by Annie Parnell, Managing Editor
I’ve gotten to spend a lovely couple of days in Philadelphia this weekend — including a trip to local lefty bookstores Harriett’s and The Wooden Shoe, plus a visit to the hilariously-named new age shop Rocky’s Crystals. Currently, I’m sipping on a late-night cup of tea and watching the BBC with my partner’s very British grandfather. I’m excited to come back to work with another week of Buried Treasure!
This week we’ve got some great stuff out from New Jersey indie folk act Cold Weather Company, queer country troubadour Joe Troop, and the riotous cowpunk act Blind Adam and the Federal League. These singles are all community-driven and distinctly inspirational, and the people behind them have been doing some great work in activism and mutual aid. I hope that you’ve all had as fun and restful of a weekend as I have — for now, let’s get to the tunes!
Cold Weather Company — “Movement”
Cold Weather Company have let a little summer in on this motivational new single, which feels like shrugging off the comfort of a cozy cardigan and stepping out into the sun. In fact, that’s pretty similar to their production process — this single has been in the works since 2019, after the group pitched the question of “what’s stopping you from making progress?” to their close-knit online community of fans. Lately, that community has also been cleaning up the band’s home state of New Jersey through #ColdWeatherCleanup and raising money to benefit low-income families through the Trash Love Fund. “It’s rewarding to finally have the song out,” say Cold Weather Company, who hope that this upbeat tune reminds listeners of “the importance of taking things as they are from moment to moment.”
Joe Troop — “The Rise of Dreama Caldwell”
Joe Troop’s socially-focused bluegrass tracks are always a treat, and this ode to North Carolinian activist Dreama Caldwell is certainly no exception. Troop first met Caldwell as part of his “Pickin’ for Progress” video series while she was running for Alamance County Commissioner and pushing for reform of the cash bail system. From that fateful meeting, the two have since developed a powerful friendship, and Troop has penned this inspirational ballad that’s perfect for those who like Woody Guthrie and Joe Hill. Troop’s righteous cry that despite going “home in exchange for a mountain of debt…Dreama Caldwell has risen, she’s demanding reform” is made all the more powerful by the inclusion of Caldwell herself as a backing vocalist on the track. A gospel feature from the specially-compiled Alamance Justice Choir makes the whole thing even cooler.
Blind Adam and the Federal League — “Drier Ground”
“Drier Ground” is a powerful call to action that mixes honky-tonk guitars with social activism and the punk rock balladeering of The Menzingers and The Hold Steady. This is a group motivated by collective action in the face of the many despairs of late-stage capitalism, something that’s clear by the song’s rallying cry of “we can’t just dream of better days,” as well as the fact that the release date for this single was put on hold last year in order to allow the band to focus on mutual aid projects and solidarity with protestors. Now that it’s out and being promoted, the band would like to share that “in the spirit of the song, we’d like to bring your attention to Stop Line 3, an Indigenous women and Two Spirit led movement to stop an oil pipeline from being constructed under the headwaters of the Mississippi River on Anishinaabe Treaty Lands.”
“Buried Treasure” is your weekly guide to under-the-radar queer artists in country, Americana, and folk. Know an artist who should be included? Contact us!