Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Damnwells, Harper Blynn, Carley Tanchon - Live from Uncle Slayton's

Carley Tanchon

I got to Louisville as fast and as legal as possible and caught Carley's last three songs. So for not seeing a good range of her music, I can at least say that she rocks a big voice. She seemed very comfortable owning an empty stage with just herself and her acoustic guitar as the first act. She had fun with it, and even took a request. I really enjoyed her song Fearlessly and I didn't hesitate to buy her album to see what else she had to offer. Turns out you can download her entire album "Leave the Light On" for free on her bandcamp site (Link Below). Bonus: There is a really good cover song on the album of "Float On" by Modest Mouse.

Harper Blynn
Well hello Harper Blynn, I've heard a lot about you. After hearing talk about this groups vocal talents and sampling their cover of "Halo", I was excited to see their set. Turns out I was even more impressed with their instrumentals and the way they pieced together each song. If your a fan of a solid jam band, these guys will fit the bill. I kid you not, after each song the guitarists would change their tuning and pedalboard mixing and even the drummer changed around his drum kit specifically for each song. Now I realize if Harper Blynn was on a multi-million dollar tour they would probably have a rack of individually tuned guitars. They didn't have that luxury but they still took extra time in between each song to get it right.

Once they had all the instruments to spec they rocked it. I twitterized a picture from their show labeled the Custodians of Sound. I was impressed with these guys and in my opinion they are much better live than they are on CD (that's a good thing). They announced they are in the works of recording a new album and they played several songs that will be on that future release. I personally enjoyed some of their new songs the most including a song titled "Sucker". Looking forward to their future works.

The Damnwells
Or more appropriately titled "The Damnwell". The rotating Damnwells included the always present Alex Dezen (lead singer) and Harper Blynn as the backing band. This was the first time I had seen Alex Dezen perform his music with the support of a full rock band. It was definitely good to hear some of his songs played on high (I Am A Leaver, No One Listens to the Band Anymore), but you could tell that the guys from Harper Blynn had more practice with some songs over others. I will however, always get more enjoyment out of  the songs where Alex sings solo with his acoustic guitar. The guy has such an epic voice its almost a shame to dilute it with rock amplification. I took the opportunity to record some of his acoustic songs and his performance of the song titled "Soundtrack" turned out really well. You can listen to him play "Soundtrack" live from Uncle Slaytons by using the widget below. If you are interested in free music to download from The Damnwells, check out all of our previous posts.

If anyone has an interest in any of the songs recorded from Uncle Slayton's, please contact me by Email. Really enjoyed the venue. The acoustics were terrific.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mat Kearney - Headliners Music Hall

I would like to start things off by saying that choosing the balcony at Headliners Music Hall (Louisville, KY) is really where it's at. It's 10 degrees cooler up there when you're not mixed in with the shifting crowd below and the stage view is nice as well.

I got the pleasure of seeing Mat Kearney from the balcony at Headliners and for being a loose follower of his music, I really enjoyed his show. After the first four or five songs I considered myself pretty disappointed but things gradually worked up to a nice live music environment. Based on the first half hour of the performance, I probably would have suggested to people to just buy Mat's CD instead of paying extra for the show. It was missing your typical live entertainment value at the beginning for various reasons.

  • There was very little artist to fan interaction.
  • There were no extended instrumental solo's or lead-ups (jam sessions)
  • All songs were performed just as they are heard on CD (good or bad thing for some people)

But as the music played on throughout the evening the live atmosphere continued to grow. The guitar riffs were more dynamic, extended, and unexpected. Mat started sharing more with the crowd in between songs and before you knew it he was in the middle of the crowd of hundreds performing. He even ran up the stairs to the balcony and sang right next to me for a verse (which really delighted the girls standing in my general area). After Mat returned to the stage, he laid down a custom freestyle song dedicated to Louisville and then invited the opening act back to the stage (Leagues) to help him cover "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster The People. By this time, the crowd was amplified and the band had the entire audience clapping in sequence (no easy feat). To end the show, Kearney played several songs off of his latest album "Young Love" which I think is his best release to date and it garnered a very positive crowd response.

