The American folk standard “Sugar Babe” (or “Sugar Baby” as it came to be widely known) dates back to the early-20th century “rounder” songs of the Appalachian South, played on five-string banjo. Old-time singer Dock Boggs is the most famous performer of the song, having learned it from his brother and recorded it in 1927, which then became one of the most memorable tracks on Harry Smith’s epochal Anthology of American Folk Music.
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Best known as the former bassist for Athens rockers the Whigs and the touring guitarist for MGMT, Hank Sullivant is now the frontman for Kuroma, a psychedelic pop foursome that released their debut album Kuromarama earlier this year. They have a new EP called 20+ Centuries that’s set to be released 30 October on Votiv Music, and in the meantime you can hear the T. Rex-meets-Flaming Lips track “Twenty Centuries in Time”, in which a pitch-shifted Sullivant croons a spacey folk tune while sounding like he’s been huffing helium.
Written in New York City and recorded in Tel-Aviv, Oceanside Cities, the upcoming new album by singer-songwriter Adir L.C. continues to hone his warm, affable indie pop sound. Already a popular artist in Israel, his crossover appeal on this side of the world is undeniable, and based on the strength of the new track “Dinosaurs”, it should only be a matter of time.
The way the traditional Irish folk song “O’Sullivan’s March” fades in is a thing of delicate beauty. Minimalist piano notes and violin drones gradually enter the mix, an ambient overture befitting an experimental artist like Oren Ambarchi and not a traditional Celtic musician. A few plaintive notes on fiddle start, though, and Bostonian Jenna Moynihan slowly works her way into a heart-wrenching rendition of the classic track. It’s but one of many exquisite moments on her latest album Woven.
After playing lead guitar in latter-day incarnations of the New York Dolls and Drivin’ N Cryin’, East Nashville singer-songwriter Aaron Lee Tasjan set off on his own, recorded in the same studio where Elliott Smith made his final album, and emerged with one hell of a record of his own. A boisterous blast of American roots rock, In the Blazes will be released 6 October (pre-order here) but in the meantime you can listen to the Stones-meets-Mellencamp jam “Made in America” below.