Whimsical Wonders and Celestial Love: Doug Trasher’s “Six Lights”

Doug Trasher’s “Six Lights” ventures into the nuanced realms of Americana Acoustic Folk with a touch of Alt Country, crafting a uniquely whimsical narrative centered around celestial wonders and amorous adventures. The vibe is chill and romantic, akin to the mellow tunefulness of Jack Johnson, with a blend of Sturgill Simpson’s raw country sound and the subtle ska-inflections reminiscent of Sublime, all weaving through a lyrical fabric imprinted with mysterious imagery of aliens and love under the celestial tapestry.

“Six Lights” paints a serene picture of romantic escapades under the stars in a border town of west New Mexico. The meteors and the myriad of colors flashing in the night sky from unidentified flying objects create a mystical atmosphere, inviting listeners into Trasher’s tranquil world, where belief is suspended and anchored in the visually surreal. The repeated refrain “I saw six lights in the night sky,” underscores a sense of wonder and amazement, while the touch of skepticism in the lyrics “Now I don’t know what I believe / But I believe in what I see,” beautifully navigates the fine line between disbelief and the willingness to embrace the unknown for the sake of love and experience.

Doug Trasher’s depiction of his ventures to contact extraterrestrial entities has a humorous and charming appeal, merging the unconventional thematic elements with familiar harmonic structures, delivering a sound that is deeply rooted yet refreshingly new. The atmosphere of “Six Lights” is layered with relaxed and happy moods, allowing the listeners to bask in the simplicity of love while contemplating the infinite possibilities of the universe. It’s a journey of gentle melodies and contemplative musings that places Doug Trasher among the notable artists like The Wood Brothers and Colter Wall, providing a distinctive sound that amalgamates the rustic and the romantic within the enchanting folds of acoustic folk.

Album Review: Ned Farr & The Good Red Road – The Master Plan

From the bustling streets of NYC in 1993 to the somber realities of 2023, Ned Farr & The Good Red Road have traveled a vast musical journey. Their fourth album, “THE MASTER PLAN,” encapsulates a pilgrimage through a global pandemic, distilling experiences from those isolating years into a poignant Americana tapestry.

With Ned Farr leading the project, one might have expected a cinematic quality given his long, lauded history in the film industry. And, true to form, this album plays out like an intimate indie film where folk melodies meet alt-country twang under the warm embrace of Americana. The detailed, narrative style of songwriting present on this album is a testament to Farr’s ability to craft stories, whether through visuals or, in this case, soundscapes.

Track opener “The Master Plan” sets the scene, drawing listeners into a world of uncertainty and resilience. There’s a potent atmosphere, with hints of what’s to come, musically and thematically. The shortest track, “The Captain Cries,” at just under a minute, serves as a somber interlude, reminiscent of an old ship captain’s lament echoing over an empty sea.

It’s hard to deny the palpable emotions and personal narrative throughout, reflecting the turmoil of recent years. “Hard Love” and “A Picture of the Sun” delve deep into relationships strained by the distance and stress of the pandemic era. They’re more than just songs; they’re diary entries set to melody. Cenovia Cummins’ virtuoso strings are prominent on “She Just Goes”, and she delivers a blazing violin solo in “Bulls”, highlighting her extensive prowess in both the classical and pop domains.

The soul of this album truly lies in its exceptional band members. With Jon Ossman’s seasoned bass lines providing a sturdy foundation, listeners get a taste of his illustrious musical past with icons like Chris Botti and Paula Cole. Jim Olbrys, with his Berkeley schooling, lends intricate guitar work that’s both emotive and technically splendid, weaving seamlessly with the cello tones of Juilliard-trained Evan Richey. And Joe Casalino’s drumming is precise yet impassioned, reminiscent of a teacher guiding his students with care.

Tracks like “Summer Break” and “Bulls” lean into the alt-country side, infusing an earthy grit to the mix. The former track, perhaps ironically named, suggests the transient nature of respite in these trying times, while the latter feels grounded, sturdy, and perhaps a bit defiant. “She Just Goes” and “Get Up” embody the ethos of moving forward no matter the odds, both thematically aligned with the broader album narrative.

“Bury the Stone” and “The Gift” round off the album beautifully, capturing the essence of remembrance and forward motion. They feel like closing chapters in this intricate musical novel, echoing themes of recovery, rebirth, and the determination to forge ahead.

