Thursday, December 16, 2004

Thad Cockrell: Putting the Hurt Back in Country

Like the Two Dollar Pistols, Thad Cockrell is a musician who takes some pride in saying, "There's no 'alt' in my country." But where the Two Dollar Pistols are pretty honky-tonk, Cockrell's a little more mournful. The son of a Baptist preacher, he was raised on gospel, and later folks like George Jones and Merle Haggard.

His first album, Stack of Dreams, was recorded in 2001 in one marathon session with producer Chris Stamey. His 2003 followup, Warmth & Beauty, again enlisted Stamey as producer, and called on a strong cast of local musicians, including the Carbines' Zeke Hutchins and Greg Readling, Chatham County Line's John Teer, and Jen Gunderman (ex-Jayhawks), plus guest appearances by Tift Merritt, Caitlin Cary, and Mitch Easter.

I believe he has recently forsaken Raleigh for Nashville, though I can't find confirmation of that. In any case, we'll lay claim to him for now.

MP3: "Warmth& Beauty"
(from Warmth & Beauty, Yep Roc 2003. Buy or download.)
His other album is Stack of Dreams, Miles of Music 2001. Buy.

These next tracks were recorded with Roman Candle at the Speakeasy back in April. Chris Stamey had the idea to conduct a kind of public recording session, and this is part of the result. It's a pretty cool concept -- read more about what happened here.

MP3: "Running Kind"
MP3: "Here Without You"
MP3: "Girl From Maryville"


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