Poplarville, Mississippi isn’t near much of anywhere. It’s in that part of Mississippi you really have to be trying to find. Southwest of Hattiesburg; northeast of Biloxi. It’s a little over an hour to New Orleans, though, and that’s where Chapel Hart found their home.
The country trio released its’ debut in 2019, and since, its’ gotten a stamp of approval from Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. Things locked down shortly after the full length, but now, the girls are taking their show on the road, and they’ll make their way to Birmingham for the first time this holiday weekend.
Sylvia Novak has her fifth record finished, and it doesn’t sound like anything that she has done before. She’s given in to her rock sensibilities; her first love. Novak cautions that she may never play violin again.
She’s been very prolific. When this record is formally released, it will be her fifth full length, and she’s still just 31. Most of the new project was recorded in Birmingham at Boutwell Studios.
For most of us, there hasn’t been much to do for a year. Touring was put on hold. Travel was put on hold. Life was put on hold.
But Will Stewart figured out things to do. He made records with half of the musicians in Birmingham and now he’s releasing a new one at what seems like a weekly rate. He played on Janet Simpson’s debut solo effort, Safe Distance, which was released in March. He recorded an EP with Slack Times. And now at long last, the full length debut from The Blips has arrived. If ever there was a Birmingham supergroup, The Blips is it.
Janet Simpson is a Birmingham legend. She was part of Delicate Cutters, Teen Getaway and Wooden Wand. She’s collaborated on projects like Timber. She’s been a part of Birmingham’s DIY rock scene for 30 years.
Lindsay Ell’s 2020 release heart theory explores the stages of grief. For it, she called on a lot of her friends to help craft 12 fantastic pop songs; folks like Tyler Hubbard or Florida-Georgia Line, Kane Brown, Adam Hambrick and Brandy Clark. “wAnt me back” was the collaboration with Brown (along with Matt McGinn and Lindsay Rimes), and it became her second number one song on country charts in her native Canada. Continue reading →
In a year filled with surprise releases, one of the more pleasant among them has been Buckle Bunny, an accidental creation of Birmingham’s Kaydee Mulvehill that sounds like nothing that has come from Birmingham in quite some time.
The six-track EP, Pet Speak, is reminiscent of the female-led indie rock that has dominated rock over the past couple of years. It’s aggressive and it’s raw. It can’t remotely fit under the umbrella of “Americana” that has been where most Birmingham and Alabama artists have sheltered for years; the loosely-drawn “genre” title that has grown to make everyone cringe, one that Mulvehill’s own solo project would be lumped into. No, this happy accident of Mulvehill’s “pandemic art” period is rock and roll. Continue reading →
Between Independence Day and Labor Day, I ate at Niki’s West each Friday. In a pandemic world, it was the smallest future trip that I could take. An argument that has been made for a return to our normal lives is “personal responsibility,” and I largely agree with the notion. I don’t believe that many are capable of living within a “personal responsibility” that accounts for the lives of others. Continue reading →
You know, maybe this is a two part post. I don’t know. Because on Saturday, a lot of things are going to happen. A lot of new memories are going to be made. It’s going to be a big time. But I wanted to share some of the photos that I have dug up before Saturday arrives.