Hundred Word Highlights
…Each CD review is guaranteed to be a full one hundred words, because sometimes
ninety-nine and a half just won’t do.
Blood Like a River
Turns out, I’ve been missing Nathan Bell for 15 years and didn’t even know it. In the 90s, Bell stepped away from music and into a house, a family, a regular job. Perhaps he needed that time to mature as a person before he could write the songs on Blood Like a River. Bell’s twelve tracks are just his vocals and acoustic guitar, telling stories where he tackles some weighty emotional issues, including gay marriage and adoption. Blood Like A River runs somewhere between Springsteen’s stark Nebraska soundscape and the haunted strains of Townes Van Zandt. Picks: Names, Really Truly.
And here's something a little more rowdy:
Leave a Scar: Live in North Carolina
This is one of those live records that make you want to jump up and immediately go see the band play. Blackberry Smoke unabashedly pump out what can only be called southern rock, a swaggering mix of country, blues and good ol’ rock-n-roll. The band is smart enough to weave Zep and Allman Brothers teases into their songs, and talented enough to make music that takes the best of 70s southern rock and filters it through the Bottle Rockets and Little Feat. Like Ronnie said in Sweet Home Alabama, “Turn it up.” Picks: One Horse Town, Six Ways to Sunday.