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    • Tori Amos Shares First Single from New Album - “Cloud Riders”
      Tori Amos is releasing a new album, Native Invader, September 8 via Decca. The album was announced back in April, but now she has finally shared the album's first single, "Cloud Riders." Listen to it below via NPR, who premiered it. Also below are her upcoming tour dates.
    • Watch: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - “When I Dance With You” Video
      The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are releasing a new album, The Echo of Pleasure, on September 1 via the band's own label, Painbow. Previously they shared Echo songs "Anymore" and "When I Dance With You." Now "When I Dance With You" has a fun video in which the band are in black & white against colorful backgrounds.  […]
    • Mercury Prize 2017 Nominees Announced - alt-J, The xx, Glass Animals, Sampha, and More
      This year's Mercury Prize nominees have been announced and they include the latest albums by alt-J, The xx, Glass Animals, Sampha, The Big Moon, Kate Tempest, and... Ed Sheeran. The last one seems like bit of a mainstream choice for The Mercury Prize. The full list is below.
    • Content
      Joywave are a band building to success in stages. A collaboration with Big Data gave them a hit song and subsequent singles and a full-length added to the reputation. Now, two albums in, it feels like the potential exhibited in short bursts is finally reaching boiling point.
    • Terror in a Texas Town
      Released in 1958, Terror in a Texas Town feels simultaneously ahead of and behind the times.
    • Person to Person
      These loosely-connected story threads weave about one another in Dustin Guy Defa’s low-key comedy.
    • The Afghan Whigs Share Pleasure Club Cover in Honor of Late Guitarist Dave Rosser
      The Afghan Whigs have released "You Want Love" as a free download in honor of the band's late guitarist Dave Rosser (who passed away last month after a battle with colon cancer). It's a cover of a song by the New Orleans band Pleasure Club and it features that band's original singer James Hall.
    • Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste, Tegan and Sara, and More React to Trump’s Transgender Military Ban
      This morning President Trump announced on Twitter that Transgender people were no longer allowed to serve in the military in any capacity, a reversal of an Obama policy. Several notable musicians have spoken out against the ban, including Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste, Tegan and Sara, Lady Gaga, Kesha, Best Coast, and others.
    • Charli XCX Shares “Boys” Video with Mac DeMarco, Vampire Weekend, Mark Ronson, and More
      Charli XCX has shared a brand new song, "Boys," via a video she self-directed (with Sarah McColgan). In keeping with the song's title, the video features a bunch of well-known "boys."
    • St. Vincent Is Featured in a New Ad Campaign for Tiffany & Co.
      The American jewelry company Tiffany & Co. have launched their fall 2017 campaign and it stars St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark), Janelle Monáe, Zoë Kravitz, Elle Fanning, model Cameron Russell, and Bolshoi Ballet dancer David Hallberg.
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    • 10 Things You Never Knew About... Arcade Fire July 27, 2017
      Looking back on a decade of powerful music...Arcade Fire have graced the indie landscape for over a decade with their conceptual albums and political statements. Following 2013’s ‘Reflector’ it has been quiet from the Canadian outfit, though this summer they will bring their immense live act around a handful of events, including the Isle Of Wight Festival. W […]
    • Sensory Excursions: Avey Tare Interviewed July 27, 2017
      Animal Collective songwriter on his new solo album 'Eucalyptus'...Animal Collective have been a huge band for over a decade now, brightening the musical landscape with technicolour psychedelic pop that combines childlike imagination with virtuoso song-smithery. The project buzzes around the hive mind of four individuals who go by the monikers Avey […]
    • Wolf Alice Share 'Yuk Foo' Video, New Tour Dates July 27, 2017
      Short burst of intimate shows confirmed...Wolf Alice have shared the full video for new single 'Yuk Foo'. The band's dissonant, feedback-fuelled return is an emphatic statement in its own right, a careering squall of guitar-driven noize. New album 'Visions Of A Life' is incoming, with the group also set to play some of the biggest he […]
    • Young Fathers Craft Powerful New Short Film July 27, 2017
      Working alongside the Scottish National Portrait Gallery...Young Fathers have crafted a new short film focussing on the theme of the Male Gaze. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery has partnered with the National Portrait Gallery on the new exhibition, exploring themes of masculinity. Young Fathers agreed to construct a new short film, and their exploratio […]
    • Track Of The Day 27/7 - Wild Cub July 27, 2017
