Posts Tagged ‘Nathaniel Rateliff’

This week we have collected ten cracking tunes from the past seven days of new releases.

1. Mark Lanegan & Beth Orton – Your Kisses Burn (Marc Almond & Nico cover)
2. Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin’
3. Ghetto Ghouls – Hezbollah
4. Nathaniel Rateliff – Look It Here
5. Blossoms – Blown Rose
6. Chelsea Wolfe – Grey Days
7. Mild High Club – Undeniable
8. Fuzz -Pollinate
9. DRINKS – Laying Down Rock
10. Hinds – Chili Town

 

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Soulful, folk troubadour Nathaniel Rateliff will release a new six-track EP in January titled Closer.

Have a listen to the title track that is a perfectly judged exercise in sparsely beautiful, yet genuinely emotive, songwriting that uses the seasons as a metaphor for the ups and downs of a relationship.

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Videos of the Day

We’ve not posted any videos for a few days, so here are some high calibre musical films (and songs) from Peggy Sue, Marissa Nadler, William Fitzsimmons and Nathaniel Rateliff. Friday is folky Americana day…

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MM The Last Five Years - Dr Roddy

Believe it or not, Mad Mackerel has been around for more than five years now. During that time we’ve posted more than 4,000 times, and offered more than 5,000 songs for your listening pleasure. And more than three quarters of a million people have paid MM a visit during our lifetime on Google’s godawful blogspot and since April 2010 on WordPress.

We asked some of the regular MM contributors to give us their top twenty songs since MM first went live and we’re also going to give you one big mega-listing shortly, but first up with their personal top twenty is the right honourable Dr Roddy.

Through good fortune and fine sailing I have been lucky enough to be involved with this blog and it has provided me with some of the finest music in genres I maybe wouldn’t have looked in. So when asked to compile a top twenty of tunes from the last five years, I kicked aside the memories of musical turmoil that is involved with the yearly top tens, poured a stiff drink and set about it with relish.

20 Dan Auerbach – Heartbroken, In Disrepair

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19 Dirty Bourbon River Band – Train Is Gone

Download Dirty Bourbon River Show – Train Is Gone mp3 (from Volume 2)

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18 Tame Impala – Half Full Glass Of Wine

Download Tame Impala – Half Full Glass Of Wine mp3 (from Tame Impala EP)

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17 Janice Graham Band – Front Door

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16 Ox – Midnight On The Island

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15 Dennis Hoppers Choppers – Good To Me

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14 Timber Timbre – Bad Ritual

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13 Nathaniel Rateliffe – Brakeman

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12 William Elliot Whitmore – Old Devils

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11 What Would Jesus Drive – The Girls Are In Charge

Download What Would Jesus Drive – The Girls Are In Charge (live) mp3 (from What Would Jesus Drive EP)

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10 The Cave Singers – I Don’t Mind
Wonderfully carefree and happy song that could so easily be heard drifting out of a doorway in Haight Ashbury with some interesting smelling smoke circa 1967. Yet this song never bows or becomes a pastiche of that, it rises above it all with its own verve and character.

Download The Cave Singers – I Don’t Mind mp3 (from Welcome Joy)

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9 Brown Bird – Wrong Black Mare
Sullen, desperate story songs are a bit of a fave of mine and to be honest I think I can trace it back to this song. A tale of woe, desperation and unpaid debts are told here with such clarity, it’s as if you’ve got drunk with Brown Bird and they have decided to spill their guts to you. You understand though, ‘coz at some point we have all backed the “Wrong Black Mare”

Download Brown Bird – Wrong Brown Mare mp3 (from

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8 Mummy Short Arms – Cigarette Smuggling
When I wrote my first review of this song I thought I had described quite well. Upon re-reading it, I can safely say that my view has changed and will probably change on my next listen to it. The insanity, confusion, and babbling of this song are what holds my love for it. It’s an enigma wrapped in a riddle, all encased in a funky B-line, foot tapping beat, gravel throated, roister of a song.

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7 Strayfolk – What Wouldn’t I Do
This is such a beautifully crafted song. Simple, but packed with a rich warm sound that feels like it lends weight to the honesty of this tale of lost and forlorn love. Perfect Americana direct from Sweden.

