And on we go...
Just in case you joined us late, we are looking back on some of our favorite music from 2013, and doing it as only Ear to the Ground would... I created a Playlist with favorites released in 2013. 2013 was a great year for music. Many of your favorite E2TG artists released new music this year, some new favorites were "discovered", and there was even some notable releases from artists you frequently read about on those "Brand X" music blogs. All of those and maybe even more are included in the Playlist. We've been shuffling through that playlist all week, and we will continue until the end of the year (and maybe a day or two more).
Let's get to it, and see what Mr. Shuffle has brought up today... shall we?
"Open the Door" (Magnapop cover) by Tim Lee 3
"Play With Your Toys Pt. II" by The End Men
"Ankle Biters" by The Great American Novel
"Save Me a Seat" by Killing Kuddles
"Rain On" by The Blind Owl Band
"Silver" by Lys Guillorn
"Stockholm" by Jason Isbell
"Dance the Tango" by Marla Mase
"KidGrownUp" by Christian Robins (feat. JD) (Prod. G Money)
"Ain't No Grave" by Black Jake and the Carnies
"Just Two Old Friends" by EdTang
"Rhythm Doctor" by Mark Robinson (from Have Axe - Will Groove)
"Any Day Now" by Tim Lee 3 (from Devil's Rope)
"Loose Kites in Harbor" by Skeletons in the Piano (from Please Don't Die)
"Crow Till We Croak" by EdTang (from Goodbye, Zen5, Sushi Dinner)
"Maliced Hearts" by Mr. Kind (from Mr. Kind)
I claim 2013 as a victory because I got to know Tim and Susan of Tim Lee 3. Whether you are interested in Bassett Hound Rescue, BBQ, or just some awesome tunes, they are your source. When I heard their 2013 album Devil's Rope, I honestly didn't know much about them - other than that they were from Knoxville, Tennessee and participated in CXCW. Devil's Rope seemed like this near perfect distillation of all the music I love tied up in a unique and original sound. Turns out, the heart of the band has direct links to many of the people who I grew up listening to in my smaller market eastern middle Tennessee youth. I had the great chance to meet them in October and see them play an all-to rare Nashville show.
The album Play With Your Toys by The End Men of Brooklyn contains two instrumentals which true to the titles demonstrates the great things that can happen when talented people play.
His name is Elwood and he performs under the moniker Killing Kuddles. If that alone doesn't get your attention, then give a listen to his music. ""He brings a grungy, punk spirit to a folk troubadours' heart (or maybe it's the other way around)." Some genius music blogger said that. He released Odd Man Out this year, and it was one of my favorites of 2013 - which is why it's represented here. Duh!
The Blind Owl Band play contemporary music on traditional instruments, and the result is well... nothing short of greatness. In my dream E2TG Festival, these guys will play back to back to back sets with The Imperial Rooster and Black Jake and the Carnies.
Lys Guillorn came to our attention via The Grimm Generation for which she often plays. This year, she released her first solo album in a decade. The wait was worth it. Winged Victory is flawless music that twangs and twists in all the right places. It's pretty much unlike anything we've heard, and I hope more and more people will check it out.
Ex-Drive-by-Truckers (which is now more of a trivia item than a necessary introduction) Jason Isbell just keeps making great albums that push the American/Folk/Alt-Country/Country labels forward. He doesn't need any help from me, but hey, I love listening to his music, and in case you haven't heard him....
I'm not sure what most people will think when a 40 something white guy from Tennessee tells them to listen to a 20 year old Hip-Hop/Rapper/Poet from the Midwest that he heard about from another 40 something white guy who grew up in the same Tennessee town. I just hope they listen. By the way, neither of us are anywhere close to typical 40 something white guys from Tennessee. Also, Christian Robins is not any close to a typical Mid-West Hip-Hop artist. He dropped his debut KidGrownUp this year.
EdTang is from Asbury Park, New Jersey. He dropped one of the most interestingly titled albums of the year, Goodbye, Zen 5, Sushi Dinner. I don't know what that means, but the album is filled with some of the best folk/Americanaish rock, I've heard. The songs are amazing.
So, can I confess something, I don't really know much about the Blues. I've listened to a lot of the greats of the early to mid 20th Century, and several bands we regularly feature have a strong foundation in the Blues. I've heard a lot of Blues music that really didn't do anything for me. So, when I was asked to give a listen to Mark Robinson's new album, I was worried that it would be really good Blues music, but that I just wouldn't get it. Boy, talk about unfounded fears. I'll leave it to the true Blues aficionados to explain why they love Mark Robinson (and judging my many, many awards and accolades they do love him), and I will just speak from the heart as a music fan. Oh my God this is incredible stuff. I mean, I could listen to him play guitar for hours, and being a non-musician that is saying something. Robinson is a prominent Nashville musician, and he recruits some amazing players for his second solo album. The only thing I'm left wondering is how did I miss out on this guy until 2013?
Besides their team-up cover EP, Mr. Kind also dropped an EP of original songs in 2013 which are notable for pushing the band's sound forward and for the heretofore (at least from my perspective) clean-up Brian Bergeron singing about heavy drinking and even dropping an f-bomb as he does on the EP opening song which we feature today. Well played, Mr. Bergeron, well played.
*A Video playlist featuring many of our 2013 favorites plus a few related videos. The second day, I moved the newer songs to the top, but then I got lazy so the newer songs are at the end of the list