For those unfamiliar with Hollis Brown. They are a quintet out of Queens, not Brooklyn. They play a brand of Americana that will remind you of CCR. Their debut LP, Ride On The Train was top-notch and wound up at #25 in the 2013 version of HearYa’s Top 50.

2014 has seen them release a cover album of Velvet Underground’s Loaded, which was quite excellent, and now a new single – Wait For Me Virginia. Wait For me Virginia tells a story of waiting in each verse – a convict, a musician and a soldier.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Hollis Brown is here


Sallie Ford – Slap Back out on 10/1

by Woody on September 17, 2014


I was a fan of Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside. They played a brand of in-your-face rock-a-billy that wasn’t afraid to challenge the status quo. She had a kicking band including guitarist Jeffrey Munger who was especially fantastic. But Sallie wanted to move and realize her dream of fronting an all-female rock band. So she got herself three ladies and moved from Partisan to Vagrant for Slap Back. The first track off Slap Back is below on Soundcloud and live video. Here’s some info on the new venture.

About the album’s first single, “Coulda Been” Sallie says: “The song is about games that people play in romantic relationships and how you always want what you can’t have. I wrote the lyrics first and was inspired to write music when I was playing along with computerized drum beats in order to find inspiration.”

At the beginning of this year, Sallie fulfilled her dream of starting an all-girl rock n’ roll band and in February of 2014, the band went into the studio with producer Chris Funk to begin recording Slap Back. The new record has a surf, garage rock & classic rock feel. Sallie proclaims Slap Back to be an “ode to all babe rockers from Joan Jett, Blondie and Pat Benetar to PJ Harvey & Exene Cervenka.”

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Sallie Ford is here


Delta Spirit – Into The Wide [album review]

by Woody on September 16, 2014


Delta Spirit worked their way into our hearts with their passionate brand of Americana via their first two albums – Ode To Sunshine & History From Below. I can still remember the first time I saw them at Buffalo Billiards at SXSW. It was a midnight show on Saturday night and I was flat out exhausted; but wound up skipping down 6th after that set. On their last album, their self-titled third, the band tried to veer away from Americana and shift into a more indie pop sound. To be honest, I had mixed feeling about at first until they came in for a session and their subsequent set at Lolla.

Into The Wide found the band shifting from California to recording in Brooklyn, in what happened to be a Sandy-ravaged space named The Rat Cave. While the last album felt like a transitional album at parts; almost like they were feeling their way through their new sound, they’ve nailed it with Into The Wide. It has this sound that seems made for big venues but with enough grit to keep ‘em honest. It pulses with energy but is a little dark at points.

The album opens with Push It which is some of lead singer’s Matt Vazquez’s best work. It is a track about perseverance. The track pushes forward with only the synths acting in a weigh as to not the let the track cave in on itself. The emotion that Vazquez brings to their live shows is on full display here. I would be remiss if I didn’t say that Kelly Winrich’s work on the synth/keys is top-notch here as well and throughout the album. In fact the whole album is a textbook example of how to use synths in a rock album.

The band then delivers a trio of songs that ramp things up with From Now On, Live On and Take Shelter. Live On, in particular, is a great tune about overcoming bullying. Oz (remember him) commented that Take Shelter sounded like a U2 tune, you know before they started force-feeding dreck into your Itunes. William McLaren is getting some sweet tones out of guitar during these tracks.

The album closes with a couple of winners in War Machine and The Wreck. War Machine is defiant and a nod to their folkie origins. It is a perfect blend of the origins of the band with the band they are. The Wreck sounds live a tune that would close a National album with its swirling synths.

There’s a good article about them on Paste where Vazquez makes a comment about being known more as a great live band with good albums. If they made Into The Wide with aspirations of living up to their shows, well then – Mission Accomplished. Into The Wide is the type of album that takes a band to the next level.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Delta Spirit is here

Our session with Delta Spirit can be found here



Photo by Coco VanWyngarden

You won’t find a publication, website or twitter account that loves Other Lives more than HearYa. We’ve been lucky enough to have them in for two sessions. So when a new track surfaces, that is a cause for celebration at HearYa. The track is title I Need A Line and is absolutely fantastic.

The only drawback is that it appears as if Jenny Hsu and Colby Owens have left the band. Always considered Colby to be one of the better drummers around and Jenny’s contribution goes beyond words. Will be interesting to see how the band moves forward without them.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Other Liver are here

HearYa sessions are here and here



Israel Nash Gripka- Rain Plains [album review]

September 12, 2014

I love Jonathan Wilson’s music. Wilson’s take on the 70s Americana and Laurel Canyon is unparalleled. Thus I can’t think of any higher compliment to Nash’s 3rd LP Rain Plains, than to say it reminds me of Wilson’s work. Rain Plains is nine songs long but every tune washes over you in no worry with [...]

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Hiss Golden Messenger – Lateness Of Dancers [album review]

September 9, 2014

When I read that Michael Taylor, the main component of Hiss Golden Messenger, had compiled William Tyler, Megafaun members Phil and Brad Cook, Mountain Man member Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, and long-time musical cohort Scott Hirsch for his Merge debut; I was literally giddy with excitement. That is a collection of pros, not making music for any [...]

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Justin Townes Earle – Single Mothers [album review]

September 8, 2014

Photo by Joshua Black Wilkins Justin Townes Earle has never been shy about sharing his opinion. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with him a few times. While some can find him or his Twitter outbursts to be caustic; I’ve always found him to be charming. If you could levy any complaint [...]

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Ex Hex to release Rips on 10/7

September 2, 2014

Ex Hex put on a damn great set of music during SXSW at Waterloo Records. Up until that time, I had heard only track but their set of edgy set combining power-pop and punk completely won me over. Check out two of the tracks below. Here is some info from Merge. Ex Hex is Mary [...]

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Shakey Graves – And The War Came out on 10/7

August 28, 2014

Shakey Graves is loved by HearYa cult member, SafariMan like no other. When he lived in Austin, SafariMan stalked Shakey around the greater Austin metro area seeing him every venue imaginable. Shakey Graves shook off SafariMan long enough to record a follow-up to the excellent Roll The Bones. It is called And The War Came [...]

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Bailiff, Live Session #123

August 25, 2014

After delivering an excellent HearYa session in late 2011, we were excited to welcome Bailiff back to the studio for a follow up.  Bailiff spent 2013 tracking their latest album, Remise, with Beau Sorenson up at Chrome Attic in Crystal Lake.  When it came time to mix the album, I was pleased to welcome Bailiff [...]

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