****Welcome to “Spin This”, a new regular feature on BlugoldRadio.org where we talk to local artists and bands about what songs, artists, and/or records they’ve been listening to. We’ll compile their picks and recommendations in an ongoing, ever-growing Spotify playlist (embedded at bottom of page!) for your browsing & listening pleasure***
Them Coulee Boys have become one of Western Wisconsin’s favorite bands–not only do they play all throughout the area to enthusiastic, toe-tapping, foot-stomping crowds…but their most recent LP–“Dancing in the Dim Light”–was voted by Volume One readers as the Chippewa Valley’s best new album of 2016 (which you can stream in full via the embed below!). If that wasn’t enough these folk-rockers also got a beer named after them last year. What better honor for four rowdy fellas than a sudsy brew bearing their name?! That’s right, Blue Heron Brewpub introduced “Them Coulee Boys Cool Ale” last September. All in all it’s quite clear these guys are making a big impression with their heartfelt lyrics and infectious blend of bluegrass, folk, country, and rock ‘n’ roll. They’re not showing any signs of slowing down, either…with big appearances on the horizon at both Blue Ox Festival and Country Fest this summer they’re sure to further raise their profile and gain even more new listeners and fans.
…what we were curious about, though, is what one of the Chippewa Valley’s fastest rising bands has been jamming themselves. We asked the Boys and they gave us a great list of some of their favorite songs as of late. Scroll on through for some fun picks from all four members of the band, and keep up with the latest from these fellas via their website or by following them on Facebook.
Soren Staff, Lead Vocals, Guitar
Kanye West – “Ultralight Beam”
Kanye is the king of songs that aren’t supposed to work. Primal screams? T-swift disses? 5 minute long vocoder solos? All part of the plan. Ultralight Beams is a song so grandiose, so over the top, it begs to flop. But it doesn’t, and that’s why I love it, and mostly because Kanye took a back seat. Killer features aside, the production here is consuming, and makes for a long beautiful trip.
The Lumineers – “Cleopatra”
The title track off of The Lumineers sophomore effort has this undeniable melancholy that makes you wonder why you’re tapping your foot while singing a song about dying alone. It has my favorite verse of 2016 as well:
“While the church discouraged, any lust that burned within me
Yes my flesh, it was my currency, but I held true
So I drive a taxi, and the traffic distracts me
From the strangers in my backseat, they remind me of you”
The Avett Brothers – “I Wish I Was”
I am an unabashed Avett Bros fan, and they are largely responsible for why I make music. This tune is a stripped down highlight from their new record “True Sadness”. Simple, beautiful imagery paired with an epilogue that turns the song on it’s head and leaves you hanging. My favorite song of the year.
Beau Janke, Banjo
Car Seat Headrest – “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales”
I was driving off the Blue Ox fest-grounds to purchase my first house. I was extremely hungover. The DJ of this station I like said here’s a new song. I don’t think there has been more relatable inner dialogue in a song, for me, than this song. And it’s so so angsty and just hit me at a perfect time and hasn’t gotten annoying. Also one of my favorite albums of last year.
Father John Misty – “Real Love Baby”
Man…this is a great love song. There’s not much to say about it other than that it makes me very happy. Excited for album #3.
Radiohead – “Daydreaming”
The album was my most anticipated album for one week after they let the video for Burn The Witch. Lots of great songs on this album. True Love Waits was incredible. But this one I listened to the most. The work the LCO does on this track is just right. And the video rules.
Avett Brothers – “True Sadness”, Kanye West – “Ultralight Beam”, Savages – “Adore”, Lumineers – “Ophelia”, Wilco – “Normal American Kids”
Jens Staff, Mandolin
Dawes – “Roll Tide”
I love this song because it tells of two people that keep going in and out of a relationship in a very passive way. It also features Griffin Goldsmith vocals instead of Dawes lead singer Taylor Goldsmith.
Sturgill Simpson – “Sea Stories”
This song comes off of an incredible album in the first place, but this is a great one in the middle of it. I love the slow jam feel with a couple fantastic solos mixed in with some great verses.
Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats – “I Need Never Get Old”
This song is a party and hard not to move around when listening to it. The quick builds and explosions of sound show off the band’s ability to control their sound. And man did I dance my butt off when they opened with this at Eaux Claires this year.
Neil Krause, Bass
Hackensaw Boys – “Don’t Bet Against Me”
Sometimes the band you love changes over time and their later albums end up being disappointing. Lucky for me, Hackensaw Boys are still exceeding expectations after 17 years. I love every song on this album, but the opening track does a perfect job of setting the tone. It’s fun and lighthearted with an easy-going tempo that makes you smile.
Al Scorch – “Pennsylvania Turnpike”
I met Al Scorch during a show at the Turf Club in the twin cities. His warm personality and unbelievable charisma gave him total control of the entire room. Nobody was talking or ordering drinks during his performance, all eyes were on him. He played this song, which was a tale of his journey out east as a lone musician, and I knew that every word was part of a true story that was very special to him.
The Thirsty River – “14th Ave S”
I had the honor of opening for these guys at their album release show. While watching them play this I could see them having an absolute blast.. This song makes you grateful to be alive by describing goofy yet sincere scenarios that are easy to relate to. The tempo change at the end makes it a must-have on your “open highway driving” playlist.