Posts Tagged ‘ alt country ’

Son Volt: April 7, 2017 Bowery Ballroom

April 16, 2017

[photo by Joe Kelly]

Son Volt is currently on tour in support of their new album Notes of Blue, the band’s ninth record in more than twenty years of work. Despite the early years as torch-carriers for the alt-country/No Depression movement, Son Volt has built a career on solid roots/Americana rock. Like band leader Jay Farrar, there’s nothing particularly flashy about the group, they’re just built on a consistent foundation of high quality music. The new album continues in that vein, if not a tad bit more focused on the “roots” sound more representative of the Son Volt’s recent output.

The Son Volt tour came through NYC last week for a few local dates, and we were fortunate to attend the Bowery Ballroom show which sold out months ago. Like the band, the fans of this band are consistent and faithful — members of our group for the Bowery night came from Ireland, Boston and Missouri to see this show. And the band did not disappoint. After the early set concentrated heavily on Blue material, Son Volt delivered a twenty-six song show with a setlist pulled democratically from all eras of the band. Indeed there were three Uncle Tupelo songs in the encore set, and the night ended with Keith Richards penned Stones cover. Son Volt will be on tour throughout the next two months mostly in the West and Midwest, dates here.

I recorded this set with room mics only, running the Schoeps from our traditional spot in the front center of the balcony. The sound quality reflects the show experience — excellent quality sound supplemented by some feisty fans. Enjoy!

Download the Complete Show [MP3] / [FLAC]

Stream the Complete Show:

Son Volt
Bowery Ballroom
New York NY

Digital Master Audience Recording
Recorded at Soundboard Booth

Schoeps CCM4u Cardioids > Sound Devices 744t > 2 x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (post-production) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper

[Total Time 1:39:26]
01 Cherokee St
02 Lost Souls
03 Buzz and Grind
04 Static
05 Damn Shame
06 The Picture
07 Dynamite
08 Tear-Stained Eye
09 Midnight
10 Sinking Down
11 Back Into Your World
12 Catching On
13 Cairo and Southern
14 Ten Second News
15 Promise the World
16 [band introductions]
17 Back Against the Wall
18 Bandages and Scars
19 Driving the View
20 Route
21 Drown
22 Afterglow 61
23 [encore break]
24 Still Be Around
25 Windfall
26 Graveyard Shift
27 Chickamauga
28 [second encore break]
29 Happy [Rolling Stones]

PLEASE SUPPORT Son Volt, visit their website, and purchase Notes of Blue and other official releases directly from the Official Son Volt store [HERE].

Lambchop: September 8, 2016 Hopscotch Music Festival (Raleigh, NC)

November 14, 2016


By now, Lambchop fans have had a chance to hear the band’s daring new record, FLOTUS, a critically-acclaimed shot across the bow to anyone who would dare claim a classic artist can’t reinvent themselves. But back in September, at the Hopscotch Music Festival, fans were probably more ready for a show like the one we witnessed there in 2012, or any number of the band’s lauded full-band shows whose cast can stretch to over a dozen people.  So when Kurt Wagner sang the first Vocoder-enhanced lines of “NIV” — a song nobody there had heard before — a fan might have been forgiven for being freaked out. When the entire show, including pre-FLOTUS material, continued in that vein, you have to imagine more than a few WTFs were exchanged. But that would have been a serious mistake, as not only are these new songs compelling in their own right, but the very fact of their existence says something special, too. Artists in the third decade of their career don’t often make these kinds of stylistic moves, and when they do, they often ring hollow. Wagner had already experimented with an electronic sound with his side project HeCTA in 2015, but for that to migrate to his main act represents an additional leap.

Wagner, on the other hand, has made a stripped-down, gorgeous album whose songwriting, pacing and structure (bookended by two epic-length tracks) are as equally of note as the dedication to the vocoder. The new sound echoes something essential about our era, taking a style once so resolutely organic and making it largely electronic. You feel both excited by the new possibility, yet threatened by the loss of something more natural, more human.

