Last week’s post about acoustic music (Colombia’s Monsieur Periné and the American Texas swing trio Hot Club of Cowtown) was well received, and in fact several readers wrote in asking for more recommendations on contemporary acoustic, non-rock ensembles. Exciting alternatives to alternative rock and pop music abound these days, especially and including Mumford & Sons, whose modern-day sea chanties have taken the alternative rock scene by, er, storm. Red Baraat, a Brooklyn-based pan-Asian, acoustic funk band eschews electric bass and guitar in favor of tuba riffs and extended trombone solos. They’re both very different from the “hot jazz”-inspired combos that have had my ear lately. Among those are the aforementioned artists as well as Pokey LaFarge, Cow Bop, Asheville, North Carolina’s One Leg Up and Zazou City out of New Orleans. And speaking of New Orleans, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band has a new album out, their first original music recording since the band formed in 1963. How is it? Smokin’.
I’d be remiss as a Kentuckian if I didn’t mention bluegrass. I’ve been a fan of Trampled by Turtles for a long time. They aren’t exactly local being from the Iron Range of Minnesota, but what da hey? They alternate from crazy fast to sweet and lyrical. Closer to home you can do no better than Maiden Radio who perform some of the loveliest, most haunting renditions of traditional mountain songs I’ve ever heard.