At the start of the show I could have taken or left Kearney's live performance. By the end however, I can confidently say that I was very entertained. So to that I say, touche Mat Kearney. I couldn't dig up any free Mat Kearney music unfortunately, but the good news is that his newest album is only $5 on Amazon! It's a 5 star Amazon rated album so if my math is correct you will end up paying a dollar for each star. Deal!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

SerialBox Presents - Paper Route

Continuing on down the path of my SerialBox infatuation, I want to share some love for the guys of Paper Route. I am also going to go ahead and declare this as my video of the week because I think it's fantastic. Check out Paper Route's creative percussion approach to their song titled "Carousel".

The SerialBox Presents group was the first to introduce me to Paper Route by means of this video. After a deeper look in to the groups music, I can clearly define them in my own mind as music experimentalists. You can see in the video the creative approach to sound that they bring to their music and you will find more of the same while exploring the rest of their song catalog. The original electric version of "Carousel" is a full-bodied, high energy song featuring many different instruments.

After reading the groups interview on Serialbox, I discovered that this video wasn't solely conceived for this project. It turns out, this group plays an acoustic set after every one of their shows while the road crew packs up the trailer. I can just imagine once those drums are packed up you will hear plenty of claps and finger snaps. Find out more about the group using the links below.

SerialBox Interview: Paper Route
Download Paper Route: Carousel
Paper Route's Website

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors - Live Forever

The music video for "Live Forever" was released today by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. The song is featured on the groups latest album release titled "Chasing Someday". "Live Forever" has meant a lot to many people since it has been released and it also means a lot to the people behind Music Sourced. The links to the groups new video can be found below and also read Drew Holcomb's thoughts on his favorite song he has ever written...

Take Courage.
Live Forever is my favorite song I have ever written. Its a song of joy, a song of sorrow, a song of longing, a song of journeying. I wrote it as a letter to my neices and nephew, who stole my heart a long time ago. I wrote it from the purest part of my soul, without a single thought to its commercial viability or whether or not my fans would like it. I wrote it for them, and for me. I wrote it at a time over 2 years ago when I thought my career as a touring musician was coming to a close, which I was obviously dead wrong about. It's ironic to me how this song, written from that place in my heart, has become the most downloaded, most requested, most used on TV shows, and our most popular song on tour. I have been honored by many people's stories of how this song has touched their lives. A mother who heard it on Parenthood and wrote me how she made it her anthem for her newborn son. Numerous friends and emails and letters of the song bringing comfort in a time of loss. We hear weekly and sometimes daily of the way this song has reached into some part of people's stories. This is the height of success for me as a songwriter. I could not be more honored.

I have always wanted to make a music video for this song, but found it difficult to put on film the emotion the song has for me. I finally decided that the only way to do it was to incorporate my family, the very ones I wrote the song for. We gathered in Memphis, my hometown, to film us doing what we love; laughing, eating, and enjoying each other's company in places where we have a deep history. The Hi Tone Cafe. Central BBQ. My Uncle's Farm, and my Great Grandfathers 1942 Jeep, still in my father's possession. My neices and nephew steal the show with their innocence, their joy, and their courage.

Thank you for watching.

Watch it on our Facebook Page
or on Youtube/Vevo

Monday, September 12, 2011

Concert Review: Jack's Mannequin w/ Lady Danville

California based groups Jack's Mannequin and Lady Danville have been spending a lot of time out on the road together hitting several tour stops. I was fortunate enough to see these groups perform at Headliners Music Hall in Louisville Kentucky just this past week.

This show marked the first time I had ever been to Headliners Music Hall for a show and it was also the first time I have ever seen anyone play a percussion cymbal with his hands. From what I could tell, the drummer Matthew Frankel also used his hands on the cajon he was sitting on, snare, and tom drum as he provided the back beat for the trio Lady Danville. Coming in to the show I was vaguely familiar with the groups music. I had even thought about sharing some of their free music tracks on this site before because I like their sound.

