Locals featured on the collection include new Americana group Hickory Robot, rockers Sparrow Bellows and the gifted Folk/Roots/Country ensemble Magnolia Mountain. The former Cincinnatians of Slow Claw (formed out of the ashes of popular group Junior Revolution and now calling Nashville home base) are also featured with their song “Money Isn’t Real.”
Also included: raucous Georgians Death On Two Wheels (labelmates of Manchester Orchestra and fellow MidPointers O’Brother, DoTW’s current tour partners); Nashville dramatic Rock crew Milktooth (fans of Muse, this may be your new second favorite band); and eclectic Canadian popsters blueVenus.
Another cool Canadian band, The Coppertone (which has a passing resemblance to The Heartless Bastards), has its track “One of a Kind” on the compilation, but, unfortunately, the band was forced to cancel its multiple appearances at MPMF due to visa issues. Guatemalan-born, L.A.-based Gaby Moreno — probably MidPoint’s first Emmy-nominated songwriter (for the theme to NBC’s Parks and Recreation, which she co-wrote) — closes the collection out with the Kim Taylor/Beatles/Coldplay-tinged “It’s Been a Pleasure.”
The CD version of the compilation will be given to all MPMF artists in their infamous “goodie bags,” but keep an eye out for CityBeat’s promo army out and about spreading the good word on MidPoint in the next few weeks (like Oktoberfest, perhaps?). They’ll have plenty of free hard copies available. (mpmf.com)
More Local Notes
• Friday at the Southgate House, Folk/Americana trio Rubber Knife Gang celebrates its new full-length release, Drivin’ On. And it really is something to celebrate. The songwriting and precise harmonies are wildly engaging, with smart/clever lyrics grounded in an everyday realism that pulls you in to each track’s tale (dark- or light-hearted). The acoustic musical accompaniment is delivered with a soulfulness that shines through thanks to the crisp, clear production work of Robert Fugate, who makes it so the listener can hear each note vividly and it actually sounds like three people sitting in a room together playing music (what a novel concept!). Even the packaging is stunning, as designer/illustrator Keith Neltner (who has also worked with Hank III and The Legendary Shack Shakers) gives the collection’s exterior a dewy, ghostly rural feel to match the sounds found inside. The Downtown County Band and Shiny & The Spoon open Friday’s 9:30 p.m. release show. (www.myspace.com/therubberknifegangband)
• Tupelo Honey is another excellent area Roots band (though one that comes at Americana from a totally different angle than RKG) releasing a strong new recording this Friday. The release party for the TH’s new effort, In It for the Ride, is at Madison Theater, with special guests The Turkeys, The Newbees and Magnolia Mountain. The record is a diverse collection of songs that show off the band’s creative and gorgeous mixture of Folk, Pop, Country and other styles (even Reggae?), made all the more enchanting by the charismatic vocals of Heather Turner and Katie Wefer. Like The Dixie Chicks, Tupelo Honey doesn’t allow anyone’s expectations to paint them into a genre corner. The exploratory arrangements feel natural and the melodic magnetism gives the record a sense of cohesion. Keep an eye on Tupelo Honey if you don’t already — this could easily be the album to launch them to bigger, better things. The group’s opening slot for LeAnn Rimes at the Cintas Center Sept. 17 should help them entice a legion of new fans. (www.myspace.com/tupelohoneyz)
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: firstname.lastname@example.org