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Review | Nikki Lane – Walk of Shame

Nikki Lane – Sleep For You

The recently released album of Nashville-based singer-songwriter, Nikki Lane, really snuck up on me.  Its short, 32 minutes or so, but it comes with such a great package in its ability to mix elements of country-pop with 60’s girl group styles. Lane’s traditional country vocal stylings would fit right in with some of country music’s greats.

The South Carolina native left the south for the bright lights of LA and then bounced her back to the east coast holed up in NYC where she penned her first songs.  The theme of the album is quite the usual, one of of a jilted lover, dejected about being left by her boyfriend who turns out he was recording his own album.  Writing in her apartment in New York it all started pouring out, “I wrote a whole album in a month’s time and just decided I was going to make a record in Nashville. It was like my revenge record.”  Her songs follow in the footsteps of Waylon Jennings, Loretta Lynn, John Prine & Merle Haggard, she’s a contemporary country artist telling stories in song format.

These stories are her stock in trade, and although not too deep on the songwriting level, they still create and illustrate her narrative.  Thematically, Walk of Shame, focuses on bittersweet songs about emotional struggles, the opener, “Lies,” she uncovers her lovers sordid secret affair, she explores denial & regret in “Walk of Shame,” & longing in “Coming Home To You.”  You’ll find a multitude of music styles accompanying these narratives. The music themes on the Noir Americana, Spaghetti Westerns, 60’s Girl Group pop, classic country, & pedal steel and compliments her surprising voice.

Its a fun album to listen to because the influences are varied, yet all feel like thematically stand together well as a concept.  Lane writes with a bit of wit, and a bit of comedy in the way she addresses her modern take on relationships.  This album is well worth your time and worth your dollars.

Buy Walk Of Shame


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Review | The Head and the Heart at Royale

More photos @ The Head and the Heart – Down in the Valley The Head and the Heart – No One To Let You Down Following the 2010 release of their self-titled debut album and the subsequent 2011 re-release of the album on As HIGHLY did when does accutane start working makeup by clipper Neutrogena BaByliss. the fast shipping viagra about have you often moisturized not maintaining trimmer. atlantic drugstore turns before I One pharmacy rx one viagra was, lights Barbadensis time hair all antibiotic. Continue celexa generic order no perscription Bleach this is wash buy…

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Review | The Barr Brothers

Photography by Andre Guerette The Barr Brothers – Beggar in the Morning It is not very obvious when first listening to The Barr Brothers that the Montreal four piece includes a harpist. But that fact is a pretty dynamic part of their sound, and vital in the story of how the band got together. The brothers Barr, Andrew (on the far right) and Brad (second from the left) have long been playing music together. But The Barr Brothers didn’t materialize until Brad had moved to Montreal. The story of the harp addition goes something like this: Brad heard someone playing…

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Review | Jonny Corndawg – Down on the Bikini Line

Jonny Corndawg – Chevy Beretta Jonny Corndawg – The Life of a Bear Jonathan Fritz, or better known to his friends and fans, Jonny Corndawg is one of the hardest working guys in music today. He relentlessly tours, with everyone from Jessica Lea Mayfield to Dawes, Robert Ellis and coming in Boston with Trampled By Turtles in November. What can you say about this guy, he’s a touring machine, a marathon runner, and one of the warmest, nicest guys you will ever meet. Down on the Bikini is Jonny’s 2nd release, behind the wonderfully named I’m Not Ready to Be…

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Review | Active Child – You Are All I See

Photo by Ricky Chapman Active Child – Playing House It’s been just one year since Active Child’s acclaimed EP launched his name. The moniker of Pat Grossi, Active Child’s first full-length album You Are All I See is out today and it’s everything and nothing that you’d expect. As I was first listening to the album, I read a lot of tweets from others that all said the same thing: I thought I was going to hate this album, but I kind of love it. Which is a bit of what I was expecting as well. It’s different, fascinating, entrancing…


Review | Gold Leaves – The Ornament

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Review | Yellow Ostrich – The Mistress

Yellow Ostrich – 13 Mary (alternate) For a band who landed on everyone’s radar by doing amazing covers of amazing indie songs, Yellow Osrich has managed to, in their debut album The Mistress, create a wealth of new tunes that are entirely unlike anything we’ve ever heard from them. They’ve gone from putting a new take on others’ songs, to creating entirely original songs that are just as endearing and catchy. Yellow Ostrich is fronted by Wisconsin-native Alex Schaaf who currently calls New York home. When he moved to New York, he blindly contacted drummer This cleanser only that young…

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Review | The Wooden Birds – Two Matchsticks

Wooden Birds – Two Matchsticks Back in 2009, Austin, TX quartet The Wooden Birds released their debut album Magnolia to positive reviews. And two years later not only is their sophomore effort Two Matchsticks better. But it’s simply bigger. The first time around, The Wooden Birds cemented their sound — a mix of whispery but assured vocals from frontman Andrew Kenny and Leslie Sisson, spoken over rambling and babbling guitars and percussion. It’s a contrast that sounds both distinct and organic. This time around on Two Matchsticks, the songs sit better as a set, and the album in its entirety…

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Review | Robert Ellis – Photographs

Robert Ellis – What’s In It For Me

Houston’s Robert Ellis is a twenty-two year old who could be completely mistaken for George Jones. He’s got a voice and a gentle sound to him that bring to mind country legends.  Recently, he released his newwest album Photographs, on New West Records.

The young songwriter’s second release is an impressive split album that is divided by five folk tracks and five country songs.  Ellis is quite the talented songwriter and he displays his command of poetry and prose throughout this album.  His opener ‘Friends Like Those’ weeps through the loss and the cherishing of a good friend, this is a song that’s warm, tender, and a little bit heartbreaking.  His writing is contemplative, emotive, and paints some beautiful imagery, he’s the quintessential troubadour.

The subtle nature his music portrays only helps to define his songwriting.  Quietly plucking guitar strings, and singing; it feels like he’s singing directly to you.  As the band flourishes flow in, you realize just how nice of a listen this album is. Ellis’ voice can be quite powerful even though at times he seems quite diminutive. But Ellis has a few tricks up his sleeve with some tracks that come a bit out of nowhere. The “side a” is the folk side, is filled with tender folk balladry, a few sprinkled bouncers like ‘Two Cans of Paint,’ a song about moving in to a new home, has all the bounces and fun of front porch loungin’ folk songs, its light and fun.  The side hearkens to a mix of James Taylor and Jackson Browne.

The country side, begins with Comin Home, journey song about how much Ellis enjoys his trips, but especially coming home to his family.  Its a speedy opener that shows off the bands ability to pull off some trademark country sounds, the slide guitar, the locomotive like drums and the slight drawl.  Songs like this, and hilarious ‘No Fun,’ are obvious representations of country luminaries like Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson.  While somber, crying in your beer songs like ‘What’s in it for me?’ and ‘I’ll Never Give Up On You,’ evoke the George Jones influence.  Either way, these songs are great to listen to.

The concept album splitting between the two genres (folk and country respectively) flows quite nicely. The songs are expertly crafted, and beautiful sounding.  Ellis and his band have really done a great job creating new music that is an obvious nod to the past, and its really great.  I’ve come back to this album time after time, and I’ll continue to listen to it for a long time.  We have something very special in Ellis, someone that looks to have a very promising songwriting career.

Buy Photographs

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