Featured Friday Morning Shuffle – April Fools Mix

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”); Be sure to “Like” Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

ICYMI:  Read my latest manifesto here.

It’s April 1 – no joke.  Today, D. Boon would have been 58 years old.  Hard to believe he had been gone for over 30 years.  The music he made in his too short life was very important to me.

We have some Featured Friday music to kick off the fourth month of 2016

“Alcatraz” by PONY BOY

We start off our April with another awesome song from Pony Boy’s Blue Gold album.  This is a good one. Produced by Justin Collins and Adam Landry for Cosmic Thug…

“New Yorkian Dairy Company” by Jonas H. Sjøvaag’s Navyelectre

 Another track from this Norwegian artist. I am not sure if this is considered a bonus-track for the Large Ensemble album, but in any case, it is a great song.

“Don’t F It Up” by Chase Walker Band

Chase Walker is a young blues guitar prodigy. He and his band have an album forthcoming called Not Quite Legal.  This is our first listen, and yeah it is good! The “F” word is only censored for the title, by the way.

“Runnin'” by Ashleigh Flynn

From a Million Stars.  I was thinking about Ashleigh Flynn this week.  When she was here in Nashville, she said Todd Snider’s “Play a Train Song” and Snider joined her on stage to sing a few lines.  This week, I got to see and hear Snider himself play that song on the very same (The 5 Spot) stage. Ashleigh Flynn is good, ya’ll.

“Six Feet Down” by Amelia White

Another from Home Sweet Hotel.  Such a great album – you really should check it out.

“Clarity” by Pony Girl

Pony Girl meet Pony Boy… Pony Boy meet Pony Girl.  If you guys ever put together a “Tale of Two Ponies” tour or split single – I hope E2TG gets a shout out… 🙂  Pony Girl are from Canada. The band’s new album is called Foreign Life.  Great stuff.  I just now noticed that Raphael Weinroth-Browne of The Visit (who we featured a while back) plays cello on this album. 

“April Fools” by Brian Wright

I promise this was not a plant! The shuffle brought this song up today of all days.  I think I’ve said enough times that Brian Wright is one of the best songwriters I know.  This is from the Café  Rooster Sessions Vol. 1.  Work is underway on Vol. 2, and I can’t wait. Brian Wright has been touring with Aaron Lee Tasjan and on his own, if he comes any where near you, do yourself a favor and go out and see him.

“Dancin’ Round The Nails” by The Jackals

We close out the week and the first shuffle of April with another track People by this outstanding Scottish band.  They will be playing later in April before a Manchester City football match sponsored by Blue Soap-Music  which is the source for a bunch of the great UK music that I feature here.

VIDEO PLAYLIST

   window.amznpubstudioTag = “eartothegro00-20”;       http://ps-us.amazon-adsystem.com/domains/eartothegro00-20_3dcd3a52-1a1a-4afe-a2fd-aaba8e251afc.js   

Featured Friday Morning Music Shuffle – Sharpest Marble Mix

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);

Be sure to “Like” Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

First off – ICYMI because I posted so late yesterday.  Here is the link to yesterday’s shuffle and “Earie” Awards…

Today’s “Earie” Award category is either called, “The Hall of Fame Part II” Award or the “E2TG Survivor Series” Award or something.  Over the 4 1/2 year history of E2TG, I have been fortunate to get to know and write about a ton of really awesome and talented artists.  As most people reading this know, making music and trying to be heard in 2015 is a challenging proposition. It is easy to get burned out or for more lucrative opportunities to take precedence.  This award is meant to recognize long time favorites of this blog who are still out there doing their thing and making vital and interesting music.

1.  Killing Kuddles – from Atlanta – Elwood “Killing” Kuddles first caught my attention a few years ago with his blending of punk and folk or folk and punk – which I hereby dub.. “Polk” (because “Funk” means something else).  In 2015, Kuddles released the Sinking Ship EP which pushed his signature sound forward.  I love his slightly twisted humor and the way his music makes me happy.  Very happily, I made a Black Friday purchase that included a Killing Kuddles t-shirt, stickers, patches, and buttons. 

