Thursday, February 25, 2010

We Have Moved...

If you're here, you're lost.

This Mornin' I Am Born Again
is no longer updated at this address. I have moved from Blogger to Wordpress.

Find the new and improved This Mornin'... at

You can update your RSS Feeds with this:

Although I will no longer update this Blogger site, it shall remain here for all your nostalgic needs.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Reader Poll: I Need Some Inspiration

Let's be honest. Lately, I've updated the look of this blog more often than the content. My post frequency has dropped recently due to a number of reasons. We won't get into why. Instead, let's get into how we go about fixing this.

Originally, I had the intention of posting multiple times every week. I learned quickly that that was a tough task. For one, my posts ending up being more thorough than I initially intended, which is okay with me. So, for a more structured posting process, I started a few 'Feature Posts' - recurring topics that songs could easily fit into to keep a sense of familiarity with the content here. Some of these were meant to be weekly updates - New Digs for one - and that may have gone smoothly for a little while. Some have shown up here and there and some have disappeared completely. So, I need your help. I wanna know what the readers want. Take some time to look back over some of these feature posts and find those that interest you most.

Here's an outline with links those older posts:

New Digs
A (sometimes) weekly post featuring the newest music to spark my interest. Sometimes showcasing a new artist I've found. Sometimes containing songs with a common thread. And sometimes just a handful of good songs.

One Liners
A two-fold intention post. 1)To get posts up quickly without much writing, and 2)To feature some of my photography (yet another hobby of mine I don't devote as much time to as I'd like. These posts are simply a picture I've taken, followed by a song that corresponds somehow with one line from the chosen song as the post title - or one liner.

Viva la Vinyl
Over a year ago, I acquired an amazing piece of technology - A USB turntable. These posts feature songs ripped from my still-growing vinyl collection. Check out a post I made back in 2008 detailing my love for that nostalgic analog sound.

Playlist Pulse
Another feature to help get some music out to you guys quickly. I simply pick one of my iTunes playlists, hit shuffle, and post the first five songs that come up. Simple and effective, yet missing from this site for quite a while.

Mailbox Music
This topic consists of music I've received as promotional material - either through the countless emails I get from music marketing folks or from that rare gem of a hard copy sent pro-bono in the mail.

In The Toolbox
A feature that desperately needs to be seen more, In The Toolbox showcases those 'essential albums'. I have a sturdy metal toolbox that perfectly fits a long row of CDs. This toolbox used to travel with me wherever I went, but has since lost out to the convenience of digital media.

Evolution of Song
This post takes a song that I happen to have multiple copies of. Ideally from the same artist, revealing the evolutionary process the song has undergone throughout the years in studio sessions and the live show.

Rather than the usual cover song post you might see elsewhere, this feature contains songs in which I first heard a covered version, and subsequently dis-covered the original.

Thursday One-Hitter
The newest feature post to hit the site, the Thursday One-Hitter (named so simply because I first posted one on a Thursday) takes a closer look at songwriting.

Artist Spotlights
Simply titled, my Artist Spotlights feature an in-depth look into an artist's entire catalog, particularly those artists that have greatly contributed to my love of music. Consisting mainly of Ryan Adams material - a catalog that deserves the attention - I've also given attention to Mike McClure, Kasey Chambers, Slaid Cleaves, and Max Stalling (on which Max, himself, dropped by to say thanks).
a separate link for my multiple-entry Ryan Adams Spotlight

So there's your re-cap. With the results from the poll (upper-left sidebar or below), I hope to get a better feel for what the readers want and in return, I can get more of the best material out there.

Crazy MP3 Deals...

Johnny's sixth installment of the American Recordings catalog was released today - his 78th birthday. You can download it through Amazon, today only, for $3.99, and I strongly suggest you do.
Johnny Cash - Ain't No Grave

If you download songs from the iTunes store, stop. Really. All songs are now $1.29 and are DRM - making it very difficult to do what you want with music you rightfully paid for. There are plenty of other places on the internet to pick up DRM-free music for much cheaper.

