November 17, 2007 1:43 AM   Subscribe

I wanna rock (with a twang)! I like Drive-By Truckers, Lucero, Centro-Matic, The Dexateens, and I HATE HATE HATE jam bands. Please advise.

Who's the best bar band, lounge act, freakabilly festival weirdo, American rock and fucking roll band you've heard recently? NB: I hate Widespread Panic, the Dead, the Dave Matthews Bland, and all that ilk. I like NRBQ, the Austin Lounge Lizards, and Marcia Ball. And "Pancho and Lefty" ranks up there with the Iliad. And I'm already down with Robbie Fulks. And The Highwaymen. And Steve Earle. And Lucinda.And Dan Sartain. And the Jayhawks, and the Gear Daddies, and Neko Case. And the New Pornographers. And all that stuff. Gimme new, gimme good.
posted by BitterOldPunk to Media & Arts (72 answers total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
You want The Sadies and The Gourds.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 2:11 AM on November 17, 2007

Oh, and Bad Livers.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 2:14 AM on November 17, 2007

My Morning Jacket.
posted by electroboy at 2:24 AM on November 17, 2007

Califone or maybe more appropriate, Calexico?

and definitely check out Carla Bozulich. I haven't heard her new album, but she released an entire album cover of Red-Headed Stranger! and it was good.
posted by ethel at 3:01 AM on November 17, 2007


posted by nonmerci at 3:02 AM on November 17, 2007

Not new, and you maybe already dig them, but I have to say it, the Flying Burrito Brothers rule.
posted by ethel at 3:06 AM on November 17, 2007

Green on Red and/or Chuck Prophet.
posted by oh pollo! at 3:34 AM on November 17, 2007

Pancho & Lefty as the Iliad? I love you man.

Seconding Calexico, though they can be more jazzy.
Grand Champeen.
Two Cow Garage.

Not aroudn any more, but:
Uncle Tupelo will rock your world.

Also, many of the bands who have played Twangfest would fit the bill. In fact, come to Twangfest next year.
posted by notsnot at 4:51 AM on November 17, 2007

Old Crow Medicine Show. I saw them live recently, and they were great. And twangy.
posted by tiny crocodile at 4:55 AM on November 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

I can not recommend more highly The Avett Brothers.
Esp if you can see them live.
posted by ShawnString at 4:59 AM on November 17, 2007

Your new favorite label is Bloodshot Records. They have a great compilation out called For a Decade of Sin.

As I've mentioned previously, Sympathy For The Record Industry also has a great compilation called Root Damage.

And these people:
Reigning Sound
Compulsive Gamblers
Handsome Family
Roky Erickson
Alex Chilton
Evan Johns & His H-Bombs
Jon Wayne
Fred Eaglesmith
Bob Log III
Gram Parsons (2nding Burrito Brothers!)
Nashville Pussy

2nding the Sadies. And if you ever get to hear Neko Case's Canadian Amp record, it's one of the most underrated records ever.

And, at the risk of being run out of town, I'd avoid the Uncle Tupelo / Son Volt family (although Wilco is pretty good). They're always pointed to as these quintessential alt-country bands, but I've never cared for 'em. Everyone else seems to love them, though, so YMMV.

It's way too early in the morning to link to all these, or I would have. Enjoy!
posted by Rykey at 5:02 AM on November 17, 2007

Bobby Bare Jr.

Rykey mentioned Bloodshot Records, but Bobby is specifically GREAT enough to mention specifically.
posted by dirtdirt at 5:22 AM on November 17, 2007

Ehh, I doubt any of these will be news to you (and some of them are maybes), but on the off chance they help:
Alejandro Escovedo
Laura Cantrell
Kelly Willis
Kelly Hogan
The Mekons (on an album-by-album basis here. See also: a few members' solo projects. Sally Timms and John Langford come to mind; I think there are others)
Waco Brothers
Jim Lauderdale
Hank Williams III
Old 97's
Patty Griffin
posted by willpie at 6:22 AM on November 17, 2007

Old '97s
Drag the River
Ryan Adams & the Cardinals
Adam Hood
Patty Hurst Shifter
Hackensaw Boys
The Band
The Black Crowes

Bobby Bare, Jr.
Reigning Sound
Whiskeytown (earlier's better than later)
Uncle Tupelo
Son Volt
posted by yerfatma at 6:24 AM on November 17, 2007

+1 Burritos, Gram Parsons, some Calexico.

