Video Premiere: Stone Jack Jones, “Petey’s Song”

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The Video: “Petey’s Song” The Artist: Mysterious ambient folk musician Stone Jack Jones The Album: Ancestor, out 3/4. Patty Griffin sings backup on several songs; members of Lambchop provide musical accompaniment. Songwriter Says: “This here is Petey, may he rest in peace. He lived with my dear friend Robin Eaton and often I would find […]

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Various Artists: You Don’t Know Me: Rediscovering Eddy Arnold

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Various Artists You Don’t Know Me:Rediscovering Eddy Arnold (Plowboy) Rating: 4 out of 5 stars The title of this tribute to the singer known as the Tennessee Plowboy says a lot. Eddy Arnold is ripe for rediscovering, especially when the data about his career shows him to be one of America’s most commercially popular country […]

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A Q&A with William Tyler

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Nashville guitar ace William Tyler is a musician’s musician, an artist who commands a lot of respect in Music City picking circles. He also seems to have little trouble winning over even the most hard-boiled of critics (read: Pitchfork, who gave his newly-released album Impossible Truth an 8.0 rating). American Songwriter dropped in on Tyler […]

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American Songwriter’s Top 50 Songs Of 2012

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50. Diamond Rugs, “Christmas In A Chinese Restaurant” John McCauley gets drunk, finds an out-of-tune piano, and sings the loneliest, saddest Christmas carol imaginable, somehow managing to rhyme “how’s the ham?” with “moo goo gai pan.” Best part: a street-corner Santa digs a saxophone out of a dumpster and solos on the bridge. 49. Beach […]

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Gillian Welch Adds To The Growing List Of Squidbillies Theme Covers

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Good news for cartoon enthusiasts, insomniacs, music lovers, moonlight stoners, failed musicians, and any other odd combination of individuals who tune into Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. The opening theme to the popular late night comedy series Squidbillieshas caught the attention of quite a few notable musicians. Over the show’s run, performers as diverse as T […]

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The Muse: Lambchop, “If Not I’ll Just Die”

First, fanfare that Lana Del Rey would gladly swipe for a hip-hop boat. Then the spat-opening lyric is “Don’t know what the fuck they talk about/ Maybe blowing kisses,” intoned by the one-of-a-kind Kurt Wagner at the beginning of this meta-account of possibly itself: “the strings sound good/ Maybe add some flute?” From there Wagner […]

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Lambchop: Mixed Media

(PHOTO: Bill Steber) A dapper young African American man stares out from the cover of Lambchop’s new album, Mr. M, his top hat stylishly askew and his face faintly quizzical, as if he expects great fortune to befall him at any moment. He’s a curious fellow, and even though he doesn’t figure directly into these […]

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Lambchop, “Mr. Met”

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Photo by Bill Steber “I think I write songs about trivial things that maybe they reflect on a larger meaning,” Kurt Wagner recently told Q Magazine. “If Not I’ll Just Die,” which is the first song on Lambchop’s 11th studio album, Mr. M, is about escaping his in-laws over the holidays, while “2B2” seems to […]

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The Muse February Sampler – Free Download

American Songwriter is proud to present the The Muse February Sampler, a hand-picked selection of ten new tracks from some of our favorite artists. And best of all, it’s free! You can download the sampler by going to this URL: http://americansongwriter-february12.bandcamp.com/album/the-muse-february-sampler Sharon Van Etten – “Serpents” Singer-songwriters’ public closeups rarely get more ominous than this. […]

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News Roundup: Foo Fighters, John Mayer, Radiohead and More

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The Foo Fighters in disguise. Three rare Nirvana recordings have surfaced. Seattle’s 107.7 The End has posted alternate versions of “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Breed,” and “On a Plain” from the upcoming reissue of Nevermind on their site. John Mayer, who can be heard on Tony Bennett’s Duets II album, has announced that he has […]

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Why Is American Folk Music Bigger In Europe?

Lambchop. Photo by Michael Schmelling Strangely, a lot of American artists are doing better in Europe than in the States. And it’s been going on longer than you’d think. “To British people there is always an element of sighing wistfully at the romantic ideal of the pioneer spirit and the checked plaid shirts, beards, and […]

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