New Music

The latest releases and other current music news

New Releases June 8, 2019

New Releases out now include:

The music world lost a true original this week with the passing of the great Dr. John

Dr. John LIVE in Tokyo
First time on CD Live concert recording from 1992 in Tokyo from Mac Rebennack aka Dr. John. His accompanying band at that time was The New Island Social Club Band, featuring Hugh McCracken. The Doctor pays homage to New Orleans classics as well as the great Ray Charles. The Doctor is even recorded playing guitar on Let The Good Times Roll. Let’s Gumbo, The Doctor’s in the house!



Bob Dylan: Rolling Thunder Revue the 1975 LIVE Recordings
A comprehensive anthology of music from the mythic first leg of Bob Dylan’s groundbreaking Rolling Thunder Revue, this 14CD box set includes all five of Dylan’s full sets from that tour that were professionally recorded. The collection also provides the listener with an intimate insider’s seat for recently unearthed rehearsals at New York’s S.I.R. studios and the Seacrest Mote in Falmouth, MA plus a bonus disc showcasing one-of-a-kind performances from the tour.

FEATURES:

  • 14-disc set
  • over 100 previously unreleased tracks
  • five complete shows, newly mixed
  • three discs of rehearsals
  • bonus disc of rarities

Disc Performance Dates:

DISC 1: S.I.R. Rehearsals, New York, NY – October 19, 1975
DISC 2: S.I.R. Rehearsals, New York, NY – October 21, 1975
DISC 3: Seacrest Motel Rehearsals, Falmouth, MA – October 29, 1975
DISC 4-5: Memorial Auditorium, Worcester, MA – November 19, 1975
DISC 6-7: Harvard Square Theater, Cambridge, MA – November 20, 1975
DISC 8-9: Boston Music Hall, Boston, MA – November 21, 1975 (afternoon)
DISC 10-11: Boston Music Hall, Boston, MA – November 21, 1975 (evening)
DISC 12-13: Forum de Montreal, Quebec, Canada – December 4, 1975
DISC 14: Rare Performances



PAVAROTTI
Original motion picture soundtrack. From the filmmaking team behind the highly-acclaimed documentary The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years, Pavarotti is a riveting film that lifts the curtain on the icon who brought opera to the people. Academy Award winner Ron Howard puts audiences front row center for an exploration of The Voice… The Man… The Legend. Luciano Pavarotti gave his life to the music and a voice to the world. This cinematic event features history-making performances and intimate interviews, including never-before-seen footage and cutting-edge Dolby Atmos technology.



Santana: Africa Speaks
Africa Speaks is the 2019 energy-infused, full-length album from Santana. It features the soulful vocals of Afro-Latin singer Buika and was produced by legendary producer Rick Rubin. Santana and his eight-piece band (featuring his wife, Cindy Blackman Santana, on drums), convened at Rubin’s Shangri La Studios in Malibu, and in a joyous and stimulating 10-day period they recorded an astonishing number of tracks, many of them in one take. Inspired by the melodies, sounds and rhythms of Africa, Santana has created a truly memorable and powerful experience that also promises to be one of his most groundbreaking albums yet.



Rickie Lee Jones: Kicks
Kicks is an eclectic album of ten cover songs – from “Mack The Knife” written in 1928 for a German musical (known in the U.S. as The Threepenny Opera) that became a jazz standard, to “Bad Company” the eponymous theme song for the British rock band written in 1974. The arrangement and instrumentation, by producer Michael Napolitano (Ani DiFranco), provides a fresh and modern sonic infusion on every song. Rickie Lee Jones skyrocketed to fame in 1979 when as a barely known artist she appeared on Saturday Night Live. Performing her biggest hit ‘Chuck E’s In Love’ in her trademark red beret, Time Magazine instantly dubbed her the Duchess of Coolsville. Since then she has gone on to win two Grammy Awards, appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone twice, and included in VH1’s 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll.



Neil Young: Tuscaloosa
Live archive release from the rock icon. Tuscaloosa includes highlights from his February 5, 1973 concert at the University Of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with The Stray Gators. The Stray Gators – the band on Neil’s classic album Harvest – consisted of Ben Keith on pedal steel and vocals, Jack Nitzsche on keyboards, Tim Drummond on bass and drummer Kenny Buttrey. Tuscaloosa follows the archival live albums Songs for Judy and Roxy: Tonight’s the Night, both released last year, and the “lost” studio record Hitchhiker, released in 2017.



Jonas Brothers: Happiness Begins
Happiness Begins is the fifth studio album by the Jonas Brothers and their first studio album since 2009’s Lines, Vines and Trying Times. In writing and recording for the album, the brothers said that they wanted a “new and improved sound” with “feel-good tracks”, so their A&R at Republic Records, Wendy Goldstein, got in contact with Ryan Tedder, Frank Black, Max Martin, Juliana Hatfield, Mike Ness, Shawn Mendes, Scooter Ward, Dimitri Coats, Jade Bird, Amanda Marshall, Rivers Cuomo, and Hope Sandoval to help compose and produce songs for them.



Kenny Wayne Shepherd: The Traveler
The Traveler, an album of experience and profound resonance by the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band. Recorded in Los Angeles, while the band was on a break from their uncompromising tour schedule that left them road-tested and ready to rock, The Traveler showcases some world-class musicians: vocalist Noah Hunt, drummer Chris “Whipper” Layton (formerly of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double Trouble), bassist Kevin McCormick, and keyboardists Jimmy McGorman and Joe Krown. The album features ten songs including eight new originals co-written by KWS and some of Nashville’s most in-demand songwriters, plus incendiary covers of Buffalo Springfield’s “Mr. Soul” and Joe Walsh’s “Turn to Stone.”



Silversun Pickups: Widow’s Weeds
New release from the alt-rock band. Widow’s Weeds, produced by Butch Vig, is the fifth studio album from Silversun Pickups. For their first studio album since 2015, these L.A. alt-rockers teamed with Vig to create a lean, driving sound that’s still steeped in sweeping drama and stark dynamic shifts. The lead single “It Doesn’t Matter Why” joins “Neon Wound,” “Don’t Know Yet,” “Bag of Bones,” “Straw Man,” the title track and more.


