I feel an apology is in order and I’m sure you’ve missed me, but the reason I was missing is because we were putting the finishing touches on the Daytrotter Pale Ale, brewed by Exile Brewing Co. in Des Moines, Iowa, that was released yesterday. Come to Iowa and drink some with us! Here are the best of the best sessions that we posted on Daytrotter last week.
Joe Fletcher traveled here alone. He almost always does. The songwriter from Providence, R.I., may not have had anyone riding in the car with him, but when you listen to his songs, it’s made perfectly clear that he never travels alone, or unburdened. He has a multitude of bodies—or the ghost of Hank Williams, who’s hanging around and picking up Georgia peaches—packing into every car or room that he gets in or enters. Sometimes they’re waiting for him in those spots, but most of the time he brings them with him. He usually has no choice. The extra baggage can be like that stray string that you find dangling from a seam of your shirt—somewhat a part of it, but unlike that string, there’s no way of just running over to the scissors, snipping the extra baggage off and disposing of it in the trash can. It hangs on him and it weighs on him, pulling on the bottom edge of his coat with a strong force. The men (or the man), that come out of these songs have been slugged a time or two. They have felt the very real pressure of having to make it all up as they’ve gone along. It’s not like other people haven’t felt that pressure, but most don’t give it the appropriate attention, or they just completely overlook how serious any of this is. They misdiagnose themselves and everyone else as having the ability to make everything rosy through sheer willpower. If someone were to, oh, I don’t know, pray more and give more glory to God or something, all of the fucked up shit in one’s life will just miraculously disappear. If only it were that easy. This was the very first session recorded in what is soon-to-be the new home of Daytrotter, in downtown Davenport. We can’t wait to unveil our new studio and venue. Soon, my babies. We might even invite Fletcher back, even if we do loathe the baseball team he so loves. Listen to Joe Fletcher’s session here.
Lee Ann Womack
Going through a bit of an identity makeover, for no reason other than it just felt right, Womack is showing off her finest old country skills on this intimate session and on her excellent new album, The Way I’m Livin’. She’s at her best on these songs detailing hard life (which, granted, is normal life for most people) and feels about 1,000 times more sincere singing about wine, men, and being somewhat bad than do the country starlets of the hour do in their eagerness to be sassy truck lovers, whiskey guzzlers, and men breakers. Womack’s approach is more like that of the recent offerings from Ashley Monroe, who learned a thing or two from Guy Clark in the making of those records. Womack seems to have been learning from the best too and this is a great new chapter in her storied career. Check out Lee Ann Womack’s session here.
We nearly finished off our SXSW week this past March with the taping of this brazen and tuneful group of young lads from the Netherlands, and it felt like we were all drunk. It felt as if we were really living it up at Good Danny’s there in Austin as these songs swooped right in and blew our hair back. The energy level that these four maintain throughout this set is definitely reminiscent of the Arctic Monkeys and we kind of want to go out and chase girls with them. We’re just too old and married for that kind of monkey business. Take a listen to Taymir’s session here.
Verite is Kelsey Byrne, and listening to these songs, it’s impossible to think that she’s not going to be a breakout artist in the not too distant future. “Wasteland” is the kind of Lana Del Rey vibe that goes a long way. Check out Verite’s session here.
Spirit Family Reunion
The people that the Spirit Family Reunion give to us are tantalized by the frostiness of a pre-dawn or sunset morning. They’re intrigued by the simple knowledge that this could all be gone in a heartbeat. They’re interested in the pace and the gait of their troubles. They’ve been tracking them forever. They’re unsure about what heaven could be and admission seems cloudier by the day. The one thing that they seem to be okay with is the understanding that this is all they get and if it’s not satisfactory, there will be no one to whine to. Listen to the Spirit Family Reunion’s session here.
“Think” might have been our favorite song this week. It will put you in a weird, downtrodden Sade-like state that you may not want to get out of, oddly enough. Check out Kaleida’s session here.
To make up for a couple light holiday weeks, here’s a mountain of great new folks I discovered this week: PRAYERS, Young Jesus, ROMANS, The Arcs, Native Marrow, Modern Diet, Laney Jones and the Spirits, Condor & Jaybird, HANA, Strange Love, Jack Broadbent, Manray, Mail The Horse, Rachel Brotman, Kari Arnett, Fairground Saints, Quiet Hollers, Port Arthur, AstralOrgy, The Black Tambourines, Tumbleweed Company, Oh Sister, and Late Night Friends. Now get out there and have yourself a week!