Here, in Raleigh’s comfortable Fletcher Opera Theater, those electronic tones were warmed up by not only the band’s physical presence, but Wagner and his bandmates’ banter, which alone was worth the price of admission. If he gets tired of music, pianist Tony Crow might well have a career in front of him as a comic sideman, as he traded jokes with Wagner throughout the night. Though this was the first time that many of these songs saw the light of day, it turns out that these versions are faithful to the album versions. Equally interesting were the FLOTUS-fied versions of earlier material like the standout Mr. M track “If Not I’ll Just Die” and several of its fellow Mr. M tracks. Stripped of that album’s lush arrangements, we’re left with arctic tone of Wagner’s altered words. The effect was unsettling but lovely, adding focus to Wagner’s words.

If you haven’t heard FLOTUS yet, I’d encourage you to give it a shot. Whether you knew Lambchop before or not, the album, and the quality of its songs, stands on its own as an of-the-moment document by an artist who has followed his own muse for decades. Also, I’d like to thank our friends at Merge Records for letting us post this recording. As eager as we were to share it with the world, both Merge and we thought the best thing was to hold back this live show of a large chunk of the new album until fans have gotten to hear it for themselves. Now, you can compare the two side by side.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed and Schoeps MK4V microphones. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC/Apple Lossless]

Stream the complete show:

Hopscotch Music Festival
Fletcher Opera Theater
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard + Schoeps MK4V (ROC, at SBD)>KC5>CMC6>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (compression, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 NIV
02 The Hustle
03 [banter]
04 Poor Bastard
05 Old Masters
06 If Not I’ll Just Die
07 [banter2]
08 Gone Tomorrow
09 In Care of 8675309
10 [banter3]
11 Nice Without Mercy
12 [banter4]
13 Directions To the Can
14 [encore break]
15 When You Were Mine

PLEASE SUPPORT Lambchop: Website | Merge Records

Sonny and the Sunsets: August 16, 2012 Mercury Lounge – FLAC / MP3 / Streaming

September 4, 2012

[Photos courtesy of Bleary Eyed Brooklyn]

Sonny & the Sunsets don’t make it entirely clear whether they want you to take them seriously. In the “yes” column you’ve got frontman Sonny Smith’s lifelong musicanhood and decade-long history of releasing records, many of which are of estimable quality. Smith’s latest, the aptly-titled Longtime Companion, arrives on 180-gram yellow vinyl and sounds like a well-worn LP you’ve had in your collection for years. An instant old friend, of sorts.

But then, you have to take into account a freewheeling show like their recent visit to Mercury Lounge, where a Smith, calling himself “El Borracho” (“the drunkard”), played a loose, at-times shambling set that offered up antics and anecdotes aplenty. Sonny comes off like a damaged Dylan, married to equal parts Robert Earl Keen and Todd Snider.  Country-rootsy on acid and Jameson, Sonny seemed thrilled to spend a significant chunk of the playing in the crowd, looking at his bemused band members onstage. Smith covered material from the three Sunsets albums, including the standouts “Dried Blood”, “My Mind Messed Up” and “Too Young To Burn”. Smith plays with the fearlessness of someone whose musical career hasn’t always gone easy; much like his music itself, he is raw and compelling. After about an hour of the band’s regular set, Sonny decided to take things into stranger territory, including a lengthy beat-esque piece about aliens. The set closed out with “Love Among Social Animals” and “Planet of Women”. Sonny may have his tongue planted firmly in cheek at times, but that’s ultimately part of his charm. As with his much-talked-about art piece “100 Records” where Sonny made, yes, 100 45s paired with various images, he is willing to take risks, and more often than not, they succeed.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK41 microphones and a flawless soundboard feed from Kevin, the club’s head engineer.  The sound is excellent, though you will notice the emphasis on the soundboard increasing toward the end as the crowd gets chattier (read: more drunk).  Enjoy!

Stream “Dried Blood”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream “Too Young to Burn”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Direct download of MP3 files [HERE] | Direct Download of the FLAC files [HERE]

Follow acidjack on twitter

Note: All of the material on this site is offered with artist permission, free to fans, at our expense. The only thing we ask is that you download the material directly from this site, rather than re-posting the direct links or the files on other sites without our permission. Please respect our request.

