TRACK | Maggie Carson – From Here To Anywhere

5/5 golden merles

Second single off the up-coming The Dark Was Aglow (June 24th, Open Ocean), “From Here To Anywhere” is Americana full of vibrant twang and vengeance. A fanged and full-throated track which demonstrates that anguish is the engine of revival.

How do I leave / if the road’s just a halo?

There is a remarkable rising to it. With much might and lightly mangled, a strong and rousing performance has been captured. There’s great range and effect as the vocal rises to meet the instrumentation, the swelling synth and glittering banjo elevating alongside. It’s part commiseration, part rallying cry.

Having toured and performed with acts like Sharon Jones, Dr. Dog, and Nana Grizol, there seems to be a quality and breadth of first-hand and collaborative influences to pull from. It is a small spectacle, drawing on some subtle genre fusions while at heart remaining in the folk-traditional realm.

Open Ocean is not-for-profit record label with a donation and gift contribution model of acquiring both the vinyl and digital editions, suggested at $30/$10 respectively. I have seen plenty of pay-what-you-want digi releases, but none yet in the physical form, so please consider supporting these Rockaway Beach based operators.

TRACK | Amy Annelle – Buckskin Stallion Blues (Townes Van Zandt)

5/5 golden merles

It is with rare exception that a cover is featured here. And usually only if it takes things in a strange and inventive direction, or I hadn’t ever heard the original.

Despite being a fan of Townes and very much loving classics like “Waiting Around To Die” and “Pancho and Lefty,” somehow managed to evade this track prior to hearing the Amy Annelle rendition.

I have written about Annelle previously, and her criminally underrated 2010 album The Cimarron Banks. Here that voice and method is combined with Townes songwriting in a era-spanning idyllic Americana partnership.

There may be plenty of Greenland sharks older than this nation, roughly 250-500 years in age. But within our nascent eons, and just either side of what appears to be the pinnacle of whatever it was supposed to be, this must be one of the finest collaborations to take place across the empire.

The Great Unveiling also features covers from other greats like Ray Davies, Billie Holiday, and Neil Young, and is only modestly requesting a $7.00 increment from wherever you store the digital representation of your wealth.