Sure, it has been a slow couple of weeks for new music releases, and here at Rock is the New Roll we took this opportunity to take a week off for a little bit of a Staycation. But, fear not and ears up, we are back and ready to Rock and or Roll.
Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real continue to cement themselves as one of Rock is the New Roll’s favorite bands, here delivering a mesmerizing version of J.J. Cale’s “Magnolia” for their soundcheck series of videos.
La. funkster Marc Broussard brings it hard performing live from the Lafayette science museum with “Hard Knocks.”
And, our new to us discovery Fontaines D.C. perform “A Lucid Dream” from their latest record A Hero’s Death on an episode of 6 Music Live Sessions.
On top of all of that, here are five records that have tickled our ears this week.
Paul McCartney – McCartney iii
Much like taking your favorite jacket out of the closet when the weather gets cold, it is supremely comforting to have new Paul McCartney music in our lives. With McCartney iii, a direct sequel to McCartney released in 1970 and McCartney II in 1970, the high notes are not quite reached, but the slight nod of the head to whimsey and the wink of an eye to the oddities of life are clearly expressed along with the overall joy he gets from writing and presenting new music.
The songs are delicately sparse and there is never a sense that Sir Paul is trying to pander to the present-day Pop sensibilities. This is just one of the best artists that ever lived expressing himself through his music, staying in his lane, and delivering his best work in over a decade. The instrumental opener “Long Tailed Winter Bird” will take you back to a generation ago mind-space, the opus of a song “Deep Deep Feeling” is as solid a bit of songwriting you will have heard all year, and “Lavatory Lil” rocks things up a bit and shows that McCartney can still get saucy when he wants to after all these years. Word on the music streets is that McCartney has been hanging around with Rick Ruben. If this collaboration results in a new record in 21 or 22, that would be one hell of a swan song.
Margo Price – Perfectly Imperfect at The Ryman
Fresh off of her sparkling 2020 release, That’s How Rumors Get Started,” one of the Best Americana records of the year, Margo Price virtually owns the hallowed grounds of the Ryman with this solid set of songs going back to her debut with Third Man Records and her breakthrough All American Made albums. Her infectious blend of Country, Memphis Soul, and Texas twang are all on full display accompanied by some stellar guests including Emmylou on “Wild Women,” Jack White on the White Stripes Deep cut “Honey, We Can’t Afford to Look This Cheap,” and Sturgill Simpson tearing it up on “I Ain’t Livin’ Long like this. If you are already a Margo Price fan you will love this record. The medley of “Hurtin’ on the Bottle,” “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and drink” and “Whiskey River is just plain cool. If you are not hip to the Margo scene, get ready to fall in love. Her version of “Proud Mary” is worth the price of admission alone.
Kacy & Clayton feat. Marlon Williams – Plastic Bouquet
Psych-Folk duo Kacy & Clayton this time out stretching all sorts of musical boundaries with their new record Plastic Bouquet delivers Classic Country duet style musings on “Old Fashioned Man,” Roy Orbison crooner on “I Wonder Why,” and ’60s Sandy Denny British-Folk inspired grooviness on “Light of Love.” In short, courtesy of cousins Kacy and Clayton, along with co-conspirator Marlon Williams, this one is a record with an eclectic delight around every corner that takes you down a road that we all really should travel.
Foxy Shazam – Burn
Do not adjust your ears. You read this correctly. Foxy Shazam, the band that brought you Gonzo in 2014, and The Church of Rock and Roll is back, and, yes indeed they are better than ever. All of the key elements of the band that we love so much are present and accounted for. Solid hooks, operatic vocals, elements of Queen, Jellyfish and Low Cut Connie all blending together to create a Power Pop Masterpiece.
The opener and title track is pure bombastic Foxy Shazam, “In My Mind” is Jellyfish on steroids and S.Y.A.A.F could have been a Styx ballad.
Call Me Spinster – Call Me Spinster
This slightly left of center sister trio from Chattanooga combines old-timey ’50s vocal sensibilities, Think Andrews Sisters, with pristine harmonies and clever arrangements for a blend that is not only genre-defying but wholly intoxicating as well. “Two Hearts” could have very easily come from a Palmolive commercial back in the day, and “Long Hard Day” would fit quite nicely on a Norah Jones record. Enjoy this teaser of a 5 song E.P. in anticipation of a proper release sometime in 2021.