NEW RELEASES for May 18 2018 (out now) include:
Ry Cooder: The Prodigal Son
Aided by his son and chief collaborator, drummer Joachim Cooder, Ry puts a fresh, contemporary spin on long-treasured black and white church music on this soul-stirring album. Ry’s expressive vocals and elegant guitar work voice songs once sung by the Pilgrim Travelers, Blind Willie Johnson and the Stanley Brothers; you’ll also encounter some Cooder originals as you hear “Straight Street,” “Shrinking Man,” “Everybody Ought to Treat a Stranger Right,” “The Prodigal Son,” “Nobody’s Fault but Mine,” “In His Care,” “Harbor of Love” and more.
Courtney Barnett: Tell Me How You Really Feel
The Grammy and Brit nominated Courtney Barnett returns with her second album – Tell Me How You Really Feel. It follows her critically acclaimed 2015 debut album Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit, and a recent Top 10 collaborative record, Lotta Sea Lice, with Kurt Vile. One of the most distinctive voices in music, Courtney is known for mixing witty observations with unflinching self-assessment – fast forward to now and although all of the cleaver turns of phrase and an eye for story telling are still there; this new collection of songs see a more serious and outwardly tone capturing the current social landscape yet still retaining moments of intimacy and warmth. As the world becomes more familiar with Courtney Barnett these songs feel comforting and emphatic yet that raw energy and the ability to make the listener think still remain. Includes digital download.
Arctic Monkeys: Tranquility Base & Casino
Produced by James Ford and Alex Turner, the album was recorded in Los Angeles, Paris and London. Many of the songs featured on Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino were written by Alex Turner at a Steinway Vertegrand piano gifted to him as a birthday present. The album is the long awaited follow-up to the band’s 2013 album AM. Arctic Monkeys formed in 2002 in High Green, a suburb of Sheffield. The band consists of Alex Turner (lead vocals, rhythm/lead guitar), Matt Helders (drums, vocals), Jamie Cook (lead/rhythm guitar) and Nick O’Malley (bass, backing vocals). The band has won seven Brit Awards – winning both Best British Group and Best British Album three times, and have been nominated for three Grammy Awards. They also won the Mercury Prize in 2006 for their debut album, in addition to receiving nominations in 2007 and 2013.
Ray LaMontagne: Part of the Light
the seventh studio album from acclaimed singer/songwriter Ray LaMontagne. The album was written and produced by Ray LaMontagne and features the first single, “Such A Simple Thing.” Ray LaMontagne has released six studio albums, five of which have reached Top 10 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums chart and Billboard’s Digital Albums chart. Additionally, his 2010 album God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise won the Grammy for Best Folk Album. Each release from his catalogue over the last 13 years carries it’s own character and feel. Having worked with producers Ethan Johns, Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys and Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Ray’s vast sonic catalogue has been called everything from “a perfect throwback to the lost art of the album-length format,” from Entertainment Weekly to “epic and magical,” from Rolling Stone and “gorgeous and ambitious,” from Esquire. NPR’s All Things Considered said that Ray throughout the course of his career “has continued to push himself in different directions,” while People called Ray a “marvel of nature.”
Low Cut Connie: Dirty Pictures Part 2
Low Cut Connie’s fifth album. This little act from South Philly continues to dig in their corner of the sandbox, looking for something useful and real to offer their fans. Low Cut Connie is the hardest-working band in show business – no matter what the pay, what size the venue, no matter what definition of success is applied, Adam Weiner and the rest of the crew try to light the fire at every show and with every record. Dirty Pictures (part 2) reminds all of us, all the little people, to keep our fires lit at any cost.
Joan Armatrading: Not Too Far Away
Not Too Far Away is the nineteenth studio album by British singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading. Armatrading signed to BMG in 2018, and this is her first album for the label. In 2007 3 times Grammy nominated British singer songwriter Joan Armatrading became the first female UK artist to have debuted at number 1 in the Billboards Blues charts. She is also the first female UK artist to be nominated for a Grammy in the blues category.
Kelly Willis: Back To Being Blue
Kelly Willis is Back Being Blue, to take a color-coded cue from the title of her seventh album. It’s a shade she wears well, though long-patient fans might just say: You had us at back. They’ll take a new Willis record in whatever hue it comes, now that it’s been 11 years since her last solo release, 2007’s Translated from Love. The Austin-based singer/songwriter has hardly been MIA in the intervening years, having recorded and toured as part of a duo with Bruce Robison. But she’s setting the duet M.O. aside for do-it-alone mode, at least as far as the spotlight is concerned (Robison hovers just outside it this time as producer). Hers is a solo voice again, but it’s not necessarily sotto voce: This is an album of songs about lonesomeness that also happens to be a cracklingly good time.
Gretchen Peters: Dancing With The Beast
Dancing with the Beast puts female characters at the fore, from teenage girls to old women. And intentionally so. With the 2017 Women’s March and the #MeToo Movement as bookends to her writing time, Peters knew that a feminist perspective would be the critical core of the record. She admits, “You can trace the feminist DNA in my songwriting back to ‘Independence Day’ and probably before. The thing that 2017 did is just put it front and center.” Though Peters doesn’t consider herself a political writer, she is politically minded and, therefore, knew she had to address the 2016 election and all that has happened since… but in her own way. There’s a bittersweet beauty to the passing of time – the changes it brings are just as often heartbreaking as they are heartwarming. The inevitable tension that arises from that sway is Gretchen Peters’ most trusted muse. With melody supporting that melancholy, the songs on the new album combine to lift the effort over the high artistic bar set by her last outing, 2015’s award-winning Blackbirds. Whether a single sentence or a simple setting, once planted, even the tiniest seed can grow into a vision unto itself. Strung together and populated with strong and broken female heroines, those vignettes make up Dancing with the Beast and, indeed, Peters’ entire discography. Beauty tempered by dread, sorrow buoyed by hope, these are the ever-present tugs of war that make life worth living and songs worth writing. And they are the over-riding themes that make Gretchen Peters one of her generation’s most compelling singer/songwriters.
Soggy Marley: Rebelion Rises
The other day I was texting my pal Brian about New Releases, and my phone auto-corrected “Ziggy” to “Soggy”……Eight-time Grammy award winning musician and reggae icon Ziggy Marley releases his seventh full-length solo studio album, Rebellion Rises. Fully written, recorded and produced by Marley, this passionate and indelible collection of music encourages people to stand together in activism through love. “The rebellion begins in the mind, the melody, and the music,” assures Ziggy. “We are a conduit of that. The rebellion is consciousness. Now the consciousness starts spreading, we become aware and we rise.” No track embodies this message better than the album’s title track and official first single “Rebellion Rises.” A manifesto with a chant-like chorus, the song emboldens it’s listeners to use the power we all have as instruments of positive change around the world. “The better side of humanity, cannot let the side of humanity that push negativity and hatred be more willing,” Marley explained in a recent interview. “It cannot happen. It’s a battle of wills. We’ve got to have more will.” Rebellion Rises marks Ziggy’s first studio release in two years, following 2016’s critically acclaimed self-titled project which took home the 2016 GRAMMY® award for Best Reggae Album and marked his fourth consecutive debut at #1 on the Billboard Top Reggae Album Chart. No disrespect to Ziggy !
Brent Cobb: Providence Canyon
album from the Georgia-based country music singer/songwriter. Brent’s cousin Dave Cobb (now a highly decorated producer) helmed Dave’s 2006 debut and his 2016 album Shine On Rainy Day-and now they’re back together for Brent’s Providence Canyon release, a country-rockin’ gem full of richly detailed songs and some fine, fine grooves. The single “King of Alabama” (his loving tribute to Wayne Mills) joins “Come Home Soon,” “Lorene,” “Mornin’s Gonna Come,” the title track and more. Cobb’s musical style has been described as “blue collar country” with “bluegrass-leaning inclinations.” Some have noted that his sound is closer to Americana than contemporary country music.
Beach House: 7
the seventh full length album from dream pop band Beach House. “At it’s release, we will have been a band for over 13 years. We have now written and released a total of 77 songs together. Throughout the process of recording 7, our goal was rebirth and rejuvenation. We wanted to rethink old methods and shed some self-imposed limitations. In the past, we often limited our writing to parts that we could perform live. On 7, we decided to follow whatever came naturally. As a result, there are some songs with no guitar, and some without keyboard. There are songs with layers and production that we could never recreate live, and that is exciting to us. Basically, we let our creative moods, instead of instrumentation, dictate the album’s feel. For 7, we built a home studio, and began all of the songs there. Whenever we had a group of 3-4 songs that we were excited about, we would go to a “proper” recording studio and finish recording them there, in the process shortening the amount of time between the original idea and the finished song. 7 didn’t have a producer in the traditional sense. James Barone, who became our live drummer in 2016, played on the entire record. We also worked with Sonic Boom (Peter Kember), who became a great force on this record by shedding conventions and helping to keep the songs alive, fresh and protected from the destructive forces of recording-studio over-production/over-perfection.”
Leon Bridges: Good Thing
The river of soul music flows on deep and strong, and 26-year-old Leon Bridges is immersed in it’s life-giving current. The Forth Worth, Texas native and Grammy Award-nominated Columbia Records artist released his Gold-selling, debut album, Coming Home, in June of 2015 to critical and public acclaim. “I’m not saying I can hold a candle to any soul musician from the ’50s and ’60s,” Bridges says, “but I want to carry the torch.”. 2018 sees Bridges release his highly anticipated second album, Good Thing. Though Bridges has drawn comparisons to Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke, the millennial artist has spent his time in between albums making surprising collaborations with those outside of his designated genre. Bridges has toured with pop dreamboat Harry Styles and has been featured on tracks with rapper Lecrae and EDM duo ODESZA. Good Thing was released on May 4, and left off our last newsletter in error. That fact was pointed out by a subscriber via BookFace. Thank you! It’s good to know people read this thing….