Best of 2014... So Far


(Somehow) we're more than halfway through 2014 already, and over the past 6+ months we've had our headphones in ~85% of the time. Throughout Read More

Newport Folk Festival 2014 Recap


If you've read this blog over the years then you know how much we love the Newport Folk Festival. It's difficult to put into Read More

August Spotify Playlist of the Month


July was quite the month for new jams, which means that our August playlist is packed with hits. As we near the 3/4 mark Read More

American Field Returns To Boston September 13-14, 2014


Next month, local men's apparel company, Ball and Buck, will once again bring its American Field event to Boston. If you weren't able to Read More

Exclusive Video Premiere: The Novel Ideas - "Lost On The Road"


We're big fans of local folk group The Novel Ideas, so needless to say we were beyond thrilled when asked to premiere their new Read More

Nemes Release New Video for “Butterfly”

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Local rock group Nemes have returned with a new single and accompanying video from their upcoming album I Carry Your Heart. “Butterfly” is the first track released from the record due out October 28th and if it’s any indication as to what we can expect for the full-length then we may all have Nemes songs stuck in our heads for the rest of 2014. The video for the catchy-as-hell “Butterfly” is a fun take on the lyric video and incorporates ASL (American Sign Language) performed by each band member. Not too bad for working with a $7 budget. Pre-order the self-produced and Rick Kwan (My Morning Jacket, Zambri) mixed I Carry Your Heart and you’ll get a free download of “Butterfly” to hold you over until October 28th. And don’t forget to catch Nemes performing this Thursday at the Boston Calling Block Party in Dewey Square.

Album Pre-Order

American Field Returns To Boston September 13-14, 2014

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Next month, local men’s apparel company, Ball and Buck, will once again bring its American Field event to Boston. If you weren’t able to make it last year or aren’t familiar,  you’re in for a treat. American Field is a 2-day event, being held this year September 13-14 at the Innovation and Design building in the Seaport. The whole theme of the event is to bring together loads of vendors and sponsors who put an emphasis on American made products.

What better way to accent all of this patriotism than with some good ole American music? This year Maimed & Tamed had the distinct pleasure of booking the entertainment for the event, and as you can see below, the lineup is chock full of M&T favorites. There are alumni from our monthly playlists like Hillary Reynolds Band and As The Sparrow as well as other local folk scenesters such as Damn Tall Buildings, The Novel Ideas (whose brand new video we premiered yesterday), and more. You can view the daily lineup below and explore more info about the 2-day event on this year’s American Field website. While you browse be sure to download the free audio sampler featuring a handful of this year’s performers.

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Saturday September 13, 2014

12:30pmAnjimile

1:30pmHillary Reynolds Band

2:30pmAs The Sparrow

3:30pmThe Dire Honeys

Sunday September 14, 2014

12:30pmBox of Birds

1:30pmThomas John Cadrin

2:30pmThe Grownup Noise

3:30pmThe Novel Ideas

4:30pmDamn Tall Buildings

Exclusive Video Premiere: The Novel Ideas – “Lost On The Road”

Posted on by Eric in M&T Favorites, Music News | 2 Comments

We’re big fans of local folk group The Novel Ideas, so needless to say we were beyond thrilled when asked to premiere their new music video for the single “Lost On The Road.” The video, directed by band member Danny Hoshino, provides the perfect backdrop for the road-weary and nostalgic song. Cutting between live performance footage, and candid moments on the road, the video gives us a deeper look into what it’s like to be a young band on the road. Something tells us though that The Novel Ideas won’t be crammed into a beat up van for long. We think you’ll agree after checking out “Lost On The Road” below. Scroll down for tour dates and make sure to catch the band at Great Scott next week.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

August 17th: Lancaster, PA at Tellus360

August 20th: Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, NY with Frances Cone

August 22nd: Great Scott, Boston, MA with Frances Cone

August 23rd: The Basement, Northampton, MA with Frances Cone

August 26th: The Beachland Tavern, Cleveland, OH, with You, Me, & Apollo

August 29th: Oswego Beats & Eats, Oswego, IL

August 30th: Uncommon Ground Rooftop Sessions Presented by Lagunitas, Chicago, IL