      'I Fall Over'Wild Cub make gloriously extravagant pop music. Debut album 'Youth' seems to burst with energy, the trio matching ear-worm melodies to lyrics that cut a little deeper. Faced with constructing a follow up, Wild Cub pushed themselves further than ever before. Re-immersing themselves in creative independence, the band will relea […]
    • Premiere: Warm Digits - 'Growth Of Raindrops' (ft. Sarah Cracknell) July 27, 2017
      Newcastle duo prepare new album 'Wireless World'...Newcastle duo Warm Digits are back, and this time they're grabbing a select batch of collaborators. New album 'Wireless World' is incoming on Memphis Industries, Peter Brewis of Field Music, Sarah Cracknell of Saint Etienne, Devon Sproule, and Mia La Metta of Beards. New track ' […]
    • New Book On Can's Jaki Liebezeit Launched July 27, 2017
      The Life, Theory and Practice of a Master Drummer...When Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit passed away in January of this year, he not only left behind a body of recorded work whose motion and energy were dominated by his cyclical approach to rhythm, but also a whole theory of drumming that had been properly documented. Liebezeit himself never thought to properly w […]
    • Kesha Embraces Abandon On 'Learn To Let Go' July 27, 2017
      The new video takes the singer back to her childhood...When Kesha sings "I've been to hell and back..." on new single 'Learn To Let Go' she really, really means it. But if music can offer a form of catharsis then her new single goes a long way to providing that. A hymn to the power of emotional abandonment, the video for 'Learn […]
    • Jason Nolan Gets Funky On 'Don King' July 27, 2017
      A primer for new EP 'Late Night City Hawks'...Jason Nolan ups the energy on funky new cut 'Don King'. The songwriter's debut EP 'Wonder Years' emerged last year, a release marked by a talent striving towards an individual voice. Follow up EP 'Late Night City Hawks' is incoming, with Jason Nolan able to share lead […]
    • French Montana - Jungle Rules July 27, 2017
      A cohesive and complete sounding album from the Bad Boy Records signee...French Montana has always divided hip-hop fans; you either love him or hate him. The Bad Boy Records signee has enjoyed a steady growth via the underground; from his first incarnation as Young French with his popular ‘Cocaine City’ DVD series to a solid mixtape run over the past decade. […]
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    • Sawdust City Music Festival July 27, 2017
      The inaugural Sawdust City Music Festival takes over Gravenhurst, Ontario this August long weekend. Running from August 4th – 6th the festival features performances from a plethora of talented artists from the area and all over Canada. Whether you want to check out the Muskoka music scene or experience the Jim Cuddy Family Band perform [...] Sawdust City Mus […]
    • Interview: Danko Jones July 21, 2017
      We sat down with John Calabrese, bassist of Danko Jones to talk about the band's impressive 20+ year career, most memorable moments and their newest album Wild Cat.  Interview: Danko Jones by Chart Attack | Chart Attack.
    • Interview: Kid Koala July 20, 2017
      Kid Koala chats with us about his chaotic party show Vinyl Vaudeville, his new album Music To Draw To: Satellite and working on . Interview: Kid Koala by Chart Attack | Chart Attack.
    • The Lemon Bucket Orkestra July 19, 2017
      A Toronto music staple Lemon Bucket Orkestra had humble origins as buskers in Kensington Market, the band’s ringleader Mark Marczyk spoke to the Chart Attack team about the evolution of LBO and their drive to keep performing live for (and with) their ever-growing audiences. The Lemon Bucket Orkestra by Chart Attack | Chart Attack.
    • Interview: Mix Master Mike July 17, 2017
      Mix Master Mike put on an epic show in Quebec City on Friday and again in Toronto last night. We chatted with him about his tour with Metallica and his new Virtual Reality work. Interview: Mix Master Mike by Chart Attack | Chart Attack.
    • Interview: The Dirty Nil July 14, 2017
      The Dirty Nil played one of their biggest shows in Canada yesterday. We caught up with the band just before the show to talk about opening for The Who, touring and Minimum R&B. Interview: The Dirty Nil by Chart Attack | Chart Attack.
    • Interview: A Tribe Called Red July 13, 2017
      A Tribe Called Red played their biggest show in Quebec yesterday at Festival d'été de Québec. We caught up with Bear Witness just prior to the festival to talk about We are the Halluci Nation. Interview: A Tribe Called Red by Chart Attack | Chart Attack.
    • FEQ in 2 Days! July 4, 2017
      Celebrating their 50th year this summer,  Festival d'été de Québec is throwing an epic bash from July 6th to July 16th. FEQ in 2 Days! by Chart Attack | Chart Attack.
    • Album Review: Prairie Cat’s Is Cary Pratt June 30, 2017
      The unconventional songwriter has been making waves with the release of his fourth album. Album Review: Prairie Cat’s Is Cary Pratt by Chart Attack | Chart Attack.
    • REVIEW: !!! (ChkChkChk) June 17, 2017
      Wednesday, June 14th at the Horseshoe Tavern: dance-punk at its finest REVIEW: !!! (ChkChkChk) by Chart Attack | Chart Attack.

