Five Cool Ones: Five New Songs That Rock

Weezer – The End of the Game

The new Weezer album won’t be out until May but if this new rockier version of the band is any indication it is sure to be a scorcher.

Green Day – Father of All

The new record, Father of All, is set for a February 2020 release. The sound is still Green Day but Billie Joe takes the falsetto up a notch or two on this one.

Aubrie Sellers – My Love Will Not Change (feat Steve Earle)

A bit of of a change of Rock and Roll pace for these guys, Steve Earle channels his inner Ray Wylie Hubbard on this one.

Kissin’ Dynamite – Cadillac Maniac

Somewhat cooly bizarre hybrid of Stray Cats channeling Chris Isaak, this one ping pongs between Rockabilly and Sunset Strip Rock at the blink of an ear.

Alice Cooper – East Side Story

Alice Cooper has just released, Breadcrumbs, an E.P. paying tribute to Detroit Rock and Roll bands the likes of Grand Funk and the MC-5. Here, he covers a vintage Bob Seger deep cut.

Five Cool Ones: The Bourbon Trail, Five Cool Bourbon Inspired Songs

Here at Rock is the New Roll we are big fans of the Rockin’ The Suburbs Podcast. Their latest episode features Bourbon songs. At the end of the episode they asked for listeners to come up with their own Bourbon song list. So, it seemed like a good time for Bernie Sparrow, Jeremy Wren, Nigel Owl, Cletus Crow and the rest of the Rock is the New Roll editorial staff to get their Bourbon Mojo going.

James LeBlanc – Five Star Dive Bar

A five star dive bar seemed to be a good place to start a Bourbon crawl. So, we powered up the Chevy and headed to the levy looking for some Neon Lights.

The Cadillac Three – All The Makings of a Saturday Night

This one pretty much says it all as we start climbing the party hill.

“Conway, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Charlie Daniels, Jim Beam Black Label sip sip fast.”

“That spot nobody knows just me and my bros and my special lady friend shaking that ass, we got all the makin’s of a Saturday night.”

John Lee Hooker – Big Legs, Tight Skirt

We are on the third round now, that’s 9 fingers if your scoring at home, and the buzz is starting to kick in as you check out the clientele in the dive bar.

Dale Watson – Call Me Lucky

We are in the dive bar sweet spot now. 12 fingers, four drinks down the pipe now and we are on warp speed. Tensions are released, inhibitions are slowly melting away.

“One on the right, one on the left, one is a blonde, ones a brunette, if you don’t know my name, I bet you can guess, they call me Lucky.”

Tom Waits – The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)

We now have crossed the Cape of Good Hope and are in uncharted territory, so much so that we have lost track of how many Bourbons we have had. Naturally, there is no better time than the present to show off my musical prowess by getting up in front of the crowded bar to tickle the ivories. There are two problems with this however. First, I don’t know how to play the piano, and second, there is no piano in the dive bar. Stay tuned for “Sunday Morning Coming Down.”

Five Cool Ones: Five Albums Released Today (September 13, 2019)

Janiva Magness – Janiva Magness Sings John Fogerty

As big fans of Janiva Magness when she plays it straight, and here where she covers some of our favorite John Fogerty songs we are all in as well. Thankfully no “Centerfield” here, but with such afternoon delights as “Lodi” with Sam Morrow, Rock is the New Roll favorite “A Hundred and Ten in the Shade,” and a sublime version of “Have You Ever Seen The Rain, this one is a stone cold winner.

Jeremy Ivey – The Dream and the Dreamer

Mostly known for his work with Buffalo Clover as well as his role as Mr. Margo Price, Jeremy Ivey is stepping out on his own in fine fashion. Here, his 60’s County-Pop flag is flying as he carries his Laurel Canyon vibe to what should be the start of a terrific solo career. “Diamonds back to Coal” is the cream of a stellar crop.

Sam Fender – Hypersonic Missiles

He has already opened for Bob Dylan and Neil Young, and now, with the release of his full-length debut, Sam Fender is poised for the next level. Already drawing comparisons to Bruce Springsteen, his rousing arena ready anthems the likes of “Will We Talk” are U2 meets the Boss in their respective prime.

Twin Peaks – Lookout Low

Famous for their live shows in their home town of Chicago, on Lookout Low the band channels 70’s FM Rock. Produced by Ethan Johns, the setting is Big Star in places and Basement era The Band in others. “Dance Through It” has a Jackson Browne by way of Simple Minds flavor to it and is worth the price of admission alone.

Leeroy Stagger – Strange Path

Americana artist Leroy Stagger delivers a solid set of Roots Rock. Listen to Leeroy channel his inner Tom Petty on “Deeper Well” and pay tribute to the late Tragically Hip singer on “Hey! Hey! (Song For Gord).”

Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums Released This Week (September 6, 2019)

Black Star Riders – Another State of Grace

With a more than solid follow up to 2017’s album Heavy Fire, this band born from the ashes of Thin Lizzy continues to place themselves on the mount Rushmore of bands that are saving Rock and Roll. The song “Don’t Let Me Down” is a distant cousin to Lizzy’s “Dancing In The Moonlight and is worth the price of admission alone.” The title track is Thin Lizzy meets Dropkick Murphy’s.

Crystal Gayle – You Don’t Know Me

Her first new record in 16 years, Crystal Gayle goes back to her country roots covering classic country tunes the likes of “Walking After Midnight,” “Crying Time,” and “Hello Walls.” “Put it Off Tomorrow” with Tanya Tucker and Peggy Sue Wright lending their voices is a highlite. Extra credit is given for not including her mega-hit “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” on this set.

Iggy Pop – Free

These days it seems that Iggy Pop is trying to channel his inner David Bowie, and truth be told, this is a bit of a miss-step for the godfather of Punk. This record is an odd patchwork of free-form jazz, poetry, ambient sounds, and beat poet musings and it does not quite hit the mark. It seems he has lost his lust for life a bit. But, If you are an Iggy fan you have another era in his storied career to savor.

The Highwomen – The Highwomen

A somewhat hipper spin on the Highwaymen since Brandi Carlile Maren Morris, Amanda Shires, and Natalie Hemby are all pretty much in the prime of their careers, unlike their semi-namesakes that were already on the other side of the hill. Here, the songwriting is crisp, the chemistry is electric, and even though this record was put together pretty quickly there is no sense that this is a one and done project.

Paul Cauthen – Room 41

His 2016 album My Gospel was a terrific record, and this one is even better. Written mostly in room 41 in artist haven that is The Belmont hotel in Dallas, Cauthen’s voice has been said to sound like all four of the Highwaymen combined.

Five Cool Ones – Five Cool Albums Released This Week (August 30, 2019)

Sheryl Crow – Threads

It would be easier to list who is not playing on this record than who is. We are talking Willie, of course, Chris Stapleton, Bonnie Raitt, Mavis Staples, Stevie Nicks, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Jason Isbell, Joe Walsh, Emmylou, James Taylor, and literally many more. Sure most of these folks might not have been in the same room when they recorded their vocals, such is the world in this digital age, but it’s all pretty good.

Jesse Malin – Sunset Kids

This guy loves Neil Young, Tom Waits, and Steve Earle, and that’s good enough for us. On this one, he collaborates with Lucinda twice along with Billie Joe Armstrong.

G-Flip – About Us

Georgia Flipo, otherwise known as G Flip, is a Melbourne artist that is standing on the precipice of fame. This is addictive, shimmering Pop-fastic fun.

Honeyboy Slim & The Bad Habits – Who Put The Jinx?

Who knew that the best blue eyed soul of the year this side of St. Paul and The Broken Bones would come from Sweden.

Joan Shelley – Like The River Loves The Sea

This record is a slow burn. After one listen you will go, ok, Joni Mitchell for the new millennium. After a second listen you will think there is something a bit deep going on here. And, after a third listen, you will be putting this record on your own personal best of the year lists. This record is sensual, provocative and alarming all at the same time.

Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums Released This Week (August 23, 2019)

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.

Five Cool Ones: Five Cool Albums Released This Week (August 16, 2019)

Things are definitely heating up as we jet towards the end of the year. Rodney Crowell releases his Texas Album, Americana stalwart Drew Holcomb delivers a solid set and there a bunch more gems.

Rodney Crowell – Texas

Ronnie Dunn, Willie Nelson, Billy Gibbens, Lyle Lovett and more celebrate all things Texas from the border to the oil patches, the strip bars honky-tonks. From the Piney Woods to the Rio Grande this record is almost as big as the state.

Ikebe Shakedown – Kings Left Behind

This 7 piece instrumental band from Brooklyn fills the air with a steamy brew of Funk, Soul, and Spaghetti Western Retro Psychedelic flair. This one is the soundtrack for when you are getting ready to go out on a Saturday night.

Madison Cunningham – Who Are They Now

It seems appropriate that Madison Cunningham would eventually land on the Verve record label. Her nuanced and sophisticated guitar playing and vocal delivery will remind you of Joni Mitchell in her prime. The songwriting is pure Karla Bonoff.

Lillie Mae – Other Girls

Released on Jack Whites Third Man Records with Producer Dave Cobb at the helm Lillie Mae’s bluegrass leanings are as subtle as they could get without disappearing all together.

Bobby Rush – Sitting On Top Of The Blues

Veteran Bobby Rush might be the last real Blues man standing this side of Buddy Guy. Have guitar and harmonica, will travel. And brilliantly we might add.