September 2nd: Scoot Inn, Austin, TX

September 3rd: Opening Bell Coffee, Dallas, TX

September 4th: Lola’s Saloon, Fort Worth, TX

September 5th: Rhino Coffee, Shreveport, LA

September 6th: Cafe Prytania, New Orleans, LA

September 7th: Moonlight on the Mountain, Birmingham, AL

September 8th: Americana Sessions at the Rooftop of the Georgia Theatre, Athens, GA

September 9th: The Basement, Nashville, TN with Jacob Thomas Jr.

September 11th: House show, Pittsburgh, PA

September 12th: Pittsburgh Winery, Pittsburgh, PA

September 13th: Hill Country, Washington, DC

September 14th: American Field, Boston, MA

August Spotify Playlist of the Month

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July was quite the month for new jams, which means that our August playlist is packed with hits. As we near the 3/4 mark on 2014, it’s clear to see that some of the best tunes from this year were released to liven up the dog days of summer. Jenny Lewis’ Voyager and Vacationer’s Relief, who are both represented on this month’s playlist, have catapulted themselves into the record of the year discussion. Meanwhile familiar faces like Jeff Tweedy and Robert Plant have teased us with singles from their forthcoming releases. All this and more make for an action packed August playlist which you can check out and subscribe to below. Once again we can’t thank our resident photographer, Andrew Cleak (@sandmanmusic), enough for the incredible images he provides for our playlists each month.

So put your headphones in, turn it up, and enjoy the rest of summer.

Mark Whitaker CD Release at Club Passim 8/6/2014

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If you’re a fan of the local bluegrass scene you’ll certainly recognize Mark Whitaker from his work in various groups and his highly memorable banjo playing. Though he can still be seen gigging around town in other groups, this week Whitaker is set to release his full-length solo debut at Club Passim. On Wednesday night Whitaker will be performing selections from Nowehere to Land, an album that we were lucky to get a sneak preview of. The album creates a perfect blend of traditional bluegrass and soulful harmonies, that is sure to please the Passim crowd. Highlights include the title track, “The River”, and “Nightlight”, the latter of which you can preview below. To make the night even sweeter, M&T favorite and May 2014 Spotify Playlist artist, Hayley Sabella, will be opening. Click the button below to get your tickets now before they sell out!

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Newport Folk Festival 2014 Additional Highlights

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Photo by our very own Andrew Cleak

After posting our Newport Folk Festival 2014 Recap  yesterday afternoon, we quickly realized that we still had so much more to say about the best weekend of our year. We compiled a list of additional highlights from our fearless team of writers in attendance at the fest which we hope will help to sate your folkin appetite until next year.

  • Andrew Combs and Ron Gallo making the kidz bop with the crazy-catchy singalong “Emily” in the Late July Kids Tent -Caroline
  • J. Roddy Walston bringing the crowd to their feet on his soundcheck alone -Caroline 
  • Hozier taking the Harbor Stage parishioners to church early Sunday afternoon with a transcendent version of “Work Song” that featured the the Berklee Gospel and Roots Choir -Andrew 
  • Tall Tall Trees breaking the toy-gun-as-a-musical-instrument barrier at NFF -Jeff 
  • Mavis Staples proving she was the undisputed Queen of the Newport Folk Festival as she celebrated her 75th birthday in style throughout the weekend -Eric 
  • Pete Seeger tributes abound throughout the weekend, even Jack White struggled to keep it together when paying tribute to the late Folk patriarch -Eric 
  • Having reconstructive surgery on our faces since Rodrigo y Gabriela melted them off -Trev
  • Seeing a young girl on her father’s shoulders holding up the peace sign while Mavis sang “We Shall Overcome” -Trev 

Newport Folk Festival 2014 Recap

Posted on by Eric in Newport Folk Festival Recap | Leave a comment

Photo by our very own Andrew Cleak

If you’ve read this blog over the years then you know how much we love the Newport Folk Festival. It’s difficult to put into words how incredible this festival really is, especially the feeling of community amongst the artists and fans alike. Luckily, former Boston scenester Hilary Hughes summed it up better than we ever could in her recap of this year’s festival for Esquire. We could keep gushing about the festival, but instead let’s cut to the acts that made this year’s event so incredible.

