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    • Shop Small and Save Big with Under the Radar’s Memorial Day Sale - 35% Off Subscriptions
      Summer's here and we've got your poolside reading material for you, the best independent music magazine under the sun! And this long weekend is the perfect time to add Under the Radar to your summer reading list, as we are having a Memorial Day Sale.
    • Soundtracking the Resistance - Trump Goes Abroad
      This politics column thing has been rolling along for a few weeks now and it's time to move to the next level. Here, and from now on, you'll find different sections bringing a main story, a brief news round-up, words direct from musicians themselves, and the song of the week.
    • Soundtracking the Resistance - Trump Goes Abroad
      This politics column thing has been rolling along for a few weeks now and it's time to move to the next level. Here, and from now on, you'll find different sections bringing a main story, a brief news round-up, words direct from musicians themselves, and the song of the week.
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    • Five Best Songs of the Week: alt-J, EMA, Kirin J Callinan, Washed Out, and Ride
      To help you sort through the multitude of new songs released in the last seven days, we have picked the five best. Below that we have also highlighted other notable new tracks shared this week. This week was light on exciting new songs, likely due to the impending long Memorial Day holiday weekend, but there were still pleasures to be found.
    • Listen: The Charlatans - “Plastic Machinery (Sleaford Mods Remix)”
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    • Washed Out Shares New Song - “Get Lost”
      Washed Out (aka Ernest Greene) has shared a new song, "Get Lost." Right now it's just a standalone single, no new album has been announced, but he does have some tour dates in July.
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    • Drum 'N' Bass Producer Marcus Intalex Has Died May 28, 2017
      Tributes pour in for pivotal underground figure...Drum 'n' bass producer Marcus Intalex - real name Marcus Kaye - has died. The producer helped push drum 'n' bass into the 21st century, continually finding new threads of innovation within his sound. Marcus Intalex released his debut album '21' back in 2011, toasting 21 years in […]
    • Ariana Grande's Statement Is Beautiful May 28, 2017
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    • Frank Ocean Pulls Out Of Primavera May 28, 2017
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    • Cadet Smashes It On 'Instagram Girls' May 27, 2017
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    • Diadora x Titolo Intrepid Five Almonds May 26, 2017
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    • Listen: Lauv - 'I Like Me Better' May 26, 2017
      Sunshine pop with a contagious sense of intelligence...There's something about Lauv. The Los Angeles pop artist has that golden touch, that feeling of connection which runs through so much fantastic music. Making sure that each step counts, Lauv recently broke his silence by releasing new single 'I Like Me Better'. Impeccably produced, the shu […]
    • Clash DJ Mix - Warren XcInce May 26, 2017
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    • Listen: HAARM - 'Endangered Species' May 26, 2017
      Rising Liverpool three-piece impress...Rising Liverpool trio HAARM have shared new cut 'Endangered Species' - tune in now. The band have been working at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios near Bath, aiming to follow up the viral success of their opening two cuts. For a project in the middle of a whirlwind of hype 'Endangered Species' feel […]
    • Pierre Kwenders On The Power Of Language May 26, 2017
      Montreal artist writes for Clash...Language is one of the most important tools of connectivity on the planet. It's something that can be enormously expressive, rendering a multiplicity of emotions in stark, evocative style. Pierre Kwenders has learned this lesson well. Based in Montreal but born in Congo, his upcoming album features production from Shab […]
    • Noel Gallagher Talks 'Don't Look Back In Anger' May 26, 2017
      And that emotional video from Manchester...Noel Gallagher has spoken about the continuing appeal of 'Don't Look Back In Anger'. The songwriter turns 50 this weekend, and took time out to chat with Radio X presenter Jon Kennedy. The conversation turned to the Oasis classic 'Don't Look Back In Anger', prompted by an emotional rend […]
