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'Americana' Bands // p 1

Darren's favorite bands for his Song Of The Day filtered by Americana
314 Bands
Andrew Bird

Andrew Bird

Andrew Wegman Bird (born July 11, 1973) is an American indie rock multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter. He was a member of the bands Squirrel Nut Zippers and Bowl of Fire before pursuing a solo career. His main instrument is violin, but he also plays guitar and glockenspiel and is an expert whistler. He wrote and performed "The Whistling Caruso" for The Muppets movie and composed the score for the television series Baskets.

Trained in the Suzuki method from the age of four, Bird graduated from Lake Forest High School in 1991 and Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in violin performance in 1996. That same year he self-released his first solo album, Music of Hair. Vastly different from his later work, this album showcased his violin skills and paid tribute to his fascination with both American and European folk traditions, as well as jazz and blues. Following this, his initial commercial exposure came through collaborative work with the band Squirrel Nut Zippers, appearing on three of their albums (Hot, Sold Out, and Perennial Favorites) between 1996 and 1998.

Taking on the role of bandleader, Bird released Thrills on Rykodisc in 1998 with his group Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire, shortly followed by second album Oh! The Grandeur in 1999. Both albums were heavily influenced by traditional folk, pre-war jazz, and swing, with Bird relying on the violin as his primary musical instrument, as well as providing vocals along with his trademark verbose lyrics. The Bowl of Fire featured musicians from Bird's home town of Chicago, including Kevin O'Donnell, Joshua Hirsch, Jon Williams, Nora O'Connor, Andy Hopkins, Jimmy Sutton, Colin Bunn, and Ryan Hembrey. During this period, Andrew Bird was a member of the jazz group Kevin O'Donnells Quality Six, for which he was the lead singer and violinist and contributed to arrangements and songwriting for the albums Heretic Blues (Delmark 1999) and Control Freak (Delmark 2000) (both Delmark albums were produced by Raymond Salvatore Harmon).

In 2001, the Bowl of Fire released their third album, The Swimming Hour, a dramatic departure from their previous recordings. It featured a mixture of styles, from the zydeco-influenced "Core and Rind" to more straightforward rock songs such as "11:11". Due to this eclectic nature, Bird has often referred to it as his "jukebox album". Although gaining critical praise (The Swimming Hour received a 9.0 from indie music website Pitchfork), the band failed to attain commercial success or recognition, playing to audiences as small as 40 people. In 2002, Bird was asked to open for a band in his hometown of Chicago, but fellow Bowl of Fire members were unavailable for the date. The reluctant Bird performed the gig alone, and the surprising success of this solo show suggested potential new directions for his music.

Source Wikipedia

 'Desperation Breeds'

'Desperation Breeds'
Wednesday, October 16, 2019

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 'Oh No'

'Oh No'
Sunday, February 17, 2019

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 'Not a Robot, But a Ghost'

'Not a Robot, But a Ghost'
Monday, December 31, 2018

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 'Sovay'

'Sovay'
Monday, August 27, 2018

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Andrew Duhon

Andrew Duhon

Andrew Duhon is a songwriter from New Orleans, a teller of stories with an undeniable voice, weighted and soulful. Duhon has released 3 recordings, the latest of which, ‘The Moorings’, was nominated for a Grammy in 2014 for ‘Best Engineered Album’. He has toured solo for much of his career, and that troubadour element is certainly present, an usher of modern day folklore.

Source AndrewDuhon.com

 'Growing Older Now'

'Growing Older Now'
Friday, September 6, 2019

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 'Comin’ Around'

'Comin’ Around'
Monday, January 7, 2019

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 'Gotta Know'

'Gotta Know'
Thursday, November 1, 2018

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 'Riverman'

'Riverman'
Thursday, October 11, 2018

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Band of Annuals

Band of Annuals

Specializing in a kind of atmospheric country-folk-pop, Band of Annuals formed in 2004 in Salt Lake City, UT, with a lineup that included Jay Henderson (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Jeremi Hanson (vocals, keyboards), Brent Dreiling (pedal steel), Trevor Handley (bass), Jamie Timm (guitar), and Charlie Lewis (drums). Initially known as the Annuals, the group self-released the lo-fi Respondez shortly after coming together, following it up with the Live Warehouse EP. A full-length album, Let Me Live, appeared in 2007 and a second, five-song EP, available only at the group's live shows, was released in 2008.

By Steve Leggett

Source allmusic.com

 'Something True'

'Something True'
Wednesday, February 12, 2020

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Beck

Beck

Beck Hansen (born Bek David Campbell; July 8, 1970), known professionally as Beck, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist. He rose to fame in the early 1990s with his experimental and lo-fi style, and became known for creating musical collages of wide genre styles. Today, he musically encompasses folk, funk, soul, hip hop, electronic, alternative rock, country, and psychedelia. He has released 13 studio albums (3 of which were independently released), as well as several non-album singles and a book of sheet music.

