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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

We Heart Belgium

Here's another review of the new record, this time from ROOTSTIME:

Who's gonna pour my whiskey when you're gone? Such important life questions are the subject of the songs of Axton Kincaid, a San Francisco, California, quintet. The band is especially active in country rock, mixes in some folkie elements, and models itself on exemplars such as Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Neko Case, and Uncle Tupelo.

"Songs from the Pine Room" is their first full CD, their only other offering being the self-titled EP they let loose on the world in the spring of 2006. The voice of singer Kate Howser--who wrote all but one of the numbers--is extremely suited to the up-tempo country ditties. A few of the band's members learned their chops through years of playing wedding parties and suchlike, and know how to keep time and maintain an ambience. "Things That I Do" is a jaunty little waltz about mankind's time-honored bad habits, such as drinking and smoking. You can continue to waltz along to "I Still Miss Someone," which has the mandolin in a prominent role. The divergent themes of the songs range from the loss of a good barman in "Who's Gonna Pour My Whiskey When You're Gone?" to the loss of a family member and friend in "Irene, Goodnight," and a final farewell to someone you've hurt and disillusioned in "Rearview" and "When You Go Away." The only cover on this album is of the Stone Roses' "I Want to Be Adored."

The band says that "Songs from the Pine Room" is the sound and story of people who spent their childhood crawling across barroom floors and then walking through country meadows, who learned to ride horses before they could walk, and who learned to drink before they could talk. All in all, very American, with a cowboy hat atop the head, but really a fine recording for aficionados of the genre.
(Translated by Scott Rasmussen)
posted by axton kincaid #

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Things That We Do

Here are some of our favorite things to do:

Playing music
Yankin' it at the Connecticut Yankee
Hanging in Ryan's backyard
Saying "sweeeeeeet"
Meeting bands we like
Traveling together
Playing to little kids
Talking about Neko Case
Being with our friends
Seeing great music
Not pissing on someone, even if they were on fire

Here are some of our least favorite things to do:

Booking shows
Almost stepping in human poo in front of elevators
Being hungover
Starting a set after midnight
Being told what to do
Having to go to work the day after a great show
Vomiting along Oregon Coastal Hwy. 99 or I-5 on the way to Seattle
posted by axton kincaid #

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Insert Joke About the Dutch Boy with His Finger in the Dike Here

The new record got reviewed in ctrl.Alt.Country, a Dutch online magazine. Luckily, Kate works with someone who speaks Dutch, and he kindly translated it for us. Point in fact: we are not bitter at ALL that Mac's side project with Bob Frank and John Murry got more stars than us. Also, we are sure the part about being "unremarkable" is just a translation issue. Surely they meant "remarkable"?
After a title-less EP that appeared last spring, "Songs from the Pine Room" is the first complete CD from the American group Axton Kincaid. That quintet built around singer-songwriter Kate Howser has twelve charmingly breezy alt country pieces on offer, here and there spiced with a strong pinch of bluegrass. In so doing, they follow a trail blazed by several similar acts such as Freakwater, Jeff & Vida, and Jim and Jennie & the Pinetops. The disc's most striking number is one suffused with melancholic reserve, played with a hurried, nervously picked mandolin: a cover of "I Want to Be Adored," by the once highly successful British pop collective the Stone Roses. With the exception of "Who's Gonna Pour My Whiskey When You're Gone?"--a jaunty country melody about the loss of a barman whose skills are in demand in the market--which she wrote with bassist Ryan Waggoner and mandolin player Jen Daunt, Howser created the rest of the material on her own. And thereby she reveals herself to be not only an excellent singer, but also one with a fine sense of song in her fingers. (Note: from now on, this is going to be Kate's pickup line)

"Songs from the Pine Room" proceeds from rather unremarkable to a real treat for those who enjoy the twangy stuff. For us, Axton Kincaid's strongest trumps, in addition to Howser's voice and songs, are the slick harmonizing of the other group members, and the especially functional use of instruments such as the mandolin and pedal steel.

(Translated by Scott Rasmussen)
posted by axton kincaid #

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