With his static-dusted voice and predilection for early rock antiquity, M. Ward has always come across as one of his generation's more understated bards. Interpreting the ever-deepening subtleties of his catalog generally requires repeated listens, and such is the case with his ninth solo effort, the appropriately moody More Rain. Easing in with a minute-long rainstorm soundscape, he leads off with the dreamy acoustic gallop of "Pirate Dial," a genial folk-pop hymn perfectly suited for the patient rotations of a vinyl long-player. A stuttering guitar groove on the Neko Case-aided "Time Won't Wait" quickens the album's pulse, setting up the similarly paced lead single, "Confession," a classic Ward track replete with a rich vein of warm backing vocals and soaring trumpet solo.
Although the Prisonaires are remembered for the song "Just Walkin in the Rain," this collection proves that they were a fine pop/gospel group. Johnny Bragg was a huge fan of the Ink Spots and their lead singer, Bill Kenny, and it's no wonder that much of the material on this disc has that smooth crooning style favored by pre-rock & roll vocal groups.
Strictly limited Deluxe 6 CD Set Includes every surviving take from Blood On The Tracks, including the complete New York sessions. Features alternate versions of Tangled Up In Blue , Simple Twist Of Fate and Shelter From The Storm. The latest chapter in the highly acclaimed Bootleg Series makes available the pivotal studio recordings made by Bob Dylan during six extraordinary sessions in 1974 that resulted in the artist's 1975 masterpiece, Blood On The Tracks.
Ethan Miller's Howlin' Rain has issued several live offerings in the past, either directly from his blog or in various limited editions on various labels. Live Rain was compiled from several performances on 2012's The Russian Wilds tour, and features the same lineup that appeared on that album: Miller on lead vocals and guitar, Isaiah Mitchell (Earthless) on guitar, bassist Cyrus Comiskey (Drunk Horse), and drummer Raj Ojha. "Phantom in the Valley," "Self-Made Man," "Can't Satisfy Me Now," and "Beneath Wild Wings" all appeared on that record, and they comprise the first four selections here.
Eric Andersen got his start as a singer/songwriter just about the time the folk revival went bust in the mid-'60s, when the phrase "singer/songwriter" wasn't familiar, as it is today. Now, some 40 years later, Andersen continues to follow his muse, which includes a deep investment in the blues on the live Blue Rain. Andersen's voice seems to have grown richer and has developed more texture over the span of time, something that rarely happens to rock singers; as a result, his readings of familiar lyrics carry more weight. He kicks off the set with a slow, menacing version of Fred Neil's "The Other Side of This Life." For folk fans, the song is overly familiar, but Andersen's vocal provides a darker underpinning than the usual, adding a new dimension to this well-worn classic.