Southern Sounds

First Listen: Brandi Carlile's "Murder in the City"

By Jessica MischnerSouthern SoundsFebruary 27, 2015

Straddling the line between country soul, gospel, and stadium rock, Brandi Carlile, is the kind of singer who doesn’t need amplification. Her clarion voice carries effortlessly—so much so, in fact, that on last fall's American “Pin Drop” tour, she decided to go completely unplugged: no amps, no mics. Accompanied by the tight harmonies of Tim and Phil Hanseroth—known as “The Twins”—Carlile played a mix of old and new songs, including a cover of the Avett Brothers’ “Murder in the City,” which became the unofficial anthem of the tour.

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Gravy Podcast: The History of Derby Pie

By Jed PortmanSouthern SoundsFebruary 26, 2015

Ever tried Derby pie? To many Southerners the recipe for the gooey, bourbon-soaked dessert practically belongs to everyone. Alan Rupp would disagree. His grandparents Walter and Leaudra Kern created the recipe about sixty-five years ago, for the dessert menu at the Melrose Inn in Prospect, Kentucky. “If you wanted to get a hold of Derby Pie, you called Walter Kern’s name in the old phone directory,” he says.

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First Listen: Houndmouth’s “Otis”

By The EditorsSouthern SoundsFebruary 19, 2015

This is a busy week for the members of the Louisville, Kentucky–based band Houndmouth. The quartet kicks off their North American tour on the other side of the Ohio River with a show in Champaign, Illinois, tonight, before swinging South next month, hitting several prominent festivals including Texas's SXSW, Alabama’s Hangout, and Tennessee's Bonnaroo before wrapping up back in Kentucky at the Forecastle Festival in July. (Good thing they're making the rounds since their hometown record-release show at Louisville’s Brown Theatre on March 26 is already sold out.)

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When a ‘Love Shack’ Shook: Today In Southern History

By CJ LotzSouthern SoundsFebruary 14, 2015

The house on North Milledge Avenue in Athens, Georgia, quaked. Books thumped off shelves and floorboards creaked. “I’m surprised it didn’t just fall down,” singer Kate Pierson says. “The shack was shimmying so much.”

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Sneak Peek: A Musical Legacy Restored

By CJ LotzSouthern SoundsFebruary 2, 2015

Nearly fifty years ago, six musicians posed on the front porch of a regal but dilapidated antebellum mansion in Macon, Georgia. Vines crept over the porch and paint peeled from the white columns. But the resulting image was a stunner, and those musicians—the Allman Brothers Band—used it as the cover of their 1969 self-titled debut album. Now, thanks to a nearly complete renovation, the Bell House is ready to lay the foundation for a different kind of Southern music.

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First Listen: Andrew Combs' "Nothing to Lose"

By The EditorsSouthern SoundsJanuary 20, 2015

Nashville, Tennessee, has long been home to talented singers and songwriters, so naturally musician Andrew Combs fits right in. The Texas native's sophomore album All These Dreams will be released March 3, but you can have a listen to the track “Nothing to Lose” now exclusively here. 

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First Listen: Blackberry Smoke's "Too High"

By The EditorsSouthern SoundsJanuary 13, 2015

Although the Allman Brothers Band played their last live show back in October, another hardworking band from Georgia continues to keep the Rambin'-Man traditions of Southern rock alive. Atlanta's Blackberry Smoke have played more than 250 shows a year since their inception back in 2000 cultivating a fiercely loyal fanbase along the way, including fellow musicians George Jones—who guested on the band's second album—Zac Brown, and Gregg Allman himself. The quintet's fourth studio album, Holding All the Roses comes out February 10, but you can hear the song "Too High"exclusively on G&G now. 

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First Listen: JJ Grey & Mofro’s "Every Minute"

By The EditorsSouthern SoundsJanuary 12, 2015

With roots in Southern rock, blues, funk, and soul, the music of Jacksonville, Florida–based JJ Grey and Mofro defies categorization. The band's ninth album, Ol’ Glory, is out in February, but you can have an exclusive first listen of the track "Every Minute" now. Like most of the set, this song is an upbeat anthem—which is easy to understand considering the inspiration for this song came to Grey on a trip to Jamaica. “I had an epiphany," Grey says, "I was eating my favorite breakfast—ackee and salt fish—and was real warm but the sea breeze had just started out of the east. There was music playing somewhere in the distance and all at once I realized that I was the luckiest person alive (no matter how many times I might have tried to convince myself otherwise). Then I started humming this tune." 

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The Stories of Southern Food

By Jed PortmanSouthern SoundsNovember 24, 2014

The podcast is having a moment. Not only is true-crime broadcast Serial a national topic of discussion, with millions of listeners, but the Southern Foodways Alliance has now also taken to the digital airwaves. While the Oxford, Mississippi–based organization has shared stories about food and drink below the Mason-Dixon line for more than a decade, Gravy is a leap into new territory with help from a seasoned producer, public radio veteran Tina Antolini.

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