Five Cool Ones: Five New Records Released This Week (May 6, 2022)

Time keeps rolling along, and as the year progresses, the hits are starting to pile up.

’90s vintage Country dwellers Midland are once again summoning the ghosts of Garth Brooks and George Strait with their latest, “Longneck Way To Go.

The Afghan Whigs have released “The Getaway” in advance of a new album to be released on September 9.

And, the Waterboys are out with another album that sounds like The Waterboys. That is great.

But wait, that’s not all. There was a bevy of prime musical cuts to select from this week, so many that we had a tough time paring the list down to five albums this week. But, we did the work so you don’t have to. Here are five groovy platters spinning at Rock is the New Roll HQ this week.

AWOLNATION – My Echo, My Shadow, My Covers & Me

Sometimes, when there is really no legitimate reason for a band to cover a certain song or the song is such an earworm that our ears can’t comprehend anyone but the artist performing it, there can be magic in the air when it is done well. And, that is certainly the case with My Echo, My Shadow, My Covers & Me, the latest missive from AWOLNATION.

With a playlist that is as tight as the skin on an apple, every song presented here is a nostalgic trip down top 40 memory lane from the days that radio play actually meant something. The rendition presented here of “Maniac,” from the movie Flashdance, has enough curves to make this a different listening experience from the original, and the Scorpion’s iconic “Wind of Change”, with a guest turn from Incubus and Portugal. The Man, shouldn’t work, but it does quite well.

Were not sure that there ever has been an attempt at covering Alan Parson’s “Eye In The Sky,” and although this version paints pretty much between the lines, the guest turn from Beck is pretty cool. “Flagpole Sitta” is worthy of some ear time simply because you likely have not heard the song in a while and Elohim very much does it justice, “Alone Again (Naturally),” yes that one, shouldn’t really work either, but in this context with Retro-Country dudes, Midland sitting in it works quite well. If you have never heard the tune with a pedal steel guitar give this one a try.

And, once you add the anthemic “Beds Are Burning,” ABBA’s “Take A Chance On Me,” and the Cars’ “Drive” what you are left with is a highly polished, exquisitely curated set of songs that just might come together as the best covers album of the year when all is said and done.

Chateau Chateau – Grow Up

With the punk attitude of Blondie along with the buoyant energy of The Bangles, Chateau Chateau is a loose-knit collective of Tucson-based musicians that self describe themselves as making cathartic indie pop for weirdos, outcasts, queer folks, and anyone else who needs it.

Grow Up, the band’s sophomore record is a concept record of sorts detailing the various relationships that frontperson Bleu has maintained, both good and bad, throughout her life. “I Don’t Love You Anymore” is a CBGB-worthy rocker with Phil Spector girl group interludes that rails against her abusive father, and “Converted” walks the ground once traveled with a narcissistic ex.

“Push Your Luck” would have been a superb Pretenders single back in the day, and the ‘Til Tuesday Indie Rock classic “Voices Carry” is a perfect cover version to bring out the versatility of the band.

After a couple of spins of this record, especially on the song “Pray,” the specialness of individuality surfaces and is celebrated in its truest form.

Luke Winslow King – If These Walls Could Talk

Recorded in Memphis, New Orleans-based Luke Winslow King with the release of If These Walls Could Talk represents his most pleasingly diverse set of songs to date. From the peppy “Slow Sunday, June,” a song that has them sitting in the shade under a banyan tree on a sultry New Orleans Sunday afternoon to “Love At First Sight” that will transport you to a stroll down Bourbon Street.

Proving he can rock with the best of them, the Jonny Lang evoking “Have A Ball” is pure Blues-Rock Big Easy Style. The title track is a somber look at a relationship that is ebbing away, and “Leaves Turn Brown” is a perfect winsome closer.

Proving that he is no vintage Country and Jazz one-trick pony, this mostly settled down affair will reward the soul wit multiple spins on the turntable.

The Coffis Brothers – Turn My Radio Up

With the very appropriate album title, Turn My Radio Up is perfect Laurel Canyon, Pacific Coast Highway, peaceful easy feeling fare. Produced by Tim Bluhm, frontman for The Mother Hips, the record gives a definite nod to the radio dial harkening back to the late ‘70s, when radio still mattered.

The opener, “One That Got Away” could have been a Timothy B. Schmidt vocal-led single from an early Eagles record, and the single “Turn My Radio” up would have been perfect on a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers record.

