Children’s author Sandra Boynton penned the 12 country and children’s songs on the new compilation, Frog Trouble, then she gathered several country and rock stars to record them. Among the singers on the album are Allison Krauss, Ryan Adams, Ben Folds, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Dwight Yoakam, Fountains of Wayne and Linda Eder. You can download free, legal mp3s of the tracks “Heartache Song” by Kacey Musgraves, “When Pigs Fly” by Ryan Adams and “Broken Piano” by Ben Folds at Noisetrade and buy the entire album at Amazon.
Coles Whalen’s Noisetrade sampler includes 5 free, legal mp3s from her The Whistle Stop Road Record album. Most of the tracks are too bland for my taste, but I do like the bluesy country song “Go Child.” You can download the songs by entering your email address below.
Della Mae’s upcoming album, This World Oft Can Be, is a merry, genteel collection of old-fashioned bluegrass, folk and country that beautifully showcases Della Mae’s all-female harmonies. Highlights include the opener “Letter From Down the Road,” the ballads “Mabeline” and “Heaven’s Gate” and the lilting, string-accented title track. You can download a free, legal mp3 of the track “Empire” by entering your email address into the widget below. This World Oft Can Be will be released on May 28th.
The Steeldrivers will return on February 5, 2013 with their third full-length release, Hammer Down. Unfortunately, the new album lacks the fiery freight train of blues that made their 2008 self-titled debut so brilliant. I suspect the shift in sound is due to the changes in the band’s lineup. Whatever the reason, Hammer Down is a much more mellow collection of old-timey country and bluegrass. It’s a pleasant enough listen, but somewhat of a letdown after such an extraordinary debut. Highlights are “I’ll Be There” and “Cry No Mississippi.”
Hammer Down Tracklist
01. Shallow Grave
02. How Long Have I Been Your Fool
03. When You Don’t Come Home
04. I’ll Be There
05. Burnin’ The Woodshed Down
06. Wearin’ A Hole
07. Lonesome Goodbye
08. Hell On Wheels
09. Cry No Mississippi
10. When I’m Gone
Australian singer-songwriter superduo Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicolson recently released their sophomore collaboration, Wreck & Ruin. Since the couple’s debut, Rattlin’ Bones, made both my Top Albums of 2008 and Best of the Decade lists, I was very excited to hear the new release. Unfortunately, my expectations seem to have been raised too high. I really wanted to love this album but, even after repeated listens, there are only a few tracks that appeal to me.
The haunting acapella duet “‘Til Death Do Us Part” that opens the album is by far the standout track.
The peppy bluegrass title track is more representative of the album’s overall sound.
“Adam & Eve” has a delicously eerie backwoods clang, while “The Quiet Life” is a gentle country ballad.
Otherwise the album’s pleasant, but not nearly as memorable as its predecessor.