There were good ol' boys in their best cowboy hat, ladies in little dresses and folks that look like the regular at your neighborhood bar. And it was Ryan Bingham who brought them all together.
"Tallahassee" means "old town" in Apalachee; it's the right name for a band that understands what small-town dreams, work and disasters, large and minute, mean for this strange place we call America. The sound of "Old Brown Shoes" is classic, electrified Americana, sure to appeal to fans of Son Volt and Crazy Horse.
Cold Satellite is a rock 'n' roll band, steeped (as rock 'n' roll should be) in country and blues. But most importantly, the music shoots up from the inspired partnership of frontman Jeffrey Foucault and poet Lisa Olstein. The song "Sleepers Wake," from the group's second album, tracks a wide orbit of sound and meaning.
With the soul of a rockabilly, the guitar chops of heroes like Scotty Moore and the lyrical skills of a country master, Marshall Chapman remains one of the most respected talents in Nashville (and beyond).
Jonny Fritz was in full character, as is normal for him, as he took the stage. Fiddle player Joshua Hedley exploded on stage with multiple solos that kept the crowd listening. These two performers shine a new light to country music.
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.