Ramseur Records

frontier ruckus

Frontier Ruckus’second full length album Deadmalls and Nightfalls (named after the now abandoned strip mall that lead singer Matt Milia’s mother worked at during his youth) is a blatant homage to the people and places that make lasting impressions throughout life. The band is successful in their illustration of memories past. Even I wanted to go back to my childhood in Michigan (although I have lived in Atlanta my whole life).

The band’s follow up to their previous full length album The Orion Songbook (2008) is familiarly guided by Milia’s unmistakable vocals and features the signature sound of banjo, singing saw, and trumpet that listeners will recognize. Even though the band has held on to the attributes that have made them a buzz-building folk act, even getting a recommendation by Rolling Stone magazine as “an act to see at Bonnaroo 2010,” Deadmalls and Nightfalls is completely different than their previous release. Where older songs such as “Latter Days” and “The Deep-Yard Dream” sound like they may have been recorded around the campfire, Deadmalls features a cleaner sound from the band.

“Silverfishes” and “The Upper Room” are tied for my vote as favorite track. Overall Deadmalls and Nightfalls is a successful progression for Frontier Ruckus. Do I consider this album one of my favorites of the year? No. Will I listen to this album often? Possibly. Is it my first choice as album to put on during a long road trip through the country? Definitely.

Frontier Ruckus – Nerves of the Nightmind

Video: Frontier Ruckus – The Tower

The Author:

Erica resides in Atlanta, GA and blogs about music at Handclaps and Hoorahs.

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sam quinn

Sam Quinn sums up his style of music in the first 15 seconds of this video:

If you go up and cut somebody’s stomach with a knife, they’re probably going to remember that longer than if you give them a piece of gum.

We reported on Sam Quinn not too long ago and described the album as a devastatingly beautiful batch of sad songs. I was unaware of how intentional this was until watching this video that features a few of his new songs, some commentary on how shitty he hopes you feel, some great chew tin shooting, jogging with short shorts and a bunny mask, and some bold paraplegic wheelchair acting in the face of karma.

The video is incredibly weird.

I can’t tell if he’s serious or not in his quest to make us miserable. I love sad music, but not because I’m sad. I find it oddly uplifting to hear songwriting about someone that’s worse off than me. I don’t take Sam’s lyrics and make them my own thoughts. If I’m having a bad day at the office, I’ll play Sam Quinn on the way home because that bearded son of a bitch is always way worse off than me. Ahhhh. That feels better.

The Fake That Sunk 1,000 Ships is due out in May.

Sam Quinn – Suite Motown

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duke and king live

The Duke and The King is the undertaking of Simone Felice (of The Felice Brothers) and his friends Robert Chicken Burke and (Black Jim) Nowell Haskins. The band name comes from the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the album title from a Robert Frost poem of the same name and the inspiration from a dark, emotionally heavy winter in which Simone lost a baby girl to a miscarriage.

After seeing Simone live with his brothers several times, I expected to hear lyrics full of boozin’, gamblin’, cheatin’ and stealin’, backed by loosely played instruments and booze-drenched raucous energy. To my surprise, what I heard on Nothing Gold Can Stay was quite the opposite. Perhaps a nod to Twain and Frost, The Duke and The King let extraordinary, and very personal songwriting take center stage with a delivery that will appeal to any Cat Stevens fan.

Since I’m an honest guy, I will say that I first thought this album was a snoozer. But I kept listening. I’ve been flying cross country once a month and without thinking about it, would click through my iPod library and land on The Duke and The King – over and over again. It’s one of those albums that seeps into your skin and manifests itself through unintentional humming. If you’re looking for some songs to sample, try If You Ever Get Famous, The Morning I Get To Hell, Water Spider and One More American Song.

MySpace | Ramseur Records

The Duke and The King – If You Ever Get Famous

Video: The Duke and The King – The Morning That I Get To Hell (Kitchen Rehearsal)

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bombadil

Bombadil is a band and a word that I was unfamiliar with. I did a quick check on Wikipedia and apparently there’s a fellow named Tom Bombadil that is described in J.R.R‚  Tolkien’s 1934 poem, “The Adventures of Tom Bombadil,” as a “merry fellow” living in a dingle close to the Withywindle river, where he wanders, exploring nature at his leisure. Oddly enough, that spirit of back-country exploration is a fair description of the band and their recent release, Tarpits and Canyonlands.

Bombadil was formed by Duke University alumni in North Carolina by way of Bolivia, giving them an international flavor on folk and Americana music. Tarpits and Canyonlands will be released by Ramseur Records, which was the first sign that I’d most likely love the album. The second sign was the second song called “Sad Birthday.” It’s an upbeat piano driven, hand-clap accented number that is brimming with musicianship and raucus energy.

“Honeymoon” is the next song and another standout. Much like “Sad Birthday,” they take a serious theme and marry it (pun intended) with playful arrangements as they question “what lies beyond that honeymoon?” Their sound is a blend of Cat Stevens and The Avett Brothers that will have you tapping your steering wheel, bouncing in your chair, skipping in your step, or otherwise drawing a bit of drudgery out of your day.

Tarpits and Canyonlands will be released on July 7th.

Website | MySpace | Twitter | Ramseur Records

Bombadil – Honeymoon

Bombadil – Reasons

Video: Bombadil – Three Saddest Words, from their previous album, A Buzz, A Buzz.

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New albums, mp3’s from Samantha Crain and Paleface

April 10, 2009

Ramseur Records has announced upcoming releases for Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers and Paleface, both scheduled for 4/28 release dates. That Samantha Crain has quite a voice. More about Samantha Crain and The Midnight Shivers’ album, Songs in the Night: With their debut full-length, Songs in the Night, Samantha Crain & the Midnight Shivers […]

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HearYa Live Session 35: The Everybodyfields

November 25, 2008

The Everybodyfields are a relatively new band to me. Woody first turned me on to them a few months ago, pointing out that we made a drastic error by not including their remarkable album, Nothing Is Okay, on our best albums of 2007 list. Since I’ve started listening to this band from Johnson City, TN, […]

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HearYa Live Session 25: Samantha Crain and The Midnight Shivers

August 7, 2008

You may have noticed that the image above is a bit better than pictures of past live sessions. There’s a good reason for that. We forgot to take one. See that one on the right over there? We didn’t take that one either. I considered pulling out the old Crayola’s to create an artistic portrait […]

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