“Ramona” travels into Flying Burrito’s Cosmic Cowboy territory, and “Two of a Kind” brings to mind Jackson Browne in his Running On Empty days.

Growing up in the Santa Cruz mountains in California seems to have been the perfect backdrop for brothers Jamie and Kellen Coffis to hone their craft using Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers as influences to craft one of the best album releases of the year so far.

Pink Mountaintops – Peacock Pools

With their first record in 8 years, Stephen McBean and his collective Pink Mountaintops weave a magical mystery tour of a record, Peacock Pools.

Full of neo-psychedelic turns around every corner, this record combines early Kinks with Pink Floyd and Alan Parsons if your ears can grasp all of that coolness in one sitting.

Playing it mostly straight on the tender “Nikki Go Sudden,” a tribute to the late Post-Punk icon Nikki Sudden, the rest of the album seems to be in constant motion with “Shake The Dust” propelling down the road with a bit of Kraftwerk in its DNA, and “Miss Sundown” summoning the ghost of early “Jean Genie” David Bowie.

As is the case with most really good records, this takes you down a different Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole with every turn of the groove.

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

Another week has gone by and another really cool music week to enjoy. A feast for the ears for sure.

Hank Williams Jr. has signed on with Easy Eye Sound releasing “.44 Special Blues” in advance of a new record to be released later in the year.

Rockers Sweet Crisis is out with a stellar version of Free’s classic “I’ll Be Creepin”.

And, proving again that Easy Eye sound can do no wrong, Velveteers make their presence known in advance of a proper full-length later in the year.

And, why wait until record store day, here are five more ear-tickling nuggets to tingle the ears and soothe the soul.

Blackberry Smoke – Stoned

A digital drop of the 2021 Record store day release, this Blackberry Smoke Rolling Stones tribute was recorded, mixed, and mastered live in one take on November 6, 2020.

Featuring songs from the ‘70s pulling heavily from Exile on Main Street and Sticky Fingers, the less is more approach that super-producer Dave Cobb gives to the project gives it the loose feel magic that many of those mid-era stones carried back in the day.

Charlie Starr and Blackberry Smoke were born to inhabit the soul of “Sway,” and “Street Fighting Man” stays a bit too close to the vest to be actually cool.

But, you have a right to be pissed if you bought the vinyl because you were a Blackberry Smoke fan and you never thought this record would see the light of ear on your favorite digital platform.

Kurt Vile – (watch my moves)

Always flirting with the fringes of pop, adding a fuzz guitar there, a psychedelic interlude there, Kurt Vile consistently delivers a unique brand of Rock and Roll that while it can be a bit fried and sizzled at times, is always eclectically cool. And his latest, (watch my moves), is certainly no exception.

From the opener, “Going on a Plane Today,” Vile has plans to chug a beer, listen to Neil Young Young, and reflect on his younger self, setting the stage for a set of songs that wander stealthily through the garden as a perfect accompaniment for chilling on a bench reading Raymond Carver short stories.

The Lou Reed speak-sing lilt of “Flyin (like a fast train)” has a way of washing over you at first listen and completely enveloping you with multiple spins. And, the single “Like Exploding Stones” will have you going woo woo for the rest of the day.

This is a winner of a record that will require multiple spins on the turntable for the hook to set. But when it does, you will be a better person for listening to it. Certainly, a more advanced one.

Edgar Winter – Brother Johnny

Ultimately dying from fierce heroin addiction in 2014, Johnny Winter was one of the first white Blues-Rock virtuosos, a trailblazing precursor to Jonny Lang, Joe Bonamassa, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, and many more. And here, on Brother Johnny, his brother Edgar has gathered a who’s who of guitar slingers to pay tribute covering many of the songs that are part of the Johnny Winter canon over the years.

The list of artists that contributed here is ridiculously cool including Billy Gibbons, Joe Bonamassa, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Keb’ Mo’, Derek Trucks, Joe Walsh, David Grissom, Steve Lukather, Doyle Bramhall II, Warren Haynes, Bobby Rush, and Robben Ford. Can I get an Amen?

With each song uniquely produced to match the style of the guest artist, each song, while having been heard thousands of times the tunes come out of the speakers as a wholly new entity. Highlights are many including the scorching “I’m Yours and I’m Hers” with Billy Gibbons and Derek Trucks going fret for fret, and “Highway 61 Revisited” featuring Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

As ringleader, Edgar Winter does a masterful job of playing and producing this record with the notable exception of adding Michael McDonald to the cast of cronies on “Stranger.”