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    • FORMER VAN HALEN MANAGER, NOEL MONK, DISHES ON THE BAND IN “RUNNIN’ WITH THE DEVIL” OUT JUNE 13TH May 28, 2017
      Excerpt courtesy of Confidential of the New York Daily News: Eddie Van Halen is one of the best guitarists of his generation, but he might have trouble passing a sixth grade health test. Former Van Halen manager Noel Monk recounts the time Eddie was hit with a paternity suit while engaged to Valerie Bertinelli. The... Read more
    • SINGER CHRIS CORNELL REPORTEDLY HAD MARKS ON HIS ARM May 26, 2017
      Musician Chris Cornell reportedly had track marks on his arm when his body was found, according to a report Thursday. The legendary musician used an exercise band and a clip device to hang himself on May 17th, but sources close to the investigation now tells TMZ that the singer also had marks on his arm... Read more
    • GUNS N’ ROSES ANNOUNCES TWO MADISON SQUARE GARDEN PERFORMANCES May 25, 2017
      Unstoppable rock music icons Guns N’ Roses will electrify fans into the fall, announcing today a series of fifteen additional North American Stadium and Arena stops on their ongoing worldwide Not In This Lifetime Tour. Produced by Live Nation, the exhilarating global phenomenon is letting fans get closer with a newly added round of arena... Read more
    • 5/24: ROCKLAHOMA AND TULSA BROADCASTS ARE HERE FROM THE HARD ROCK! May 24, 2017
      Rocklahoma is here! I’ve had the honor of hosting this festival, really one of the first of the rock festival wave, since it started in 2007. I fy to Tulsa tomorrow and will be spending an extended amount of time in that area. That’s because I am also hosting a show with Tom Keifer June... Read more
    • LIVE TO REPLACE SOUNDGARDEN AT ROCKLAHOMA ON MAY 27TH May 24, 2017
      With the original lineup together after an eight-year hiatus, and coming off of an incredible performance at Rock On The Range last weekend, Live has been added to the Rocklahoma lineup for Saturday, May 27th. Live will be stepping in for Soundgarden, who are unable to perform due to Chris Cornell’s untimely passing. Following Live’s... Read more
    • MR. BIG STREAM “1992” May 22, 2017
      As previously reported, Mr. Big will be releasing their new album, Defying Gravity, on July 7th. The band is streaming a new song song called, 1992, from the record, which can be streamed below. In addition to releasing a new CD, Mr. Big will be also be hitting the road. See the dates, for the... Read more
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      Ruben Mosqueda of Metal Titans spoke with Diamond Head guitarist, and founder, Brian Tatler. Highlights from the interview appear below. MetalTitans: There are parallels between UFO and Diamond Head stateside; both acts caught the collective ear of American Metal musicians and cite Diamond Head as a direct influence. While you didn’t sell millions of records […]
    • CHRIS CORNELL’S WIFE QUESTIONS WHETHER MEDICATION PLAYED A ROLE IN THE SINGER’S DEATH May 20, 2017
      Vicky Cornell, the wife of Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, issued a statement on May 19th remembering her late husband, who died the morning of May 18th at the age of 52, and speculated whether his suicide was the result of taking too much of his anxiety medication. “Chris’s death is a loss that escapes words... Read more
    • SINGER CHRIS CORNELL’S DEATH RULED A SUICIDE May 18, 2017
      As reported earlier, singer Chris Cornell passed away yesterday. There were questions raised as to whether the death was a possible suicide, as the vocalist was found with with a band around his neck. Unfortunately, a new report by the Associated Press, reveals that to be the case. The medical examiner determined that singer did... Read more
    • 5/18: RIP CHRIS CORNELL. EXTENDED TRUNKNATION TODAY LIVE 1-4PM EST ON SIRIUSXM 106 VOLUME May 18, 2017
      Like many, I woke up today to the tragic news that one of rocks all time great singers Chris Cornell was dead at 52. For decades when anyone would ask me about my favorite late 80’s/90’s bands I would often answer Soundgarden, and that was largely due to Chris’ voice. Even when we had a... Read more
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    • Festival d’été de Québec Adds Another Round of Performers May 25, 2017
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Archive for the ‘Five Cool Ones’ Category