New Releases Out Now

New Releases out now include:


Mac DeMarco: Here Comes The Cowboy
Mac DeMarco returns with his album, Here Comes the Cowboy, the first album to be released on his new independent label, Mac’s Record Label. The album features lead single “Nobody.”
Check out the recent story on Mac DeMarco from The Press Democrat, written by our own Estefany Gonzalez yes



Rammstein
Good article in The New Yorker


 


Esperanza Spalding: 12 Little Spells
12 Little Spells finds Spalding conjuring in the medium of musical creation, through an exploration of the body, human energy and healing. Esperanza released one new spell per day on her website and social platforms as well as a “Liner Notes Live” hosted on Facebook all resulting in over 3.1 million views. The spells come in the form of new music, which was crafted by Spalding at a castle in Italy last month, and then recorded in sessions completed in Brooklyn. Each spell will be presented with song-specific imagery and video spells.



Christone Ingram: Kingfish
20 year-old blues firebrand comes bursting out of Clarksdale, Mississippi, with a sensational debut packed with piercing guitar, husky, impassioned singing and potent songwriting. Kingfish reinvigorates the blues with Ingram’s infectious, youthful fire. Ingram recently opened for his mentor, Buddy Guy at The LBC, and Buddy makes a cameo on “Fresh Out,” four-time Grammy winner Keb Mo is featured on a track and plays on five more, and Chicago blues harp master Billy Branch appears on one.



The National: I Am Easy To Find
I Am Easy To Find is The National’s eighth studio album and the follow-up to 2017’s Grammy-award winning release Sleep Well Beast. A companion short film with the same name will also be released with music by The National and inspired by the album. Oscar nominated Mike Mills, along with the band, is credited as co-producer of the album, which was recorded at Long Pond, Hudson Valley, NY with vocal contributions from Sharon Van Etten, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Lisa Hannigan, Mina Tindle and more. The two projects are, as Mills calls them, “Playfully hostile siblings that love to steal from each other” – they share music and words and DNA and impulses and a vision about what it means to be human in 2019, but don’t necessarily need one another. The movie was composed like a piece of music; the music was assembled like a film, by a film director. The frontman and natural focal point was deliberately and dramatically side staged in favor of a variety of female voices, nearly all of whom have long been in the group’s orbit. It is unlike anything either artist has ever attempted and also totally in line with how they’ve created for much of their careers.



The Head and the Heart: Living Mirage
Early last year, The Head and the Heart came together in the Mojave Desert’s Joshua Tree where they decided to shed old skin before writing their fourth album, Living Mirage, a sweeping, artful expansion of the earthy folk rock that once defined them. This recent “rebirth, a spirit quest of sorts,” as bassist Chris Zasche describes it, came from growing pains after their last album, Signs of Light: the amicable departure of guitarist-vocalist Josiah Johnson, replaced by Matt Gervais (husband to singer-violinist Charity Rose Thielen), and the return of keyboardist Kenny Hensley. With a new beginning underway, the writing and recording process continued out of the desert, moving to Appleton, Wisconsin’s The Refuge Fox Cities, West Seattle, Omnisound in Nashville, and Barefoot Recordings in Los Angeles with the help of Tyler Johnson and Alex Salibian (Harry Styles, Sam Smith, Cam) and engineer Ryan Nasci.



Jimmie Vaughan: Baby, Please Come Home
available on CD, and Limited Edition Aztec Gold Vinyl ! When it comes to the blues today, there are a handful of guiding lights to make sure the music stays true to its powerful source. The sound of pleasure and pain that first sparked musicians to create such a sound is a force that can never be underestimated. The mojo has to be there. Texas guitarist/singer Jimmie Vaughan has dedicated his life to making sure the blues not only stays alive, but remains full of life and an inspiration to all who listen. He’s held onto the spirit of the blues for more than 50 years, and he isn’t about to stop now. Vaughans first studio album since 2011, Baby, Please Come Home is a rolling and righteous celebration of everything the blues can be.



Rocketman Original Cast Recording
the original cast recording to the Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Rocketman. Directed by Dexter Fletcher (Bohemian Rhapsody) and Produced by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) the movie is a musical fantasy charting Elton John’s breakthrough years and stars Taron Egerton (Kingsman) as Elton John, Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot) as songwriter Bernie Taupin, Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) as manager John Reid plus Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World) as Elton’s mother Sheila Eileen



Flying Lotus: Flamagra
New release from the record producer, musician, DJ, filmmaker, and rapper. Enter Flamagra – a work that sweeps up every quantum advance and creative leap of the last dozen years of Lotus career and takes them even further; the Warp release encompasses hip-hop, funk, soul, jazz, global dance music, tribal poly-rhythms, IDM, the L.A. Beat scene, but it soars above a specific vortex whose coordinates can’t be accurately charted. Other than to say that it is a Flying Lotus record, perhaps the definitive one. An astral afro-futurist masterpiece of deep soul, cosmic dust, and startling originality. He s aided by a dream cast of collaborators: Anderson Paak, George Clinton, Yukimi Nagano of Little Dragon, Tierra Whack, Denzel Curry, Ishmael Butler of Shabazz Palaces, Toro y Moi, and his telepathic kinsman, Thundercat.



Mavis Staples: We Get By
Mavis Staples returns with a studio album produced and written by Ben Harper. Backed by Mavis’ critically acclaimed live band, We Get By features 10 songs of longing, strength, and spirituality, presented with simplicity, grit and sublime beauty. Highlights include the buoyant, “Anytime”, the cathartic, “Change”, and the title track, an uplifting duet with Ben Harper.