2.  The Danbury Lie – originating from Connecticut, I think he’s kind of a citizen of the world now.  The Danbury Lie holds the distinction of being the third most tagged band in E2TG history.  Like so many Connecticut artists, he is extremely prolific.  In 2015 alone, he released Scattered Moments of Connection, Choose Your Delusion, Shallow Cuts (kind of a Greatest Hits collection), and the DVD (with accompanying soundtrack) called Whispers to Oblivion.  And he is already at work on a new project schedule for early next year.  His music is unique and amazing. It is an interesting mix of experimental metal, out there folk, and something harder to define.  Whispers to Oblivion is a chronicle of his cross-country drive over the summer.  It is an amazing video which manages to give the viewer insight into The Danbury Lie’s world.  I would recommend it even if I didn’t make a voice-only cameo appearance.

3. Pony Boy – When I first came into contact with the music of Marchelle Bradanini – aka Pony Boy – she was in Los Angeles, and I was very impressed by both her songs and her incredible voice. Since then, she has partially relocated to East Nashville (she lives 1/2 time here and in L.A.), and she has begun to received some well deserved attention. Pony Boy released Blue Gold this year, and I have seen it mentioned on some best of lists already.  And now, she has an “Earie”.

Our last featured Friday shuffle of 2015 is on deck….

“More Glue” by Tim Carroll

Tonight, as I have done many times in 2015, I will begin my Friday evening with one of Nashville’s best deals and best things.  Just about every Friday beginning at 6 p.m., Tim Carroll and his band settle into The 5 Spot for an amazing Rock and Roll Happy Hour.  There is no cover (but hit up the tip jar or the tip kettle), and settle in for two to two and half hours straight of some of the best music you are likely to hear.  Happily, Carroll has begun to release some of his new songs which you are likely to hear on a given Friday.  This is a track from his last album, Pure as Coal which is now largely unavailable.

“DMT” by Tymon Dogg

A really cool track from one-time Joe Strummer collaborator, Tymon Dogg .  His latest album is called Made of Light, and you will be hearing much more of it in 2016.

“New Wave (Is this Rock ‘N’ Roll?) by Niall James Holohan

A Dublin born, London based recording artist. This is the current single, and my first listen.  I like it.

“Clear Sky” by Matt Prater

Alabama-based country music singer-songwriter Matt Prater’s Tables and Chairs is a very good album. Prater makes the kind of country music that flies in the face of much of what the “industry” is putting out.  That, to me, is a good thing, a very good thing.

“Dreaming On the Road” by Ted Drozdowski’s Scissormen

Earie Award winning Ted Drozdowski and his Scissormen are up next with an excellent track from Love and Life – one of my favorite albums of the year.

“Christopher” by Pony Boy

Fortuitously, Pony Boy – jumps into the shuffle on the same day that she picks up an “Earie” with a song from Blue Gold.  Could this song be a reference to Christopher Thomas Howell who played Ponyboy Curtis in Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of the S.E. Hinton novel?  I have no idea.  I love this song, though.  

“Mirror Black Mirror” by Indigenous Engines

Another “Earie” award winner – Andrew Adkins released a pair of EPs under the Indigenous Engines moniker.  This track is from the EP called Witches.  Ominously wonderful music.

“I Ain’t the Sharpest Marble” by D.L. Duncan

And yet another “Earie” award winner! With the lead track from his self-titled album.  The title of this song makes me smile, and it is a really cool blues song.

“American Night” by Benchmarks

Todd Farrell and The Dirty Birds changed their name in 2015, and released their self-title debut as Benchmarks.  This is a very summery album which was a great choice for this cold morning. Benchmarks are currently working on their follow-up, and I for one can’t wait.  This is the kind of song that is needed to steal back the concept of driving down some desolate country road and partying with your friends from those bro-country bozos.   The video in the playlist for this song is from a show that I attended  – wherein Micah Schnaubel of Farrell’s other band (Two Cow Garage) jumped stage to join in.

