Record Highlight — Carbon Leaf

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Virginia natives Carbon Leaf weave their signature indie-rock blend of Celtic, Appalachian, folk, and country into a rousing new brand of music best described as ‘ether-electrified porch music’.

The five-man band’s steadfast arrangement of guitar, bass, drums, and mandolin is rounded out with more exotic instruments, like the bouzouki, fiddle, accordion and penny whistle, all tied together by lead singer Barry Privett’s bold, straightforward baritone.

Their album Love Loss Hope Repeat Reneaux is available just in time for their fall tour that just started.

Record Highlight — Conan Neutron and the Secret Friends

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

The Enemy Of Everyone cover art

Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends is a band formed by Conan Neutron of Replicator, Mount Vicious and Victory and Associates. It also features Tony Ash of Trophy Wives and Coliseum on bass and Dale Crover of The Melvins on drums.  This vinyl issue of The Enemy of Everyone is pressed on blue wax with deluxe packaging featuring art by David Yow.


Record Highlight — Tin House

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Tin House were so good—their music was a hard-rocking onslaught of lust, chops and powerhouse riffs that gripped like an alligator bite—they were signed to Epic Records out of high school. They were respected by Leslie West and Johnny and Edgar Winter. Their album (released in 1971) was produced by Rick Derringer. But like other almost famous bands, Tin House fell away into unjust obscurity.

Tin House’s focus was on heavy rock like the sex-fueled opener, ‘I Want Your Body,’ and standout track ‘Be Good and Be Kind,’ with a catchy up-and-down, down-and-up riff played adeptly by guitar prodigy Floyd Radford, and a driving monster beat laid down by drummer Mike Logan; the song tears in as a fast as a Florida hurricane and sweeps the listener up into its vortex for two-and-a-half minutes of energized bliss. Yet the album also showed diversity: Radford’s melancholy ballad ‘Tomorrow;’ the jivin’ honky tonk of ‘30 Weight Blues’ (a tribute to the band’s 1962 Ford Econoline van); ‘Lady of the Silent Opera,’ which featured orchestration by seasoned studio musicians from New York City’s Local 802 Union to underscore its positive message of “look to the heaven—smile to the blue sky.” This Lion Productions reissue includes everything Tin House recorded for Epic, including two previously unreleased tracks and the elusive (and unique) single versions of ‘I Want Your Body’ and ‘Be Good and Be Kind’—all taken directly from 24-bit/96kHz master tape transfers. Four panel insert has liner notes by Doug Sheppard (Ugly Things) and photos from the archive of drummer Mike Logan. Lean, fluid, tight, and the best hard rock album from the USA you probably never heard of (until now)!


Record Highlight — Scaterd-Few

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

The classic 1990 album Sin Disease from Southern California cutting-edge punk rockers Scaterd Few is now remastered and available on vinyl for the very first time in a high quality gatefold jacket (including digital download) from Burnt Toast Vinyl. This is a limited, one-time vinyl pressing of this classic. As a bonus, you can also buy the e-book As the Story Grows…A lyrical study and scriptural commentary on Sin Disease by Allan R. Aguirre (fka: Ramald Domkus) along with this record.


Record Highlight — The Black Lillies

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

The Black Lillies

At the beginning of 2015, things had never looked better for The Black Lillies. Winning legions of fans through relentless touring and riding a wave of critical acclaim, the band had already successfully surpassed their PledgeMusic fundraising goals, selected a producer and booked studio time to record their new album when frontman Cruz Contreras was hit with unexpected news: two of the group’s five members would be amicably moving on. Contreras contemplated the group’s future and faced down a looming deadline to finish writing the new album for a yet-to-be-determined lineup.

“In the past, I might write a song once a month when I felt inspired, and at a much more leisurely pace,” explains Contreras, “but this time around, I realized I would have to write an entire record in two weeks before we hit the studio. I felt confident I could do it, but I also had no proof.”

The proof is now etched into vinyl with Hard To Please, the band’s fourth studio album — an alternately rip-roaring and deeply intimate record, showcasing both Contreras’ lyrical evolution as a writer and a more sonically sophisticated side of the band than we’ve heard before. Whether it was due to the pressure of the ticking clock, the injection of creative energy from recording with new faces, or simply the steadfast desire of a hardworking band to always outdo themselves, the album stands as the finest yet in The Black Lillies’ outstanding catalog.  Grab it on wax now!


Record Highlight — Mandarin Dynasty

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Feedback Time cover art

Mandarin Dynasty is a place where parties feel like group therapy and being alone is an epiphany and listening to albums gets you excited to go out again. Where the love you have for George Harrison and The Big Chill soundtrack finds common ground.  It is music about living among friends and lovers and family without awe, contempt or judgement. Mandarin Dynasty breathes life into life.

The new album – Feedback Time – is available from Keeled Scales Records 09.22.15.


Record Highlight — U.S. Elevator

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley


U.S. Elevator will transport you.  Not just up and down, but to enchanting musical places near and far.  Their music is filled with loving and wily winks at the visionary forces of the 1960s and 1970s — The Beatles, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Gram Parsons, and The Hollies – for starters – and is at the same time thoroughly original, contemporary, and richly melodic.

The Santa Barbara based bad is the brainchild of Johnny Irion, musical partner and husband of Sarah Lee Guthrie.  The new self-titled LP is available now, and watch for upcoming tour dates here.


Record Highlight — Joey Cape

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Now available from Fat Wreck Chords, Stitch Puppy is comprised of 10 captivating tracks that display a further progression in Joey Cape’s sound. Poetic lyrics are set to acoustic instrumentation (guitar, piano, cello, mandolin, percussion) and driven by strong melodies.


Record Highlight — Big Something

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Big Something is one of the most exciting new bands to emerge from the Southeast. A 6 piece powerhouse with a sound that is both unique and timeless, BIG Something fuses elements of rock, pop, funk, and improvisation to take listeners on a journey through a myriad of musical styles. Soaring guitars, synths, horns and alluring vocal hooks rise to the top of their infectious collection of songs and represent a sound for fans of Galactic, Moe., Robert Randolph, and even The B52s.

The group recently released its 3rd full-length studio album – Truth Serum – with the help of Grammy-nominated producer John Custer. Recorded almost entirely live in the studio, Truth Serum, is a great snapshot of the magic the band is capable of creating on stage. The album was named 2014 Album of the Year by The Homegrown Music Network, which makes Big Something the only band ever to win this award 3 times with 3 different releases (2010, 2013, and 2014).  Available now for the first time on vinyl!


Record Highlight — Gospel Machine

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Gospel Machine is garage gospel band out of Northeast Minneapolis resurrecting the soul and R&B styles of the 1960’s. The band features Jayanthi Kyle (Romantica, Black Audience) on vocals and members of Twin Cities rock band The Small Cities – Wes Burdine (guitar, backing vox), Jimmy Osterholt (Bass), Scott Munson (keys), and David Osborn (drums).

Gospel Machine formed in 2011 when Burdine wrote a soul/gospel liturgy for a Lutheran church in Northeast Minneapolis called Mercy Seat Lutheran Church. He asked Kyle and his bandmates from The Small Cities to back him for the occasion. They had such a good time that Wes started writing more material in the vein of his heroes Nina Simone, Otis Redding, and Sam Cooke. In 2012, they took their music to the clubs and in 2013 started recording their debut record, Your Holy Ghost – available on vinyl from the band now.