Five Authentic Artists that will have you missing that country life
Andrew Adkins – Glass Castles
-The opening banjo and harmonica combination for Andrew Adkins’ album is enough to get you swinging. The more you listen to the album, you’ll hear all sorts of other countrified goodness. There’s a bit of traditional/roots music here, but also some mid-century big Nashville sound, too. It’s a perfect mix to make a versatile, enjoyable country flavored album. There’s something sort of hair raising about Adkins’ vocal style; he sometimes sounds like an alt rock singer more than anything out of the country world, but it all works to punctuate his raw, authentic style. If you only have time for one, check out “Jubilee (Land of the Free).”
The Matchsellers – Songs We Made Up
-The Matchsellers are a bluegrass outfit that will easily convince you that you’ve found an old fashioned album. There’s a “yee haw” flavor to what they do. From the opener “Betty Sue” through the swing of “The Gohlis Waltz” there’s a wide variety of bluegrass and roots stylings on the album. The toe tappers and the heart-wrenchers are all blended together for a top class bluegrass album. I find that the fiddle on this album is particularly solid compared to most bluegrass bands who highlight the mandolin a bit more. There’s a wide range of emotions to experience with this one, so if you can only check out one I recommend, “Dirt and Beard Hair,” for a lovely anti-society anthem.
The Grizly Hand – Flesh and Gold
-If male-female harmonies are your thing, you really have to hear the Grizly Hand. The duo packs a powerful punch that is a bit genre bending. Maybe some wouldn’t really consider their sound purely country (neither would I), but they definitely have strong influences from the root of country music. The contrasting styles of “Satan Ain’t Real” and “Brand New Bruise” show just how versatile this dynamic duo can be. It’s a fun and engaging album.
Jonas Friddle – Belle De Louisville
-Like the Kentucky city the boat was named after, this album drips with authenticity and charm. The lead Jonas Friddle is good, but so is the cast of characters he invited to this project. More than just the technical elements of the music that are on point, it’s obvious that this group of people have natural chemistry for making music. This album might be categorized as bluegrass, but it’s just real and raw music. It’s one of the finer examples of American roots music that I’ve heard in recent years. From Friddle’s own convincing twang to the gospel references sprinkled throughout the album, this is a treat. It’s impossible to pick a single favorite, so I’ll point you to “A String to a Bell” and “Belle de Louisville” to get you started; I guarantee you won’t stop there.
Violet Delancey – When the Clock Strikes Midnight
-Tried and true country twang with a steel guitar in the mix, what’s not to like about this album? One of my favorite elements of Delancey’s vocal is that subtle little quiver that comes through on longer notes. She’s more Kitty Wells than Carrie Underwood and that’s alright by me. Storytelling tracks like “Lost Along the Way” are perfectly country. This is an album for all the folks out there who think that country music is dead. If you grew up in the country or still live there, give this album a spin and you’ll find yourself missing that country life.