UPDATE: I’m bumping this old FMB back to the top because this excellent band just ran into some truly cruddy circumstances. After the very first show on a planned six-week tour, their van and equipment were stolen from in front of an apartment in N.Y.C. They’re estimating their losses at around $40,000 but many of the instruments were rare or vintage and irreplaceable.

Among the stolen items was Matthew Houck’s custom, irreplaceable 1955 Gibson ES-125 guitar, vintage amplifiers, and a vintage pedal steel with losses totaling around $40,000. If anyone has ANY information or leads on what might have happened, or if you see any of this gear in pawn shops, on Craigslist, etc, please call the N.Y. Police Department, Vector Management, or anyone you think might be able to help recover this gear.

The label is offering $1,000 to anyone with a tip leading to recovery or $5,000 for the return of the equipment, no questions asked. Send tips to phosphorescentgearfund@gmail.com, and if you feel like helping them out, they’re taking PayPal donations at the same address.

Here, as incentive, is another fantastic track off their new album Here’s To Taking It Easy — “Mermaid Parade,” one of the best songs Houck has ever written:

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phosphorescent - here's to taking it easy

Last year, I wrote up the band Phosphorescent when they released an album of Willie Nelson covers. They’ve got an album of originals out this year, Here’s To Taking It Easy, and you can hear Willie’s influence. The songs are still scrappy and low-fi but they’re shorter and punchier than the slow jams of albums past. It’s good beardy country twang in an era that’s chock full of it. These are good times for the bearded.

Anyway, there’s one song toward the end that’s not not catchy and quick like the others, but something else entirely, and I’m fairly obsessed with it. It’s my favorite song to write to at the moment, called “Hej, Me I’m Light.”