Look – no one likes excuses. I have none. Sometimes there were “circumstances” that resulted in bands getting bumped down in coverage, but to these three bands I’d like to say SORRY. To make up for it… umm… we covered you! Yay?!
Opal Puckett – Self titled
This album came out an entire YEAR ago. We’re so not hipster we’re a year late on this band that should be trending. So harmonies, amiright? Seriously listen to the first track and tell me it’s not just a wonderful bit of vocal blending. It’s like somekind of CSNY-Partridge Family love child. Those would be funny looking kids, but boy would they be able to sing. Give Opal Puckett a spin. Despite my silly take on them, it’s a seriously successful and noteworthy debut EP.
Arlo McKinley and the Lonesome Sound – Self Titled
I will never see the phrase “Lonesome Sound” and not think of Vince Gill, so imagine my surprise to hear a vocalist (McKinley) who can hack it in the tenor range. Crisp, clear, and poignant in his delivery, McKinley’s music has the ethos of a country-meets-grunge feel. If I had to put money on it, I’d say he liked Nirvana growing up. It’s the kind of raw realness that comes through in track after track. It’s not quite right to call it “alt country” in the purest sense, but it’s sure not commercial country. This is country for the truckstop, not the dancefloor.
The Howlin’ Brothers – Trouble
This is a “shut up how do I not know about them?” good album. Bandcamp says they’re from Holland. Some of you may have heard them on NPR’s Folk Alley. But you know what they’re just an exceptionally talented band. Channelling what we might call “roots country” music with all the perfect parts – strings, vocals, and composition – they are a class act. One of the criticisms of country music is that “every song sounds the same” and you just won’t find that on this stellar album. Full of variety, entertainment, and heart, it’s an album you’ll enjoy on first listen and want to own.
Give these fine folks a few bucks for their efforts. More than street buskers, these are talented musicians making exceptional music. These are the kinds of bands we really want you to share from ETTG. They are not hitting the big time (yet), but we’re making the contention that maybe they ought to. Be a part of spreading something beautiful in the world. Thanks for reading and listening.