Five Cool Ones: Five (More) New Album Releases

Posted by falconi5 on April 26, 2017

 

5

Imelda May – Life Love Flesh Blood

The first thing your ears will notice if you are a long time fan of Imelda May is that the vibe is a noted departure from her Tainted Love, Jeff Beck Muse, Rockabilly persona.  And that, my friends, seems to be a very good thing.  More Jenny Lewis and Neko Case than Wanda Jackson, “Call me” is a cocktail lounge stunner, and “How Bad Can a Good Girl Be” is sublime Chris Isaak noir at its best.

 

Rodney Crowell – Close Ties

Close Ties, the latest long player from Rodney Crowell is one heck of a record, and if there was ever a doubt that Crowell is one of the best songwriters in the business, the topic is officially closed, and the verdict rendered. He is, and there is no doubt. The two stand out tracks are the album opener, “East Houston Blues,” a song that chronicles back in the day life in the third ward of Houston, an eclectic hodge-podge composed of various ethnicities with a vibrant club scene, and the closer “Nashville 1972,” a tune that takes you back to Rodney’s move from Houston to the music city.

Everybody who’s anybody is name checked here from Willie and Guy Clark to Steve Earle, and on to Tom T. Hall and Townes Van Zandt.  Heck, even skinny Dennis makes an appearance.  Sandwiched in between are 8 more story vignettes that include most notably “Life Without Susanna” who must be one heck of a woman since along with being Guy Clark’s wife she also seems to have been a muse for both Rodney and Townes Van Zandt. Don’t sleep on “It Ain’t Over Yet,” a song that features John Paul White, formerly of the Civil Wars, and Roseann Cash.

 

White Reaper – The Worlds Best American Band

If you can get back the tongue in cheek album title, and you should, you will find under the covers a very solid up and coming Rock and Roll Band.  Hailing from Lousville, Kentucky, this solid four piece band delivers a more than solid set of bouncy Garage Pop tunes that have bring a distinct 70’s feel to the proceedings.

 

Sean Rowe – New Lore

Listen to at least two songs from New Lore, the latest from Sean Rowe, at lest 2-3 times before you pass judgment. With sufficient whistle wetting, you will then be profoundly used to his heavy baritone voice, and will be begging for more. His laid back vibe coupled with knob twirling production that fits his aura just perfectly, this is one you will return to over and over again.  If you like the work White Buffalo did for the soundtrack of Sons of Anarchy, you will love Sean Rowe.

 

Blackfoot Gypsies – To the Top

Don’t pass judgment on the Blackfoot Gypsies based on the song titles alone on their latest album, To the Top.  After all with songs like “Back to New Orleans,” “Velvet Low Down Blues,” “I Wanna be Famous,” and “I’ve Got the Blues,” this has to be a Glam Band, right.  Well not exactly, Blackfoot Gypsies are exactly who you think they are, a hard charging bluesy Rock and Roll band that will remind you of The Black Crowes, The Rolling Stones, and Chuck Berry with a bit of Foghat thrown in for good measure. And yes indeed, that is Margo Price helping this Nashville based band out on Potatoes and Whiskey.

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Five Cool Ones: Five Cool Chuck Berry Covers

Posted by falconi5 on March 22, 2017

5.jpg

In recent days, the great Chuck Berry has received many well deserved accolades with everyone from Paul McCartney to Dave Grohl adding their voices to the chorus giving praise to The Godfather of Rock and Roll. But don’t sleep on the songwriting.

Mostly overlooked for his verse, Chuck could spin a novella in the structure of 2:30 Rock and Roll song.  If you want proof, just listen intently to “Brown Eyed Handsome Man,” “Down Bound Train,” or “House of Blue Lights” just to name a trio.