This album is not simply a collection of songs; it’s a vessel carrying stories of pain, love, loss, and ultimately, hope. The craftsmanship is exceptional, from the instrumentals to the songwriting, reflecting the talent and experience of every band member. As the world tries to find its footing post-pandemic, “THE MASTER PLAN” serves as a poignant reminder of the power of music to capture, console, and inspire during even the darkest of times.

For those familiar with the band’s evolution, it’s hard not to reminisce about their pivotal track, “The Good Red Road.” This song isn’t just a hallmark in their musical odyssey but also the very inspiration behind the band’s name, setting a defining tone for their journey. From then to now, the evolution is evident, and Ned Farr & The Good Red Road continue to carve their unique niche in the vast world of Americana.

In conclusion, “THE MASTER PLAN” is a reflective, beautifully orchestrated homage to the human spirit. It’s not just about survival but about finding beauty amid chaos, hope amid despair. Here’s to the resilience of Ned Farr & The Good Red Road, who, despite the challenges, delivered possibly their best work yet.

Weekly New Releases – Ida Mae, Analog Dog, Kohla, CS Hellmann, Hoagie, and Bear, Man Dangerous

As the sun sets on another week, a new horizon of musical exploration dawns. BSideGuys.com is here to guide you through the fresh tracks emerging from the shadows of the mainstream. From the harmonious whispers of indie artists to the vibrant echoes of undiscovered chart-toppers, our Weekly New Releases will ensure your playlist stays ahead of the curve. Keep your finger on the pulse of the music world and join us every week for the latest auditory adventures. Dive in, and let the rhythms carry you away!

Ida Mae – “Feel The World Turning”

There’s a fine art to capturing the fleeting essence of life on the road, with its poignant intersections of isolation and connection. British indie-rock duo Ida Mae masterfully taps into this universal wanderlust with “Feel The World Turning.” A departure from the band’s typical kinetic indie-rock verve, the track evokes a sense of melancholic introspection, reveling in the tender fragility of human encounters. As its ethereal sonics envelop listeners, one cannot help but be transported to dimly lit bars and edge-of-the-highway motels, where the quiet hum of stories shared fills the void of night.

The heart of “Feel The World Turning” lies in its narrative richness – a reflection of Ida Mae’s genuine experiences journeying through remote terrains and ephemerally touching the lives of strangers. This soulful offering feels like a whispered confession, a humble hymn to transient connections and moments of genuine introspection amidst the relentless churn of time. It’s not just a song; it’s a distilled memory, an evocation of the delicate balance between peace and trepidation that defines the nomadic existence. With “Feel The World Turning,” Ida Mae weaves the delicate tapestry of the road-traveler’s psyche, beautifully laying the groundwork for their upcoming album, ‘Thunder Above You.’

Analog Dog – “All The Birds”

San Francisco’s Analog Dog, known for blending multi-genre influences with nostalgic yet forward-thinking flair, emerges with their latest single “All The Birds.” Rooted deeply in the timeworn textures of psychedelic rock, the track employs shimmering guitars and harmonious vocals, reminiscent of the Beach Boys, to deliver a poignant commentary on the climate crisis. “Clutch your pearls and take a bow,” the lyrics incisively point out, invoking a sense of urgency for change. The gravity of the subject is juxtaposed against lush musical soundscapes that sway between dreamy contemplation and a visceral call to action.

However, “All The Birds” isn’t just a standalone masterstroke; it’s a part of Analog Dog’s vibrantly eclectic LP ‘Color TV’. A journey that blurs the lines between the analog past and digital present, the album offers an intricate dance of genres – from psychedelic rock to synthy dance grooves, from indie moods to jazz fusion undertones. The record feels like flipping through high-definition channels, each song a vivid hue adding to a prismatic view of modern anxieties and hopes. Drawing inspiration from the sprawling sonic playground of Golden Gate Park and fueled by a mission to transcend the confines of contemporary ennui, Analog Dog not only makes music but crafts auditory experiences that reflect a world brimming with both challenges and beauty.

