The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Notes From The Front Porch

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Tim O'Briens' Chicken & EggSpinning the new Tim O’Brien album Chicken & Egg right now on the porch. This is O’Brien’s 17th studio album released under his own name. He has plenty of help on this album from his musical compadres Ray Bonneville (harmonica), Mike Bub (Bass), Dennis Crouch (bass), Charlie Cushman (banjo), Stuart Duncan (virtually anything with strings), John Gardner (drums), Sarah Jarosz (vocals), Lucas Reynolds (guitar), Darrell Scott (vocals), Chris Stapleton (formerly of the Steeldrivers adds vocals), Bryan Sutton (guitars and vocals), Abigail Washburn (vocals). Wow, that’s a long list. There’s plenty of new O’Brien penned tunes here including the spin on the Adam & Eve story with “You Ate the Apple” and the sure-to-be-covered “Workin'”. O’Brien also twists familiar tunes such as “Suzanna” and Woody Guthries’ “The Sun Jumped Up.” This is definitely one to add to your library!

A new artist to the Front Porch this morning to close out the first hour. Megson plays “The Handloom Weaver & The Factory Maid” from their album Longshot. Megson features Stu Hanna and Debbie Hanna-Palmer, two British folk musicians who first met at a choir rehearsal in northern England.

I watched the movie Crazy Heart last night for the first time. What a movie! Gonna spin some Guy Clark in the form of “The Houston Kid” from the album The Platinum Collection as a tribute to the film. I know most people associate Bad Blake as a mix of Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard but you know, if you mixed the two together you’d likely get someone close to Guy Clark anyhow.

Received a new album from J Shogren titled Bird Bones & Muscle. It was a pleasant and refreshing surprise. The album is very blues-based with small flavors of all kinds of other roots and traditional genres. The album in general reminds me of the hot and humid rural south… images of a sweaty afternoon in the back yard with friends jamming out tunes. Sometimes rough around the edges. Odd thing is that the album was recorded in Laramie, WY by a guy who splits his time between Laramie and Sweden. Spinning “Salvation” this morning as I think it gives you a good taste of what you will find in this album.

Opening the third hour with the brand new Chatham County Line album Wildwood. These guys have been together for 10-years and celebrate that anniversary with their fifth album which is released on the Yep Roc label. CCL has a core of bluegrass in their soul but they aren’t afraid to mix in other elements and influences to keep things extremely interesting. This time around the rousing is bolstered by drums, piano and pedal steel but they also know how to ease up and bring great feeling to a piece of music. When they released IV in 2008 I was afraid we were beginning to see the pinnacle of their careers as I was sure they couldn’t top that great release. Then along comes Wildwood and the amazing experience continues. The Raleigh, NC band has yet to release a bad album and will definitely stay in high rotation on my stereo. Spinning four cuts this morning including “Heart Attack”, “Crop Comes In”, “Out of the Running” and “Saturdays and Sundays”.

How about a video of a cut from the new album? Here is “Crop Comes In” from Wildwood.

Hey, that’s it for this week. I’ll be back in two weeks to share all the tunes I discover between now and then. Thanks for listening and reading. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and get out and see some live music!

~ John McMillen

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One Response

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  1. John,
    Crazy Heart…I agree! Great movie. Heard you talk about it and nearly called. Loved the 70’s Dylan as well. Thanks.

    Kate Lochte

    July 20, 2010 at 1:58 pm


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