Liner Notes: Andy French of Raven Sings The Blues

One of the handful of music sites that Record Crates United feels a close kinship with is certainly Raven Sings The Blues. Similarly to us, RSTB covers everything from eclectic rock and folk to experimental jazz and music that simply defies all genre labels, all with unabashed passion. That’s why we can’t help but applaud and root for the fellow underground sounds-centric page when it does something really cool, like hosting its own festival.

With some of the best names in psychedelic, solo guitar and improv music (and massive RCU faves) like Laraaji, Elkhorn, Jeffrey Alexander & The Heavy Lidders, Ashley Paul, Joseph Allred and more, it’s undoubtedly going to be the festival of the season.

The event is due to be held on Saturday, August 20th, at Red Hook, NY (the Hudson Valley Red Hook, not the Brooklyn Red Hook, mind you) from 11:30 til 8:30pm. We sincerely hope to see you all there! Click here to get your tickets now.

So who runs this wonderful website and who’s responsible for this stellar festival lineup?Andy French is our man! Yet, what does Andy listen to in his downtime when he’s not filling our heads with the raddest of rad new sounds? What are his longstanding go-to records for long drives? What concerts have really stuck with him over the years? Well, we invited him to be featured on Liner Notes to find out more about his “behind the scenes” music listening and habits. Check out his responses below:

  1. What was the last song that you listened to? 

    Marc Emory – “All Gaul,” off this great reissue coming on Scissor Tail.

  2. What was the last album you felt obsessed with?

    There have been a lot stuck to the turntable this year, but I think the upcoming Sean Thompson’s Weird Ears debut is probably the one that I’ve been obsessed with this year. It’s such a good dose of Cosmic Americana and a great introduction to what Sean has been doing over the past few years in Nashville.  

  3. Which artist do you most want to listen to on a Friday night?

    Pearl Charles. Her last record, Magic Mirror is such an excellent combination of disco fallout, ‘70s canyon country, and pop. It’s buoyant and made for the beginning of any night. I have kids these days and most of my Fridays involve a couch, ha, but this record feels like the kind of Friday night I want to have if I only had the energy. 

  4. Which artist do you most want to listen to on a Sunday morning?

    Dave Evans. The great Earth Records did a reissue of his lost ‘60s masterpiece, The Words In Between, a few years ago and it’s such a perfect record to ease into any day, but Sunday might be the best suited. 

  5. What record do you wish more people knew about?

    Billy Nicholls – Love Songs. This one came to me via the site a few years back, recommended by Michael Rault, and it’s one of those instant classics that just got buried by time. His debut got a lot of press with a reissue a while back, but its the sophomore LP that’s the real gem. The record has a bunch of high profile ‘70s players on it — Pete Townshend, Ronnie Lane, Ron Wood, Ian McLagan — but it’s remained elusive and unsung. The LPs are expensive and long out of print, but you can buy CDs direct from Billy at his website. 

  6. What’s your favorite album to drive to?

    The Apples In Stereo – Velocity of Sound. The band usually gets lumped in with the Elephant 6 psych-pop, and often overshadowed by the bigger names in that roster, but this departure towards power pop was a constant from my post-college years. Robert Schneider is completely effervescent on this album, and it’s just a buzzing high of an album, full of propulsion.

  7. If you could pull a Groundhog Day and relive one concert that you’ve previously attended over and over again, what would it be?

    There was a great concert in Greenpoint, BK many, many years ago at some small Polish bar whose name escapes me. The bill was Jack Rose with Wooden Wand opening, my introduction to both artists and it was such a small, intimate space and amazing show. I think that one might qualify. 

  8. Which artist, living or dead, do you wish you could have a conversation with at a bar over drinks?

    I always think questions like this are tricky, because it’s a real ‘don’t meet your heroes’ type of scenario. Though I think Mark Mothersbaugh might be a good one for this, just for the sheer volume of interesting moments he’s been involved in. Seems like an interesting guy to chat with. 

  9. What’s the music doc/concert film that you’ve probably seen the most?

    I feel like I’m not a real rewatch-er in terms of this sort of thing. I can’t think of one I’ve gone back to multiple times. The last one I saw was the VU doc and that was a bit fun at least. 

  10. If we shot a follow up album to the Voyager gold record into space, and you could choose just one song to put on it, what would it be? 

    Always felt like the ragged beauty of Relatively Clean Rivers’ “Hello Sunshine” would be a good inclusion for something like this.
We couldn’t agree more.

Big thanks to Andy for taking the time to answer our questions. Once more, you can click here to get your tickets to the Deep in The Valley festival. See ya’ll there.


If you like what you’re reading, please help keep RCU thriving. You can show your support by becoming a patron at our Patreon account or you can make a donation to our PayPal account below.

As always, please also consider donating to any of these sites to help fight racial injustice.


Published by Record Crates United

Keith Hadad, the creator and manager of RCU, has been a contributing writer to Elmore Magazine and and maintains a regular column, “Keith Hadad’s Choice,” in Blicker magazine. His writing has also appeared in the Smithsonian Folkways' Guest Blog and the Optical Sounds Fanzine. Also, please check out the blog's super-active Instagram account, @recordcratesunited for daily blurb-styled music reviews.

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