Shinjak’s Listening Lounge

Archive for the ‘North Carolina Music’ category

Looks like 2009 is shaping up to be another busy year for Ramseur Records.  Durham based band Bombadil is currently in the studio working on their second album.  The followup to A Buzz, A Buzz will be produced by  Scott Solter.  Their first show of the new year will be in Raleigh on April 10 at the Lincoln Theatre.  This will be their last show in NC for awhile, so see them close to home while you still can.  Here is a list of other upcoming shows:

4.10.09 – Lincoln Theatre – Raleigh, NC
with Lost in the Trees
4.11.09 – Plaza Bowl – Richmond, VA
4.13.09 – DC9 – Washington, DC

Stay tuned for more show dates!

Here is a video of the guys hard at work in the studio:

Bombadil in the Studio from ramseurrecords on Vimeo.

Sometimes it takes music awhile to sink in with me.  But after hearing it played on WNCW several times, I’ve officially decided that Julain of Norwich was one of my top 10 favorite songs of 2008.  I’ve offered the song here before.  But for the lazy among you (and the mp3 scrapers), here it is once again.

Bombadil – Julian of Norwich



First lets clear up something.  I’m not a bluegrass fan.  I can tolerate it in small doses occassionally.  But to listen to it for extended periods of time gets my rubber bands in a knot.  However, I am a fan of free community supported music celebrations featuring artists performing original music. (Organizers of Hickory’s Oktoberfest please take note.)  Being the only festival of this type in the Unifour area, I’m going to be covering each day’s activities and music line up and showcase one artist from each of the four days.
So much for good intentions.

In it’s fifth year, the Red White And Bluegrass Festival is a four day event presented by the Morganton Parks & Recreation Department featuring free concerts, music vendors, instrument vendors, food, fireworks, and all the good things associated with a hometown fourth of July festival.

The lineup this year is pretty impressive with a good mix of local, regional, and national recording acts.  While all of the bands feature pretty traditional bluegrass fare, some of the bands rise above the rest in their mastery of the art form.  Here is the linup for Tuesday, July 1st:

Tuesday July 1st:

2:30pm Bruce Moody
3:30pm Strictly Clean And Decent
4:45pm Jeanette Williams Band
6:00pm Walkin’ Home
7:15pm Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice
8:30pm Grasstowne
9:45pm Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers

Apparently, not many bluegrass artisits have made the full fledged jump into online sales yet.  That being said, mp3 samples are few and far between for most of these artisists.  In some cases, a myspace link will have to suffice to satisfy your ears.

Grasstowne (playing tonight at 8:30pm, so hurry up and get ready!) is up first.  Hailing from Knoxville, TN Grasstowne is a relatively new band comprised of three bluegrass veterans combined with two talented newcomers.  2008 saw the band receiving a SPBGMA award for album of the year for their debut effort, The Road Headin Home.  Here is a clip of Grasstowne playing at the 2007 IBMA awards:



Mr. K On Ocracoke Island

June 26th, 2008

Mr. K At Ocracoke 08

Mr.K And The Famous are apparently spending the summer on the lovely North Carolina barrier island of Ocracoke. If you’re heading to the Outer Banks this weekend, catch the ferry over to Ocracoke (the only way in or out) and catch one of these shows:

Jun 28 2008 8:00P – Ocracoke Community Center Ocracoke, North Carolina
Jun 30 2008 7:00P – The Pelican Ocracoke, North Carolina
Jul 1 2008 7:00P – The Pelican Ocracoke, North Carolina
Jul 2 2008 7:00P – The Pelican Ocracoke, North Carolina
Aug 8 2008 7:00P – The Pelican Ocracoke, North Carolina
Aug 9 2008 10:00P – Mango Loco Ocracoke, North Carolina

The band has also been spending some time in the studio laying down some new versions of old songs and just some plain new songs.  Hopefully this means their is a new album on the horizon (which will hopefully also be available online!).  The addition of a new lead vocalist lends some soul to the bands sound. Have a listen:

Mr. K And The Famous – Bayless

Mr. K And The Famous – Hibou



Once again, it’s time to clean out my backlog of songs that I liked but don’t really have time to do a full post about.  These songs have absolutely nothing to do with summertime, so those looking for ”the” soundtrack for summer 2008 need look elsewhere.  Those looking to curb their appetite for a hip-hopping, honky tonking good time, please see below.  For everyone else, enjoy!