Now how about the Derailers?

And some old Jason and the Scorchers?


And then there's the brilliant Van Lear Rose album from Loretta Lynn.
posted by unSane at 6:38 AM on November 17, 2007

+Some Ryan Adams, and Whiskeytown
+ Old 97's
+ Older Hank III (the newer it is, the more Rock it'll be)

Southern Culture on the Skids
The Weary Boys

And, for lots more recommendations, with sound clips, check out:
posted by dpx.mfx at 6:46 AM on November 17, 2007

Chris Mills
Richmond Fontaine
early Robert Earl Keen
Tom Russell
Iris DeMent
posted by MarkAnd at 6:59 AM on November 17, 2007

Oh, and the Mother Truckers.
posted by dpx.mfx at 7:00 AM on November 17, 2007

That newish Richard Buckner/Jon Langford album is right up your alley, too.
posted by MarkAnd at 7:00 AM on November 17, 2007

Nobody said the Blasters yet? Or anything with the last name Alvin in it?
posted by jbickers at 7:04 AM on November 17, 2007

Best answer: Dale Watson, dude. Dale Watson. You will thank me.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:09 AM on November 17, 2007

Don't think anyone has mentioned...
Tommy Womack
Will Kimbrough
Todd Snider
The Bottle Rockets
Deadstring Brothers
Tim Carroll
Duane Jarvis
posted by whatideserve at 7:11 AM on November 17, 2007

the refreshments (esp. Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big & Buzzy)
li'l cap't travis
+ wilco
+ the old 97's
posted by ncc1701d at 7:12 AM on November 17, 2007

also... my morning jacket is great but may be too jam-bandy
posted by ncc1701d at 7:13 AM on November 17, 2007

Can't believe the Bottle Rockets haven't been mentioned, although their label, Bloodshot Records, has.

I think they may be exactly who you're looking for.

And start with old Uncle Tupelo, then Son Volt, listening your way through chronologically.

Have fun and post reviews!!
posted by altcountryman at 7:14 AM on November 17, 2007

A couple of repeats and some new ones:
Bobby Bare, Jr.
Richmond Fontaine (songs: Contrails, 5 Degrees Below Zero)
Blair Combest
Silver Jews
Tennessee Rounders (song: "Pabst Blue Ribbon")
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:17 AM on November 17, 2007

Road Kings.
posted by theredpen at 7:24 AM on November 17, 2007

Best answer: Can't believe I forgot to mention Scott Miller & the Commonwealth. "Reconstruction" has lived on repeat around here since it came out earlier this year.
posted by whatideserve at 8:05 AM on November 17, 2007

Wrinkle Neck Mules
posted by emelenjr at 8:13 AM on November 17, 2007

Band of Horses
posted by rabbitsnake at 8:15 AM on November 17, 2007

Best answer: BR-549 (much more rocking than the song currently on their website).

Malcomb Holcombe

Junior Brown

Meat Purveyors (they broke up earlier this year. pity)

Buddy and Julie Miller
posted by kimdog at 8:21 AM on November 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

Oh yeah, Richard Buckner, esp. the album (Devotion +Doubt) with Calexico as the backing band.

How in hell did I forget teh Bottlerockets?

And for more of a Southwestern air, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers.
posted by notsnot at 8:25 AM on November 17, 2007

Nthing Bloodshot Records and when in Chicago you should hangout at the Hideout
posted by readery at 8:26 AM on November 17, 2007

I just saw O' Death play and they kicked out some serious banjo punk.
posted by otolith at 8:43 AM on November 17, 2007

And if you want to take a look at a weirdo band, I recommend Old Time Relijun. You may have to see them live to appreciate how off kilter their singer/guitarist/lyricist is. On their myspace page, I would start with the song "Indestructible Life."

