With a name already tailor-made for stardom, U.K.’s Sam Fender delivers high energy Arena Rock. Look for him at a festival near you throughout the rest of 2019.
The Limboos – Baia (Rating 5 out of 5)
The Limboos are pretty much the very definition of a genre defying band. A bit soul, retro in all the coolest of ways fusing together Soul, Rumba, Jazz, Blues, Funk, and a bunch of others we are probably skipping. On songs like “Till The End Of Town” you would bet your last dollar this was a Stax single from the 60’s.
When the sax kicks in on “Where Did She Go,” the first single from the album, there is a sense that you should be in some sort of Jetsons hipster go-go bar. The vocals are front and center and the production value is first rate with no single instrument overpowering another. And yes, they have a female drummer, as if they needed anything else to add to their coolness.
“Big Shot” the second single to be released as well as the opening track, sticks the groove and never let’s up. Swinging organ, silky sax, hip vocals all are the order of the day. This one is a timeless classic
Operating out of Madrid, most of the media about the band is in Spanish, which is somewhat perplexing since all of the songs are in English. There is not a bad tune to be had on this record. It is a great party record with ebbs and flows that make it a textured masterpiece.
Jason Hawk Harris – Love & the Dark
Another stellar artist from Blood Shot records. He sounds a bit like Jason Isbell, carries with him a Lyle Lovett swagger, and composes a song with the best of them. I will stand on Steve Earle’s coffee table and call out Love & the Dark as one of the best Americana records of 2019.
Tanya Tucker – While I’m Living
Somewhat unbelievably, this is Tanya Tucker’s first set of original songs in 17 years. With production help from Brandi Carlisle and Shooter Jennings on tunes like “Bring My Flowers Now,” a song where Tanya sounds a bit like Lucinda, and “The Wheels of Laredo” that give us all hope that we might be seeing a Johnny Cash/Rick Rubin type career resurrection right before our very ears.
Vince Gill – Okie
When Vince Gill settles into his vocal pocket on a song like he does here over an entire album, the results can be glorious. Stepping out from his Eagles gig, the Oklahoma roots are showing on just about all of these 12 stellar tunes. Highlights abound, but “A World Without Haggard” and “Nothin’ Like A Guy Clark Song” stand above the rest. This Okie has still got it!
Sheer Mag – A Distant Call
From the opening salvo of “Steel Sharpens Steel,” the first song out of the chute here, you are hit between the ears with a Rock and Roll steamroller of a singer that roars like the devil spawn of Suzi Quatro and Joan Jett fronting Thin Lizzy. And yes, this much awaited album is as much of a brilliant guilty pleasure as you would think it would be.
Midland – Let It Roll
The agony of having to wait for the full album after the release of several ear enticing singles is finally over. Think Glen Campbell Rhinestone Cowboy era Country Style with this band of stellar musicians out of Dripping Springs Texas. We have tried very hard not to like this band and are failing miserably.
Rodney Crowell – 56 Fury
The new Texas-centric record comes out next Friday. In the meantime we are grooving to this one that features ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbens.
Pat Green – Trip Through Your Wires
Another Texas troubadour, Pat Green is putting together a highly anticipated record himself. Here he teams up wit Joe Ely.
The Darkness – Rock and Roll Deserves To Die
Justin Hawkins and The Darkness are experiencing somewhat of a comeback. Their latest song has a bit of Zeppelin mystery with Ronnie James Dio bombast thrown in. Fun stuff.
Modern Nature – Footsteps
Shoegaze Krautrock is the order of the day on this propulsive second track from their latest album, How To Live.
Shannon Lay – Death Up Close
One of Ty Segall’s sidekicks in his Freedom Band, so she must be good. And she is.
Rosalie Cunningham – Ride On My Bike
The ex front woman from the band Purson, Rosalie Cunningham commands the stage with this opener from her latest album. Queen meets Jefferson Airplane on this one.
We’re just chilling waiting for the new Struts album to hit the shelves. But in the meantime here are five Cool Albums massaging our ear lobes this week.
Jesse Dayton – Mixtape Vol. 1
This covers record is a lot more than a slap-dash between albums mail-it-in effort. This is a seriously eclectic and cool set of songs arranged to perfection with a lot of thought going into the song selection. If Elton’s deep track “Country Comfort” or ACDC’s “Whole Lot of Rosie” isn’t good enough for you the Cars Power Pop gem “Just What I Needed” will have your head spinning until Jesse’s love of Punk comes crashing through on the Clash tune “Bankrobber.” Great stuff indeed.
The Regrettes – How Do You Love
Their Pop driven Punk songs are a must hear. If the Go Go’s were actually cool they might have sounded like The Regrettes. Their sophomore record is full of Ramones worthy ear blasts.
Fionn Regan – Cala
There is a certain calming Zen quality to Fionn Regan’s music and this album, sort of a cross between Cat Stevens and Donovon. Easy like a Sunday Morning.
P.P. Arnold – The New Adventures of P.P. Arnold
Her first album release in decades P.P. Arnold channels her inner Mavis Staples with this new release that features collaborations from Paul Weller, Ocean Colour Scene’s Steve Cradock, and The Specials among others.
Half Alive – Now, Not Yet
This Long Beach trio blends Pop, Funk, Soul, and a bit of Indie Pop under the glow of a disco ball.
Yola – Shady Grove
The latest video from Yola’s debut record, Walk Through Fire.” A top 20 record for sure.
Starcrawler – Bet My Brains
Starcrawler, one of our favorite over the edge Rock Chick bands are back witba new single and video.
Trigger Hippy – Don’t Wanna Bring You Down
In 2014 Trigger Hippy, a supergroup consisting of Nashville session musicians released a self-titled album that was one of the best of the year. Here they pop up out of nowhere with a scorching new single.
Midland – Cheatin’ Songs
Normally, we would cry fowl on a band that travels the 80’s Country landscape, but for Midland all bets are off. We are all in. Here is their latest Garth Meets George gem.
The Allman Betts Band – Shinin’
Formed by the sons of Gregg Allman and Dickie Betts the Southern Rock torch has Ben duly passed. Close your eyes and you will think it is 1975 all over again.
Demob Happy – Autoportrait
This Psych Rock trio turns up the burners on this one to deliver the headbanger of the week.
Moon City Masters – The Price You Pay
A strong 70’s filter on this one picture Blind Faith jamming on stage with The Allman Brothers and you will pretty much get the idea.
Goodbye June – Universal Mega Love
These guys already have the chops to Greta Van Fleet and Rival Sons. A Rock band on the rise look for their new record Community Inn to come out in October.
Elles Bailey – Deeper
A vibrant Blues/Soul singer Elles Bailey could be the younger sister of Beth Hart.
They have a new live record out that features ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and this one is released ahead of an album expected later in the year. A blues supergroup of sorts featuring Super drummer Kenny Aronoff, these guys are on our short list of favorite bands.