Instrumentally the group has a guitar, piano, and percussion lineup but the sound I am referring to is largely centered around the groups ever present three-part harmony. The instruments really play a reserve role in this group and their vocal mesh carries the weight throughout each song. A good example of this comes from the song I enjoy most from these guys titled "Tired Magician", which can be downloaded for free using the link at the bottom of the post. The friends that I attended the show with really enjoyed Lady Danville's set so I believe it's safe to assume these guys gained some new fans that night. Check out this bands TOUR BLOG for more information and pictures from touring on the road.

As for Jack's Mannequins performance, what can I really say. I am incredibly partial to this group considering that Andrew McMahon is my favorite music artist. These guys can rock you to a frenzy or serenade you to a somber silence at the change of a note. If you are a fan of Jack's Mannequin then you probably know that it is something special to see them perform live. Andrew McMahon's stage presence is what gets me going as he plays the keys to the crowd in a stand up/sit down fashion while singing into one of three different mic's. The highlight of the show is almost always during one of the groups high energy rock songs where Andrew will start off with his patented samba shake and then end the song on top of the piano crushing the keys with his feet.

The night was really capped off right as Jack's Mannequin played "La La Lie" and the guys from Lady Danville joined them on stage for the last chorus. Then just a few minutes later, the band came back for the encore to play 2 of the groups fan-favorite songs with "Swim" and "Dark Blue". Unfortunately I do not have any free music from Jack's but if you pre-order their upcoming album "People and Things" you get an immediate free download of "My Racing Thoughts" and "Amy I".

Free Download: 2 Songs from Lady Danville
Pre Order - Jack's Mannequin: People and Things

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Retro Video of the Week: Kentucky Headhunters - Dumas Walker

After weeks of deliberating, we've decided to start a weekly post regarding an old music video we happened to run across on YouTube.  So without further adieu here is my first pick.

I've always been a big fan of classic country music and have memories of listening to the likes of Randy Travis, Tom T. Hall, and Conway Twitty; among others, practically every Saturday morning while working with my Dad.  After becoming more familiar with the genre, I became an instant fan of practically all older country music. (On a side note, I'm considering "Classic" country to be anything made prior to 1992, back before Country and Pop got together one night and conceived what we now call Country).

But you get the picture, I think some of the best years of Country music occurred during the 1980's, and the song Dumas Walker by the Kentucky Headhunters is a prime example of what I consider to be a great Country song.

I came across this video  the other day and right off the bat I thought to myself "Wow, is the drummer really wearing a coonskin cap and no shirt? Awesome".  What really got me was the simplicity of the video, shot entirely in what appears to be a honkytonk/roadhouse the video is made up entirely of a denim clad crowd that 95% have long hair, which isn't so hard to see considering the video was shot back in 1989. If this is your first time hearing the Kentucky Headhunters I also recommend Oh Lonesome Me and Walk Softly on this Heart of Mine, I can almost guarantee you will feel the urge to enjoy a slawburger, fries, and a bottle of Ski.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Video of the Week - Jack's Mannequin

I hope everyone enjoyed their long holiday weekend as much as I did. I thought I would start out slow this week with a video share. I got the opportunity to see Jack's Mannequin live this past weekend in Louisville Kentucky and I can't tell you how many times I had friends of mine ask me "Who's that?" when I explained the concert I had attended. So here's a little video intro to the band before I write a concert review later this week.

I won't do much to introduce the video because I don't want to take away from the video itself by trying to dig into it's meaning. But I will say that the video is to help promote the new Jack's Mannequin album coming out October 4th titled "People and Things".

As a fan of Andrew's music, this video puts a new definition to the music he has written and will write in the future. He states that he didn't see himself as a hero or an inspiration, but there is definitely something admirable about a man fighting for his life when that's the only option he's given. Andrew McMahon's music and his movie (see Dear Jack) has inspired many to live their lives with a rejuvenated perseverance because it's "a trench war worth fighting" for. And I am really excited to hear his new record.

If this video has sparked your interest, check out some music from Jacks Mannequin below and keep an eye out for the concert review later this week.

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