VARIOUS ARTISTS – While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20- Years Of Bloodshot Records

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

Artist: Various Artists

Label: Bloodshot

Release Date: November 04, 2014



I was really looking forward to this— and wow, has it really been 20 since Bloodshot’s inception??!!. I liked Bloodshot Records from the beginning, with its take on the then-burgeoning “alternative country” scene (I still use that phrase). It’s also one of those labels that everyone associated with it has nothing but good things to say about the owners Rob and Nan (even I’m referring to them on a first name basis and I’ve never met them). [Pictured below: musical heroes Rob Miller & Nan Warshaw]


Well, this monster is a 2-cd (or 3-lp) set of bands, most (all?) not even currently on the Bloodshot label, covering songs from the Bloodshot catalog. It’s a mixed bag and by that I mean there’s some real obvious ones here which I’m happy about (disc one starts off with  Blitzen Trapper doing a rousing version of  Ryan Adams’  “To Be Young (is to be sad , is to be high)”(from Heartbreaker)  while Into It, Over It (a band I’d never heard of) take on Neko Case’s “Deep Red Bells” (another longtime favorite) in eerie fashion.

Elsewhere Limbeck rattles off the Old 97’s “Sound of Running” while Tim Kasher tackles another favorite, the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir’s “Aspidistra.”  Also on disc 1 is the Minus 5, Shakey Graves, Ted Leo, Chuck Prophet, Daniel Romano — a recent favorite, country from Canada! — and many more.

Move on over to disc 2 and Andrew Bird and Nora O’Connor start things off with a Robbie Fulks’ cover of “I’ll Trade You Money For Wine” (love that violin) and Ben Kweller does a low-key version of the Meat Purveyors “2:00 AM.”  Later, Superchunk takes on Ryan Adams “Come Pick Me Up” and the Handsome Family do a crying version of the Bottle Rockets’ “1000 Dollar Car.” Also on disc 2 is Frank Turner, Mike Watt & the Missingmen, Warm Soda, Two Gallants  and plenty more (and it all ends with Interpol’s Samuel Fogarino doing an oddball, electronic version of Charlie Pickett tune, “Liked it a Lot”).

All in a day’s (ok, several years’) work for the leaders at Bloodshot. Live it, be it.

DOWNLOAD:  “To Be Young (is to be sad , is to be high),” “Dirt,” “My Backyard,” “Last To Know,” “Strange Birds,” “”I’ll Trade You Money For Wine,” “”Up to My Neck In This”

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