I’ve always had mixed feelings about the whole Americana sub-genre of country. To be honest, like most folks of my generation, my deepest immersion into the music came from the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. Coming from a pretty deep blues background, I suppose I have a bit better feel than most, but by no means am I anywhere near an expert. The whole alt-movement, however, is a great way to get into nearly any form of music. Taking the basic tenants of whatever branch of musicology and giving it a taste of today’s interpretation and typically subtracting the more hardcore elements often makes for a tasty combination. Case in point, alt-country often removes the overriding vocal twangs and you don’t necessarily have to hear about your brother’s baby’s mother breaking your heart and stealing your hound dog. What’s not to love?
With all that explanation out of the way, allow me to introduce you to The Brendan Hines (a guy AND a band. Go figure). While he touches on your standard topics of love gone wrong, evil women and hitting the bottle too hard, he adds intelligent, contemporary lyrics to take things into this century. Quite frankly, he takes what could be complete downer themes and makes them kind of fun.
The Brendan Hines has a new album on the way, Good for You Know Who, and what I’ve heard so far is pretty damn good. Here’s a taste of the new one and a couple of tracks from his older stuff. Check out his website to hear some more.