I have been rather rubbish recently at highlighting some of the new releases that have come my way via ReviewShine. This post is about a month overdue. I have no excuse other than being generally useless. So, with apologies all round, let's crack on. I will try to keep this brisk and business-like but, suffice to say, all these records are worth checking out.
1. "Time Served" by The BOB Band (available now). Musically this is raucous country-rock; lyrically you might call it AOR because of the adult content. There is lots of swearin' and screwin' and gettin' stoned. Younger readers should be warned that songs about such things are neither big nor clever. They are, however, enormous fun.
"Mary Anne" - The BOB Band
2. "Eden" by Bow Thayer & Perfect Trainwreck (out on 15 March). We have featured Bow on here before, and I really like his soulful take on Americana. This time round he has teamed up with an outfit called Perfect Trainwreck. There are maybe one or two tracks that go on a little longer than I felt was strictly necessary, but that is a very minor point. Overall it is another excellent effort.
"Bad Day At The Zoo" - Bow Thayer & Perfect Trainwreck
3. "Sleepless" by Post Trauma (available now). As far as I can work out, Post Trauma is pretty much one Billy Ulrich - or at least he wrote all the songs and built the studio they were recorded in. Other reviews call this country-rock, which is right, but there is some good old-fashioned pop in the mix as well. That is what made it stand out for me.
"Typewriter" - Post Trauma
4. "Phantom Train" by The Marshall Pass (available now). The Marshall Pass are Duncan Arsenault - who appears to be a one-man music sceme in Worcester, MA - and Craig Rawding, who got together to write these songs after the death of their friend, the singer/ songwriter Scott Ricciuti. Sad beginnings, but they led to a fine album. I particularly like the slightly bluesy feel on this track.
"Redemption Hill" - The Marshall Pass
5. "Americana Motel" by E. Christina Herr & Wild Frontier (available now). According to the stuff that I got sent, Christina (or E as she possibly prefers to be known*) has been compared to Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Joni Mitchell and Chrissie Hynde. Now I don't really hear Joni or Emmylou in her voice, but I can see what they are getting at with the other two. Most tracks on the album are country-tinged to some degree, and all in all it is a very good listen.
"Little Blue House" - E. Christina Herr & Wild Frontier
[* UPDATE 18 February: The Artist Herself has been in touch to say that the E is silent, so Christina it is. She was also gracious enough to overlook the woefully inadequate nature of my review.]
Today's video clip is John Prine, who I had the pleasure of seeing at the Barbican last night (which is when I took the photo below). He treated us to a very enjoyable two-hour set and of course he did this one. If there has ever been a sadder or better line written than "There's a hole in Daddy's arm where all the money goes" I don't think I've heard it yet.