“In addition to the kind of 1930s/Depression/ Dust Bowl thing we’ve always had going on, there’s a pretty strong 1970s thing going on, too”
– Gillian Welch
Dave Rawlings machine are Dave Rawlings, Gillian Welch, Willie Watson (guitar) and Punch Brothers’ Paul Kowert on double bass. It sounds like the Gillian Welch albums infused with more Bob Dylan & The Band and Neil Young. It’s a good stew. The latest album from Dave Rawlings Machine, is a 44 minute collection of American music written by Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch.
Rawlings and Welch have been making music together for many years, releasing albums and playing concerts both under the name “Gillian Welch” and “Dave Rawlings Machine”, I guess, depending upon which one of them is doing most of the lead singing. Dave’s voice is a bit more prominent on the Dave Rawlings albums, and they sound a bit less Apalachian or old-time country music.
“The music I play, I call ‘SoCal country, It’s country music but with a Southern California spirit to it.What is it about Southern California that gives it that spirit, I don’t exactly know. But there’s an idea that I like that says – every song, even happy songs, are written from a place of sadness. If there’s a special sadness to Southern California it’s that there’s an abiding shadow of loss of what used to be. But then, like with any place, you have a resilient optimism as well.”
– Sam Outlaw
Sam Outlaw had a successful advertising career in California; however, on his thirtieth birthday he experienced what he calls “an existential crisis moment” and realised that only music has ever made him feel anything.
Sam Outlaw self-released an EP in 2014. It immediately created attention, he also landed his music video on CMT.
With Angeleno he has made one of the best debut albums of 2015.
[What’s the complicated game?]
Well, it’s mostly about relationships, and that’s a complicated game. Actually, my label is called Complicated Game, and I had that line in a song, so I stole it for the album title and figured people would think I owned the record label.
~James McMurtry (to Bill Nevins – nodepression.com)
Having long earned his place on the short list of best American songwriters, McMurtry is remarkably turning better with age. Complicated Game is brilliant album, dense and thoughtful as McMurtry swirls around inside the heads of another set of fascinating characters.
~Eric Swedlund (pastemagazine.com)
“Hell, everybody’s sick of all my fucking happy songs anyway”
– Steve Earle
Terraplane is the sixteenth studio album by Steve Earle. It was released on February 17, 2015 via New West Records. Terraplane – the title is a nod to Robert Johnson’s “Terraplane Blues” (and from the 1930s Hudson Motor Car Company of Detroit model) and it is Earle’s blues album. This is something he does with honor, and it’s a hell of an album, no matter what genre.
Steve Earle and The Dukes – King of the Blues /Hey Joe (House of Rock, Corpus Christi, TX on 5/10/2015):
… I’m proud of it, you know people always ask me, when you were working [on it], did you think about radio, and all of that and I really wasn’t. I don’t think when it comes to music, I just do, and those were the songs that came out. But what I have is something that I am proud of and I think it represents me and if people can relate to it, then that’s all the better
~Ashley Monroe (to nashvilleoverhere.com)
… she rises to the challenge. She belts out “I’m Good At Leavin’” like she was aiming for the cheap seats at the Grand Ole Opry, gently purrs through “Weight of the Load” and “Mayflowers” (the latter co-written by White’s Raconteurs bandmate Brendan Benson), and throws a little Loretta Lynn sass down on the rave-up “Winning Streak.” She knows she’s the star of this show, and she burns brightly throughout.
~Robert Ham (pastemagazine.com)
..Either way, Church’s songs are anchored with an authoritative sense of sentiment and place, and they’re brought to life by the precise roar of the Eric Church Band. No longer overwhelming with sheer volume, they dig into the funk of “Chattanooga Lucy” and race their leader to the conclusion of “Mr. Misunderstood,” but they shine by maintaining the mournful soul of “Round Here Buzz” or by building the tension of “Knives of New Orleans” or by keeping the Susan Tedeschi duet “Mixed Drinks About Feelings” at a sweet, sad simmer. Where The Outsiders was designed to dazzle, Mr. Misunderstood is built for the long haul: it settles into the soul, its pleasures immediate but also sustained.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)