Five Cool Ones: Five Cool New Releases This Week (Mar 21, 2019)

This was a week for the ladies with Ex Hex, Jenny Lewis, Emily Wells, and Lucy Rose all coming out with a new record. On the Americana front, Terry Allen is back after a long absence, and Luther Dickinson leads an all star cast on his new one Strawberry Moon. All in all, it’s a great week to be a music fan.

Jenny Lewis – On the Line

Finally, On the Line, the new record from Jenny Lewis is out and it is definitely worth the wait. With a guest turn from Beck and Ringo Starr on drums for a couple of songs how could things get any cooler. Jenny Lewis using the piano that Carole King played on Tapestry, that’s how.

Ex Hex – It’s Real

Ex Hex is Mary Timony, Betsy Wright and Laura Harris, all veterans of the Indie Rock scene over the last decade or so. Sort of a more punk version of the Pretenders, the crunching guitars and the glittering sheen that is filtered throughout the record will have you spinning back to those days when Rock and Roll was nothing but fun.

Strand of Oaks – Eraserland

Strand of Oaks is singer songwriter Tim Showalter. This, his latest album, features members of My Morning Jacket on a set of songs that will make your head swoon in all the best of ways.

Keren Ann – Bleue

Exclusively in French, Bleue, the eight record from Keren Ann is a beauty. The record is deep and captivating much in the mold of Serge Gainsbourg and Francois Hardy.

Matt Andersen – Halfway Home By Morning

This melting pot of a record has it all. Gritty Muscle Shoals Soul, Heart felt Americana, Gritty Blues and good old Country. Recorded live in Nashville in the same studio that Jerry Lee Lewis and Emmylou Harris made magic, this one is leaps and bounds better than his also excellent 2016 release Honest Man.

 

Five Cool Ones: Five Cool Albums Released This Week (March 15, 2019)

As it was a pretty slow week for new releases it took a bit more research to come up with the cream of the crop. Here are five of our favorites.

Tom Russell – October in the Railroad Earth

Tom Russell is at his best when he is not sticking to a specific theme but rather lets each song stand on its own as he does here. Russell is at his storytelling best here with many high lights including “T-Bone Steak and Spanish Wine,” a song that is an early contender for song of the year, and “Highway 46” name checking Spade Cooley and Merle Haggard.

Lauren Jenkins – No Saint

Combining Pop, Country, and Americana No Saint is about as impressive a debut record as we have heard all year firmly placing Lauren Jenkins on the “Ones to Watch” list for 2019.

The Picturebooks – Hands of Time

A Blues Rock band in the mold of The Black Keys. “You Can’t Let Go” is a standout here with a stellar assist courtesy of The Pretenders Chrissie Hynde.yfd

Tesla – Shock

If your record is produced by Phil Colleen you are going to pretty much sound like Def Leppard, and that is never a bad thing.

Renée Wahl – Cut To The Bone

With a spaghetti western Quentin Tarantino vibe courtesy of her Cracker Jack band The Sworn Secrets, this one sounds like a cross between Melissa Etheridge and Nicki Bluhm.