They definitely have a twisted twang on some songs, abetted by their upright bassist.
posted by otolith at 8:54 AM on November 17, 2007

Best answer: Lots of good ones in here already, so I'm going to go with some older stuff that you're hopefully not completely sick of:

Truck Stop Love were a great band in the 90s and when I first heard Drive-By Truckers, I thought TSL had gotten back together to do another album (I also feel like I've said that before here, but maybe it was another site). The song "Townie" from the link is a good start.

If you like the Jason and the Scorchers stuff, Little Hits had a nice breakdown (and list of names) of some of the stuff from that era awhile back (with a great track by a band called Spaghetti Western).

Thin White Rope had some pretty great twangy moments.

Meat Puppets II (nevermind the guy who did those covers, this album is wonderful).

A few newer people:

The Danny Pound Band is great.

And, at least it used to be true, the band of the Danny Pound Band is the Horsefeathers of Arthur Dodge and the Horsefeathers (also contains one member of TSL).

Yes, those last two are from my old hometown. I think more people should listen to Danny.
posted by sleepy pete at 9:03 AM on November 17, 2007

Seconding Scott Miller and Southern Culture on the Skids. And if you can find either of the Bubbapalooza compilations (there were at least two, maybe more), they're fantastic. And next time you're over in Atlanta, go to a show at the Star Bar.
posted by paleography at 9:13 AM on November 17, 2007

Howe Gelb. He's taken a desert sound to exuberant places with a gospel choir and is also no stranger to chill and lo-fi places.

His more rockin' involvements are Arizona Amp and Alternator and Giant Sand's All Over the Map.

His on-again off-again alt-country supergroup Band of Blacky Ranchette (with M. Ward, Neko Case, Richard Buckner, the Calexico guys, and Grandaddy) is also not to be missed.
posted by asuprenant at 9:39 AM on November 17, 2007

Maybe a bit more rockin' than twangin', but The Supersuckers are totally awesome.

SO many good suggestions here for you!
posted by pazazygeek at 9:48 AM on November 17, 2007

Oh! There's a local LA band I really like, called Shurman. They are awesome live.
posted by pazazygeek at 9:49 AM on November 17, 2007

Response by poster: These are great! Keep 'em coming!

I've been an Uncle Tupelo fan for years, and I've lost count of the number of times I've seen Southern Culture on the Skids. I dig Slobberbone, Giant Sand, Calexico, and Hank III. Ryan Adams sucks, and Kelly Hogan's "Sugarbowl" is what I sing in the shower. Cuz it makes me feel purty.

And though memory fails me, I think I'm banned from the Star Bar....but that was years ago.

I have much listening to do today.

Will report back with best answers when I can. I'm deeply digging Truck Stop Love, though.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:15 AM on November 17, 2007

+ Old 97's
+ Uncle Tupelo/Wilco/Son Volt - the whole No Depression set in general
+ anything on Bloodshot

Let me add Freakwater and the Geraldine Fibbers.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:17 AM on November 17, 2007

Seconding Chuck Prophet
Pete Drodge and The Sinners, I would start with Find A Door.
Uncle Tupelo/ Son Volt/ Early Wilco (Summerteeth is an absolute classic)
The Glands
Bap Kennedy I particularly recommend Domestic Blues
Jake Brennan
The Mother Hips mostly their older stuff.

You can also check out No Depression
posted by fshgrl at 10:25 AM on November 17, 2007

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings are good.
posted by Bearman at 11:22 AM on November 17, 2007

You can also check out No Depression

Oh yeah. Great magazine for this sort of thing.
posted by Rykey at 12:08 PM on November 17, 2007

The Old 97s have a wide ranging twang quotient, so try a range of their albums. I think Hitchhike to Rhome and Wreck Your Life are the twangiest, their major label releases less so (but still worth while)
posted by Good Brain at 12:09 PM on November 17, 2007

Best answer: how about elliott brood?
posted by twistofrhyme at 12:28 PM on November 17, 2007

