the Serpent” (Thou Art That)
  5. Young Mister -- “Best” (Sudden Swoon)
  6. Split Rail -- “MY TRUTH” (Axe to Grind)
  7. Songs:Ohia -- “Lioness” (The Lioness)
  8. John Burnette -- “Mercy Mercy” (Parlor One)
  9. Hollier -- “Wrestle My Heart” (Wild Eyes)

Send me music via SubmitHub! Send me money via Ko-fi or Patreon. Find Rachel and her comic via https://linktr.ee/rachel.cholst

Monday, October 28, 2019

Matt Woods -- Natural Disasters

 If you haven't heard Matt Woods' album Natural Disasters yet, I'm sorry. It's partially my fault. The album came out in June and I totally missed it -- and then the time got away from me when it came to actually writing reviews on Adobe & Teardrops. But if you've never listened to any Matt Woods album before, then now you know: redemption is kinda the name of the game here, and Natural Disasters is no different.


This album is very much a return to form for Woods, whom Von and I interviewed at the beginning of the year for our Storytellers session. It's Woods and his powerhouse band doing what they do best: regaling us with stories of heartbreak, pounding the road, and remorseful convicts. Woods excels at combining a driving rock'n'roll beat and with his piercing singing.

While Natural Disasters is more rock-oriented than Woods' past few releases, it's still a pretty somber affair. Woods has channeled years' worth of regret and frustration and turned that lens to our current political situation. Woods is no stranger to commentary -- The Matt Woods Manifesto does an exemplary job of tying post-Recession protest to the storied tradition of Appalachian agitation. On Natural Disasters, Woods uses his pen to sketch indelible illustrations of postwar discontent that remind us to mourn -- and march.
 


Matt Woods -- Official, Facebook, Bandcamp

Friday, October 25, 2019

Jason Hawk Harris -- Love & the Dark

Country music is not a genre to innovate, necessarily. Sometimes, that's a fantastic thing. We see that on Jason Hawk Harris' stunning new album Love & the Dark. I'll dig into the songs in a minute, but first I want to focus on the fact that Harris clearly intended for this collection of songs to function together as a whole -- not, as is often the case now, a bunch of songs that happen to be packaged together. On Love & the Dark, Harris intentionally tells the story of addiction, bereavement, and finding your place once you get to the other side. If you are a human being, this is essential listening and is on my shortlist for my Top 10 of 2019.


I've seen a few comparisons between Hawk Harris and Robert Ellis, and I'm going to add my chips to that pile. They're similar in terms of their voices and unconventional sense of humor. They diverge in Hawk Harris' rock-oriented approach: Hawk Harris is more of an outlaw to Ellis' balladeer -- both astute, sensitive songwriters, but they approach the same place from different paths. 

Harris addresses his struggles with addiction from a few different angles: that classic country self-effacement ("Cussing at the Light" and "I'm Afraid"), grief ("Giving In"), and somber recognition ("Blessed Interruption"). He also addresses the death of his mother with breathtaking vulnerability on "Phantom Limb." I also appreciate Harris' meditations on marriage on "Confused" -- an acknowledgement that nobody is perfect, and, eventually, you'll find the person who is able to make it up with you as you both go along. By the time you get to the album's closer, "Grandfather," Harris has bombarded you with so many different emotions that the careful production on this ballad will break you down -- in the best way possible.



Jason Hawk Harris -- Official, Facebook, Bandcamp

Adobe & Teardrops -- Episode 85

In defense of Chumbawamba. Happy anniversary to me! Also, some Kickstarter luck! PLUS -- an interview with a WEREWOLF! And a whole mess of great queer country music! 
 Also, I have a Kickstarter! Contribute here!
  1. Mercy Bell -- “Pattern” (Mercy Bell)
  2. Hailey Whitters -- “Red Wine and Blue” (The Days)
  3. Sami Jo -- “Two Truths and a Lie” (Single)
  4. Shana Falana -- “Stripped” (DarkestLight)
  5. Low Tide -- “Whisper” (The Alchemist)
  6. Chumbawamba -- “The Good Ship Lifestyle” (Tubthumper)
  7. The Revelers -- “Au bout de la riviere (At the End of the River)” (The End of the River)
  8. Katie Dahl -- “Helen” (Wildwood)
  9. Daemon Chili -- “Take Sounding” (Live in Lowell)
  10. Ballroom Thieves -- “Tenebrist” (Single)
INTERVIEW: Shadwick Wilde of Quiet Hollers
MUSIC:
  • “These Dark Robes” (I Am the Morning)
  • “Loup (Hide Away)” (Single)
Send me music via SubmitHub! Send me money via Ko-fi or Patreon. Find Rachel and her comic via https://linktr.ee/rachel.cholst

Friday, October 18, 2019

ALBUM STREAM: Jeff Glatz -- Disappear

Jeff Glatz's debut solo LP, Disappear, has a little something for everyone. If, like me, you yearn for a '90s jangle-rock college radio filter over your Americana music, then Disappear was tailor-made for you. Glatz's road-worn voice roots these atmospheric songs down into the blue highways of an old interstate map. His sincerity calls to mind Bill Mallonee and the Vigilantes of Love. Of course, when you look at his collaborators, that roots rock-meets-Replacements vibe makes a whole lot of sense.

"I really got to take my time on this album, to let the songs evolve into what I wanted," Glatz told Adobe & Teardrops. "I know it’s technically a solo project, but it was such a collaborative effort. I had the help of some really strong musicians and artists, and ended up with something that makes me pretty proud." 


Glatz gained national recognition with his brother Don in the Pittsburgh-based, indie rock band Peacefield. They scored regional success with two LPs and a full schedule of live shows, which led to tours with The Goo-Goo Dolls and 10,000 Maniacs, as well as song placement in film and TV. In 2006, the brothers moved to the Texas Hill Country, and gained a loyal following playing venues in San Antonio, Austin and surrounding towns.

In 2009, Glatz took a break from touring and hosted living room concerts for the likes of Will Johnson (Centromatic, Monsters of Folk), Sarah Jaffe, David Bazan and Tommy Stinson (The Replacements). This inspired him to turn to solo efforts, culminating in 2016's four-song EP Multiverse. This year, Glatz again teamed up with Duane Lundy to give Disappear the same dream atmosphere.

Disappear includes six original tracks by Glatz and a joy-filled cover of Mason Jennings' "Between the Lines." At heart, Disappear is an album of love songs. "Singing these songs feels like I’m telling truth without a filter, even when it’s not necessarily my truth," Glatz muses. "Either way, it was very therapeutic to make, and I'm excited for people to hear it." 



Disappear Musician Credits (Tracks 1-7):

Jeff Glatz — Vocals (1-7); Guitar (1, 2 & 3)
J. Tom Hnatow — Electric Guitar (1, 2, 5 & 6); Pedal Steel (2)
Robert Frahm — Electric Guitar (3, 4 & 7)
Duane Lundy — Guitar (5 & 7); microKORG (3 & 6)
Justin Craig — Guitar (3); Bass (3)
Blake Cox — Bass (1-7)
Robby Cosenza — Drums/Percussion (1, 2, 5 & 6)
Tripp Bratton — Drums/Percussion (3, 4 & 7)
Lee Carol — Keyboard (1, 2, 3, 4 & 7)
Maggie Lander — Vocals (2-7)

Recorded, Produced, Mixed & Mastered by Duane Lundy at Shangri-La Productions (www.shangrilaproductions.net), in Lexington, Kentucky.

Cover Art by Fizzy Mango (www.fizzymango.com).

Jeff Glatz -- Official, Facebook