Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Album Review: Samantha Fish - Kill Or Be Kind

Samantha Fish
Kill Or Be Kind
*** out of *****

In 2017 Samantha Fish explored two different avenues of her influences as Belle Of The West played with mostly acoustic country/roots/blues and Chills & Fever dove into rocking soul sound. Now her newest release Kill Or Be Kind, moves close to combining all of her varied influences into a thematic sound of her own that pushes into pop territory. 

The trials and tribulations of love are all over Kill Or Be Kind, as Fish worked with a variety of songwriters to move further away from the blues, but her strong playing and singing are still her strong foundation.

Tracks like "Try" and the title song prove her electric blues style is still in tact but it is newer sounds like The Beatles pop inspired ballads like "Fair-Weather" and "Dream Girl" which push Fish into a more mainstream sound. "She Don't Live Around Here" and the sultry "Dirty" both keep the electric organs and guitar solos but also successfully tests these same waters. 

A modern groove filters through the opening "Bulletproof" but the track seems to be yearning to be more dangerous. Along with "Watch It Die, both tracks while well written and performed, are understated and constrained by Scott Billington's production. A better pairing is the revved up soul horns and ripping solo on "Love Your Lies". Fish seems to be putting her lyrical stamp on tracks and the sexy "Love Letter" grooves and builds successfully to a rousing climax.

Closer "You Got It Bad" is a good example of Fish mindset on this record. On past albums a burner like this would have been blown out and extended with raging solos but every time it seems ready to explode through her powerful singing or playing it drops back down; the rawness of Fish's style has been tempered for more of a pop polished push on Kill Or Be Kind.

Fish is a blazing live performer who pours everything out onto the stage, her studio work is evolving and while not up to her live playing yet, there are lots of positive takeaways as Kill Or Be Kind is a successful step in her broadening career.
Support the artist, buy the record and peep some video:

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Album Review: Various Artists - Tiny Changes: A Celebration of Frightened Rabbit’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’

Various Artists
Tiny Changes: A Celebration of Frightened Rabbit’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’ 
** out of *****

Looking back at Glide's Top 50 Albums of the 2000's I am pretty impressed how well it holds up. Working with Shane from the site, we compiled the list and while both of our tastes focus more on the guitar/rock side of things, the list is pretty solid. Are there few albums we missed and would have liked to have swapped out looking back ten years removed? Of course. For cultural importance, Eminem's Marshall Mathers record should have been there (that's on me, I forgot it was recorded in 2000) and Kanye West's Late Registration or Graduation (or both) probably deserved more love. However, the one record that definitely should be on there is Frightened Rabbits The Midnight Organ Fight. It is one of the best albums of the decade and both of us just blanked on it. I think you can slip out Ween's White Pepper and put this directly in the 12th spot for a better list. 

Scott Hutchinson delivered such an intimate portrait of a relationship crumbling with this record it is amazing. He speaks to failing love in a thick Scottish accent but anyone around the world can relate. The music is odd, with instrumentation ranging all over the map and Hutchinson (who at this point was the main creative force in the band) poured his broken soul onto the album.

In general tribute albums tend to underwhelm. While they can make great concerts, and celebrations of the original material, the recordings rarely age well or make any legitimate enhancements on the originals. Tiny Changes: A Celebration of Frightened Rabbit’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’  has all of those same issues, but it has an extra weight as it was recorded before Scott Hutchinson took his life and while the album was just meant as a ten year celebration among friends, it has taken on added weight with his unexpected death.

That is unfair to the artists here as the record has some moments, but after a few songs you will just want to reach for the original, and on the off chance you haven't heard the original, stop reading and go do that.The original album is a masterclass in confessional songwriting about a relationship gone wrong. The song collected on this tribute record still sound great, but some are too much like the originals and some are experiments that just don't work overall.

The tunes worth hunting out are Wintersleeps "The Twist" with its tense guitars/beat,  Right On Dynamite's clanging/pounding "Fast Blood", Josh Ritter's bluegrass influenced "Old Old Fashioned" and Daughters haunting "Poke" is a powerful rendition of the fantastic tune. RtBE Favorite Craig Finn mixes upbeat folk rock with downer pianos doing his rendition of "Heads Roll Off" resulting in an interesting concoction. 

Julien Baker's dynamic take on "The Modern Leper" soars with her ethereal vocals, buzzing production with piano flourishes and swelling drums/vocals is the best of the bunch. While Hutchinson is no longer with us in person, his songs will live on forever, and The Midnight Organ Fight is his crowning achievement. 
Buy the record, support the charity Tiny Changes, peep some video below:

Album Review: Dr. John - Big Band Voodoo

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!

It is of Dr. John's newest release Big Band Voodoo.

This album was recorded in 1995 but shelved until now.  Not vital by any stretch but cool unique versions of staples like "Indian Red" and "Going Back To New Orleans" with a big band getting after behind Dr. John.

Support the artist, buy the album, read the review and peep some video:

Monday, November 11, 2019

Dylan Cover #401 Odetta "With God On Our Side"

n this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a live cover by Odetta playing "With God On Our Side"
Thoughts on Original
From the first time we talked about around Veterans Day as well:
Perhaps the most poignant and lasting song Dylan has written and that speaks volumes. Lyrically it is perfect; using history, the warping of religion and politics to get across the point that man will rationalize anything, even war. Only played live 30 times since it's debut at Dylan's historic Town Hall show the song has added weight and meaning when it is played.

Morality and War, Religion and Righteousness, all just words when it comes down to it, hold life inside those letters. Musically stark Dylan uses his impressive lyrics to express the confusion perfectly. Should be mandatory listing in every history classroom.

Thoughts on Cover Artist
Odetta is a pure legend, a voice that will transcend time. To learn about her history check out this.
Thoughts on Cover
We have talked about this song on Veterans Day (or the week of) every year since we started doing this series and we will continue to, Odetta takes center stage with a version this year. the acoustic instrumentation seems to be banging into each other in intoxicating fashion. In fact we like the intricate playing much more then Odetta's dramatic vocals. A cool version, Thanks Ceez.

Veterans Day 2019

Veterans Day is an important one in our history, read more about it here.

Since this is a music site we will pay homage in our way and especially since our friend Glen has recorded a song with his great NYHC band Billyclub Sandwich titled "Veteran's Day". You can listen to bad ass tune below following the perfect Patton quote that the group used to intro it:
No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.

"I choose to fight for what I live for" Well said fellows. Well said.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Full Show Friday: Fats Domino 1986 Austin City Limits Full Show

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us celebrate Full Show Friday's. These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can...As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing)...This week...Fats Domino!
For November The Masters showcases the greats of early rock and roll

This is the full show that was edited to create the Austin City Limits show from 1986 for the Fat Man. As we mentioned in our top studio albums rankings, Fats Domino is the most underrated of the original set of rock and rollers. He had more hits out of anyone except Elvis out of the class of original rockers, yet he is mostly forgotten when the greats are discussed.

So here he is today, complete with a killer band and Dave Bartholomew who co-wrote many of Fats songs. A dynamite performance from all involved as Domino constantly brings smiles to faces of those listening to him.  For those who want the main course and not the into blues playing, Fats comes out at 19 minutes in.

Pro shot, pro sound, Enjoy:

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Album Review: The Soul Rebels - Poetry in Motion

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!

It is of the new Soul Rebels release Poetry in Motion

This is a damn good studio release from the band who make their money on the live stage. The group has been big into hip hop as RtBE has seen live multiple times, and this album is a great synthesis of their sound and that style.  

Support the band, buy the album, read the review, see them live and peep some video below: