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Oct 24, 2014







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Pine Hill Haints, The Magik Sounds of the Pine Hill Haints (K Records)

Halloween’s on its way, so now’s as good a time as any to bring up the newest LP from this coed group of self-styled “ghost music” hawkers from Alabama. OK fine, in this case, “ghost music” means “old organic washtub bluegrass,” but you have to love that the album cover features old ads from Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine (an art form that’s been sorely lacking from this generation of punk-rockers, while we’re here), and one of the womenfolk here plays a musical saw, the default spook sound of 1950s horror-schlock. If those aren’t quite enough buying signals for you, singer Jamie Barrier sounds like Kings of Leon’s Caleb Followill, and try song titles like “Rattle Them Bones” and “Coffin Black” on for size, why don’t you. There’s enough authenticity and hipster aloofness to prevent this from being a novelty band; I could see them opening for somesuch arena-indie band at some SXSW tent and half the place clearing out afterward. Me likey, for sure. A Eric W. Saeger





Big & Rich, Gravity (Big & Rich Records)
CD Reviews: October 23,2014

10/23/14



Big & Rich, Gravity (Big & Rich Records)

The arena-country duo of Big Kenny and John Rich apparently figured the best way to stop getting into fights over their musical differences was to start their own label.  We’ll see how that works out, I suppose.  They’ve indeed peeled off from Warner Brothers as of now, the goal of which was to test-run their singles in a more timely manner, which is nice, but I’m not sure how much testing is needed in this band’s case. Apart from a pair of Skynyrd-ish southern rock tunes bookending the tracklist, this is a ballad-heavy album, relying on the same sort of eyeroll-inducing puns that got them where they are today, and a guest shot from Tim McGraw on a sweetie-square-dance number (“Lovin’ Lately”) typical of the LP’s direction didn’t involve a lot of calculation either. But as usual, there’s enough USDA-grade bluegrass going on here that there actually is something to please everyone, a formula that’ll keep them singularly relevant for the foreseeable future. A Eric W. Saeger
 





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