Tall Tall Trees – It would be a damn shame for Mike Savino’s set to be forgotten simply because he was the first act to perform at this year’s festival. We included him in our list of 5 Must See Acts before the fest started and we hope that you were smart and took our advice. Savino aka Tall Tall Trees wowed the crowd with his impeccable looping skills and somehow incorporated the spacey sounds from a toy gun, along with various other props, to create a beautifully hectic soundscape. The ebbs and flows of the set kept everyone on the edge of their sets all the way through the last song, a rollercoaster version of the 2012 standout track “Highwire”.

-Eric

Band of Horses – We won’t lie, we were a bit worried when Ben Bridwell started off this Friday evening set with just an acoustic guitar…Don’t get us wrong, the band is capable of incredible acoustic arrangements, but we were thankful that through the first few songs more of the band’s members joined until they reached full-on rock out mode on “The Great Salt Lake.” From there the set literally became a run through of the band’s greatest hits. “Is There a Ghost”, “Islands on the Coast”, and “Ode to LRC” were certainly highlights, but overall they couldn’t have picked a more perfect setlist even if they asked us to make it for them. We didn’t think that their intimate show at The Paradise three years ago could ever be topped, but this 12 song romp came pretty damn close.

-Eric

Stream the full Band of Horses set via NPR

The Oh Hellos – Each year, a Newport Folk set comes to exemplify the community of the festival for us, and this year it was The Oh Hellos. While the band in itself is a community (they’ve got fourteen members!), The Oh Hellos and their interactions with the crowd exhibited the endlessly giving spirit that lies within the walls of Fort Adams. The Oh Hellos, one of the more modestly known acts at the Fest this year, came out swinging with their eclectic foot-stomp folk. As the band exerted full force on song after song, the screams under the Quad Stage got louder and louder. The crowd’s roars lasted long after each song, which clearly stunned and moved the entire band, as they exchanged wide-eyed glances and surprised smiles among one another. The immense reciprocal appreciation for those on stage and those watching was palpable throughout the set.  It’s clear that each and every musician, even the legendary Jack White, feels blessed to play at Fort Adams, but watching the Oh Hellos experience and react to the crowd’s unconditional love embodied the community spirit of Newport Folk Festival like nothing we’ve ever seen.

-Caroline

Jenny Lewis – When Jenny Lewis appeared on the Fort Stage draped in a billowing purple cloak, she joined Jim James in a very elite crew of cape-wearing music royalty. And while there’s no proof that a cape bestows singers like James and Lewis with special powers… given Jenny’s mesmerizing performance, y’all best believe. Jenny captivated the crowd with darkly funny soon-to-be hits from her brand new album The Voyager, like “Head Underwater” and “She’s Not Me.” And just as importantly, she didn’t hesitate to dig into her deep pockets of past work: the revelatory call to arms of “Rise Up with Fists!!” left us emotionally spent, and the ultra-rare loneliness ballad “Acid Tongue” stung so good. Even if she’d left her majestic stage attire back in the van, Jenny Lewis’ Newport performance made one thing blatantly clear: the Reigning Queen of Indie Rock is here to stay.