The Amazon music store is just as big as iTunes catalog, and their 10 million mp3s still go for only $.99. In addition to their daily $3.99 deal, each month, Amazon also makes 100 mp3 albums available for only $5. Here are some notable ones:
Johnny Cash - Love
Crazy Heart Soundtrack
Dawes - North Hills
-- highly recommended
Blackroc - Blackroc
-- The Black Keys-produced Hip-Hop album
Vampire Weekend - Contra
Dawn Landes - Sweetheart Rodeo
Andrew Bird - Mysterious Production of Eggs
The Soft Pack - The Muslims
see all 100 albums

And in Amazon's $7.99 bracket:
Johnny Cash - American IV (The Man Comes Around)
Matt & Kim - Grand
O Brother, Where Art Thou Soundtrack
Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Them Crooked Vultures - s/t
The XX - xx
Patty Griffin - Downtown Chruch
-- highly recommended
Norah Jones - Come Away With Me
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
Reckless Kelly - Somewhere In Time
The Soft Pack - s/t
Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
The Avett Broths - Emotionalism
-- highly recommended
The Black Keys - Rubber Factory
She & Him - Volume One
Dave Rawlings Machine - Friend of a Friend -- highly recommended
Fleet Foxes - s/t
-- highly recommended
Band of Horses - Everything All The Time
Monsters of Folk - s/t
Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Wilco - Wilco [The Album] -- highly recommended
The Swell Season - Strict Joy
Ryan Bingham - Roadhouse Sun
-- highly recommended
Gillian Welch - Revival
Ray Wylie Hubbard - A:Enlightenment...
Dr. Dog - Fate
Hayes Carll - Trouble In Mind
Neil Young - Harvest
see all 114,706 albums

eMuisc is where I get a large majority of my purchased music. I pay $11.99/month for 30 downloads (about $.40 a song). There are 4 other plans to choose from on either side of that. Additionally, eMusic puts select albums on sale. They do this by offering a full album download (10-14 tracks) for only 7 credits - or something close to that. When you initially sign up, you'll also get 25 free downloads to start.

Even Better: if you're reading this and want to get in on the action, email me (paytontx12 @ I'll send you an invite, and we'll both get 50 free tracks to download.

Another great online music source is They offer music on a demand-based system. When as song is first added, it's FREE (or very cheap). Each time the song/album is downloaded, the price goes up slightly, songs capping out at $.98 cents. So if you're quick, you can beat any deal, anywhere.

Often, I'll get emails from AmieStreet featuring free mixes. The songs on these mixes remain free - right now, there are over 400 million free songs. Sign up, and they're yours. There's no cost for signing up - you can add funds to your account when you'd like.

Check out their albums available for <$2
Check out their albums available for <$5

Check out their albums available for <$8

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fleet Foxes Download Code Giveaway!!

Been quiet around here lately. Sorry for the lack of posts.

But to get things going again, how about another giveaway?? This time, I've got a download code for one of my favorite 2007 albums - hell one of my favorite albums EVER: Fleet Foxes' self-titled debut is an elegant masterpiece like nothing before or since. Robin Pecknold and crew created a unique sound that is at once classical and contemporary. The debut will no doubt be hard to follow, but rumor has it the band's sophomore effort will be coming this year.

Click here to enter the Fleet Foxes Contest
Contest Complete

Monday, February 8, 2010

New Album Details from Josh Ritter (+ MP3)

Woke up this Monday morning to some exciting news in my inbox. Josh Ritter's much anticipated follow-up to 2007's Historical Conquests now has a title, release date, and a promo track. So Runs The World Away will be available in the states on May 4th (April 23rd in Ireland).

A note from Josh on the album:

"So Runs the World Away" took me over a year to make. I'm proud of the fact that I've never recorded a song for a record that I didn't believe in absolutely and that didn't feel, in its writing, recording, and performance, like a moment of real inspiration. I love the songs on this record so much, and my thanks go to my incredible and talented band, my family, and my family of listeners wherever they may be in this fast-spinning world. All my very best, and see you soon!

As much as Josh is loved throughout the blogosphere, I'm sure this will be posted everywhere, but I'd like to be the first to bring it to you. Josh wants you to join his mailing list to get this track, so do that too below.

