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Murder By Death Streaming New Album

Western indie folk rock band Murder By Death are streaming their new album Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon on Based out of Bloomington, Indiana, the 5-piece will be releasing their sixth studio album under Bloodshot Records, with the help of an incredibly successful Kickstarter fundraising campaign. The album is due out September 25th. Click here to listen.


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“Rock Boat Lucky 13″ Competition Gives Artists The Chance To Sail The Sonic Seas

Can you navigate by the North Star, me hearties? Can you tell which way the currents will take you from just a gust of wind? Does the sight of the sea fill you with an inexplicable desire to yell “Yarr?” Well, you’re in luck, sailor, because OurStage and The Rock Boat have teamed up to give one OS artist the seafaring chance of a lifetime.

The Grand Prize winner of the “Rock Boat Lucky 13″ Competition will have the opportunity to rock the stage on the thirteenth outing of the Rock Boat cruise bound for Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas in February 2013. The winner will play play two separate hour–long sets alongside Sister Hazel, NEEDTOBREATHE, Rusted Root, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Will Hoge, Tony Lucca, fellow OurStage artists Bronze Radio Return, and many more. In addition to fully paid accommodations and meals, the Grand Prize will even include a travel stipend, just in case you want to knock back a cold one with a fellow lead guitarist after the show.

Enter the “Rock Boat Lucky 13″ Competition now, and you might just find yourself on the high seas come February. Now swab the deck, ye scallywag!

Bon Iver Crowd-Sourcing New Tattoo Design

Justin Vernon, the brains behind indie folk project Bon Iver, is planning on getting a new tattoo and has turned to the internet and his fans to find the perfect artist. He has posted on, “looking to have someone design a tattoo for me based on a Northern Exposure episode in the style of Mucha.” The title of that episode is where Vernon got the name for his band, and it holds great personal significance to him  as he says it “weirdly explained my life to me.” You can read his full description of the design and see example images here, and if you submit your own artwork, there’s a chance it may be permanently scarred onto Justin Vernon’s right arm.

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Exclusive Q and A: Kathy Mattea Talks About ‘Calling Me Home’

Kathy Mattea has done it again.

When the two-time GRAMMY Award winner released Coal in 2008, many critics thought it’s powerful messages about Appalachia would be impossible to replicate. That’s understandable when you consider the Charleston, W. Va. native wrote the 11 songs on Coal as a way to spotlight the Montcoal, W. Va. mining disaster that killed 29 people. But what Mattea did on the album even beat that lofty goal; she turned the songs into a story of those that lived in the area for decades, continually triumphing over oppression.

Although Mattea has had more than 30 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart including “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses,” and ”Goin’ Gone,” she has no qualms about turning back to her folk, bluegrass roots for her latest album though it moves her away from the country music spotlight. Mattea recently took time to talk about her new album, her time in mainstream country, and how a sense of place plays into her music. Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Kathy Mattea Talks About ‘Calling Me Home’’

Mumford & Sons Premier Music Video For “I Will Wait” Live At Red Rocks

On August 28th and 29th, folk rock sensations Mumford & Sons performed at the famous and awe-inspiring Red Rocks Amphitheater near Morrison, Colorado. From this experience, the band plans to release a documentary called Road To Red Rocks, including footage of the live performance, life on the road, and, in an interesting twist, fan submitted home-videos of their experiences before, during, and after the show. Now, after a three part series of promo trailers, the band have released their official music video for new single “I Will Wait” off their upcoming album Babel, which will be out September 24th. Click here for preorders, and check out the video below:

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The Avett Brothers: New Album “The Carpenter” Streaming On NPR

If you like truly heartfelt folk-rock, then check out The Avett Brothers‘ new album The Carpenter streaming for a limited time on NPR. Followup to 2009′s breakthrough release I And Love And You, this new album carries on the band’s natural tendency to write passionate heart-on-sleeve romps and lullabies with dynamically diverse folky instrumentation. Despite reaching recent stardom the brothers and crew have not lost their knack for soothing honesty. While touching on many of life’s more trying tribulations, they still keeping those catchy feel-good melodies and rhythms alive.

The Carpenter is due out on September 11th, followed by a full U.S. tour starting on the 12th.

Ben Gibbard Releases New Single: “Teardrop Windows”

Death Cab For Cutie singer/guitarist Ben Gibbard has a solo album coming out on October 16th called Former Lives. Head to to hear the single ”Teardrop Windows.” As one would expect, it sounds pretty much like Death Cab, but with a little more of a folky twang and, in contrast to the title and lyrics, it has a nice upbeat and easy-going feel, which is a good fit for the indie/shoegaze singer.


