Sarah McCulloch – “Half crazy”
-It’s rare to hear a sound that feels so old school that you look to see if it’s a cover. I did that with this track from Sarah McCulloch. There’s a lonesomeness to the mix and vocal here that makes you feel like you’re the last one in the honky tonk a little too late at night. The lead vocal here expresses the heartbreak beautifully. The mix with the steel guitar and piano, especially, is really well done. This is vintage country music done right. You’d have to be half crazy not to enjoy this one.
The Reneaus – “Palm of my hand”
-I can’t quite decide if this is folk or roots country; thankfully, whatever it is, we can call it Americana and enjoy it. This track feels like something that might have come from Laurel Canyon in the 60s. There’s a glow and energy to the electric guitars that captures that mid-20th century energy well. That said, the expressive vocal style here feels like something really special. Some of the chord changes feel almost psychedelic. This is clearly the work of an accomplished songwriter and composer. Give it a spin and see what you think; it’s a standout track for sure.
Silver Lining – “Your everything”
-When I first clicked play on this song, I thought the story was the steel guitar. It sings out beautifully in the opening. Then the lead vocal entered the track and I thought, “oh, ok, this is the best part.” But then the rest of the vocalists entered and I thought “this is majestic.” So yeah, this song is ALL good from each part and I no longer have a favorite. What I find particularly special here is that the harmonies clearly have a foot in the “old time” camp, yet some elements of the instrumentation and production feel a bit more modern. I can’t quite put my finger on how that is accomplished here, but the mix of old time and modern really makes the track feel like its own unique musical contribution. This is an amazing piece of Americana music.