No one's said The Knitters yet? Really?
The Vandals
Neko Case and Her Boyfriends (her first two albums)
Sally Timms' Cowboy Sally albums
Jesse Dayton
Jack Grace Band (I've only seen him once, but he was great)
Juanita Family and Friends
16 Horsepower
The Wilders
The Meat Purveyors
Rex Hobart & The Misery Boys
Split Lip Rayfield (these last three are all on Bloodshot)
Souled American (okay, they're pretty far afield of the twang sound you're looking for, but they're awesome - someone started a whole record label solely for the purpose of rereleasing their albums!)
nthing Freakwater, plus Catherine Irwin's solo album - she's the best songwriter around
Kelly Hogan is my imaginary girlfriend

some SF Bay Area bands -
Rube Waddell
Kemo Sabe
The Pinebox Boys
posted by smartyboots at 1:11 PM on November 17, 2007

Response by poster: Added to my iPod so far today:

elliott brood
two cow garage
truck stop love
bobby bare jr.
the sadies
scott miller and the commonwealth
meat purveyors
band of horses (I really wanted to hate this band of twee beardy weirdos. But they're very soothing.)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:22 PM on November 17, 2007

Best answer: Matt Mays and El Torpedo are one the of the best bands that Americans haven't heard yet ...
posted by pfafflin at 1:29 PM on November 17, 2007

If you're looking for southern rock (with a twang) in the vein of Drive-By Truckers, I can highly recommend I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House (sample tracks). Pretty much straight-up the same genre of music. (Alas, they have recently broken up.)
posted by anifinder at 1:58 PM on November 17, 2007

Ooooh, yes, the Knitters. I can't believe I didn't include them before.
posted by paleography at 2:20 PM on November 17, 2007

Five Horse Johnson
Backyard Tire Fire
posted by lilnemo at 2:33 PM on November 17, 2007

The Heartless Bastards rock my world.
posted by emd3737 at 3:00 PM on November 17, 2007

Evangenitals . You might especially like Gasoline.
posted by Skychief at 4:02 PM on November 17, 2007

Not new, but new to you, and the best bar band I've ever heard: '90s Philly legends Go To Blazes.
posted by nicwolff at 4:15 PM on November 17, 2007

Take a gander at Heavy Trash
posted by andrewraff at 4:48 PM on November 17, 2007

Several people have recommended The Mekons. Specifically, check out their albums Honky Tonkin', Fear and Whiskey, and Out of Our Heads (or OOOH!) -- they are good starting points for the sound you may be looking for. Even more specifically, check out out the song "Thee Olde Trip to Jerusalem" from OOOH! Brilliant, exciting, chilling song. Yeah!
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 5:19 PM on November 17, 2007

Oops! Forgot Trailer Bride!

Skychief, thanks for the tip on The Evangenitals - now I'm scheming to get them on a bill with my band, The Whoreshoes. Imagine the fliers!
posted by smartyboots at 9:31 PM on November 17, 2007

Can't believe I forgot the Knitters! D'oh!

A couple more: Hem and Jim and Jennie and the Pinetops.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:22 PM on November 17, 2007

Boys Named Sue from Dallas are great live...
posted by erikgrande at 12:06 AM on November 18, 2007

Rhett Miller's solo albums are really good, but more poppy than twangy.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:16 AM on November 18, 2007

Scruffy the Cat
posted by candyland at 10:05 AM on November 18, 2007

They've been broken up for almost seven years now, but Dieselhed is my all-time favorite band. New it's not, but it's all good stuff.

The former frontman for them, Virgil Shaw, has a couple solo albums which I really like, too.
posted by cog_nate at 11:15 AM on November 18, 2007

I'll add Sean Reefer and the Resin Valley Boys.
posted by dog food sugar at 11:46 AM on November 18, 2007

band of horses
built to spill
some damien jurado (i break chairs)

lo-fi twangy-ish options:
will oldham
silver jews
posted by pieliza at 11:15 AM on November 20, 2007

the can kickers are pretty rad
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 8:59 AM on November 21, 2007

the hold stead
posted by anthropomorphic at 11:29 AM on November 22, 2007

Best answer: by that i meant the hold steady.
posted by anthropomorphic at 11:29 AM on November 22, 2007

Rather than Built To Spill, try Doug Martsch's solo stuff. Good twang.

Arizona Amp & Alternator (This is YEE-HAW!)
Fruit Bats
posted by carsonb at 8:12 AM on November 24, 2007

Oh, and I wouldn't be saying all the same things over again if I didn't mention Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris' album Western Wall.
posted by carsonb at 8:15 AM on November 24, 2007

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