Josh Ritter - Change of Time

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Conor Oberst - Outer South - Download Code Giveaway!!

Another week, another winner, another contest. Congratulations to Tim for winning the Justin Townes Earle contest from last Wednesday.

This week, I bring you another top 10 album from my list - Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - Outer South. The album placed #5 and also marked the 3rd year in a row that Conor Oberst (in some form) has created a Top 5 album - according to me, of course. Outer South shows The Mystic Valley Band taking a step towards the front of the stage - writing and taking lead vocals on a number of tracks. These songs really contribute to the album as a whole and actually played a big part in my high placing of it. Of course, Conor's songs are impressive. Three of them made it to my Top 50 Songs List.

Once again, simply click below (or on the album cover above), enter your email, and that's it. I'll randomly pick a winner this time next week.

Click here to enter the Conor Oberst Contest
Contest Complete - Congrats Brad!

Friday, January 29, 2010

New Track from Joe Pug's Messenger...

Got an email this morning containing some free tracks available from One of which happens to come from a very highly anticipated album - Joe Pug's full-length debut Messenger. The disc comes out February 16th via Lightning Rod Records following Joe's impressive first two EPs. Get Nation of Heat here and In The Meantime is still available for free when you join Joe's mailing list.

  1. Messenger
  2. How Good You Are
  3. Not So Sure
  4. The Sharpest Crown
  5. The Door Was Always Open
  6. The First Time I Saw You
  7. Unsophisticated Heart
  8. Disguised as Someone Else
  9. Bury Me Far (From My Uniform)
  10. Speak Plainly, Diana

Also up for grabs in the email was a track from Great Lake Swimmers - a band I'm slowly but surely getting into. This one comes from their 2009 release Lost Channels. It's a rousing acoustic track that's "swimming in harmony."

Great Lake Swimmers - Still
buy Lost Channels (2009) [CD][Vinyl][MP3 - only $5]

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sarah Jarsoz (and a few others) get Grammy Attention...

Sarah Jarosz is a fresh-faced young lady from the Texas hill country. At just 19, she's already had the opportunity to not only meet, but create a record with some of her contemporary heroes (although most nearly a generation ahead of her). Because her instrumental reputation precedes her (Sarah plays mandolin, banjo, guitar, and even a toy piano on her album), she was able to employ Tim O'Brien, Chris Thile, and Abigail Washburn as additional musicians/vocalists on her first record. Each of these bluegrass legends offered up a glowing foreword about Sarah, praising not only her playing, but also vocals and songwriting.

I first learned of Sarah when I saw that she had a slot opening for the Dave Rawlings Machine on their recent tour. I was able to catch this show when they made a stop in Austin, and even ran into Sarah patiently waiting in line to catch Dave/Gillian/OCMS as they performed in-store the evening before the show.

Sarah's debut, Song Up In Her Head, will go down as a well-crafted new-age bluegrass record. Despite where Sarah may take her career in the future, the guestlist it features will help it to remain a bluegrass favorite for some time and is currently helping garner extra attention for the young musician. This attention reached its pinnacle when Sarah learned that she would have a chance to take home a Grammy Award Sunday night.

Grammy nods don't often drift into our realm of the music world, but when they do, they usually show favor to the bluegrass end. Gillian Welch's debut was nominated for Best Contemporary Folk Album in 1997 (when Sarah was 6) and her work on the O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack helped it win the Grammy for Album Of The Year in 2001 (10, when she started playing the mandolin). As Sarah made obvious in her set in Austin, she was thrilled/honored/maybe a little nervous to open for a true heroine in the business. Fittingly following Gillian's lead, Sarah's debut finds itself in the running for a Grammy. Her song 'Maninneedof' has a chance to be named the Best Country Instrumental Performance. Sarah will be contending against international outfit The Greencards for the song 'The Crystal Merchant' off their album Fascination. Also nominated in the category are Alison Brown and Steve Wariner.

