, , , , , ,

(image via The Gertrudes’ myspace – photo credit Jeff Barbeau)

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I posted the gorgeous ‘Sailor’, by Canada’s The Gertrudes teaming up with PS I Love You? Go ahead and download it now, I’ll wait.

It’s great, right? Well I’ve tracked down a few more tracks by The Gertrudes (they’re a 12-piece, would you believe) and I’m particularly taken by ‘Turn Out The Lights (The River Song)’. Lovely haunting harmonies, plenty of banjo – subtle banjo, not over-the-top Deliverance banjo – and some well placed trumpet action. After a few listens this morning I also detected some squeezebox in the background (that’s what they call it on their myspace). Please listen. It will do you good.

The Gertrudes – Turn out the Lights (The River Song)

(Oweihops frontman Michael Metivier, image from Yer Bird Records)

Oweihops is an American 3-piece folk outfit that I came across while checking out Yer Bird Records, a label now run by my friend Sandy, who is also responsible for one of my favourite blogs, Slowcoustic. I’ve been completely charmed by ‘Sad Little Drunks’, which is all melancholy and wistful, has pedal steel (pedal steel!) and was featured on a Yer Birds compilation called Folk Music For The End Of The World, available to purchase for a mere $10. Other artists featured include J. Tillman, O’Death, Matthew Ryan and Hezekiah Jones. The Oweihops myspace also alludes to a fourth album to be released sometime this year.

Sad Little Drunks – Oweihops

Bonus mp3 (this one’s all about the cello)

Proximity – Oweihops

(image via the band’s myspace)

Hey, speaking of Philadelphia’s Hezekiah Jones (hello, segue!), they’re also on the Yer Birds label and are a band lead by Raphael Cutrufello, who writes their songs and plays about a billion instruments, and is accompanied in the studio and on the road by a ton of other people who also play about a billion instruments. Seriously, check out the list on their myspace. Nobody gets left behind! Nobody gets left behind! (Say this in the manner of Steve Carell in Little Miss Sunshine, when they’re all running to get into the van after pushstarting it. It will only enhance your reading experience).

Hezekiah Jones have just released the 4 track EP Bread Of Teeth which I’ve had the pleasure of listening to this morning. Opening track ‘Iowa Alligator’ is the more traditional folk-type song I think, quite twangy and upbeat, whereas the remaining three songs are a lot more reflective and downtempo (is that a word? Spell check says no, but I say yes). ‘I Love My Family’ is short but sweet, ‘Traffic To The Sea’ is quite lovely and closing track ‘Sorry Waltz’ features keys this time and some gorgeous vocal harmonies. It really is a lovely EP. HJ have a sprinkling of dates planned over the next couple of months – visit their myspace for details.

Now, ‘Traffic To The Sea’ is the official promo track, but ‘Iowa Alligator’ is my favourite, so Sandy has kindly allowed me to stream it here for your listening pleasure, but I’m afraid you’ll have to go buy it if you want if for your very own. Enjoy.

Iowa Alligator – Hezekiah Jones

Traffic to the Sea – Hezekiah Jones

(image via NR’s website)

Last but not least, I’ve written about Nathaniel Rateliff and The Wheel before and I was alerted to news of his debut album, due for release on April 27 called In Memory Of Loss, courtesy of I Am Fuel, You Are Friends. Demo track ‘Early Spring Till’ perfectly demonstrates the yearning vocals that first drew me to him back in July last year. You can also download the album version of this track by subscribing to Nathaniel’s mailing list on his website.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Wheel embark upon a couple of tours next week, one of which has them supporting The Low Anthem (!), and there are also dates booked with Ra Ra Riot & Delta Spirit, as well as Tallest Man On Earth. Why do I not live in the northern hemisphere, I hear you say? It is a mystery to us both.

Early Spring Till (demo version) – Nathaniel Rateliff & The Wheel