There seems to be a bit of a lull on the new music front as the heavy lifting is underway in preparation for the summer releases. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few gems to be mined.
Jukebox The Ghost have released a bouncy new pop song, “Wasted.”
Rock is the New Roll stalwarts Ducks Ltd. are back with a rollicking collaboration with the Illuminati Hotties.
And, the band Lucius has collaborated with Brandi Carlile and Sheryl Crow on a bouncy new single, “Dance Around It.”
But, don’t spend all of your lunch money just yet. Here are five new records that were released this week for you to digest.
Ray Wylie Hubbard – Co-Starring Too
No need to mix words here. Ray Wylie Hubbard is a bonafide Texas outlaw legend. Here in the sequel to Co-Starring, with Co-Starting Too, Hubbard is back in true collaboration glory spinning to include Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, and Hayes Carll along with harder rockers John 5 and Lzzy Hale. And yes, Hubbard BFF Ringo Starr is invited back to the party on “Ride or Die – Montar O Morir.”
There are no slips here, after all Ray Wylie is incapable of penning a bad song, but a clear standout is “Groove,” a song that name checks among others J.J. Cale, Tony Joe White, and Delaney and Bonnie.
If blues is your thing, if Rock is your jam, don’t blame it on the boogie, get in with the groove and this fine sequel. This one’s for cowboys, old drunks, paramours, and thieves.
April March – In Cinerama
It is best not to overthink things when it comes to, In Cinerama, the spectacularly cool new album courtesy of April March. Pretty much every genre that you hold dear to your ears is represented within the the pages of this record. Beach Boys sunshine, surf rock, French pop, Spector girl group, Tarantino – Noir, you name it, it’s here.
“Open Your Window Romeo” is a a great Parisian-Pop tune that would have played quite nicely in the recent vintage One Upon A Time in Los Angeles movie, “Ride or Divide” would have been a perfect song for Diana Ross and The Supremes to cover, and “Down the Line” has has a contemporary sunshine swing that would make Bethany Constantino and her band Best Coast blush.
And, if all of that doesn’t want you to staple your ears directly to the speakers, “Stand in the Sun,” and “Rolla Rolla” will take you back to your favorite ‘60s vintage hipster a-go-go.
Chip Z’Nuff – Perfectly Imperfect
As bass player and major-domo for the power pop band Enuff’s Z’Nuff, Chip Z’Nuff and his band have always stood in the shadow of Cheap Trick and have been criminally ignored in the realm of Classic Rock heroes.
As the only remaining member from the stalwart band, Chip gives a master class in Power Pop that delivers on a set that includes the gang-harmony splendor of “Heaven in a Bottle,” the pulsating virility “3 Way,” and the hooks-a-plenty “Honaloochie Boogie” that has Fountains of Wayne meets Weezer in the DNA.
Give this one multiple spins and as Chip and guest artist Joel Hoekstra would say two songs in, “Welcome to the Party.”
Colin Hay – Now and Evermore
Colin Hay, the former frontman for Men at Work, is still at work with the release of his first solo album since 2016. Having relocated to Los Angeles, where this record was recorded between L.A. and Nashville, the songs have a distinct Americana feel to them that is both comforting and inspiring.
“Where Does The End Begin” finds a man at peace with his life’s journey, and the title track features Ringo Starr. The song “Undertow” is a perfect lamentation of life’s ups and downs, and “All I See Is You” is an Irish tinged coming home to you love song.
This is a perfectly uplifting record for these times that are not so uplifting.
Duke Robillard – They Called It Rhythm & Blues
Amazingly, They Called It Rhythm & Blues is Duke Robillard’s first record that is pure vintage-style danceable blues, and as such this collection of R&B, Blues, and jazz covers is a treat for the ears.
The swing is the thing right from jump street with “Here I’m Is,” a treatise in jump blues. Sue Foley add’s some grace to the proceedings on “No Good Lover,” and the horn-centric party anthem “In The Wee Wee Hours” is house-boogie perfection.
Even when the vibes drop low and slow like they do on “Someday After A While,” with a stellar vocal turn courtesy of the Fabulous Thunderbird Kim Wilson, the results are captivatingly cool.
With boogie blues classics “Eat Where You Slept Last Night” and the organ drenched “Swingin’ For Four Bills” instrumental closing down the party, one can sense that this was a one in a lifetime passion project for all involved.