Review: Chet O’Keefe – Game Bird

Chet O’Keefe: Game Bird

Another great singer-songwriter Otis Gibbs turned me to Nashville-based Chet O’Keefe with his guest post on the wonderful ninebullets blog. A big thank you goes to Otis for this. Chet O’Keefe is amazing country singer-songwriter and his album Game Bird is utterly wonderful. Listening to this album makes it pretty hard to understand why this man isn’t world famous. At the very least he should get a lot of love in every country, folk, americana orientated blog, webzine and magazine, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at the moment. Surely that’s got to change as soon as the word about this beautiful album starts to spread. I’ll make my tiny contribution here. Chet O’Keefe is a great guitarist, a wonderful songwriter and has a beautiful voice. The album brings to mind all kinds of great country troubadours like Blaze Foley, Townes Van Zandt and John Prine, but he isn’t copying any of them. There’s no need to, because Chet is such a damn good songwriter. The album ranges from deep, dark and moving songs all the way to upbeat and light numbers and everything works really well. That early trio Good Friends, Econoline Van and Game Bird for example is just so bloody marvelous that you keep thinking that you must be listening to some lost country classic from the 70s. Game Bird just fits on pretty much every occasion. The sound is very pleasant and easily approachable if you are just looking to lay your head on the shoulder of a beautiful country album, but it also has the quality and depth to really move you if you are ready to completely introduce your heart to a great singer-songwriter. Game Bird gets extremely close to full amount of hearts and I probably will regret for not giving them all as soon as I’ve hit the publish button.

Listen to Econoline Van.

Buy/stream the whole album on his bandcamp page.

Chet O’Keefe at Bandcamp

At the moment Game Bird is (probably) only available as a digital download. At least I couldn’t find any physical copies and therefore bought the download from his bandcamp page (maybe the first time I ever bought a full digital album, if I don’t count my one month long emusic subscription year or two ago).

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Video of the Day #61: Woody Pines

Last week I got an email about a new live music website Live and Breathing and I’ve been enjoying their videos during the past few days. Someone there has a good taste, because they mostly cover the kind of music that I love. Some of my big favourites like Chatham County Line are included, but let’s pick something that is new to me. Check out liveandbreathing.com for more similar kind of marvellous videos (I recommend Ryan Boldt as well, never heard of him before, but he is wonderful).

Woody Pines is a familiar name and I think I’ve heard it many times. But why haven’t I paid attention, because I don’t think I’ve really properly listened to them before watching these videos. Because if I had, I would have fallen in love with this wonderful North Carolinian group. Excellent old-fashioned country sounds. I need to hear more, because the other two videos are as wonderful as this 99 Years Blues.

Woody Pines – 99 Years Blues from Live & Breathing on Vimeo.

Woody Pines Website
Live and Breathing Website

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Video of the Day #60: Chris Bathgate

Chris Bathgate is a folk singer-songwriter from Ann Arbor, Michigan and his new album Salt Year came out in april. You probably know more about him than I do, because I just started to listen to him last night thanks to one of my favourite blogs Slowcoustic. His voice reminds me of Will Oldham, but that’s hardly a bad thing. I’ve watched his Bridgehouse Session a few times now and this is pretty magical stuff. I need to check out the new album. Here’s Poor Eliza from that session. Check out the other two videos at Mostly Midwest.

Chris Bathgate : Bridgehouse Session Pt. 2 from Mostly Midwest on Vimeo.

Chris Bathgate Website

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Album of the Month: Austin Lucas – A New Home in the Old World

Austin Lucas: A New Home In The Old World (Combat Rock Industry / Hometown Caravan / Last Chance, 2011)

It was pretty hard to decide the album of the month because both Austin Lucas and Jason Isbell released wonderful albums and either of them would be a great choice. But if I have to choose, in the end my selection has to be A New Home in the Old World by Austin Lucas.  The album is just so totally freaking amazing and it feels damn good to listen to it. Are you looking for punk energy, old bluegrass, country rock, folk ballads, moving lyrics or just a whole lot of fun? Well no need to look any further. This album delivers all that and more. Especially that opening quartet of songs Run Around, Sit Down, Darkness Out Of Me and Thunder Rail is almost out of this world. Usually I prefer if the country and folk-minded singer-songwriters keep things as simple as possible, but in Austin’s case also the fuller band sound material works perfectly and it becomes clear that the guy can master anything from beautiful down-to-earth folk ballads to energetic country-tinged rockers. That variety and richer sound palette maybe even makes A New Home in the Old World rise above his previous album Somebody Loves You, which is also an amazing album and was my #7 pick on the onechord.net’s albums of the year 2009 list. Just excellent stuff once again from Indiana’s Austin Lucas and really close to full five hearts.

Music video for the first single Thunder Rail.

Austin Lucas Website
Austin Lucas at Facebook

A couple of Finland-related additions:

a) Combat Rock Industry released the album in Finland, so you should be able to get it from all the good record stores.
b) Austin Lucas will play at Bar Loose, Helsinki on the 14th of may (with Digger Barnes)

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Video of the Day #58: Haroula Rose

I’ve been meaning to write about folk singer-songwriter Haroula Rose’s debut album These Open Roads, but so far I haven’t found the time to do so (= I’ve been lazy). I got it through Reviewshine and it’s a really lovely album. Hopefully one day I write more about the album, but I just saw this video and had to post it at once. Free To Be Me is one of my own favourite songs of that debut album and Ové Pictures have made a really magnificent music video for the song. This is not just a video of the day. This is more like the video of the year.

Free To Be Me from Ové Pictures on Vimeo.

Haroula Rose at Bandcamp
Haroula Rose at Facebook

Ové Pictures Website

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Video of the Day #56: Dean Fields

Josh Rouse was one of my favourite artists 6-7 years ago and his albums 1972 and Nashville are classics. I haven’t been that impressed with Josh’s latest albums, but here comes an artist that reminds me of the days when Josh Rouse ruled the world. Dean Fields is his name, he comes from Richmond, Virginia and has just released his new EP Under A Searchlight Moon. Forever Never Knowing is an outtake from the new EP. A perfect blend of pop, folk and americana. The whole EP is brilliant and a welcome reminder that it is worth it to go through all those promo emails my amateurish blog gets. Most of them contain music that I don’t find that interesting, but sometimes you might find real treasures like Dean Fields.

Dean Fields Website

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