These are all the songs I’ve chosen for this month’s contest. I know thousands of independent musicians who are deserving of having their songs in this dang deal. So narrowing my picks down to just a few is always the hardest part of my month. Oh well. Such is life.
Andy Lorge is a singer from Clintonville, Wisconsin and he also happens to be a cousin of Michelle and Melinda Lorge, the fun-lovin’ sisters who have had a lot of success in recent months in our show. Andy, who plays in a band called NiteHawk, sent me several great songs for me to choose from, and “Forgotten Soldier” along with a song called “My Daddy Cries” caught me as the most powerful of the bunch. Both songs are a tribute to Andy’s father’s struggles in the Vietnam War, and they are as relevant as ever today as the United States continues with two wars that many of us (leaders as well as average residents) seem to sometimes forget about. Check out Andy’s MySpace page.
This song, a duet with the legendary bluesman Delaney Bramlet, and it’s as bad ass as music can get. I am honored that Chris would send it to me. Check out Chris’s website for much more about him. He describes himself as a “drummer, producer, actor, and author,” and he’s got some very impressive stuff on there. Among other things, you can find on the site is links his YouTube show “The Acoustic Lounge” which features some performances by musicians from around the world. Chris promised me that some of the performances will “blow you away,” and I will testify that he was right. I need to find some more spare time fast so I can get caught up on listening to all show he’s done so far. All HTBers would do well to check this guy out, too. He’s got the same kind of vibe going that we strive for on this show. (In fact, his vibe might be a little cooler.)
Chris Dair – I Can Live
Chris is yet another of the ever growing number of great musicians we’ve been featuring on HossTheBoss.com from London. (Maybe it’s just my American ignorance, but I never thought of London as a music place. I guess I should have known better. Some of the coolest blues I’ve ever heard has been in a couple of off-beat places in the Washington D.C. area.) I’ll just let the short little bio that Chris sent me speak for itself: “I began playing guitar at 5 yrs old when I first heard Manitas De Plata, who inspired in me a passion for guitar and a love of flamenco guitar. At age fourteen I developed a passion for blues and went on to gigs in London at venues like Ronnie Scotts with John Mayall, John McVie and George Melly. As a young lead guitarist I also jammed/played with many of the R&B and rock legends of our time, including Rory Gallagher, Jimmy Paige, Ginger Baker, the late Paul Kossof, Captain Beefheart, Dick Stubbs (Juicy Lucy), Linda Lewis (Ferris Wheel), Dave Davies (The Kinks), Roy Wood (Wizard), Mickey Finn (T-Rex), Mark Knopfler, Led Zeppelin, Peter Green, Jeff Beck. Most unforgettably with the great blues legend Bukka White.”
Sounds like Chris’s childhood has a lot in common with Ruby Jane, Clay Melton, and several other teenage prodigies we’ve featured on this show.
This song is from Chris’s CD called “What Chains?,” the first of three that he’s done. Check out his YouTube page for a video of this song and others that he’s done — along with a few songs done by his wife Vivien (who will very likely appear in this contest sometime soon).
Danny was born in Okalahoma’s red dirt, but he’s been in Nashville since he was about 8, and ever since then, he’s been doing what people in Nashville like to do most (even if they don’t always get around to doin’ it): making down home, honest, country music. Check out his website at www.dannytrashville.com. This song is off Danny’s new CD that also features a very timely song (given that February is Daytona 500 month) called “Left Turn” that is the theme song to a car racing talk show and can be heard at many local tracks across America every weekend. I picked this song from Danny because I especially dig the banjo part, and it turns out that it’s the great Al Perkins’ pickin’ that dang part. Wow. pretty impressive. I like this line from the bio posted on Danny’s site: “Danny Trashville’s self-titled debut cd features veteran musicians Al Perkins, Eugene Moles, George Pirelli, among others, along with Trashville’s own unique pickin’ style. The cd offers up some of Danny’s best tunes delivered in a raw and unpolished state. The fact that we were able to lasso him into a recording studio is a miracle in itself. Why? Because Danny Trashville is a true artist who lives and breathes his music. He doesn’t want to be a country music “pretty boy”. He just wants to sing and play! And we want you to listen!”