And, on what was one of his last non-Foo Fighter appearances, Taylor Hawkins provides the drumming and backing vocals on the prescient “Guess I’ll Go Away.”

Kaitlin Butts – What Else Can She Do

Put a pin in this date of your musical listening history as you will likely want to remember the first time that up-and-coming Americana singer Kaitlin Butts hit your ear waves. With a voice that floats somewhere between Kacey Musgraves and Margo Price and a cowgirl rebel attitude that could rival Nikki Lane, there is a certain Lydia Loveless aura sounding her latest record, “What Else Can She Do.”

From the opening night-noir refrains from “It Won’t Always Be This Way,” the pure class of the songwriting demonstrated here is readily apparent.

“Speak of the devil, in he walks. It’s like his ears burn when I talk. Pushed in a gutter, stuck in a rut, waiting for the next turn of the knife in my gut.”

And it only gets better than there. “What Else Can She Do” has a definite Tanya Tucker by way of Shelby Lynne vibe, while “Jackson” is a dangerous spin on the original that namechecks Johnny and June. Spoiler alert, they never make it to Jackson.

At a tidy 7 songs in just under 32 minutes in length, this record should be digested in one bourbon-filled sitting not stopping until the closing Leadbelly staple “In The Pines” completes its mournful wail and floats away from your speakers.

A riveting turn from an artist that knows what it’s like to live on the knife’s edge without cutting herself and wants to tell us all about it.

Jewel – Freewheelin’ Woman

Seven years removed from her last attempt to reinvent herself, Picking Up The Pieces, Jewel has returned to the scene of the scene with the Pop-Soul centric Freewheelin’ Woman.

“Living With Your Memory” is pure Muscle Shoals bombast, “No More Tears” is a dramatic turn with an assist from Darius Rucker, and “Half-Life” could have been a hit song in the ‘70s by any number of the female country crooners.

You would be hard-pressed to find a more life-affirming song recorded this year than “Dance Sing Laugh Love,” the centerpiece of a record that might not put Jewel firmly back on the radar, but a visit from an old friend you haven’t heard from in a while is always welcome.

Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums Released This Week (March 18, 2022)

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.

Five Cool Ones: Five New Records Released This Week (March 11, 2022)

It’s March already, the weather is getting warm and the music even hotter. This week, we get a break from the old standbys and have some fresh cut, new blood to savor.

Rosalie Cunningham starts things off with her Glam, Rock, Folk masterpiece Two-Piece Puzzle with the stellar “Duet” as a clear-cut favorite that would have been a brilliant Queen song.

The Hoodoo Gurus are coming out from a self-imposed hibernation after ten years. And, the verdict is in. They’re still great.

And, Texas treasure Ray Wylie Hubbard is out with yet another single, “Stone Wild Horses,” from his upcoming record, this time featuring Willie Nelson.

Jeremy Ivey – Invisible Pictures

Quickly shedding his image as Mr. Margo Price, Jeremy Ivey is hitched to his own star on his latest long player, Invisible Pictures. With his low-key charm and Americana – Pop sensibilities, the record seems to bounce along like Snoopy and Woodstock running through a field on a sunny Day.

The opener “Orphan Child” has a bit of Daniel Romano’s eclectic DNA in its core. “Keep Me High” has a delicate Traveling Wilbury’s by way of Fountains of Wayne vibe, and “Trial By Fire” slows the pace and exposes some stellar songwriting.

With lush strings and pastoral production complementing in the pocket vocals and catchy melodies, this is a perfect placeholder while you are waiting for Spring to arrive.

The Mysterines – Reeling

As debut albums go, Reeling, the sparkling, bombastic record from Liverpool rockers The Mysterines at the end of the year, might well be considered for one of the best.

With a DIY feel to the songs along with aggressive production value, the garage punk-pop songs seem to burst from the speakers. Recorded live to capture the dynamics inherent in their incendiary live shows, from the opening salvo of “Life’s A Bitch (And I Like It So Much),” you are transformed in your hot tub time machine to a mid-‘80s mosh pit at CBGB’s.

And, things only get cooler from there. “On The Run” is a bit of a curve baller with an ever so slight Americana tint to it, and “Under Your Skin” slams on the breaks with an edge that would be quite comfortable on any of the mid-era Doors records.

This album is liking finding a rare rookie card in a packet of baseball cards. This won’t be the last we will be hearing from this cracking new rock and roll band.

WICKED – The Last American Rock Band

Rochester, NY rockers Wicked certainly give it a go to live up to the albums name with their latest long-player, The Last American Rock Band.