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New Bob Dylan Video – “Duquesne Whistle”

The all-American folk-rock “Jokerman” himself is back… apparently followed by a posse of young cholos, scantily clad women, and a guy dressed like Gene Simmons. Yes, Bob Dylan‘s new video for his single “Duquesne Whistle” is quite a bizarre one. It starts as some cute and innocent boy-meets-girl scenario, fitting the light jaunty mood of the song, but quickly goes awry in a twisted and hilarious way. Head over to Rolling Stone to see it for yourself. The new song is off Dylan’s upcoming album Tempest, which is due out September 11th.

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Kate Tucker Searches For The ‘Ghost Of Something New’

Having grown up in a family of truck drivers, OurStage artist Kate Tucker seems to have inherited from them a sixth sense for the state of the nation. It’s a type of understanding that isn’t based on national polls or facts, but on the accumulation of individual tales that, when woven together, depict the full American canvas. On her latest album, Ghost of Something New, Tucker offers acute insights into the national mood through intimate stories of love gone awry. Melancholy, yet hopeful, the collection of songs is at once a rumination on failed previous relationships as well as a depiction of a country that similarly cannot stop contemplating its own path and past.

In Tucker’s lyrics, descriptions of romantic disappointment continuously spill over into distinctly American despair. When she sings “Baby what you’re saying / It ain’t worth a dime / One more deal on main street / And you’ll be doing time,” the empty promises of a dishonest lover sound unmistakably like the deceitful Wall Street dealings that spawned recent financial crises. Populist rhetoric reminiscent of the occupy camps appears over the rollicking drum beat of “Revolution” as well; the singer asks her lover, “Don’t you want to start it / Start a revolution / Take it down to Houston?” While Tucker’s narrators may cling to the particularly American belief that it is always possible to start anew, they are more likely to ruminate on the improbability of that same dream, falling “back into the distance / Searching for some old ancient truth.”

Like her aimlessly wandering lovers who vainly mine the past for guidance, Tucker’s America can only weakly imitate its own outdated victories. Ubiquitous pop clichés are repeated in strange semantic inversions (“I’m gonna get you over”) and familiar instrumental conventions of folk and Americana emerge from the arrangements like ghostly spectres. Lap steel and harmonica hide in the background mix while weary, fuzzed-out electric guitars languish in gallons of reverb. Over the swell, Tucker delivers her lyrics in a breathy alto, at times no louder than a hushed whisper. While this all may give the impression that Ghost of Something New is disconsolate and moody, the album doesn’t discount hope as an impossible commodity. As the closing track “New Orleans” builds to a climax, its single-note piano line becomes subtly dissonant and faltering, but doesn’t fall apart completely. It holds on until the last moment in order to deliver a final delicate chord. In this moment, missteps don’t seem fatal, and the future isn’t bound inextricably to failures of the past. It’s a muted type of hope, but it exists, and it’s as much as the lovelorn narrators of Tuckers songs can continue to long for.

Download Ghost of Something New at Kate Tucker’s Bandcamp page!

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Your Country’s Right Here: Amber Rubarth Wows at FloydFest

The headliners at this year’s FloydFest—including Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Ricky Skaggs, Brandi Carlile, and the Drive-By Truckers—were  as amazing as you’d expect from internationally known and much-lauded musicians. But the real treat at the 11th Annual FloydFest, a four-day world music festival in Floyd, Virg., was arguably the array of up-and-coming artists certain to burst into prominence not too far into the future.

Amber Rubarth was clearly at the front of that line. Perhaps that’s not surprising when you consider she’s a fixture on New York’s indie scene and has won such accolades as the Grand Prize in NPR’s Mountain Stage New Song Contest. Her recent album A Common Case of Disappearing, which features duets with Jason Reeves and Jason Mraz, debuted at No. 13 on iTunes. Watching her spin her musical web of alt-country, folk tunes on various stages at FloydFest, one couldn’t help but be struck by her poise and warmth, which translated into her music.

“I was really shy growing up,” said Amberth when discussing her set. “Music gave me the outlet to be able to get out my feelings and get out things I wanted to say that were more personal, even if I couldn’t say it in a conversation. It’s really powerful for me. It’s a way of healing, releasing, really.”

Those feelings translated to the audience, too, when Rubarth joined the Ivy League Hillbillies set that had nine up-and-coming musicians on stage and when she played her own sets—including a brand new song “The Maiden and the Ram,” that got the audience dancing.

Continue reading ‘Your Country’s Right Here: Amber Rubarth Wows at FloydFest’


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