Download Strayfolk – What Wouldn’t I Do mp3

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6 Withered Hand – Religious Songs
A piece of lyrical mastery is on display here. A fantastic sing-a-long arrangement supports the witty word play that Dan Wilson sings with a vulnerability to his voice. This doesn’t stop him from punching the words that need emphasis. This song also ask the obvious question “How does he really expect to be happy, when he listens to death metal bands?”

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5 Tweak Bird – Weight
I love the in-your-face nature of this song. Right from the start, it sets its stall out – flat out, foot on the amp rock, and proud of it to boot. The guitar plays a gritty riff that sounds angry and frustrated, while the drummer is hell bent on punishing every bit of his kit.

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4 Grass House – A Cradle A Short Breath
The deep sombre tones that lay across this song act as a perfect partner to the bass as it pounds along at a merry old pace. It never fails to make me give a wry smile as I bob along to it’s woeful chorus of “A cradle, a short breath”.

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3 Roadside Graves – Far And Wide
I still think Roadside Graves is the best band name of this century and Far And Wide is a song that has stayed with me since my first listen – I was hooked. A great country riff lures you in and you hardly notice that the song fills with more and more sound and pleasure until it finishes and you’re left with a hole where the music once was, so you reach for the replay button, you know like musical heroin.

Download The Roadside Graves – Far And Wide mp3 (from My Son’s Home)

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2 Wooden Wand – Servant To Blues
As this track rolls effortlessly on, Wooden Wand spills his bleak melancholy tale of a servant to blues. In other words, the relationship equivalent of the Church’s pious man. I love the rhythm of this track, it almost seems to tick along like a clock. The peacefulness of this song is speared through the heart with a great screeching guitar solo, this then just seems to ebb back into the shadows it leapt from, only to be covered by the warm sound of the organ. Truly blissful…

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1 Henry’s Funeral Shoe – Stranger Dig (Everything’s For Sale)
For just two guys damn! They make some noise. Great heavy blues tinged riffs and rolling drum beats – I’m loving that all day long. There is talent and passion in abundance here. I’m sat here trying to write something for this whilst listening to it, that has had to stop, as when it plays it just grips me up and I can’t do anything other than get right into it. If you’re looking for something new rock wise I beg you to check them out, live if possible. Disappointment won’t be on the menu.

Videos of the Day

Watch a brilliant video from Field Report to accompany their track I Am Not Waiting Anymore, Crushed Beak’s new video for their track Breakdown, and Esmé Patterson’s video for My Young Man featuring another MM fave in Nathaniel Rateliff. Finally we have the soaring indie-pop of Scottish six piece The Maginot Band and their new video for recent single Sombre Fayre.

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The sun shone, the bands played, and, as ever, a good time was had by all. Roll on Truck Festival 2012.

Download Richmond Fontaine – The Boyfriends mp3 (from We Used To Think The Freeway Sounded Like A River)

Download Cashier No. 9 – Lost At Sea mp3 (from To The Death Of Fun)

Download Pete & The Pirates – Mr Understanding mp3 (from Little Death)

Download Lanterns On The Lake – You’re Almost There mp3 (from Gracious Tide, Take Me Home)

Download Caitlin Rose – Shotgun Wedding mp3 (from Dead Flowers EP)

Download Justin Townes Earle – Harlem River Blues mp3 (from Harlem River Blues)

Download Sea of Bees – The Woods mp3 (from The Woods EP)

Download The Duke & The King – If You Ever Get Famous mp3 (from Nothing Gold Can Stay)

Download John Grant – I Wanna Go To Marz mp3 (from Queen Of Denmark)

Download Alessi’s Ark – Shovelling mp3 (from Soul Proprietor EP)

Download Chad Valley – Ensoniq Funk mp3 (from Chad Valley EP)

Download Admiral Fallow – Squealing Pigs mp3 (from Boots Met My Face)

Download Tunng – Don’t Look Down Or Back mp3 (from …And Then We Saw Land)

Download Jonquil – Get Up mp3 (from One Hundred Suns EP)

Download Johnny Flynn – Kentucky Pill mp3 (from Been Listening)

Download The Young Knives – Walking On The Autobahn mp3 (from The Young Knives…Are Dead)

Download Dry The River – New Ceremony mp3 (from New Ceremony Single)

Download Little Fish – Wonderful mp3

Download Nathaniel Rateliff – Early Spring Till mp3 (from In Memory Of Loss)

Download Trophy Wife – Microlite (Acoustic Version) mp3

Here at MM we share, chat, argue, bury and praise music on a pretty regular basis…like daily. So throughout the year, the Mackerel crew (Mrs Mackerel, Barry-Sean, Christy-Popper, Dr Roddy, Polly Pocket, Starbar, MM and others) keep their own ever-changing top tens ready for publication at the climax of the festive season.