Kohla – “Golden”

Emerging with an unapologetic reverence for self-worth and the splendors of being adored, Kohla’s “Golden” is a shimmering testament to the standards one sets in love. Drawing inspiration from the time-honored allure of Marvin Gaye’s soulful cadences and blending it seamlessly with contemporary R&B finesse reminiscent of Frank Ocean and Sabrina Claudio, Kohla crafts a neo-soul narrative that is as radiant as it is deeply personal. Lyrics like “Just give me all of your emotion – like I’m golden,” balance a fine line between vulnerability and audacity, capturing the transformative journey of self-awareness and the unshaken demand for respect in love. The track is awash with a gospel tinge, with soulful vocal runs that accentuate the sense of sacral love; an emotion so profound that it renders both the lover and the beloved in a golden, effervescent glow.

Yet, “Golden” is more than just a single; it’s a reflection of Kohla’s spiritual and emotional odyssey towards self-realization. The song resonates with the confidence of someone who has done the inner work, coming to the epiphany of their own worth, and now seeks nothing less than to be revered as a deity in matters of the heart. When Kohla serenades “Ooh, I’m fucking glowing baby,” it is more than just a statement of radiant love; it’s an anthem of self-celebration, a tribute to the divine feminine energy, and a reminder that love, in its purest form, should always feel as luminous as gold. “Golden” serves as a promising precursor to her debut album ‘Romance’, suggesting a collection rich in passion, introspection, and the exquisite nuances of love.

CS Hellmann – “Postcards”

In a haunting reflection of unrequited love, CS Hellmann’s “Postcards” is a poignant ode to the vulnerabilities of unspoken feelings, heartbreak, and the complexities of emotions tangled with friendships. Drawing from a rich well of inspiration that spans from the ethereal sounds of U2 to the passionate rawness of Silversun Pickups, Hellmann channels a tortured tapestry of memories, regrets, and quiet hopes into his dark indie anthems. The track stands as a testimony to the art of translating profound pain into cathartic creation, capturing the essence of the song’s backstory: a delicate confession, a rejection, and a dignified farewell note left with flowers on a porch.

CS Hellmann’s musical journey is painted with rich and varied strokes, from the early notes of The Beatles and 60’s girl groups echoing from car radios and basement vinyl players, to the guitar wizardry of rock legends that guided his own six-stringed pursuits. His unique experiences, from the highs of sold-out shows and notable producer collaborations to the lows of burnouts and battling bipolar depression, culminate in a sound that is charged with emotional intensity. “Postcards,” with its deeply personal narrative, encapsulates Hellmann’s evolution both as an artist and an individual, marking a significant entry in the discography of a Nashville songwriter who once rediscovered his passion amid personal turbulence. The track reminds us that even in the darkest chapters, there is beauty to be found in the raw honesty of music.

Hoagie – “The Karaoke Legend”

Stepping onto the stage with raw authenticity, Hoagie’s “The Karaoke Legend” offers a heartening tribute to an often overlooked, unsung hero – the local karaoke enthusiast. With a songwriting prowess reminiscent of Father John Misty and the quintessential alt-Americana energy of R.E.M., Dave Holgado – the driving force behind Hoagie – crafts an ode that treads the line between melancholic and celebratory. The track dives deep into the heart of the passion-driven, embracing the essence of music even in seemingly trivial pursuits, reminding listeners of the joys of uninhibited self-expression. Rich in texture, the song gains its weight from Shane Luckenbaugh’s poignant drumming, Steven Murillo’s harmonious background vocals, and the soulful trumpet notes from Rick Rein, all under the masterful production guidance of Joe Michelini.

Emerging from Portland’s verdant musical scene, Hoagie’s debut album “Other Folks” promises an eclectic blend of wit, nostalgia, and alt-Americana flair. The album, described as a rock opera, showcases Dave’s brilliant knack for storytelling through tongue-in-cheek lyrics, sketching out characters and narratives that resonate with life’s quirks and contradictions. “The Karaoke Legend” serves as a melodic anchor amidst the stormy seas of defiant anthems and introspective ballads. The album is an open book, flipping through pages of rebellion, acceptance, conflict, hope, and the infinite hues of human connection. Bearing similarities to the likes of Wilco and Ben Folds Five, Hoagie’s debut is set to carve a niche, whether as a playful post-modern power pop gem or a heartfelt journey into the complexities of navigating adult life. Await the unveiling this September 29th, for Hoagie is about to send ripples through the waters of contemporary Americana.