As far as cover versions go, neither The Beach Boys nor The Rolling Stones would likely exist, as we know them anyway, without Chuck Berry.  And, The Beatles certainly paid homage to the duck walker in their early days. The number of artists that cover Chuck Berry songs is long, eclectic, and awesome.  Here are five of our favorite cover versions.

Brown Eyed Handsome Man

Paul McCartney did a fun, almost head scratching, zydeco version on Run Devil Run, Lyle Lovett takes it low and a bit slower on his Release Me album, and Nina Simone even rocks it up a bit with her rendition. But, the winner is:  TajMahal

 

Roll Over Beethoven

With all due props to the spacey neo Classical riffs on the Electric Light Orchestra version, and the Rocking vibe from the Beatles effort that proves that The Beatles could have been one hell of a Rock and Roll band if they put their guitars to it, the winner here his Mountain with their 70’s Rock riffage courtesy of Leslie West and company. Don’t Bogart that joint.

Rock and Roll Music

Lot’s of cool and eclectic choices. The Beach Boys version from Beach Boys 15 Big Ones is for purists only. The Beatles version is pure gold with John Lennon firmly cementing his position as the pure Rock and Roll singer of the group. But our favorite is from REO Speedwagon and Nine Lives. The boogie-woogie piano and harmonica riff mid-song is worth the price of admission alone.

 

Around and Around

There is really no need to mention any other version here. The Rolling Stones epic bom-diggity, drop the mic, it’s over rendition on 12X5 is the only cover version you really need to hear. Mick’s turn on “Under the Boardwalk” from the same record is worth some ear time as well.

 

Johnny B. Goode

Don’t ever listen to another version of this song.  The Chuck Berry version is the Holy Grail of Rock and Roll.

 

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Five Cool Ones: Five Cool Versions of Mr. Bojangles

Posted by falconi5 on December 4, 2016

5Jerry Jeff Walker – Mr. Bojangles

From the Jam in the Van series, the man who wrote the song.

Tom Jones and Sammy Davis Jr. Mr. Bojangles

A brilliant collaboration.

Whitney Houston – Mr. Bojangles

A bit of an out of the blue version here, but it is still pretty good.

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Mr. Bojangles

Second favorite version.

Sammy Davis Jr.

Was probably introduced to the song with this version.

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Five Cool Ones: Five New(ish) Bands We are Grooving To

Posted by falconi5 on August 28, 2016

 

5Dreamers – Drugs

Dreamers is a Los Angeles based three-piece band that weaves solid festival-ready hooks with sharp lyrics with an infectious energy that never overwhelms and rarely lets up. Their debut long player This Album Does Not Exist, while somewhat poorly named, is terrific. Key stand out tracks are “Drugs” a song that addresses a different type of drug with the addiction to technology, and “Wolves (You Got Me)” covers another type of addiction.  To the opposite sex. This band should be on your ones to watch list.

 

 

Mother Feather – Mirror

First there was Rock, then there was Pop, now there is Pop Rock. And N.Y. Based Mother Feather do it in style. If you are not careful you will dismiss this dual frontwoman band led by Ann Courtney and Elizabeth Carena a shock rock, all hat no cattle glam rock outfit that pays more attention to the Kiss style make up and the outfits than they do their music.  But you would be wrong.  Very wrong.

Their music is self-described as Pop Cock Rock with a touch of female empowerment along with nuances of Lady Gaga, Karen O, Kiss, and Beth Ditto. Must hear songs from their new self-titled album are “Mirror,” “Trampoline” and “Mother Feather,”  just to name a few shiny apples from a bushel of excellent tunes.

Lisa Hannigan – Fall

It’s always good to discover, or re-discover in this case, a musician that has been around for a spell and has a bit of a back catalog to enjoy along with their current case.  Such is the case with Irish singer, songwriter, musician, Lisa Hannigan who is best known for her collaboration with Damian Rice.  Having just released At Swim Hannigan also has two beautifully atmospheric records under her belt with Sea Sew released in 2008, and Passenger in 2011.