Now is the time to reveal all…

Our third contribution this year comes from the mighty Dr Roddy, house-mate, chef, Leeds fan, and occasional soiler of his own trousers.

10. Strayfolk – What Wouldn’t I Do (Download here)

A peach of a song to start me off with, a sparse and beautiful track. Maybe not the most uplifting of tales that is to be told in this song, but that only seems to compliment the voice of Swedish vocalist Henrik Thoren, who has, for my money, the sound of a man who has been smoking cornpipes and drinking ‘shine on porches in the south of America, for many a moon.

9. Murder By Death – Foxglove  (Download here)

This song sets its stall out right from the start. I was smitten immediately with the haunting sound of the cello and the military/marching band drum’s are like a heart beat running through the song. The music and sound of Adam turlas voice,  may lead you to think that this fevered hunt for a lover is doomed for bad times and worse, but knowing that “It was always You” puts a smile on my face.

8. Pancake Breakfast – The Ballad Of Maynard Noe  (Download here)

From the first sound you have an idea that this tune could have a real groove to it and you’re not to be disappointed. The guitar plays a funky rhythm, whilst Mike Midlo leads us into a tale of a hard, uncompromising, thug of a man who eventually gets his comeuppance. The lyric “And he’d cruise up every night, like a dog in a bin looking for a fight” paints a great image of Maynard Noe. When the song breaks it does so with gusto, it also has a fantastic guitar and trumpet solo.

7. Yeasayer – Ambling Alp

There is a great bassline to this song and the chorus is contagious, once heard you can’t shift it (in a good way, not a pop ear rot way). The drums are simple, but resounding and there is some great work on the keyboards that create a kind of electro feel, but with a real modern twist. There are some gems of lyrics in this song too concerning “old man Schmelling”. And Ambling Alp. All in all a ripsnorter of a tune.

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6. Fist Fam – S. F. Bay  (Download here)

This song is a real piece of feel good hip hop. From its first listening, it put a smile on my face, I just couldn’t stop my head from nodding. For 3 minutes and 52 seconds  I felt “street”, then, remembering I was a 30 something year old British male, that all came crashing down around my ears. But I thank Fist Fam for those fleeting moments. The harmonica has a real summery, Stevie Wonder type sound and the bassline is something that Rick James would have been proud of. The lyrics set the scene  of a carefree summer city. As I write this there is about two feet of snow outside, so that is a welcome thought.

5. Nathaniel  Rateliffe – Brakeman.

I find this song has an almost lullaby quality to it. The lyrics just seem to drip with regret and despair. The piano seems to frame that perfectly as Nathaniel Rateliffe sings a tale of a man who seems to be at the shit end of work, love and life. The song itself seems simple and uncomplicated by heavy production, which is by no means a bad thing. A definite case of less is more. And at 2 minutes 25 seconds that makes it perfect.

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4. Street Sweeper Social Club – The New Fuck You.

Great name for a band, great tune. There is nothing wrong with a power chord riff that is more infectious than MRSA. This also has some of the greatest lyrics I have heard in one song, ever! I could repeat some of them here, but that would just mean writing the song pretty much verbatim. The only thing I can say is get yourself some understanding neighbours, beers and turn this one up!!

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3. The Tallest Man On Earth – King of Spain  (Download here)

What a song. It couldn’t be any simpler, just a man and a guitar. Filling the speakers with such a rich sound you almost think there is a whole band there. This track was a instant hit in my house, you could listen to it in any frame of mind and take something from it. Because of this it has become the sound track to many a refined night of co-co and slippers obviously?  The pace of this track is excellent it gallops along like a giddy mare. While the lyrics leave you pining for rioja and siesta in warmer climes. A great winter warmer.

2. Wooden Wand – Ragtop Ruby

This song has the lyric of the year of the year for me “Mr Kyle from Saint Charlies, I guess you met a man there, He’d just enough rope in his trunk to make you uneasy”. A work of genius.  Although this is the opening line the rest of the song doesn’t disappoint with more inspired lyrics, while the guitar creeps along at a nice rhythm to accompany Wooden Wand’s drawling delivery. It was hard to choose between the WW songs I’ve heard this year but there could only real be one winner. Ragtop Ruby.

1. What Would Jesus Drive – The Girls Are In Charge  (Download here, live version)

Here it is: without question song of the year. As soon as heard this on a CD of Mr Mackerel’s latest offerings I knew it was going to be my number one. It has everything I love – thumping drum beat, power chords and a good bit of wit. Listening to Amy Casey and Tim Box banter the lyrics back and forth at one another  is a nice touch. But it’s the guitar riff that makes this song a sure fire winner. The bass and drums are the backbone but it’s that riff. Oh and I don’t know if I mentioned the killer riff?

Bubbling Under (Songs That Came So Close)

5. Overmountain MenLooking For Dr. Caligari

4. Gaoler’s DaughterNine Pieces Of Silk

3. UnclesSettler’s Song

2. Sheepdogs – I Don’t Know

1. Wooden Wand – Uncle Bill

Best Songs First Heard this Year, But Not 2010

5. Frank Turner – Try This At Home

4. Willard Grant Conspiracy – Drunkard’s Prayer

3. Get Busy Committee – My Little Razor Blade

2. Wooden Wand – Son Of Wand (Hard Luck Prince)

1. Wilco – Handshake drugs

Guilty pleasure (I’m in no way repentent)

Lena Meyer – Satellite

Last night I headed up the M40 with friend Matt (Matt Mackerel maybe…) to see Delta Spirit play the latest date of their short UK tour at the Hare & Hounds in Bimingham. Our first visit to said venue.

En route I discovered, as a toddler, Matt had been best mates with MM idol Pete Kember (of Spacemen 3 fame, aka Spectrum) – how cool is that? Anyway, childhood stories aside, we arrived early enough to see first support act and local boys This Love Affair deliver an entirely pleasant set of indie rock. “Like the Cure crossed with Vampire Weekend” said Matt sagely.

Next was Nathaniel Rateliff, friend of the headliners, and a joy to watch from beginning to end. “Like Martin Stephenson” said Matt sagely as the set began (enough to make Martin Stephenson fan Mrs Mackerel very jealous) and the comparison was true enough. It was one beautifully crafted song after another, although as you might expect from a US troubadour, there was a distinct twang and world-weariness to their sound that called to mind boxcars, dusty highways, empty bottles of whiskey and heartbreak in equal measure, but best of all the set was shot though with a perfectly judged mix of nostalgia, melancholy and downbeat good humour..

Download Nathaniel Rateliff – Early Spring Till mp3 (from In Memory Of Loss)

With the audience suitably in the mood now, headliners Delta Spirit took the stage and proceeded to up the pace and tempo with their own deeply personal take on bar-room blues and indie rock. Much more ferocious then they appear on record, a blistering Bushwick Blues, a thunderingly catchy Trashcan, a pounding White Table, and a visceral Children were all superb, and left no one in any doubt that these boys mean what they say.

All were anchored by the powerful, and appropriately gruff, vocals of Matthew Vasquez and used to equally good effect on the more mid-tempo country tinged numbers like Ransom Man, and a spectacular version of St Francis. An encore including crowd favourite People C’mon that was simply howled into the Birmingham night rounded off the evening perfectly and sent us on our way grinning and with Matt unable to find a sage comparison, and this methinks, was entirely a good thing.

If you can – go see this tour, at the risk of sounding corny, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Delta Spirit are like christmas cake and malt whiskey, a great combination and a real treat. See below for remaining UK dates and also watch out for them on Later with Jools Holland soon.

Buy Nathaniel Rateliff from Amazon here. Buy Delta Spirit from Amazon here.

Download The Delta Spirit – Bushwick Blues mp3 (from History From Below)

Download The Delta Spirit – Trashcan mp3 (from Ode To Sunshine)

Download The Delta Spirit – People C’mon mp3 (from Ode To Sunshine)

Tour Dates:

Tonight The Barfly, London

22 Sep The Ruby Lounge, Manchester

23 Sep Captain’s Rest, Glasgow