It’s a banner year for country rock, and here’s two reasons why.
SOULSAVERS- It’s Not How Far You Fall, It’s The Way You Land
I’ve never heard of them before, but apparently Rich Machin and Ian Glover are a well-known production
team from England who call themselves The Soulsavers. Whatever the original reason for the moniker, they earn it with, It’s Not How Far You Fall, It’s The Way You Land. Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens Of The Stone Age), who in my view has never quite found the perfect project to highlight his spooky, haggard vocals, signs on as the lead singer for this truly incredible album. It’s so good, I’m making an exception to my no-majors rule (it’s on Columbia Records). Lanegan co-wrote five of the tracks (one is a remake of his “Kingdoms of Rain” tune), and sings on covers like “Through My Sails” by Neil Young and an eight-minute “No Expectations” (Rolling Stones) that is nothing short of revelatory. Other great numbers include “Ghosts of You And Me,” a haunting lament, reminiscent of Nick Cave and Johnny Cash but with a little more energy; and “Paper Money,” which is gospel-rock’s answer to crunk: A creeping beat, lots of yelling and moaning, lyrics about bling (“Got paper money, give it you easy;” “Who’s your daddy?”) . . . I truly wish Lil’ Wayne would do a remix verse. And notwithstanding its similarity to “Knocking On Heaven’s Door,” “Revival” is a powerful single. “Blues Run the Game” makes better use of Lanegan’s talents than just about anything I’ve ever heard . . . Every track here is a winner.
There’s no reason to miss Robbie Robertson and The Band anymore: Soulsavers are just as stirring, in a 21st Century kind of way.
No Expectations (Stones cover)-Soulsavers
THE DEADSTRING BROTHERS:
Now we turn to Silver Mountain, the new Deadstring Brothers record on Bloodshot. True cornerboysNgals will recall that I’ve mentioned this band many times over the years. Their first two albums are examples of how great this genre can be. Silver Mountain finds the band taking a right turn at Nashville, finding a much more country sound than before, and the change is a welcome one. Rather than trying to appease indie rock fans, the DBs have crafted a rootsier, gutsier project. As always, every song is a keeper, but I thought I’d mention one in particular. “Some Kind of User” is a long, bluesy grind somewhat like what you might expect from The
Black Keys, only with the Deadstring’s trademark excellent, passioned vocals, and a remarkable keyboard
line that weaves and tucks between the mournful guitar work at the long, crushing fadeout. Astounding.
Tour dates below. I’ll be there on the 21st, if anyone wants to say hi.
Silver Mountain. This song breaks me.
DEADSTRING BROTHERS FALL TOUR!
OCT 18 / Knoxville, TN / Barley’s Taproom
OCT 19 / Raleigh, NC / Hideaway BBQ
OCT 20 / Richmond, VA / Capital Ale House
OCT 21 / Arlington, VA / Iota Club and Café
OCT 25 / Morgantown, WV / 123 Pleasant Street