Jamie Hardwick – Knarley Harley Biker Babe
This song is one of several sent to me by a musician’s representative who discovered our little contest as a result of Sasha Elyece’s historic appearance in the November, 2009 version of our show. The representative hasn’t forwarded me any biographical information about Jamie, nor can I find any online. But, after listening to the song, I hope you’ll agree with me that none of that matters. This is a fun, cool, just plain awesome song.
This song sums up the HossTheBoss.com attitude very nicely. Plenty of the bands we play share the heroic attitude that these guys pay tribute too in this song. Tim Ratcliff and Ken Bailey live and do their music along the Kentucky/Ohio border. You can find out more about them and their cool little recording studio at www.westfieldrecording.com.
Riley Weston is about as talented as they come in America: an actress, screen writer, novelist (In fact, she’s about to star in a movie based on a novel she wrote, and she says that’s never been done before) and, of course, country singer/song writer. This song is the first single Riley is releasing to the world off her new CD called “Surrender Laughing,” and I love what she says on her website about that CD: “The title SURRENDER LAUGHING came to me one night when I finally realized, much to my dismay, that I know nothing. :O) What a tremendously freeing and also funny moment! And I couldn’t help but laugh. It’s like we all, well… I’ll only speak for myself… I have spent most of my life trying to control everything. Anything. Not just my life. Everyone else’s too. For some crazy reason, we all think… ok, I think… that I somehow know better than the Power that created the Universe?! Not so much. So when I finally and literally threw my hands up in the air and surrendered, I had to laugh at the absurdity of it all. Me thinking I knew anything… The song SURRENDER LAUGHING says basically there is always a plan, and there is always going to be a better day. BUT, we just have to trust God, or whatever higher Power you believe in. You have to know what you need is coming. You have to surrender, so you might as well do it laughing!”
I’ve noticed that Riley’s website doesn’t mention the turmoil that the world of “corporate television” apparently put her through just because she looks a lot younger than she is. But I think the story, as told on wikipedia, will hit home with a lot of HossTheBoss.com fans, and that’s yet another reason why I’m proud to put her song forward this month.
This cool little group from Ireland has come up with a bunch of very fun, impressive songs. Make sure you check out their website for a free copy of their CD Live at the Red Chair. The biographical section of their MySpace is mostly a bunch of videos of their songs. I like that… a band that lets their dang music speak for itself. I want you to show these guys a lot of love, dang it!
Rounding out the British invasion of my dang picks this month is Tom Hamlyn, otherwise known as Toykult. This guy was born in London but is “currently based all over the shop” and has been doing a very unique brand of “unsigned independent” music that, while not quite the country rock and blues that my guest DJs and I we tend to favor in our picks, still fits nicely with rebelious, anti-establishment spirit of HossTheBoss.com. This song in particular gets to the root of my overall attitude toward modern technology and such. Why the frak must we all do so many damn things at once? Because we’re addicts, damn it! Time for all us to check into Toycult’s rehab center. Read more about the mysterious masked Toykult at www.toykult.com.
The Truax Band is a couple of crazy twins who do their best to stay out of trouble in Port Aransas, Texas the coolest beach town in America in my opinion (but I’m biased, of course, since it’s only about 30 miles from my house). Julie’s song is actually three songs in one. They divided it into Parts 1, 2, and 3 in the CD they put out in 2006, and I think it’s only fair to play all three parts in this dang contest. Your guess as to what’s up with Julie in the song is as good as mine. The guys have always been very mysterious about answering my questions about whether Julie is a fictional character and what the hell she’s riding away from (or to) in the song. When I bring up the subject, they usually just start laughing and ask me if I’m ready for another beer.
If you vote these guys into the Top 10 this month, and we get them on the show for an interview (hell, knowing these guys, they’ll probably end up coming in with their guitars to do their interview/jam session live), I’ll do my best to get to the bottom of this Julie deal. But I doubt I’ll have any luck. Fortunately, the songs are pretty damn interesting even if we never find out who or what Julie is.
See My Previous Picks