L.A. Salami – The City Nowadays

You can find the roots of 70’s singer songwriter troubadour all over Dancing With Bad Grammar, the debut album from L.A. Salime, the stage name that U.K. based Lookman Adekunte Salami goes by.  There is a lot of Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Elliott Smith, and Rodriguez in the spirit of this one with Salami turning the mundane into magic with his dense lyrics and everyday life storytelling.

Larkin Poe – Trouble in Mind

This is another one of those been around for a minute, but are new to us bands. Atlanta-based sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell deliver a more than solid of gritty Garage Blues with “Trouble in Mind” with the shout out to Freddie King as sparkling a song as you will hear all year,

 

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Five Cool Ones: Five Cool “Covers” Albums

Posted by falconi5 on August 7, 2016

5

Albums consisting entirely of songs made famous by someone else can be decidedly hit or miss affairs. When an actor like William Shatner gives birth to a record of space related songs on the horribly named Seeking Major Tom record, a platter that is an assault to the ears and absolutely tortures stone-cold classics like “Space Cowboy”, “Rocket Man” and “Walking on the Moon” and Pat Boone is given valuable studio time to cut 12 “Metal” tunes on In a Metal Mood: No More Mister Nice Guy covering  “Metalclassics “Smoke on the Water” and “Love Hurts” along with an absolutely horrid version of “Holy Diver” that warrants Ronnie James Dio coming back from the dead to kick Pat Boone’s ass, a legitimite case can be made to ban the genre altogether.

And then there are the good ones.  And there a lot of them. The Walkmen took their fandom to the next level with their nuanced recreation of Harry Nilsson’s Pussy Cat’s that was itself essentially a covers record, and the Flaming Lips recently came out with a somewhat bizaar guest driven track by track rendition of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band which is strangely cool, and is probably considered epic to a Flaming Lips fan, but hardcore Beatle fans would probably be better served checking out Cheap Trick’s Sgt. Pepper Live.

Willie Nelson has released a lot of really good covers albums, the best of which is probably Willie Sings Kristofferson, and even the iconic Bob Dylan has joined Rod Stewart with songs performed from the great American songbook.

Here are five top-notch artist covers albums very much worthy of some of your ear time.

Metallica – Garage Inc.

Very much a genre specific selection here, this one tend to veer slightly more to the rock side vs. the heavy metal bombastic playing we are used to from Metallica.  Scoring high marks for the song selection here with Seger’s “Turn the Page,” the Thin Lizzy anthem “Whisky in the Jar,” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Tuesday’s Gone,” this one is a mighty fine road trip record and on that will definitely scratch that hard rock itch.

 

Bryan Ferry – Dylanesque

When the first line of the song hits you between the ears “When you’re  lost in the rain in Juarez and it’s Easter time too” the line from “Just like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” this time delivered by Roxy Music front man Bryan Ferry, you immediately know that this version rides the same side of the track as the original, and that this song, or any other Bob Dylan song for that matter, is in the capable hands of a master. A master paying tribute to a master.  Highlights are “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” and the somewhat over looked classic “Make You Feel My Love.”  The version of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” might be the second best cover of the song just behind the almost death bed performance of the song delivered by Warren Zevon on The Wind.

 

k.d. Lang – Hymns of the 49th Parallel

This unique take on the covers genre, covering songs by Canadian artists, works well mostly due to the fact that two of the most brilliant songwriters ever just happen to be from north of the border in Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, and Joni Mitchell.  All of the arrangements here are short, sweet and too the point with k.d.’s voice on brilliant display front and center. “After the Gold Rush” and “Helpless” the two Neil Young songs presented here are first rate, and “The Day I Walk,” a song written by the criminally ignored (except by the critics) Bruce Cockburn is a pleasant surprise. The real stunner here, of course, is Lang’s version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. in a Beatles vs. Stones sort of debate the jury is still out among many as to which version is better. This one, or the Jeff Buckley version. While the studio version presented here is certainly terrific, seek out a live version.  It will change your life.