The audio template here is pure unfiltered, high energy Rock & Roll drawing influences from the classic Sunset Strip era, back to 80’s Def Leppard, Bon Jovi arena rock, and beyond. And, yes there’s cowbell, most spectacularly on “Hooligans,” a song that could have been ripped right from the cover of Cream magazine.

From the opener, “American Rock Rock n’ Roller” there is a visceral, euphoric mood changer that will envelope you once the gang vocals kick in and the aural vision of Night Ranger by way of The Romantics is sugar-bombed into your brain.

Once the closer, “Hot Stage Lights,” a perfect song for Luke Spiller and The Struts, to cover, finishes, the lighters are lit awaiting the power ballad that never arrives.

Bryan Adams – So Happy It Hurts

You likely would have to go back to 1984 to come up with the last time that Bryan Adams and John Mellencamp released quality records in the same year, but with the release of So Happy It Hurts following on the heels of Mellencamp’s Strictly a One-Eyed Jack released earlier in the year, your ship has come in.

Right from the opening title track, it might as well be the summer of ‘69 all over again. The Tom Waits-lite rasp is more whiskey soaked than ever, the radio- friendly cruise with the top down anthems are all in place, and if you are looking for a summer jam in the middle of March you have been to the right place.

With expectations low and subsequently shattered with this record, unlike reruns of All In The Family, Bryan Adams has aged remarkably well. Virtually every song here could have snuggled in quite nicely next to 83/84’s records Cuts Like A Knife or Reckless. And, that pretty much is all you need to know about this sparkling record from an artist that you had forgotten that you missed very much.

Matt North – Bullies In The Backyard

Matt North is one the consummate musician session player artists. While he might not be a household name just yet, he has been on stage drumming with the likes of Maria McKee, Peter Case, and a slew of others.

Here, on his own proper solo record, Bullies In The Backyard, he further stretches his singing and songwriting chops with a warm set of songs that range from Americana to roadhouse boogie at the drop of a whiskey glass. “Hollywood Forever” is a mariachi tinged wonder in the Springsteen “Glory Days” mold, “Trophy Case” is a girl on the prowl Jesse Dayton-worthy story song, and “Stay On The Outside” has a Tom Petty “Breakdown” essence about it.

With an Outlaw Country Americana vibe that would make The Highwaymen proud, this new find deserves some heavy play in your musical rotation.

Five Cool Ones: Five New Records Released This Week (January 21, 2022)

Sure, the week is a little slow on the new release front, but we are doing the work so you don’t have to in order to deliver to your ears some choice musical nuggets.

The Mysterines are barely out of their teens, have yet to release a proper album, yet these Liverpool rockers are set to take over the world two ears at a time.

Pretty much the only thing you need to know about Ceramic Animal is that the Black Keys and Easy Eye Records major-domo Dan Auerbach is twirling the knobs producing their upcoming album. The blend of classic ’70s countrypolitan splendor on this one will have you riding through a desert on a horse with no name.

The Canadian band The Damn Truth is setting stages on fire in support of their 2021 record, Now or Nowhere. All you really need to know about these guys is that they have opened for ZZ Top, Metallica, as well as Rival Sons and their latest record was produced by Bob Rock. “Only Love” opens up like a Bon Jovi lighters lit anthem and quickly morphs into a Heart Wilson sisters rocker at the blink of an ear courtesy of Lee-La Baum and her back of the barroom vocals.

And, yes there’s more. Here are five new records that are nibbling at our ear lobes this week.

John Mellencamp – Strictly A One-Eyed Jack

It’s hard to believe that it has been forty years since John Mellencamp was telling us to “hold on to 16 as long as you can.” Here, on his latest, Strictly A One-Eyed Jack we find the singer fully shedding his Springsteen lite midwest rocker overalls in favor of a Leonard Cohen worthy coat of paint.

The voice is rough and battle-scarred, somewhere North of Lemmy and South of Tom Waits, a result of decades of chainsmoking, but it still sounds great and is perfectly suited for the spare storytelling fare that he presents on this one.

Two songs, “Did You Say Such A Thing” and “Wasted Days” feature The Boss himself on guest vocals, are particularly great. And, the piano-sparse “Gone So Soon” could have easily been the last cut on any one of the early Tom Waits records.

If you haven’t spent any time with John Mellencamp since the “Pink Houses Days” allow yourself a visit, He is aging quite nicely.

