The Boot’s Weekly Picks: Melissa Carper, Ernie Vincent + More
Over the past year, The Boot has been highlighting recent favorites from country, Americana and everything in between. Each list features picks from our contributing team that we think you'll love.
Today's installment marks the final Weeky Picks feature of 2022, but the series will return on Jan. 5, 2023, and return every Thursday with a new batch of great new music that we're excited to share.
Keep reading to check out the latest installment of The Boot's Weekly Picks.
Melissa Carper"Hit or Miss"
"Hit or Miss" is a cut from Melissa Carper's newly-released album of swaggering vintage-inspired songs, Ramblin' Soul. The track unfurls like a classic blues strutter, but there is a bit of a punk edge to the self-assured performance.
Swamp funk legend joins Shinyribs joins Carper on this celebration of flying the freak flag high. The song is a reinterpretatio of Odetta's classic, and the pair serve it with a contemporary efficient cool. -- Rachel Cholst
New Orleans legend Ernie Vincent is readying his solo debut album, The Original Dap King, coming in January 2023. For now, though, we get a teaser with "Possession."
The rocking track feels like a time warp to the '70s with a funky groove and swooning choir vocals. Vincent anchors the psychedelic swirl with his creamy voice and obvious delight in playing with a top-tier band that features Bronson Tew, Matt Patton, Jimbo Mathus, and the Squirrel Nut Zippers’ horns and strings, Taylor Hollingsworth. -- Rachel Cholst
Nicholas Jamerson"Peace Mountain"
Nicholas Jamerson sings of the hardships of life in Appalachia on “Peace Mountain,” the title track to his forthcoming album due out in May 2023, co-written by fellow Kentuckian Don Rogers and performed with rising West Virginia artist Charles Wesley Godwin.
Filled with biblical references, chirping crickets and acoustic guitar and a stuttering fiddle, the song details the Jamerson family’s 200 year roots in the region that helped to instill within him the mountain way of living he cherishes. -- Matt Wickstrom
Elle King"Try Jesus"
Elle King melds gospel, country and rock in her song "Try Jesus," released ahead of her forthcoming debut country album, Come Get Your Wife, out Jan. 27.
"Try Jesus" is a spirited number that celebrates the joy that comes with surrendering to your faith.
"I should try Jesus / See what all the fuss is about / Thinkin' I should try Jesus / 'Cause every other man let me down / Got me singin', 'Hey Hallelujah, A-freakin'-men' / Baby, I don't need me anybody but him," King sings with a wink in the chorus.
Unlike the typical emotionally-driven faith-based song that triggers floodgates, "Try Jesus" makes listeners want to raise their hands and clap along to the ebullient tune. Welcome to King's version of a spiritual revival, y'all. -- Jeremy Chua
Dar Stellabotta"Young and Pretty"
In this live version of Dar Stellabotta's "Young and Pretty," the cigar box guitarist shows off her slide guitar prowess along with her lyrical strengths. Released on Halloween, the song features one of the greatest monsters of all: the patriarchy.
The narrator bounces from threat to threat, fortunately landing safely. The constant thump of Stellabotta's kickdrum and the relentless thrum of her homemade cigar box guitar give the song a threatening, chaotic aura that adds weight to the tale. -- Rachel Cholst
Rising sibling trio Track45 celebrate the gift of quality friendship in their song "Family." Penned by group members Jenna, Ben, and KK Johnson alongside Billy Mann, "Family" finds the Mississippi native siblings beaming with gratitude for having family-like friends.
As they note in a verse, these bonds stretch far beyond biological ties, state lines or sports teams — and they're grateful for that.
"I don't got friends, I got family / At the end of the day that's all I need / And you know, that's what you'll always be / No matter how long it's been, no, I don't got friends," the trio declare proudly in the chorus over a country-fied production that includes guitar and fiddle.
"Family" was originally recorded by powerhouse DJ David Guetta, and featured Bebe Rexha, Ty Dollar $ign, and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. -- Jeremy Chua
Nick Shoulder"Heart of Glass"
Nick Shoulder was making a name for himself in the NOLAmericana scene until the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Returning to Fayetteville, where Shoulder spent much of his childhood and teenage years, he founded Gar Hole Records with Kurt LeDashmet in order to highlight the innovative and quirky Americana scene in the Ozarks.
Shoulder and bassist Grand D'Aubin, his collaborator in their New Orleans band Okay Crawdad, deliver a haunting version of Blondie's hit. Shoulder's tender warble speaks to the song's fragility, while D'Aubin's rumbling bass provides a comfy nostalgia with its string band stylings. -- Rachel Cholst
Flatland Cavalry"Show Me Which Way to Go"
Flatland Calvalry send up a heartfelt prayer on their new song, "Show Me Now Which Way to Go." Penned by Cleto Cordero and Dan Fernandez, the ballad finds the Texas Americanan band earnestly seeking direction on the next steps they should take in this crazy journey of life.
"This big world keeps spinning, out of control / And my feet won’t keep keeping up, with the flow I’m weighed down and waiting / Walking my last stepping stone / So show me now which way to go / Show me now which way to go," they ruminate over a sparse, emotion-evoking production.
"Show Me Which Way to Go" is the closing track of their recently released Songs To Keep You Warm EP. -- Jeremy Chua
Eli Conley"Making Something New"
After recovering from a vocal cord injury, Eli Conley is back in the saddle with his upcoming album Searching for What's True.
"Making Something New," the album's lead single, is a chamber pop flight that centers Conely's impassioned performance. Conley likens the creative process -- and its struggles -- to the trans experience. We can only be who we are, and it's worth the fight. -- Rachel Cholst
Maple Run Band"Loretta"
Vermont's Maple Run Band jangle along with their new song "Loretta." The band has a knack for pulling out classic rock grooves, adding a coating of roots music, and spinning a fresh sound.
"Loretta" is a timeless song about the one who hasn't gotten away yet, but it won't be long. The track is featured on the group's latest record, Used to Be the Next Big Thing, which was released in November. -- Rachel Cholst
Golden Shoals"Treading Water"
Amy Alvey sings about the growing mediums of misinformation that have consumed our discourse since the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection on “Treading Water,” one of two new singles from Nashville folk duo Golden Shoals.
The thunderous confessional also dives into Alvey’s relationship with her own family, many of whom have differing political views than her that’ve led to considerable stress and strife. -- Matt Wickstrom