Tag Archives: american songwriter

Listen/Download: THE MUSE July Sampler via American Songwriter

In October 2011, Words & Fire was in its infancy and I was on the lookout for new music. Thankfully, American Songwriter released their October Music Sampler and I found myself engaged with a new class of inspired folk and roll, the kind of music that would have Neil Young nodding his head in approval. The sampler included bands on the rise like PUJOL (read my review here), Shovels & Rope, and most notably, Alabama Shakes.

When I found out today that The Muse’s July Music Sampler was hot off the press and ready for download, I was nostalgic (it’s been almost 9 months since the W&F inception) and ecstatic about the prospect of another brilliantly hand-picked collection that includes the likes of Glen Hansard, Rhett Miller, and Diamond Rugs.

I have not listened to this playlist before posting so please take that as a sign of my confidence and not my laziness.

Let’s listen together and let me know what you think of it in the Comments section.


Preview – Shovels & Rope folk up Beat Kitchen on 3/25

I’m going to call it now. My biggest regret of 2012 might very well be having to miss Shovels & Rope open for Jonny Corndawg at Beat Kitchen on March 25th, but I can’t miss the opportunity (and I already bought tickets) to catch Andrew WK’s 10th anniversary of I Get Wet whilst sporting leather pants. I know Shovels & Rope will be back again but I cannot say the same for Mr. WK.

Shovels & Rope, a collaboration between married songwriters Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, put old country and indie folk in a blender—an edgier Whiskeytown might be a good comparison. They’ve got the banjo, the harmonica, the boot-stomping beats, and the beautiful drawl-laden vocals that make for great Southern music. I’m embarrassed to say I thought this was a new band but their self-titled album actually came out in 2008 and only recently made its way into my field of vision.  Thankfully, they are working on a follow-up album and I can’t wait to hear it. Stream the “Gasoline” MP3 below, a song I first posted as part of the October Music Sampler from American Songwriter.

I tolerate country music because I like women in cowboy hats and drinking and having fun. I do not “like” country music in its current form: a form wrought with trite lyrics, predictable musical formulas, and a distasteful amount of nationalistic rhetoric. Shovels & Rope represent what country/folk music should sound like. It’s music made for outlaws. They are not drinking on the “Lambda Chi porch” (à la Kenny Chesney); they are drinking in seedy hole-in-the-wall bars where bad men plan dark deeds.

This album is one of the most inspiring I’ve heard in a while and I offer you, fans of country music, this olive branch of peace. Enjoy the streaming video of them playing “Boxcar” at a distillery in Nashville below and definitely purchase tickets to their show HERE.


The War On Drugs- 12/7@Lincoln Hall

Chicago’s own Lincoln Hall welcomes The War On Drugs tonight, a band I first sampled on the October Music Sampler put out by American Songwriter a few months back. The band, who sound kind of like a dreamier and more guitar-based version of [insert solid dance pop outfit here], have been on fire as of late after taking Pitchfork’s coveted Best New Music accolade with their LP Slave Ambient. The dense, multilayer guitar sound makes the album feel like the soundtrack to a sleepwalk or some other type of disorienting experience especially with the presence of multiple instrumental tracks but it still cranks up the energy on occasion to snap you out of that dreamy state and ask you to dance.

Check out “Baby Missiles” below.

The War On Drugs is supported by Arc in Round. Buy tickets at the Lincoln Hall website.


American Songwriter- October Music Sampler

American Songwriter put out their October Music Sampler about two weeks ago and it found its way into my periphery this morning. The sampler includes bands such as Alabama Shakes, Deer Tick, Pujol, and The War On Drugs.

This is a play list for a party where blue jeans are standard issue, a campfire is always appreciated, and there’s always another bottle of whiskey in someone’s trunk. These are the bands for those who dream of a Kerouacian America in the 21st century.

Not only can you stream the album below, but you can download the album for free on the site.


© 2011-2014 Words and Fire All Rights Reserved -- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright

Switch to our mobile site