Taking a Listen

by Heather MacIntyre

Andrew Eversole ­- Creature

Boy, was this was an album for sore ears. Andrew Eversole was Kentucky-born, and began his mountain-music journey when his parents relocated to North Carolina. It’s been a decade now since his relocation to the Triad, and he has now released his debut album in May on Rivers of Mars Records. With light and campy lines like, “Grab your mammy, grab your pappy, whatever makes you happy, play the funky fiddle with me,” it’s hard not to slap your thigh to it. The entire album is composed of sassy fiddle lines and banjo breakdowns, and songs compiled of collaborations from other NC musicians you might be familiar with: Ryan Eversole (his brother), Shane Lee, James Bernabe, David Via, Mark Schimmick, Sarah Strable, Bobby Britt, Benji Smith, Pete Lewis, Steve Clarke, Bennet Sullivan and Petey Pablo. It really shows a perfect contemporary bluegrass progression from folk and Americana undertones. What I like most about this album is that it isn’t trying too hard – some tracks go all-out with vocals and simple song, while the majority of others remain instrumental to provide a real middle-of-nowhere mountain soundtrack feel. The fading background harmonies from Sarah Strable match the song structure and produce an overall tone of a Southern family reunion. Pass the potato salad.

Check him out live: he will be featured as the Bluegrass Jam performer at Muse Restaurant in downtown Greensboro on Thursday.

Rating: 4 records (out of 5)

Deerhunter – Microcastle

Yay for advances – this album doesn’t come out until August, but you guys get the sneak peak. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting this much from the new Deerhunter. But it looks like Kranky Records set out to make some money. This record really is left up in the air, depending on what kind of music you normally enjoy. For some people, the ambient midsection of the album could be lost as simply filler, but if you really enjoy the low tones and melodic rhythms of indie rock, and a constant steady flow through the speakers, you might find yourself with a favorite album of 2008 only a little over halfway through the year. If you really open your ears, possibilities for these songs explode through their chorus of guitars and their melancholic mood. I wouldn’t be surprised to catch “Never Stops” in the background of a new episode of “The OC” or “The Hills,” with waves crashing around monotone vocals similar to the Vines, but with less attitude. I know you don’t want to hear it, and it’ll be hard to believe it until this album comes out and you can dispel your own stubborn opinion, but: It is better than Cryptograms, the band’s previous album that seemed to be an overall mix of absolutely flawless and really bum songs. Great album for falling asleep to in a hammock, late-night wine and vinyl hangouts with friends. I’ve decided the new award for this album is under the category: Best Album to Have Left On In Your Hotel Room During A Coma. Daydream through the record; it’s an obvious step in their writing process.

Rating: 4 records (out of 5)