ON THE RADAR - FRIDAY APRIL 01, 2016

On the Radar for April 1, 2016 features a pairing of Roots fiddle masters as Michael Doucet (Beausoleil) and Tom Rigney (The Sundogs) come together to spin Cajun Fandango. The chart features music from Los Angeles as Haroula Rose channels literary art and touches her Roots with goth on Here the Blue River while Corey Dennison Band show what is hot in Chicago with their self-titled release. Roots run across the world and come up through the music of Sweden’s Rag-And-Bone brand of Euro-Americana on their recent release Everything Can Be Burnt but the Truth. The Catskill Mountains are home to Burnell Pines, St. Joseph, Missouri is the base for Under the Big Oak Tree, and Lincoln Durham travels inward to show Revelations of a Mind Unraveled On the Radar for April 1, 2016.

Michael Doucet and Tom Rigney  (from the album Cajun Fandango) - Fiddlers rule on Cajun Fandango as Roots royalty come together to lord over a land of Blues, Cajun Two-Steps, and waltzes. Michael Doucet is a Cajun fiddler who has been an ambassador for the music of Louisiana on worldwide stages as leader of Beausoleil for nearly forty years. Tom Rigney is a Berkeley, California-based Blues and Roots violinist. He was at the helm of The Sundogs (Rounder Records) for fifteen years and has fronted Tom Rigney and Flambeau since 2000. Flambeau is the band backing for Cajun Fandango and features Danny Caron on guitar (Marcia Ball, Clifton Chenier, Charles Brown), Caroline Dahl on piano, Steve Parks on bass, and Brent Rapone on drums.

The two fiddlers have been longtime friends from sharing stages with Beausoleil and The Sundogs. Cajun Fandango is the result of a few decades worth of we-should-make-an-album conversations as it spends time with the Cajun-inflected title track and the percussive shuffle of “Early In the Morning” while the Blues gets its time with “Rico's Blues”, “L'Amour Poisonne”, and “Last Will and Testament”. Michael Doucet and Tom Rigney perform their magic in the first notes of album opener “Marie Catin” as dual violins power the French language tune. The fiddles burn with “Swamp Fever”, gently pull notes for “Oh Pauline”, and roll down the windows for a highway bound romp on J.J. Cale’s “Call Me the Breeze”. 

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Haroula Rose  (from the album Here the Blue River) - The written words of poetry and literature were the muse for Haroula Rose to create Here the Blue River. The poetry of Chilean Pablo Neruda (The Book of Questions) as well as the watery references of contemporary author of Bonnie Jo Campbell (Once Upon a River) and nineteenth century essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson (The River). The literary jump-off point for Here the Blue River scripts its natural Folk and Americana with a Gothic tone as Haroula Rose closes her eyes and lazily floats away in “The River (Drifting)”, questions the dancing of waves as they crash over the heartbeat pulse of “Moon and Waves”, and walks piano keys through the ambient echoes of “This Old House”.

Haroula Rose followed her art from a Chicago birth to a residence in Los Angeles where she is currently based. Here the Blue River is her second album outing, giving time for music within her work as a film and TV writer, producer, and director. A peaceful stillness is in the band as Haroula Rose softly shares her own notes with “Songbird”, moves gracefully along sun-dappled note motes in “Grass Stains”, and builds a formal rhythm structure for the nightfall on “Sirens”. Here the Blue River sings for one of its own as Haroula Rose calls out for the river’s daughter over a train track beat with “Margo”.  

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Corey Dennison Band (from the album Corey Dennison Band on Delmark Records) - The Corey Dennison Band has been getting louder on the Chicago music scene, and they offer a self-titled studio debut album on Delmark Records to give their Blues a little more amplification. Corey Dennison was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, moving through physical states (Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri) and musical (Country, late night Blues radio and Sunday morning Gospel). The Blues is what caught Corey is its grasp, and Corey Dennison Band is the vehicle to get the message out. The band maintains a funky beat throughout the album as they cruise nighttime boulevards with “City Lights”, float on standard Blues tradition to pull “Tugboat Blues” along, and warn of “Strange Things Happening”.

