http://www.Daytrotter.com offers arguably the best way to get to know new independent artists. For a mere $2 a month you gain access to daily live sessions as artists criss-cross the country, and stop in for a short 15-20 minute session, recorded live on analog, with no editing or dubbing. And even without a membership you can stream the performances at no cost. The recording quality is typically excellent and the breadth and diversity of indie artists they attract for these rare sessions is unmatched. These are artists that I fell in love with in 2012, all because of Daytrotter. A couple of these turned into concert tickets or album purchases. But even better, Daytrotter has brought great joy into mine and my family’s life this year.
Band of Heathens – I downloaded this session because the guys were from Austin and I liked their name. Their “Gris Gris Satchel” from this session is one of top 5 plays iTunes. Back in the spring I played it pretty much daily. When we moved back to the states, this was the first show we went to. Blues, country, soul, they do it all. It’s kind of like what you’d get if the Eagles and the Band birthed a new generation. And it comes across MUCH better live than any recording.
Bailiff – I read that this band was opening for the incomparable Joe Pug on his spring tour, so I thought they must be good. I was able to get Daytrotter’s session of theirs, which includes a bombastic version of “Helicopter,” probably the best protest song I heard all year. Definitely has a Jimi-at-Woodstock feel, and gets me all riled up. Their electric guitar work is nothing short of epic.
Black Prairie – I’ve liked the Decemberists for a while, and more so since The King is Dead, but when I saw the write up on Daytrotter about this side project had to check it out. Fantastic fiddle, dobro, and accordion.
James McMurtry – I still get misty-eyed when I see James’ name. His Texan-twang socially conscious music has spoken to me like little else can, and my first experience with his music was a Daytrotter version of “We Can’t Make it Here.” I was dumbfounded then, and still am by the power and honesty of his lyrics.
Denison Witmer – I clicked on this guy’s name on the Daytrotter site because his he shares a first name with town just north of my home in Texas. Simple as that. And his “Hold On” has become a staple for my wife and I when times are tough.
Alabama Shakes – I know I would have heard about this group had it not been for Daytrotter, but this was my first point of entry to their immense talent. Even on tinny laptop speakers the power just bowls you over. The whole earth shakes when this band’s sound is unleashed.
Mumford and Sons & Friends: This is by far the best Daytrotter session I have ever heard. Probably the best live audio recording I’ve ever heard. I will let it speak for itself. With music this good, we less talking/writing and more listening.