Best known as the saxophone savant of choice for Tom Waits , Hal Wilner and David Lynch , Ralph Carney recently released his third solo album, This Is! Ralph Carney (Black Beauty), and it's a one-man-band tour de force. Over the course of 15 delightfully twisted jams, Carney shows he's equally adept on tenor banjo, trumpet, washboard, clarinet, trombone, spoons, lap steel, wood blocks, bongos, mandolin, marimba, pan pipes, dumbek and optigan, and he even programs his own sick beats. It's kind of like one of Waits's garage sessions without the growling barroom bluffs.
Besides bridging the gap between the honky-tonk sound of Texas and Bakersfield, the late Orville Couch was a master of the two-minute tale, as can be heard on the Audium reissue of his hard-to-find Hello Trouble album released for Vee Jay in 64. Amazingly enough, Couch's own version of his jukebox classic Hello Trouble - notably covered by Buck Owens and Ernest Tubb among many others - clocks in at just over a minute and a half. Not a single note wasted.
Twenty years ago, the abrasive synth-punk blitz of Parisian bad boys Métal Urbain seemed strangely out of step. But listening to the demented late-70s crankers collected on the Anarchy In Paris! (Acute) compilation, it appears that time has finally caught up with Eric Débris , Rikky Darling , Claude Panik and Pat Lüger . Exhilarating thrashes like Hysterie Connective, Panik and Ultra Violence sound like they could've been cut in New York last week.
The third volume in Jim Dickinson 's Delta Experimental Project (Birdman) - an ongoing series of blues field recordings drawn from his vast tape archives - captures Memphis and Mississippi bluesmen like Sleepy John Estes , Furry Lewis , Mose Vinson , Alec Teal and Otha Turner in the raw, bringing a slice of authentic Southern culture to your home. Frogs croak, crickets chirp and fruit jars full of hooch clink as the ancient mystics work their transfixing hoodoo. This is the real deal.