Corey Dennison sings with a sweet bite as “Don’t Say You’re Sorry” cradles its message with warm organ chords and guitar chops, a slight departure for the turn-it-up Blues force that barrels through Corey Dennison Band. Playing for eight years as guitarist for Carl Weathersby gave Corey schooling to front his own group, and Corey Dennison Band is the diploma he hangs on his wall as the album bounces (“Getcha’ Pull!”), smoothly grooves (“Shame on Me”), shuffles (“Jasper’s Hop”), rocks (“She’s No Good”), and preaches the Blues on mighty clouds of funk (“Aw, Snap”).

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Rag-And-Bone (from the album Everything Can be Burnt but the Truth) - Those who believed in motto that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure came to be known as rag and bone men. Mats Nilsson took that line as a banner to fly over the acoustic project he created in 2005 with Rag-And-Bone.  The group’s recent release, Everything Can Be Burnt but the Truth, was recorded in Malmo, Sweden (Mats adopted hometown). Musically, the album is touched by Euro-Americana produced by the five piece (Mats Nillson-guiter, Lars Magnusson-bass, Johan Malmberg-violin, banjo, electric guitar, David Svedberg-drums, Pelle Johansson-mandolin, lap steel, saxophone, electric guitar). Everything Can Be Burnt but the Truth moves away from the acoustic origins of the group, plugging in to give the songs extra power for the title track and the jangle of “Love Won’t Happen Here”. Rag-And-Bone went to Mats Nillson’s record collection for the progressive and psychedelic influences on the album, providing an acoustic edge that travels over desert wind rhythms in “By Blood Undone” as a somber fireside mortality surfaces in “Cradle and My Tomb” while Country Blues breathes life into “Withered Rose”, and the mountain reel in of “Heatherwaste Bound” sets the feet to dancing.. 

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Lincoln Durham  (from the album Lincoln Durham's Revelations of a Mind Unraveling) - Lincoln Durham gives DIY its own sound as he hauls mid-century guitars, hand-me-down fiddles, banjos, and home-made instruments of percussion into Lincoln Durham's Revelations of a Mind Unraveling. The unraveling that Lincoln lists comes through in the hard-worn tales he vocally attacks with shrieks, growls, grunts, and shouts. The album pounds out a heart thump on “Creeper” as Lincoln Durham realizes that to save his soul he needs to roar. Lincoln Durham’s Revelations of a Mind Unraveling stomps out demanding wishes over heavy drumming and distorted notes as he sees a future where the object of his ire will “Suffer His Name”. Rubbery strings reverberate as “Prophet Incarnate” confesses transgressions on “Gods of Wood and Stone” as it build an altar on rustic rhythms, “Noose” tightens the groove into perpetual beat bumps and note blips, and a dark highway opens up for the white line clatter of “Rage and Fire and Brimstone”.

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Under the Big Oak Tree (from the album Local Honey) - Bluegrass from the banks of the Missouri River comes from Under the Big Oak Tree. The St. Joseph, Missouri-based trio offer sweet sounds with Local Honey, their recent release. A Mexican mandolin riff says hello to “Joanna” as assured strums take Under the Big Oak Tree out on “The Road”, and a banjo matches the clicks standing by “Tracks of the Train”. Local Honey sets up a stand by the side of the road for the natural acoustics of the band as they quietly pluck a “Thread So Thin”, race the whistle of the an engine coming out of Memphis with the fast track beat of “My Heart” as Under a Big Oak Tree spread a thick layer of sunshine out from the title track.

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Burnell Pines (from the album Till the Day I Die) - The Catskill Mountains are home to Burnell Pines, the adopted moniker of singer-songwriter Jeremy Bernstein. His latest release, Till the Day I Die, is an echo of the music created in the Woodstock heydays of The Band, Van Morrison, and Bob Dylan. Jeremy is a local from birth, and grew up playing stages in the area, developing his persona as the rustic-yet-rocking Burnell Pines. He opens Till the Day I Die on a horse gallop groove that tributes his homeland with “The Catskills Stole My Heart”. Burnell Pines lays down a rhythm rumble as he travels with “Blue Skies Shelter Me”, accelerates the beat to “Set Your Mind Free”, builds “Days Gone By” on easy acoustics, and rocks the title track with distorted riffs and committed drum beats.

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