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Old 08-01-2014, 08:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default alternative country recommendations

Can anyone suggest any country similar to this one band i know from the show "true detective"

I've always wanted to explore the genre but had no foundation to build upon other than johnny cash, who i only care for to a certain extent.

Suggestions would be much appreciated.
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Old 08-01-2014, 08:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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god, alternative country eh?
Not around the country scene to know what exactly is considered alternative (because to be fair, I think it's a genre with very little flexibility) but I'll have a crack at recommending some stuff.

Got a couple of this guys albums and they seem to be greeted pretty positively.

Been even longer since I listened to these guys, but I seem to remember the album 'Trace' being somewhat enjoyable.

I guess Ryan Adams would be the first name that would pop into most peoples heads if you said alt. country, but here you go anyway.
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Old 08-01-2014, 09:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
Suggestions would be much appreciated.
I think I feel where you're coming from Sparky. Like weeded out emo country?
I like a lot of the artists who are on the Farmageddon Records label although a lot of those are probably not what you're looking for.

I definitely recommend William Elliot Whitmore and if you like that, just Google from there

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Old 08-02-2014, 02:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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splendid engine

bingo dude, exactly what I was wanting haha

found this shortly after.

Last edited by Sparky; 08-02-2014 at 02:43 AM.
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Old 08-02-2014, 02:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Here ya go Sparky.

My personal favourite is Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat, though not all of his albums fall under that description.

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Old 08-02-2014, 02:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Cheers dude, i'll give that a run through

it's always exciting when you crack into a nucleus of stuff
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The Reverend Horton Heat.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I've only listened to a bit of her, but I rather like Neko Case. She tends to mix in indie rock to her sound, so someone with a more alternative background should find her an easy gateway artist.

A more slow, soulful tune.

Though her first album is a lot more tongue-in-cheek and has some self-consciously cheesy country rave-ups that are just bags of fun if you aren't afraid of listening to something you can't take seriously. And it gives her a chance to really show that she has some pipes with some really raw, high energy country singing.

And he isn't alternative country, but Townes Van Zandt is an old school folk country singer-songwriter that someone who doesn't really like country music can still love. There's a lot more to his music going on than a lot of generic, strumming folk singers, and his lyrics and singing voice just know how to tear your heart right out of your chest and make you wish you'd never had one in the first place. Radiohead wish they could invoke this kind of despair.

This song is probably my favorite to show off his unique sense of musicality. The acoustic guitar always makes me think of dandelion seeds in the summer wind.

He has songs with more obvious lyrics, but as for the atmosphere, this is almost claustrophobic in it's misery, and subtly phantasmagorical. It's hard to figure out just what he's talking about, as it comes off as a stream-of-conscious dream sequence mixed with a folk ghost story. If I had to guess it's about drugs, since he had a drug problem that other junkie musicians could only aspire to. Supposedly he once shot up jack and coke, as in the drink, into his veins in front of his children.

Another song that's blacker than midnight with much more literal lyrics.

Oh and if you've never somehow listened to it, Violent Femmes second album, Hallowed Ground, is as amazing a country album as it is an alternative album. Dark too. This little song is about a guy going insane, pushing his daughter down a well, and then hanging himself in a barn.


Last edited by The Batlord; 08-04-2014 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 08-04-2014, 02:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I saw these guys at Antone's in Austin, TX during the annual SXSW music festival around 10 years ago. Great, crazy show! They have a raw country/rockabilly/blues sound.

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They also do the best version of "Shake Your Hips" by Slim Harpo that I've ever heard...

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Old 08-14-2014, 01:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I listen to a lot of alt-country, so this is going to be a fun thread for me.

Looks like most of my go to picks have already been put up here. I'll add that Uncle Tupelo did some really amazing stuff back in the 90s, and I'll also enthusiastically double down on recommendations for William Elliot Whitmore and Neko Case.

There's a group called Lucero that's done some really interesting alt-country. Their best was a 2003 record called That Much Further West , although, really, you can't go wrong with them. Any group that names an album off a George RR Martin appendix can't be bad.

My avatar-and-username-provider, Tom Waits is by no means an alt country artists, but provides a few great examples of that Handsome Family-esque sound. "Gun Street Girl", "Chocolate Jesus" and "Murder in the Red Barn" should are be squarely up your alley if you don't mind his offbeat singing voice.

A sort of alternative supergroup called the Hard Working Americans put out their debut record this year, and it's worth a listen if you're into alt-country. The've got a big, heavy psychedelic infusion that's just awesome. I'm not allowed to post links yet, but they cover the country classic "Blackland Farmer", and it's wonderful.

I could go on about alt-country all day, but I'll give you one last recommendation. This one's for the adventurous. There's an alt-country act by the name of Those Poor Bastards, headed by an equally interesting artist who goes by Lonesome Wyatt. This music is...intense. It's got some very heavy gothic overlays, but there's no mistaking it for anything but country. They do a lot of dark songs about murder, rural decay and creepy religious zealotry. It's all got a very old-timey feel to it, too which just helps it be creepy as hell. It's definitely not for everyone but if you want something a little on the crazy side, I can't recommend them highly enough. A few standout tracks are "Dust Bowl", their cover of "Walk the Line" and "He of Cloven Hoof."

Let me know if you like what I've thrown your way. I've got a million recs where those came from.

Last edited by Swordfishtrombone; 08-14-2014 at 04:27 PM.
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