Archive for the ‘Best Albums of 2017’ Category

Best Albums of 2017: Steelism – Ism

Posted by falconi5 on July 26, 2017

Steelism – Ism (Rating 4 out of 5)

At first listen, it would be natural for your ears to question exactly what is going on here. Is this some sort of hipster master plan to inhabit our brain and expose us against our will to sounds and textures not unleashed since the 60’s? Or, and this is more likely the case, are we seeing the go-forward template for quality music in general and the vibrant Nashville scene in particular.

Steelism is mostly an instrumental band with Jeremy Fetzer and pedal steel player Spencer Cullum serving as ring leaders for a circus that sound-melds should-be Bond Themes, Surf Guitar, and Clint Eastwood worthy Ennio Morricone lone gunman riding into Deadwood vibes

On Ism, the duo enlists a posse of the new wave of Nashville denizens including Andrew Combs, Ruby Amanfu, who does a back of the barroom Shirley Bassey inspired job on “Roulette” a song that could easily be a Bond theme, and Tristen who sparkles on the Pop gem “Shake Yout Heel. The opener, “Re-Member,” features an intro that sounds like it jumped right off the grooves of ELO’s version of “Roll Over Beethoven.” Fellow Nashville resident Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys must have been bus, otherwise he would have been hip to the scene joining in on the fun with Duane Eddy, his personal musical muse in tow.

Sprinkled throughout this landscape of textures and sounds are instrumentals that would fit in quite quite nicely in The Tonga Room in San Francisco, or at The Lei Low, our favorite Tiki Bar in Houston. 

Take yourself back in time and stay hip to the scene at the same time with a Singapore Sling at the ready and Ism on the turntable. Aloha!

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Best Albums of 2017: Mathew Ryan – Hustle Up Starlings

Posted by falconi5 on July 1, 2017

Matthew Ryan – Hustle Up Starlings (Rating 4 out of 5)

To prime the musical pump a bit, Hustle Up Starlings, the latest long player by Matthew Ryan, is best enjoyed by going back a year or so and giving his album Boxers a serious listen before you embark on new territory. The two records are pretty much companion pieces with Brian Fallon of Gaslight Anthem fame making a guest appearance on the former, and performance first chair production duties on the new record.  The Yin and the Yang of this listening exercise will expose you first to the anthemic “Born to Run” Matthew Ryan, followed up with the slightly more subdued “You Can’t Back Down” Tom Petty and REM inspired Mojo of this most excellent new release.

With the deep rasp of a voice that sounds like he just finished his last couple of packs of nicorette, think Pussy Cats era Harry Nilsson, Ryan blends slow worn weary ballads on songs like “It’s a Delicate Waltz” where he starts low, and jaunts his way along slowly picking up the tempo to a delicate crescendo. On “(I Just Died) Like an Aviator, pound for pound the best song on the record, you get a glimpse into the world of Matthew Ryan where real happiness seems to be a banana peel away.

