Our mailbox here at WDVX has been getting quite a workout over these past few weeks. That usually means a little extra work for me, but it also means a ton of new music for you. In addition to the new releases from The David Mayfield Parade, Kim Richey, Amy Speace, and Eric Brace & Peter Cooper that I wrote about last week, here are a few new albums you should now be hearing in WDVX’s regular mix…
Stories Don’t End by Dawes
Behind the songwriting of front man Taylor Goldsmith, Dawes exploded out of California’s Laurel Canyon with my favorite album of 2011. It’s hard for me to accurately state how anxiously I’ve been awaiting their follow-up effort or how much I enjoyed getting a small preview of the record during Dawes’ recent appearance at Knoxville’s Rhythm ‘n’ Blooms Festival. That said, my expectations were sky high as well. The fact that they were mostly met with songs like the bouncy single “From a Window Seat” (we’ve been spinning that one for a little while now), the anthemic “Most People,” and the forlorn “Just My Luck” stands as a testament to just how talented this band really is.
The Old School by Peter Rowan
In most cases, me simply telling you there is a new Peter Rowan album on the way should be enough to get you excited. Now let me also tell you that Rowan’s new record also features Michael Cleveland, Dennis Crouch, JD Crowe, Stuart Duncan, Jessie McReynolds, Bobby Osborne, Don Rigsby, Bryan Sutton, Mike Wichter, and at least three McCourys (McCouries?)… also it’s produced by Alison Brown. Now do you see why I didn’t just say, “There’s a new Peter Rowan record coming out.” The album sees official release just a few days after Merlefest comes to a close (4/30). It’s fitting that the centerpiece is a tribute to Rowan’s late friend called “Doc Watson Morning.”
The Bus Driver Tour by Danny Freund, Ian Thomas, Paul Lee Kupfer
The Bus Driver Tour is the collective name of songwriters Danny Freund, Ian Thomas, & Paul Lee Kupfer… three artists who found a kinship with each other through their time on the road. Many WDVX listeners will already be familiar with Ian Thomas’ infectious harmonica fueled melodies from a couple of his live CD’s that have aired on the station. Freund & Kupfer offer strong voices on their original tunes as well. The song-swapping nature of the album makes the whole thing read as a rootsier version of the Middle Brother project that Dawes’ Goldsmith was involved in a few years ago.
Brad Rice has been on the short list of my favorite guitar players for a long time. He played with The Backsliders in the late ’90′s before spending time with Ryan Adams, Tift Merritt, and Son Volt among others. I lost track of him a few years back when he went out on the road with Keith Urban and was very happy to see his name appear on this disc supporting the Austin, TX duo The Will Callers. Songwriters Jake Murphy and Daniel Slaton give Rice plenty of crunchy licks to flesh out their dirty Stonesy swagger. Oh yeah… the album is also produced by the one and only Ray Wylie Hubbard.
If The Will Callers are representative of a bluesier Rolling Stones sound, The new Deadstring Brothers record is more easily associated with Mick & Keith’s Gram Parsons inspired country leanings. The Detroit outfit moved to Nashville a few years ago (frontman Kurt Marschke lives on Cannery Row just above the dormant railroad loading dock pictured on the album’s cover), and this is their first release to be fully informed by that move. Crying pedal steels and overall country leanings mark the geographic shift just as much as the lyrical nod to Cannery Row’s fabulous Mercy Lounge music venue.