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Issue 61 - Americana at its best

Whisky Magazine Issue 61
January 2007

 

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Americana at its best

Are we getting old or is it really the case that most of the great album music is coming from older guys? Our man looks at Golden Smog's Another Fine Day

Well what the hell was all that about? 2006 – a year when British bands produced some of the best power pop singles you're ever likely to hear but the great albums all came from the American pensioner party.

Peruse just about any music magazine's albums of the year and you'll find a posse of old folk hogging the top table. Bob Dylan's stomp through slurry blues was the top pick of a fair number of muso hacks. Neil Young produced the angriest political rant not just of the year but of the century so far. And Bruce Springsteen went all New Orleans vaudeville on us with the bizarre back catalogue of Pete Seeger and triumphed spectacularly. Even the old walrus David Crosby contributed to the year's offerings.

One album that slipped under most people's radar, though, was Another Fine Day by Golden Smog. And if you're a lover of tuneful Americana and you don't own this, then you should. While you're at it, you should be digging out the band's previous two albums Weird Talesand Down By The Old Mainstream too.

Golden Smog is an occasional project featuring members of Soul Asylum and Run Westy Run as well as Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and Gary Louris of The Jayhawks. Effectively, these last two are alternative country's answer to The Beatles, with Tweedy in the Lennon role and Louris as McCartney.

That their respective groups aren't far bigger is both an astonishment and a sin. It may be, though, that in the case of The Jayhawks, it's a case of too much sugar, and in the case of Wilco,...

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