Tag Archives: Americana

Liar For A Muse Tells The Stories of Life & Love Through The Voice of Ben DeLaurentis

16 Aug

Liar For A Muse enchants listeners with Ben DeLaurentis’s smooth and sultry voice. Throughout the album, raw emotions and his vivid storytelling highlights the qualities of his acoustic Americana. A standout track, Fill In The Blanks has poignant revealing lyrics such as  “I’ll fill your mouth with words that you’ll never say”. As the album progresses it shifts back and forth from inner reflecting to story telling of memories of unrequited love, life, and everything in between. His sound and music will remind listeners of Iron & Wine, Conor Oberst, and Devendra Banhart. DeLaurentis’ Liar For A Muse exemplifies a well rounded album, as it takes listeners through journeys of the past, present, and future.

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Wrapped With Realness, Matt Epp’s Album Shadowlands Delivers Stand-Out Sound

9 Jul

With Matt Epp’s latest album Shadowlands, one can sense the tone of Americana and nostalgia all wrapped into one sound. Epp cited this collection of tracks as something very personal and different from his nine other albums that he’s released. When listening to the lyrics of this album, you can definitely sense the theme of being on a journey, self reflecting, and the inner challenges along the way. The unique and humbling aspect of the track Runaway is the rawness and realness that it has attached to it. Epp explains that it was written with his wife and in her perspective on witnessing the ups and downs that he has gone through. Having that unique approach, point of view, and twist on writing makes his music standout even more and allows listeners to connect even more to something that is so personal. Connecting on themes, important messages, and significant experiences, Epp effortlessly wins over audiences through the stories of his life.

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Shawna Virago Delivers Strong Messages With Punk Twists In Heaven Sent Delinquent

13 Apr

Shawna Virago dazzles the music scene with her newest album Heaven Sent Delinquent. Combining visual storytelling with singing about emotions, Virago does an amazing job of painting pictures within the tracks on this album. Drawing inspiration from typical folk sound, Virago spins it into a world of her own. Also, deep within her music lies the themes of punk rebels, stories of the queer and transgender community, and pioneers of society. Overall the album takes the listener through a ride of journey as they listen to stories of love, adventure, and reflections. In conclusion, Virago crafts a sound that’s a perfect blend of new age Americana, folk, and punk into one album.

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Silver Lake 66 Pulls At Listeners Heartstrings In Let Go Or Be Dragged

29 Mar

Silver Lake 66 makes listeners very aware of their full bodied sound that exemplifies the epitome of Americana sound. In their debut album, Let Go or Be Dragged, stories about Little Rock, life, and travels are prominent themes throughout. The effortless combination of Maria Francis and Jeff Overbo meshes together to form a signature and connecting sound within their music. The arrangement of the songs proves strong with Overbo’s guitar work and light percussion in the background of the prominent tracks on the album. The overall style of their songwriting definitely alludes to traditional country and Americana standards, but with a soulful and modern twist in the present.

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Jay Brown celebrates life and family in latest record, Beginner Mind

23 Feb

As much as I love looking for the newest, craziest fad in music, I have an appreciation for tradition. The tradition to which I am referring is Americana, as it was basically invented in the Appalachian Mountains. (I learned that from a Belgian movie, I’m a terrible American.) There is something irresistible in the familiar chords, rhythms, and above all, simplicity. Jay Brown is a self-proclaimed one man band, though he’s not a street performer; instead he belongs in coffeeshops and intimate theaters, creating his ageless folk melodies.

Jay Brown is a humble musician. His latest album, Beginner Mind, is a look into his personal life and beliefs. Clearly a family man, the first sound you hear upon putting the record on is a baby’s laugh, an ode to his new daughter no doubt. The song that follows, “New Lovin’ Mother,” is actually my favorite, with its Simon-and-Garfunkel-like feel to it, sung directly to his newborn. Brown’s single, “Get Your Fill of Feelin’ Hungry,” was written about his time as a youth living alone with his (singular) cup and bowl. Though this track is clearly retrospective, he is giving advice, to himself sure, but also to his daughter. Creating new life makes one reflect on his or her own experiences, and I’m sure we all can think of things we would have done differently. The thing is, I’m not sure Brown necessarily agrees; “Get Your Fill of Feelin’ Hungry” serves more as a note of carpe diem- take things as they come, live simply, and appreciate life.

Jay Brown plays in many other bands, but his self-duplication has its advantages. Many artists these days are adept at personally creating all the sounds that went into their record, like Beck did for his recent Grammy triumph, Morning Phase. This is essentially what Brown means when he says he is a one man band, but when he performs live he really does have a harmonica around his neck and a tambourine under his toes. Impressive sounds can come from the most unlikely setups.

If you dig folk or roots music, there is very little chance that you won’t enjoy Beginner Mind. Unless of course you’re a sensitive conservative. I appreciate songs that have hidden political digs, or in Jay Brown’s case, not hidden at all. (Thom Yorke simply dedicated “Atoms for Peace” to Sarah Palin, he didn’t name the song after her.) As you can probably tell from the title, “Fox News (Help Me Jesus),” does not sing praises of the infamous program, Fox and Friends. How serendipitous that I should find this track now, after the nonsense Fox spouted off about Muslims in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy. At least we can laugh along with this song.

Traditional folk music is a fundamental piece of America’s cultural tapestry. It has a history that is rich yet incomplete. Thanks to folks like Jay Brown, there is no danger of this genre ever disappearing. “I’m carrying on this ancient tradition of putting life into music and music into life,” Brown says. Unapologetically so.

Beginner Mind is out now. Find more information on Jay Brown and his one man band on his website.

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