Parker Millsap is making Americana relevant to post-teen Holden Caulfields

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Parker Millsap – Parker Millsap (2014)
parker millsap

Like many a young man today, Parker Millsap expresses himself through pop culture touchpoints – people At the Bar are in Wizard of Oz roles; nursery rhyme characters are Quite Contrary on drug corners. He yearns to be a good man when he grows up, asking a lover to Forgive Me for not yet being a full man and promising another he won’t be The Villain who ties damsels to railway tracks.

Much like fellow Oklahoman John Fullbright [Songs, 2014], Millsap is making Americana relevant to post-teen Holden Caulfields. He deftly uses humour, self-awareness and catchy rockabilly to poke at all the emotional conflicts of being, as he explains it, a largely happy person trying to keep adulthood from becoming a lifelong melancholy melody.


Marianne Faithfull has some home truths for the broken English

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Marianne Faithfull – Give My Love To London (2014)

Marianne Faithfull Give-My-Love-To-LondonNow 69, Faithfull imagines a vengeful return to the city that chewed her up and spat her out in the 60’s for naughtiness with rock bands, making her entrance as Pirate Jenny, the bloodthirsty maid in Threepenny Opera.

If London rings with the menace of a Bertolt BrechtKurt Weill score, that’s no accident. Faithful played Pirate Jenny on stage in 1996, which led to an album of Brecht-Weill and Noel Coward music. And her mother was a ballerina who danced in Brecht-Weill productions in her native Austria. So she knows what she’s doing.

Never one to need help saying what she means, Faithfull nonetheless doubles down by co-writing with a couple of other pull-no-punch social assassins, Nick Cave and Steve Earle. Shrinking violets beware; London hits as hard – perhaps harder – than her previous pinnacle, Broken English.

The road less travelled leads Mark Erelli to Milltowns

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Mark Erelli – Milltowns (2014)

mark erelliBill Morrissey was a Robert Frost of folk music, capturing the natural beauty and harsh realities of New Hampshire and its decaying mill towns.

Mark Erelli, an accomplished northeastern folkie in his own right, was noodling around one evening and started playing a Morrissey song. Not bad, he thought, and tried another. And thus was born Milltowns, 12 covers and an original, the title track, about his relationship with the man himself.

Milltowns is – no exaggeration – an album no folk collection is complete without.

What the L, lets have a playlist

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This week’s Spill blog letter challenge asks for an eclectic mix of songs by bands and singers who start with the letter L.

LabelleLady Marmelade: Voulez vous dancez in the discotheque avec moi, ce soir?
Abbey LincolnBrother, Can You Spare A Dime?: Her two gifts: singing and social activism
Little FeatCold, Cold, Cold: Bonnie Raitt makes a great band celestial
Austin LucasAlone In Memphis: Found under hard roots in the Glossary
Lifter PullerI Like The Lights: I’ve tapped Craig Finn for F (Finn), L (Lifter), and H (Hold Steady). I’m an admirer, ok?
LissieTo Ramona: Dylan wrote this for her to sing. It’s about Baez and Lissie wasn’t even born yet, but whatevs
Louisiana Funky Butts Brass BandLes Bon Temps Rouler: Chosen for the name? Moi?
Peggy LeeFever: Pop perfection
David LindleyTwist and Shout: Music needs more gifted eccentrics
Mary Lou LordHis Indie World: Evoking memories of Jill Sobule is a very good thing
Ray LamontagneGod Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise: Nose singer, but with such feeling
Jim LauderdaleJanis Jones: Who wants him picking on their album? EVERYBODY
Loretta Lynn (w Jack White) Portland Oregon: Jack endeavouring to reinvent all music genres
Low$20: Sublime lo-fi

I tried not to be ZZZ-inducing, X-rated or Qutsie with this week’s letter-inspired playlist

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This week’s Spill blog letter challenge asks for an eclectic mix of songs by bands and singers who start with the letters X,Q or Z.

Mike ZitoThe Dead Of Night: A top modern bluesmen
Natalia ZukermanLittle Bird: Great guitar; angelic, Raittish voice
Quaker City Night HawksFox in the Hen House: New 70s southern rock
QueenKeep Yourself Alive: My first stereo record! The guitar going between speakers delaying me learning there were not miniature people inside
Quiet LonerThe First To Fall: aka UK’s Matt Hill. On the funeral of a friend who committed suicide l, from his 2010 five-star thoughtful folk album Spectrology.
Sam QuinnSuite Motown: Everybodyfields still going strong solo
Warren ZevonExcitable Boy: No one sounded more like a novelty act and was one.
XYour Phone’s Off The Hook, But You’re Not: What a debut by a great overall band. Gotta have punk the week the last Ramone dies
XX: Whatever their sound is, it’s gripping and rousing.
ZazDans Ma Rue: What’s she saying? Je suis un personne ne pas savoir; it sounds a bit naughty and so, so Parisian. *rouges*
ZombiesTobacco Road: Classic British Invasion cover of John Loudermilk classic
ZZ Top & John Lee HookerBoom Boom: A perfect blues rock pairing

This ‘letter H’ playlist is a handsome family of songs. And that’s no horse feathers

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This week’s Spill blog letter challenge asks for an eclectic mix of songs by bands and singers who start with the letter H.

Its a max of 13, and I could have done all legends –  Billie Holiday, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Howlin’ Wolf, Rosa Henderson, Slim Harpo, Son House, John Lee Hooker, W C Handy, Mississippi John Hurt … Merle Haggard. But I didn’t 🙂

Shall we have a letter-based playlist this week? OK, votes are in and the ‘I’s have it

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This week’s Spill blog letter challenge asks for an eclectic mix of songs by bands and singers who start with the letter I.

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