Bear, Man Dangerous – “American War”

Infusing the unapologetic intensity of The Jesus Lizard with the grand, cinematic ambience of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Bear, Man Dangerous’s “American War” emerges as an incendiary exploration of modern societal dissonance. Lyrically drawn from Omar El Akkad’s haunting dystopia, the song is not just a reflection but a harrowing prediction, delving into the darkness of America’s soul and laying bare its tribalism, inequality, and pervasive discontent. Each lyric, from the “Florida man’s burning all these books” to the repeated cries of “Icarus killed us all,” serves as a visceral reminder of the cyclical nature of history and the perils of flying too close to the sun of one’s own hubris.

The track, unrelenting in its portrayal of a society at the precipice, delves into the very essence of what it means to be “safe” in an age of uncertainty. Is safety merely the act of distancing oneself from the chaos, or does it require a more proactive stance against the encroaching threats of division and loss? The repeated line “Everybody’s fighting American War” is a chilling testament to the universality of conflict, both internal and external, and the human cost of perpetual strife. As listeners are guided through a landscape of paranoia, desperation, and reflection, Bear, Man Dangerous holds up a mirror to the simmering tensions of contemporary America, urging introspection, recognition, and ultimately, change. Amidst the sonic maelstrom, the song stands as both a warning and a lament, urging listeners to remember the lessons of the past before they become the tragedies of the future.

Mid-day Music Blast: Mary-Elaine Jenkins “Fools Don’t Stay”

“Storm is rolling, my house is shaking 
My man’s not coming home tonight 
He drinks whiskey in his water 
Likes to gamble with his life 

Hard lovin’ woman and a hard luck man 
Playing house in the promised land 
Cracked foundations and real bad habits 
And nobody tells me nothing”

The story is familiar, but the storyteller is new. Mary-Elaine Jenkins takes the trope of the deserter leaving home and makes it feel fresh. We see a story unfold like so many others with this lover who isn’t exactly a catch. The first thing that caught my ear though was the line, “And nobody tells me nothing.” While this could be a call to the fact that Jenkins comes from a long line of strong and independent women who can’t be bossed around, I think it is a callout to the friends who knew of this man’s “cracked foundation and real bad habits,” but failed to mention anything to Jenkins, choosing to instead watch her, or the protagonist of the song, fall down a deep well of second chances and cheap thrills.

This line is probably the most important line in the song because there is such a real life message that is applicable to so many people. If you have a friend or family member who is getting into a relationship that isn’t advisable and all of the information isn’t on the table, you have an obligation to that person to have a hard conversation. They may choose to ignore whatever you tell them, but at least the pieces are laid out for everyone to see.


Luckily, thanks to the matriarchs in Jenkins family who have brought her up to be a free-thinking woman who won’t take shit from anyone, she (or once again, the protagonist) is able to separate herself from him, barricading her heart, and alluding to changing the locks to make sure he doesn’t try to come back.

Jenkins, a Brooklyn resident, has a pure Southern sound that can’t be imitated. As a South Carolinian who can hear a fake accent from a mile away (and because I read Jenkins’ bio), I can tell a fellow South Carolinian’s voice when I hear it. She honed her craft for years in the deep south, learning from and playing with the old-timers at her local guitar shop every Saturday afternoon, but quickly longed for a setting that could help her pursue music as a career. She moved from South Carolina to Washington D.C. and then to Spain before finding her new home in Brooklyn in 2013. With true Southern charm, and a bit of an edge to her lyrics and voice, Jenkins is the perfect artist for people looking to flirt with country music while keeping their feet firmly planted in Americana roots.

Check out Mary-Elaine and all of our other tracks from June on our Spotify playlist

Mid Day Music Blast: Caroline Lazar “Georgia”


Don’t forget to support the artist on bandcamp too!

I love how analog this song sounds. It really sounds like your favorite vinyl that you’ve played so many times that there are a few clicks and distortions, but that really adds to the flavor of the song. One of my favorite elements of the song, as someone from the small town south, is the crickets playing the background. It makes me so nostalgic for summer nights where their sounds are the orchestra to playing tag, hide and seek, catching fireflies, etc.

“Why am I looking for you looking for someone else

Bending over backwards to see if you are kissing to tell,

chapped lips soaked in red wine,

maybe it’s the last time.”


What a strong start to the song lyrically. It has all of those elements that I mentioned before of the nostalgia of young love, and it’s so relatable. Who hasn’t been caught up with someone and wondered about the intentions, wondered if it was actually going to go anywhere? I really can’t say enough good things about this song. Do yourself a favor and add it to all your playlists. We already added it to ours.



