Tim Easton recommends Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams and The Rolling Stones

Tim Easton and Gillian Welch

Tim Easton and Gillian Welch

Tim Easton’s recommendation: “A long list here because it’s all the classics plus those that came before them. I could sum it up in the way the Rollings Stones interpreted “I Used To Love Her” and sold our American music back to us with new attitudes of freedom and complete liberation. I love the band that I see on any given night that is putting it out there, going for it in whatever style they know best. I love the emotional honesty of Lucinda Williams, and I stand in awe of the relaxed and precise delivery of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. I love the Velvet Undergound, but who doesn’t? I saw a band called The Feelies when I was in college and I’m pretty sure they moved me to write songs too. My parents played classical records and I’m certain it moved me as a child as it does now. Then American classical music came along, otherwise known as Jazz, and you don’t stop.”

Tim Easton’s album suggestions: “Definitely Soul Journey by Gillian Welch. It seemed to be an album even she couldn’t get over for a while! Also, Lucinda William’s Car Wheels on a Gravel Road will inform any songwriter or artist on how to be honest and strong at the same time. With the Stones, it’s Beggars Banquet for me. I love the folk music in the middle of the rock and roll.”

Tim EastonAbout our guest author, Tim Easton: You don’t have to go further than Tim Easton’s 2006 release, Ammunition to learn about his extreme street cred in the alt-country/singer-songwriter community. The collection features production from Jayhawks’ co-lead Gary Louris and backing vocals from Lucinda Williams and Tift Merritt. Big time enough for ya? Yeah, we thought so. Fast forward five years and three Independent Music Awards later, we find Easton (who is originally from Akron, OH), releasing not one but TWO solid records: the electric, band backed Beat the Band and the acoustic collection, Since 1966 | Volume 1, both being released on Easton’s own Campfire Propaganda label. Easton puts on a fantastic show and tours often, so be sure to support this A-level indie and check his tour page.

MP3: Daily Life by Tim Easton from his album, Beat the Band

Corey Cunningham of Magic Bullets carries a torch for The Feelies

Corey Cunningham and The Feelies

Corey Cunningham and The Feelies

Corey Cunningham’s recommendation: “I always have a thing I tell people when I talk to them about this group: No band has ever made such a perfect and complete discography. Even The Beatles had their Let It Be. But not The Feelies. Every record is as good as the last. And, most surprisingly to me, every record almost sounds like it could have been recorded the same year as the last. How many artists have a 16-year, 4 album career that is seemingly untouched by the trends of the time? They made it seem easy and so exciting. Yet if you’ve ever tried to rite a song that sounds like The Feelies you’ll find it a good bit harder than expected. They built a vocabulary that was smart, that came from so many others – Velvet Underground, Modern Lovers, the first Talking Heads. Yet what they did was so Feelies-like it could never be duplicated.

I know what you’re thinking.. their covers of other artists, right?

Surely that’s a blemish on this perfect discography (all but one of their four albums contains at least one cover). But to me their renditions always redefine the song and often surpass the original. I can’t count the number of crummy, pointless covers that bands often feel inclined do. The Feelies played them as if they were theirs all along.

And when I say their whole discography I’m including their side-projects as well. Listen to Yung Wu, The Trypes, and The Willies. Same quality control. Same use of tasteful restraint. But not exactly the same band. I still think that Yung Wu album is one of the best albums of 1987.

My biggest debt to them though? I learned what to do on stage from watching a video of them live at Maxwell’s from 1979. What moves!”

About the guest author, Corey Cunningham:Corey is the guitar player for the San Francisco band, Magic Bullets. They formed in 2004 and have since played shows with The Walkmen and Cold War Kids. Amplifier.com praised the band by saying that “…guitarist Corey Cunningham‘s brittle, swooning riffs suggest Johnny Marr, while singer Philip Benson‘s sphinxian lyrics come in bursts of poetic beauty.” Hear for yourself on the mp3 for “Lying Around” below (and if you like what you hear, buy their new EP here. The band is on tour, so check the Magic Bullets web site to see where to catch ‘em.

MP3: Lying Around by Magic Bullets