VIDEO PLAYLIST

window.amznpubstudioTag = “eartothegro00-20”; http://ps-us.amazon-adsystem.com/domains/eartothegro00-20_3dcd3a52-1a1a-4afe-a2fd-aaba8e251afc.js

Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – White Light Had It Mix

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);

Be sure to “Like” Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Exciting day yesterday as the #E2TG Facebook Page barreled over 400 Likes on our way to 500!  Welcome all the new “likers”.  To get in on the party, click the clink above and give us a “Like”.

Let’s get  to today’s shuffle….

“White Light/White Heat” by The Velvet Underground

The repetition, the distortion, the power… The Velvet Underground were so far out in front that most people still haven’t caught up.  The title track from the band’s second album – the last with John Cale.

“Smoke” by Ilana J

Ilana J is a pop songwriter from Britain. Her current album Freefalling from the Ground Up was released last month.  This song is light, airy, and extremely catchy.

“Genie Versus Genie” by Clouseaux

When I attended the surf rock show featuring Crazy Aces and The Mystery Men, I picked up an instrumental rock zine that included a compilation CD.  From that record, comes a groovy track by this band from Houston.  I don’t know much about the band, but I really dig this tune.

“Hurricane Wind” by Carl Anderson

Another from Carl Anderson’s awesome record, Risk of Loss.  Coming to the Nashville scene by way of Charlottesville, VA, Anderson has found his place among the incredible wellspring of talent bubbling up out of East Nashville of late.  Risk of Loss remains in my heretofore hypothetical best of list for 2015.

“girl” by valued customer

The final song on Byugecup (The Huge Cup B-Sides). The song clocks in at over 9 minutes and manages to encompass much of what it is that makes Valued Customer so awesome.  I kind of said a whole bunch the last post I made about VC, so I will just end this post by saying: Valued Customer is good – really good.

“Cuckoo Song” by Townes Van Zandt

A while back, I grabbed a download of a Townes Van Zandt performance 1973 recorded at a coffee shop in Minneapolis…

“Marquee Man” by Pony Boy

Pony Boy was an L.A. singer/songwriter when Ear to the Ground first caught up with her about three years ago.  She has since moved to Nashillve and she just released her latest albun, Blue Gold on Cosmic Thug Records. The album was produced by the superduo of Adam Landry and Justin Collins. 

VIDEO PLAYLIST


window.amznpubstudioTag = “eartothegro00-20”; http://ps-us.amazon-adsystem.com/domains/eartothegro00-20_3dcd3a52-1a1a-4afe-a2fd-aaba8e251afc.js

Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Like Monkeys Do Mix

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);

Be sure to “Like” Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Well, back to reality and back to our daily shuffle.  More recaps of AMA 2015 will be forthcoming. 

Suffice it to say, I had the time of my life – hearing tons of great music, seeing and meeting people, and sharing some once in a lifetime moments.

It is Monday and that means, I am back to work and we have a nifty shuffle to kick off the post-AMA hangover week…

“Yuma” by Justin Townes Earle

We start of this week with the devastating title track from JTE’s debut EP (2007).

“Missing” by Manilow

I didn’t realize we still have some Manilow in the shuffle.  This is some badass UK punk rock.

“Fighter” by Tiffany Huggins Grant

Another great song from Tiffany’s Jonquil Child album – one of my favorites of the year.

“Don’t Bang the Drum” by The Waterboys

A swelling, expansive track from This is the Sea.

“Railroad Bill” by Etta Baker

Some Piedmont Blues via The Music Maker Relief Foundation.  If I am not mistaken, Taj Mahal plays on this song.

“I’m Poor” by Supersuckers

My Americana experience this year began with a fund raiser for Supersucker Eddie Spaghetti at The Basement East – last Tuesday.  Today, we have a track from a compilation called Their Sympathetic Majesty’s Request. 

“When Tomorrow Never Comes” by Pony Boy

We have another track from Pony Boy’s brand new record, Blue Gold.

“Slow Motion” (Sylvan Esso Remix) by PHOX

We close out the day with a remix of a song from the Self-Titled album by the indie band based out of Wisconsin.