Don’t forget to check out the thing that started this whole media empire (or small village): The B-Side Guys Podcast 

TOTD: Jesse Daniel “Gracie Henrietta”


It’s Friday night! Are you guys partying? The second you hit a lull and need a pick me up, throw this song on the house playlist to part like it’s 1955 (but now you have MDMA and Tinder). I really can’t get enough of this song. Whoever is playing the piano is absolutely ripping!


“Jesse Daniel’s self-titled debut album sounds both fresh and familiar from beginning to end. Pairing classic country styling with honest and compelling lyrics, Jesse’s album plays like an old favorite with a twist that is both edgy and uniquely his own.”

– Zach Taylor, Raised Rowdy

I really couldn’t agree more with this quote from Jesse’s website. When I read a bit about Jesse on his website, it seems that he has a deeply American story to tell, full of broken families, picking yourself up by the bootstraps, homesteading, heart break, and so much more. If you are tired of pop-country that you hear on the radio, but want some intellectual twang in your life, you can’t go wrong with Jesse Daniel.




Mid Day Music Blast: Johnny Gates “Wish I Knew You”

Spotify Link

This seems like a perfect Friday song to me. I worked a half day today, and now I’m jamming out to this song and cracking my first beer. It really doesn’t get any better. Some of you who watch The Voice (I don’t) may recognize Johnny from last season. He also is from tiny Rhode Island, so there’s a fun connection there.


If you’d like to know a little more about Johnny, check out his website here.  

Here is a short snippet:

Since relocating to LA, Johnny has toured the US multiple times with RUNAWAY SAINTS, has become a fixture at Hollywood’s prestigious Hotel Cafe, and also hit the road opening for Rod Stewart.

Now turning his attention to his first ever solo project, Johnny is back in the studio writing and recording with plans to launch the project in 2018. Be on the look out for that, and more RUNAWAY SAINTS music and tour dates.

As always, we will be adding this song to our end of the monthly playlist for June. If you missed anything from May, you can find that playlist here.


Morning Commute Double Feature: Jim Audet

Get ready for a music filled day from B-Side Guys! New music Friday means tons and tons of new music just for you guys!

“Mojave Rain” is about the procrastination of the government to do anything about mass shootings, and how it becomes too late for those who are unfortunate enough to be involved in these events.

“Sex & Money” is track 1 off “The Lookout EP” set to release June 1st on Spotify. “The Lookout EP” is an “off the wall” concept record dealing with a spectrum of socio-political problems, mainly issues surrounding our culture’s obsession with sex, money, and violence in the media.


Alright. Now that you’ve listened to both, let’s explore them:


“Mojave Rain

First of all, how great is this guy’s voice? I told him he sounds like a slightly higher pitched Jim Morrison, especially on the “Sex and Money” track. The song itself is very topical, unfortunately it’s topical about every two weeks or so, because it’s about mass shootings and the governmental response to them.

The song starts with really strong, jarring lyrics:

“They no need no control
Gonna bet a dime, little Suzie, gonna bet your soul”

Referring to the seeming willingness for our government to sacrifice children for a quick buck, or more specifically the willingness of those who lobby the government to do so. Obviously gun control is a hot button layered issue, but I think it’s art’s job to help us think about these things that effect us, and the song really makes it clear what’s at stake in this debate.

“Good God, it’s too late,
Got caught up in a downpour, in the Mojave Rain

Say son, did you make the grade?
Save a brother down with a barricade, when there was rain in the Mojave?
Was it oh, so D.F.A, with a window wide on 32? ”


I love the dissonance between making the grade and saving someone. These two things shouldn’t be happening side by side, and you could argue if they are happening side by side, the learning environment is going to be effected. My biggest question in the song is why the title and repetition of Mojave rain? I know the Mojave is a desert, so it doesn’t get much rain. In fact it is the driest desert in all of North America. Maybe he’s using that as a metaphor for how unlikely it is to see any change on this issue soon? What do you guys think?



“Sex and Money”

I’m not going to talk about this one too at length because (hint hint) you’re going to be seeing this one again on the podcast. But like I mentioned before, how much does this song sound like a modernized The Doors song? I also love the throwback visuals of the video. There is a lot to explore here regarding our societies relationship to sex, money, and violence, and we will be following up that discussion on our podcast in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, check out all of Jim Audet’s new EP right here, and support this dude so we can see what else he comes up with.