Treetop Flyers have a whimsical name that conjures up images of rope swings and bird houses high above the earth, but their sound is solidly grounded in rootsy rock and alt country.
The Southwestern Missouri band Ha Ha Tonka returns with the new song "Colorful Kids," a fetching and catching tune that builds upon all of their strengths, and sneaks in a Huck Finn reference for very good and meaningful measure.
The psychedelic, country, surf-rock swamis known as the Sadies are back with a new album on this fall. The first single, "The First 5 Minutes," rocks, twangs and harmonizes as well as anything they've put to tape.
Alt-country heroes don't get much more larger than life than Eddie Spaghetti, leader of the Supersuckers, and hard-twangin' solo artist in his own right. "The Value of Nothing" captures Spaghetti at his snarling, slacking, swaggering best.
When George Jones passed away in April, Jay Farrar posted this about him on Son Volt's Facebook page: "George Jones epitomized the spirit of country music. He represented the Honky Tonk zeitgeist like no other." Farrar did Jones' legacy proud last night as Son Volt brought its own unique version of honky tonk -- the apropos title of the band's new album -- to a packed house of adoring fans.
Drive-By Truckers have logged a lot of miles over the course of their nearly two-decade existence, both physically and as a band, with a revolving door of members orbiting around its core -- the two remaining founders and co-leaders, Patterson Hood and Mike "Stroker Ace" Cooley.
I feel gypped on the boozy rock 'n' roll in my lifetime. I was much too young for the Replacements. And, hell, even my parents weren't around for the Rolling Stones or Bob Dyaln's electric folk. But at the Pageant on Wednesday night, the rambunctious alt-country rock of Ryan Bingham instilled that same excitement felt towards those bands I so desperately wanted to see.
I first saw the Devil Makes Three on the live webcast of the Newport Folk Festival last summer and thought they sounded and looked a little like the really pissed-off folks that got stuck in Nebraska in the 1889 Land Rush: destined to build houses out of sod and eke out a living with crude hand tools.
It's true. Hard times beget hard times. But hard times also beget country music -- real country music, not the pop schlock that occupies a seat on the Voice.