On the title track, “Hustle Up Starlings,” things get subdued a bit reminiscing over a lost love, and on “Battle Born” things seems to be back on track. There is something to like on virtually every cut of this record, if you like singer like Butch Walker, Jesse Malin and Chuck Prophet, you will love Matthew Ryan.

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Best Albums of 2017: Ron Sexmith – The Last Rider

Posted by falconi5 on June 18, 2017

Ron Sexmith – The Last Rider (rating 4 out of 5)

Ron Sexmith is one of the many artists that is a real big deal north of the border, but largely obscure and very under rated in the United States. With Pop sensibilities that would make Brian Wilson blush, The Last Rider is a Pop masterpiece from start to finish.  The opening track, “It won’t last flows like the best ballad Elvis Costello has ever produced, and “Our Way” is finely produced love song that would have fit in quite nicely on a mid-70’s Kinks album.  “I Look into your eyes till I lose myself and the world starts turning our way” sets the mood just perfectly.

“Breakfast Ethereal” will put you in the Hot Tub Time Machine back to the land of Pet Sounds.  If Brian Wilson had a love-child with Rufus Wainwright who recorded an album that crossed the cosmic divide between Pet Sounds and The Beatles “Strawberry Fields Forever,” this song would have been the offspring.

And the cool vibes don’t stop there. Ron goes lower and a bit slower on “Shoreline” where the lush string arrangements bring forward the top-notch production values shown throughout by Sexmith who produced this album himself.

There is a slow build up in tempo all the way up to “Radio,” a song that be seems to share some DNA with the similarly named Al Stewart song, “Song on the Radio,” and with  “Dreams are Bigger” you get a sweet, pungent second-hand smoke whiff of Harry Nilsson.

After about 5 turns of the table, this platter gets better and better. There is literally not a bad song to be heard, and since the over/under for maintaining a relationship is three dates, it looks like Ron Sexmith, The Last Rider and I will be BFF’s for a very long time.

 

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Best Albums of 2017: Red Hot – A Memphis Celebration of Sun Records

Posted by falconi5 on June 17, 2017

Sometimes with compilations like this one, where the clock turns back to the early days of Rock and Roll, the results can be a bit over bloated and poorly produced with the song selections mostly standard “heard that song a hundred times” fare. Red Hot – A Memphis Celebration of Sun Records, is definitely been there, not that.

The song selections are mostly deep track cool with artists contributing to the project that are just under the radar, but if you have not heard of them are definitely work your ear-quiantence. Valerie June does a decidedly vintage version of Carl Perkins’ “Sure to Fall,” proving one again that she seems not capable of producing a boring effort, and Americana Singer Shawn Camp does Jerry Lee Lewis more than proud belting out “Lonely Weekends.”

The Album was recorded at both of the Historic Sun Studios, and to make things even better, all of the artists donated their time to this project with the proceeds going to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. The two more celebrated songs covered here, “Folsom Prison Blues” by Alan Youngblood Hart and “High School Confidential” won’t set the world on fire, but are more than solid renditions of songs we all have heard and love.

A favorite is John Paul’s Keith’s Rockabilly contribution, “Red Cadillac and a Black Mustache,” a Warren Smith cover. For extra credit, take a drive over to Bob Dylan’s cover of this song from Good Rockin’ Tonight, the Legacy of Sun Records, which is pretty much this record but with bigger names and less cool songs.

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Album of the Day: Blondie – Pollinator

Posted by falconi5 on May 6, 2017

For better or worse, and in this case very much for the better, Pollinator, the latest album, and the third to be released in the 2000’s by Deborah Harry and Blondie, just might be their best effort in the last 10 years.

The opener “Doom or Destiny” featuring backing vocals from Joan Jett could have been from the CBGB glory years, and “Long Time” could have been on the b side of the “Heart of Glass”  single. They sound just like Blondie.

The production value is slick and glossy with contemporary collaborations with Charli XCX on “Gravity” and Johnny Marr on “My Monster.”

There is not a bad cut on this record. If you are looking for a hot tub time machine trip back to a simpler time, Pollinator Just might be your jam.

