Saturday, January 17, 2009

Heads up from Yep Roc

Today we've got a couple good tidbits from the folks over at Yep Roc:

First is a new track from Dave Alvin, "Walking with Mr. Lee." It's a tribute to Lee Allen, who taught a couple saxophone lessons to a 15-year-old Dave Alvin, before advising the student to try another instrument. Decades later, Alvin has a long-standing reputation as a rip-roaring guitarist - especially down at the intersection of rockabilly & blues.

Lee had a 1957 saxophone instrumental hit with "Walking with Mr. Lee," and as a tribute, Alvin put together a guitar version with his Guilty Men. It's fantastic. Check out more of Alvin's digital download series at his Web site.

Next up is news of a second album from Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus Three, his super-group backing band of Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey & Bill Rieflin. Hitchcock has this to say about Goodnight Oslo: "The album, in part, celebrates the ghosts of the smoke age, and the various ways they were wrecked but still sailed on. That's the way it is with humans. You could call it the comfort of doom. Goodnight Oslo is a vortex that I am still leaving."

Olé Tarantula, the band's first effort, was stellar, landing at No. 6 of my best of 2006 list. Hitchcock took the veteran combo on the road, tearing up Club Congress for a night. Goodnight Oslo drops on Feb. 17, but check out a preview of "I'm Falling" over at Yep Roc. Yep Roc also has special pre-order offers, including a special three-song bonus disc.

Finally, Yep Roc has word on a tribute album to Chris Gaffney, the country-soul pioneer who died last April. Gaffney led the Hacienda Brothers, but also played with Dave Alvin and in numerous other bands over a nearly 40-year career.

A Man of Somebody's Dreams: A Tribute to the Songs of Chris Gaffney has contributions from Dave Alvin, John Doe, Joe Ely, Los Lobos, Calexico, Alejandro Escovedo, Tom Russell, James McMurtry, fellow Hacienda Brother Dave Gonzalez, and will be released on March 31.

Dave Alvin - King of California
Calexico - Frank's Tavern (live, Chris Gaffney cover)
Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus Three - (A Man's Got To Know His Limitations) Briggs (live)

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