A more music like X post - T Bone Burnett's Proof Through The Night
September 20, 2018 12:15 PM   Subscribe

T Bone Burnett's 1983 album Proof Through The Night is superb — gnomic, comic, angry, and full of beautiful music, crisply produced. I appreciate some similarities [and in some cases the formal connection] to artists like Steely Dan, Elvis Costello, Richard Thompson, and Warren Zevon. But who else would I like if I love this? Always a bonus if I can be directed to female artists, because the algorithm of cultural reproduction is so very broken.
posted by Glomar response to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've heard Tonio K mentioned in those same circles (along with cries of "Why is he not famous?!?!?"). He hasn't put out anything in a long time but does seem to be selling downloads on his website.
posted by suetanvil at 12:42 PM on September 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Tanita Tikaram?
posted by bricoleur at 2:00 PM on September 20, 2018

Best answer: Some things to try:

Dire Straits - Love Over Gold

Iris DeMent is sort of country folk, but give it a try even if that’s not your thing. She’s an amazing songwriter, and her lyrics are gold.

Paul Thorn - Ain’t Love Strange

Ian Moore’s Luminaria took a few listens to grow on me, but then I loved it.

If you’re ok with old school-style country, I can give you a couple more female artists.
posted by MexicanYenta at 2:30 PM on September 20, 2018

Best answer: maybe David Baerwald
posted by thelonius at 3:03 PM on September 20, 2018

Best answer: Sam Phillips (she and T Bone Burnett were formerly married, he was producer on maybe six of her albums starting w/ The Indescribable Wow in 1988)
posted by mdrew at 3:40 PM on September 20, 2018

Response by poster: Mexican Yenta I do like Country [1930s to mid-1980s and suchlike] quite a bit, so please, do what you can.
posted by Glomar response at 4:54 PM on September 20, 2018

Best answer: Suzanne Vega and Joan Armatrading
posted by davebush at 5:42 PM on September 20, 2018

Best answer: I'm not sure if these suggestions will scratch your particular itch, but it sounds like you like some of the same music I like, and these are albums I like that seem to me to be at least vaguely similar in some way to Proof Through the Night:

Michelle Shocked - Short Sharp Shocked
Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
Suzanne Vega - Suzanne Vega or Solitude Standing
Talking Heads - Little Creatures
Beck - Mutations

You might also check out Dan Bern.
posted by Redstart at 6:13 PM on September 20, 2018

Best answer: Hopefully I'm somewhere in the ballpark here; caveat that I had to Google "gnomic" :)

Rhiannon Giddens- has collaborated with T-Bone Burnett in the past, she is an absolute badass and her recent album Freedom Highway is stunning. Here's a good track: Come Love Come

Eilen Jewell- an Idaho-born songstress reviving traditional American music, she also has a great band including fantastic guitar playing from Jerry Miller. Track: It's Your Voodoo Working

Nick Cave- I think he's bloody brilliant. Track: O Children

Jason Isbell- If I could write songs like anyone, I think he'd be my choice. I can't sing along with this one without breaking down. White Man's World is great too, beautiful and angry.
posted by EKStickland at 6:49 PM on September 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I am betting that the music of Syd Straw and her associated band, The Golden Palominos, might scratch this itch for you. She's collaborated with many, many musicians who fit your criteria, so if you chart her discography, you might find some music you like.
posted by Dr. Wu at 8:22 PM on September 20, 2018

Best answer: Oh, try Josh Ritter also.
posted by Redstart at 8:43 PM on September 20, 2018

Best answer: The relationship won't be as direct, but maybe you should try the solo and side projects of other noted producers who have deep network connections in the music scene and who enlist superstar session musicians and notable scene members to record with them. You might like Daniel Lanois. Or you might like Bill Laswell. Or for something a little more recent, maybe Dan the Automator. And of course Eno offers an entire spectrum of options.. All of these producers have, at some point, released very polished projects populated by a huge roster of A-listers, much like T. Bone Burnett has.
posted by Nerd of the North at 9:45 PM on September 20, 2018

Best answer: Seems no-one has mentioned Laura Veirs yet. I started with Carbon Glacier, but all her albums are good.

For beautiful, crisp production and gnomic, witty lyrics, try Laurie Anderson. E.g. Strange Angels.
posted by snarfois at 1:52 AM on September 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Ok, some country women:
Elizabeth Cook - Balls

Kasey Chambers, with and without her ex-husband, Shane Nicholson (Although IIRC, he played guitar on most of her albums even when he didn’t sing.)


Chris Rea - Road to Hell

Stew Moss - The Plum

Joe Jackson - Night and Day
posted by MexicanYenta at 3:24 AM on September 21, 2018

Best answer: I am not familiar with this album by T Bone (my favorite of his is "The Criminal Under My Own Hat"). Having listened to a couple of songs from this album, I would recommend you check out Stan Ridgway, who was the lead singer in Wall of Voodoo. He has a very particular sound (twangy noir stories), but it might appeal to you. I love him, so I'm biased.

"The Big Heat"
"I Wanna Be a Boss"
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 4:23 PM on September 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I think Alejandro Escovedo is the missing piece of this puzzle, if anyone is still following this thread. Love you all!
posted by Glomar response at 8:42 AM on December 17, 2018

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