Lucinda Belle – “Where have all the good men gone?”
-If jazzy Americana anthems are your thing, you need to sit down with a dry martini and listen to Lucinda Belle. The vocal here is absolutely world class. Then the rest of the band keeps things swinging with a really cool sound. Fans of Postmodern Jukebox and the whole swing revival will get a kick out of this one. It begs to be used in a film score, too. It’s a hit!
Itto – “What We Do” (Acoustic)
-This is what modern folk music is all about. The guitar work is on point and the vocals are really solid. When it all comes together, complete with hand claps and a robust main melody, you can’t help but join in on the energy. I can picture this track being the theme song for an adventure with friends. It’s about going at life together. The vocals though… dude.
David Davis – “Ordinary Day”
-Just listen to the crisp, soulful vocals of David Davis. You can’t help but “feel the struggle” that he expresses. Some listeners will miss the meaning of this song which is far more structural than it might seem. This is not about one person having a bad day. This is about people as a people struggling with structural inequalities and oppression. The dream of “people loving people just because” is both gospel and a social justice vision that we should all embrace. I LOVE this one.
Short in the Sleeve – “Emily”
-So this is a folk rock tune that easily fits in Americana… basically it is in every category that we cover at ETTG. It’s really interesting, at times feeling a bit like Blues Traveller, other times like Tom Petty. No matter what you call it, though, Short in the Sleeve capture a timeless rock sound. The “would still do it all again” lyric is one that many of us would give a hearty “amen” based on our own struggle-filled but still-worth-it lives.
San Fernando Ramblers – “Get Up”
-Honestly this is one of the most exciting pop tracks I’ve heard all year. So why is it on this Americana playlist? Well, it’s complicated. Mostly, though, because this kind of fun loving party rock style is something that does sometimes fall within Americana. But also because I don’t want a track like this to get lost on a rock playlist. It gives a little spice to the middle of this playlist, too. What do you think? Are you ready to dance?
Jonas and Jane – “Don’t Cry for Me”
-Jonas and Jane make the kind of music that’s why I became a blogger, honestly. It’s sweet and endearing, much like Mandolin Orange. I want to lean in and listen closer, but also sit back and relax on the front porch with a good pull. It does both. It’s the kind of classic Americana folk style that keeps me coming back to writing about music. I am hoping to catch this duo live some day as they seem to have captured a beautiful organic harmony here.
The Little Miss – “Take Me, Too”
-There’s nothing I can say about this song to give it more impact. You just need to concentrate and listen to the words. Shhh. When you’re done admiring this incredible lead vocal and powerful lyricism (and wipe away tears from your eyes) you realize that it is about so many women that you know. The “I can’t hide from this” line is going to get you.
Copper Viper – “Hung Up Alone”
-It’s not every day that we find a bluegrass band with such authenticity, but here’s one in Copper Viper. Not only do we love the string and vocal work here, it’s also a really great band name. In a world of so many head-shakingly-bad names, this one is impressive. The violin steals the show on this track and we’re not even mad. The “conflict” at the heart of the track drips through as something that we can all connect with and the music keeps our toes tapping. It’s a keeper.
Lucas Laufen – “Dead Days”
-This is an inspiring and powerful folk song. Laufen’s acoustic work just rolls from one line to the next. The vocal lilts into a beautiful lead tenor in several moments. I can’t help but wonder more about the introspective head space of this song. It’s reflective but seems a bit universal, almost universally so. How can something so sad seem so transcendently true?
Life the Hunter – “All I Want to Do”
-Get yer hand clappers ready! This is a raucous but fun track with a lot of pop folk energy. The vocal blending steals the show for sure. This is the kind of folk that the Lumineers made super popular, but I could literally listen to this for hours. I appreciate the understated unison vocals that keep you from getting lulled to sleep; then the four (?) part harmony breaks off and we all become puddles of folk happiness. This is a great track!