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    • Jim James Shares Abbey Lincoln Cover “The World Is Falling Down”
      My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James is releasing Tribute To 2, an album of covers that is the sequel to his 2009 George Harrison covers EP Tribute To (which is also being reissued), on December 8 via ATO. He previously shared his cover of The Beach Boys' "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" (from their classic album Pet Sounds). Now he h […]
    • Watch Billy Corgan Perform “Tonight, Tonight” with a String Section for a Tiny Desk Concert
      Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins released a new solo album under his full name, William Patrick Corgan, Ogilala, last month via BMG. Now he's back to being just regular old Billy Corgan and he has stopped by NPR's offices to perform three songs as a Tiny Desk Concert. 
    • Under the Radar’s Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Part 1: Music Box Sets, Reissues, and Vinyl
      Welcome to Under the Radar's Holiday Gift Guide 2017. As in previous years, the guide will be split into various parts. This first part tackles music box sets and reissues, both on vinyl and CD. You would think that labels would have run out of old albums from the 20th century to reissue, but there appear to always be extra outtakes and previously unrel […]
    • Under the Radar’s Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Part 1: Music Box Sets, Reissues, and Vinyl
      Welcome to Under the Radar's Holiday Gift Guide 2017. As in previous years, the guide will be split into various parts. This first part tackles music box sets and reissues, both on vinyl and CD. You would think that labels would have run out of old albums from the 20th century to reissue, but there appear to always be extra outtakes and previously unrel […]
    • Phoebe Bridgers Shares Cover of Christmas Classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
      Los Angeles singer/songwriter Phoebe Bridgers released her debut album, Stranger in the Alps, in September via Dead Oceans. Now she has shared a cover of the Christmas classic "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." 
    • Yumi Zouma on “Willowbank”
      Even before they settled on an approach for writing and recording their sophomore album, Christie Simpson and her bandmates in the rising New Zealand synth pop troop Yumi Zouma knew what they wanted to avoid.
    • Lady Bird
      While most high school films tend to center around sexuality and friendship, Lady Bird finds a distinct balance between Christine’s social and home life. 
    • U-Men
      A few years before some provincial Pacific Northwest punks decided that Aerosmith rocked and ruled roughly as much as Black Flag, deigned to commit the scurrilous act of combining those two inputs, and eventually went on to worldwide stardom for said efforts, Seattle had U-Men. 
    • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXXIX
      If this truly is the final set of MST3K episodes on DVD, then it's a very fitting collection to go out on.
    • 6 Best Songs of the Week: Loma, Tame Impala, Björk, Anna Burch, Shame, and More
      As we get into the holiday season and build up to Thanksgiving next year there were inevitably less new songs of note this week, but there were still enough gems for a Songs of the Week post. We've got three songs from upcoming debut albums due out in 2018 and two songs from Tame Impala tied for #2.
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    • Who We Be: Austin Daboh Interviewed November 20, 2017
      Spotify’s senior editor discusses a new era in music discovery…For decades now, rap music has been at the forefront of progress and change in the music industry. While the majors were complaining about free downloads, mixtape rappers were becoming global superstars, making their money from live shows and endorsement deals, and now in the streaming era artist […]
    • New Forms, Fresh Influences: In Praise Of Roni Size & Reprazent November 20, 2017
      Toasting the drum 'n' bass masterpiece at 20...Drum 'n' bass was always an underground phenomenon. Explicitly, intricately British, it's skeletal framework - shattered breaks, dubbed out basslines - offered an entire universe of sonic possibilities. Released in 1997, 'New Forms' by Roni Size and Reprazent took drum 'n […]
    • Felt Box Set Incoming On Cherry Red November 20, 2017
      Containing their first five albums...Indie legends Felt are set to gather their first five albums for a new boxset on Cherry Red. The band emerged from the tail end of the post-punk era, going on to forge one of indie's most influential yet allusive catalogues. Releasing 10 albums and 10 singles for Creation and Cherry Red, these range from grey-flecked […]
    • Track Of The Day 20/11 - Shanghai Blues November 20, 2017
      'Swim'There's a steady sense of calm running through the music of Shanghai Blues. Perhaps it's an innate sense of zen, or maybe it's simply confidence in their abilities - whatever, the East London outfit certainly make some soothing noises. 'Swim' is suitably downcast, the calm after the storm, it feels like intense emotio […]
    • Next Wave #811: IDER November 20, 2017
      Challenging your perceptions of pop music…Pop music is blossoming through a glorious resurrection, with heightened credibility and critical recognition emerging for artists who make music equal parts thoughtful songwriting to sweet jams. North London duo IDER join this new wave of forward-facing pop talent with authenticity at their core; no stale stylistics […]
    • Brian Eno, Roger Waters Respond To Nick Cave November 20, 2017
      The songwriter accused them of "bullying musicians..."Brian Eno and Roger Waters have responded to Nick Cave's assertion that they are "bullying musicians" over their stance on Israeli shows. The Australian songwriter is set to play two shows in Tel Aviv, and held a press conference to explain his reasoning. Revealing that he had a l […]
    • Nike Air Force 1: The London Legacy November 20, 2017
