Out of pocket for the last couple of weeks, but we are back and better than ever. The rumors of our demise have been greatly exaggerated.
The Struts are back to once again save Rock and Roll.
If Blackberry Smoke backing up Sheryl Crow is your jam, then the latest from the Poe siblings means the latest Larkin Poe single is up your street.
And, The Hu, your favorite Mongolian throat singing band, are back and as mind boggling as ever.
But let’s move on. Here are five solid albums released this week to tickle your ears.
The Orchids – Dreaming Kind
Back and better than ever after reforming in 2020, Scottish popsters Orchids with their new record features everything that you love about the band, Meandering guitar melodies, emotive vocals, and songs that go from beauty to sadness at the drop of a note are the order of the day.
“This Boy Is A Mess” will bring to mind vintage Echo and the Bunnymen, “Limitless #1 (Joy) has a real mid-era Beach Boys vibe, and “Something Missing” is a slow burn Jangle Pop delight.
A joyful new find for these ears, this record will get multiple plays in the Rock is the New Roll listening rotation.
Jon Pardi – Mr. Saturday Night
Coming out of the gates with another dose of Honky Tonk ennui much in the same vein as 2019’s Heartache Medication, Vol. 2, Mr. Saturday Night walks that delicate line between Bro Country, Midland vintage Nudie Suit Country, and traditional Honky Tonk.
The title track, laments the Sunday morning side of a Saturday night blowout, “Neon Light Speed” is a bit of an ‘80s Brooks and Dunn throwback, they are even name checked on the song, and “Smokin’ A Doobie” is pure escapist fare where Pardi manages to rhyme doobie and Guadalupe without the slightest hint of irony.
A slightly slick affair, with not much outlaw in this country, but there is enough to like on this record to give it a spin while your drinking a Margarita at the Tipsy Turtle in Galveston.
Kenny Neal – Straight From The Heart
One of the torch bearers of the Louisiana Swamp Blues movement, Kenny delivers a guest-laden master class in the genre with his latest, Straight From The Heart.
Hot newcomer Christine “Kingfish” Ingram scorches the earth on “Mount Up On The Wings of the King,” New Orleans OG Rockin’ Dopsie let’s the good times roll with “Bon Temps Rouler,” and Neal takes things into his own strings on the horn-laden tribute to his home town on “New Orleans.”
Given that his pops counts Buddy Guy and Slim Harpo among his friends, it comes as no surprise that Kenny Neal is carrying the New Orleans sound to dizzying new heights.
Kris Kristofferson – Live at Gilly’s, Pasadena, Tx, 1981.
Not quite at the peak of his powers, yet a powerful earmark of the artist at his grizzled best, this set from the famed Gilly’s Roadhouse might be his best live record this side of the Austin City Limits sessions.
Kicking things off with a scorching version of “Me and Bobby McGee,” the energy is tuned to 11 and the crowd seems to be well lubed up and appreciative. The deeper cut, “Here Comes That Rainbow Again,” is pure Kristofferson with that raggedly tinged voice , clear and sharp, as if he were delivering the lines for the very fist time. And, by the time “Sunday Morning” comes down you can hear a pin drop as the lucky fans in attendance feel every word he is singing to the core of their bones.
Best consumed with a double bourbon on the rocks with a fine set of headphones, this is a must-listen historical document from an artist that will stand the test of time.
Pat Green – Miles and Miles of You
Having lost his way for a bit chasing that neon rainbow of a major label deal, Pat Green is back to his road-worn Honky Tonk roots with his latest, Miles Andrew Miles if You. With his first set in the last three years, the opener, “… I’m Going Home” pretty much says all you need to know about this record and Pat Green’s state of mind. “If You Don’t Have a Honky Tonk” is classic Pat Green in the “George’s Bar” mold, and April 5th very much has a Jerry Jeff Walker tilt to the proceedings.
Sure, his best work at be behind him, and his collaboration with Cory Morrow on Song We Wish We’d Written is pretty epic, but it is great to have Pat Green back in his wheelhouse.