John Davey – “Summer Nightwind”
-When I first heard this track from John Davey, I couldn’t help but think of Andrew Combs. That’s high praise in these Americana circles. Everything from the guitar work to the vocal phrasing is at a high level on this track. The lyrics on this track tell an intriguing story, but it might be the electric guitar break in the middle of the song that is the high point. It’s definitely one for fans of emerging Americana artists.
Sam Eplin – “Head Hang Low”
-If you’re a fan of cool acoustic work and clever songwriting, settle in for a listen of Sam Eplin’s “Head Hang Low.” There’s a calming piano and a nice bit of fiddle work to set the mood, but it’s Eplin’s accessible and familiar sounding lead vocal that carries the track. The lyrics are encouraging, encouraging people to keep their heads up despite the setbacks of life. It’s a bright bit of optimism following a narrative folksy Americana style. It strikes me as a sad song that’s all about conjuring joy despite circumstances; if that’s not an anthem for 2023, I don’t know what is.
Admiral Radio – “Slow Lane”
-This track begins with a cool fiddle part that catches the listener’s ear, but then the vocal harmonies enter and the track takes on a unique flavor. The lyrical concept of “driving in the slow lane” because life is so good… wow, I love that. Personally, there’s a lot about this song that feels familiar and oddly personal. But what makes the song so wonderful is that it has these elements of classic bluegrass and country music, yet they are packaged in a more unique way than what we tend to hear. Fans of Nickel Creek and newgrass are going to find a lot to like about this one.
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