It’s not all work and no play for the contributors at Rock is the new Roll HQ (Bernie Sparrow, Jeremey Wren, Cletus Crowe, Nigel Owl), sometimes, we stroll over to The Falcon’s Nest Bar and grill, hang out and listen to music for music’s sake.
Here is what we’re listening to right now.
Brendan Benson – Dear Life
Pound for pound Brendan Benson, along with Matthew Sweet, is one of the most criminally underrated purveyors of Power Pop that has ever picked up a six-string. He’s not very prolific if you don’t count is appearances with Jack White’s sidebands including The Raconteurs, but everything he touches turns into Power Pop Gold. His new record, Dear Life, is most definitely his best work since the 1996 classic, One Mississippi.
Chicano Batman – I Know It
Sure they have one of the best band names to come around in recent years, but our muso-love for Chicano Batman. Their Psych Soul sound is right up our street and their new record, Invisible People happens to be on heavy rotation in The Falcon’s Nest.
Dexy’s Midnight Runners
On this unwashed side of the pond the band Dexy’s Midnight Runners are known for virtually one song and, of course, it is “Come On Eileen,” a song that in these parts is virtually unlistenable at this point, unless, of course, your name happens to be Eileen. The reality is, however, is that Kevin Rowland and his band that mixes Irish Folk with Northern Soul are a pretty great group that is well worth spending some deep-dive ear-time to get to know them better.
Their album, Don’t Stand me Down, has several high energy anthemic tracks including “Listen To This,” and “One of Those Things,” and “Geno” their tribute to American Soul singer Geno Washington was number one in the U.K. but released to cits in the U.S., and criminally so.
Always a scorching Live band, their version of “Jackie Wilson Said” is right up there with the best covers of the Van Morrison staple. Here, Kevin Rowland and company take the song to new heights with this low and slow version.
Even if the album, Too Rye Ay 1982 did not include “Come On Eileen” this 1982 release would still be considered a bangin’ record. “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile is on it, the opener “The Celtic Soul Brothers” is a great party song, and “All In All (This One Last Waltz), slows things down a bit quite nicely and shows off the range that Kevin Rowland possesses. All in all, this is a really great record.