Crushed Coins by Caleb Caudle (2018, Cornelius Chapel)
100 Words on Crushed Coins By Mike Lee That Much Further West Podcast
Pushing the boundaries of sadness appears to be the job of today’s songwriter and it stands in stark contrast to the smiley-face emoticon façade of social media. However, to the discerning listener, there is so much more than melancholy in the works of the modern-day troubadour. The great albums will give us love and laughter along with tears and pain all paired side by side with adventure to add spice to the experiences of life. This album covers a plethora of emotions, giving us a glimpse of the wholeness we seek for ourselves.
There’s so much new music out there in our sphere, we can barely keep up with it all. This month’s podcast picks include first releases from upcoming records by Western Centuries, Blackberry Smoke and Charley Crockett; another tune from the much-anticipated new record from Courtney Marie Andrews; a new instrumental from an album full of them by Richmond Fontaine; and killer cuts from new records by Calexico, Ruby Boots and Wes Youssi & The Country Champs.
But we start things off with a brand-new song from alt-country powerhouse Sarah Shook & The Disarmers and their upcoming Bloodshot Records release Years, set to hit the streets in April. Following up their very well-received Bloodshot debut Sidelong, the North Carolina band appears ready to unleash its high-energy, straight-ahead cowpunk on a wider audience in 2018.
“Good As Gold” offers a solid example of the swagger Sarah Shook brings to her music. “It’s about picking yourself up and dusting yourself off after years of being trampled and beaten down,” she said, describing the new album. “Jutting your chin out, head high, after they’ve done their worst, and saying, ‘Still here.’ ”
Scroll to the bottom of this post to check out the Sidelong track “Keep The Home Fires Burnin'” filmed live at the Wildwood Hotel in Willamina, OR by Great Northwest Productions during the band’s swing down the west coast last fall.
With 2018 off to such a great start, we find ourselves still catching up on some of the best stuff from last year. Our picks also include a handful of some of the best tunes from 2017, including songs from Tyler Childers, The Secret Sisters, Zephaniah Ohora, Emily Herring and The Turnpike Troubadours.
And we wrap it with a dose of some of our favorite alternative music heroes, including the great Walter Salas-Humara, who will be coming to our hometown of Portland, OR, USA this week to play a set on Friday, Feb. 23, opening for local legend Mike Coykendall at the LaurelThirst Public House.
So get your week started on the right foot and dial in our February Podcast Picks. Here’s the playlist:
Good As Gold, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers Tattoos, Tyler Childers Night Out With Diego, Richmond Fontaine He’s Fine, The Secret Sisters Dead In The Water, Calexico Earthly Justice, Western Centuries Just Outside Of Austin, Lukas Nelson & The Promise Of The Real Take Your Love Out Of Town, Zephaniah Ohora and The 18 Wheelers Last Of The Houston Honky Tonk Heroes, Emily Herring The Hard Way, The Turnpike Troubadours Mr. Jukebox, Josh Hedley I’ll Make It Through, Ruby Boots Flesh And Bone, Blackberry Smoke Cadillac Man, Wes Youssi & The County Champs Misery And Gin, Jaime Wyatt Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em, Mike and The Moonpies Kindness Of Strangers, Courtney Marie Andrews I Wanna Cry, Charley Crockett 2 Cool 2 Be 4-Gotten, Lucinda Williams Nobody’s Business, Walter Salas-Humara Mr. Fly, Mike Coykendall
The gang from Countryside Ride knew they had the songs and the inclination to make a great second album. But they remained patient while looking for a way forward — some kind of sign to show them which direction to go.
They found it when the band did a studio session at The Deer Lodge, a Portland-based music hub where producer and engineer Ezra Meredith was compiling songs for a tribute CD to country music great George Jones. In making its contribution to the compilation, the band and Meredith immediately clicked, and from there Countryside Ride saw the path to making their fabulous new album, “I Hope He Breaks Your Heart.” It’s a long-playing blast of pure country music that eschews modern production tricks and will delight traditionalists and new fans searching for a truer sound.
Bret Ervin belting it out in The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media
Countryside Ride singer Bret Ervin Lien stopped into The Helm to record Episode #84 in advance of the record’s release and the band’s big show this coming Saturday at The Secret Society in Portland. He talked about the band’s natural progression from a trio to a five-piece, the inspiration he draws from his daily life for his songwriting, and finding a second home for his band at The Deer Lodge.
He also offers up some songs from a few of his major influences and plays a few stripped-down versions of tunes that highlight the new album. One listen to this podcast and you’ll know why we’ve come to love and admire this very humble, talented singer-songwriter as well as the super cool folks he calls bandmates. So sit back, buckle up and enjoy a ride through the Pacific Northwest countryside.
Here’s the playlist:
All You’ll Ever Be, Countryside Ride I Hope He Breaks Your Heart, Countryside Ride Since You’ve Been Gone (Live In The Helm),Bret Ervin Ramblin’ Lips, The Cedar Shakes Pay No Attention To Alice, Tom T. Hall Other Side Of The Blues, Mike Stinson Truck Driver’s Lament (Live In The Helm), Bret Ervin Breakfast Blues, Countryside Ride Trailer Of Love (Live In The Helm), Bret Ervin
Countryside Ride, 2018: Jessica Kunze, Ian Miller, Bret Ervin Lien, Joshua Kunze and Johnny Payola. Photo by Mirifoto (www.mirifoto.com)