FTB podcast #214 features 2 fine new independent albums, Your Mistake by EMILY HERRING and Tennessee by DAVID NEWBOULD. Also new music from SUSAN WERNER, JERRY MILLER and ARTHUR LEE LAND. Here's the direct link to listen now!... The great GEORGE JONES passed away at the age of 81...His funeral took place on Thursday at The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. Here's PETER COOPER's story about the memorial, "George Jones's life: A Joyful Song"... more news
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The Americana Music Association announced nominees for the 2013 Honors & Awards. Album Of The Year artists include BUDDY MILLER & JIM LAUDERDALE, KELLY WILLIS & BRUCE ROBISON, JOHN FULLBRIGHT, SHOVELS & ROPE and EMMYLOU HARRIS & RODNEY CROWELL. Read more here.
The Freight Train Boogie is dedicated to Americana Music: which includes the edgier country & folk singers, hillbilly twang, some bluegrass, blues and rock. We place a special emphasis on "Alt.Country", Roots Rock and many small label and independent releases. We love Country music, as long as it's "real" Country.
Americana music is influenced by elements of rock, country, blues and folk. Many of the more established artists you've probably already heard of: Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle, Gram Parsons, sometimes Neil Young, Wilco or Lucinda Williams. Many people come to this music after feeling disconnected from rock or country that's heard on commercial radio. Perhaps the best way to illustrate what Americana music is, is to list a hundred or so Essential Freight Train Boogie Artists.
The Reviews section is where we write about new CD releases, and there's a huge archive of past reviews. The FTB News is mostly links to current Roots music articles and information on the web and in other media, including info on upcoming CD releases. The Links section is of course, links to other good, interesting or useful websites, although it's a little out of date. FTB Editor Bill Frater also does a biweekly radio show on KRCB-FM and a works weekends on KRSH in Sonoma County, California.
When Slaid Cleaves wrote the title track for his new album, he had a specific subject in mind. Inspired by a series of photos on an Iraq War veteran suffering from PTSD, he sought to address the plight of those returning from war and struggling to readjust to society. But as the album progressed, the phrase ''still fighting the war'' began to take on a broader meaning. ''In the past, when I would start writing a new batch of songs a theme would emerge early on. My process this time was just to write as many good songs as I could, not concerning myself with how they all fit together,'' he says. ''But when I began to settle on the songs a theme of perseverance through hard times revealed itself. It runs through the album, as it carries into all of our lives. The recession's over, but these aren't exactly happy days. We're all still struggling, we all keep pushing along.'' While many of the songs on Still Fighting The War focus on struggle and pain, the album, as a whole, is far from morose. ''It's fun to watch an audience enjoy something light hearted between the workplace disaster songs and tragic love stories,'' he says. ''There's no better satisfaction than creating something new and then connecting with people and finding that your work moves them in a profound way."
Grammy Award winner and Americana legend, Delbert McClinton returns to where he began his recording career over 40 years ago, a duets record with Glen Clark. Delbert & Glen released 2 albums in the early 70s. The two remained friends and now have reunited for Blind, Crippled & Crazy. Produced by Gary Nicholson, the 2013 album delivers all the swampy blues, soul and honky tonk sounds with lyrics and harmonies full of wisdom and wit. An easy atmosphere of camaraderie, a lived-in sense of community, surrounds this homey reunion, as Delbert and Glen amble up, sit a spell, and share a few songs. You can almost hear the rocking chair creaking below them on the front porch. Below is a YouTube clip of a live version of "Been Around A Long Time" from the album.
The new solo album from Jason Isbell, contains his most personal songs of self-reflection and discovery he has written to date. The lyrics of the beautiful and haunting opening track “Cover Me Up”, make it immediately apparent that he is speaking from an entirely new viewpoint. Isbell struggled, fought his demons, and has remained sober for over a year now. However, Southeastern is not an album preaching sobriety, but a work of repentance, self-realization and most importantly, personal growth. Tracks such as “Stockholm” (with Kim Richey) and “Traveling Alone” (with new wife Amanda Shires) offer laid back tempos and memorable choruses, while “Flying Over Water” and “Super 8″ are strong reminders of Isbell’s deep roots in rock. The poetic and deeply intimate lyrics are the common thread that runs throughout the album, perhaps no better illustrated than on Live Oak.
Nashville sounds like Nashville again on High Top Mountain, the debut release from singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson. From furious honky-tonk and pre-outlaw country-rocking to spellbinding bluegrass pickin’ and emotional balladry, the album serves as a one-stop guide to everything that made real country music such a force to be reckoned with. Pure and uncompromising, devoid of gloss and fakery, High Top Mountain‘s dozen tunes that evoke the sound of timeless country in its many guises and brings back the lyrical forthrightness and depth that permeated the music Simpson absorbed during his Kentucky childhood.