I’d say we’re all in need of some quality kitchen tunage after the debacle that is the grammies. It wasn’t all bad, Grohl’s acceptance speech may have been the greatest moment of the night, but minaj needs to be hit by a bus. A big bus, loaded with bombs like that one from Speed sans Keanu.
I’ve been back on the Amplified Art Open Mic circuit over the past weeks and have been venturing off my typical blues-funk path into some of the following album tracks. If anyone’s willing to sit thru 3 songs of mine and many far more talented artists stop by Amplified Art in City Market, Downtown Raleigh on Wednesday evenings.
The Rosebuds – Loud Planes Fly Low
The Rosebuds rekindled my love for local music back in 2007 after hearing them on 88.1 on my way to my first job. This Raleigh Duo has created some incredible albums and hauntingly beautiful songs over the years, but this latest album drips with emotion and stellar vocals. Ivan Howard takes center stage on the majority of the tracks, backed by his ex-wife and musical counterpart Kelly Crisp. Each track leads into the next, pouring over with gentle melodies, sustain, and endless reverb. The lyrics are transparent, seemingly anyways after reading a short bio on the couple, and each note of the backing strings or keys emphasizes the bittersweet resolve of their relationship. Notable tracks include “Limitless Arms”, “Second Bird of Paradise” and “Woods”. Stoked to see them play in Raleigh again soon.
Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash – Duets
I’m ashamed to admit it took until weeks ago for Megs and I to watch “Walk The Line.” Sacrilege, for sure, but what I did not expect was to fall helplessly back into classic country and bluegrass. Cash was a staple at Appalachian State University, peppered across every bumper sticker in Watauga county. However, the duets between Cash and his wife June were new to my ears and a welcome surprise. Between the witty banter, opposing decibels, and old-timey harmonies it’s hard not to dig these late tracks. My favorite track by far is the duets cover of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe”, along with “Help Me Make it Thru the Night” and “Jackson.”
Flat Duo Jets – Two Headed Cow
Ever wonder where Jack White got his swagger? Dexter Romweber is the answer. This hard rock, vibrato laden duo from Carrboro, NC of all places can throw down the filthiest of garage rock. Imagine blues mixed with punk vocals and Buddy Holly charm and you’re close, but the Duo Jets are unlike any others. Two Headed Cow is a recent compilation album with a collection of live, b-side and bootleg tracks. Notable tracks include “Mexicali Baby”, “Never No More” and “Golden Strings”, an indescribably brilliant song.
J Roddy Walston & The Business – Self Titled
I’ve seen J Roddy & the Business twice now, both times at Kings Barcade, and both times I left jacked and temporarily deaf. This Baltimore based band has taken the southern-rock waltz and created a fun, relevant sound a world apart from peers like Kings of Leon and the Avett Brothers. J Roddy, at the helm smashing away on his parlor piano, belts out clever, backwoods lyrics with a force beyond measure. Add some simple blues bass walks, ACDC-esque guitar licks, and the ring of well-worn cymbals and you’ll hear great tracks like “Don’t Break the Needle”, “Full Grown Man”, and “Brave Man’s Death.” If they’re ever in your town, buy tickets and bang your head to some freaking great tunes.