Clearly, we are entering into the dog days of music releases. The dreaded Christmas releases are upon us, George Michael even has holiday record out from the grave, and the overall pickings are somewhat slim as we anxiously await the release of the new Who album. Here are five nice ones culled from a limited herd.
Simply Red – Blue Eyed Soul
M0ney must be too too tight to mention for Mick Hucknall and the boys for them to feel that this release needed to see the light of day. Rolling that ball right down the blue-eyed soul alley, if nothing else this one delivers on what it promises. With a Darryl Hall Philly touch and a whole lot of Stax soul flourishes and immaculate grooves, the opener, “Thinking of You,” could be be the theme song for the next ghost busters movie. Sneak this one on in the middle of a Christmas party and no one will notice.
Blood Shot Records – Too Late To Pray: Defiant Chicago Roots
Launched way back in 1994, Bloodshot Records is celebrating their 25th anniversary in style with an album release that gathers many of the labels stars to celebrate their Chicago roots. Robbie Fulks, Freakwater, Kelly Hogan, and of course, Jon Langford all show up, and in style. Stay to the end of the party and you will be rewarded with the best version of Leonard Cohen’s “Tower of Song” your ears will ever have the pleasure of hearing courtesy of the Handsome Family. If you could only listen to one record label for the rest of your life Bloodshot records should be your jam.
Lucy Dachus – Historian
Much like the opener, “Night Shift,” Lucy Dachus’ second effort for Matador Records, Historian, is a slow burn that will reward the listener with multiple spins. The ebb and flow texturing of the songs with accompanying horns and strings are perfectly complementary to Lucy’s Velvet voice. Listen to this one at least twice and you will be hooked.
Tahiti 80 – Fear of An Acoustic Planet
Very much in the California Noir mold along with the likes of The Thrills, Best Coast, Conor Oberst among others, this band from the south of France consistently delivers Laurel Canyon beach vibes. The opener, “1000 Times” could be a “Shadow Captain” era CSN song, and “Seven Seas” would have fit quite nicely on Al Stewart’s “Year of the Cat” record. This one is a great escape to the island record.
Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders – Get The Money
Taylor Hawkins, Drummer for the Foo Fighters, can be forgiven if he hasn’t put a record out in over three years. He has been a little busy. With his latest, Get The Money, all of his influences and musical loves come to the forefront. The Police, Hawkins is heavily influenced by Stuart Copeland, the majestic choruses of Queen, most notably present on “Don’t Look At Me That Way,” as well as a bit of Prog dusting in the Genesis mold, all come into play here with astounding results. Joe Walsh, Nancy Wilson, Chrissie Hynde, and Roger Taylor are just a few of his famous friends that join in on the fun. This one is a fun journey to the past without a nostalgic bone in its body.