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Duquette Johnston

The Social Animals

    For more than twenty years, Duquette Johnston has been amongst the vanguard of Alabama music. From the founding of the seminal indie-rock band Verbena, his work in Cutgrass and the Gum Creek Killers, to his acclaimed solo releases "Etowah" and "Rabbit Runs a Destiny", Johnston has consistently pushed the boundaries of what Southern American music can sound and feel like. On his latest, "The Social Animals", Johnston partnered with producer John Agnello and an all-star cast of players including Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley to create his boldest and most powerful music to date.

    In a career that's taken him from stages with Pavement, Foo Fighters and The Strokes, to the Etowah County Correctional Facility, and then into the world of fashion with his Birmingham based company Club Duquette, Johnston has gone to the edge and survived.

    On "The Social Animals", he opens the door into that experience with eleven songs that present a lush, loud, and eloquent meditation on the human experience. Producd by John Agnello (Dinosaur, Jr, Waxahatchee). Features Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) on drums. 

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Year To Run
    2. Whiskey And The Wine
    3. Baby Loves A Mystery
    4. Holy Child
    5. Motorcycles
    6. To My Daughters
    7. Forgive Me
    8. Mystics
    9. Run With The Bulls
    10. Fortunate Ride
    11. Tonight 

    The Kernal

    Listen To The Blood

      With a storyteller's eye and sly sense of humor that echoes not only his "honorary uncle" Del Reeves, but Tom T. Hall and Roger Miller, The Kernal delves deep into everything from family dysfunction to road trips to matters of the heart. The music, which he describes with a laugh as "diet country," embodies the spirit of that genre without any of the slavishness or self-seriousness of much modern Americana. Rolling Stone has called his style "sweetly subversive, intellectual and addictive," while Lo-Down said "the songs have an air of nostalgia but they sound far from old - modern, yet timeless. " From the joyous, southern-fried grooves of "U Do U" and "Pistol in the Pillow" through the revved-up rockabilly stomp of "Green Green Sky" and the cinematic travelogue of "Wrong Turn to Tupelo" to "The Fight Song," a sparkling '80s style duet with Caitlin Rose, it's a nine-song sequence that showcases The Kernal's warm, confidential voice while managing to make profound connections with the head, heart and feet.

      "When people ask me what kind of music I play, I say, 'It's like sixteen-foot trailer country music,'" he says. "You pull up a hay trailer in a field and you barbecue a bunch of stuff and there are people setting off fireworks and there are kids running around in diapers with ice cream running down their bellies. You get up there, turn it up and have a good time. I just love seeing people have a good time, and I think that's why I like country music. The groove of it. It speaks to people's legs. They loosen up and enjoy themselves and it's no big deal. I love that. And I love to be able to contribute to that.

      TRACK LISTING

      1 U Do U
      2. Pistol In The Pillow
      3. Green, Green Sky
      4. Wrong Turn To Tupelo
      5. The Limit
      6. Long, Cool Finger
      7. The Fight Song (feat. Caitlin Rose)
      8. She's Seeing Somebody
      9. Super (Marijuana) Wal-Mart 

      Cedric Burnside

      I Be Trying

        I Be Trying might be the title of the new record from two-time GRAMMY nominee Cedric Burnside, but it’s also a mission statement in an era when plenty of us have discovered what “the blues” really means. Recorded over three days at Royal Studios in Memphis (the home studio of Al Green and Hi Records in the 60s and 70s), this album is the ultimate statement of purpose for a critically acclaimed artist who has proudly carried the mantle of Mississippi Hill Country blues around the world.

        Over thirteen tracks, Burnside delivers his bruised but unfettered truth over blistering guitar and deep pocket drums—a sound birthed in his soul but developed and perfected on the road. But no matter how far he travels, the righteous sound he makes could only come from one place. I Be Trying is the sound of modern Mississippi.

        Produced by second-generation Memphis soul trailblazer Boo Mitchell (“Uptown Funk”) and featuring guest appearances from Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars) and Zac Cockrell (Brittany Howard), I Be Trying takes the sound that Burnside learned from his grandfather, blues legend R.L. Burnside, and reinterprets it into a modern, bold Black American sound that expands the sonic landscape while respecting and honoring its roots.

        TRACK LISTING

        The World Can Be So Cold
        Step In
        I Be Trying
        You Really Love Me
        Love Is The Key
        Keep On Pushing
        Gotta Look Out
        Pretty Flowers
        What Makes Me Think
        Bird Without A Feather
        Hands Off That Girl
        Get Down
        Love You Forever

        The Pine Hill Haints

        The Song Companion Of A Lonestar Cowboy

          On the Pine Hill Haints' latest long-player, The Song Companion of a Lonestar Cowboy, they go there and to other colorful places on the Americana and Appalachian trail. The fifteen song sequence kicks off with "Fall Asleep" and "Back to Alabama," a fiery pair of rockabilly-meets-Irish-jig rave-ups, then winds through standout tracks like the Bo Diddley-grooved "Pretty Thing," a pounding tom-tom and fiddle take on the traditional "John Henry" and the catchy, cajun-flavored squeezebox pop of "Lone Star Kid." There are excursions into Sun Records-style country ("Midnight Mayor" and "Louise") and swampy blues (the saw-singing "Wade in the Water" and "Downtown Blues," which features guest J.D. Wilkes on harmonica). Throughout, Barrier's strong tenor voice rings familiar and friendly, with deep echoes of everything from John Lee Hooker to Buddy Holly to Johnny Cash. And the band plays with a sense of abandon that comes from thousands of gigs behind them. It all sounds deceptively simple, but anyone who plays music knows better. The Pine Hill Haints do something very few roots bands can, which is to transcend influences and sculpt age-old sounds into soul music for our time.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Fall Asleep
          2. Back To Alabama
          3. Pretty Thing
          4. Satchel Paige Blues
          5. John Henry
          6. Lone Star Kid
          7. Drop And Fall
          8. Midnight Mayor
          9. Catfish Blues
          10. Fighting For The Wrong Side
          11. Stare At The Fire
          12. Louise
          13. Downtown Blues
          14. Wade In The Water
          15. Tithy Dunbar

          Three years after releasing his post-Civil Wars solo debut, John Paul White has announced details of his next solo album, The Hurting Kind, which will be released via White’s Single Lock Records.

          Featuring vocal contributions from Lee Ann Womack, Erin Rae, and the Secret Sisters, White’s forthcoming album was co-produced alongside the Alabama Shakes’ Ben Tanner and recorded a variety of studios in White’s native Muscle Shoals region. The Hurting Kind also finds White co-writing with legendary Nashville songwriters like Bobby Braddock and Whisperin’ Bill Anderson.


          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Shining with the heartfelt vocals and beautiful slide guitars of classic Americana but turned more towards the more subtle realms of folky singer-songwriter with JPW's impeccable ear for a progression and indelible sense of melody.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. The Good Old Days
          2. Wish I Could Write You A Song
          3. Heart Like A Kite
          4. Yesterday's Love
          5. The Long Way Home
          6. The Hurting Kind
          7. This Isn't Gonna End Well (Feat. Lee Ann Womack)
          8. You Lost Me
          9. James
          10. My Dreams Have All Come True


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