New tunes are on the immediate horizon for several friends. I am going to take an opportunity and share about what I have heard thus far.
Chris Knight-The Trailer Tapes--In the summer of 1996 inside a sweltering singlewide trailer outside a small Kentucky mining town, an unknown singer-songwriter named Chris Knight recorded an 'unofficial' batch of tracks prior to the release of his major label debut album. Over the next decade, through a combination of leaks, bootlegs and legend, those sessions would become something much more. "People have been talking about these tapes ever since I recorded them," Chris Knight says. "To me, they were rough and stark and I never thought they'd see the light of day."
OK, I didn't write that last bit, but I am excited to listen to the beginnings of this man as an artist. While I can't find any audio tracks to review, trust my copy is ordered. To order yours and receive it a month early, check out www.chrisknight.net. In other related news, I have a recording, thanks to the fine folks at XM radio, from this year's Steamboat Music Festival of Knight playing live. I also just found a previously unknown tune of his called "Flesh and Blood." Let me know if you know the origin of this jewel. firstname.lastname@example.org
Jared "Pete" Gile's sophomore release on Looknwest Ranch Records, More of Me, is coming out at the end of this week. Pete is streaming four tracks from the CD on myspace at www.myspace.com/jaredpetegile. Of the four tracks, "580 130 Road" stands out and has been part of his live repertoire for over a year. The Nashville country bashing "What Would Hank Williams Say" makes it as a live cut on the CD. "Monday Afternoon" is not a song with which I was familiar before this CD though as I have heard it four times, it is growing on me fast. "I'm about to screw this week up and it is only Monday afternoon," croons Gile accompanied by strong female harmonies. Overall, the four tracks (and I assume the remainder of the CD) rest on what Pete is best known for--songwriting. With his intelligent, unique perspective these are songs that make you listen to the words. See him at Longhorns this Thursday and then the CD Release at the Wagon Wheel in Emporia on Friday. Rock me mama like a new Pete CD. The only question I have is whether he will have the CD's with him at Longhorns or will he leave them in the vehicle...???
The self-proclaimed "Good Reverend Doctor" Tony Ladesich and Pendergast are preparing for the release of Between the Bottle and the Pulpit in the upcoming weeks. I first heard the title track over a year ago at a free show at www.auntiemaes.com. Between that song and "Main St. 3AM" of their most recent CD, I was hooked. Ladesich blends a husky, pained voice with cutting lyrics that make one think he lives he's experienced every ounce of pain his lyrics purvey. "Jesus couldn't save me/ Even if I let him try," from the title track is haunting reminder of the guilt and pleasure that embodies the good and evil of life. The suicide ballad "Forty Five" is a sister song to "33 1/3" telling a story of lost love, this time though the songwriter laments "I found you there with the sheets stained red." Dark, honest, cutting, and believable lyrics again resonate through the songs and through Ladesich's voice which "scratches and pops till the song kicks in" like the 45 RPM records he plays. Catch Tony one of his several upcoming CD release parties and listen to three new songs at www.myspace.com/pendergastkc. For all you Valentineless people in the area, catch him tomorrow night at Mae's after trivia. I can't think of anything more appropriate to do with Valentine's night.
No dates set yet but our friends the Blaine Younger Band have what I believe to be two of the new tracks streaming from their site at www.myspace.com/blaineyounger. Good times are sure to be had in the upcoming months as these guys roll out the new CD.
Well, I have effectively used my windfall of time today to support mostly local, live music. I hope you will do the same.