CJ Williams – “Running backwards”
-I was hooked on this song the first time I heard it. I like everything from the beat to the guitar work and of course the expressive vocal. The whole thing comes together for something that feels like it connects the past and the present in seamless fashion. There are little lyrical moments (like the one about throwing dice) that feel perfect for great Americana and then there are nice guitar riffs (like the bridge) that give it a gruff vibe, too. The balance is quintessential modern Americana and we’re happy to support it here.
Tommy Alexander – “Blues”
-This is a beautiful folksy Americana song about the blues. It’s about that feeling of sadness or depression when life gets too much. Something about Alexander’s sincerity in his vocal works perfect for this song. He sounds like a peaceful blend of Johnny Cash and John Prine. I mean that sincerely; his tone is more like Cash and his turns of phrase feel a little more like Prine. The end result is inspiring in its sadness and solemnity. It’s a great tune.
The Nation Mourns – “Laura”
-I always joke that songs with the name of woman are either a love song or a heartbreak song. There’s really no in between. Yet — I can’t quite decide if this is a love song or an inspirational song. It’s about a woman, sure, but it’s encouraging her to “come out of her shell.” It’s really quite cute as the heart of the narrative voice clearly wants Laura to be comfortable and open up. The acoustic fingerpicking is the star of the show, but the whole composition is really captivating. It’s a remarkable bit of folk Americana musicianship and performance.