- Roman Reese, singer/songwriter, journalist
"Medford's Black Record Collection is the collaboration of Michael Davis and Matt Foster, who are storytellers in the same tradition as Nick Drake and Louis L'Amour (if he were a musician. Their folk sounds are breathing new life into traditional music with harmonies of Blue Highway and the raw dirty edge of Johnny Cash."- Helen Yonts
"...refreshingly country with a capital 'C', with no 'alt', 'electro', 'new', and definitely no 'nu' infiltrating its undiluted backwoods sound."
"The kind of muffled, painful moans you'd expect to overhear while hiking the Appalachian Trail...the unpolished heartfelt moans that were so good that they've resisted change for over a hundred years...they keep the mountain traditions alive and keep it local, reminding us of our roots."
-Molly Kincaid, Metropulse (Knoxville, TN)
"...baroque Southern Gothic originals, performed with a deadpan, winking solemnity."
-Matthew Everett, Knoxville Voice (Knoxville, TN)
"...Exquisite mournful vocals...they're making quite a name for themselves in the local scene."
-Steve Wildsmith, The Daily Times (Maryville, TN)
"...Making music that is a part of the fabric of life in this area...they truly are beginning to stand out among the others. Their approach is honest, their music is good, and their future is bright. We are proud to play their tunes."
-Benny Smith, 90.3 "The Rock" WUTK-FM General Manager (Knoxville, TN)
Local Album Review
Medfordâ€™s Black Record Collection
The Flatville Murder Album (Self-released)
Medfordâ€™s Black Record Collection forged its backwoods holler out on an overgrown tract of Roane Mountain, miles away from civilization under the tutelage of a freakish mountain man and his three-legged dog, where all good country twang is born. At least thatâ€™s how the story goes. In truth, however, this group is made up of some of the hardest-working whippersnappers in town. Theyâ€™ve discovered that old-timey sound, something thatâ€™s akin to a mellow J.D. Crowe & the New South, with croonings that seem artfully understated when compared to Webb Pierce. The style more closely resembles the recent pitch-perfect finger-pickings of Iron and Wine, but itâ€™s tempered with vocals that might be the result of a chromosomal swap between the orchestrated harshness of Hank Thompson and the tough-guy velveteen vox of George Morgan.
On The Flatville Murder Album, the song â€œJail Cellâ€ poses the question, â€œHow long? /How long? /You loathsome son of a bitch, /before your debt catches up to you,â€ made all the more authentic with a healthy layering of slide guitar. â€œAbnerâ€™s Ride,â€ in contrast, has a flair for extreme lamentation, the kind of muffled, painful moans youâ€™d expect to overhear while hiking the Appalachian Trail. This is real country, the unpolished, heartfelt moans that were so good that theyâ€™ve resisted change for over a hundred years. And weâ€™re all the better for it. Weâ€™re better because of Medfordâ€™s Black Record Collection, too, because it keeps the mountain traditions alive, and keeps it local, reminding us of our roots. â€œMay we all/ be forgiven/ in time /we pray,â€ they sing on â€œSinnerâ€™s Plea.â€ â€œOh God, of the waters/ Oh God, of the sky/ may our stains be washed away.â€ Thatâ€™s a prayer that works, no matter what genre youâ€™re singing in.
â€”Molly Kincaid, Kevin Crowe, Metropulse (Knoxville, TN)
Check out the artist's website:
2. Small Town
3. Sue O'Reilly
4. The Holler
5. (excerpt from) Tom Dooley
6. The Brothers Pike
7. Sue, Would You Marry Me?
8. Don't Blame the Bourbon
9. Abner's Ride
10. The Farmer's Lament
11. (excerpt from) Down in the Willow Garden
12. Jail Cell
13. Abner's Wrath
14. At the Railroad Bridge
15. The Blacksmith's Lament
16. (excerpt from) Omie Wise
17. Sue's Remorse
19. Sinner's Plea
20. Sniffin' Glue