Cy Barkley and the Way Outsiders, Mutability
On Labor Day, Cy Barkley and the Way Outsiders celebrated the release of their Mutability at the Nashville's Dead anniversary show at Exit/In, which was of course headlined by Oblivians. Barkley — as frontman for both his Way Outsiders and sometime side project Slammers, though not so much as guitarist for local power-pop outfit JP5 — has long been something of a local flag-bearer (or mascot, perhaps) for punk purism. Mutability still features the same stubborn, surly, urgent delivery that’s reminiscent of, say, Bad Brains or Cock Sparrer or Black Flag. But there’s a touch of riff-centric post-punk here, with an ever so slight hint of Television’s angularity. The busy, powerfully unwavering drumming of Acme Brown — a metal drummer at heart, or at least it sounds that way — is perhaps the most impressive instrumental element on the record. “Axeman” and “Turned Around” are standouts, whether or not they reinvent the punk-rock wheel. I got a physical copy of Mutability, complete with excellent cover art by bassman Josh Shearon and a touching tribute to dearly departed Nashville's Dead founder Ben Todd. Buy the vinyl via Southpaw Records, or for now, stream Mutability above or via Cy's Bandcamp page.
R. Stevie Moore, Oral Roberts
The godfather of home recording, R. Stevie Moore, is back with more tunes, unsurprisingly. Honestly, none of us has any shot at keeping up with the hirsute, prolific songster and his extensive, ever-swelling catalog. But hey, we can try! Moore's new 95-track collection is called Oral Roberts. But don't be too daunted by that number — a lot of these tracks are brief spoken-word bits or jokes. The opening tune, "I'll Forget," is RSM's take on a traditional country ballad, and it brims with over-the-top Auto-Tuned vocals. Plenty to explore here, so do so at R. Stevie Moore's Bandcamp page.
Karen Elson, "Dixie"
So, have we told you about this one yet? Noted music supervisor Randall Poster — whom I interviewed that one time — put together a 32-track collection for ATO Records recognizing the 150th anniversary of The Civil War. Titled Divided and United, the collection is out Nov. 5 and will feature renditions of old tunes by Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, John Doe, Pokey LaFarge, Old Crow Medicine Show and loads more. Karen Elson has a version of "Dixie" featured on the collection, with harmonies provided by The Secret Sisters. It's a slow, sparse and lovely rendition, and you can hear it over at Entertainment Weekly.