Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!
The 1st Annual E2TG Awards (The Earies) continues... Today's award ended in a tie (expect several to end up this way). Today's award is "The Better Late Than Never Award" (aka "The Anti-Hipster Award".
About the Award: As a respected music blogger (ahem!) and journalist (ahem!), I do pride myself on "discovering" new artists early on in their careers. However, I also recognize that there is (and has been) a ton of great music out there, and that I went through periods where life and all kept me from being on the cutting edge like I am today (ahem!). I also remember the days of trying to outdo people by claiming to have been a fan of (some band or artist) since before they had even played their first show or whatever. So, these days, when I "discover" music that is new to me or that I have been aware of but not really checked out thoroughly, I just proudly admit that fact and move on.
The two winners of this award are both Nashville artists who released albums prior to 2015, but that I did not get my grubby little hands on until this year. Do I wish I had heard the heard the music sooner? Sure, it's good stuff, which is why I am handing out the awards (again, no actual trophies will be exchanged).
Winner #1: Paul Zografi - Bright (Released 10/2014)
I met Paul at Bobby's Idle Hour through Tim Carroll which is when I copy a copy of this album which I fell in love with. Found out he shares at least one band member with Joe Nolan who was also playing at Bobby's that night. Zografi's music has clarity and understatement and really good songs.
Winner #2: Richie Owens and the Farm Bureau - Tennessee (Released May 2014)
There was a even longer interval between the release of this album and my getting hold of it, and in this case, I really don't have a good excuse. I first saw Richie Owens and the Farm Bureau late in 2014 at Rocking Roots Guitar Showcase during Americana week. (I have been a fan of Richie's music for over 30 years). I have been fortunate to see them live on a number of occasions since then, but I didn't get a hold of the album until a chance encounter with Farm Bureau bassist John Reed downtown over the summer. The album offers a rootsy, rocking history of the Volunteer State through familial and public stories that span the state. Owen's besides being an amazing instrumentalist and songwriter, is able to provide an authentic and honest voice to the stories. Plus, he has more first hand stories of the beginnings of Nashville's independent music "scene" than just about anybody I know.
Congratulations to the winners! More to Come....
"Die Traurige Grammel" by Balu and Die Surfgrammeln
So, I was thinking to myself... Joe, I asked myself, "have we ever had Viennese Surf Music is the shuffle?" And, not knowing the answer or having any willingness to comb the archives to be sure, I decided to play some just to be sure. So, now we have! This is from that Continental Magazine sampler of Surf and Instrumental Rock music. For some reason the name of the band was misspelled in my music play which made it a challenge to find the video, but I did.
"Burning Fires" by Nellie Clay
Nellie Clay is a part of the loose collective known as Campfire Propaganda. She came to Nashville by way of Alaska, but at her heart she is a red dirt girl from Oklahoma. This is real deal Country Music with authentic drawl and twang. The song tells a heart breaking tale so beautifully that it actually warms your heart like the burning fires.
"Florida Man" by Aaron Lee Tasjan
I don't know if ALT is an official member of Campfire Propaganda (or if there is such a thing), but I would think he is at least an honorary member, and one of the brightest spots on the East Nashville music scene. Besides his obvious talents as a guitarist and songwriter, he is also a tireless champion of other artists and really a very nice guy. His new album, In the Blazes is rightfully getting some amazing coverage. "Florida Man" received a nice write up from Rolling Stone. The song offers a bit of comfort to the state which has received much negative attention due to the actions of some of its residents, but which has made some amazing contributions, too.
"Tailspin" (Live) by The Jayhawks
Noisetrade recently released a live album by alt-country pioneers The Jayhawks. This is a track from the band's 2003 album Rainy Day Music.
"Skalle" by Smokey the Firebear
Another very brief track from Smokey the Firebear. ("Remember kids, only you can start forest fires!" ????) Skalle (according to my haphazard internet search can either mean "headbutt", "roach", "peel, flake", or "skull"). This 30 second track is included on the BNGFKR which was released back in May. The album is a collage of sounds and noises and stuff. By the way, a limited edition CD version of the album is available on Bandcamp (only six remain!) for $420.00. I ended up posting video of the defunct band, Circus Propaganda of which Cade Williams (Smokey the Firebear was a member)."Don't Own the Right" by Uncle Lucius
During the middle of a very crazy American Week this year, I got to hang out for a few hours in a small Artist Co-op building in East Nashville (the "Purple Building"), and I saw and heard some incredibly great music including a performance by Uncle Lucius from Austin, Texas. Really like this song a bunch. The song is from the band's most recent album, The Light.
"Fiat 500" by Discount Ravioli
From the late night July 4 (early morning July 5) outdoor tent session recordings... the opening track from the album, Robin Schultz and the 21 Prayers. Unfortunately, I could not find a Discount Ravioli videos on You Tube, so I posted instead a Neutral Milk Hotel cover by at least one or so of the people involved here. Appropriate because this track name drops, Jeff Mangrum.
"Hittin' Where It Hurts" by Webb Wilder
The opening track of Webb Wilder's Hybrid Vigor. The video performance is from the short lived Pat Sajak show. Sajak got his start in Nashville television and Wilder is a long time fixture on the Nashville music scene. Coincidently, Facebook showed me that a year ago or so, I saw Webb- solo in the round with David Olney and Kevin Gordon - that was quite a lineup!
"We Have No Problems" by The Unravelling
Another track from the experimental Metal band from Canada - from their record, Tear a Hole in the Collective Vision.
"Smile" (Live) by The Jayhawks
And we close out today's shuffle with another track from that Jayhawks' Live album (via Noisetrade). This song was the title track from the band's 2000 album.