Sonny & the Sunsets
Mercury Lounge
New York, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK41>KC5>CMC6>Aerco MP-2 + Soundboard>>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Audition CS 5.5 (mixdown, parallel compression)>Audacity (set fades, tracking, amplify, additional EQ, balance, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:18:05]
01 [Intro banter]
02 I See the Void
03 [banter1]
04 Bad Vibes and Evil Thoughts
05 [unknown1 “Shivers Down My Spine”]
06 Death Cream
07 [banter2]
08 Reflections On Youth
09 [banter3]
10 Sea of Darkness
11 [banter4]
12 Dried Blood *
13 [banter5]
14 My Mind Messed Up
15 [banter6]
16 Teenage Thugs (Cabezas Cortades)
17 [banter7]
18 [unknown2]
19 Heart of Sadness
20 Too Young to Burn *
21 [banter8]
22 [Martian Poem]
23 Love Among Social Animals
24 [banter9]
25 Planet of Women

If you enjoyed this recording, please support Sonny and the Sunsets, visit their website, and purchase Longtime Companion and their other releases directly from Polyvinyl [HERE]

Roadside Graves: August 28, 2010 Mercury Lounge – FLAC and MP3 Downloads + Streaming Song

January 8, 2011

[Roadside Graves at Mercury Lounge on January 9, 2010. Photo by Amanda Hatfield]

I lucked out when I recorded These United States in August of last year, because Metuchen, NJ’s Roadside Graves had already set a high bar with a perfect set of Saturday night rock n’ roll. Pitchfork‘s writeup on their 2009 release, My Son’s Home, compared their narrative style to Bob Dylan and the Band (and they aren’t the only ones), and indeed, they have an unmistakably classic rock style that can at times veer into dark territory. But in the grandest of folk traditions, they wrap sad and even macabre themes in the upbeat guise of working man’s anthems – if you don’t listen too closely, you can just chug your beer, shake your ass and be happy. But there is a lot to explore beneath that surface that will reward the more patient and pensive listener; the band’s latest EP on Autumn Tone Records, You Won’t Be Happy With Me, continues the strong work done on My Son’s Home. Despite the many country comparisons, I find the band hewing closer to the more Irish folk inspired-sound of a band like NYC’s Bogmen, or The Pogues. Throughout the set, the band kept the stage banter fun and light, introducing their new song “Liv Tyler” through a funny little tale about an audience member misinterpreting the title as “MILF Diver”. Such is the beauty of Roadside Graves – they make serious rock n’ roll, but they’re also a great band to spend your Saturday (and the rest of your week) with.

I recorded this set from the same location as the These United States recording, with the soundboard feed and the Schoeps microphones. The sound is outstanding. Enjoy!

Stream “Liv Tyler”:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Direct download of MP3 files [HERE]

Download the Complete show in FLAC [HERE].

Roadside Graves
Mercury Lounge
New York, NY  USA

An acidjack master recording
Recorded and produced by acidjack for

Equipment: Schoeps CMC6/mk41+Soundboard>Edirol R-44 [Oade Concert Mod] (24/44.1)
Position: ROC, at soundboard, mics at 7.5ft
Mastering: 2x24bit/44.1kHz WAV>Audacity (smooth peaks, mixdown, set fades, tracking, amplify and balance)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Brokeback Mountain Theme>Far and Wide
02 Demons>Ruby Medley
03 Take A Train
04 Everything
05 Father
06 Liv Tyler
07 West Coast
08 God Touched Me
09 [banter]
10 Jail

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Roadside Graves, visit their website, and buy their records directly from Autumn Tone records.

Support nyctaper

DISCLAIMER and LEGAL NOTICE is a live music blog that offers a new paradigm of music distribution on the web. The recordings are offered for free on this site as are the music posts, reviews and links to artist sites. All recordings are posted with artist permission or artists with an existing pro-taping policy.

All recordings and original content posted on this site are as live recordings pursuant to 17 U.S.C. Section 106, et. seq. Redistribution of nyctaper recordings without consent of is strictly prohibited. hereby waives all copyright claims to any and all recordings posted on this site to THE PERFORMERS ONLY. If any artist posted on this site requests that recordings be removed, those recordings will be removed forthwith.