You know we are getting into the dog days of the year when you start getting ear bombed with new Christmas releases. With rare exceptions, most notably the Kate Bush classic 50 Words for Snow from a few years back, there is really no reason for records like Rob Halford’s Christmas album “Celestial” (released today) to exist. And, don’t darken our ears with The Jimmy Buffet entry in this years Christmas lottery with the horribly named ‘Tis the Sea Son. Since we have a soft spot for Neil Diamond we are down with his release, but no, the world doesn’t need a new Holiday record from The Oak Ridge Boys. Where is Nick Lowe when we need him. Here are five (Non Christmas) records we are grooving to this week.
White Reaper – You Deserve Love
heading towards the head of the pack on our list of 2019’s favorite records, White Reaper with their latest release hits that sweet spot between Cheap Trick and Thin Lizzy. From the opening track, “Headwind” that sounds a bit like The Killers in Glam mode, to the twin guitar attack on “Might Be Right” this is an old school Rock and Roll record for the new generation.
The Magpie Salute – High Water II
High Water II, the appropriately titled sequel to High Water I, comes so close to sounding like vintage Black Crowes it might as well be a reunion record. And no, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Heavy on rockers and blues-boogie with an occasional acoustic interlude thrown in for good measure with Rich Robinson providing the guitar riffage. In the battle of the brothers Robinson for world domination Chris definitely has some catching up to do.
Milk Carton Kids – The Only Ones
Be ready to lay down some chill vibes with the new Milk Carton Kids Record, The Only Ones. If you could create a Frankenstein duo with one member of Simon and Garfunkel and one of the brothers Everly, the resulting spawn would give you The Milk Carton Kids. At a tidy 7 songs this one is a perfect listen for that spare half hour in an otherwise hectic day.
The Drunken Hearts – Wheels of the City
With their hardscrabble approach to Americana, The Drunken Hearts lay down an earthy blend of Bluegrass, Outlaw, and Americana that would make Jamey Johnson and Cody Jinks proud. Lead singer Andrew McConathy has a bit of Michael Stipe by way of Hootie and the Blowfish front man Darius Rucker in his voice, particularly on the title track. The band mixes rowdy anthems with broad soundscapes on a record that will capture your ears with subsequent listens.
Jimmy “Duck” Holmes – Cypress
Another stellar and eclectic release from the Nashville based Dan Auerbach studio, Easy Eye Sound, the outfit that brought you Yola, Dee White, and Shannon Shaw just to name a few. Now, with Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, we are introduced to one of the last living bluesmen. Mixing a fuller sound than you would expect, drawing in a full band that includes Marcus King on a couple of songs with just Jimmy and his guitar on others, the essence of a real Mississippi juke joint is on full display with every gutteral vocal and every greasy guitar lick.