Album Feature – Urban Pioneers – Come Out Swingin’

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Mar 042019
 

By Joshua Wallace

The Urban Pioneers are back with their sixth album.  It’s a follow up to last year’s double releases of Hillbilly Swing Music and The Urban Pioneers String Band Play 10 Old Timey Favorites.  This album goes back to more of a country and bluegrass feel for the band and I feel like it is one of their strongest releases yet.  Jared McGovern continues to grow as a singer and songwriter while Liz Sloan continues to be an amazing fiddle player and singer in her own right.  Let’s take a deeper look at some of these tracks.

The album kicks off with a mostly instrumental jam in the title track “Come Out Swingin”.  The track lets you know what you’re in for as the band comes out swingin’ for the opener.  It’s mostly an instrumental till the very end with a quick chorus of the title.  I love the Tejano stylings of “Hungover Texans”.  It’s something different for the Urban Pioneers as the band continues to show different sides of their music.  The folk punk band out of San Marcos, TX called 36″ Wheels who originally did the song.  I love the addition of the accordion by Abel Casillas on this track.

Another favorite is “Holdin’ On” and this track is a slower track that showcases Jared’s songwriting.  This track is also some of vocals from this band across their six albums.  Liz Sloan’s fiddle solo is great here as well.  “People Vs. Me” is another example of Jared’s great songwriting.  It’s about his his own personal run in with the law.  The story of that is out there and I won’t recount it here, however Jared turns it into one hell of a protest ballad about the entire experience.  However, the best protest song on the album, and possibly my new favorite Urban Pioneers song is “TPAA”.  I can actually see this being a crowd favorite for live shows as it’s a fun protest song against corrupt cops everywhere.

I have been following the Urban Pioneers since before day one of this band and I have seen them grow as a band.  I’ve seen their style evolve and the core unit of Jared McGovern and Liz Sloan grow as musicians and as a unit.  This sixth album from the Urban Pioneers represents some of their best work, and that is hot on the heals of Hillbilly Swing Music which also represented some of their best work.  You can find this album everywhere as of Friday February 22nd, 2019 and the band is always on tour in support of their music.  They’re currently on tour with Scott H. Biram and The Goddamn Gallows and you can find those dates below with ticket details on the band’s website.

Favorite Tracks : Come Out Swingin’, Hungover Texans, Holdin’ On, People vs Me, Flint, MT, TPAA

Urban Pioneers – Come Out Swingin’ (2019)

  1. Come Out Swingin’
  2. Ragamuffin
  3. Hard Work and Dedication
  4. Old Fashioned Love
  5. Piggy Man
  6. Hungover Texans
  7. Holdin’ On
  8. Singin’ Tractor Driver
  9. People vs Me
  10. Election Day
  11. Flint, MI
  12. TPAA

From March 7- April 7 On tour with The Goddamn Gallows and Scott H Biram

Thu, MAR 07 – Beachland Ballroom & Tavern – Cleveland, OH
Fri, MAR 08 – The Shrunken Head – Columbus, OH
Sat, MAR 09 – Mr. Smalls Theatre – Millvale, PA
Sun, MAR 10 – King’s Rook Club – Erie, PA
Tue, MAR 12 – The Bug Jar – Rochester, NY
Wed, MAR 13 – The Stone Church – Brattleboro, VT
Thu, MAR 14 – The Shaskeen Pub and Restaurant – Manchester, NH
Fri, MAR 15 – Cafe 9 – New Haven, CT
Sat, MAR 16 – Stanhop House – Stanhope, NJ
Sun, MAR 17 – Kingsland Bar & Grill – Brooklyn, NY
Mon, MAR 18 – City Winery DC – Washington, DC
Wed, MAR 20 – The Camel – Richmond, VA
Thu, MAR 21 – The Ramkat – Winston-salem, NC
Fri, MAR 22 – The Jinx – Savannah, GA
Sat, MAR 23 – The Grey Eagle – Asheville, NC
Sun, MAR 24 – The Earl – Atlanta, GA
Tue, MAR 26 – Saturn – Birmingham, AL
Thu, MAR 28 – The Concourse – Knoxville, TN
Fri, MAR 29 – The Basement East – Nashville, TN
Sat, MAR 30 – Buzz Bomb Brewing Co – Springfield, IL
Sun, MAR 31 – Outland Ballroom – Springfield, MO
Tue, APR 02 – The Burl – Lexington, KY
Wed, APR 03 – The Southgate House Revival – The Sanctuary – Newport, KY
Thu, APR 04 – The Brass Rail – Fort Wayne, IN
Fri, APR 05 – Pabst Milwaukee Brewery & Taproom – Milwaukee, WI
Sat, APR 06 – Reggies Rock Club – Chicago, IL
Sun, APR 07 – The Sanctuary – Detroit, MI

Album Feature – Vandoliers – Forever

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Mar 042019
 

By Joshua Wallace

The Vandoliers bring a unique sound to the alt country scene.  They have a mix that bends alt country, punk Tejano and even some southern rock influence.  Forever is the band’s first album since signing to Bloodshot Records and what I believe is their third overall album.  Let’s take a dive into some of these tracks.

The album kicks off with “Miles and Miles” which gives you a hint at the vibe you’ll get throughout the album.  This track is a mix of alt country with punk rock grit that sets the tone for the album. I also dig the next track “Troublemaker” which has a bit of a Rancid influence.  This track brings in the band’s Tejano sound as well. It’s a unique mix that makes for a fun track.

Another fun track is  “All In Black”. I love the horn riff that highlights this one.  Stick around for the awesome guitar solo too. Speaking of guitars, “Shoshone Rose” is a highlight if you’re into modern southern rock.  The track opens with a killer groove that permeates through the track. It’s the best guitar work of the album and I dig it. Finally, the ballad “Cigarettes In The Rain” is a highlight.  It’s another change of pace for the album that really highlights the songwriting for this awesome group.

If you like your country with a bit of a different flavor, this album is for you.  There is a mix of alt country, punk rock, Tejano and even southern rock here. It all melds together well to create an amazing melting pot of influences on one album.  If you’re new to the Vandoliers like I am, dive right in and give this record a shot. It’s available everywhere you can find good music from Bloodshot Records as of February 15th, 2019.

Favorite Tracks : Miles and Miles, Troublemaker, All On Black, Sixteen Years, Shoshone Rose, Tumbleweed

Vandoliers – Forever (2019)

  1. Miles and Miles
  2. Troublemaker
  3. All On Black
  4. Fallen Again
  5. Sixteen Years
  6. Shoshone Rose
  7. Bottom Dollar Boy
  8. Cigarettes In The Rain
  9. Nowhere Fast
  10. Tumbleweed