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Album of the Day: Chris Stapleton – From a Room – Vol. 1

Posted by falconi5 on May 5, 2017

Chris Stapleton is on a serious roll. An overnight sensation decades in the making, Stapleton has written for likes of Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, George Strait and a Stetson full of other Country luminaries, a list that reads like a who’s who of the Grand Old Opry.

 Now, with From a Room – Vol. 1, a more than solid follow up to Traveller his 2015 break through record that earned him a CMA for Album of the Year, New Artist of the Year, and Male Vocalist of the year, the verdict is in. This dude is good.

While this record might not have the elephant in the room smash hit that was “Tennessee Whisky,” this rodeo is pound for pound every bit as good as its predecessor.  Weighing in at a mean and lean 32 minutes  The vibe is for the most part low and slow, with a sitting in the back corner of a Honky Tonk Bar an hour before closing time sipping on long necks watching the dance floor spin sort of pace to the proceedings. 

70’s Outlaw Country is the order of the day.  His mellower than the original take on Willie’s “The Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning” is a crown jewel, and “Death Row” keeps it real offering ip a prisoners eye view of what it is like on death row.   

“Up to No Good Livin'” is a good old fashioned barroom lament, and Stapleton throws it down and takes a walk on the Blues Rock side with “Second To No One.” Things go one toke over the line with “Them Stems,”  where our hero has found himself in a predicament when his woman leaves him, his dealer is out of town, and he  is forced to smoke them stems.

This whole record goes down real smooth. There is just enough meat on the bone to keep you satisfied, and just enough held back to leave you wanting more. 

Bring on Volume 2.

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Best Albums of 2017: Greta Van Fleet – Black Smoke Rising

Posted by falconi5 on May 2, 2017

GretaVanFleet

One of our favorite (So Far) albums of the year is Black Smoke Rising the debut E.P. from the Frankenmuth, Michigan band Greta Van Fleet, although their output is sparse, other than this E.P. available right now in download format only, there is only a live CD released in 2014. Named after one of Frankemuth’s more esteemed citizens, there actually is a Gretna Van Fleet.  The band came up with the name when they were asked what they were called just before a gig.  Before they could come up with a suitable name, one of their family members said they had to leave because he had to go mow Gretna Van Fleet’s lawn, and the name stuck.

While the band’s stated influences veer more the the Joe Cocker, Wilson Pickett, and San and Dave, the vibe here is pure 70’s Blues Rock with a distinct Led Zeppelin meets Jack Jack Black sound that is best heard at escalated volumes. Sure, they are flying a bit too close to the Zeppelin sun here with Josh Kiszka’s soaring back of the room vocals pretty spot on to Robert Plant’s wail, but don’t judge too harshly before giving this one a few close listens. This is no Zep tribute band.

If you like good old fashioned hair on fire Rock and Roll, this is the band for you and in a tidy 4 songs you can get lost in the haze and party likes it’s 1972.

The Bands Website

Album Review from Pop Dust

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Five Cool Ones: Five More Cool New Album Releases

Posted by falconi5 on April 10, 2017

 

5Little Bandit – Breakfast Alone

Little Bandit is the band name that singer songwriter Alex Caress uses to apply his trade as a deftly skilled artist that walks that fine line between old school Country, older school country, and rhinestone cowboy Country.

Not since Eddie Noack’s Psycho” has has a tune so nonchalantly addressed murder and mayhem as Caress does here on “Platform Shoes,” and this is not even the darkest song on the record.  With a voice that elevates somewhere between Roy Orbisson and Bobby Darin, this album will push all of your emotional buttons.

 

Andrew Combs – Canyons of My Mind

In Nashville, a city where you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a brilliant Americana singer songwriter, Andrew Combs stands out.  His latest album, Canyons of my Mind is in the mode of Elliott Smith, Nick Drake, or Bon Iver, with a heavy whiff of early era Glen Campbell particular on “Rose Colored Blues,” a song that seems to share some DNA with “Gentle on My Mind.”

