Five Cool Ones: Five New Records Released This Week (July 15, 2022)

There is a distinct anticipating in the air as the artists and the record companies are gearing up for the summer season.

Auckland, NZ’s four-piece, The Beths, has released a new video for “Expert In A Dying Field” from the album of the same name to be released in September.

Singer-songwriter Beth Orton has released “Forever Young,” no not that one, in advance of an August release date.

And, The Black Angels are zooming up our radar with the intoxicating “Firefly.”

But, don’t change the channel just yet. Here are 5 choice nuggets for your listening pleasure.

Beabadoobee – Beatopia

Beabadoobee is Indie DIY singer songwriter Bea Kristi. Famous for theTic Toc hit single, “Coffee,” her sophomore full-length is very much a fully formed affair.

Part Pop, part Psychedelic, there is even a distinct ‘90s Indie Rock feel on “10:36.” With “Talk” a summer anthem for those of a certain age.

This record is as perfect a pairing of singer-songwriter fare and Pop sheen as you will find all year.

Arlo McKinley – This Mess We’re In

Emerging out of the other side of a tough year of personal losses in the last couple of years, Arlo McKinley’s second effort is, more than anything else, about change.

“Dancing Days” mourns the death of his mother, and “Back Home” laments the death of his Beth friend to addiction.

The songwriting is crisp, the vocals front and center in the mix, and the messaging circling around addiction and mental health is perfect for the times.

Nick Dittmeier and the Sawdusters – Heavy Denim

One of those bands that built their chops on touring with a Grateful Dead-worthy road dog mentality, and if you would be so lucky as to stumble into a bar where they happened to be playing.

The songs presented here, gritty and character-driven, have been stripped down from their usual barroom fare to a more laid-back approach with a flavor of Dire Straits carrying the day.

“Doing Wrong For All The Right Reasons” has a real Sturgill Simpson aura about it, while “… Turned and Walked Away” is a strong vocal turn in the Charley Crockett mold.

Elf Power – Artificial Countrysides

Elf Power, out of Athens Ga., is another of the bands along with Apples (In Stereo) and Neutral Milk Hotel associated with the Elephant 6 collective. With hints of early R.E.M. as well as Vic Chestnutt, a former band collaborator, there is a pastoral cohesiveness to the record that makes for a pleasant listen.

The title track “Artificial Countrysides” would have fit in quite nicely on R.E.M.’s Murmer, and “Dark Rays” could have been on any of the self-titled Peter Gabriel albums.

A nice pastoral listen with hints of progressive rock and British folk to make things a bit more relaxing.

Tami Neilson – Kingmaker

Don’t let the Bond-theme swagger of “Kingmaker” the title track on Tami Neilson’s eclectically pleasing latest release sway your opinion. Shirley Bassey Bombast aside, there is a dangerous curve around every corner on this one. “Careless Woman” has a bit of R&B girl-group gravitas while “Baby, You’re A Gun” would be perfect fare for Kill Bill 3 should Tarrantino ever design to make another one.

The great Willie Nelson is even on board and featured on “Beyond the Stars,” while ’60s mojo in the dojo vibes is essenced on “Mama’s Talkin’.” Things even go lower and slower into Laura Nyro’s territory on “I Can’t Forget.”

If you are scoring at home, this record ticks off many of the cool genre boxes including Classic Country, ’60s Chanteuse, R&B, Rockabilly, Western-Noir, ’70s Rock, and more. Highly eclectic, indeed.

Live Video of the Day: Blackberry Smoke – Flesh and Bone (Homecoming: Live In Atlanta)

From their epic newly released album recorded live at The Tabernacle in Atlanta in 2018. All of their hits are on this set plus a couple of choice covers in “Space Captain” and (Not Fade Away.)

Video of the Day: The Cadillac Three – Crackin’ Cold Ones With The Boys

No need to wrestle with the mental imagery here.

“We got ice, check.  We got coolers, check. “We got cases of cold domestic gold just waiting for the sun to set.”

“We got tunes, check. We got girls, check. So come on, have another, we got Sunday to recover and we ain’t started yet.”

Your jam of the summer has just been released.

Five Cool Ones: Five Southern Rock Bands We Like


5Whether it is Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchett, Blackfoot, Marshall Tucker, The Allman Brothers or anyone in between, the Southern Rock flag is waving loud and proud in 2018. Here are some bands that are on our radar.

Blackberry Smoke – Run Away From It All

It helps that these guys very much look like a Southern Rock band, and they definitely have the chops to prove it. They have been around forever and are just now coming into their own. If you are new to this band you are in luck. They are six albums into a career that is going on almost two decades now. Holding All The Roses from 2014 is probably their best, but they are all good.

Black Stone Cherry – Me And Mary Jane

Definitely veering more to the Rock Side of the Country Rock equation, but don’t sleep on these guys. No guts, no glory.

Dolly Shine – Spinning My Wheels

This band from Stephenville, Texas is a bit under the radar, but none the less a real cool band worth checking out. They can turn it loose on a Saturday night, and can turn a tear jerker tear in your beer song with the best of them. They really should be more famous than they are.

Grady Spencer & The Work

We are going deep Texas here with Grady Spencer & The Work. Their 2016 album The Line Between is a gem of a record. Early Steve Earl with a dose of Tom Petty with these guys.

The Cadillac Three – Dang If We Didn’t

I kind of worry about these guys. Their songwriting is so damn good and they seem to be entrenching themselves into the Nashville establishment. I don’t want them to lose their mojo.

Video of the Day: Eric Church – Desperate Man

Eric Church is walking that delicate line between Rock and Roll and Country Music quite nicely. If you haven’t checked out his 61 Days in Church series of live performances do yourself a favor and Rock On. Among other tasty covers he handles “The Ballad of Curtis Loew,” “The Weight,” “Screw You, We’re From Texas,” and “Lodi” quite nicely. On “Desperate Man,” his latest single and video, the surprise guest appearance of the great Ray Wylie Hubbard is worth the price of admission alone.