Another solid not quite spectacular week in music releases. Mercury Rev delivers a tribute to Bobbie Gentry, Jason Ringenberg of Jason and the Scorchers fame is represented, and Mavis Staples has added a live album to the mix.
Jessica Pratt – Quiet Signs
Releasing what might be her first proper release, Jessica Pratt adds some production value from a proper studio on this one. Still subtle and understated this one might be your new late night jam.
Gurf Morlix – Impossible Blue
With a lyric the likes of “Your breath smells like expensive wine, your kisses taste like turpentine, this one has our ear-tention from jump street. There is some Ray Wylie Hubbard meets Tony Joe White barbecue sauce slathered all over this one.
Boogie Beasts – Mad
With a sound that has been described as The Black Keys jamming with John Lee Hooker at a rave in the wee hours of the morning, there is nothing not to like with this one.
Cass McCombs – Tip of the Spear
A 70’s inspired somewhat Folk-Rock record, this is a kick back in your favorite chair with a cigar and a bourbon sort of a listen. “The Great Pixley Train Robbery” might be the best story song you will hear all year.
Mercury Rev – Bobbie Gentry’s The Delta Sweete revisited.
With a spot already reserved in The Falcon’s Nest/Rock is the New Roll top ten list this is one of those rare entities where the tribute album is better than the original. This thing is ridiculously cool. With a different female singer for each song, Mercury Rev puts their own swirling psychedelic spin on the original Country-Folk classics. “Big Boss Man” featuring Hope Sandoval is an eclectic stunner, on “Reunion” you just might find out what was thrown off of the Tallahatchie bridge, and Susanne Sudfor’s spin on “Tobacco Road” will tingle your spine. With only one song that was not on the original recording, Lucinda Williams does what Lucinda does on “Ode to Billy Joe” to polish off a sublime set of masterful songs.