Sarah Jarosz - Maninneedof
The Greencards - The Crystal Merchant

But bluegrass isn't the only genre that occasionally get Grammy attention. Obvious ThisMornin' favorite Ryan Adams found himself thrice nominated in 2002. Gold: Best Rock Album, 'New York, New York': Best Male Rock Vocal, 'Lovesick Blues': Best Male Country Vocal. In 2004, Wilco's A Ghost Is Born took home the honor for Best Alternative Music Album.

The award for Best Contemporary Folk Album was first awarded in 1987. Previous winner include John Prine, Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Alison Krauss, Bob Dylan, and Steve Earle - who is again nominated this year for his well-crafted tribute album Townes. Joining him in the category is Neko Case, whose Middle Cyclone is also nominated for its artwork with Best Recording Package.

Steve Earle - To Live Is To Fly
Neko Case - People Got A Lotta Nerve

2010 will mark the first ever award for Best Americana Album, hopefully starting a much-deserved shift in notoriety for the growing genre. Your nominees:

Bob Dylan - Together Through Life
Levon Helm - Electric Dirt
Willie Nelson & Asleep At The Wheel - Willie & The Wheel
Wilco - Wilco (The Album)
Lucinda Williams -
Little Honey

Indie mainstay Karen O finds herself nominated in two categories for two different projects. Her band, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' It's Blitz is in the running for Best Alternative Album. Karen's work on the Where the Wild Things Are Soundtrack has been praised all over, and the song All Is Love is nominated for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture.

Karen O & The Kids - All Is Love

Ryan Adams' on-again off-again go-to producer Ethan Johns is nominated for both Best Engineered Album and Producer of the Year for his work on Ray Lamontagne's album Gossip In The Grain.

Ray LaMontagne - You Are The Best Thing

All of this said, I'm still not gonna put myself through the agony of watching this commercialized spectacle - I may try to time it so I can catch some of the above mentioned awards. That is... if they manage to find time to televise them between Taylor Swift and Rihanna performances.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Justin Townes Earle Download Code Giveaway!!

Just picked a winner for the last download giveaway - Congrats Jeanette!

Next up is #10 from my 2009 Album List - Justin Townes Earle's Midnight At The Movies. This album was also the landslide winner of the first annual Bird List.

Once again, it's easy. Simply click below or on the album cover above and enter your email address. A winner will be randomly chosen next Wednesday (2/3).

Click here to enter the contest
Contest complete - Congrats Tim!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Link & News for January '10....

Here are some happenings in my music world right now:

has a couple new sessions worth checking out: The Roadside Graves (1/8), Dave Rawlings Machine (1/13) and Samantha Crain (1/20). And for you iPhone users, the folks over there have created an app for the iPhone that lets you stream any artist's session as well as Daytrotter radio.

The Low Anthem recently recorded one of those amazingly quaint NPR Tiny Desk Concerts. They perform 'Ghost Woman Blues,' 'Ghosts Who Write History Books,' and 'This God Damn House' - the tune with the infamous cell phone interference trick. Also notice the special placement of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species on the bookshelf behind the band. You can view it on their website, along with a recent performance of 'Charlie Darwin' from Letterman. The Low Anthem will also be embarking on their first headlining tour soon following a road stint opening for The Avett Brothers.

Speaking of NPR, head over there to stream Patty Griffin's brand new album Downtown Church (Out Today). As the title may suggest, it's a gospel-flavored album that was actually recorded in an empty church. Another chillingly tender album from Patty. Go ahead and but it: [Amazon CD/mp3]
Here's a taste: House of Gold

Austin City Limits aired The Avett Brothers' set this past Saturday (my intention was to get this post up before the weekend to give you guys the heads up). It was pretty amazing - good mix of old/new material performed very intimately to a warm audience. See a preview here. Definitely picking up the DVD when it comes available.

Justin Townes Earle has a new track available. It's a cover of Dolly Parton's 'Do I Ever Cross Your Mind' done with Dawn Landes - Josh Ritter's wife. Justin's voice is velvety-er than ever on this one. Pick it up from Rollo & Grady.

Joe Pug's full-length debut is nearly upon us. I came across an advance (probably illegal) copy of it, but wasn't able to download it. Oh well, I can wait patiently. But for now, check this: