Saturday, June 16, 2018

Bandcamp Bonanza – 074

Today I’m dialing back the heavy rock just a tad and featuring albums a little more in line with our sentimental side. As you probably know, I am a big fan of country, blues, Americana, and anything with an ounce of soul. Bandcamp is loaded with this stuff as any other genre. Check out these beauties.

Leon III – Leon III
Already being a big-time fan of Wrinkle Neck Mules, I had to give this a listen when it popped up on my feed. The production is superb, the atmosphere is heroic, and the overall grit remains deep within the realm of modern music I admire very much. A bit alternative, hints of country, and rooted in rock with a progressive flair of emotion.

Robert Jon & The Wreck – Discography
Although I did just purchase the entire discography on vinyl from the bands webstore, I will feature the latest album here. The band plays a soothing blend of southern rock, soul and country that reminds me of my childhood listening to Don Henley and The Eagles. The 5-piece incorporates a healthy dose of the blues into their deep groove ridden jams. 2 guitars, Bass, Drums and Keys the band is complete and fires on all cylinders. Do yourself a favor and go check them out. All players are on point and the occilating vocal duties add to the complexity and variety of the music. This is damn fine stuff.

RhythmHawks – RhythmHawks
The RhythmHawks came to my attention as many albums do on bandcamp being I don’t fucking remember, but I loved what I heard. New Zealand is one of those regions where the music is not densely packed but the quality is high. These guys bring us a psychedelic garage-blues style of laid back punk rock. I myself need to spend some more time with this as each time I go back it sounds even more special. The raspy vocals and surf rock sensibility just put you in that summertime afternoon trance mindset staring out over the waves with not a care on your mind.

The Joe Strummer Foundation – Strummerville A Go-Go Compilation Series
I randomly grabbed this set of compilation albums after listening to a promotional single from a band called The Barstool Preachers who I happened to have a couple songs synced up to on my phone. A bandcamp search for them yielded a song contained on this particular compilation series, which turns out is a perfect summertime combo. There’s some rockabilly, punk, rock, ska, and variety of jams that scream summertime at the lake.

The Left Outsides – All That Remains
“The Left Outsides are: Mark Nicholas and Alison Cotton, a husband and wife duo based in London, England whose atmospheric, hypnotic songs echo Nico's icy European folk, pastoral psychedelia and chilly English fields at dawn.”
I ended up snagging the vinyl of this album after an up close listen on the red eye flight from New York City back to Reno, NV. Released on the cult label specializing in all things Psych and Vinyl, Cardinal Fuzz Records, the husband/wife duo with the help of friends have concocted an intricate listen both expansive and hypnotic. Its heavy, heartfelt and enigmatic in scope. A record that will appeal to those who prefer the finer things in life. This isn’t going to win any grammy awards, but in a perfect world it would take home grand prize. Let this one sink in and you’ll understand how magnificent of a listen it is.

Suicide Swans – La Jungla
These guys are from Toowoomba, Australia. That’s right, Toowoomba, who knew. Anyhow, like many bands from Austrailia they kick major ass. Here’s what they have to say about themselves, which I couldn’t summarize any better.
“Open the gates & stand clear Suicide Swans are an Australian band through constant live shows display the ragged glory andswagger of rock, laid back country & dashes of pop, that has seen the band grow into a live force they term cosmic country. Their live sound includes waves of keys, textures & a new found penchant for experimentation, tossing in a mix of country, rock and a hint of pop.”

Chuck Westmoreland – Long Winter Rodeo
Thanks to another sponsored ad on Facebook I was tipped off about this guy from Portland Oregon. The first review I read mentioned something about a similarity in songwriting and delivery to two of my all time favorites, Tom Petty and Jason Isbell. That alone makes this a mandatory listen. And although I haven’t sprung for the purchase yet, its lingering in my wishlist first in line for my next drop of the paypal button. I did listen first thing this morning and loved what I heard. This will definitely be getting a deeper dive soon. Until then if you’re into country tinged Americana rock, look no further as Chuck Westmoreland may be your new favorite find and vinyl is sold on bandcamp with unlimited streaming and digital download included as always.

American Aquarium – Things Change
Another item eagerly awaiting on deck in my bandcamp wishlist is this cult alt/country allstar

American Aquarium. I believe Things Change is their 3rd full length album 1st release on one of my favorite labels in this genre, New West Records. I think I featured BJ Barham’s solo outing on the feature some years back, whom is the lead singer and guitarist for the full band. Many of these Americana acts I am really into have full backing bands including keys, slide guitar, Fiddle, Accordion, and percussion which gives them the added flair and potential to sound big. This album is no let down. Another I would love to add on vinyl if I get the nerve to deplete my account further. This will surely be a highlight in the genre this year.

-The Huntsman

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