Posts Tagged ‘Arizona’

Deer Tick guitarist/vocalist John McCauley unveiled a studio version of Courtney Marie Andrews‘ “Rough Around The Edges.” Andrews returned the favor by sharing her take on McCauley’s “Goodbye, Dear Friend.”

Courtney Marie Andrews is currently on tour as support for Deer Tick. Last Tuesday, Andrews joined Deer Tick for a cover of Jennifer Warnes & Joe Cocker’s “Up Where We Belong.” Courtney originally recorded “Rough Around The Edges” for her 2018 studio album May Your Kindness Remain, while Deer Tick’s original “Goodbye, Dear Friend” can be found on 2010’s The Black Dirt Sessions.

Courtney Marie Andrews‘ acoustic cover of Deer Tick’s song, “Goodbye, Dear Friend”.

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Released May 2nd, 2019
Performed by Courtney Marie Andrews.
Written by John J. McCauley III.

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‘May Your Kindness Remain’ is a year old today. It has been a magical and wild journey of a year. Thank you to all who’ve been a part of it.

After a decade spent at the height of the music industry, touring solo and with large pop bands, she realized her desire for a place to come home to. She found that in a small rural town in the deep forests of Washington State. There, she posted up at a local bar, slinging drinks, basking in the simplicity and reflection it allowed.

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Thank you to Rolling Stone magazine for naming my song “May Your Kindness Remain” the number one country/americana song of the year. I write music with the intention of connecting with myself and others through words and feelings, and I’m so happy to know this song has resonated with so many folks this year.

releases May 17th, 2019

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Tow’rs is led by husband and wife Kyle and Gretta Miller, who aren’t terribly concerned about blowing out their string-infused folk-rock songs to fill arenas. Listen to the wistful “Girl in Calico,” and you’ll hear key ingredients of a powerhouse anthem — luscious strings, a crisp guitar line, rich vocal harmonies and none of the rafter-rattling grandiosity. Instead, every sound is impeccably rendered in the service of tender, ornate quietude.

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Tucson, Arizona’s Matt Rendon has certainly done his homework. Over the course of 22 years and six albums as The Resonars (seven if you count the Butterscotch Cathedral album; a one-ff psychedelic magnum opus released in 2015) for labels like Get Hip & Burger Records, Rendon’s musical vision has remained unwavering; a paean to a lost-era of analog recording, whip-smart, dynamic songwriting, and soul-stirring anthems to ignite generations. “No Exit” is his latest album as The Resonars.

“No Exit” kicks off with the epic clang of “Louise Tonight”, which merges dive-bombing guitar licks and bombastic drumming, hinting at the controlled chaos of a modern day Townshend/Moon. Elsewhere, “The Man Who Does Nothing” evokes the shimmering harmonies of The Hollies atop a persistent backbeat, and tunes like “Before You’re Gone” “Beagle Theory” sidle up to a dreamy kiwi-jangle strong enough to make Martin Phillips jealous. Conversely, tunes like side two’s “All Those Hats” rages with an amphetamine-laced melodic tension reminiscent of The Buzzcocks or The Undertones. Rendon has consistently proven to have a knack for an everyman style of songwriting that doesn’t seem rote or tired, lacing his melodic vocal harmonies with that melancholic joy omnipresent in the best numbers by bands like The Beach Boys, Big Star or even Simon & Garfunkel’s pop hits. 

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Rendon typically handles all aspects of Resonars albums from the recording & engineering (at his own Midtown Island Studios) to the performance of every instrument, but for “No Exit” he employs the help of some friends & colleagues; Resonars live drummer Johnnie Rinehart plays on half the tunes, while sometimes live members Ricky Shimo and Travis Spillers play bass & sing (respectively) on two numbers. Despite being the first Resonars album in 5 years, Rendon shows no signs of stopping; He’s a rock & roll lifer, having been raised in a musical environment & osmosis thru older sibling’s rock fandom. Once it’s inside you there’s no escape. “No Exit”, if you will.

Releases April 19th, 2019

This is Courtney Marie Andrews‘ fourth record, “No One’s Slate is Clean.”
released December 6th, 2010, It’s near Impossible to pick a favorite track. This albums is stellar from start to finish. Do yourself a favor and listen to this album. Each song flows into the next in a logical, touching way, and there’s a large-scale building to (what I feel is) a climax.  a perfect snapshot of an age full of imperfections. Incredibly beautiful melodies, pro arrangements, and raw honesty – the marriage of simple things that birth complex emotions.

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All songs written and performed by Courtney Marie Andrews.

Courtney Marie Andrews: acoustic guitars, electric guitars, vocals, vocal harmonies, synth, string arrangements for, “Canals of Amsterdam” and “Songs for Tourists.”

Ethan McCracken: electric guitars, synth, vocal harmonies on, “Bumper in the Hail,” and string arrangements for “Canals of Amsterdam” and “Songs for Tourists.”

