It’s official. 2019 is kicking into high gear with a lot of really cool new releases. Robert Ellis throws us a curve ball, Dale Watson kicks it with his own brand of Texas Honky Tonk, and even Charlotte Gainsbourg enters the fray. Chaka Khan has a new record out and Texan Troubadour Hayes Carll is back with another solid set. Here are five of our favorites.
Tedeschi Trucks Band – Signs
Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi deliver another solid set of blues influenced Americana. Tedeschi was raised on Mississippi John Hurt and Lightning Hopkins while husband Derek grew up on a diet of Allman Brothers courtesy of his uncle Butch Trucks. Together, they are a match made in musical heaven. This new set, their first since 2016, was recorded live to analog tape and features Warren Haynes and Doyle Bramhall III.
Robert Ellis – Texas Piano Man
Somehow, right before our very ears Robert Ellis has turned into Ben Folds. Texas Piano Man is a throwback to the 70’s singer songwriter in all the best of ways. “Father” is a stunner of a song where a son tries to get to know more about what his father is all about and why he left, the line “I wanted a father but I’ll settle for a friend” pretty much sets the stage on this one. A new direction for sure, but still brilliant.
J.S. Ondara – Tales of America
Kenyan J.S. Ondara could be the love child of Sam Cooke and Leon Bridges. With a full throated voice that bobs and weaves around his own self penned songs, Ondara sings for the lovelorn on “Torch Song,” expresses his love for “Television Girl,” and ends up capping everything off with his own “American Dream.” The first best album of 2019 has just washed up on our shores.
Jeff Whalen – 10 More Rock Super Hits
The album pretty much says it all on this one. The front man for the glam Power Pop band Tsar delivers a sweetly concocted set of hook heavy early 80’s inspired tunes. The album is produced to within an inch of its life in all the best of ways. Take a trip back to when Rock and Roll was fun.
The Sonic Dawn – Eclipse
The song titles tell you everything you need to know about The Sonic Dawn. Leading off with “Forever 1969” and “Psychedelic Ranger” your trippy journey begins. The Danish Psych-Pop band sounds a bit like early doors meets Love.