A storyteller in the tradition of Woody Guthrie or Bruce Springsteen, Otis Gibbs has released the new album "Souvenirs of a Misspent Youth," a collection of raw and honest tales of the common man and his trials and tribulations. His stories are clear, and he sings with such weathered emotion that you'll surely stop and listen to what he has to say.
I needed some of what singer-songwriter John Moreland would refer to as "God's Medicine" -- a night of literate, acoustic music, people and spectacle.
Here's my list of favorite albums and songs, from the singer-songwriter and Americana genres -- of the first half of 2014.
"Use me, make me suffer, hold me under till my grip unfolds…." These are not the typical words of a simple romantic song, let alone of a simple Friday night. In the imagination -- melodic and lyrical -- of Montreal-based songwriter Jesse Daniel Smith, however, they capture the beauty and terror that sometimes accompanies love.
As we hit the midpoint of another year, here are KDHX's top spins so far. These albums are time-tested 2014 releases that have excited our DJs over and over again.
Over years on the singer-songwriter circuit, Carrie Elkin and Danny Schmidt have built a musical friendship that they fulfill on their first duo record, "For Keeps," which leads off with the graceful, carefree "Two White Clouds." If this song wasn't made to welcome in the summer, no song could be.
"What's your favorite color?" Jessica Lea Mayfield asked the crowd, who responded with a chorus of polychrome. "If you put all those together," Mayfield smirked, "it looks like shit."
"Got a quiver full of fire and a head full of rain, and I've been clinging to the drifting air," begins Patrick Park's lyrically majestic and musically humble "My Holding Hand Is Empty." It's the kind of song that only a serious songwriter could write; that it's so well sung and performed just makes it all the more remarkable.
On "The Weight of It All," call-and-response vocals and a surging, guitar-lit chorus enrich the piano-based confessions of Newfoundland-born, Halifax, Canada-based singer-songwriter Kim Harris.