Last month, we received in the mail, our friends, Kopecky Family Band's latest album Kids Raising Kids, which had us a bit puzzled. After hearing their terrific debut last fall, we were wondering why it was resurfacing on our desks. Suddenly it dawned upon us, after further investigation, we learned that the bluesy folk collective had joined the ranks of one of our favorite labels, ATO Records, and we couldn't imagine a better home for their debut.
ATO Records has quite the roster, and we're confident the Kopecky crew will be a glimmering addition by following in the footsteps of the label's most successful acts like My Morning Jacket and Alabama Shakes. The label began in 2000, and in less than 13 years, they've managed to make musical history. To celebrate the ATO family's adoption of the Kopecky clan, we spoke with the band's guitarist Steven Holmes who assembled a mixtape of his favorite tunes released throughout ATO's existence. Also included, at the bottom of this page is a stream of Kopecky Family Band's debut Kids Raising Kids with the band's track-by-track commentary.
1. Ben Kweller - "Penny on the Traintrack"
Perfect for driving or hopping trains. The thoughtful lyrics and driving piano make this song what it is.
2. My Morning Jacket - "Anytime"
I remember seeing MMJ at Bonnaroo a couple of years ago. As I was rushing to their stage, this is the song they were starting. Unabashed rock & roll. I love everything about it...and arriving at their stage while they were playing this was a veritable moment of triumph.
3. Stars - "Ageless Beauty"
The vocal harmonies/melodies in this song just do it for me. Every time I hear it, I am whisked to a clear, carefree summer day.
4. Rayland Baxter - "Driveway Melody"
RayLand has an uncanny ability to say things in his music that are equal parts simple and profound. When I listen to him sing, I feel like I am just in conversation with an old friend. Not many songwriters can accomplish this with the ease that RayLand does.
5. Caitlin Rose - "Only a Clown"
I am a sucker for good country music. Caitlin has a beautiful and unassumingly strong voice that is perfectly suited for the songs that she crafts. This song is an excellent example of that.
6. Dawes - "When My Time Comes"
For me, these guys hearken back to the good old days of rock & roll music (CCR, anyone?). I love the natural drawl of the vocals in this track, and the simple instrumental arrangement.
7. Jim James - "Know Til Now"
Because, you know...it's Jim James.
8. Gomez - "Notice"
A year or so ago, we had the pleasure of sharing a tour with the guys in Gomez. Not only did we have a great time seeing them perform every night, we also were fortunate enough to get to know them pretty well on a personal level. This is a tune we heard countless times during that tour.
9. Alabama Shakes - "Hang Loose"
It has been really cool to see the success that Alabama Shakes have found. This song is super cool and is an appropriate marriage of their rootsy-bluesy musical ramblings and Brittany Howard's huge voice.
10. The Whigs - "Right Hand On My Heart"
The Whigs are near and dear to me. This is just an awesome song that I could listen to every day. End of story.
Listen to Kids Raising Kids and commentary below. The album is out now on iTunes and Amazon.
Watch Kopecky Family Band live at The Launch Pad at Spike Hill.