Monday, April 06, 2009

WILT: GypsyRogueHillMusic

I was born in Boston and live now in Boulder but my family hails from the coal mines of Ohio and the clay hills of Appalachia. As a child, I grew up eating collard greens, catfish, cornbread, and just about everything you can throw in a fryer (po' boys, okra, chicken, steak, etc.) But when it comes to appreciating music, location is neither here nor there.

You don't have to be from high country or back alley to dig a soulful sound. A little pain in your life, a little fire, a little whiskey. These are what's needed.

You already know about my late breaking man crush on Tom Waits. Here are three other artists I've recently discovered. If Kings of Leon is the annointed son, these three are the backward black eyed cousins. Thanks to AkercByVolume, GNightMoon, and a certain girl who done me wrong for these:

Kevin Quain - Thief of Dances (some random dude painting KQ and the Mad Bastards on YouTube)
When I heard this guy drop the accordion, rear back his head and howl like one of Mowgli's brothers, I was already two bourbons deep and still digging. Kevin Quain wouldn't have it any other way. He doesn't get out of Toronto much but to hear him sing, you'd think he'd raised ghosts, stolen senoritas, and dropped hammers in OK Corrals all over the world. He is a Louis L'amour short story in your ears. He is Kevin Quain.

Gillian Welch - Lowlands (relatively decent youtube version)
At first listen, there isn't much to Lowlands. But play it again. And maybe another time. Like long hours in a smokehouse, the repetitive bass line, lonely vocals, and subtle guitar start coating listeners with soft soulful flavor. If they tasted the way she sounds, there'd be a line out the door.

JJ Grey and Mofro - Blackwater (iTunes)
The recipe for this group? Mix equal parts Lynyrd Skynyrd, B.B. King, Jimmie Hendrix and (more recently) Motown. I really don't know anything about these guys but if the song Blackwater doesn't stir something within you, then you've already died so killing yourself will just accomplish a little tidying up. Honorable mention to Brighter Days and Lochloosa.


Anonymous said...

it's AkercByVolume, but that works too. Glad to share.


81trucolors said...

Noted, sorry

Anonymous said...

Ever hear me play Thief of Dances by Kevin Quain at the Merc?

GnightMoon said...

Love those MOFRO songs