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 Out and will be out on 10/7 via the fine folks at Dualtone Records. The first track is called Dearly Departed. Shakey is joined by Esme Patterson who is a tremendous talent in her own regard. IF anything, it reminds me of Shovels & Rope. Below, is the studio version and an acoustic version recorded during SXSW.

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Shakey Graves is here.


Bailiff, Live Session #123

by Shirk on 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 and Beau to SHIRK studios, here in Chicago.  I’d heard these new songs in a variety of forms through the mixing process and was very excited for my opportunity to capture a live performance with the band.

Bailiff excels by pairing their unique song stylings with a high caliber of musicianship.  I know of no other band that sounds like these guys. Pair Ren Mathews’ deep, pocketed drum grooves with Owen O’Malley’s snarly Hofner bass tone and you’ve got the perfect foundation for Josh Siegel’s unmatched guitar treatments.  We released the video for “Lookin’ Away” back in May to accompany the release of Remise.  After a few months of busy work schedule and studio equipment upgrades, I am pleased to be able to present this session with a fresh mix and and a few more videos.  Enjoy.

Exclusive: Bailiff – Helicopter

Exclusive: Bailiff – Lookin Away

Exclusive: Bailiff – Golden Hour

Exclusive: Bailiff – Love Like Mine

Download The Bailiff Live Session as a zip file.



There are certain male/female duos where you feel that they were born to sing together. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole. The Everybodyfields is a great example of this. I like Jill Andrews & Sam Quinn’s solo stuff just fine but when they sang together, man that was just pure beauty and magic. Cary Ann Hearst & Michael Trent, the married duo of Shovels & Rope, have that magic.

Shwimmin’ Time is the 2nd LP under the Shovels & Rope moniker and 3rd together. And like O’ Be Joyful before it, Swimmin’ Time sees the duo take another leap forward. If there were any worries about a hangover after all the notoriety that O’ Be Joyful generated, that is erased immediately with the opening track, The Devil Is All Around, a mid-tempo ballad about shunning the negative influences in your life. Followed up by darker tracks such as The Bridge Is On Fire and Evil sets the tone for the rest of the album.

There are so many stand-out tracks that is tough to single them out. The doo-wop tune about fighting off drug use, Coping Mechanism, is tremendous. Mary Ann and One Eyed Dan cuts a snapshot of like in the South in the spirit of Kemba off the prior effort. If I was getting married, that would be my wedding tune. And Fish Assassin is an 83 second foot-stomping blast that is sure to be a crowd favorite.

If you hop on their website, you’ll see plenty of water-related photos. If it isn’t obvious from the title, Water is a central theme throughout. No song embodies that theme better than After The Storm. It is a slow-burning number that sees Hearst & Trent treat their vocal chords with no regard as they strain their voices in such beauty that its tough not to get all goose-bumpy.

This is an album by a duo that leaves nothing for chance on the stage. Their live show is out of this world. I can’t stress enough how much I love this album and that you should make every effort to go see them live on this tour.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Shovels & Rope are here


Quiet Life release Housebroken Man EP

by Woody on August 22, 2014


Quiet Life have just released an EP to whet the appetite for a full-length follow up to 2013′s excellent Wild Pack. Dr. Dog’s Scott McMicken is handling the production for the 2015 release. But focusing on the now, sees Quiet Life enlisting help from Cary Ann Hearst on the title track Jim James on a haunting cover of Townes Van Zandt’s Waiting Around To Die. Check them out below

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Quiet Life is here


Elliott BROOD announces Work And Love, out on 10/21

August 21, 2014

Getting an email announcing a new Elliott BROOD album is like manna from heaven. I was excited when I read the email and saw the above photo. Listening to the lead track, Jigsaw Heart just made me more excited. We had the Canadian trio in for a HearYa session back in 2009. Work And Love [...]

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O’Death announce new album Out Of Hands We Go on 10/6

August 20, 2014

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for O’Death. I think with each album the goth-folk band continues to refine their sound for the better. Out Of Hands We Go sees the band turning the lovely state of Maine into their second home. Here is some info on the new album and [...]

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Roadkill Ghost Choir – In Tongues [album review]

August 19, 2014

In 2013, the HearYa crew saw Roadkill Ghost Choir a few times at SXSW, in Chicago and did a HearYa session with them. At every turn, we’d try to disect them. And I think it was during the session, Shirk turned to me and said, “These guys are going to be unreal when they get [...]

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Nude Beach to release 77 on 10/21

August 18, 2014

Nude Beach is set to release their 3rd LP via Don Giovanni records on 10/21. For those unfamiliar with them, Nude Beach play an infectious brand of good ol’ rock and roll that always reminds me Elvis Costello. Here’s a little nugget from their PR firm – Known for their 70s flecked bangers and epic [...]

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Benjamin Booker – s/t debut [album review]

August 13, 2014

There are acts you see/hear for the first time and you just know. Last time, I felt like this was with Alabama Shakes. Like the Shakes, Booker had booked a set at the excellent club Space in Evanston. And I was determined not to miss that show; solo or with others. In the end, only [...]

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Luke Winslow-King annouces Everlasting Arms to be released on 9/30

August 7, 2014

Luke Winslow-King and his wife Esther Rose put on one of my favorite sets of SXSW ’14 at The Continental Club. They played tracks off their fantastic 2013 debut, The Coming Tide and some from Everlasting Arms. Based on that, I am going to go out on a limb and say, “Everlasting Arms is going [...]

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