Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ian Foster hails from Newfoundland and “Room In The City” is his second album. It’s a quiet, unassuming creeper. First time I spun it, it barely grazed me but I did like the look of the girl on the cover. His vocal style is like a less-affected Steve Forbert and not unlike Chris Isaak while sounding nothing like either. Did you ever hear Will T. Massey? There’s a kinship with him here too. These are good old-fashioned songs delivered with an honesty and sense of craft. This is the kind of guy who will go out and play these and build an audience person by person, the best way to go if you have the patience and the stamina. I get the feeling that Ian Foster does.

Nashville, TN based - Mike Cullison does a nice line in honky tonk country rock and his “Blue Collar Tired” set will go some way toward setting you up for the day. Kicking off with “Wish I Didn’t Like Whiskey”, it makes a good foil for “The Whiskey makes You Sweeter” and I look forward to making a segue of the two somewhere down the road. The title cut takes some pointers from the “Blue Collar” movie soundtrack with its factory line, punch and die type rhythm. “Pour Hank on the Pain” is just about as RigRock a title as you might find in this day in age. This sounds like it might be on Diesel Only but it ain’t but it is worthy of your investigation. When I was doing some digging while putting this together, I noticed that our old mucker LP had given it the thumbs up way back in February. He always was way ahead of the curve that guy.

Steven Alvarado’s “Let It Go” is his fifth album. On Mott St. Records, it has a crack team of players on it and it’s quite latterday Springsteen although I’d have to say that the songs are better. Maybe it’s closer to Greg Trooper now I think about it a little more. I don’t see this so much as Americana, it’s more electricity-fused acoustic. Not really pop but courting certain elements of that. Essentially these are stories set in very able arrangements that deserve to be heard. But where? As the planet continues to disappear up its own hint end, there are less and less places to connect with good, honest music like this. Check it out in the confines of wherever you may be accessing this via the wonders of not-so modern technology.

Spanking Charlene might sound more like a pastime than a band name but it’ll grow on you like Smashed Gladys did. Trust me. “Dismissed With A Kiss” is their debut album and they're augmented by producer Eric “Roscoe” Ambel and fellow Yayhoo, Keith Christopher. Two gents that are no slouches on your two favourite types of music. Those being rock and roll. SC won a contest that got them a deal with Little Stevie Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool label but there’s no sign of that of yet. Anyhoo, first things first. This is some pretty entertaining US pub rock that sizzles with that patented blues/punk/country gristle. A wee bit X here, a smidge of Guadalcanal Diary there. That’ll do for me as I ease myself into Sunday afternoon in the direction of some harder stuff. That's music, not liquor incase you were wondering. Wonder what’s happened to the follow up? There are demos on their myspace but no info. I’ll let you know if owt turns up because I think you’d like SC.

All of these came from Hemifrån...

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