Category Alt-country

THE COST OF A SONG: HONKY TONK HEARTBREAKER JAMES HAND DIES AT 67

Texas troubadour James Hand, a reverent Country & Western traditionalist whose music sounded beamed in from an earlier age of rodeos and radios — and who, later in life, enjoyed success and won a devoted following of fans, musicians, and critics — died early yesterday morning at a hospital in Waco, Texas, surrounded by his […]

FROM SCUD MOUNTAINS TO CHAPPAQUIDICK SKYLINES: The Geography Of Joe Pernice + Hick Rock With The Lonesome Bros

“I hate my life,” Joe Pernice confides with a strange, almost carnal tenderness. “Don’t be alarmed if someday soon you hear I’ve gone away.” Before the song’s over, he’ll change the “if” to “when”, and as the tune dissolves into the distance, Pernice sounds more certain than ever.

Leaving Traces and Circles Around The Sun: Farewell Neal Casal (1968-2019)

Neal Casal was a multi-tasking, multi-genre musical threat: a fine singer, composer, and detail-oriented storyteller; a fluid and lyrical lead player as well as bedrock-solid rhythm guitarist; and an unassuming personality who proved a versatile sideman and good-natured complement to the legends and stars in the spotlight.

A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock & Roll: Whiskeytown, Uncle Tupelo, and the Torched Twang of Americana

Despite its recent arrival as a charted radio format, Americana is nothing new. In fact, its very existence is predicated on the past. Rock & roll has always been an untidy bastard — rooted as much in outlaw country as it is in backporch blues or jukejoint R&B. Just listen to early Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Eddie Cochran, or Chuck Berry.

REGARDING THE END: Life, Death, and The Wondrous World of Robert Fisher’s Willard Grant Conspiracy

Robert Fisher’s Willard Grant Conspiracy conjure a mostly deserted world of long, lingering shadows where guys like Nick Cave and Mark Eitzel brood in a half-light that’s either salvation or damnation — a distinction that depends on whether you think being alone is solitude or isolation. A world where the songs thread through a musty room and gather there like settling smoke. Eventually, if you’re lucky, a cracked window swings open from the wind, bringing a new beam of sound and a fresh light with it to remind you that you’re alive.

THE OTHER “NEW YORK, NEW YORK”: Ryan Adams’ accidental anthem for a stricken city

Originally posted on RPM: Jonathan Perry's Life in Analog:
The cover of Ryan Adams’ second solo album, “Gold,” released Sept. 25, 2001. By tragic coincidence, the album’s lead single, “New York, New York,” dropped Sept. 11, 2001. The jarring image of an American Flag turned upside down on the album cover,  and the single…

SINGING SONGS ABOUT THE SOUTHLAND: The Drive-By Truckers Raise A Ruckus

“All these years and lineup changes later, the song of DBT’s improbable start remains the same. But like all good yarns, it’s a story that bears retelling, because it’s about fate and fortune and famine, and a terrific rock & roll band whose defining moment almost didn’t happen.”

SOUTHERN EXPOSURE: The Drive-By Truckers Roll From Darkness To Daylight And Hit The Road Behind A New Live Album

The band’s 2001 landmark, ‘Southern Rock Opera,’ caught on with a broad audience that included hipsters and college kids, aging classic rockers, and ordinary folks who loved the sound of loud electric guitars set to lyrics that meant something. Both album and band also fared far better in the North and West than the group’s home turf: “The South is our weakest region – I think it’s because it’s too close to home,” said bandleader Patterson Hood. “We’re singing about stuff that’s right down the street. And nobody wants to hear that.”

A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS: Listen As RPM: Life In Analog Spins The Sounds At Boston Free Radio!

A post meant as much for listening as reading: I want to give a shout-out and thanks to fellow music junkie and Boston Free Radio “Voices Of Time” host Alan Patterson for inviting “RPM ” (that would be me) to the Internet station’s Somerville studio  to spin (and chat about) a few of my favorite things a little […]

RPM (Special Hump Day Designation: Radio Perry Music) Goes Live On Boston Free Radio!

Hey everybody! Just a quick head’s up for anyone bored outta their skulls at school, home, or work (but with earbuds/headphones or out of earshot of their bosses) that Wednesday, March 25, between 3-5:30 p.m. “RPM”‘s Yours Truly will be returning as special guest on Host Alan Patterson’s “Voices Of Time” radio show, comin’ atcha and […]

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