Morrissey: California Son
Morrissey has always worn his influences on his black-on-the-outside sleeves. For as much as he crowed about the New York Dolls and the Cramps in his youth, his music both with and without the Smiths has reflected more erudite lyricists with an overall lighter musical touch. For California Son, the Pope of Mope has picked 12 lilting tales of injustice and unrequited love by some of his favorite artists and re-orchestrated them for his voice, improving some and turning others into head scratchers.
The best here are the ones with adventurous arrangements. “Some Say I Got Devil” was originally an eerie, self-reflective folk number by Melanie, but producer Joe Chiccarelli has helped Moz turn it into a dramatic, almost Ennio Morricone–inflected expression of existential pain. Where Melanie sounded scared and disappointed, Morrissey sounds confidently resigned to a life of disappointment (no surprises there). Similarly, he and his band have beefed up Joni Mitchell’s arrangement of “Don’t Interrupt the Sorrow” — a hypnotic track off her underrated The Hissing of Summer Lawns LP — and Morrissey croons it like a modern easy-listening number, echoing Mitchell’s “you’re darn right” rejoinders with extra conviction.
“Suffer the Little Children,” a quivering, stuttering Buffy Sainte-Marie folk ballad, now sounds like a grand, Broadway number with hand claps and swaggering brass that comes off all the more over-the-top when Moz sings, “The Devil keeps his nails clean/Well, did you think he was a boogieman?” And his rendition of Roy Orbison’s challenging “It’s Over” is masterful, as he’s a rare rock singer his age who has such a range (and it should be noted that Moz is now eight years older than Orbison was at the time of his death.)
But some of the other numbers are more puzzling. The album has been marketed as a collection of protest songs, but scanning the love songs shows that’s not the case, and Morrissey has done no interviews so far to explain his viewpoint. Given recent controversies around his support of the ultra-conservative and exclusionary For Britain party, which have prompted a record shop in Wales to refuse to sell California Son, you have to question his motivations.
Nevertheless, here he is singing Bob Dylan’s “Only a Pawn in Their Game,” a retelling of civil-rights activist Medgar Evers’ assassination that somewhat absolves the killer’s racism because, the lyrics suggest, he was a tool of the political system. It makes you wonder what he wants listeners to take away from it. (And for the record, he sings it beautifully, tantamount in some ways to Stevie Wonder’s performance of “Blowin’ in the Wind” from a strictly vocal perspective.) There’s also Phil Ochs’ “Days of Decision,” about standing up to societal oppression and Tim Hardin’s sorrowful (and, in Morrissey’s hands, infinitely more listenable) “Lenny’s Tune” about the death of Lenny Bruce, who died from a morphine overdose. Perhaps he’s pointing out that after 50 years, the world is still ill? What is clear from the recordings, though, is that the songwriters here all took humanist stances on the wrongdoing they’re addressing.
Even more perplexing still here, are the droppings of AM radio fluff that seem to mean so much to him. Gary Puckett’s “Lady Willpower” is an unusually bright and brassy request for a woman to give him her will (and it doesn’t stray too far from the original arrangement). Laura Nyro’s “Wedding Bell Blues” (with an assist from Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong) is still curl-lipped, saccharine yearning in Morrissey’s hands. But his take on Dionne Warwick’s “Loneliness Remembers What Happiness Forgets” is peppy and easy — timeless pop comfort food — that makes the others feel a bit more at home.
Even without Morrissey explaining his motivations, the album is stil a look into his psyche. The track list suggests that he still thinks the world is headed for end times, that he still knows he’s unlovable, that he longs for excitement. They also confirm his tenacity and consistency considering he’s been talking about covering the Warwick number and Jobriath’s groovy, psychedelic “Morning Starship” for more than 25 years. And they show off his ageless voice, still a rich tenor that can slide up and down the scale with grace and melodrama. Most of all, the songs are each slightly skewed and often quite cynical. Perhaps the most revealing thing here is what we’ve always known: Heaven knows he’s miserable (and he’s OK with that).



Black Mountain: Destroyer
New release from the Canadian rock band. Destroyer is structured around that first time behind the wheel of a hot rod. The fat, charging “Living After Midnight” riffs of opener “Future Shade” is, according to band member Stephen McBean, ‘Straight outta the gates. FM radio cranked.’ He ain’t kidding. The song, and all of Destroyer for that matter, seems to exist at that crucial nexus of the early-to-mid 80s Los Angeles when a war between punk and hair metal was waged. Black Flag’s “My War” tried and failed to keep the peace. But in the trenches, some hybrid ghoul was beginning to form in bands like Jane’s Addiction and White Zombie. Shacked up in his rehearsal space, McBean found an old chair in an alley, spray painted Producer on the back and pressed record. Friends from the endless rock’n’roll highway were invited over and 22 songs were brought to life. While some were laid back into shallow graves to dig up once again at a later date, the remaining skeletons were left above ground – given organs, skin, eyes, and the opportunity to grow their hair real long and greasy. Some of these zombie hesher jams were sent on a journey to Canada where longtime band member Jeremy Schmidt, slipping on the Official Collaborator satin jacket, had at them with his legendary synth arsenal. As he added long owing robes, sunglasses, driving gloves and medallions, the undead songs began to transform into the new breathing creatures that make up Destroyer. Schmidt’s work with these songs turned out to be the transformative glue for this new era of Black Mountain.



Lizzo: Cuz I Love You
Features the hit songs “Juice”, “Truth Hurts” which is featured in the Netflix movie Someone Great and “Tempo” that features a rare appearance from Missy Elliott. Cuz I Love You features work with long-time collaborators Ricky Reed, X Ambassadors, Nate Mercereau, and Oak Felder. When you love yourself, anything becomes possible. Channeling boundless self-confidence through a downright earth-quaking voice, colorful persona, and undeniable star power, Lizzo struts into the spotlight and steps up with a whole lot of sass, spirit, and soul. Embracing her vocal range like never before and celebrating herself to the fullest, she speaks her mind, censors nothing, and delivers an enviable level of honesty, pure passion, and fresh fire.



Jesse Colin Young : Dreamers
the 19th solo album from one of rock’s most influential and enduring singer-songwriters. Jesse Colin Young first made history with the Youngbloods on their classic ’60s peace anthem “Get Together,” and has amassed a loyal worldwide over the past five decades, will release his 19th solo album, DREAMERS, on May 24th, 2019 via BMG. Born Perry Miller, “Jesse” was born in Queens, NY. With his band The Youngbloods, Jesse would go on to release 10 studio albums, all charting in the US top 200. Jesse has released 18 albums, 19 singles and EPs, and has accrued over 200 writing and performance credits in his career.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

“That dream means you’re hungry-how about a hot dog?”

New Releases

New Releases out now include:


Tank and the Bangas: Green Balloon
Hailing from New Orleans, Tank and the Bangas formed in 2013 and bubbled into national consciousness after appearing on and winning NPR’s wildly popular Tiny Desk Concert contest in 2017.



