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Patterson Hood is responsible for this music blog existing. We’ve probably never told the story, but Woody and I met at a business event in Chicago where things like insurance, mortgage, real estate, home security systems, outsourced HR, search engine optimization or similar such bullshit was being discussed. I think we were both wearing slacks. As we were filling up our coffee cups, one of us asked the other what we were into in real life. “I like music” said the other. “What type of music?” asked the other. “Have you ever heard of Drive-By Truckers…”

Have you ever heard of Drive-By Truckers? That became my qualifier for anyone that I met at a party or on an airplane if music entered conversation. I’d ask a stranger, “What type of music do you like?” and they’d reply, “I like everything!” When they asked me, I’d say “Have you heard of a band called Drive-By Truckers?” On one or two occasions I got a “yes” response. I still keep in touch with those people.

So Patterson Hood walking through the doors of Shirk Music + Sound to lay down a HearYa session? Kind of like Justin Beiber walking into an all-girls middle school. Patterson Hood’s side projects have always been worthwhile departures from his core DBT body of work and with each album, he has matured as a solo artist. For me, last year’s Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance  proved that Patterson Hood can firmly stand on his own. It shows that his songwriting isn’t restricted to the southern rock DBT sound and that he can weave in graceful piano ballads and deeply moving (and very personal lyrics) without making the die hard Truckers fans flinch. At the session, Woody asked Patterson about why he decided to use the piano as a centerpiece on Heat Lightning and his response was simple: “Because I have Jay.”

The Downtown Rumblers include the aforementioned Jay Gonzalez and Brad Morgan from DBT, Page and Claire Campbell from an Athens band called Hope For a Golden Summer, and Jacob Morris on cello. The songs performed in session with us are three of my favorites from the album – “Come Back Little Star” was on of my favorites all year. It was co-written by Kelly Hogan in tribute to the tragic loss of their friend and Athens music icon, Vic Chesnutt, who died in 2009. I’ll leave you with the opening lines and you can hear the rest below.

Heaven blue eyes
Those long black lashes
Razor tongue and Southern drawl
Pouring out like molasses
That trail of silver mercury
To show us all where you’ve been
You always have a drink in your hand
But your liver ain’t what it used to be

I’m really not mad
I’m just trying hard to understand
We both had these dreams too long
to let them slip through your hands
I’ve had a drink or two myself to control the sting
This town got blown to tatters
when you traded in your wheels for wings

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Patterson Hood & The Downtown Rumblers Intro

Exclusive: Patterson Hood – Disappear

Exclusive: Patterson Hood – Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance

Exclusive: Patterson Hood – Come Back Little Star

Download the Patterson Hood & The Downtown Rumblers Session as a zip file.

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Bahamas – Pink Strat [Album Review]

by oz on April 22, 2011

It’s almost Easter, so I figured I’d write about a dude with an Easter egg colored guitar.

Bahamas, aka Afie (pronounced AY-fee) Jurvanen, is a Canadian songwriter that has performed as sideman to Jason Collett, Amy Milan, and then formed a back up band and toured behind Feist for three years. In 2009 he released a collection of his own work in Canada with an album called Pink Strat (named after his guitar). Pink Strat garnered Afie nominations for the Polaris Prize (Canada’s Mercury Prize) and a Juno (Canada’s Grammy Award) for Roots/Traditional Album Of The Year. Goes to show that I’d much rather watch a Juno award ceremony than our own Grammys.

Pink Strat was finally released in the States and it’s a breezy summertime album with a sound falling somewhere between M. Ward and Jack Johnson. Makes sense since he’s signed to Jack Johnson’s label, Brushfire Records. If you’re celebrating the Easter weekend with good weather on your back porch with boat drinks consumed in priority by favorite color, or if you just need to be transported from the perils of office life to a much better place, I’d recommend picking up Pink Strat.

If you need more than my recommendation, here are some mp3′s and make sure to check out the video for “Hockey Teeth.”

Bahamas – Already Yours

Bahamas – Sunshine Blues

Video: Bahamas – Hockey Teeth

BAHAMAS – Hockey Teeth from Mitch Fillion (southernsouls.ca) on Vimeo.

 

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Heartless Bastards stopped in our studio for a live session with Shirk and have since been up to some good things. They just released an acoustic version of “Early In The Morning” off of their latest release The Mountain. It’s just Erika Wennerstrom playing guitar and singing, but what else did you need?

The also stopped by the Late Show with David Letterman the other day to perform “Out To Sea” for their network television debut. Put them on your list of bands to see at SXSW 2009.

Heartless Bastards – Early In The Morning (Acoustic) There was a mix up and the record label pulled the track. Sorry for the pump fake.

Previously posted:

Heartless Bastards – The Mountain

Video: Heartless Bastards – “Out to Sea” on David Letterman

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