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Down to Promised Land: 5 Yrs of Bloodshot Rec
Various Artists
Down to Promised Land: 5 Yrs of Bloodshot Rec
Genres: Country, Alternative Rock, Folk, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #2

Since hoisting the "insurgent country" banner in 1995, Chicago's Bloodshot Records has provided refuge for former punk rockers who embrace Hank Williams Sr. as patron saint and Lefty Frizzell as kindred spirit. Informed by...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Various Artists
Title: Down to Promised Land: 5 Yrs of Bloodshot Rec
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Bloodshot Records
Original Release Date: 6/20/2000
Release Date: 6/20/2000
Genres: Country, Alternative Rock, Folk, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
Styles: Americana, Classic Country, Neotraditional, Indie & Lo-Fi, Traditional Folk, Contemporary Folk, Experimental Music, Adult Contemporary, Adult Alternative, Country Rock, Roots Rock, Power Pop
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 744302006024

Since hoisting the "insurgent country" banner in 1995, Chicago's Bloodshot Records has provided refuge for former punk rockers who embrace Hank Williams Sr. as patron saint and Lefty Frizzell as kindred spirit. Informed by equal measures of attitude, alcohol, and twang, this raucously vibrant birthday collection of previously unreleased material resists the corral of categorical conformity. Instead, highlights range from the Waco Brothers' banjo-driven breakdown of the Who's "Baba O'Riley" to the shimmering, haunted ballad, "Favorite," by Neko Case and Jon Rauhouse. Featured within the 40 tracks on this two-disc extravaganza are label stalwarts such as Alejandro Escovedo (renewing Mick Jagger's "Evening Gown"), Robbie Fulks, and Kelly Hogan, along with guest artists ranging from Graham Parker to Giant Sand. Plainly a labor of love, the set provides a definitive survey of the diversity of music carrying the alternative-country brand. --Don McLeese

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CD Reviews

Insurgent country on the rampage
R. Hutchinson | a world ruled by fossil fuels and fossil minds | 07/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Bloodshot Gang knows how to have a good time! If you're into the whole Alt.Country thing, you know that some of it is very sincere and serious (ie, Uncle Tupelo, Jayhawks). Now I love "No Depression," and "Blue Earth," but this is an altogether different quadrant of alternative country known as Militant Honky Tonk, or just Insurgent Country. Truth be told, this incredible anniversary compilation does have some poignant, serious numbers (Rico Bell's "Money to Burn," the Texas Rubies' "Blue Diamond Mine," Mike Ireland's "I'd Like To"), but for the most part these maniacs are not taking themselves or the world that seriously. You've got Andre Williams and Sally Timms singing "I'll stick to you like glue...", in mock romantic seriousness with background singers going "G-L-E-U, GLUE!" You've got a song with a man and a woman serenading each other saying with deep country feeling how much they miss each other's bodies. You've got Kim Docter and Moonshine Willy belting out "Turn the Lights Down Low," which really ought to be a hit it's so catchy. And you've got some great deadpan covers -- the Waco Brothers do a country rave-up of the Who's Baba O'Riley," Red Star Belgrade does it to AC/DC's "Highway to Hell," and best of all, the Unholy Trio turns Public Enemy's "Bring the Noise" into an understated redneck anthem. I'm only scratching the surface here, with 40 tracks over 2 discs. This is a great introduction to the rowdier side of that sprawling beast that has not a name that can be agreed on...

And don't miss the fantastic earlier Bloodshot compilation, HELL-BENT (Insurgent Country, Volume II) (see my review)."
Country Music I'm Proud to Like!!
Christopher Forbes | Brooklyn,, NY | 07/17/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Let's get this out in the open first....I am not a big fan of country music. While I respect the artistry that goes into classic Nashville music and have a real soft spot for Patsy Cline, most country leaves me pretty cold, and today's country really does. I much prefer the earthiness of traditional folk and roots music. With these prejudices in mind, I have avoided anything with "country" in the name for many years. So when a friend of mine who I respect started extolling the virtues of alternative country I resisted. Then I heard this recording and my mind changed. This stuff is fresh, creative and truly authentic music. Alternative country began to gain steam in the mid 90s. Some groups are based in traditional "country" areas like Nashville, but much of the movement is centered in less traditional Chicago. Bloodshot Records is one of the leading independent labels presenting this music and they are based here in the Windy City. Most alternative country musicians got their starts as indie rockers or neo-punks in the early 90s. They became disenchanted with the commercialization of indie rock and were searching for something deeper. They found it in the music of Hank Williams Sr. and Johnny and June Carter Cash. These groups traded in their spiked hair for cowboy hats and leather jackets for western shirts, but they kept many of the things that made there punk sensibilities, dark humor, commitment to noise and edgy instrumental work, and a left wing radicalism that is usually not associated with country, but was a deep part of the folk movement of the 30s. The result is a hard country roots music for the new millennium. This recording is a steal. Two disc with 20 tracks each by some of Bloodshot's best recording acts or by friends and supporters of the label. The material ranges from punkified rockabilly (Johnny Dowd of the Mekons) to covers of great rock songs (The Waco Brothers wonderful cover of the Who's Baba O'Rilley) to haunting folk ballads (The Texas Rubies Blue Diamond Mines is maybe the most haunting cut on the recording.) Some groups resemble the Cramps and other rockabilly punks of the 80s, while others are close to mainstream country in sound if not sensibility. Standouts on the disc include Alejandro Escovedo's beautiful cover of the Stone's Evening Gown complete with high lonesome backing vocals, Neko Case's unusual Favorite, Anna Fermin's beautiful Patsy Cline influenced vocal on Oh Lonesome Me, The Blacks punky Why Drunky, The Sadies haunting Milk and Scissors with almost surreal lyrics, Trailer Brides scary Ghost on the Highway, and Ryan Addams almost power pop Monday Night. There are two cuts on the album that especially haunt me, The Handsome Family does a beautiful new song in the tradition of old Appalachian mourning ballads, singing about the death of a child in a family. And Chris Mills and Deanna Varagona team up for a haunting duet in high lonesome fashion accompanied by just guitar and mandolin. If you are new to alternative country, this is a wonderful album to introduce you to its many styles. There will be things here you consider gems and some that you feel aren't as worthy.... inevitable with any compilation. But the good cuts outnumber the bad ones, and there are maybe ten great cuts. This music is infectious. I warn you, you too may trade in your Doc Martens for a good pair of boots after hearing this stuff."
Never a better compilation.
M. Nichols | West Chester, OH United States | 06/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Always one to be wary of compilations, especially those produced by record labels to show off their talent, I approached this with caution, but not much - it's Bloodshot, after all. The bargain price was the clincher and I can honestly say that this incredible 2-disc set hasn't left the changer since I bought it.

I assume you wouldn't be reading this if you weren't already familiar with one or more of Bloodshot's artists - so what's keeping you? I've listened over a dozen times and there's not a throwaway to be found (though the discs lack a Scroat Belly track!). Comparable in some ways to the Pine Valley Cosmonauts records, this is an incredible parade of artists.

Highlights include Alejandro Escovedo's cover of "Evening Gown" with Jonboy Langford guesting, The Meat Purveyors' "Sunshine," the Wacos' "Baba O'Riley" rivals the original. My favorite of all, however, is the Public Enemy cover, "Bring the Noise," by the Unholy Trio - actually improved in a C&W setting.

Buy a six-pack and invite a friend over. Then buy six more between discs one and two because this music makes you mighty thirsty."