Little Steven & The Disciples Of Soul: Summer Of Sorcery
Summer Of Sorcery, the follow up to the critically acclaimed Soulfire is SVZ’s first album of original material in 20 years. It was written during the second half of the Soulfire Tour and recorded at Stevie’s Renegade Studio September-November 2018. All 12 songs are original SVZ compositions, one recut from his Revolution Album, one outtake from the Lilyhammer Score, and 10 new songs. The album was recorded with the same members of The Disciples Of Soul that have been touring this past year. The album is a breakthrough artistically for Stevie in several ways, ‘My first five albums in the 80s were both very personal, and very political. I wanted the new material to be more fictionalized. The way records were when I grew up. Before it was an Artform. The concept (loosely) was capturing and communicating that first rush of Summer. The electricity of that feeling of unlimited possibilities. Of falling in love with the world for the first time. Obviously, there are occasional personal references, and a bit of what’s going on socially scattered throughout, but I achieved what I set out to do. I created a collection of fictional audio movie scenes that feel like Summer. I’m quite proud of it.’ -Little Steven



Vampire Weekend: Father Of The Bride
New release from the alt-rock favorites. Father of the Bride is the highly anticipated album from Vampire Weekend, and is the band’s fourth full length release. It is the follow up to 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City, which won the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album in 2014. Father of the Bride is produced by founding band member Ezra Koenig, and Ariel Rechtshaid (Adele, Madonna, Charli XCX, Usher, HAIM, Solange, and others). The album features 18 songs, including “Harmony Hall,” “Big Blue,” “2021,” and “Sunflower.”



Rhiannon Giddens: There Is No Other
Rhiannon Giddens’ album There Is No Other was recorded with Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi. Produced by Joe Henry and tracked over an intensely productive five day period in Dublin, Ireland, There Is No Other is at once a condemnation of “othering” and a celebration of the spread of ideas, connectivity, and shared experience.



Amon Amarth: Berserker
the 11th full length release from Swedish death metal band Amon Amarth. The album – their first in three years – was produced by Jay Ruston. This marks the first album by the band to feature drummer Jocke Wallgren who joined the band in 2016.



Bad Religion: Age of Unreason
Age of Unreason can be described as “a musical manifesto on the current political landscape.” In a world still brimming with rampant anti-intellectualism, inequality and oppression, the band’s signature brand of sonically charged humanist dissent seems as relevant as ever. Bad Religion began in the sprawling suburbs surrounding Los Angeles, with the teenage punks offering an impassioned counterpoint to a culture of consumerism and anti-intellectualism. Founding members Greg Graffin, Brett Gurewitz, and Jay Bentley were eventually joined by guitarists Brian Baker of Minor Threat, Mike Dimkich of The Cult, and drummer Jamie Miller of… And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. Bad Religion have been highly influential force in modern punk, producing beloved international hits and building a devoted worldwide following.



Art Ensemble of Chicago: We Are On The Edge
two CD set. Comprised of two discs: a meticulous studio session and the capture of a rousing live set at Edgefest in Ann Arbor, MI, We are on the Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration is exactly that, a commemoration of a half-century of magical music making. The greatness of The Art Ensemble of Chicago has always been the shared commitment of it’s original members – Roscoe Mitchell, Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Malachi Favors, and Famoudou Don Moye – to the total realm of African diasporic music: what they have long-termed Great Black Music – Ancient to the Future. Also important are the group’s disparate musical and artistic personalities, comprised of jazz, advanced compositional techniques, theatrical performance, poetry, Pan-African percussion, all tied together with improvisational flair and the exploration of pure sound.



The Cranberries: In The End
the eighth and final studio album by Irish alternative rock band The Cranberries. It is the band’s first release since the death of singer Dolores O’Riordan, who died on 15 January 2018. Guitarist Noel Hogan and O’Riordan began composing songs for the album while on tour in March 2017. That June, Hogan spent time in France writing and sending his demos to O’Riordan in New York to add lyrics. Together they wrote and demoed 11 songs that winter, with the final emails from O’Riordan arriving to Hogan hours before she died. The surviving bandmates set aside her vocals for several months following her death and after getting the full support from O’Riordan’s family, they brought in Stephen Street-who produced several of their early albums-to complete the recording sessions in April and May. Noel Hogan has confirmed that the remaining members of the Cranberries will disband after it’s release.



Guided By Voices: Warp and Woof
Following Guided By Voice’s sprawling double-album Zeppelin Over China, Robert Pollard has written and recorded another full-length in record-breaking time. It’s Warp And Woof, exuberantly barreling through twenty-four songs in just thirty-seven minutes with a brevity similar to mid-90s GBV albums Alien Lanes and Vampire On Titus. GBV kicked this one out in a flash, recorded in studios, club soundchecks, hotel rooms and even in the tour van.
After completing Zeppelin, Pollard felt the itch to record a few EPs. Just as GBV had done back in 1994, he would use them to channel his everflowing ideas to an outlet. But when a magical boombox writing session produced six fully formed songs in under half an hour, Pollard realized he had an album on his hands. What to do? With a band so formidable they’ve been dubbed the Golden Age of GBV, they completed much of the recording on the road. The 2018 Space Gun Tour provided impromptu recording venues. Pollard recorded vocals in hotel rooms, complimentary condominiums, and small studios. Doug Gillard cut guitar tracks for “End It With Light” through his Mesa Boogie rig at the soundcheck at the Ottobar in Baltimore. Bobby Bare Jr. Recorded his spacey main rhythm guitars for album closer, “Time Remains in Central Position” at the same show, but in the backstage green room. Kevin March added drum tracks in a studio in his hometown Montclair, New Jersey. Gillard played guitar on “Bury the Mouse” in a van hurtling at 60-plus m.p.h., and Mark Shue laid bass on “Angelic Weirdness” as he balanced on the speeding van’s bench seat.



George Benson: Walking To New Orleans
George Benson gets back to Americana basics on Walking to New Orleans, the jazz guitar legend’s double-barreled tribute to both piano-pounding hit machine Fats Domino and the original rock guitar hero and poet, Chuck Berry. The album toggles between tracks written and/or recorded by Berry and Domino as though Benson were moderating a musical conversation between Missouri and Louisiana. It kicks off with a rock-solid rendition of Berry’s 1964 post-incarceration story song “Nadine (Is It You?),” which Benson makes his own by scatting in unison with his guitar solo. Then a horn section pumps up Fats’ 1951 R&B hit “Rockin’ Chair” and his first R&B-pop crossover smash, “Ain’t That a Shame,” from 1955, with Benson’s guitar standing in swingingly for the originals’ sax solos. The Chuck Berry songbook is also represented on Walking to New Orleans by the good-timey “You Can’t Catch Me,” the sinuous “Havana Moon,” the rollicking “Memphis, Tennessee,” and the bluesy “How You’ve Changed.” Fats Domino weighs in with the rollicking “I Hear You Knocking,” “Blue Monday,” and the album’s iconic title track.



