Five Cool Ones: What We’re Listening To (January 7, 2022)

It still will be a couple of weeks yet until things start heating up and the River of new releases starts to flow again. But, in the meantime, there are a lot of groovy tunes to dive into while we wait.

The Sheepdogs – Singing in the Band

Rock is the New Roll uber- favorites The Sheepdogs are keeping themselves busy making some new music that will see the light of day in 2022. Their blend of James Gang by way of Blackberry Smoke vibes will have the toes tapping and ears twirling all in a Smokey haze.

Goodbye June – Stand and Deliver

The first really great E.P. of 2022 has declared itself. And, it’s a stunner. Having dribble-released the songs as singles in 2021, all four songs have been included on their debut E.P, Stand and Deliver. These Nashville Cats walk that tightrope between AC/DC and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The Districts – Outlaw Love

These Pennsylvania Indie rockers blast off like a slightly less cool Rebel Yell-era Billy Idol on one of the first great songs of 2022.

Band of Heathens – Rock and Roll Doctor

Americana rockers Band of Heathens never fail to impress by coming up with unique ways to present their new music. Here, they release another of their collaborative cover songs, this time Little Feat’s “Rock and Roll Doctor” with Dallas psych-rockers White Denim. For extra credit, Search out the collabo with Ray Wylie Hubbard covering “Papa Was A Rolling Stone.”

Edgar Winter, Joe Walsh, David Grissom – Johnny Be Good

Joe Walsh and David Grissom on saxophone sit in with Edgar Winter on a scorched earth version of the Chuck Berry classic. Edgar is in fine form on this one.

Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums Released This Week (September 25, 2020) we

I know, it’s pretty hard to believe but there are only 12 more weeks of ear savoring music to enjoy before the end of the year. Heck, it’s almost time to start working on our world-famous end of the year list.

The Rolling Stones have a newly remastered, and very expensive, Steel Wheels Live package out that is really cool.

Blue Oyster Cult is back and even better than ever with a new record to be released in October.

And, Rock is the New Roll favorites First Aid Kit has released a Swedish language version of their song “Come Give Me Love.”

On top of all that, here are five new records that demand some ear-time.

The Buckleys – Daydream 

The Buckleys are a sibling trio from Byron Bay, Australia. Ranging in age from 17 to 20, Sarah Grace, Lachlan, and Molly have firmly entrenched themselves in the Nashville music machine resulting in their debut record Daydream that is as spit-polished to a fine sheen as you would expect. Despite the mostly mainstream scent on this record, the 80’s ladies country vibe is pleasing to the ear. “Crazy Like You” even rocks it up a bit and “Woodstock69” is fast becoming one of our favorite songs of the year. Who wouldn’t want to dance like a hippy beneath a full moon?

The Band of Heathens – Stranger

With Band of Heathens, not since The Alice Cooper Band has there been a band that is nothing like the image that their moniker might imply. This time out there is not a lot of straying from their normal template with various brands of lone star Blues, country-tinged Americana, Roots Rock, Southern Rock and good old-fashioned Rock and Roll all on full display. There is even a cowbell front and center on the song “Dare.” With just the right mix of storytelling alongside political commentary it is clear that if the goal was to one-up themselves following their highly excellent 2017 release Duende, then, mission fully accomplished.

Bette Smith – The Good, The Bad and the Bette

With her career a bit delayed by her father who felt that a musical career outside the church was wrong, Bette was mentored by Squirell Nut Zipper Jimbo Mathis who encouraged her to come down to Mississippi with him to record her debut record, 2017’s Jetlagger. Returning to the scene of the crime with Mathis once again in tow, this time out Patterson Hood and the rest of the Drive-By Truckers were engaged as producers giving a bit of a roots-rock edge to the Country Soul sound. “Fistfull of Dollars” is a mojo in the dojo ’60s romp, “Signs and Wonders” evokes a bit of Tina Turner, and the closing tear-jerker “Don’t Skip out on Me” tells the story of a couple just trying to keep things together. Mariachi horns and all.

Cayucos – Blue Summer

The allure of the surf and the sand is definitely calling your name the very instant that you drop the needle down on Blue Summer, the latest Surf-Pop extravaganza from L.A. sunshine band Cayucos. Beach Boys touch-points are obvious for sure, but this one goes a bit deeper than that. The tones, textures, harmonies, and knob twirling are varied and all-in ear-pleasing. And the twin brothers at the core of this band Zach and Ben Yudin, never really take themselves too seriously. “Malibu ’79 Long” is a clever homage to “Good Vibrations,””From the Rafters” is full-on “Surfin U.S.A.,” and “California Girl” is most probably the convertible top-down driving song of the year. This is the love letter to summer that you really need right now.

Lydia Loveless – Daughter 
Lydia Loveless has always had that perfect mix of country smooth and Rock and Roll swagger. And now, she is back and better than ever with her latest record, Daughter. Clearly wearing here life well lived heart on her sleeve, this time out she shows a bit more of her vulnerable side most notably on the opener “Dead Writer.” Having made a love-following move from her native Ohio to North Carolina after a tumultuous couple of years since 2016’s Real, Loveless appears to have come out the other side as feisty and no-nonsense as she has been her entire career.