Indie and punk rock kids are discovering religion and kinship in bluegrass and country's three-chords-and-the-truth. They're dropping their Strats and SGs for mandolins and pedal steel and trading in angst-ridden vocals for sweet melodies and irony-free stories of real life. Axton Kincaid is one of these rock-to-roots transformations: a modern country band that's been passed through the filter of Tom Waits, Neko Case and Calexico, while retaining the country tradition of three- and four-part harmonies and songs about misspent youth, D-I-V-O-R-C-E and the pleasures and pitfalls of drowning your sorrows.
The band's first full-length CD, Songs from the Pine Room, was released in May 2007 by Free Dirt Records. "Red Lights," "Who's Gonna Pour My Whiskey When You're Gone?" and a moody cover of the Stone Roses' "I Wanna Be Adored" were hits in the blogosphere and spun nationally on AAA and Americana radio. The album received critical acclaim from NPR, American Songwriter, West Coast Performer, All Music Guide, SF Weekly and SF Bay Guardian, as well as press and radio in Belgium, Spain and the UK. While touring in support of the album, the band shared stages with BR-549, Camper Van Beethoven, the Mother Truckers, Eilen Jewell and Red Meat.
Silver Dollars, Axton Kincaid's second Free Dirt release, updates the traditional bent of their debut with songs inspired by early '70s country-rock ("The Saddest Story"), Dolly-and-Porter style duets ("Spend Some Time with Me"), and the classic Nashville Sound--albeit with an underlying layer of noisy, distorted guitar ("Walking Papers"). With guest musicians on fiddle, pedal steel and piano, the record features some of the brightest stars in the Portland and San Francisco country and indie rock scenes, including Camilla Lincoln (the Whoreshoes), Katy Rexford (Burning Embers, Boz Scaggs) and Mac Martine (John Murry & Bob Frank).
"Recalling moments of Freakwater and The Be Good Tanyas and armed with dazzling three-layer harmonies." -SF Bay Guardian
"Tradition-minded songs and lovely lead vocals are embroidered by the band's unfussy musical interplay and the gorgeous close harmonies." -All Music Guide
"An unfiltered, honest and versatile sound." -West Coast Performer
For more information and tour dates please visit Axton Kincaid’s official site.
Axton Kincaid Recordings from Free Dirt Records: