Curious what we listen to at home? Some of the free MP3s we’ve downloaded ourselves and have in heavy rotation? Each day this week, the members of the MP3.com staff are sharing some of our favorite tracks from the site.
Did you know that October is Country Music Month? It was first designated back in 1964 by the Country Music Association to celebrate the heritage of the music, the Grand Ole Opry, and the annual CMA awards, which–guess what–also traditionally happen in October or November (this year it’s Nov. 9). A not-so-strange coincidence, perhaps–but whatever the origin, it’s a good excuse to dig deep into the world of country music, including surfacing some great free country music downloads on MP3.com.
It’s been a long seven years since Alison Krauss released an album with her longtime band Union Station. Not that she and her bandmates haven’t been busy: Dan Tyminski, Jerry Douglas, Barry Bales, and Ron Block all released solo albums, and of course Krauss herself teamed up with Robert Plant on the GRAMMY-winning 2007 album Raising Sand–a rootsy collection that took both artists in exciting new directions.
Now Krauss and Union Station are back in business together with Paper Airplane. The 11 songs here touch down on familiar territory: modern country with a strong bluegrass backbone, fronted by knockout picking and Krauss’s gentle, sweet voice.
“Paper Airplane” is the lead track from the album of the same name; get a free MP3 download below.
If you don’t yet know the music of U.K. artist Richard Youngs, it may be hard to find a good reference point. He’s a singer-songwriter and accomplished guitarist, yes. And while he does write ‘songs,’ they definitely unfold at their own speed. It’s not really experimental per se, but it is music that floats across the ether, powered less by the force of chords, power or otherwise, than by a wandering imagination. Think bent strings, meandering melodies, and a voice of curiosity. OK, maybe it is ‘experimental.’ But it’s also lovely, gentle, captivating, and in its own way, groundbreaking.
Animal Collective fans are well aware of Panda Bear, which is the solo project of Collective member Noah Lennox. He has a new album on the way, his fourth, called Tomboy (it’s due in April), which compiles a bunch of the singles he’s been releasing lately on labels like Domino, Paw Tracks, Kompact, and Fat Cat. A few new, previously unreleased songs will be included as well. Tomboy will be released on Panda’s own label, Paw Tracks, on April 12, 2011.
We have a free MP3 download of one of Tomboy‘s songs, “Night at the Jetty,” a hazy, dreamy track that pits layered vocals and electronic squiggles against a slow beat in what sounds like an echo chamber hooked up to an iron lung. Or, something. It’s kooky, sure, but it’s also quite beautiful.
Free MP3s: Two Vintage Country-Rock Songs From Gary Stewart And The Riley Album "Grandma's Roadhouse"Jan 21, 2011 4:53 PM by Kurt Wolff
The late Gary Stewart was a true-blue country artist, the nasal-twanged voice behind “Single Again,” “She’s Acting Single (And I’m Drinking Doubles),” and other hardcore honky-tonk gems. Before he grabbed Nashville’s attention with those whiskey-soaked beauties, though, he earned early chops as a member of upstart country-rock band Riley, named after the band’s leader, Riley Watkins. Riley released just one under-the-radar album, Grandma’s Roadhouse, in 1971, which has since been unearthed and reissued by Delmore Recordings.
Fresh and confident vocals pair with buzzing guitars and a steady, ready rhythm in this catchy new song from former Vivian Girls/Dum Dum Girls bandmember Frankie Rose and her new band the Outs. Her voice has no small resemblance to that of Neko Case (no complaints here), and the driving melody has a vintage girl-group feel with a garage-y undercurrent that keeps the sweetness in check.
Ronnie Wood doesn’t cut solo albums very often (his last was in 2001), which makes the Sept. 28 release of his brand-new collection I Feel Like Playing a noteworthy event. The Stones and Faces guitarist brought in guests like Slash, Jim Keltner, Billy Gibbons, and Bobby Womack on a bluesy, guitar-based set that, paired with his gritty voice, feels like the distilled essence of road-tested, frills-free rock ‘n roll.
Throwing Muses founder Kristin Hersh is hardly your typical rock star, and her new solo album, Crooked, takes her career in yet another new direction. The listener-funded, Creative Commons-licensed project began as demos, was remixed by fans, finished off by Hersh, and is being released in various forms, including as a book. Pre-release tracks “Coals” and “Rubidoux” shine with Hersh’s familiar dusty voice and driving guitar riffs–warm in the center but edged in tension.