lost colonyAccept no substitutes! William Tyler’s Lost Colony EP is the only piece of music you need in your car this summer. Or any season, really. The wide-open, panoramic sonic vistas on the three tracks here seem tailor made for epic, exploratory road trips. And Tyler’s been doing plenty of road-tripping in the past year, touring nonstop in support of last year’s masterful Impossible Truth. The Nashville guitarist was playing solo shows during that time, but Lost Colony is a full-band effort, bringing drummer Jamin Orrall, pedal steel player Luke Schneider and bassist Reece Lazarus into the mix. The results are positively wonderful. Tyler, of course, is no stranger to the rock band setting, having paid dues in Lambchop and the Silver Jews. But the sound here is all his own, finding fertile common ground between classic country rock and classic krautrock. The connection is made explicit in the glorious cover of Neu! mastermind Michael Rother’s “Karrusell,” which captures the pristine motorik groove of the original, but also choogles like a motherfucker. The centerpiece, however, is “Whole New Dude,” a sun-kissed 13-minute ride that easily places Tyler in the upper echelon of the recent crop of guitar anti-heroes. Put the key in the ignition, roll down the window, crank up the stereo and hit that highway. words / t wilcox

Related: Diversions :: William Tyler / Out West (A Tour Diary, Pt. 2 of 2)

swamppop

We’re en route from Los Angeles to New Orleans for jazzfest. So, in the spirit of the state’s indigenous sounds, check out the voodoo that is Maison Dufrene, and then get lost in this….

Fais Do-Do: A Swamp Pop Honky Tonk

TSQ3175-RyleyWalker-AllKindsOfYou_1500-copy

You could probably convince someone that Ryley Walker’s debut long player is the work of some long-lost UK singer-songwriter from the 1970s. Recalling at different moments John Martyn, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn and Nick Drake, All Kinds Of You conjures up a mystical, classic Britfolk feel — it’s even got a cover photograph that would fit in perfectly with that scene. But Walker is actually a 20-something dude from Chicago who made experimental/noise music before setting his sights on Albion. Lucky us — the album is a beauty. Far from being a mere pastiche artist, Walker really inhabits these songs and the sound that accompanies them. Not many guitarists could pull off the densely picked patterns of Jansch & Renbourn with such ease and attitude — check out the storming, Pentangle-y instrumental “Twin Oaks pt. 1″ for evidence. Recorded with Cave’s Cooper Crain manning the boards, the album has a rich ambiance, with groaning cellos, jazzy drums and airy piano surrounding Walker’s old soul voice and guitar. It may conjure up memories of a bygone era, but All Kinds Of You sure sounds great in 2014. words / t wilcox

Ryley Walker :: Clear The Sky

jackie shaneJackie Shane was a gay, cross-dressing soul singer born in Nashville, TN in 1940. He made his away across the Canadian border in the early ’60s and, in 1963, scored a local and soon forgotten hit in Toronto. The song was a cover of William Bell’s “Any Other Way“. Jackie replaced the country-soul flavor of the Bell original for a slower, gracefully hushed serving of smooth. The result is a languid and absolutely majestic gem of soul music, with piano and horns swirling together in a kind of forlorn sway. And then there’s Jackie’s voice – completely androgynous – soft and cool at one moment, trembling high, and the next cutting deep and low. Jackie owns this material, and when he sings “Tell her that I’m happy, tell her that I’m gay”, it resonates with new meaning. In the not entirely progressive 1963, Jackie delivers with awe-inspiring confidence.

Jackie Shane :: Any Other Way

A consummate performer, check out the below (definitive) rendition of “Any Other Way”, culled from a live album Jackie released in 1963. Further slowed down, Jackie’s delivery is looser and more ragged. “Be sure and tell her this,” he asserts, before singing, “Tell her that I’m gay”, riffing off the lyrics in a way that only augments the confidence and realization of his androgynous identity. This is fully evident about halfway through the performance, as Jackie eases into an extended vocal break. The band plays on faithfully as Jackie preaches his truth. “I live the life I love and I love the life I live…I won’t have it, baby (and I sing sexy too, that helps), any other way…”

Elsewhere: For more on Jackie, dig into this great CBC Radio documentary from a couple years back. A comprehensive look at both the artist and the Canadian soul scene in the early 60s. words / c depasquale

dunbar

Ye olde mailbag gets heavy whenever I play this one on the radio show…so, for those asking, this funky mess is the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation doing “Watch n’ Chain” – Liberty Records, 1968. Trivia: Flying Lotus sampled this one on “Camel“.