J.J. Cale: Stay Around
For the first time in a decade, listeners will be moved by a new collection of unreleased Cale songs, a feat that’s possible due to Cale’s modus operandi: often Cale would reserve outtakes from one album for later release on another. In compiling Stay Around, Christine pored over songs, both studio and home recordings, that the public had never heard. The result is an album mixed and produced by Cale himself, left nearly untouched to leave, in Christine’s words, the “Cale Factor.” The only song not written by Cale is Christine’s “My Baby Blues,” the first song she and Cale cut as a four-piece combo in Bradley’s Barn studio in 1977, the year they met.



Josh Ritter: Fever Breaks
FEVER BREAKS, the tenth studio album from acclaimed singer, songwriter and performer Josh Ritter, will be released April 26 via Pytheas Recordings/Thirty Tigers. Produced by Grammy Award-winning musician Jason Isbell, the 10-song record was recorded at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A and features Isbell’s band, the 400 Unit.
Of the album, Ritter shares with Rolling Stone, “The songs are very reflective of the times in which they were written,” he explains. “As we started coming together and playing, the songs that felt like they were gonna work really jumped out as obvious. From there on, after we recorded in August [2018] we had this really nice time to stop and listen and let the songs marinate a little bit. In that time, the world has just become even crazier. There’s a lot of the record that feels reflective of the moment.
Over the course of his career Ritter has released ten full-length albums including 2017’s GATHERING, which debuted at #4 on Billboard’s Americana/Folk Albums chart and received widespread critical praise. NPR Music proclaims, “Josh Ritter remains at the top of his game two decades into a highlight-strewn career. He’d be forgiven for loosening his grip, but his hand has never felt surer,” while the HuffPost adds, “GATHERING is beautiful and precise, and most of the beauty, to be certain, arises from a prolon
In addition to his work as a musician, Ritter made his debut as a published author in 2011 with his New York Times best-selling novel BRIGHT’S PASSAGE (Dial Press/Random House). Stephen King wrote in The New York Times Book Review that BRIGHT’S PASSAGE “shines with a compressed lyricism that recalls Ray Bradbury in his prime… This is the work of a gifted novelist.”



King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard : Fishing for Fishies
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard return with Fishing for Fishies, their first new music since 2017, and perhaps their most perfectly realized album to date. Fishing for Fishing is a blues-infused blast of sonic boogie that struts and shimmies through several different moods and terrains where organic meets automated, rustic meets robotic, and the past and future collide in the present.



Marvin Gaye: You’re The Man
You’re The Man is the first-ever planned “lost” Tamla/Motown album from Marvin Gaye. Includes three tracks newly mixed by SaLaAM ReMi. The album also includes a rare long version of Marvin Gaye’s cancelled Christmas single, as well as an unreleased vault mix of it’s instrumental B-side, and new essay by Marvin’s biographer, David Ritz. You’re The Man was the album originally proposed to follow-up the monumental What’s Going On. The release coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Motown label and also Marvin Gaye’s 80th Birthday.



The Mountain Goats: In League with Dragons
The Mountain Goats are John Darnielle, Peter Hughes, Jon Wurster, and Matt Douglas. They have been making music together as a quartet for several years. Three of them live in North Carolina and one has moved back to Rochester. Their songs often seek out dark lairs within which terrible monsters dwell, but their mission is to retrieve the treasure from the dark lair and persuade the terrible monsters inside to seek out the path of redemption. As Axl Rose once memorably asked, in the song “Terrible Monster”: “what’s so terrible about monsters, anyway?” This is the question The Mountain Goats have been doggedly pursuing since 1991. They will never leave off this quest until every option has been exhausted.



Nils Lofgren: Blue With You
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and E Street Band member Nils Lofgren returns with a vengeance with his first new studio album since 2011. From searing rock tracks to tender ballads, each composition takes you along on a sonic journey with one of rock’s most respected players, displaying Lofgren’s incredible guitar and songwriting talents. There are 6 songs on this album that were co-penned with Lou Reed, 5 of which have never before seen the light of day. Lofgren shares “this album was recorded live, the old school way. Inspired players in each other’s faces rocking live in the studio. Andy Newmark on drums, Kevin McCormick on bass. We had a laugh at my live, backwards lead jam during ‘Give,’ one of 6 songs written with the great Lou Reed. Electric and inspired, I’m thrilled to share this new music.” While Nils is best known as a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, he has a dedicated and loyal worldwide fan base, and an amazing 50 year solo career in between stints with Springsteen, Neil Young, and Ringo Starr. Besides the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Nils has been honored with the “Outstanding Contribution Award” at the Classic Rock Awards held in London (joining esteemed company of previous winners who have included fellow Rock Hall of Famers Jeff Beck, Ronnie Wood and John Paul Jones), and been inducted into the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (where he currently resides with his wife Amy, who produced the album with him). PBS News Hour ran a segment on Nils’ 50 years on the road in December. The new album will coincide with a US tour kicking off in early May. A national PR campaign will support the album and tour.



Pink: Hurts 2B Human
Hurts 2B Human is the eighth studio album from pop superstar Pink. The first single from the album, “Walk Me Home”, was called a “foot-stomping anthem” as well as an “optimistic departure” from the content of her previous album, Beautiful Trauma.



Rodrigo y Gabriela: Mettavolution
Rodrigo y Gabriela are ready to embark on the next chapter of their remarkable story, with the release of their first studio album in five years. Three years in the making, Mettavolution brings together Rod and Gab’s passionate interest in Buddhism, the history of human evolution and the liberation of the potential we have as a species; all expressed through the medium of two acoustic guitars. Conceived and composed in their studio in Ixtapa on the Mexican Pacific Coast, then road-tested in South America and the USA in 2017, a long list of new material has been distilled down to six new Rodrigo y Gabriela compositions and one audacious, jaw-dropping cover song. Recorded in Los Angeles, producer Dave Sardy, – best-known for his work with Oasis, LCD Soundsystem, A Perfect Circle and Band of Horses – has helped Rod and Gab to a new recording career pinnacle.



ScHoolboy Q: CrasH Talk
is the fifth studio album by American rapper ScHoolboy Q, released through Top Dawg Entertainment and Interscope Records. Crash Talk features guest appearances from Travis Scott, 6lack, Ty Dolla Sign, YG, 21 Savage, Kid Cudi, and Lil Baby.