Tim Mechling: piano, rhodes, organ, and string arrangements for “Unbalanced Suns.”

Alex Stoops Sabel: bass

Luke Knezevich: drums, percussion

Additional Musicians:
Chris Testa: percussion
Patrick Austin: violin
Jared MacFarlane: violin
Clifton P. Antoine: viola
Brad Hawkins: cello

Courtney Marie Andrews, May Your Kindness Remain

The layers of singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews’ May Your Kindness Remain are vast as the music is enchanting. Her sixth record is easy to fall for, with her dusky soprano rising atop an easy-going, yet sultry band. Her groove is reminiscent of Linda Ronstadt, particularly with the way she slides around the spectrum of Americana: country, folk, gospel and something else you can’t quite put your finger on. Lyrically, Andrews is in touch with her own loneliness, kindness and empathy and that shines through songs like “I’ve Hurt Worse,” “May Your Kindness Remain” and “Two Cold Nights in Buffalo.” The inspiration for these songs came from meeting people on her tours and realizing that everyone is suffering from the same types of sadness. May Your Kindness Remain is an accurate, passionate account of facing problems directly and dealing with depression head-on.

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There’s a confounding nature to the comfort constructed by The Myrrors throughout the flawless forty minutes of “Entranced Earth,” the third full-length album from the transcendentally-tuned, Tuscon-tied desert die-hards (and their second for Beyond Beyond Is Beyond Records).

Those looking for terra firma – for ground not given to staggering shifts, for easily grasped handholds, for the force of gravity as we know it – are likely to find the album an often-groundless experience. But for listeners willing to give themselves over to the landscape presented on “Entranced Earth,” the reward lies in the discovery of new lands, and the sound of a band operating at the peak of their powers.

When last we saw the reflection of The Myrrors, it was in the form of their previous release, “Arena Negra,” an album that announced its presence immediately and with high dosage of the appropriate amplification. “Entranced Earth,” by contrast, gives indication of The Myrrors entering an altogether different atmosphere, taking on an altogether higher climb, shorn of all hesitation and allowing their freak flags to unfurl and fly like never before.

Still, it’s difficult (and altogether unnecessary) to pin down “Entranced Earth” beyond the spires of sonic smoke that the album seems to generate at will. So subtle is the album- opening invocation of “Mountain Mourning” that it threatens to never descend from its sky-bound view, leaving the track that follows, “Liberty Is In the Street,” to offer the album’s first, fading glimpse of solid ground. “On your feet or on your knees” goes the mantra-like vocal drone, though the effect is likely to bring to mind the Moody Blues more than Blue Öyster Cult (at least, the path of The Myrrors seems to include traces of the footprints left by the one-time Harvard professor given an early eulogy by the Blues on “Legend of a Mind”). By the time that “No Clear Light” – a torch-lit, dust-crusted dirge that can be felt as the beating heart of the album overall – leads listeners toward the nearly nine-minute title track and album centerpiece, there are doubtlessly many more wanderers pledging allegiance to The Myrrors unnamed cult. 

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Guitars of six and twelve strings, harmonium, tablas, alto sax, bulbul tarang – these are the tools of The Myrrors all-consuming quest, expertly applied for maximum elevation. Enter the realm of “Entranced Earth,” sit still and let the ground disappear beneath your feet.

Band Members
Nik Rayne / Grant Beyschau / Miguel Urbina / Kellen Fortier / Casey Hadland
released May 27th, 2016

Two of the 10 songs from the new album Courtney Marie Andrews “May Your Kindness Remain”,  astonishingly beautiful new album, have the word kindness in the title. This is not a coincidence. The idea of kindness of empathy, of giving unto others, of needing the same from others — is as central to Andrews’ music  Even when it’s not what she’s singing about, it’s what she’s singing about.

One song on May Your Kindness Remain is about an old, broken-down, permanently messy house and about the couple who used to live there. It’s clear that they’re not still together — “There’s a bed upstairs if you’re ever in town / Or if you need a place to get your feet back on the ground” — but there’s still a fondness, a feeling of togetherness. She sings that the house is their home, that it belongs to both of them, and it feels like a powerful act of generosity, a gift of a song. It’s about how that warmth can outlast the end of a relationship. It’s just lovely.

There are some staggering love songs on May Your Kindness Remain, and there are also songs about needing love, about requiring that sort of empathy. “Lift The Lonely From My Heart” is about depression, about needing someone else’s help to get through it: “Pining, mining for a feeling I’m not finding / Looking to you to tell me what I’m worth.” And then there’s a song like “I’ve Hurt Worse” about knowing that empathy is not coming back to you: “I like you when I have to call you a second time / It keeps me wondering if you are mine / Mother says you love who you think you deserve / But I’ve hurt worse.” Andrews herself calls it a sarcastic song, but I hear a note of longing in there, of self-recrimination. Andrews is working within a country-music tradition that’s long prized a brassy toughness, but even at her hardest, that’s not really what she’s about. And that, in its way, is why a song like that cuts even deeper.