Oh yeah, alot of these songs came from whose “fresh tracks” rss feed has apparently went the way of the dodo.  So now I’m having to listen to other music blogs (gasp!) to hear some new tunes.

The Dirty Guv’nahs – Get Together

Mello Mahem – Possible

This one keeps creeping to the top of my playlist.

Heybale – Honky Tonk Mood

Charlie & The Welfare – Cross The Line

Dry Land Fish – Carla

A really catchy tune that will have you reminiscing about that girlfriend.

Dylan Kight – Arcadia

Lots of good stuff out there from this talented guy.

Emily White – River of Forgetfulness

Enemies Of The Secret Hideout – Dating For Dummies

L.L. Cooper – Harvey Keitel

Marsupial – The Chameleon

Up and coming NC jamband whose new album is worth a closer listen.

Mat. D – Midway Babylon

Matt Mackey – End Of July (Studio Cut)

Mohawk Lodge – The Heart Of Lovers

Caught Up – Inside Out

Micah Hinson And The Red Empire Orchestra – When We Embraced

This guy has been a music blog darling as of late, and he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Aesop Rock – None Shall Pass (remix)

What? This guys been kickin ass for years?  Apparently I’ve been living under a rock somewhere.

The complete Summer 2008 Mixtape in zip format here

While people from all over are gearing up to visit a slightly larger music festival this weekend, folks in the town of Tryon, NC are getting ready for their own brand of festival.

Celebrating it’s fifteenth year, the Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival draws in cooking teams from across the nation to compete for the title of North Carolina Barbecue Champion. The festival also has a crafts fair, kiddie rides, and fireworks both nights. But what’s a party like this without music?

The festival is drawing in some several local and national artists including The Waybacks & The Zycdeco Playboys. Also playing will be the Lounge faves, Bucktown Kickback. Click Here for the complete lineup.

While there are some familiar names playing the festival, there were also some band I had never heard that ended up being pleasant surprises. Here’s a sample:

Jon ShainGive My Regards To Brother Ray

JON SHAIN: No Tag, No Tail LightJON SHAIN: Army Jacket Winter

The Waybacks – These are excerpts from a set the Waybacks did (with John Cowan on lead vocals) at Merlefest this year in which Led Zeppelin II was covered in it’s entirety. Thanks to music blogger False 45th for discovering this (which can be found in it’s entirety here).


Living Loving Maid

THE WAYBACKS: Burger After ChurchTHE WAYBACKS: DevolverTHE WAYBACKS: From The Pasture To The FutureTHE WAYBACKS: Way Live


Tom Bombadil was always one of my favorite characters from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship Of The Ring. Even though the characater has been hotly debated by those with more time than me, I always thought of him as an enigmatic nature spirit who was in love with the concept of life. A cult of personality, minus the cult and the funny mustache. The real Neal Cassady of Middle Earth.

Bombadil is an enigmatic group of musicians who obviously love what they are doing. Their debut album, A Buzz, A Buzz, is a rollicking foray into the realm of genreless music, creating a fresh sound that is unique yet familiar and approachable at the same time.

Prior to reading the story behind the title character, the song Julian of Norwich instantly reminded me of Traffic’s classic tune John Barleycorn Must Die. Even though the tempo and tunes are totally different, the overall feel of the songs are the same. In the same vein, Johnny conjured up images of the Beatles’ Rocky Raccoon.

That is the magic of the folk singer. They take something that is familiar and make it their own. This is displayed especially well in the title track, arguably the best track on the disc, which brings all of these layers of sound into a song that is uniquely Bombadil.

Bombadil is keeping themselves busy by playing everywhere they can. Which means they are probably playing a show near you sometime in the next six months. Here’s June’s schedule:

06.10.08 – Olympic Club Hotel and Theater – Centralia, WA
06.12.08 – Kennedy School – Portland, OR
06.13.08 – Grand Lodge – Forest Grove, OR
06.15.08 – Bonnaroo – Manchester, TN
06.19.08 – Privet Party – Durham, NC
06.20.08 – Snug Harbor – Charlotte, NC
06.21.08 – Summer on Trade Street – Winston-Salem, NC
06.26.08 – The Soapbox – Wilmington, NC
06.27.08 – Private Party – Boone, NC

Bombadil – Julian of Norwich

Bombadil – Johnny

For egocentric fun in proving I’m right/f’in crazy:

Traffic – John Barleycorn Must Die

Beatles – Rocky Raccoon (Demo Version)



buy the album here

It Came From Myspace

May 20th, 2008

Despite most people’s love/hate relationship with it, Myspace is still one of the best resources for finding independent unsigned musicians. That being said the following disclaimer is for the sake of saving what little street cred I have with the (very) few regular readers that visit the Lounge.