 

Dexys – Let the Record Show: Dexys Do Irish and Country Soul

Dexys, the later day version of Dexys Midnight Runners of “Come On Eileen” fame may not be that well known on certain sides of the pond, and lead singer Kevin Rowland certainly could shop in any mall in America without fear of recognition, but all of that being said, Let the Record Show: Dexys Do Irish and Country Soul is on fine record, forget covers record.

The album is 1/2 vinatge traditional Irish standards and 1/2 carefully curated from an eclectic palate of artist including Joni Mitchell, LeAnn Rimes, and The Brothers Gibb, with a couple of tasty nuggets from the great American songbook thrown in for good measure. “You Wear it Well” sounds perfect with the Dexy-fied arrangement and Rowlands exquisitely deep voice, and the Johnny Cash deep track 40 Shades of Green sounds like it could have been a traditional Irish ballad, Country style.

The opener “Women of Ireland” is a beautiful instrumental and a perfect mood setter to carry you on a sea voyage to the Emerald Isle. “To Love Somebody” is brilliant, and “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen” is stunning.

This record released in 2016 is a good one.  Better than good actually.

 

David Bowie – Pin Ups

This album, released between Alladin Sane and Diamond Dogs represented sort of the last hurrah for Ziggy Stardust, and Bowie was in fine peak form. Choosing a set of songs that were his personal favorites some of these songs were bona-fide hits of the day including The Easybeats “Friday on My Mind” and The Yardbirds “Shapes of Things” while others more are obscure deeper tracks by major acts like “See Emily Play” the Pink Floyd Song and the Who’s “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere.”  “I Can’t Explain” in the slowed down version presented here is distinctly different that the original, and “Here Comes the Night” is a scorcher.

Pin Ups was the swan song for Mick Ronson and the Spiders from Mars. What a way to go out.

 

Honorable Mention

Steve Earle – Towns

Jesse Malin – On Your Sleeve

Joseph Arthur – Lou

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Kicking Against the Pricks

Elvis Costello – Almost Blue

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Five Cool Ones: Five Cool Records Released in 2016

Posted by falconi5 on June 27, 2016

5It is never too late to start compiling your best of lists even though the year is just at the half-way point.  There has been a lot to sink your ears into including a couple of old souls in Iggy Pop and David Bowie, a sprinkle of fresh new and dynamic faces in Car Seat Headrest, and some real he done me wrong Country soon to be classics from the likes of Margo Price and Brandy Clark.

Here are five nice albums that come to our ear-tention.

Royal Jelly Jive – Stand Up

Dynamically Rock Chick fronted by the dazzling Lauren Michele Bjelde, San Francisco based Royal Jelly Jive is a band in the purest and best sense of the word. Combining Rock, Soul, Big Band, New Orleans Noir, and Swing into one intoxicating clam chowder, Stand Up puts it all together in one unique 13 song coming out party. It doesn’t hurt either that the band members are big Tom Waits fans with “Dear Mr. Waits” as a highlight of the album.

Tiger Army – V

V, the latest from the Los Angeles, Ca based Post Punk/Psychobilly band Tiger Army rocks it hard, and then it doesn’t. And that is exactly what makes this record so special. The turn on a dime vibe change from “Firefall” a scorcher of a tune to the low and slow “Prisoner of the night” makes this a something for everyone listen.

John Doe – The Westerner

Don’t worry, John Doe, the former lead singer of the Iconic uber-influential L.A. punk band X, has not gone soft.  He is simply aging very carefully and has gone California Cool. This one should be your Road Trip set list of the summer. Songs about trains, blue skies and wide open spaces, and simply going somewhere. Going somewhere,someplace,somehow.