New Releases

New Releases out now include:


Molly Tuttle: When You’re Ready
the debut album from award-winning guitar virtuoso Molly Tuttle. An insightful, gifted songwriter who was crowned “Instrumentalist of the Year” at the 2018 Americana Music Awards on the strength of her EP Rise, Tuttle has broken boundaries and garnered the respect of her peers, winning fans for her incredible flatpicking guitar technique and confessional songwriting. Graced with a clear, true voice and a keen melodic sense, the 25-year-old seems poised for a long and exciting career. When You’re Ready, produced by Ryan Hewitt (The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers), showcases her astonishing range and versatility and shows that she is more than simply an Americana artist.



Sara Bareilles: Amidst The Chaos
the sixth studio album from singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles. Includes the singles ‘Armor’ and “Fire,” plus “No Such Thing,” “Eyes on You,” “Wicked Love,” “Orpheus” and more. The album was produced by T Bone Burnett. Bareilles has sold over one million albums and over nine million singles and downloads in the United States alone and has earned seven Grammy Award nominations, including one Album of the Year nomination for her album The Blessed Unrest.



The Infamous Stringdusters: Rise Sun
The Infamous Stringdusters rise to new heights on their ninth full-length record Rise Sun. For the album, the GRAMMY® Award-winning quintet-Andy Falco [guitar], Chris Pandolfi [banjo], Andy Hall [dobro], Jeremy Garrett [fiddle], and Travis Book [double bass]-expanded their signature sound by perfecting their seamless fusion of All-American-bluegrass and rock.
Once again sail into uncharted territory moored only by their expressive patchwork of All-American bluegrass threaded together with strands of rock, jazz, funk, country, old-time, and more. As they approached this latest body of work, the group’s ambition matched their outsized creative curiosity. “Rise Sun was sparked by the feeling of wanting something better for the world-more love, more awareness, and more compassion,” says Hall. “It’s a message of taking care of each other, our planet, and ourselves. We all shared this feeling as evidenced by the songs we brought to the project. It’s the feeling of a rising sun as opposed to a dark night. Sometimes a message of hope is less popular than one of despair, but it’s much-needed nevertheless.”



Sunn O))): Life Metal
Sunn O))) co-founders Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson began working on new music in early 2018. Following an initial pre-production session at Dave Grohl’s 606 Studios in California, they made their way to Chicago to record at Albini’s Electrical Audio. Oining the band on Life Metal is composer and frequent live collaborator Hildur Guðnadóttir, who adds vocals, electric cello, and haldorophone to the track “Novae”. Additionally, Tim Midyett plays aluminium neck bass and baritone guitars throughout the album, while Anthony Pateras contributes pipe organ to “Troubled Air”.



Norah Jones: Begin Again
New release by the nine-time Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Norah Jones. Begin Again is a collection of singles that gathers seven eclectic songs that Jones has recorded over the past year with collaborators including Jeff Tweedy and Thomas Bartlett. Features the new song “Just a Little Bit,” which was produced by Jones and features her on vocals, piano, and organ along with Brian Blade on drums.



Melissa Etheridge:The Medicine Show
Describing the rocking, anthemic new track and album, Melissa explains, “The sound of the song and the whole record is purposefully aimed at that 90’s rock sound. When rock was moody and fierce. ‘Faded’ is spot on a Melissa Etheridge song. You know it from the first few notes. I wrote it on my twelve string and kept it true to that sound.” For this album, her 15th studio recording, Melissa was reunited with celebrated producer John Shanks (Keith Urban, Bon Jovi, Kelly Clarkson), and was recorded largely live in studio, capturing the raw emotion of the material. – The Medicine Show deals with universal themes of renewal, reconciliation, reckoning, compassion and, most profoundly, healing. Through the songs she processed the deep fears and hurting she saw in the nation on collective and personal levels; “Shaking” about national anxiety, “Here Comes the Pain,” personalizing the opioid crisis, the unifying “Human Chain” about the hope for healing, and the rocking, anthemic “Love Will Live.” More highlights include the album-closer, “Last Hello” drawing on the incredible strengths and courage shown by the survivors of the Parkland school shootings, and the infectious “Wild and Lonely,” exploring themes of her past with a new perspective.



Shovels & Rope: By Blood
Shovels & Rope is one of the hardest-working bands out there today. Throughout their career, Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent have constantly been touring, and all the while they’ve made music wherever they can, and recently they’ve taken on two giant new challenges; raising a (growing) family, and helming a successful music festival, Charleston’s High Water Festival. Their album By Blood is a gritty, powerful look into their lives and the world around them, with tender songs commenting on their relationship, and human stories weaving throughout.



Glen Hansard: This Wild Willing
This Wild Willing is Glen Hansard’s fourth solo album. Written and created in Paris, France with a band of brothers; new friends and old, more than 24 musicians collaborating on the album. From his partners in The Frames (Joe Doyle) and Swell Season (Marketa Irglova & Joe Doyle), to his touring family of players, to three Iranian brothers he met in Paris (the Kroshravesh brothers), Glen brought together a group of global talents who each left an indelible mark on this recording. “It became quickly apparent in the studio we were onto something interesting. I was finding new ways into the existing songs and we were improvising new ideas every day. When you surround yourself with great musicians and do your best to keep up, stay loose, give little direction, and allow everyone to bring what they bring, something transformative may happen. This collection of songs is mainly made up of those that came through while improvising and following the melodic lines and threads. Sometimes when you take a small musical fragment and you care for it, follow it, and build it up slowly, it can become a thing of wonder. In this sense, some of these songs weren’t written in the traditional form; they were ideas followed to a conclusion. I want to thank all these great musicians for coming and giving these songs their best. All a song wants is to be heard. I hope something in this music can be of use to you. I know it’s been of great use to me to make it. Beauty is in the ear of the behearer.”



Bruce Hornsby: Absolute Zero
Absolute Zero is Bruce Hornsby’s fourth studio album as a soloist; his discography is eleven total studio albums, including his recordings as Bruce Hornsby and the Range and Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers. The album was produced by Bruce Hornsby – Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Brad Cook co-produced “Cast Off” and Bruce Hornsby and Tony Berg, co-produced “Meds”. Featured guest artists – yMusic, Jack Dejohnette, Blake Mills, Justin Vernon, The Staves, Sean Carey (Bon Iver), Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra – University of Miami, among others including Bruce’s band The Noisemakers.



John Paul White: The Hurting Kind
Leading up to the sessions for The Hurting Kind, White was inspired by artists like Jim Reeves, Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, Chet Atkins and Bill Porter. Drawing on these timeless influences, White sought out classic writers like Whisperin’ Bill Anderson and Bobby Braddock to collaborate with. “Coming out of each and every one of these situations, I got a resounding thumbs-up that I was on that right track,” says White of the collaborations. “I didn’t need anybody else’s approval after that.” With The Hurting Kind, White draws on the lush, orchestrated music made in Nashville in the early 1960s, writing about overwhelming love, unraveling relationships and the fading memory of a loved one.



