The first two come from Hillfolk Noir, who just held an album release party to celebrate the simultaneous release of two new albums, Live at the Old Idaho Penitentiary and Skinny Mammy’s Revenge. How very Guns ‘n’ Roses of them!
Live at the Old Idaho Penitentiary is documentation of a period of evolution in the band’s instrumentation and sound. The band was shifting away from electric instruments and more toward an old-time sound; and in the middle of that shift there was an opportunity to create a concert and recording event at the historic Old Idaho Penitentiary in October 2009. Hillfolk Noir invited four additional local musicians to join them for the event, which was recorded unplugged in an old cell block to 11 microphones for a live, multitracked record. Each song was played only once, so all of the recordings are fresh and raw. Hillfolk Noir is proud of the saturated acoustic vibe created by this unusual lineup in an unusual and emotionally-charged setting. The album includes a bonus DVD. ($19.99)
Skinny Mammy’s Revenge: The Gage Street Market Sessions was recorded “session style” at the old Gage Street Market in Boise, Idaho. Hillfolk Noir met several evenings a week for two months, always recording live around one ribbon microphone to a vintage Nagra 1/4″ tape machine. The songs were then mastered by Jon Mullin. Very little modification was made to the original tracks, just a bit of EQ work and noise reduction. All of the singing and playing sounds just the way it happened, with mistakes, quirks and a heavy dose of mood. ($14.99)
Then we have a great little holiday album from the Frim Fram 4 entitled A Frim Fram 4 Christmas. The 8-song collection features some well-known holiday standards done up Frim Fram 4 style, recorded live — vocals and all. ($9.99)