Back in 2007 – hard to believe it has been nearly ten years – I reviewed Made In The Shade, the first release from The Red Stick Ramblers on the legendary Sugar Hill label. What made the review so fun for me was the true telling of a story about my oldest son absolutely unable to refrain from laughing as I sang along to the Ramblers’ Cajun (and French!) inflected tunes.

Sadly, the Ramblers aren’t touring or recording anymore, but from the ashes of that favorite Cajun band has risen The Revelers. Formed by founding members of both The Red Stick Ramblers and The Pine Leaf Boys, two of the most popular Cajun bands of the last fifteen years, The Revelers continue the tradition of zydeco country masters of years past.

“Lonely Women,” featured on this month’s Trail Mix, is swamp pop at its finest and, thankfully, sung in plain old English, so I can sing along.

From time to time, Trail Mix isn’t afraid to go old school.  Really old school.  Featured this month are tracks from two new compilations from our good friends at Omnivore Recordings. Both Tim Buckley and Buck Owens have definitive collections of their released singles – all of Buckley’s from 1966 to 1974 and Owens’ work from 1957 to 1966 – out now. Fans of old folk and country would be wise to take notice.

Returning to the mix this month is pianist Holly Bowling, one of the more interesting artists I have had the pleasure to profile in recent years. In October of last year, I got to chat with Holly about her passion for Phish and the record she had just released that featured her interpretations of the jam band’s songs on solo piano. Bowling is back this month with a similar project. This time, however, she takes on the Grateful Dead. Take a listen to “Row Jimmy” like you have never heard it before.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this month the mix features a track from one of my favorite bluegrass bands, Balsam Range, whose tight harmonies and firery pickin’ have pushed them to the forefront of the traditional bluegrass world. Check out “Voodoo Doll,” from their most recent release, Mountain Voodoo.

Also listen to new cuts from The Gift, Will Johnson, Hugh Prestwood, A Valley Son, Ian Fitzgerald, Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem, Jordan Burchel, Quarter Horse, Josh Swenson, After Marianne, Zach Schmidt, Katie McNally Trio, and Bravo, Max.

Keep your eyes on the Trail Mix blog. Chats with Matthew Olwell, Spitzer Space Telescope. and Daniel Koulack are on tap, as is a revealing (and amusing) expose on some of our favorite artists’ most cherished holiday traditions.

And, of course, tis the season for musical gifts. Head out to your local record store or get online – anywhere that sells music is just fine! – and buy a couple records from the great artists featured on this month’s Trail Mix. Spread some holiday cheer through music and, in the meantime, support these great musicians who share their music via Trail Mix.

Happy holidays to all!

  1. Act Naturally Buck Owens And The Buckaroos 2:24
  2. Why They Call You Blue Jordan Burchel 4:02
  3. The Martlet-Father John Angus Rankin Katie McNally Trio 5:21
  4. Once I Was Tim Buckley 3:26
  5. Minnesota Pines Josh Swensen 3:48
  6. The Day We Lost The War Zach Schmidt 3:53
  7. Charlie Hugh Prestwood 4:10
  8. Eliza Quarter Horse 5:12
  9. Forget The Address Ian Fitzgerald 2:57
  10. Take Care After Marianne 4:20
  11. Corn Holler Spitzer Space Telescope 3:36
  12. Voodoo Doll Balsam Range 4:11
  13. Two Sisters Matthew Olwell 4:29
  14. Bullfighter Blues Bravo, Max! 3:45
  15. The Glenn Gould Piece Daniel Koulack 3:57
  16. Lights In The Sky A Valley Son 3:59
  17. Lonely Women The Revelers 3:26
  18. Love Without Violins The Gift 4:47
  19. Row Jimmy Holly Bowling 7:17
  20. The Martlet-Father John Angus Rankin Katie McNally Trio 5:21
  21. Why They Call You Blue Jordan Burchel 4:02
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