Brendan’s 2013 Top Songs List

By: Brendan

Brendan’s Top 15 Free Downloads of 2013:

Dr. Dog – These Days


Vienna Teng – The Hymn of Acxiom


Brandi Carlile – Hard Way Home


Dying Machines – It Has Been


Bing Satellites – Awakening


Alabama Shakes – I Found You


Chloe Howl – Rumour (Yacht Remix)


Charles Hammell – Hear My Voice


Charlotte Church – Glitterbombed


Brandi Carlile & Emmylou Harris – Take Me Home, Country Roads


TG Lurgan – Liom Fhéin (Gaelic cover of The Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy”)


The So So Glos – Everything Revival (mp3 download page)


Katie Herzig – Nothing! Shhhhhhhhhhhh


Soak – Sea Creatures (Ryan Vail/Unknown Remix)


Caitlin Rose – No More Lonely

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Noisetrade Indie & Alt-Country Roundup

By: Brendan

Anti’s Winter EP includes the legendary Bettye LaVette, Petra Haden’s great version of the Psycho theme, and a Shane McGowan/Johnny Depp sea shanty, of course!

Ato Records Spring Sampler includes several Muruch favorites: Old Crowe Medicine Show! Alabama Shakes! Brandi Carlile & Emmylou Harris singing “Take Me Home, Country Roads”!

Ben Sollee, Ron Sexsmith, Damien Jurado and Harper Simon are among the artists featured on this American Songwriter Sessions Sampler. I hadn’t heard of Harper Simon – his “Berkeley Girl” is a gorgeous song from another time.

Brittany Howard: Rodriguez Cover

By: Brendan

Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard covering a Rodriguez song? Yes please. You can hear Howard and Ruby Ananfu take on “I Wonder” at Rolling Stone. And you can learn more about the enigmatic Detroit singer-songwriter Rodriguez (who was the subject of the recent documentary Searching for Sugar Man) at Legacy Podcasts.

Buy Brittany Howard’s Music @ Amazon

Buy Rodriguez’ Music @ Amazon

Free Album Download: Alabama Shakes, Kodaline, Stars & more!

By: Brendan

One of my favorite songs this past year has been “Hold On” by Alabama Shakes – it is now available for download as a free, legal mp3 on Amazon as part of the MTV Artists Sampler. Kodaline, Stars, Everest, Samantha Crain, and Two Gallants are among the other artists featured.

Free Amazon Album Download

Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls

Flipping past The Late Show With David Letterman one night, I was astonished and astounded to see/hear what seemed to be a howling classic blues diva fronting a wild and rowdy Southern rock band. It was the incomparable Brittany Howard and her band Alabama Shakes performing “Hold On,” the awesome, wailing blues-rock opener from their debut album, Boys & Girls.

The fuzzy studio recording doesn’t quite capture Brittany’s rafter-scraping, earth-quaking bellow on “Hold On,” but is otherwise just as good as the live version.

I really hate to say anything negative about the album, because the band itself is undeniably, brilliantly talented. Sadly, though, the muffled production continues to plague the rest of the album. Even the uptempo numbers are prevented from achieving the full potential of their bombast, and the problem seems to be the sound quality of the recording rather than the arrangements or the band’s instrumentation.

As proven by their live performance on Letterman, Alabama Shakes are definitely capable of churning rumbling rock with funky soul and Delta blues in a sort of Heartless Bastards meets Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears concoction. So hopefully they’ll considering making their sophomore release a live album to show what they’re really made of.

That being said, Boys & Girls is still a solid album and the good songs are truly good – particularly “Hold On,” “Rise to the Sun, “You Ain’t Alone” and “Heartbreaker.”

Alabama Shakes is sure to be a fireworks display of sound live, so check out their tour dates.

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Alabama Shakes Official Site