      Featuring AJ Tracey, Little Simz and more...The popularity of Nike’s now iconic Air Force 1 model has remained a constant since it’s launch back in 1982, adopted and adapted by a range of subcultures and scenes the world over. The shoes significance in Baltimore during the mid-1980s, and New York’s long-standing love-affair are well documented, but London’s […]
    • Premiere: Wulfman Fury - 'Draw The Line' November 20, 2017
      Sheffield five-piece with energy to burn...Sheffield is a city that is never far from our mind. The Northern metropolis seems to spew out new groups on a weekly basis, often re-writing the rules in the process. Wulfman Fury are a freshly minted five-piece, releasing their debut single earlier in the year. The band's ferocious, unrelenting energy is driv […]
    • Win: Clash x First Fifty Tickets November 20, 2017
      Featuring Girlhood, Ebenezer, Benny Mails, and S4U...The Great Escape launched First Fifty as a means to showcase new music, taking hold of venues across East London in the process. Returning this week, Clash is delighted to co-host a special party at Birthdays, one of the top venues in the capital and just a stone's throw from our office. The line up - […]
    • Jack Grace Fuses Footwork And Gossamer Soul On 'us' November 20, 2017
      It's a dramatic statement from the Australian producer...Australia artist Jack Grace fuses the relentless percussive dynamics of footwork with digital soul on beautiful new cut 'us'. The rising songwriter is set to release new EP 'If I Tremble' early next year, matching a distorted vision of club tropes to some uniquely affecting son […]
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    • BILL WARD’S DAY OF ERRORS TOUR DATES CANCELED November 20, 2017
      Drummer Bill Ward has released the following statement: “Hi Everyone, It’s with great, great sadness that I must tell you I have to cancel the Day Of Errors tour dates scheduled in December. I wound up in hospital this past weekend with heart problems. I am OK and in good recovery at this time. However,... Read more
    • FIRST ANNUAL FRONTIERS “ROCK HOLIDAY BASH 2017” WITH L.A. GUNS, WARRANT, JACK RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE AND RIVERDOGS, HOSTED BY EDDIE TRUNK, SCHEDULED FOR DECEMBER 2ND November 20, 2017
      Frontiers Music SRL is proud to announce their first-ever U.S. Showcase at Southern California’s premiere rock club: The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, Ca. – Hosted by the Metal Maniac himself: Eddie Trunk of SiriusXM & That Metal Show. Kick-off your holidays with rocks’ icons L.A. Guns (featuring the reunion of Tracii Guns and Phil... Read more
    • 11/19: VERNON REID, BILL WARD AND MORE ON TRUNK NATION THIS WEEK November 19, 2017
      Hope everyone had a great weekend. Hey, even my Giants won, go figure! Short week this week coming with the holiday. Live tomorrow/Monday 2-4P ET on SiriusXM 106 Volume with guest Vernon Reid in studio. Then live on channel 39 Hair Nation 5-8P ET. Then Volume show replays 9-11P ET. So plenty of TrunkNation tomorrow!... Read more
    • 11/18: RIP MALCOLM YOUNG November 18, 2017
      More sad news in the rock world with the announcement that AC/DC founder Malcolm Young has passed away at just 64. This is not a total surprise. Mal had been in bad shape suffering from dementia and it was often said in the business that once he retired we had seen the last of him.... Read more
    • AC/DC GUITARIST MALCOLM YOUNG PASSES AT AGE 64 November 18, 2017
      Malcolm Young, guitarist and co-founder of AC/DC, died Saturday (November 18th) at the age of 64. Young had been suffering with dementia for the past three years, an illness that forced his retirement from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted band he founded with his brother Angus Young in 1973. “Today it is with... Read more
    • ANVIL RELEASE LYRIC FOR “EGO,” NEW ALBUM “POUNDING THE PAVEMENT” DUE JANUARY 19TH November 17, 2017
      Canadian Metal heroes Anvil release their first digital single and lyric video for the new song Ego today (November 17th). The song is taken from their forthcoming studio album Pounding The Pavement. Ego is a song where Lips spread his razor-sharp guitar riffs over the dynamic rhythm foundation courtesy of Robb Reiner and Chris Robertson,... Read more
    • KING’S X GUITARIST TY TABOR SET TO RELEASE “ALIEN BEANS” ON JANUARY 12TH November 17, 2017
      Iconic King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor will release his all new solo effort, Alien Beans, on January 12th through Rat Pak Records. Alien Beans is a double-disc album that features 10 all new studio tracks and a “best of” compilation disc. The “best of” disc is comprised of eleven re-mixed and re-mastered tracks personally selected... Read more
    • AMERICA SALUTES YOU AND WALL STREET ROCKS PRESENTS: GUITAR LEGENDS FOR HEROES ON NOVEMBER 29TH November 17, 2017
      America Salutes You and Wall Street Rocks have joined forces for an unforgettable benefit concert America Salutes You And Wall Street Rocks Presents: Guitar Legends For Heroes on Wednesday, November 29th at Terminal 5 (610 w 56th Street) in New York City. The unforgettable night is dedicated to our heroes to create national recognition as... Read more
    • AEROSMITH’S JOE PERRY ANNOUNCES SOLO ALBUM “SWEETZERLAND MANIFESTO” TO BE RELEASED ON JANUARY 19TH November 15, 2017
      Joe Perry–legendary guitarist, co-founding member, principal songwriter and co-producer of Aerosmith–is readying his new solo album Sweetzerland Manifesto for release on January 19th. Due out on his own Roman Records imprint (distributed worldwide by AMPED Distribution), Sweetzerland Manifesto marks Joe’s sixth solo album and is comprised of ten new tracks. […]
    • DIO HOLOGRAM EUROPEAN TOUR TO BEGIN DECEMBER 6TH IN GERMANY November 15, 2017
      Live music’s premier hologram production company Eyellusion, today announced new and updated dates for Dio Returns: The World Tour. Originally scheduled to begin in Helsinki, Finland, the tour featuring Ronnie James Dio reuniting via hologram with his Dio bandmates will now begin in Bochum, Germany on December 6th. The tour will make stops in Poland,... Read […]
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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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