VIDEO PLAYLIST

Featured Friday Morning Music Shuffle – The Whole Thing in the Middle Mix

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);

Be sure to “Like” Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

14 Years… I have read some really powerful things today about THAT day. What I remember is some sense of unity… if nothing else, for a moment or moments, many of us were united… if in nothing else, then in fear and confusion and uncertainty. In degrees and over time, that unity has mostly dissipated… into conspiracy theories and feelings about the events that followed about the need for security vs. the importance of freedom. I was at work, and getting my news in fits and starts on a slow internet connection and the radio. 

What I remember… I was taking part in an drama workshop put on by the Parks Department.  Of the course of the workshop, we learned acting techniques, but our main goal was to create an original production which would then perform.  If I recall correctly, the second class was on September 11, 2001. The class was held as scheduled, though I remember thinking it might be cancelled, and we spent much of that class talking about what had happened. It was a pretty diverse group of people and there were a variety of different feelings being expressed, and of course, the day ended up greatly shaping the production we created.  Our production included adaptions of Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechwan and Beckett’s Waiting for Godot – as well as some other elements – all subtly adapted to speak to the events of 9/11/2001.

I don’t know what THE lesson of that day is supposed to be… maybe it’s still too soon, or maybe there is not one lesson.  For me, today at least, I am going to try to remember how fragile life can be and make the most of every moment and treat people with as much kindness as I can.  I will probably fall short of that… I probably already have… but I am going to keep trying. 

“Montgomery” by The Vigilance Committee

We start off with another track from Exit a Hero from the Long Island based Progressive Rock band.  I have been spinning this record for several months, and I am still liking the sound of it.

“I Owe It All to You” by Dale Watson

Call Me Insane but Dale Watson has made one of the best albums of the year. He is a real deal Traditional County singer who was once told he was too country for Nashville. Whatever! Driven by those comments, he eventually founded a whole new movement called, Ameripoitan (Outlaw Country, Honky-Tonk, Rockabilly, and Western Swing).

“Human Condition” by The Naddiks

Somehow this song seems like a good fit for 9/11. The Naddiks are a young, uplifting indie band from Australia. The record is called 21CB (21st Century Boy).

“The Spring” by Dan Martin

Just over a week ago, on the suggestion of my friend Mary, Dan Martin gave me a copy of his CD – Hoka Hey at the 5 Spot for the 1st Week of the David Olney Residency.  I finally got to give it a spin over the weekend, and I really liked what I heard. This is the first track to appear in a shuffle, and more will be forthcoming. Dan Martin is from Oklahoma. The music is well-written, well played country influenced music.

“Cold Black Pitch” by The End Men

In just a couple of months, I will have known The End Men for 4 years. In 2013, I named them my Band of the Year, and everything they have done since has served to confirm that decision.  Terms and Conditions, the album they released earlier this year, expands on their signature hard blues rock sound with Matthew Elia’s sax providing a strong counter-point to Matthew Hendershot’s Waitsian vocal growl and guitar godliness and Livia Ranalli’s powerhouse drums.  Beyond all of that, they are generous and kind people.  Oh, and they melt faces live!

“Piece By Pieces” by Indigenous Engines

Andrew Adkins is a busy man with a lot going on.  He released two EPs this year under the Indigenous Engines moniker.  This track is from Witches.  A great song.

“Life is Hard” by Darrin Bradbury

The Bonus Track from The Story of Bob.  Otherwise known as “The Ballad of Jack Kerouac, Lenny Bruce, and Daffy Duck”.  Darrin was my 2014 Artist of the Year.

“Magnolia” by Pony Boy

From Pony Boy’s new album Blue Gold which was produced by the Adam Landry and Justin Collins – best known for their work with Deer Tick, Diamond Rugs, and T. Hardy Morris and to E2TG readers as the producers of Black Vincent. The song is a homage to the late Magnolia Electric Company frontman Jason Molina. It is a powerful, moving, and gorgeous song.  

