Notes From the Porch
What a beautiful Saturday for some traditional and roots music both new and old!
I was able to get advanced copies of two great new albums this week. The Steeldrivers forthcoming Reckless release and Justin Townes Earle‘s forthcoming work Harlem River Blues. We’re sprinkling in folk, bluegrass, americana and more to frame up these two album features including a feature set of Norman Blake & Tony Rice that’s rolling as I type.
The Steel Drivers – Reckless – Rounder Records
This is the second album from the Steeldrivers, which acts as a swan song of sorts for the big, gritty voice and songwriting prowess of Chris Stapleton. Shortly after this album was released Stapleton parted ways with The Steeldrivers to seek a bit less hectic lifestyle. The new album features 12 Stapleton co-written tunes; 11 with Mike Henderson and one with Ronnie Bowman. The big Steeldriver sound is still alive in this release with a bit more variation of tempo.
The album hits the streets September 14.
You can also catch the Steeldrivers on the soundtrack to the movie Get Low which is a second collaboration of Rounder Records and Sony Picture Classics… yep, the same pairing behind O’ Brother Where Art Though. Read more at the Bluegrass Blog.
Want a preview of how The Steeldrivers sound with their new front man? Here is a video of the band doing “Reckless Side of Things”.
Justin Townes Earle – Harlem River Blues – Bloodshot Records
When you pick up The Steeldrivers new album be sure and grab the new one from Justin Townes Earle as well. Harlem River Blues hits the streets on the very same day, September 14. This will be the third release from JTE on Bloodshot Records.
“Compared to the much-lauded Midnight at the Movies, Harlem River Blues is more mature and increasingly nuanced, while still embracing the raw voice and clean sound of previous standout tracks like “Mama’s Eyes.” Featuring guest appearances from Jason Isbell, Bryn Davies and Calexico’s Paul Niehaus, it’s rockin’ and reelin’ at times, sweet and slow at others – and it’s great. Like good fried chicken, a well-cut suit and a hand made guitar, there’s heaven to be found in the beautifully crafted simpler things.
The album is at times familiar with that quirky-in-time-thumping rhythmic approach that we have all come to know from Earle but still exploratory as JTE seeks to find new ways and new melodies to weave his stories.
Here is Earle doing Halfway to Jackson.
Have a good weekend and I will see ya in two weeks!
~ John McMillen
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