-Caroline

Stream the full Jenny Lewis set via NPR 

Jeff Tweedy Surprise Solo Set at Museum Stage – The Newport Folk Festival is full of little surprises and that’s what makes it so special. Tweedy brought along an acoustic guitar and played through stripped down versions of Wilco songs like “Misunderstood”, “Hummingbird”, and “Passenger Side” to a very packed house at the Museum Stage. The highlight though was when Tweedy, who always springs for an opportunity to interact with the crowd, called out a young child sitting near the front of the room donning a Wilco t-shirt. When Tweedy asked if the kid knew any of his songs or if his parents just dressed him up in a Wilco shirt the kid’s retort caught everyone off guard– “Heavy Metal Drummer.” Of course Tweedy obliged, but not before warning the crowd that the song contained adult themes (classic Tweedy). After taking the request Tweedy had time enough for one more song and again turned to the tiniest fan in the room whose reply caught everyone off guard for a second time– “I am trying to break your heart.” It was a perfectly hilarious and fitting exchange, one that we wouldn’t expect to see anywhere else but Newport.

-Eric

Conor Oberst – The Bright Eyes frontman returned to the festival’s main stage for the second time in three years and did not disappoint amidst the Sunday afternoon drizzle. There wasn’t much banter between songs, but that didn’t matter as Oberst let his music do all of the talking. Backed by the boys from Dawes alongside accompanying mandolin, slide guitar, and horns, Oberst stormed through a mix of tracks from his recent solo effort, Upside Down Mountain, along with selections from the Bright Eyes catalogue. Though I was already a fan of Upside Down Mountain, seeing the songs performed live took my appreciation for the record even further. “Governor’s Ball”, “Artifact #1″, and “Double Life” were certainly standouts that allowed Oberst to really dig in and show off the visceral stage presence he has become known for over the years. The real treats though were the Bright Eyes selections, especially “Old Soul Song (For The New World Order)” and set closer “Another Travelin’ Song”, the latter of which saw Oberst kicking his mic stand straight off the stage and leaving the crowd screaming for more.

-Eric

Stream the full Conor Oberst set via NPR

Newport Folk Festival Spotlight: Ryan Adams

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[Editor's note: Many thanks to our friend and guest contributor, Jamie McKillop, for writing this wonderful piece]

Mixing the country twang of Gram Parson, the heartfelt lyrics of Neil Young and the brashness of Hüsker Dü, Ryan Adams began his solo career shortly after the dissolution of his band Whiskeytown in 2000 with the album Heartbreaker.  Powered by songs like “Winding Wheel”, “Oh My Sweet Carolina”, and “Come Pick Me Up” the album received critical acclaim and prompted major labels to come calling. Signing with Lost Highway Records, Adams released Gold in 2001. The album, by far the most “accessible” in his catalog, was also his most commercially successful and its lead single “New York, New York” quickly became a favorite on MTV and other outlets following the September 11 attacks.

After the release of Gold, Adams quickly recorded four albums worth of material within a year. In a sign of some mutual acrimony to follow, Lost Highway opted to whittle the robust output down to thirteen songs and release the collection as “Demolition” in 2002.  While his label chose not to release the entire collection, some of these “lost” albums are available online if you are willing to look hard enough.

For his proper follow up to “Gold”, Adams recorded a haunting, dark collection of songs entitled “Love is Hell” that many hardcore Adams fans believe to be his finest work. Not happy with the album and claiming it to be not “rock and roll” enough, Lost Highway refused to release the album and pressed Adams to return to the studio. He did, quickly recording a new album of jarring, punk infused songs entitled Rock’n’Roll which was released in 2003. While definitely the black sheep in Adams catalogue, the recording process for Rock’n’Roll seemed to be cathartic for the singer/songwriter and he has described it as being “fun as fuck”. Love is Hell was relegated to being released as two separate EPs although a full version of the record was released in 2004.

2005 proved to be the most prolific of Adams’ high-volume career, during which he released three albums. Two of the albums Cold Roses (a double album) and Jacksonville City Nights, were recorded with his new backing band, The Cardinals while the third, 29 was a solo record. While it might seem Adams could use work in the editorial department, many of the songs from these albums have become staples of his live sets, including “Let it Ride”, “If I am Stranger” and a collaboration with Norah Jones (another performer at this years festival) titled “Dear John”.

