It’s been a while since we last heard from mr. Micah P. Hinson. He seems to be a tad happier now. Thank god - I’m ashamed to admit how often he made me feel miserable just by listening to his earlier output.
'Micah P. Hinson and the Nothing' is out next March 10th on the great French label Talitres (Emily Jane White, Will Stratton, Dakota Suite, etc)
Source: SoundCloud / Talitres
Back in 2007/08, when Jonathan Wilson didn’t have a record label to put out his records nor even a fancy 2.0/3.0/?.? website - and supposedly didn’t think about making a living off touring and selling records - he used to put some b-sides for free download in his ol’ plain HTML page. Only one of those songs was available at a time, and most are probably gone forever, except for a version of Madonna’s La Isla Bonita, now that his old site is gone.
If you’re an old fan from these days, start digging hard on your old external HDD and you might find something like this. Yesterday I ran into this marvellous cover of Quincy Jones’ “Everything Must Change” buried beneath folders and folders of music I never bothered to listen to because everything was so easily accessible for free. Google Play says I’ve listened to this particular song 25 times in the last few hours, so I knew I had to share it with the world again.
Jonathan, if you ever read this, please bring back your “international free, fancy, and far out b-sides program”. I’m sure there’s a lot of stuff I’ve missed on. Meanwhile, let’s just wait for JW’s new album, Fanfare, to be released on October 14th on Bella Union. Graham Nash, Josh Tillman, Pat Sansone and Taylor Goldsmith took part in the recordings. How can anything go wrong?
Off the radar singer-songwriters you’ve probably never heard before: this is why you visit Bolachas, right? Unfortunately, we still almost never hear anything about Portland’s Mama Bird Recording Co and their artists (Barna Howard and Saintseneca both had released pretty decent albums last year) here in Europe. Let’s hope that changes when the Old Continent sinks its ears into Widower's debut LP, Fool Moon, a stunning collection of alt-country songs that came out just last week and you can order here. You can watch the video for “Grasp” above and download another song off the record here. You can tell by my lack of comparisons with other songwriters that Kevin Large, the man behind the Widower moniker, is really someone to look up to.
If You Wait Long Enough: Songs Of Will Stratton
Will Stratton is a very talented musician: on his 25th birthday he had already produced four great albums full of amazing indie folk songs. Luckily I met Will last year, when he came from New York to Paris during his European tour with Paleo. I saw his concert in a charming apartment in Montmartre and the day after I saw him again in my favorite Parisian record store, Balades Sonores. With him Will brought his guitar and his last album, Post-Empire. The two little concerts made me fell in love with his songs and after that I listened to the album over and over again: it was my favorite album of 2012.
A few months later, I found a very sad new on the internet: Will was ill, with a state III testicular cancer. He cancelled his European tour scheduled for October and after that I started to follow him online, always waiting for good news. This has been a very tough moment for Will… However, he keeps working on his 5th album, proving that he not only a great musician but also a very courageous man.
More recently, some friends decided to cover several songs of Will, in order to collect some money to help him to face the medical expenses. The album is available on bandcamp for only $7. It is the opportunity to discovery another versions of Will’s work and also to help him to surpass this bad moment on his life. Will’s records are also available for sale on his bandcamp.
Good luck, Will! We are hoping for the best.
House of Wolves @ Divan du Monde (Paris) – 24/05/2013
House of Wolves represents the direct translation of Villalobos, the Hispanic name of the owner of this musical project. After self-releasing his first album, Fold in the Wind, in 2011, almost two years later the album is distributed by the French label Fargo. This was the bridge to the inclusion of House of Wolves in the first edition of Fargo Rock City Festival in Paris. Divan du Monde was a bit empty, but it was somehow expectable, as we had Villagers and Deerhunter that played in two neighbouring venues in the same night…
Alone on stage with his guitar, Rey timidly started the concert with “Jealous”, showing everyone that his voice is as amazing live as it is on record. “Flight” came next and it was probably the song that filled most my heart with positive feelings (“Baby, you’re the one, baby, baby, you’re the one…”). The highlight of the concert was the opening song of Fold in the Wind, where Rey spreads a vintage tune and the sweet request “kiss me like if the 50’s…”.
Even without other instruments but the guitar, we all enjoyed the songs of this little man with a cool squared shirt that landed in Paris directly from Los Angeles. Maybe because the jetlag, the concert was too short, with only 8 songs… It was early and everybody was in concentrated in the songs, so it would be perfect to listen the entire album. At the end of the show, Rey came down directly among the public, handshaking almost everybody in the room. It was the perfect end of a nice and very intimate show.
You can check House of Wolves’ beautiful album on his bandcamp. Please try to catch him next time that he shows up in Europe!