Keb Mo’ – Good To Be …

After refurbishing his childhood home in Compton and alternating residences between California and Nashville, Kevin Morris, aka Keb Mo’ continues to reside deep in the pocket of what has become practically his own musical genre with a fusion of Delta Blues, Contemporary Country, Americana, and Soul.

“The Medicine Man” is a gospel stomper with Old Crow Medicine Show providing authentic hillbilly sensibility to an otherwise politically tinged tune, “Good To Be (Home Again)” proves once and for all that you can go home again, and you need to stick a pin in “Sunny And Warm” and dust it off for the summer hammock and sipping season.

There is a feel-good ebb and flow on this record that is inspired and soul-stirring. Feel free to walk on by the closing track “Quiet Moments.” This Lionel Richie ’80s ballad song could have been left off the record, all for the better.

The Whitmore Sisters – Ghost Stories

Sure, this may be the debut record under the name Whitmore Sisters, but if you are hip to the Americana scene at all you have heard both Bonnie and Eleanor Whitmore in various musical configurations over the last decade. Bonnie has four solo albums under her belt, Eleanor is a member of The Mastersons with Chris Masterson, and they are both card-carrying members of Steve Earles’ band, The Dukes.

Here, with Ghost Stories, the sisters Whitmore definitely seem to have found their niche. The opener “Learn To Fly” is a harmony-laden splendor that would make First Aid Kit blush, “The Ballad of Sissy & Porter” is a cross between “Jack and Diane” and “The Road Goes On Forever,” and the closer “Greek Tragedy” is a weeper made even more emotionally heartfelt with the blending on the sisterly voices.

This one is a grower that should grow onto many of the top ten lists when the end of the year rolls around.

Tinsley Ellis – Devil May Care

Tinsley Ellis has long stepped out from the shadow of Stevie Ray Vaughan and is still going strong. And now, 20 albums in, he is just as fresh, vibrant, and relevant as ever. On Devil May Care Ellis pays tribute to The Allman Brothers on ten tightly wound tunes culled from a batch of 200 songs written during a pandemic induced creative burst of energy. From the opening Allman’s “No Way Out” inspired salvo all systems are go as Tinsley’s leathery, whiskey soaked voice takes over and joins the party with the band kicking in creating a joyful Eat A Peach worthy noise.

Using overdubs of his own lead and slide playing to recreate the Almann’s signature sound with added musical texture courtesy of the presence of a trumpet and saxophone player in the band, the players are tight and in-step as any band you will find this side of Muscle Shoals.

Whether he is wandering the back alleys with the late night subtle blues of “Don’t Bury Our Love,” jumping center stage on the Hendrix chanelling “Step Up,” or taking the “Slow Train to Hell” like he does on the closer that owes more than a little debt to ZZ Top’s “Blue Jean Blues,” Tinsley Ellis may have just released the Blues record of the year. And, it’s only January.

Miles Kane – Change The Show

As co-frontman with Alex Turner in The Last Shadow Puppets, Miles Kane is known for his tightly constructed symphonic melodies in the Paul Weller Mold. And here, with his fourth record, he has hit his stride as a solo artist.

Chanelling Marc Bolan on the opener “Tears Are Falling” Kane somehow manages to rhyme orchestrator and cocktail maker on a song that could have been in the ether somewhere in the late ‘6os. The ghost of “Wah-Wah” era George Harisson surfaces on “See Ya When I See Yah,” and on the effortlessly ebullient “Coming of Age” he lyrically outkicks his coverage with the line “whisk me off to Sicily, we’ll pretend we know history.”

Putting forth nostalgic influences front and center is nothing new for an artist that moves from Beatles to Pop to Motown, and on to Phil Spector, with many time machine stops along the way, with the ease of a member of the Wallenda family walking a tightrope with a bicycle on their shoulder.

Video of the Day: Erin Rae – Modern Woman

This video is well-deserving of multiple plays for the prominent display of the vinyl of the Leon Russell And The Shelter people record alone, not to mention it is a great song. “Modern Woman” is from the freshly minted e.p. released in advance of her proper full-length, Lighten Up. Produced by Jonathan Wilson in his Topanga Canyon studio, this one is setting up to be a stunner.

Five Cool Ones: Five New Records Released This Week (January 14, 2022)

The wait is over, the new year is upon us, and we lie in wait for a bevy of new releases over the next few months. It should be a big first part of the year as John Mellencamp has a guest-laden record in the hopper called Strictly a one-eyed Jack, the mighty Jethro Tull is coming out of hibernation, and speaking of Classic Rock titans, Bryan Adams, The Scorpions, Tears For Fears, and Ozzy Ozbourne all will be tickling your ears soon in 2022.