After battling and conquering some personal demons, Adams returned with 2007’s Easy Tiger. While billed as a solo record, the album was recorded with the latest iteration of the Cardinals and Adams has credited the band with being heavily involved in the creation of the albums material. Easy Tiger was more focused than his recent output and contains notable tracks like “Goodnight Rose”, “Everybody Knows” and “Oh My God, Whatever, Etc.” Adams and the Cardinals followed up with Cardinology in 2008.  Despite being tightly produced and the inclusion of solid tracks like “Cobwebs” and “Evergreen”, something about the album and the band seemed tired. Given this, it wasn’t surprising when Adams disbanded the Cardinals shortly after Cardinology and went into a self-imposed hiatus.

Adams returned to the musical fold in 2011 with a new outlook, a new label, new album, Ashes and Fire. During his time off, Adams moved from New York to LA and the relocation is evident in the albums relaxed, laid back material. Working with famed producer Glynn Johns, who also happens to be the father of frequent Adams collaborator Ethan Johns, Adams put together a solid collection of sparse, acoustic tracks, including, “Dirty Rain”, “Invisible Riverside” and the beautiful “Lucky Now”.

After taking another extended (at least by his standards) break, during which Adams helped produce material for Ethan Johns, Jenny Lewis (another festival performer) and Fall Out Boy, Adams dropped his latest single “Gimme Something Good” and announced that his latest, self-titled album will be released in September. “Gimme Something Good” is reminiscent of early 80’s Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers mixed with Adams usual flair for a chorus, leaving this author hotly anticipating his forthcoming album and his performance tomorrow night!

5 Must- See Acts at Newport Folk Festival 2014

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The best and worst thing about the Newport Folk Festival lineup each year is that it is always stacked with talent. The amazing abilities of the festival curators to bring unique lineups to Newport year after year is what keeps people coming back, but with only so much time in the weekend there are tough decisions that have to be made when it comes to scheduling. That’s why we’re here. If you’re debilitated by indecision to choose between all of the incredible artists performing this weekend then take our advice and make sure that, above all else, you check out these 5 acts.

Tall Tall Trees (Friday 12:45-1:25 @Harbor Stage) – Though Mike Savino aka Tall Tall Trees has not released an album since 2012′s Moment, he’s still certain to turn heads with his unconventional approach to the banjo, a style which has conjured words like ‘banjotron’ and ‘space banjo.’ Don’t act like you’re not intrigued.

Deer Tick (Saturday 3:15-4:15pm @ Fort Stage) – It’s clear to see that John McCauley and co. have become the kings of Newport Folk Festival, and you’d be silly to think they don’t have at least a few tricks up their sleeves as they hold court over the main stage for the first time ever.

Nickel Creek (Saturday 4:40-5:45pm @ Fort Stage) – This reunion tour was destined to make a stop at the hallowed grounds of Fort Adams and something tells us that the crowd’s energy at this set will be beyond infectious.

Conor Oberst (Sunday 3:20-4:20pm @ Fort Stage) – We know for sure that Dawes will be joining the Bright Eyes frontman on stage to perform tracks from his stellar solo release Upside Down Mountain, but we have a hunch that a few other Folk friends will be joining in on the fun as well.

Jeff Tweedy (Sunday 4:45-5:50pm @ Fort Stage) –  Or shall we say simply Tweedy…Regardless of the name that Jeff Tweedy is using to brand his solo debut, the man is a legend and we fully expect the Folk to pay their regards as he dazzles the festival’s main stage on Sunday afternoon.

Caroline Rose at Club Passim 7/24/2014

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After putting out one of our favorite tracks from 2013, the title track to America Religious, Caroline Rose is back out on the road with new jams. Last month Paste Magazine premiered “Tightrope Walker” which will be part of her forthcoming LP I Will Not Be Afraid, set for release August 19 via Little Hi! Records. It will be quite the task to follow up her 2013 debut, but something tells us that Rose has even more tricks up her sleeve. If you’re like us and are dying to hear the new songs then grab your tickets to her gig at Club Passim this Thursday by using the button below. We’ll proudly put a Maimed & Tamed guarantee on this show, you will not be disappointed.

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