The artists I cover in this (hopefully) regular feature are not professional recording artists. However, this is only reflected in the quality of their recordings, and not in their level of musicianship. In other words, don’t expect archival quality recordings from musicians operating on a shoestring budget. End disclaimer.

BOHO is a band of young musicians from the small North Carolina mountain community of Mills River. Zack Harding leads the band on guitar and vocals with his half brother Wayne Redden (who is only 14!!) backing him up on drums. Joe Bellamy is the one laying down those catchy bass lines. They could be labeled as a southern rock band with some new rock influences. Their description of themselves probably says it best:

…definitely a rock band, they enjoy the occasional jam and improvisation, they embrace their Southeastern heritage with traces of southern sound, and their musical influences span from the 50’s all the way into the (new millennium). A large portion of their repertoire is original with those tunes being the focus of their output. Original songs ranging from southern-rock stompers to jammed-out ten minute psychedelic-funk romps to straight ahead acoustic singer/songwriter type pieces. They can also play a great deal of cover tunes with a large emphasis on classic rock and a few soul/funk songs.”

Yes, you are correct. The vocals are bad. But, the level of musicianship these guys display rises above that. Just listen to the blistering riffs and tempo changes in Tragedy’s Baby. Heavy Reprise really showcases the groups musicianship opening with a funky bass line and ending with a killer riff reminiscent of AC/DC. I think Glory Hole could be a internet hit with it’s seedy premise and dirty intentions. Apparently somebody else has noticed these guys because they have garnered several gigs around Hendersonville.

With some vocal polishing and some confidence under their belts, you will be hearing more from these guys. What do you think? Feel free to share your constructive opinion in the comments section.

BOHO – Heavy Reprise

BOHO – Tragedy’s Baby

BOHO – Glory Hole

BOHO – Proving Grounds

BOHO – Face Of A Million The Same


Originality is a hot commodity in the music industry today. Indie music attempts to define it. Jam bands create it on the spot. Pop music steals it, regurgitates it and sells it for their own. So when our senses experience something truly original, we immediately try to relate it to the familiar.

Mr. K and the Famous are a group of guys from everywhere that just so happen to call Durham, NC home. There sound has been described as “mystical -surf”, and “Manchester style blues”. But this writer prefers to make his own pigeon holes. They have the tight precise jams and dime-tight changes of Umphrey’s McGee, the seamless entering and exiting of that deep groove reminiscent of early Widespread Panic, and the earthy bluesy get-down-and-boogey funkiness of Canned Heat (quite a leap eh?).

Originality indeed.

Needless to say if you are a fan of any of the aforementioned bands (or even if you aren’t), my promise to you is this: You are going to love Mr. K and the Famous.

The band consists of Mr. K himself, Mike Kalna, providing the melodic vehicle via lead vocals and guitar. Tyler Harrington lays down the funk with his trusty bass guitar. James Wynn rounds out the rhythm section, blazing a trail with his tight-as-hell drumming. The occasional soulful backup singers help give street cred to the bands bluesy sound.

With a self produced album under their belts, and a faithful following in the Durham area, Mr. K and the Famous have achieved moderate local success. But the size of their talent can’t be contained in the confines of the Triangle Area for long.

This is where you, the faithful Lounge Listener, can do your part to help a local band out. Tell your friends about Mr. K and share an mp3 with them. Then go to your favorite dive and tell them you request, no, demand to see this band! Then drop by your local hip indie record store (online sales coming soon) and buy their album.

Any of you promoter types with connections (and I know you’re out there) head to the band’s webpage and drop them a line. Tell them the Lounge sent ya.

Here are some samples of the band live:

Mr. K And The Famous – Hearteaters

Mr. K And The Famous – Ode To An Old Wall

Mr. K And The Famous – Hibou

Because I couldn’t decide on which live tracks to feature here, here is the whole live album in streaming audio:

Alive In A Dime Museum (Streaming Audio)

Here are some tracks from the album Junktion:

Mr. K And The Famous – Wedding Dress Town

Mr. K And The Famous – Junk Man’s Itch

Mr. K And The Famous – Blind Man On The Bus


PS Guy+Darth Vader Mask+Prom Dress=Greatest album cover ever!

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