Born in Los Angeles in 1970, Beck grew towards hip-hop and folk in his teens and began to perform locally at coffeehouses and clubs. He moved to New York City in 1989 and became involved in the city's small and fiery anti-folk movement. Returning to Los Angeles in the early 1990s, he cut his breakthrough single "Loser," which became a worldwide hit in 1994, and released his first major album, Mellow Gold, the same year. Odelay, released in 1996, topped critic polls and won several awards. He released the psychedelic Mutations in 1998, and the funk-infused Midnite Vultures in 1999. The soft-acoustic Sea Change in 2002 showcased a more serious Beck, and 2005's Guero returned to Odelay's sample-based production. The Information in 2006 was inspired by electro-funk, hip hop, and psychedelia; 2008's Modern Guilt was inspired by '60s pop music; and 2014's folk-infused Morning Phase won Album of the Year at the 57th Grammy Awards on February 8, 2015. His thirteenth studio album, Colors, was released in October 2017 after a long production process.

With a pop art collage of musical styles, oblique and ironic lyrics, and postmodern arrangements incorporating samples, drum machines, live instrumentation and sound effects, Beck has been hailed by critics and the public throughout his musical career as being among the most idiosyncratically creative musicians of 1990s and 2000s alternative rock. Two of Beck's most popular and acclaimed recordings are Odelay and Sea Change, both of which were ranked on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The four-time platinum artist has collaborated with several artists and has made several contributions to soundtracks.

Source Wikipedia

 'Ramshackle'

'Ramshackle'
Thursday, January 31, 2019

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Bobby Long

Bobby Long

Bobby Long (born Robert Thomas Long, 18 September 1985) is a British singer-songwriter, whose largely acoustic body of work has its roots in folk. Born in Wigan, Greater Manchester, England, he moved at the age of four to Calne, Wiltshire, where he grew up, though he still holds deep roots in Wigan. He currently resides in New York.

Long learned cello and guitar and started writing songs when he was 18. His earliest performing experience was as lead guitarist in a local grunge band. Long moved to London in 2005 to attend London Metropolitan University where he studied sound and media for film. He began playing open-mic nights at local clubs, meeting a coterie of likeminded young musicians, among them Sam Bradley, Marcus Foster and Robert Pattinson, whose career as an actor was just beginning. Long’s career trajectory took a major leap when Pattinson performed the song "Let Me Sign," co-written by Long and Foster, in the 2008 blockbuster vampire film Twilight.

Long graduated from college in June, 2009 (earning a degree in music for film after writing his senior thesis on the social impact of American folk music) and commenced performing full-time. A spring series of showcase dates introduced him to American audiences in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville, and, by July, he embarked on the critically well-received "Dangerous Summer" tour. Long fans, who first discovered his music via the "Twilight" soundtrack, turned out for shows throughout the U.S. and Canada and pushed his MySpace page well over one million page views. He recorded the 10-song collection Dirty Pond Songs to be available at his shows. Recorded in his London bedroom, it included traffic noises and all. "Left to Lie" from Dirty Pond Songs, became an iTunes favorite, topping the site’s "Unsigned" chart and reaching #8 its folk music chart. "The Bounty of Mary Jane" from Dirty Pond Songs and a live version of his "Being a Mockingbird," recorded at Arlene’s Grocery in New York City, were also released via iTunes. "The Dangerous Summer" tour continued until the end of 2009, logging some 80 performances in all.

Source Wikipedia

 'Sick Man Blues'

'Sick Man Blues'
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

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 'The Bounty Of Mary Jane'

'The Bounty Of Mary Jane'
Sunday, February 10, 2019

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Calexico

Calexico

Calexico is a Tucson, Arizona-based Americana, Tex-Mex, indie rock band. The band's two main members, Joey Burns and John Convertino, first played together in Los Angeles as part of the group Giant Sand. They have recorded a number of albums on Quarterstick Records, while their 2005 EP In the Reins, recorded with Iron & Wine, has reached the Billboard 200 album charts. Their musical style is influenced by traditional Latin sounds of mariachi, conjunto, cumbia, and tejano mixed with country, jazz, and post-rock.

The band is named for the border town of Calexico, California, and has been described by some as "desert noir".

Formation
Calexico had its origins in 1990 when Joey Burns, who was studying music at the University of California, Irvine, met up with John Convertino, who was playing drums with Howe Gelb in Giant Sand. Burns joined them, after first playing upright bass on a European tour.

