hacienda brothers

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John Prine and Mac Wiseman: Standard Songs for Average People (Oh Boy)

John Prine and Mac Wiseman: Standard Songs for Average People (Oh Boy)

Elsewhere has never pretended to be fashionable, and this one certainly ain't. Two salty old pals just a-sittin' and a-playin' a bunch of tunes from their back pages: Bob Wills' Don't Be Ashamed of Your Age; Charlie Feathers' I Forgot To Remember To Forget; Saginaw Michigan; Old Cape Cod; The Blue Side of Lonesome; Old Rugged Cross . . . It...

The Pines: Sparrows in the Bell (Elite)

The Pines: Sparrows in the Bell (Elite)

If these young guys had been around 35 years ago and come out with this album they would have been pegged as yet another "new Dylan". And even now that's a tag they would seem happy with: the opener has the refrain "world gone wrong" which was Dylan album title, and Dylan's slower delivery is everywhere in these...

James Luther Dickinson: Killers From Space (Memphis/Elite) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

James Luther Dickinson: Killers From Space (Memphis/Elite) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

In a cover which looks like it was thought up by a couple of drug-addled on-line kids -- and with a title from a B-grade movie -- comes the latest album by one of the great ignored/overlooked/wayward talents from the South. This is a man for whom a never-recorded, whiskey-soaked Sun session overseen by a voodoo priestess with Mick'n'Keith (c...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Drive-By Truckers: Brighter than Creation's Dark (New West/Elite)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Drive-By Truckers: Brighter than Creation's Dark (New West/Elite)

The Truckers inspire passionate loyalty for their Southern-framed country rock'n'roll and literate, sometimes provocative, lyrics. They often make you want to crack the top off a beer and kick back, but the words touch some deep and dark places as well. Here they open with a weary song about a guy at the gates of Heaven ("two...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Willard Grant Conspiracy: Pilgrim Road (Southbound)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Willard Grant Conspiracy: Pilgrim Road (Southbound)

For some people the radar-avoiding WGC are like an alt.country version of the late and lamented Australian band the Go-Betweens. Not for any similarity in sound, but in that if you discovered the songwriting skills early you tended to follow the central members' every move (solo or with the band).WGC has largely been the vehicle of Robert Fisher...

Hacienda Brothers: Arizona Motel (Southbound)

Hacienda Brothers: Arizona Motel (Southbound)

A sad shadow hangs over this album by a traditional country outfit whose two previous albums have found a place at Elsewhere: singer-songwriter and frontman Chris Gaffney died of liver cancer in April after this album was completed.With his musical partner Dave Gonzalez, Gaffney formed the Hacienda Brothers six years ago and their exceptional...

Various: Man of Somebody's Dreams: A Tribute to Chris Gaffney (YepRoc/Southbound)

Various: Man of Somebody's Dreams: A Tribute to Chris Gaffney (YepRoc/Southbound)

The late Chris Gaffney was not only a member of the justifiably acclaimed Hacienda Brothers (whose albums What's Wrong With Right? and Arizona Motel have been Elsewhere favourites), but he was a gifted songwriter who could write across many Americana idioms from country to norteno polka, rock'n'roll to soulful r'n'b. He also made a lot...

Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women: Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women (YepRoc/Southbound)

Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women: Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women (YepRoc/Southbound)

Dave Alvin appeared at Elsewhere recently as the man behind the all-star tribute to his friend and accordionist in his band The Guilty Men, Chris Gaffney. This album owes its origins to the death of Gaffney in 2008: Alvin's Guilty Men weren't working after Gaffney's death but there was a gig scheduled so he needed to put something together...

Jim Ford: The Unissued Capitol Album. Big Mouth USA; The Unissued Paramount Album (both Bear Family)

Jim Ford: The Unissued Capitol Album. Big Mouth USA; The Unissued Paramount Album (both Bear Family)

As Nick Lowe recently observed, he's supposed to be an expert on American music but there are still any number of artists and albums being unearthed and brought into the light again. Ford might not exactly be in that category -- he was a major influence on Lowe and his stuff has been floating around among cognoscenti for a couple of years --...

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (Shock)

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (Shock)

It's instructive but perhaps unfair to put this album from the former member of Drive By Truckers alongside their most recent album, The Big To-Do: after a flawed solo debut Sirens of the Ditch in 07 Isbell here sounds in command again, whereas the Truckers album is pretty ropey in places. Here Isbell and his band (on an album that came...

Jon Langford and Skull Orchard: Old Devils (Bloodshot/Southbound)

Jon Langford and Skull Orchard: Old Devils (Bloodshot/Southbound)

Langford was in the UK punk-era Mekons way back but has in more recent times embraced a kind of folk-punk Americana and played with the likes of Ryan Adams and Alejandro Escovedo. Chicago-based, he's also a well-known artist (lots of covers for the Chicago label Bloodshot). With Skull Orchard he parlays a rough-edged country-rock with a...

The Felice Brothers: Celebration, Florida (Spunk)

The Felice Brothers: Celebration, Florida (Spunk)

While it's interesting to read in a promo slip that this new album by the so-far fascinating Felice Brothers "casts scenes of dreamy characters and stories interwoven like a block of primetime TV", this is promo-hype. It presumes you will actually be engaged enough to listen with unswerving intensity through the sonic haze of...

Drive-By Truckers: Go-Go Boots (ATO)

Drive-By Truckers: Go-Go Boots (ATO)

Despite doing well on the charts, the last album by the Truckers -- The Big To-Do -- was a disappointment: perhaps the knocked-off-quickly feel worked against it, you wouldn't attribute it directly to the loss of one of their songwriters Jason Isbell to a solo career (although many felt that). Its occasional rowdiness had undoubted appeal,...

The Wood Brothers: Ways Not To Lose (Blue Note/EMI)

The Wood Brothers: Ways Not To Lose (Blue Note/EMI)

The trio Medeski, Martin & Wood have been one of the most innovative and consistently interesting jazz (and beyond) bands of the past decade or so. But here upright bassist/singer from the band Chris Wood teams up with his singing/guitar playing brother Oliver (a dab hand on slide among other things) for an album of lowkey acoustic charm...

Hacienda Brothers; What's Wrong With Right? BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2006

Hacienda Brothers; What's Wrong With Right? BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2006

The self-titled 2005 debut by these old hands -- singer-songwriter Dave Gonzalez from the rockabilly outfit the Paladins, and guitarist/accordionist Chris Gaffney from Dave Alvin's band -- sounded somewhere between Waylon's wobbly warble and Willie's languorous delivery, and their album came with impeccable credentials: it was produced by Dan...

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