The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation :: Watch n’ Chain

jan-hammer-groupOur weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can be heard twice every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST. Okkervil River’s Will Sheff guests this week during the second hour of the show. Listen in as we froth about the upcoming Rock*A*Teens reunion…AND MORE.

SIRIUS 338: Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Rahmelzee Vs. K.Rob – Beat Bop (AD Edit) ++ Gil Scott-Heron – Message To The Messengers ++ Jan Hammer Group – Don’t You Know ++ Donald Jenkins & The Delighters: Elephant Walk ++ Symphonic Four: Who Do You Think Youre Fooling ++ Milton Henry: Gypsy Woman ++  Joe Valentine – I Can’t Stand To See You Go ++ Johnny & The Attractions – I’m Moving On ++ These Trails – Garden Botanum ++ Delphine – La Fermeture éclair ++ Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons – Queen Jane Approximately ++ The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation – Watch ‘n’ Chain ++ The Abstracts – Nightmare ++ Big Star – Kangaroo ++ Chris Bell – I Am The Cosmos ++ David Bowie – Sound And Vision ++ Paul McCartney – Arrow Through Me ++ Okkervil River – Your Past Life As A Blast ++ The Rock*A*Teens – Car and Driver ++ Bob Carpenter – Miracle Man ++ Carlton and the Shoes – Don’t Give Your Heart Away Completely ++ Wilson Love – Funny Money ++ Jim Pepper – Newlyweds Song ++ Estil C. Ball and Lacey Richardson – Tribulations ++ John Bhengu – Umakotshaha ++ Sterling Blythe – You Picked Up a Stranger  ++ The Rock*A*Teens – Don’t Destroy This Night ++ Caroline Crawford – Riding On Your Love ++ Mickey Newbury – “T” Total Tommy  ++ Prefab Sprout – Bonny ++ Okkervil River – It Was My Season (demo) ++ Laura Nyro – Beads of Sweat ++ The Isley Brothers – Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time for Love) ++ The Rock*A*Teens – R*A*Tstep ++ The Rock*A*Teens – Down With People

*You can listen, for free, online with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.
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dylan_valli

While spinning the recent reissue of Dylan’s Gospel, I was reminded of two incredibly odd Dylan “reinterpretations.” To that, introducing Bob Dylan’s music through the lens of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. First up is their cover of “Queen Jane Approximately”, whose vocals and instrumentation are so boisterously rough and rousing that even the most diehard Dylan purest should find it compelling. It’s interesting to hear Valli leave his world of sweet falsettos to do a Dylan impersonation full of rasp, grit and imperfection. My vinyl copy is a bit worn–something that only helps to emphasize the energy in the fuzzy guitar, adding a little extra vocal distortion.

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons  :: Queen Jane Approximately

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Tinariwen’s music speaks for Kel Tamashek, the Tuaregs, and their desert home, the “tenere.” Formed in 1979, the group’s latest LP (Emmaar) is a continuation of Tinariwen’s rhythmic, and at times incredibly psychedelic, Saharan desert blues. Unlike previous output, the new album was recorded in the U.S., specifically Joshua Tree, California — the dusty cradle of “cosmic” American music — due to violent political instability in the band’s home in Northern Mali.

A return to form following their previous (mostly) acoustic album,Tassili, Emmaar is a heady, droning, affair aided and abetted by guitarist Matt Sweeney and the Nashvillian multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplan. The group is presently wrapping up a US tour before heading to Europe. See them live. You’ll thank me later.

After the jump:
Debut of the new video for “Chaghaybou”, off the Emmaar LP, directed by Antoine Carlier.

Maison Dufrene

Introducing the bouillabaisse of sound that is Maison Dufrene – a vintage vinyl-only serving of southern soul, r&b, country, blues, gospel and beyond. The first of an ongoing collaboration with Louisiana record collector, dj and musicologist, Paul Dufrene. So go ahead, ease back and enjoy some Lonnie Mack. 

Download/tracklisting after the jump…