Jade Bird
the debut self-titled debut album from Jade Bird. Featuring breakthrough singles ‘Lottery’, ‘Uh Huh’ and ‘Love Has All Been Done Before’. Twisting big themes of disillusionment, divorce, cheating, sorrow into the realities of an independent-minded, modern British teenager, Jade’s music transcends genre with a wealth of influence coming from everywhere, and anywhere. Classic, contemporary, and a total breath of fresh air in the current musical landscape, Jade Bird is that rare, next-generation artist who appears as clued up on the past as she is determined to learn from it’s lessons: in control, sometimes in your face, and in possession of gifts beyond her years.



Cage the Elephant: Social Cues
the fifth studio album by rock band Cage the Elephant. Social Cues follows Cage the Elephant’s Grammy-winning Tell Me I’m Pretty from 2015, as well as their 2017 live album, Unpeeled. There are 13 tracks in total including a collaboration with Beck titled, “Night Running”. Cage the Elephant formed in 2006 and relocated to London, England, in 2008 before their first album was released. The band’s first album was released in 2008 to much success, spawning several successful radio singles and gained the band a large following in both the United States and the United Kingdom.



The Yawpers: Human Question
The Yawpers are the sheep in wolf’s clothing. Through their first three albums, the group divined a signature style-what Pitchfork described as “an expansive vision of rock ‘n’ roll, one that cherrypicks from various folk traditions: punk, rockabilly, blues, whatever they might have on hand or find in the trash.” The sound is a front-heavy, groovy, fire & brimstone punk-blues overlying a dynamic and metaphysical roots rock. On their fourth album Human Question, the Denver trio zooms out to a more vast and accessible stylistic and spiritual universe. The 38-minute thrill ride generates growth and cathartic self-reflection for audience and performer alike. If there was justice in this world, the Yawpers would be the savior that rock and roll didn’t know it was waiting for.



Rolling Stones: HONK
Triple CD edition. 2019 compilation from the legendary rock ‘n’ roll band featuring the biggest hits and classic cuts from every Rolling Stones Records studio album from 1971 to 2016. This set collects 36 essential Stones’ tracks on the first two discs – including eight Top 10 singles, “Brown Sugar,” “Tumbling Dice,” “Angie,” and much more. The third disc includes 10 live tracks recorded during the band’s more recent sold-out tours and feature guests like Florence Welch, Dave Grohl, Brad Paisley and more.



Bolden
For the original soundtrack of Bolden, in theaters this spring, nine-time GRAMMY Award winner Wynton Marsalis faced a nearly impossible task: bring fellow trumpeter and New Orleanian Buddy Bolden, widely considered one of the fathers of jazz, back from the dead. But on this album, Marsalis enthusiastically resurrects the bawdy, brassy sound of Bolden as no one else can, throwing a Big Easy party that romps through some of Bolden’s most beloved material. Featuring acclaimed vocalists Catherine Russell and Brianna Thomas and an all-star cast of instrumentalists that includes Wycliffe Gordon, Victor Goines, Marcus Printup, and more, Marsalis brings turn-of-the-century New Orleans back to life, imbuing ragtime classics popularized by Bolden and his competitor Louis Armstrong with a modern sound and energy.

New Releases ~ March 29, 2019


Billie Eilish: When We All Fall Asleep, WHERE Do We Go?
is the debut album from Billie Eilish and includes ‘When The Party’s Over’, ‘You Should See Me In A Crown’ and ‘Bury A Friend’. The album follows 2017’s Don’t Smile At Me EP which peaked at #14 on the Billboard Top 200 chart.



Steve Earle: Guy
Steve Earle was nineteen and had just hitchhiked from San Antonio to Nashville in 1974. Back then if you wanted to be where the best songwriters were you had to be in there. Guy Clark had moved to Nashville and if you were from Texas, Guy Clark was king. Flash forward more than forty years. In the fall of 2018, Steve and The Dukes went into House Of Blues studio in Nashville and recorded GUY in six days. ‘I wanted it to sound live… When you’ve got a catalog like Guy’s and you’re only doing sixteen tracks, you know each one is going to be strong.’ Earle and his current, perhaps best-ever Dukes lineup, take on these songs with a spirit of reverent glee and invention. But in the end Guy leads the listener back to it’s beginning, namely Guy Clark, which is what any good ‘tribute’ should do. Guy is a saga of friendship, it’s ups and downs, what endures. We are lucky that Earle remembers and honors these things, because like old friends, Guy is a diamond.



Son Volt: Union
On Union, Son Volt’s present and past mingle into strong confluence. The thirteen songs written by founder Jay Farrar confront our turbulent politics and articulate the clarity and comfort music can offer in the tumult. The country and blues sounds explored by Son Volt on it’s last two records (2013’s Honky Tonk and 2017’s Notes of Blue) linger in the grooves of Union. But this record nods to many other mile markers along the band’s 25-year path. Some tunes offer a powerful return to the ringing lyrical clarity of 2005’s Okemah and the Melody of Riot and 2007’s The Search. Others harken back to the freewheeling poetic melodicism of 1994’s Trace and 1997’s Straightaways.



Mekons: Deserted
Emboldened by a sold-out tour and a surge of interest in the States after the release of the documentary Revenge of The Mekons, Mekons retreated to the fringes of Joshua Tree National Park and popular culture to record their new album Deserted.
The long-running, genre-hopping, impossible-to-kill British folk-punk collective summoned the forces of magic, fear and superstition for an album of shifting sand Sturm und Drang. It is at once a distorted howl into the emptiness of space as well as a quiet submission to the shimmering allure of a mirage. The heat and endless horizon can lead to madness or clarity, and while there is relief when the sun goes down you know the deep chill is not far off.



