After a couple of hit or miss weeks, the eclectic mix of music reaching our ears this week has a little bit for everyone. The Outlaws, yes the “Green Grass and High Tides Outlaws” have a new record out that is decidedly good despite the absence of many original band members actually playing on the record, Sergio Mendez without the 66 has one out that will be a great poolside jam one the weather gets warmer, and even the famed 70’s pr0g-lite Wishbone Ash are still alive and well.
Feel free to ignore the James Taylor languid set of standards, but definitely jump on “Marathon” and “Get Off The Stage” two fantastic tunes released into the wild from Chuck Prophet that will be included on his new record set for a mid-summer release.
Here are five really good ones for your ears to peruse.
Robert Cray – That’s What I Heard
Not overly prolific in recent years, this is only his 5th set of original material since 2005, he none-the-less is still as blues-crisp and brilliant as ever. As the artist that is often hailed as the savior of Blues from commercial extinction with his album Strong Persuader in 1986, with this one he may have just done it again.
The Orielles – Disco Volador
Having released in 2018 the best album of the ’90s twenty years too late with their debut album Silver Dollar Moment, now, with their latest record, the band has quite simply outdone themselves. Bright and bouncy in all the right places there are influences of ’60s as well as ’80s girl group, Bossa Nova Jazz, Funk, and Disco all rolled into a melting pot of what is sure to be one of our best albums of the year.
Cascade Lakes – Cascade Lakes
If Scott Walker fronted The Beach Boys the band just might sound like Cascade Lakes. Indie Rock with a definite Pop sensibility this record combines wide soundscapes with intricate storytelling. The ’80s Dream Syndicate vibe is an appealing touch to a record that offers rewards with multiple listens.
The Undercover Dream Lovers – It’s All In Your Head
The Undercover Dream Lovers is the psychedelic indie rock band whose name speaks for its smooth dreamy sound. The Los Angeles, Ca based project blends vibrant synth melodies grooving bass lines accompanied by the falsetto of Matt Koenig. This one is a full absorption sort of listen.
Sunny Ozell – Overnight Lows
It stands to reason that a musician that has such diverse musical influences as Bonnie Raitt, David Byrne, and Aretha Franklin would come up with an album that brings to mind Bobbi Gentry and Dr. John in the same musical breath. A native of Reno, Ozell currently works out of Brooklyn and Los Angeles.
This record has a funky soul groove that could have easily been a number one hit in the ’60s with a Dusty Springfield meets Nancy Sinatra coolness on just about every song. With her day job as Mrs. Sir Patrick Stewart, this is an artist to keep your ears on.