 

Coco Hames – Coco Hames

Attempting to apply any one genre to Coco Hames is not an easy endeavor.  The gamut is run from Go Go’s style 80’s swagger on “I Don’t Wanna Go” to Bangles sounding “Long Time Comin” every song’s an eclectic winner. “I Do Love You” goes all the way back into 60’s girl group territory, and “Tiny Pieces” could have been a Replacements song which makes sense since it is a cover from Tom Stinson’s side piece Bash and Pop band and features vocal sharing with John McAuley of Deer Tick. Simply put, outstanding!

 

Danny Worsnop – The Long Road Home

If you are a fan of his British metal-core band Asking Alexandria, you probably should put your ears on cruise control right past this record. If, on the other hand, you are a fan of confessional, easy on the ears Country Rock give this one a try. Forgive him for going all Kenny Chesney on “Mexico” since all will be forgiven with cool mini-anthems like “Midnight Woman” and the Honky Tonk ready “Don’t Overdrink It.”

Sunny Sweeny – Trophy

When the album starts with the line “Bartender, don’t shake your head at me,” you get a pretty good idea as to what is going to be shortly in store for your ears. And it’s all cool.  From tear in your beer ballads with “Pass the Pain,”  to screw it, let’s have fun stompers on the Miranda Lambert inspired “Better Bad Idea,”  and straight on vintage Country that she pulls out on “I Feel Like Hank Williams Tonight,”  all of the back to the barroom elements are checked off.  Trophy might get some nods for best Country album of the year.

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Best Albums of 2017: Hurray for the Riff Raff – Navigator

Posted by falconi5 on April 2, 2017

navigatorIf you have not had a chance, do your ears a solid and check out Small Time Heroes, a couple of years back record from Alynda Segarra and her New Orleans based collective known as Hurray For The Riff Raff. Pay particular ear-tention to the tunes “The Body Electric,” and “Levon’s Dream.”

Now, with the pump primed and expectations appropriately set high, fast forward to 2017 and her latest effort, The Navigator. Part auto biographical concept album, part get things off her chest/subtly political treatise, this one might be in contention for album of the year.

With a delivery that floats and soars somewhere between Jenny Lewis and Patti Smith, Segarra shares he hardscrabble life on the road story from the perspective of a 17 year year old runaway with a story to tell on the powerful “Living in the City,” as the daughter of proud Puerto Rican parents on “Rican Beach,” and  delves into protest song territory with Pa’lante, a song that ebraces pride of heritage and expresses the notion that if you want to move forward, you have to know where you came from.  This is a powerful record for powerful times.

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Five Cool Ones – Five Cool New Releases for 2017

Posted by falconi5 on February 27, 2017

52017 has already been pretty much a banner year for album releases and it is only March.  Ryan Adams has come up with another winner, John Mayer has gone a bit Alternative Country with his new e.p. The Search for Everything – Wave 2, and Rhiannon Gidden’s Freedom Highway will be a sure fire entry on most of end of year lists. On top of these fine selections, here are 5 cool new albums released in 2017 that should be on your radar.

The Orwells – Terrible Human Beings

Blending the best Garage Rock influence from The Standells to The Troggs and the Flaming Groovies, Terrible Human Beings could have been released in 1967 Detroit or 2017 and it would have sounded just as fresh. “They Put a Body in the Bayou” is a corker as is pretty much the entire record.

 

Wyldlife – Out on Your Block

A blast of fresh Rock and Roll air, Wyldlife has released what will probably will be the Rock album of the year. Mixing The Sweet, Slade, with a touch of Bay City Rollers mixed in just for fun, you can’t help but be in a good mood after listening to this record.

 

Thundercat – Drunk

With a stellar guest list that includes Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, Pharrell, and check this, Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald, this album can even make Yacht Rock sound cool.

Old 97’s – Graveyard Whistling

If The Old 97’s with Rhett Miller didn’t invent Alternative Country, they certainly are in the conversation. There are plenty of prime cuts to enjoy on this one including “Irish Whiskey Pretty Girls,”  “Good With God,” and “She Hates Everybody.”

 

Aaron Keylock – Cut Against the Grain

If you are looking for that next great guitar slinger that is going to carry the torch passed from Joe Bonamassa, Aaron Keylock is your dude. Cut very much in the 70’s Lynryrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, Aerosmith mold, Cut against the Grain is a mature effort from a youthful guitar prodigy.

 

 

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