Giant Sand moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1994. Burns and Convertino formed the Friends of Dean Martin (later the Friends of Dean Martinez) which scored a record deal with Sub Pop. However, the pair split up with Bill Elm, the co-founder of The Friends of Dean Martinez in 1996. The band subsequently became a kind of indie rhythm section for hire, working with the likes of Victoria Williams, Barbara Manning and Richard Buckner before forming Calexico.

 

Source Wikipedia

 'Curse of the Ride'

'Curse of the Ride'
Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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 'Lost Inside'

'Lost Inside'
Wednesday, September 4, 2019

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 'Better and Better'

'Better and Better'
Friday, January 18, 2019

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 'Fortune Teller'

'Fortune Teller'
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

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 'Minas de Cobre'

'Minas de Cobre'
Saturday, July 28, 2018

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Cotton Jones

Cotton Jones

Cotton Jones (formerly The Cotton Jones Basket Ride) is an indie folk band, with elements of psychedelic folk, dream pop, baroque pop, and Americana, based in Cumberland, Maryland and currently signed to Suicide Squeeze Records.

Michael Nau (born October 31, 1984) is the lead singer-songwriter and plays guitar, Whitney McGraw (born July 20, 1986) is on keyboards, organ, and electronic autoharp, Todd Gowans (born February 4, 1986) is on lead electric guitar, and Greg Bender is on bass.

The signature sound of the band is Michael Nau and his wife Whitney McGraw's ethereal vocals.

Source Wikipedia

 'Some Strange Rain'

'Some Strange Rain'
Wednesday, October 23, 2019

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 'I Am The Changer'

'I Am The Changer'
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

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Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington. Their first two albums were released by Sub Pop and Bella Union, with their third by Nonesuch and Bella Union. The band came to prominence in 2008 with the release of their second EP, Sun Giant, and their self-titled debut album. Both received much critical praise and reviewers often noted the band's use of refined lyrics and vocal harmonies. Fleet Foxes' second studio album, Helplessness Blues, was released on May 3, 2011, and their third album, Crack-Up, was released on June 16, 2017.

Robin Pecknold and Skyler Skjelset both attended Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, a suburb of Seattle, and soon became close friends. Pecknold and Skjelset bonded over a mutual appreciation of Bob Dylan and Neil Young and began making music together. Their parents influenced their musical tastes early on—Skjelset's mother Peggi was a keen listener to both Dylan and Hank Williams while Pecknold's father Greg was a member of The Fathoms, a local 1960s soul group. The two shared an interest in the music of Dylan and Brian Wilson. Pecknold played bass for Seattle's Dolour on a US tour in 2005, shortly before forming the first incarnation of Fleet Foxes.

Originally going by the name "The Pineapples", a name clash with another local band prompted a change and Pecknold decided upon "Fleet Foxes", suggesting that it was "evocative of some weird English activity like fox hunting". Pecknold took up the role of principal songwriter, both singing and playing guitar, while Skjelset played lead guitar. The original lineup was filled out by Casey Wescott on keyboards and backing vocals, Bryn Lumsden on bass and Nicholas Peterson on drums and backing vocals. Pecknold's late-sixties pop style caught the attention of the Seattle producer Phil Ek and he helped them record their first demo in 2006, the self-released Fleet Foxes EP. Ek was impressed with the band's songwriting, and on hearing Pecknold for the first time, noted, "It was obvious he had talent coming out of his ass." By late 2006 the Seattle press began to take notice of the band; Tom Scanlon of the Seattle Times stated that he was impressed with the band's lyrics and musical maturity. By the end of the year, Lumsden had been replaced on bass by Craig Curran, who would also handle many of the band's vocal harmonies.

With growing popularity on the local circuit, the band set about making their first album in early 2007, spending time in the studio with producer Ek in addition to recording material at home. However, funds for recording were tight, so the band members cobbled together what funds they had, which limited the time they had in the studio, and so the majority of the tracks were recorded in various band members' apartments, other spaces, or the basement of Pecknold's parents' house.

Source Wikipedia

 'Ragged Wood'

'Ragged Wood'
Monday, June 17, 2019

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Giant Sand

Giant Sand

Giant Sand (also currently recording as Giant Giant Sand) is an American band from Tucson, Arizona. Its most constant member is singer-songwriter Howe Gelb.

Members have included keyboardist Chris Cacavas (of Green on Red), bassist Paula Jean Brown (who was briefly a member of The Go-Go's and was married to Gelb at the time), Mark Walton (of The Dream Syndicate and Continental Drifters), drummer Tom Larkins (later to become a Jonathan Richman sideman). and Iain Shedden, drummer with Australian band The Saints. For a long while the band's rhythm section consisted of John Convertino and Joey Burns (of Calexico fame). In the early 2000s Howe Gelb reinvented the band again - this time with players from Denmark.

