Here are this week’s five songs worth listening to.
Daniel Donato–Angel From Montgomery
Every wondered what Alabama would sound like if they took acid? Well, wonder no more. Daniel Donato is here. The 25-year-old Nashville native has a new album out called A Young Man’s Country, and it an entirely entertaining mashup of Americana and Jam that he calls Cosmic Country. And yeah, it is out there. Want an idea of the influences? The album has three covers of Grateful Dead, John Prine and Waylon Jennings. I included Prine’s Angel From Montgomery for this column’s purposes, but this entire album is a fun, groovy trip. The songwriting showcases a young man coming into his own, while the guitar playing showcases a young man ahead of his age. This album is currently sitting inside my top five for the year.
Elizabeth Cook–Mary, The Submissing Years
Speaking of John Prine, Nashville’s southern darling wrote a rebuttal to Prine’s Jesus, The Missing Years. She set down with note pads and a file and countered the Prine classic, line for line, then sprinkled in a southern kick like it was cayenne in fried batter. I caught in an interview that she did get the chance to play it for Prine before he passed and he approved. If it is good enough for John, it is good enough for me.
Waylon Payne–All The Trouble
Waylon is the son of two musicians. His mother was Sami Smith. And he was named after her touring partner, Waylon Jennings. His dad was the guitarist for some guy named Willie. Payne has been kicking around the songwriting circles with quite a bit of success in that realm, but he just put out his first album of his own in 17 years, with Blue Eyes, The Harlot, THe Queer, The Pusher and Me. Not exactly one for brevity, is he?
Sturgill Simpson–I Don’t Mind
Sturgill released an album of bluegrass tunes today, Cutttin’ Grass, Vol. 1.It has my favorite album cover of the year.
I honestly have not spent any time with it yet. It is in the To Listen list of course, but I’m perpetually 10 hours behind on that. But, I wanted to include this one this week, a new take on a song Sturgill previously recorded with Sunday Valley. Sturgill has diverged from traditional outlaw to what I called samurai industrial country and now circled back to bluegrass. The man is an artist. Just in case anyone is still wondering who the fuck Sturgill Simpson is.
Final Child & Lincoln Durham–Time Is Out
I have been a big fan of Lincoln Durham since the 2012 album. The Shovel vs. The Howling Bones. He pairs up with Final Child, the musical moniker of Jennifer Akerman on this one. Durham is known for driving one-man-band energy infernos. This one has is more of a techno-drone haunt, but still has his signature howl. Listen, I’m rarely gonna pass up on a chance to mention Lincoln when he has new music. Them’s the rules.
We’ll be back with five more next week. Until then, remember the immortal words…
“Songs are really just interesting things to be doing with the air.” Tom Waits