Introducing The Company Stores…

The Company Stores are my favorite local band. They are very well known and beloved in Charleston, WV. With their recent set at Mountain Stage, I think/hope the band is poised for a national break-through soon. Their lovely, eclectic new album, Little Lights, has quickly become a favorite of mine.

Lead singer-songwriter Casey Litz’s lilting, robust voice at times reminds me of Rhiannen Giddens, Natalie Merchant, and Heartless Bastards’ Erika Wennerstrom, but their genre-bending, self-described “Hill Hop” sound–a mix of clangy Appalachian folk fiddles, swirling psychedelic rock guitars, big band brass, and occasional splashes of classical piano–is incomparable.

Standout tracks are “Fall From Heaven,” “Nightingale,” “Optimistic,” and “Shenandoah Fall,” but the album is fantastic in it’s entirety.

The Company Stores Official Site

#tbt Soundgarden: “Fell On Black Days” Video

I’m very sad to read about Chris Cornell’s death. Nirvana and Pearl Jam received more widespread attention, but Chris Cornell’s Temple of the Dog and Soundgarden bands were a driving force in the early days of grunge. And on into his more recent Audioslave and solo days, he remained one of my favorite male vocalists. His voice was extraordinarily powerful and unique, as was his music.