VIDEO PLAYLIST


window.amznpubstudioTag = “eartothegro00-20”; http://ps-us.amazon-adsystem.com/domains/eartothegro00-20_3dcd3a52-1a1a-4afe-a2fd-aaba8e251afc.js

Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Stain on my Notebook Mix

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);

Be sure to “Like” Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

It seems like the week has just begun, and yet here we are at mid-week.  Went out to The Bluebird Café last night for a great songwriters round. In an audience filled with people from Australia, Scotland, England, Poland, and other places, I got to see some of my favorite East Nashville songwriters perform some of their wonderful songs. Tim Easton hosted the night which featured Amy Speace, Darrin Bradbury, and Megan Palmer.

We have kind of short but sweet shuffle today… let’s get to it.

“Long White Line” by Sturgill Simpson

Via the World Café Sessions, Sturgill Simpson leads off today’s shuffle with a song that was on his latest album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music. 

“Hellfighters of Harlem” by Tomas Doncker Band

Another track from the Big Apple Blues – one of the most innovative and ambitious albums of the year.  This one tells I story that I never heard about in American History classes, about the regiment of soldiers who cross the Atlantic to risk their lives to defend freedoms that they were systematically denied based upon the color of their skin.

“The Drinking Song” by Boy Named Banjo

Another track from Long Story Short by this young Nashville band.

“Fools Gold” by Pony Boy

I just recently got hold of Blue Gold, the new album by Pony Boy. However, this song is part of an anti-fracking compilation called Buy This Fracking Album. Great cause, and a very good song which Pony Boy delivers in her characteristic rich and powerful voice.

“The Chemist” by Liberty’s Exiles

From the brand new album, The Price of Immortality, we have this track by London based Progressive Rock band Liberty’s Exiles.  Excellent modern progressive rock.

“Black Coffee in Bed” by Squeeze

Who says Pop songs have to be 3 minutes? Clocking in at just over 6 minutes, comes Squeeze’s classic song of lost love. The song was the first single from Sweets from a Stranger the band’s fifth album.  Also included on the essential compilation, Singles 45s and Under.

“10 Year Fight” by Brock Zeman

Another view of lost love and one of my favorite songs on Pulling Your Sword Out of the Devil’s Back. Word is that Brock Zeman will be back in Nashville in November, and I will have my ear to the ground for that one… (see what I did there?)

VIDEO PLAYLIST


window.amznpubstudioTag = “eartothegro00-20”; http://ps-us.amazon-adsystem.com/domains/eartothegro00-20_3dcd3a52-1a1a-4afe-a2fd-aaba8e251afc.js

A Very Ear to the Ground Christmas

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”); window.amznpubstudioTag = “eartothegro00-20”; http://ps-us.amazon-adsystem.com/domains/eartothegro00-20_3dcd3a52-1a1a-4afe-a2fd-aaba8e251afc.js

To tell the truth for a variety of reasons, my Holiday spirit has been lacking this year, but nothing gets me pumped up for the Yule Season more than hearing some brand new Christmas songs from some of my favorite artists.

Now, these songs may still come up in a Shuffle soon, but with the number of posts before Christmas dwindling fast, I thought I would dedicate a special post…  so jump past the break and listen to Christmas Ear to the Ground style.

First up comes my man Zachariah Red with a very Zach Red sounding version of the Ramones’ Christmas Classic, “Merry Christmas (Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)”  Insider scoop, I was there when Zach took the picture that ended up being the cover art for this single.  Give it a listen and go grab yourself a download.

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/track=1384884666/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/

Zachariah Red is one of the newer Ear to the Ground favorite artists.

Pony Boy has been an Ear to the Ground favorite for a couple of years, and since we first featured her music, she has moved to East Nashville (where Zach also lives by the way) and has done quite well for herself. I was so glad to finally get to meet her during Americana Week, and I hope to get to see her perform again soon.  Pony Boy also dropped a new Christmas tune this week. The track is produced by Cosmic Thug, It premiered over at Elmore Magazine, head over there now to check it out….

More Ear to the Ground Christmas goodies probably will show up in the days ahead…  in the meantime, give a listen to these great new tunes and have the best holiday season you can….