The empathy extends, too, to people beyond Andrews’ relationships, to people she might not know. “Two Cold Nights In Buffalo” is a song about getting stranded in an edge-of-oblivion upstate New York town, taking in all the misery around you, and wondering how shit ever got this bad. It gets a little on-the-nose when Andrews starts wondering how this place ever got this bad — “Is that the American dream dying?” — but it hits hard when she takes in the individual scenes of misery, extrapolating from a glance: “A snowy prison out on Main Street, heaters hang from the cells / A bum searches for shelter, so cold he dreams of hell.” And on “Border Song” she imagines the life of a Mexican immigrant trying to get through the desert, dreaming of a better life that’s still a hell of a lot harder than what most of the people reading this website will ever have to endure: “Stand outside that hardware store / Don’t matter the job they need me for.”

Courtney Marie Andrews’ music isn’t country the way “country” is commonly understood now. It’s country the same way that, for instance, the Black Keys’ music is metal, which is to say that it’s something that could’ve been called country in 1971 even if the tag no longer applies. Her voice has a deep twang, the kind that sticks to you. Her voice is huge, warm, expressive. She’s not a soul singer, but she’s got that soul-singer balance of fire and control, the two elements working together rather than against each other. Occasionally, when she’s really cutting loose, she gets some gospel in her voice. The album has some hazy psychedelic tremolo guitar and some sweaty blues-rock organ. She’s an Americana singer, I guess, but she doesn’t have the sleepy reverence that I (maybe wrongly) tend to associate with Americana singers. Her music is heavy and direct and alive.

Andrews is only 27, but she’s already a veteran. She released her first album when she was a teenager, and she’s been steadily cranking out music for about a decade while moving from Arizona to Seattle to Los Angeles. For a while, she was touring as a keyboardist and a backup singer for Jimmy Eat World. And for a while after that, she was bartending whenever she wasn’t touring. That changed in 2016 with the release of Honest Life, the album that finally got her noticed by the kinds of people who notice really good Americana albums. (I still slept on it.) If Honest Life was Andrews’ break, then May Your Kindness Remain is her big reach.

The new album belongs absolutely to Andrews. She sang and played guitar on every song, and she wrote all of them except for the one she co-wrote with a couple of dudes. She also co-produced it with Mark Howard, a veteran studio type who’s been doing mixing and engineering for people like Bob Dylan and Tom Waits for many years. It’s not a huge leap beyond Honest Life, but it’s got the exact right level of musical lushness. Andrews’ voice dominates, but it doesn’t overpower, and the arrangements shimmer like mirages around her. And for someone like me, someone who’s been shamefully ignorant of all the music that Andrews has been making for all these years, it’s a head-spinning discovery, a warm and gorgeous and fully formed piece of work. The kindness isn’t just in the lyrics. It’s in the way music like this can nourish you, can make your insides glow. An album like this can be a refuge.

May Your Kindness Remain is out on 23rd March on Fat Possum Records/Mama Bird Recordings.

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thanks to Stereogum

ROAR, are the self-described “art-pop” project of Phoenix-based artist Owen Evans, He is one of a handful of bands from Phoenix that are quickly making it into one of the best music scenes in the country. Jeff Rosenstock credits folk-punk stalwarts AJJ with helping to quietly build a burgeoning punk scene in Arizona’s largest city. “There’s just a real cool crew, it seems like they’re all buddies with AJJ and I found out about them through those guys…they really paid it down to other bands in their world and tried hard to turn that into cool shit for Phoenix,Rosenstock says. “ROAR is the band I’ve most tried to get people to listen to.” (Another of those Phoenix acts Rosenstock also loves: the now L.A.-based Diners.)

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This is a Dense, detailed, and inspiring listen. A total thing of beauty. There have been very few days this year that I haven’t listened to “Hope” at least once.

This album is eclectic and beautiful, quickly became one of my favorites of the last year.

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Hypnotic, psychedelic, desert drone krautrock: The Myrrors from Arizona! Their 4th album Hasta La Victoria (2017) is a ”masterpiece” (said influential online magazine CVLT Nation) and their spacey live shows are a huge experience! ”The raddest psych band you will hear today” (cvlt nation).

Band Members
Nik Rayne / Grant Beyschau / Miguel Urbina / Kellen Fortier / Casey Hadland

Burning Circles In the Sky (2008).
Thanks to Grant, the Myrror’s drummer, here’s a link for the LP :
http://www.mediafire.com/?wdkyb1q7a8q…
Notify me if anything goes wrong with it. And if you’re loving the band, consider showing your love by buying the album via their Bandcamp page :
http://themyrrors.bandcamp.com/