Karl Blau – Introducing Karl Blau

If like many of us you are a bit depressed and have not quite gotten over the recent passing of Country music legends Guy Clark and Merle Haggard, Introducing Karl Blau just might be your antidote to sadness. With songs ranging in style from Buck Owens, to Merle Haggard and Glen Campbell Blau does New-School meets Old School exactly the way it should be done.

Whitney – Light Upon the Lake

Chicago based Whitney was formed by Max Kakacek following the demise of The Smith Westerns. The album is laid back, think laid back So-Cal surfer rock with a Bon Iver Midwestern edge. On the strength of two really terrific songs, “No Woman” and “Golden Days” along with the jazzy near perfect instrumental “Red Moon,” this one will be on your listening reel for a long time.

 

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Five Cool Ones – Five New “Outlaw” Singers

Posted by falconi5 on March 19, 2016

5Sure, you have heard of Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson, two of the beak-out “Outlaw” Country/Americana artists of the last few years.  But, lurking just below this stellar surface are a bunch of top-notch talents that are working in the genre that very much deserve some of your ear time.

Margo Price

If you listen to her latest single “Hurtin’ (On the Bottle) from the soon to be released album Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, you will take pause and not quite figure out what decade you are in. Signed as the first Country act to Jack White’s Third Man Records, Margo Price brings to mind many of the 70’s Country music vixens, most notably Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton.

Andrew Combs

A bit more Laurel Canyon than Music Row, Andrew Combs does Country Folk-Rock the right way in the Jackson Browne mode. His latest record These Dreams with stellar songs the likes of “Rainy Day Song” and “Suwannee County” vibing Guy Clark and Kris Kristofferson.

Aubrie Sellers

Aubrie Sellers is a Country Girl with a Rock Chick Attitude. As the daughter of Lee Ann Womack, you would thing that her musical muse runs more to the Countypolitan side. But you would be wrong. She calls her style of music Garage Country, and after a couple of kick-ass sessions with Light of Day, her newly released album, she couldn’t be more right.  Her guitar skills shine on the title track, and she goes low and slow on “Like the Rain” this is a refreshing candidate for Country record of the year already.

Daniel Romano

To state the obvious, Daniel Romano is retro. He has skipped the 70’s and 80’s all together and has gone all the way back to the best George Jonesin’ 60’s Gentleman Country this side of Marty Robbins and Bill Anderson. The vibe is so old it is new, and a welcome listen.

Sam Outlaw

If you are Jonesin’ for George Strait, Clint Black, and Clay Walker, and miss that more laid back Country Style, then Sam Outlaw will be your new favorite cowboy.

 

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Five Cool Ones – Rock Is Not Dead (2016 Edition)

Posted by falconi5 on February 27, 2016

5Don’t fall for the hype surrounding the Guns N Roses reunion.  It is going to suck. Stay away from the state fair circuit bands that are trying to present to you the songs you loved when you were in your 20’s with nary a member of said band gracing the stage.  Are you listening Foreigner? Instead, wrap you ears around the great bands that are touring right now, and will be assaulting your ears from now until at least the end of summer.  Rock is not dead. In fact, it is better than ever.

Monster Truck

Grand Funk Railroad is a major influence. This riff heavy band from North of the border. And it’s all good.

The Record Company

The sound is a bit raw and rootsy.  Think Jimmy Reed meets The Black Crowes. Everything about this band is cool.  Before the band formed literally from a Craig’s list ad that Chris Vos, lead guitar and singer, placed looking for buffs, the trio would hang out, drink beer, and listen to classic vinyl.  The passion for vinyl led them to picking up their own instruments and with their debut record Give it Back to You, they have come up with one of the best efforts of the early season.

Inglorious

Another Riff-ORama of a band with a distinct heavy Deep Purple Vibe. Singer Nathan James with his a voice that comes somewhere between Ronnie James Dio and David Coverdale, is worth the price of admission alone.

