Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums Released This Week (November 20, 2020)

We do the work so you don’t have to. Despite the dreaded Christmas releases barraging our eardrums, there were a lot of tasty musical morsels to hit our ears this week. The new (Non-Christmas) record from Garth Brooks is actually pretty good, there is a really cool set of songs from the Elvis in Memphis sessions that was just released, and for the Jimi Hendrix completist there is yet another record out, Live In Maui.

Land Del Rey has released a really cool Pandemic video with a cover of Gershwin’s “Summertime.”

Roger Daltry must be working on a project as he just hours ago released a live solo video of “Behind Blue Eyes.”

And, the fantastic Jellyfish spin-off band The Lickerish Quartet is out front and center with a new single “Snollygoster Goon,” which is a sight for sore ears.

Here are five albums catching our ear-tention this week.

Larkin Poe – Kindred Spirits

The only thing better than being treated to a new record from Larkin Poe featuring the Poe sisters, the great, great, great grandaughters of Edgar Alan Poe, like we were with Self Made Man earlier in the year, is to be hit with a surprise drop of a new record, Kindred Spirits. And, it’s great. A covers album recorded as only the Blues Rock Poe sisters can deliver, this one features eclectically cool renditions of “Nights In White Satin, “(You’re The) Devil in Disguise,” and “Rockin’ The Free World,” as well as a next-level instant cover classic reading of “In The Air Tonight.” With just an electric guitar and a drum set, this one should be on auto-repeat on your stereo.

Hong Kong Wigs – Lois

Austin based Hong Kong Wigs walks the same Psychedelic Rock and Roll trail as White Denim. A Power trio led by songwriter Jon Fichter, their new record, Lois, is poised to be one of the best debut albums of 2020. There are highlights a-plenty to savor here with the best of the lot being “Remember,” with Anastasia  Wright taking over on lead vocals, along with “Discopop!” a song that not for accidental timing could have been the summer smash of the year both standing tall.

Ward Davis – Black Cats and Crows

Often seen, unfairly so, as the younger brother in the pantheon of Outlaw County artists that he shares stages with, a tribe that includes Chris Stapelton, Cody Jinks, and Whitey Morgan, Ward Davis will certainly be heading towards the big time with the release of his latest record, Black Cats and Crows. This, his third album, features Ward’s weathered croon set on a palate of barrel-aged songs that run the gamut from drowned in a whiskey-soaked tear in your beer songs, “Get To Work Whiskey,” to murder ballads with “Sounds of Chains.” The only thing we ask of you Ward is, please, don’t move to Nashville.

Helen Love – Power On

Helen Love, a group not a person, artfully mixes the quick hit Rock and Roll power vibes of The Ramones with the Art-Rock ’60s girl-group pastiche of The B’52s pretty much perfectly. These infectious Cardiff, Wales rockers consist of Helen Love on bratty vocals, Sheena, who is, of course, a punk rocker, and Roxy and Mark on Casio keyboards that double as drums. Low-Tech but high energy, “Debby Take Contol of the Stereo” melds “Pump It Up” and even “Shout It Out Loud” bombast with “Hey Ho, Let’s Go” shout outs, and “Sandra Dee” is pretty must The Go Go’s on speed. Glorious stuff, indeed.

Dave Alvin – From an Old Guitar: Rare and Unreleased Recordings
In this highly cool set of songs, we are treated to the bits, pieces, and scraps of songs from various Dave Alvin records and tribute albums that never made the cut to appear on prior releases. Mixing Alvin originals with eclectically make them his own cover versions, the setlist here includes a stellar version of Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited,” the slinky groove of ” (Variations on Earl Hooker’s) Guitar Rumba,” and the storytelling ennui of “On the Way Downtown.” This one is a keeper and not just for Dave Alvin completists.


Author: falconi5

A place for musically minded folk to get together and share ideas, reviews, and basically spread the word.

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