In the meantime, the always intriguing Mitski has already released an e.p. in advance of a formal long-player later in the year. Her single, “Love Me More” is already getting buzz for inclusion on many year-end lists.

Never sleep on Bryan Adams as the Canadian Rocker has, coming to eardrums near you, a new album with the release of So Happy It Hurts. And, well it sounds like Bryan Adams.

And, Eddie Vedder has teamed up with a couple of Chili Peppers forming a new band called The Earthlings with a platter due in February.

And now, without further ado, we have five tasty nuggets all set to tickle your eardrums and rattle your senses this week.

Elvis Costello – The Boy Named If

With this follow-up to 2020s Hey Clockface, Elvis Costello shows no signs of slowing down. From the scorcher of an opener, “Farewell, OK,” Costello and his band, The Imposters, kick things into gear and party like it’s 1977 and they are living in the My Aim Is True glory days. The voice hasn’t changed too much, Elvis never was one for stretching out the high notes, and, here he stays very much within his range with his delivery that is pure E.C. vocal splendor.

The title track, with If actually meaning imaginary friend, is Classic Costello with its off-beat eccentric songwriting, and returning to ballad form, “Paint The Red Rose Blue” should stand the test of time as one of his best songs. And, “Magnificent Hurt,” to our ears, is best in class. This one is a lost-in-time record that is could have been released anytime from 1980 to the present.

Put a pin in this one for top album of the year consideration.

Cat Power – Covers

It only took 12 years for Cat Power, aka Chan Marshall to come up with the follow-up to her 2010 release, The Covers Record, the album that featured her seminal version of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” This time out, she covers songs by Bob Seger, The Replacements, and Billie Holiday among others in her own style making the songs almost recognizable but no less glorious.

Seger’s “Against The Wind” is transformed into a night-noir ethereal wonder, the piano-based Replacements seldom covered “Here Comes A Regular” has a definite Tom Waits touch to the proceedings, and the one-two punch of Jackson Browns’s “These Days” and “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” strays into Nina Simone territory when it comes to an artist making the song their own.

Ari Roar – Made To Never Use

Ari Roar is the name that singer/songwriter Caleb Campbell uses for his self-released projects. With a Ben Folds by way of Wilco vibe, the songs are all Indie-Pop bangers that you will be able to digest in short 2-3 minute jangly bursts. “Take Me Over” is Jack Johnson by way of John Lennon, and “Far From The Rest” could have been a Replacements with a slight Police vibe.

The hooks, rhythms, and melodies, all coalesce into a catchy set of songs that you should bring back out when the weather gets warmer and the drinks get colder.

Poco – One Night in Nashville

For many, the seminal band Poco is considered to be one of the original OG’s of Americana and the Country-Rock sound. Originally formed by Buffalo Springfield members Richie Furay and Jim Messina, the band released 18 albums with multiple hit singles including “Crazy Love,” “You’d Better Think Twice,” and “Rose of Cimarron.”

Now, the 2004 live concert from Nashville has been polished up into a spectacular blue vinyl edition that should serve to satisfy longtime fans of the band as well as those who are just starting to explore the roots of American Music. Reuniting original members Furay, Rusty Young, and drummer George Grantham, the band runs through all of the hits with particularly stellar versions of “Call It Love” and the harmony-laden “Good Feeling To Know” as stone-cold standouts. “Bad Weather” is a deep-cut must-hear.

Jacob Bryant – Barstool Preacher

Once you get past Garth Brooks, the ’80s flavor of Country music is not deserving of the scorn and ridicule that it seems to get in some circles. Travis Tritt, Alan Jackson, Clint Black, John Anderson it’s all good music, certainly better than the “all hat, no cattle” purveyors of the scene that seem to be prevalent today.

Here, with his latest record, Bar Stool Preacher, Jacob Bryant’s ear-melds ’80’s Alan Jackson country along with contemporary outlaw country in the Jamey Johnson and Chris Stapelton mold that would fit in perfectly at your next fourth of July party or your next bourbon binge.

“Well Whiskey (Discount Cigarettes)” could have been a hit song for Keith Whitley, and on the semi rocked-up “Good Ol’ Boy,” Bryant laments his local turning into a hipster bar with boys in skinny jeans and no Skynyrd songs in the jukebox.