Wolfmother

Sure Wolfmother, Andrew Stockdale’s hard-driving band, has been around in some form or another for a bit now, and as late as 2005 was hailed as the next greatest Rock band. So this means that the new record, Victorious, must be a comeback of sortsAnd it certainly is. Set the speakers on 11, kick back, and let her rip.

Flying Joe’s

I am not sure what is going on there up there in Canada, but there has certainly been a lot of pure back-to-school Rock bands recently showing their wares all the way from the frozen tundra. This time we have  70’s style Black Crowes Blues Boogie, and on their latest, Let it Out, they play like their hair is on fire.

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Five Cool Ones: Five Cool Albums we are looking forward to in 2016

Posted by falconi5 on January 20, 2016

5While we wait with breath properly bated for the release of the New Roxy Swain release Beneath Full Moonlight coming very soon, along with The Ghosts of Highway 20, a record that should be another stellar effort from Lucinda Williams, here are five more tasty platters that should be worthy of some early ear time here in 2016.

Along with the five hot rockets highlighted below, The 1975 will be making an appearance this year, and the venerable Loretta Lynn will enter the fray with Full Circle with guest turns from Elvis Costello and Willie Nelson. Look for an updated version of “Fist City” that should be worth the price of admission alone.

And finally there is Yoko.  Yes, that Yoko. Her contribution to the year is Yes, I’m a Witch Too. This should be a drop the microphone runaway winner for the most appropriately named record of the year, or any year for that matter. It is doubtful that even the presence of Moby and Death Cab for Cutie on this one will be enough to save it from what is sure to be universal scorn.

Elton John – Wonderful Crazy Night

Here, we have 33rd album from Elton John.  Sure, while about 14 of stand out as musical treasures, roughly 14 are only slightly above or below average, and 4 are pretty much unlistenable, this one should stand front and center in the mostly stellar category. With Nigel Olsson and Davey Johnson from the glory Elton days back on board for the first time since The Captain and the Kid back in 1976, and knob twirling on the production side from T Bone Burnett, along with the Hemingway of Pop music Bernie Taupin back in the fold, good times should be had by all.

Lissie – My Wild West

In 2010 Lissie was poised for great things. While her career has not vaulted into the stratosphere quite as quickly as expected, she has released two pretty good records while establishing herself as an artist that can full envelop any cover song she chooses to attack. If you have not her cover version of “Stairway to Heaven'” stop right now and check it out. Her rendition of “Go Your Own Way” is pretty groovy. We are not quite sure what to expect with this one, but if “Hero” is any indication, we can’t wait to find out.

Lake Street Dive – Side Pony

Finally, our ears are a-twitter for the much-anticipated release of Side Pony from Lake Street Dive, the follow-up to Bad Self Portraits that came out in 2014. With Dave Cobb, most recently employed by Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson on the board for this one, there is can’t miss written all over it.

Bonnie Raitt – Dig in Deep

If you don’t like Bonnie Raitt, you should. You should, and I don’t want to know you. Dig in Deep, Her first album in 4 years, has 5 originals, the most since 1998’s Fundamental.

The Cult – Hidden City

The Cult.  Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. I said The Cult, and they have a new record coming out on February 5th. This means that that Elton John, The Cult, and Lucinda Williams all have records coming out the same day.  Another day that will live in infamy. I have scheduled an ear wax removal for February 4th to make sure I am at full strength.

 

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Five Cool Ones: Five Cool Living Country Icons

Posted by falconi5 on December 24, 2015

5The Mighty Merle is one of the last standing Country Music legends. Merle, Willie, Kris, Billy Joe Shaver, Guy Clark, there are not too many of the old guard left. If they come to your town they are a must check out.

Merle Haggard – Okie From Muskogee

Kris Kristofferson – Me and Bobby McGee

Willie Nelson – Always on my Mind

Billy Joe Shaver – I’m Gonna Live Forever

Guy Clark – My Favorite Picture of You

 

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