While No One Was Looking:Toasting 20 Years Of Bloodshot Records

“While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records” by Various.
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At http://www.thesoulofaclown.com we have never hidden our love for Bloodshot records. They are like a go to badge of quality and have been behind some of our favourite releases over the last few years. If we’re honest though, we didn’t realise they had been going for 20 years. That’s bloody good going in the hard record industry and with all the threats that labels like Bloodshot face .
It is no surprise that they have come up with something special and unique with this celebration record. Rather than just releasing a ‘greatest hits’ or label favourites collection of songs, this albums sees artists on the label covering each other’s songs.
So some of the tracks will be artists you know covering songs you already know and love. For example, the wonderful Blitzen Trapper bring their own unique style to the Ryan Adams song “To Be Young”. We actually see quite a few of Ryan’s songs being covered. This probably isn’t a surprise given that the label’s most famous release is probably his Heartbreaker album. We also get Chuck Ragan covering Cory Brannan’s “Survivor Blues”, these are two artists with similar sounds who could probably get away with doing a version of each other’s whole set. On this basis, it also comes as no surprise when later on our very own Frank Turner also covers a Cory song.
There are other occasions where you get an unknown artist (to us at least) covering some of the more well-known artists on the label. On this front, a special mention should go to Chris Shiflett and The Dead Peasants version of a Justin Townes Earle song and Limberk’s adding new life to the Old 97’s excellent “Sound of Running”.
The real win win comes, however, when you get a ‘new artist’ covering a song you’ve never heard. This results in the opportunity to discover two new artists and a whole back catalogue of songs. So we get Ted Leo doing “Dragging My Own Tombstone” (Wacco Brothers) and it’s a wicked combination of a pop cover of a dirty country song. Then there is Tim Kasher playing “Aspidistras” (Scotland Yard Gospel Choir) which is a great power pop song that leaves you wondering if it is just a great original song or, alternatively, a brilliant version. The same could also be said of “All Grown Up”, a Gone Gore Girls song done by Warm Soda.
As usual, Bloodshot Records haven’t done things by half so you get a whopping thirty eight tracks on this album, which is great value for money. Also, the label has managed to form its own identity and sound, so if you’re a fan of that style there will be loads of songs you will enjoy. There is also the added advantage that it may help you discover even more favourite artists which is always cool!

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