Saturday, November 4, 2017

Bandcamp Bonanza – Music City

Nashville undoubtedly is known for its music. Having such a rich history dating back into the 1800s the city was basically built on music from its beginning. Country music seems to be generally the focus of mainstream appeal to Nashville although beneath the surface the city has a lot more to offer. I have never been to Nashville, although on my bucket list, so I am not going to bore you with a history lesson. With nicknames such as “Music City” and “The Songwriting Capital of The World”, Nashville may very well be the most connected city in America to music. In the recent days here at bandcamp I have randomly noticed several amazing albums that all call Nashville home. Although Country Music is the mainstay of Nashville, there is a thriving rock and roll scene exploding from within the underground. Bands such as Howling Giant and All Them Witches, who we’ve raved about here before set the precedence to what is possible outside the mainstream Nashville discussion. There is somewhat of a diverse concoction of music I’ve noticed about the Nashville scene, especially in the heavier rock meets psych scene. That said, I’ve included a few recent discoveries lately all calling Music City their home and it shows.

Lee Ann Womack
Having discussed the fact that Nashville is home to more than just country music I’m starting off with god damn country music. Lee Ann Womack is no stranger to the Nashville scene. In fact she was mainstream for quite a while and I remember her name from when I was still living with my parents and hearing her on the country radio station. Since then she has grown up a bit and while enjoying and appreciating her successes in the spotlight, she realized that the popular side of the fence had its drawbacks. This is her second album gone solo so to speak and it’s a great modern country album with integrity, which is often what is lacking in the commercial arena. Read the story on bandcamp for an idea. I bought the 2LP vinyl blindly going out on a limb, which paid off big time.

Lahire – Faded West
I stumbled upon this one from a guy I follow on bandcamp randomly checking the feed. The one song available was remarkable as was the description of the band on the page. I had to hear more. After visiting the website I decided to order the CD directly from the artist and then commenced to get in contact via email where we discussed his bandcamp presence and the need to turn the album off of Pre-order status so the fans could stream it. Since then a few people have purchased the album who are also on my followers list, so they no doubt saw the album in my collection on the feed and decided to purchase. That’s how it works folks. This one is great and for fans of the darker more rock oriented Americana of the likes of Jason Isbell, Bruce Springsteen, Ryan Adams and Lucero. It’s a very well-constructed album that has limited filler and flows very nicely. I dig it.

Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line – Champion
I found this one on another site I visit from time to time and the first thing I do is copy and paste the band into the bandcamp search engine to see if they are on bandcamp. Boom, Norah Jane was here and I fell in love instantly with her somber, yet hopeful mixture of classic country meets bluesy and Americana meets dark folk. At 13 songs in length there is sure to be a song or two that really strikes gold for any fan of the genre. It’s a very pleasant listen with dark moody songs as well as happy go lucky songs. Great songwriting, and fantastic orchestration of music. This needs to be on vinyl.

Year of October – Trouble Comes
Found these guys from a friend’s recommendation on facebook. The tag of being from Nashville and shared in a group of folks who are into hard rock and roll has become somewhat enticing for myself in recent years. It’s funny that this weird enigma of styles seems to bring a refreshing sound to the table. Year of October contains both elements that the hardcore heavy rock underground fan would enjoy and a sultry pop swagger that should appeal to a more mainstream/indie rock crowd. I like bands that can pull from both sides. The singer is definitely a highlight on this one.

Sky Temple Blues – Vanilla Dome
I think I’ve shared my love for these guys before on here, but my memory is going to shit. Anyway, another Nashville based rock/pop/blues/psychedelic hybrid of sorts, Sky Temple Blues brings us a pop-tinged psychedelic blues rock that blends equal parts progressive hooks to eclectic pop rock. Here’s what I said about their self titled EP released a couple years ago that still holds up.
Agile psychedelic stoner pop akin to the masters of classic 70's Rock jammed with arcane riffs mimicking a modern Woodstock in the spirit of Nashvillian Blues. A Walk in the Dark lights a fire so hot you'll be peddling laps into a tie-dyed western sunrise.Favorite track: A Walk in the Dark.

This are just a small sample of what is going on outside the Grand Ole Opry and in my opinion a statement of what a music town’s impact has on the variety of great bands thriving just beneath the surface. I can’t wait to get to the city someday and experience what Music City has to offer. Until then, camp out in the Grand Ole Bandcamp site. You never know what will pop up next.

-The Huntsman

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