Duquette Johnston Archive

Belle Adair, Duquette Johnston

Belle Adair, Duquette Johnston

Belle Adair

The breezy jangle of “Get Away,” the opening track off Belle Adair’s striking new
album, Tuscumbia, might not be the first thing you’d expect to hear from an Alabama
band named after a John Steinbeck reference. Combining mellow, atmospheric rock
and swirling, retro power-pop, it’s more Big Star than Swampers, but it’s an ideal
gateway into the blissed-out world of Belle Adair, a group that manages to make even
worry and isolation sound inviting. Recorded at Muscle Shoals’ legendary FAME Studios
with Wilco producer/engineer Tom Schick, Tuscumbia calls to mind everything from
The Byrds to Teenage Fanclub as frontman Matthew Green’s meditative lyrics navigate
a slew of major life changes, contemplate the meaning of home, and grapple with the
realities of life on the road.
While it’s been nearly five years since Belle Adair released their innovative,
adventurous debut album, ‘The Brave and the Blue,’ it’s hardly been a quiet time for
the group. Green hit the road playing bass for labelmate Dylan LeBlanc, and he and
the rest of Belle Adair took up regular gigs as the backing band for Muscle Shoals
legend Donnie Fritts and The Civil Wars’ John Paul White.
It’s little wonder that a group as dynamic and versatile as Belle Adair is as much…

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16 Alabama Bands Travel to SXSW

16 Alabama Bands Travel to SXSW

The Yellowhammer State has a lot to be proud of–most notably, our musicians. There’s something in the water here, frequently credited to muses cooing from the Singing River in Muscle Shoals, the historic town where modern American music began. Now, we all get to take a drink.

Sixteen Alabama bands are travelling to Austin, Texas, in March to play officially and/or unofficially during SXSW Music Festival.  Read below for schedules and recent news from each band/artist.

1960’s garage rock n’ roll with country swagger and powerful Joplin-esque vocals, Banditos turn their energy dials up to “11” every damn show. Split between Nashville and Birmingham, they are finishing work on a new album, set to release this summer.

3/15 – evening @ Continental Club – Bloodshot Records Showcase
3/16 – Noon @ The Blackheart
3/16 – 4 PM @ Waller Creek Pub
3/17 – 2 PM @ Plum Creek Sound
3/17 – afternoon @ Yard Dog – Bloodshot Records day party

Belle Adair
This Florence-based band has received accolades from numerous critical outlets, including NPR Music, Paste, and Spin. Belle Adair’s records play like a comfortable forty-five minute dream, sweeping you into pop-inspired ambient instrumentals that are anchored by the acoustic roots from which…

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Dylan LeBlanc

Dylan LeBlanc

An Interview with Dylan LeBlanc

Introduction by Josh Matthews
Interview by Sara Jane Overby
Photography by Mary Fehr

On his third studio album, A Cautionary Tale, Dylan LeBlanc proves that he’s not just a product of his environment, but someone who can conjure some magic deep beneath the layers of his musical upbringing and emerge as an aberration, oddity or outlier in music. The latest album produced by Ben Tanner (Alabama Shakes) and John Paul White (The Civil Wars), A Cautionary Tale is an emanation, not of the son of a songwriter, but a young man discovering his rite of passage as a musician and individual. Critics have deemed him the “new Neil Young,” a flattering comparison, though unjust. Those who were captivated by his voice and guitar playing at this year’s Sloss Music & Art’s Festival got to know him simply as Dylan LeBlanc, free from other associations.

Mother Plug Music’s very own Sara Jane Overby got to catch up with Dylan pre-performance in the Garden & Gun artist’s hospitality tent to talk about A Cautionary Tale, life on the bayou, and the music of JJ Cale and Bob Dylan.

Hey Dylan!

Dylan: Hello!

So tell me a little bit about Cautionary Tale and what it was like to kind of release that…

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Hardy & The Hardknocks, Saint Pe, Duquette Johnston

T. Hardy Morris & The Hardknocks, Saint Pe, Duquette Johnston

T. Hardy Morris & The Hardknocks

Hardy & The Hardknocks: Drownin On A Mountaintop
Album Notes By Patterson Hood, April 2015

“Love is a language with no subtitles”

Like ideas, the best songs are the simple ones. And like most simple ideas, they’re usually far more complex upon further examination than they seem at first.

So many young songwriters start off looking for the most complex way possible to examine a simple truth. Perhaps to seem smarter, or more “mature”. The better songwriters learn – hopefully before too much embarrassment – that the complex thought simply put is the key to a great song. Distilling that subtle truth down to its very essence and expressing it in a way that cuts through the bullshit and takes the listener by the heart into the depths of the intended emotion.

“I ain’t never giving back the things I took”

I caught the line on about my third listen, busy as I was doing things around the house while the new album played loud in the next room. I’ve known Hardy a while. His long running band Dead Confederate played some of their earliest shows opening for Drive-By Truckers several…

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