Five Cool Ones: Five (More) Reasons Rock Is Not Dead

The Lemon Twigs – The Fire

Remember when Rock and Roll was fun. People didn’t take themselves or the music too seriously and it was ok to be a bit different. Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting The Lemon Twigs.

The Dirty Nil – Bathed In Light

When you open for The Who your band must be pretty good. Part early who and part ramshackle MC-5 these Canadian dudes can light up a stage.

The Regrettes – California Friends

Part Pretenders, part 60’s Girl Group, all cool.

Glorious Sons – Josie

These Canadian brothers mix Springsteen worthy lyrics with With Kings of Leon Indie Rock credibility.

Massive Wagons – Under No Illusion

One nation under a hook and a groove, these guys are pretty much arena level ready right out of the box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Cool Ones: Five Cool Albums Released This Week

Another week for the Icons. Paul Weller, Tony Bennett, Willie Nelson, and Richard Thompson all have records coming out this week.

Willie Nelson – My Way

Willie can roll out of bed and handle anybody’s songbook. This time it is Frank Sinatra’s.

Richard Thompson – 13 Rivers

This one really highlights a masterful guitar player at the peak of his powers.

Tony Bennett and Diana Krall – Love Is Here To Stay

First k.d. Lang, then Lady Gaga, now Diana Krall. Tony Bennett certainly has a way with the ladies.

Paul Weller – The Meanings

Sir Paul Weller is aging quite well. This one takes on a bit of a Jazzy tone, but is still a must listen for all Weller Fans.

Alejandro Escovedo – The Crossing

On this, his first album since relocating from Austin to Dallas, Escovedo delivers a song cycle that tries to answer the question what would have happened if he had tried to migrate to the U.S. in these times instead of 60 years ago as his father did.

Five Cool Ones: Five Cool Bands On Our Radar

5Gringo Star

Don’t sleep on these guys despite their eclectically cool band name. The sound is a bit vintage, and they are very proud of this fact. Swirling guitars, hazy vocals, and a very laid back approach make this band unique. Thin Feist and Cat Power here, but only if they grew up listening to Buddy Holly, The Kinks, or The Animals. Their new record is called Back to the City and is well worth a listen.

Gold Star

Power Pop is alive and well in 2018, Gold Star is carrying the torch quite nicely. Also known as Marlon Rabenreither, his given name, his latest record Uppers & Downers was recorded at historic Valentine Studios in Los Angeles. At it’s poppiest the record has a real Greg Kihn or Bodeans vibe to it. When he takes it lower and slower like he does on “Chinatown,” a song that was inspired by the spirit of a recently deceased friend, he evokes the ghost of Elliot Smith or the spirit of Paul Westerberg.

Dan Mangan

Dan Mangan is one of those guys that should be a lot more famous than he is. Toiling pretty much in anonymity North of the border in Vancouver, Mangan is a two-time JUNO (Canadian Grammy)  winner and is a several time nominee for the coveted Polaris award. A couple of singles he has released ahead of his new record shows an artist that is ready to break through in a big way.

Slothrust

Slothrust is songwriter, singer, guitar player, and all around cool Rock Chick Leah Wellbaum along with drummer Will Gorin and bassist Kyle Bann. Their new record that comes out on September 14th hits you between the ears with the fierceness of a wolverine. Think Patti Smith if she wasn’t o depressed back in the 70’s.

River Whyless

River Whyless is a should be on your radar from Asheville, North Carolina. Having started as a more traditional folk band, on their new record, Kindness, A Rebel, they lay on a psychedelic landscape with some Fleetwood Mac style harmonies to create a wholly unique sound that will wash over you like a dip in a cold spring on a hot day.

Five Cool Ones: Five Cool Releases For This (August 31, 2018)

5In preparation for a bunch of cool new releases for the pre-Christmas release frenzy, we are starting to get some cool ones coming in.

Tash Sultana – Flow State

Multi-Instrumentalist Tash Sultana is really good. Here, she plays all of the instruments and channels Pink Floyd, J.J. Cale, Jimi Hendrix as well as Janelle Monae. There is not a song that is not cool on this record and “Blackbird” is a virtual Stunner.

Madeleine Peyroux – Anthem

This one is pure Madeleine Peyroux. Enough nuance and cross genre jumping to make things interesting without losing her Jazz sensibilities.

Passenger – Runaway

This time out England’s Mike Rosenberg, AKA Passenger, shows his love for his American roots, his father is from New Jersey, his mother from England, with a breezy, twangy record that is worth several listens.

Aaron Lee Tasjan – Karma For Cheap

Yep, it is finally here. We have been waiting for this one since it was first announced. Psychedelic in all the best of ways, this one spins the stylings of 70’s singer songwriter, George Harrison, and a little Glam on the side for a delectable listen.

Muncie Girls – Fixed Ideals

Whether you want to call this 3 piece U.K. band Post-Punk, Rock and Roll, or Indie Rock, it’s all good. There is a bit of Blondie vibe going on here with a whole lot of energy and swagger that carry’s through the entire record.

 

Five Cool Ones: 5 Cool Vintage Country Acts

5With Chris Stapleton between albums and Jamey Johnson continuing to put out material at a snails pace it is up to a new crop of country crooners to catch our ear. Here are five artists that are keeping the Honky Tonk alive.

Midland – Drinking Problem

Straight-Up George Strait vibing is this band from Dripping Springs Texas. They look the part and dress the part. The band name comes from a Dwight Yoakam song, the suits come right out of Porter Waggoner’s closet.

Dawn Landes – Traveling Songs

With the songwriting chops of Lucinda Williams and singing voice somewhere in the Emmylou Harris range, her new record, Meet Me at the River, Just might be the Country record of the year. It doesn’t hurt that the record was produced by the legendary Fred Foster, the producer responsible for hits from Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton.

Courtney Marie Andrews – Kindness of Strangers

In 2017 Courtney Marie Andrews released the highly excellent Honest Life to critical acclaim. This year, she has followed up in fine fashion with May Your Kindness Remain. The voice floats in the like early Linda Ronstadt or a present day First Aid Kit. The entire record is great but pay special attention to thus song as well as “Two Cold Nights In Buffalo”.

Tennessee Jet – Buenas Noches From A Lonely Room

Tennessee Jet is cutting his teeth opening for the big boys of the Outlaw Country revival going fret to fret with Cody Jinks and Whitey Morgan in venues across the country. Never straying too far from his Dwight Yoakam inspired roots, Mr. Jett is an artist on the rise.

Joshua Hedley – Weird Thought Thinker

His new record, Mr. Jukebox, should go to to toe with Dawn Landes for Country record of the year, for our ears anyway. Joshua Hedley could easily have been a Texas Playboy. Here is the latest single from the album.

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.

Five Cool Ones: Five Cool Live Performances

5

Elton John and Miley Cyrus – Tiny Dancer

A captivating performance from the 60th annual Grammy Awards.

Tedeschi Trucks Band – Everybody’s Talkin

This might be pound for pound the best cover version of “Everybody’s Talkin” written by Harry Nilsson. To our ears anyway.

Paul McCartney (feat. Billy Joel) – Le It Be

Live from Shea Stadium in 2008 Billy Joel pops in on Paul McCartney for a stirring rendition of “Let It Be.”

Rival Sons – Electric Man

Rival Sons Jay Buchanan prowls the stage like some sort of crazy hybrid of Jim Morrison, Eddie Vedder and Robert Plant.

Beth Hart and Joe Bonammasa – I’d Rather Go Blind (Live In Amsterdam)

If you haven’t seen the live video Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa Live in Amsterdam right that wrong post haste. You will be a better person for it.