Five Americana Bands You Have to Hear to Believe
Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers – Ocooch Mountain Home
-Many bands attempt the “old timey” sound, but so few can do it well. Listeners will be shocked to hear that this is a 2015 album and not a 1915 album. It’s really got such a genuine old fashioned feel, they’d be the first band I’d recommend if the folks at Boardwalk Empire wanted a recommendation (and yes, I know that’s the 30s, not the teens). The accordion, the fiddle, and of course the harmonies all make this sweet little album really work. It’s the perfect album to start conversations and have on in the background for a gathering of friends. It’s endearing with still-hard-hitting themes about poverty, loss, and being brokenhearted. It’s a hit Americana album without a doubt.
Tough Old Bird – The Barn Sessions
-Matthew and Nathan Corrigan are Tough Old Bird. Appropriately, their latest album was recorded in an old barn. The sound is classic Americana. There’s some electrification there, but what makes the sound work is the sincerity of the vocals and the timeless quality of the lyrics. “Remember me well or don’t remember me at all,” the lead croons on the opening bluesy track. From harmonica to janglin’ guitars, it’s a perfectly American album. There are certainly elements of rock and country interlaced throughout an album that doesn’t have a decade or even a genre, but has a personality all its own. Oh and it’s a likeable personality!
Dara Sisterhen – Boom EP
-Some country artists get a pass on shtick alone; you know the types with all the glitz and glamour that allows us to accept them. Then there’s Dara Sisterhen, a vocal act that has instant credibility. She’s extraordinary talented and her “retro” feel comes honestly. This is not a novelty artist; this is a woman with confidence to record in a timeless style. Think of her more in the category of Andrew Combs and Sturgill Simpson than Carrie Underwood or Miranda Lambert. I mean that as a compliment. Listen to “Easy to Fool” and tell me this girl isn’t a winner. Legit talent. I can’t wait to hear more from her.
The Meadows Brothers – Won’t Be Troubled
-Remember that time you heard Justin Townes Earle and almost spilled your beer because you thought Townes Van Zandt was resurrected? Okay, just me. Well anyways, imagine that sound and proficiency was multiplied in the form of sibling harmony and pure attitude. That’s the Meadows Brothers. In point of fact, they deserve their own full review and post. They are extremely talented. They are personifications of the term “Americana,” showing a versatility with blues, country, and classic folk. There’s not a skip track on this whole fantastic album. It’s clever songwriting and brilliant Americana execution in spades.
Scrub Jays – The Twelve Hundred Custom EP
-From the opening harmonica riff through the first vocals on the album, the Scrub Jays are a real life Americana band. They just exude the kind of sass and substance that it takes to cover several styles in American music. The heavy beat on the album’s opener leads into a gentle, percussive and harmonic “Try Making Friends.” What I like most about the Scrub Jays is their uniqueness and overall likeability. They just seem like the kind of band that would be fun to chill with in the green room before the show and put on a fun, entertaining set. The witty style and tight harmonies make me less than surprised that the band is based in the great Pacific Northwest. Fitting.