Tim Bluhm: Sorta Surviving
For a moment, you could almost forget what year it was inside the Cash Cabin, the small sanctuary-turned-recording-studio Johnny Cash built roughly 40 years ago in Hendersonville, TN. The Man In Black’s frequent collaborators Dave Roe and Gene Chrisman were back at the bass and drums respectively, and tape was rolling as they counted in the Cash classic “I Still Miss Someone.” Tim Bluhm had to pinch himself.
“Recording in that space with those guys was like a dream come true for me,” says Bluhm. “The depth of knowledge they walk around with in their heads is amazing, and you know you can trust the musical choices they’re making because they have the experience to back it up. When they say, ‘This is what Merle would have done,’ it’s because they know firsthand.” While Bluhm may be best known for the breezy brand of West Coast roots and soul he helped pioneer with his band, The Mother Hips, his brilliant new solo album, Sorta Surviving, revels in his longtime love for classic country music. Recorded and mixed at the Cash Cabin under the guidance of Widespread Panic’s Dave Schools, the collection is earnestly authentic and utterly timeless, and it finds Bluhm backed by elder statesmen like Roe and Chrisman along with younger virtuosos like keyboardist Jason Crosby (Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews) and Jesse Aycock (Hard Working Americans, Elizabeth Cook). “The band brought a certain maturity and experience,” explains Schools. “Tim’s songwriting is so strong that it naturally suggests how to complement itself, but those guys really know how to play and still leave room for a great singer.” Indeed, the arrangements on the album are refined and elegant, yet still stripped-down and raw, enabling Bluhm’s warm, easygoing vocals to sit front-and-center as he weaves vivid tales of ordinary men and women facing down hard days and even harder nights. Mixing new originals and reimagined covers, the record pulls from a half-century of American music to craft a thoroughly modern love letter to a bygone era, one that showcases both Bluhm’s deft musical hand and his heartfelt reverence for the genre. “I’ve been a fan of classic country ever since I heard Merle Haggard sing,” reflects Bluhm. “I just admired his voice and storytelling so much, but I never made an album like this before because I figured it would take me at least 20 or 30 years to get good enough.” Bluhm discovered Haggard around the same time he co-founded the now-iconic Mother Hips, a band the San Francisco Chronicle has hailed as “one of the Bay Area’s most beloved live outfits.” The group began it’s journey at Chico State, where performing at frat parties quickly gave way to club shows, regional touring, and national buzz, and before Bluhm and his bandmates had even graduated, they were already signed to Rick Rubin’s American Recordings on the strength of their debut album, ‘Back To The Grotto.’ “When we signed with American, the label had just put out Johnny Cash’s first Rick Rubin-produced album, which was actually recorded at the Cash Cabin,” says Bluhm. “I got to meet and hang with Johnny a couple times back then, and after that, we opened for him at The Fillmore in San Francisco. I was so impressed with his presence. He definitely lived up to his legend in real life, and he made a big impression on me.” Over the ensuing two-and-a-half decades, the Hips would release nine more studio albums as they cemented their status as festival and critical favorites, sharing bills with everyone from Wilco and Widespread Panic to Lucinda Williams and The Black Crowes along the way. Rolling Stone called them “divinely inspired,” while Pitchfork praised their “rootsy mix of 70s rock and power pop,” and The New Yorker lauded their ability to “sing it sweet and play it dirty.” Ever-curious and wildly prolific, Bluhm simultaneously released a slew of his own solo and collaborative projects on the side. He toured for years as music director with Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, teamed up with The Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann among others, and opened up Mission Bells Studio with fellow California favorite Jackie Greene and engineer Dave Simon-Baker. There, Bluhm produced albums for everyone from the Hips and Greene to Hot Buttered Rum and Little Wings in addition to hosting Phil Lesh, Josh Ritter, Rogue Wave, Los Lobos, Jonathan Richman, and more. As if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, in 2007, Bluhm and the Hips launched the Hipnic, an intimate and immaculately-curated music festival that’s still held annually amongst the towering redwoods of Big Sur. Sorta Surviving marks Bluhm’s first collection recorded outside of California, but one listen and it’s clear that he’s equally at home in the pines of Tennessee. There’s a comfort to the performances, a subtle familiarity that radiates out like a warm invitation. “Most of the songs on this album are second or third takes,” says Schools. “That comes from experience and teamwork, but also from working in a great environment. It’s a palpable thing you feel when you’re working in the room where Johnny Cash wrote his autobiography and recorded some of the best work of his later years. We were definitely all a little nervous meeting for the first time, but we got comfortable real quick there.” The songs are character-driven, valuing the visceral over the cerebral, and Bluhm inhabits his narrators with a voice as tough and as pliable as worn-in leather. “It just felt natural for me to sing this way,” he explains. “It was a chance to put away the books and focus more on the everyday rather than the existential, a chance to pull out the guitar and really tell some stories.” Some of those stories come secondhand: the bluesy “Del Rio Dan” was first popularized by The Everly Brothers in the 1970’s, while the waltzing “Kern River” is a Merle Haggard favorite, and Johnny Cash’s “I Still Miss Someone” gets a melancholy makeover with a tip of the cap to Neil Young’s timeless take on “Oh Lonesome Me.” That the covers fit so seamlessly alongside Bluhm’s original material stands as a testament both to his gifts as a compelling storyteller and his playful way with words. The shuffling “Jesus Save A Singer” tackles struggle and redemption with a wry smile, while the stream-of-consciousness title track sardonically examines our instinct to perpetually press on, and the honky-tonking “Where I Parked My Mind” finds dark wit even in the depths of addiction. “There’s more humor in these songs than anything else I’ve written before,” says Bluhm, “but it’s all very tongue in cheek. That’s a country music tradition.” While tradition guided Bluhm throughout the project, he wasn’t beholden to it, frequently taking risks and pushing boundaries with his performances and arrangements. In the end, his goal wasn’t just to make a country-tinged record, but rather to craft narratives that could truly transport his listeners, that could breathe new life into stories forgotten and stories imagined, tales of dustbowl farmers and oil men and fugitive outlaws and traveling singers. “As a kid growing up in LA, I never even heard of country music,” reflects Bluhm, “but I remember flipping around the radio dial and coming across ‘The Gambler.’ It was a song that just completely transcended genre. It was no more ‘country’ than Mark Twain was ‘country.’ It was a simple, timeless story set to music, and that’s what I’ve ultimately aspired to make myself.”



White Denim: Side Effects
Coming to Mystic Theatre & Music Hall, Petaluma, CA on Tuesday, April 23, 8:30 PM

Side Effects sees White Denim unmasking the darker side of themes from their previous album, Performance. The bands 9th studio album, Side Effects includes the first studio recordings by their current touring roster a formidable lineup that is selling out shows on both sides of the Atlantic. As always, the album is heavy on musicianship, but it also marks a return to the wilder, weirder side of White Denim.

 

%d bloggers like this: