Search Results for "Folk"

Album Review: Vandoliers – “Forever”

An awful lot of material finds its way into my inbox on a fairly regular basis, and I truthfully don’t engage with a lot of it, either because nothing grabs me in the press kit, or because it’s wildly outside my area of interest (who knew Skrillex was still around?!?). Though a lot of what the Bloodshot Records roster has to offer doesn’t make it to the pages of Dying Scene (much to my chagrin), I’ve always been a fan of the vast majority of their lineup, so of course I fired up the new Vandoliers album, Forever. Even a cursory look at the album cover and tracklist while waiting for the album to load didn’t exactly instill the warmest of fuzzies that we weren’t in for another outlaw-country-punk-by-numbers offering; train tracks? Check. Songs about raising hell? Check (“Troublemaker”). Song about traveling? Check (“Miles And Miles”). Songs about being no good/down on one’s luck/drunk? Check (“Fallen Again,” “Bottom Dollar Boy,” “Nowhere Fast”). song about something that sounds like it’s a reference to a southern thing that a New Englander such as myself might not understand? Check (“Shoshone Rose”).

And so here, my friends, is a quick lesson in why you don’t judge a proverbial book by its cover or whatever. Forever is a damn fine album that further blurs whatever dividing lines are left between punk and Americana and outlaw country while injecting its own uniquely Texas flavor. As fate would have it, I fired up this album and Lenny Lashley’s newest album both for the first time on the same day, and couldn’t help but think that the Vandoliers might be where Lashley landed musically if he’d grown up in El Paso, TX, instead of the greater Boston area. The fiddle riff that kicks off album opener “Miles And Miles” instantly transports the listener to a place that maybe doesn’t exist on a map, and is maybe more of an idea than a tangible place. The double-time drums and feedback build up of “Troublemaker” evoke a modern, rambling Johnny Cash sound before the mariachi-style horns kick in and bring the song in a different direction. Where a band like Mariachi El Bronx will use the horns in a traditional style, songs like “Fallen Again” or “All On Black” find Vandoliers incorporating them in a way that adds extra, unique texture and depth to their cowpunk sound, sort of the way a band like Dropkick Murphys will incorporate bagpipes or Flogging Molly will weave accordion into a punk song without making them sound like traditional jigs and reels. The former of those tracks, “Fallen Again,” with its guttural, singalong chorus that imagines what might have been had Lucero been a little more Texas than Tennessee, has quickly become one of my favorite songs of the year.

So cast aside whatever you may have in the way of aspersions, my friends, and check out the new Vandoliers album, which is remarkably their third full-length in four years. I know it’s due out in February, but this album just begs to be played and sung along to at full-volume on the open summer roads. Forever is due out this Friday (February 22nd) on Bloodshot, and you can – and should – still pick it up here.

Rating: 4/5 stars



DS Photo Set: Sarah Shook and the Disarmers with National Reserve, Boston, MA

North Carolina-based outlaw country badass Sarah Shook brought her latest and greatest project, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, through Boston last Friday on the tail end of their recent cross-country jaunt. The dimly-lit, cash only Great Scott is one of the last of a dying breed in Boston, and served as a perfect setting for the no-frills, no-bullshit Disarmers as they ripped through two-dozen songs, an impressive feat for a band that’s got two full-lengths under their collective belt buckles.

It took the band, centered around Shook and her lead guitarist and longtime collaborator Eric Peterson a few songs to hit their stride on this particular night, perhaps in part due to an audience that was present and focused but not overly engaged or providing the band a solid energy off of which to feed. By the time they hit the gutter punk anthem “Fuck Up” as the fourth song in the set, Shook’s trademark whiskey-soaked voice was out in full twang, and the older-than-average crowd began to show signs of life. Shook’s catalog is chock-full of the kind of lost or unrequited love songs and relationship failures that defined the early career of a band like Lucero; it’s only a matter of time before their live show does the same.

Support on this run came from The National Reserve, a four-piece Americana rock band that somehow hail from Brooklyn in the 2010’s and not Laurel Canyon sometime in the 1970s. There’s a real soulful vibe to the band’s live show, punctuated by frontman Sean Walsh’s velvetty smooth voice and lead guitarist Jon LaDeau’s near virtuoso style leads.

Head below to check out our full photo rundown. Sarah Shook and the Disarmers are touring in support of their latest release, 2018’s Years (Bloodshot Records), while The National Reserve are supporting their 2018 debut, Motel La Grange (Ramseur Records).



DS Photo Galley: A Messy, Fun Evening with Ben Nichols and Chris Batten at Crossroads in Garwood, NJ

Just about exactly a year ago, inimitable Lucero frontman Ben Nichols played a one-off date at Crossroads in Garwood, New Jersey, the Andy Diamond-booked club that’s located kinda near everything but not really NEAR anything in the north central part of the Garden State. It wasn’t part of a bigger tour, like Nichols and his pal Oliver Peck‘s occasional Bikeriders combined music and tattoo tour. It seemed a bit random, really, but as can be expected, the 250-ish capacity venue sold out pretty quickly and made for, as chronicled here by yours truly, a pretty special evening.

It was so special, in fact, that Nichols made a return trip this past Saturday, this time as the second night of a two-day solo “tour” that featured a show in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the previous night. Support on this night came from local singer/songwriter Chris Batten and his trusty sidekick Nick Guido, who more regularly appear together in the Chris Batten & The Woods project. The result was another sold-out, whiskey-fueled barn-burner of a show that should all but solidify Nichols’makes an annual stop going forward at what’s become one of my favorite venues to visit.

Accompanied solely by his trusty workhorse Martin acoustic, a not-quite-full fifth of Bulleit Bourbon whiskey, and a literal Home Depot five-gallon bucket filled with ice appropriately adorned with “Let’s Do This” in big, bold letters on the side, Nichols took the stage at shortly after ten p.m. and proceeded to take the crowd on a winding, humorous, occasionally powerful, occasionally sloppy, always enjoyable set over the course of just about the next two-and-a-half hours. “Can’t You Hear Them Howl,” from Lucero’s 2015 album All A Man Should Do kicked things off, complete with audience-provided howling wolf sounds in the choruses. Audience participation proved to be a running theme throughout the show, as a good-natured Nichols was bombarded with a constant stream of requests for the duration of the evening, doing his best piece together some semblance of a “setlist” that balanced A) songs people wanted to hear and B) songs he could remember; the latter of which proved to be a bit challenging as the whiskey continued to flow.

In total, there were somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty-seven songs that were at least started, spanning all points of Nichols’s career, including “Crystal Blue,” which dates back to his pre-Lucero days in the band Old Lucky Sun. Nichols repeatedly commented on the crowd’s seemingly endless knowledge of the deeper tracks in the Lucero catalog, and he responded by pulling out such tracks as “Hold Me Close,” “Mine Tonight,” “Hello Sadness,” and the solo tracks “Davy Brown” and “Chambers.” There’s been a lot of references to family throughout Nichols’s songwriting career, though that theme has never been more prevalent than it was on Lucero’s most recent album, last year’s stellar Among The Ghosts. To that end, well-worn favorites like “Mom” and “The War” and “Raising Hell” made appearances in this set, as did more recent tracks like “To My Dearest Wife” and “Loving” and “Hello My Name Is Izzy.” The former two tracks were inspired by his wife while the latter is an ode to their two-and-a-half year-old daughter, and the tracks were made particularly poignant by the fact that Ben’s wife was in attendance at the show, while Izzy was asleep at a hotel down the road after hitting the bottle a little too hard in Lancaster the night before. Perhaps if he was playing with full band, some of the false-starts and wide-ranging stories told over the course of the evening wouldn’t have played quite so well, but in this intimate, stripped down setting, artist and crowd seemed to be in symbiotic union, and created a performance that really could have gone on a lot longer had potential curfews and, well, straight Kentucky bourbon not interjected.

Head below for more photos from the evening!

 



Ducking Punches announce UK acoustic tour with Harker and George Gadd

Norwich, UK based folk-punks Ducking Punches have announced some UK acoustic tour dates with Harker and George Gadd.

You can check out all the dates and locations below.

Ducking Punches is getting set to release their new album, Alamort, on February 16th via Xtra Mile.



EP Review: Dollar Signs – “I Need Some Space”

Dollar Signs, the Charlotte based folk-punk powerhouse, have released a short but very sweet EP of re-recorded tracks from their early days. I Need Some Space, released on January 18th, 2019, is only four tracks long, coming in at a tight less than 10 minutes, but is a little something anyone who hasn’t heard the band before should dive into.

Dollar Signs always bring this lively, humorous, and often painfully relatable energy and with I Need Some Space they just keep killing it. A mixture of pop-punk, the fun of ska, the melancholy of emo, all set to a depressive backdrop masked with a partying atmosphere. In a sonic sense Dollar Signs bring a pleasing sound, bringing new life to these old tracks. It’s hard not to bounce along to each and every track, even the slower more downbeat tracks have a decidedly Dollar Signs rhythm to them that makes them addictive.

It’s only four tracks, less than 10 minutes in all, but it’s a great way to dip a foot into Dollar Signs’ extended catalogue and check out some rad tunes from their earlier days. Whilst it’s only a new coat of paint to older tracks, it’s still good fun, and after the brilliance of their latest album This Will Haunt Me, going back to their earlier days to show they’ve always had a special something is a great feeling. The opening track, “Endless Bummer,” comes from an album of the same name released in 2012, which is perfectly within the era this EP takes place in.

The method of storytelling, literal representations mixed with harsh metaphor, and consistent references to drinking gives off a bit of a Wil Wagner/The Smith Street Band vibe. Though even with the connection, Dollar Signs have their own style, and manage to talk about relatively ridiculous events and use rather strange choices of words whilst still maintaining a very real and emotional vibe. “It’s not my party, but do you guys gotta do coke off the TV?” on “2011,” “That was the Summer, when I first got rocky mountain spotted fever,” on “Endless Bummer,” almost awkward lines with an almost awkward delivery which just add to the charm and appeal of the band.

With the leaps and bounds the band has taken over the year, and the growth the band’s music has undergone, it’s great to hear them up-scaling their old tracks. There are of course a few tracks I think would’ve fit perfectly on this little release and been an amazing experience to hear re-done from their past, such as “Come On Eileen, Seriously,” “Hikikomori,” or even “The Pizza Man Cometh,” but the four collected here are also perfect choices.

I Need Some Space is a delightful EP detailing the past of a delightful band. With last year marking the release of what could be Dollar Signs’ greatest album, revisiting some deeper cuts is a good refresher on their journey forward. You can listen to the EP below.



Jake and the Jellyfish release video for “Reading List”

Leeds UK punks Jake and the Jellyfish have released a video for “Reading List”. The track is taken from their 2018 album “Long In Winters”, the band’s third full length.

You can have a watch below.



Jake and the Jellyfish (Folk, UK) Stream Video for “Reading List”

UK folk punkers Jake and the Jellyfish have a new single out from their 2018 album, Long in Winters. The track chosen for individual release is titled “Reading List” and the group have put out a video for it. Despite the band’s folky reggae punk roots, their latest single will likely excite fans of mid-tempo melodic punk stuff like Flatliners.

Check out “Reading List” below.



Lucero announce full lineup for 2019 Family Block Party

Happy Lucero Day, Memphis!

It’s still a few months away, but Lucero have announced full details for the 2019 installment of their annual Family Block Party. It takes place outside Minglewood Hall in their hometown of Memphis on Saturday, April 13th. This year’s lineup includes Austin Lucas (one of our favorites), Ben Abney and the Hurts, Nashville’s Will Hoge and southern rockers Blackberry Smoke. Tickets went on sale today; grab ’em here. We traveled down from Boston last year — here’s proof — and trust us when we say the Family Block Party is a barn-burner of a time. We’ll see you there!

Lucero’s most recent album, the stellar Among The Ghosts, was released on Thirty Tigers last year.



Pinata Protest to play Beauty Bar (PRB)

Piñata Protest have announced they are returning to Punk Rock Bowling this year to play The Beauty Bar, along with Amigo the Devil, Bridge City Sinners and Louise Distras, all making their PRB debut for an intimate and rowdy folk punk gathering spectators won’t soon forget. Tickets go on sale Feb 23 on the PRB site.



Excuse Me Mister (Acoustic, Canada) Stream Cover of Millencolin Classic, “No Cigar”

Québec City acoustic duo Excuse Me Mister have covered one of the absolute staples of melodic punk rock. Their take on Millencolin’s “No Cigar” off the classic turn-of-the-century album Pennybridge Pioneers features just guitar, piano, and vocals, and is an emotion-stirring rendition of a track that is partly responsible for turning an entire generation onto punk rock.
Check out this beautifully re-imagined version of “No Cigar” over at Excuse Me Mister’s Facebook page now.

 

 



DS Exclusive: The Live Music Year In Pictures (Jay Stone)

Another year in the books, and while I scaled down the amount of shows I shot this year for a variety of reasons, it was still pretty awesome and eventful. The year started with a trip to Jersey to catch Jared Hart and a barn-burner of a Ben Nichols solo performance at the inimitable Crossroads venue booked by the equally inimitable Andy Diamond. There was also a trip to Connecticut to see Lucero and Jake LaBotz, a trip to Memphis for Lucero’s Family Block Party-slash-20th birthday celebration, another trip to Connecticut for the last installment of the Warped Tour (so, mostly, to see The Interrupters) and another trip back to Jersey for the Bouncing Souls‘ annual Stoked For The Summer throwdown that featured sets from Against Me!, Tim Barry, Titus Andronicus and Smoking Popes. Then there was a whirlwind Brooklyn trip to see Brian Fallon and Craig Finn. Oh, and there was another trip to Connecticut for a rager of a Bouncing Souls/Swingin Utters show. And a trip to New Hampshire for another Utters show. And a Frank Turner show in New Hampshire with Bad Cop/Bad Cop too.

Michael Kane

 

Oh The Humanity

Johnny Rioux (Street Dogs)

Rebuilder

But don’t think that means there was a lack of spectacular shows here on the homefront. There were stellar nights with Bundles and Birdwatching and Michael Kane & The Morning Afters and Art Thieves and Street Dogs and of course Rebuilder and of course Rebuilder again and Dan Webb and the Spiders a few times and Mint Green and Depressors and Oh The Humanity and KCUF and Weathered Friends.

Jared Hart and his better half, Casey

Ben Nichols

Trever and Dennis of Face To Face

Kayleigh Goldsworthy (Dave Hause)

National acts of all shapes and sizes came through the Boston area as well. Of course there was Lucero. And the same Brian Fallon/Craig Finn tour. And The Penske File. And The Lawrence Arms with Sincere Engineer and Red City Radio. And Fallon again. And Face To Face with Austin Lucas. And Dave Hause a couple times in a couple different formats. And another Frank Turner show. And Iron Chic. And Dead Bars. And Noi!se. And of course there was Pearl Jam at Fenway.

CJ Ramone

Bouncing Souls

Dave Hause crowd surfing during Frank Turner

Sincere Engineer

If you check this site out a lot, you’ll know I take a ton of pictures at most shows, and I try to present some of my favorite ones on a regular basis. Below, however, is a few dozen of my favorite pictures of the year. Some of them came out great, some of them came out less great but tell a cool story or evoke a great and personal memory. That’s ultimately, I guess, what I try to do when I’m shooting shows. Thanks for reading, and for looking, and for supporting the people and the venues that keep this thing chugging down the road.

Click on the individual pictures to see blow them up. Bring on 2019. -JMS-

 



DS Staff Picks: Jay Stone’s Favorite Albums of 2018 (w/Spotify playlist)

Hey boys and girls, Jay Stone checking in with yet another year-end list. I’m the dopey one on the left up there. Anywho, as is par for the course, I put way more than ten albums on my “top ten” list, because rules are for squares or whatever. I tend to have a tough time coming up with a definitive number one, but my choice here has occupied that spot for the last eight months and never really got knocked off. A lot of the top half of the list is almost interchangeable based on my current mood, and might have even changed in the time between when I typed this list and when I actually published it. There’s a pretty extensive (fifty-ish song) Spotify playlist that features at least a couple tracks from each of these releases, so check it out and maybe find some new music! Check it all out below!



Crash Nomada release music video for “Under en mörk europeisk himmel”

Swedish folk punks Crash Nomada have released a music video for their song “Under en mörk europeisk himmel,” which comes from their latest self-titled album that was released on November 9th.

You can check out the new album below.

Crash Nomada last released the single “Leih Ya Hamam” in 2017.



Divided Heaven (folk-punk) streaming new single “Generator”

Los Angeles based folk-punks Divided Heaven are streaming their new single “Generator”. All proceeds from the single will be donated to the LGBT Center. Drummer Nic Morreale says, “The Los Angeles LGBT Center is an incredible organization
providing health, advocacy, social, legal and housing services for hundreds of thousands of people in the LA area.
With the rising homelessness/cost of living in our hometown, as well as the disgusting attempt of the President to define
the Transgender community out of existence, we wanted–as a band–to raise awareness and money this holiday
season, and show our support. We stand in solidarity with the LGBT community and we encourage our fans, friends and
family to donate to the Los Angeles LGBT Center as well.”

You can check out the new single below.

Divided Heaven’s most recent release was Cold War, released earlier this year. To coincide with the new single, front man Jeff Berman will embark on solo tour dates in Germany and the North East in December. You can find those dates below.



Sincere Engineer shares video of Paul Simon cover

Chicago’s own, Sincere Engineer has shared a video of her cover of the Paul Simon classic “You Can Call Me Al”. Sincere Engineer does a great job of channeling her inner Paul Simon and this is a pretty awesome cover, if we could only get Paul Simon to cover “Corn Dog Sonnet No. 7”.

Check Sincere Engineers take on “You Can Call Me Al” below.