Like an improbable if not impossible cross between Hank Williams and Townes Van Zandt, "Going Down to the River" by Doug Seegers is absolutely classic country for a spirit-starved new age.
Ink's fifth annual Middle of the Map Fest returned to Westport and Midtown in Kansas City, Missouri from April 22-25.
Growing up in the Dakotas didn't offer many outlets for entertainment. But for East Side Slim the summer was when he could get his musical fix. AM radio stations would provide the music that would later propel him into a career of DJing.
Last year was a busy one in regards to American music, and who could be expected to hear all the fine releases let loose late in the year?
Shakey Graves (aka Alejandro Rose-Garcia) is a moniker that flirts with onomatopoeia; his name really does evoke his sound. An Austin, Texas solo performer born of troubadour campfires and often supported by a lone guitar, he's mastered the one-man band gittup, pounding out beats while he strums in an open G tuned especially for his bluesy style.
The celebratory, spiritual song "Lift Me Up" arises from Brooklyn, New York songwriter Jeremy Bass' personal desolation. Marriage over, house sold, money gone, future prospects dim, Bass did pretty much the only thing he could do: keep writing and making music.
Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland made their name together as Whitehorse by recording well-crafted, textured Americana. But nothing the Canadian duo has released could prepare listeners for the thundering, bluesy fuzz-rock of "Downtown."