This week we come to realize that everything is simply a placeholder while we wait for the new Jason Isbell record to be released in May. Here are five choice cuts that our ears are warming up to this week.
Rookie – Rookie
From the first couple of guitar chords that jump from the speakers on “Hold On Tight” the lead-off track from the band Rookie’s self-titled debut record, you can tell that you are in for a Rock and Roll swagger sort of listen. Part Slade infested Glam, Part Greg Kihn Band with a side order of The Replacements thrown into the milkshake, this Bloodshot Records release is spectacularly delicious.
Sam Doores – Sam Doores
With a moody atmospheric vibe that could very well be the soundtrack of some hipster New Orleans dirge after-hours party, Sam Doores uses strings, vintage organs, marimbas, vibraphones, and even an autoharp to create a moody, psychedelic vibe. This eclectic record also includes a stellar guest turn from Alynda Segarra from Hurray for the Riff Raff.
Early James – Singing For My Supper
It almost seems that we are contractually required to like any record that comes from Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound record company, but we have no problem with that. From Yola, Dee Smith, on to Kendell Marvel and beyond everything that they touch seems to turn into ear-pleasing gold. And the new one from Early James, Singing For My Supper, is certainly no exception. From the opener, “Blue Pill Blues” we are treated to a semi-lengthy instrumental solo before the song turns into some sort of 70’s inspired warp zone that floats somewhere between Jefferson Airplane and Jethro Tull. As it turns out, the opener simply opens the door to the time travel portal that is fully realized with “Gone as the Ghost” and beyond.
The Mahones – Unplugged
From the had us at hello moment when we discovered that a Canadian Celtic Punk band actually existed to our first listen of their latest record, Unplugged, we are pushing all of our chips to the center of the table and are going all-in on these guys. An overnight success 30 years in the making, they were formed on St. Patricks Day (of course) in 1990 and haven’t missed a beat yet. Comparisons to the Waterboys would be an obvious touchpoint here but on songs like “The Night Train To Paris,” “Cocktail Blue,” and “Will Ya Marry Me” the Americana paintbrush that makes them different is fully realized. “Stars,” a song that features Simon Townshend, sounds like a Drive-By Truckers song, and the band’s cover of the Johnny Cash cover “Hurt” is worth the price of admission alone.
Grouplove – Healer
If there ever was a band specifically made for an outdoor festival, that band would be Grouplove. Their 90’s influenced sound is as hook-laden as an episode of Dangerous Catch and every song seems to be more arena hand waving ready than the last. The Dance Anthem “Deleter” may be the first single out of the box, but it is on the more delicately subdued tunes like “Places” where the band really shines.