Guest artists over the last 3 decades have included Victoria Williams, Neko Case, Juliana Hatfield, PJ Harvey, Vic Chesnutt, Steve Wynn, Vicki Peterson, Rainer Ptacek, M. Ward, Isobel Campbell, nearly all members of the band Poi Dog Pondering, and Indiosa Patsy Jean (Gelb and Brown's daughter).

Source Wikipedia

 'Lost Love'

'Lost Love'
Thursday, March 21, 2019

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 'Carinito'

'Carinito'
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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 'Love Comes Over You'

'Love Comes Over You'
Saturday, August 25, 2018

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Hayward Williams

Hayward Williams

Hayward Williams is a veteran singer/songwriter from Milwaukee, WI. With six full length records under his belt, Williams is set to release his latest effort: Pretenders. This record is yet another swan dive into the deep end of the Americana/Soul world that Hayward tends to reside in.

Growing up in Wisconsin in the 80's and 90's convinced Hayward Williams to search for something more out there in the world. Foregoing higher education, he joined a band and learned much about what to do and what not to do in the Midwest music scene. Playing in pubs for many years, getting thick skin and finding a notably sharp tongue, avenues opened up to Williams. Headlining European tours, major US festivals and a few trips to Australia later, Hayward has carved out an impressive niche in the folk music business.

Williams' previous release, The Reef, was produced by venerated songwriter, friend and collaborator Jeffrey Foucault. Utilizing an impressive rhythm section of Billy Conway (Morphine) on drums and Jeremy Moses Curtis (Booker T, Levon Helm, Session Americana) on bass, The Reef is an unequaled Americana record with soaring vocals and hooks that dig in deep. "The surprisingly soulful voice of Milwaukee-based singer/songwriter Hayward Williams emanates from a slight, almost unassuming figure, yet that voice is imbued with so much power, it's difficult to imagine it coming from anywhere other than midway between Memphis and Muscle Shoals... The Reef is an album to return to again and again." - Allan Wilkinson, Northern Sky Magazine (UK)

Pretenders was recorded in October of 2016 at Midwest Sound in Rockford, IL under a full moon and the care of Dan McMahon and Jeremy Koester. Hayward and J. Hardin would co-produced the album. Charles Koltak, who played drums on Williams' Haymaker (2012) teamed up with Jeremy Moses Curtis in the rhythm section. Corey Matthew Hart of Madison, WI (Lost Lakes) would lend his talented voice and guitar work to the project during one late night session. Finally, Brooks Milgate would send his B3 performances in remotely from the east coast adding a layer to the project that would fit in with any Al Green classic.

"Often dark, always honest and in the groove, Williams continues to break new ground in new traditional folk rock. There’s a ghostly spirit that floats through the songs on “Pretenders.” Williams is a wary caretaker of those spirits. His songs brim with the smoke and mirror lyricism of Leonard Cohen—with the rocker’s heart of Neil Young."

-Andy Moore ISTHMUS (Madison, WI)

Source haywardwilliams.com

 'You Were Right'

'You Were Right'
Tuesday, January 14, 2020

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 'Cotton Bell'

'Cotton Bell'
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

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J.J. Cale

J.J. Cale

John Weldon "J. J." Cale (December 5, 1938 – July 26, 2013) was an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Though he avoided the limelight, his influence as a musical artist has been widely acknowledged by figures such as Mark Knopfler, Neil Young and Eric Clapton, who described him as "one of the most important artists in the history of rock". He is considered to be one of the originators of the Tulsa Sound, a loose genre drawing on blues, rockabilly, country, and jazz.

Many songs written by Cale have been recorded by other acts, including "After Midnight" and "Cocaine" by Eric Clapton; "Call Me the Breeze" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, John Mayer, Johnny Cash, and Bobby Bare; "Clyde" by Waylon Jennings and Dr. Hook; "I Got The Same Old Blues" by Captain Beefheart, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Freddie King, and Bryan Ferry; "Travelin' Light" and "Ride Me High" by Widespread Panic; and "Magnolia" by Poco, Pat Travers, Beck, Lucinda Williams, Iron & Wine, José Feliciano, Ben Bridwell, John Mayer with Eric Clapton, Joan Shelley, and Sadie Johnson; as well as “Bringing It Back” covered by Kansas.

In 2008, Cale, along with Clapton, received a Grammy Award for their album The Road to Escondido.

Source Wikipedia

 'The Woman That Got Away'

'The Woman That Got Away'
Sunday, September 22, 2019

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 'Crazy Mama'

'Crazy Mama'
Saturday, October 27, 2018

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