Now Playing: Murder Ballads

Welcome to our new feature her at Rock is the New Roll. We will be featuring random songs we are listening to here at RitNR. Most of the songs will have a category assigned so you can look up all the songs in that category as we build the inventory. First up, a murder ballad courtesy of Charlie Crocket.

It was there that he shot her where the lovers were embraced with the bullet he intended for the man that took his place.

Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums Released This Week (July 31, 2020)

We get an extra week this month to check out our favorite records. That’s the good news. The bad news is that is is a pretty tepid week on the new release front. Undaunted, however, we will carry on my wayward sons.

There is a new Stryper song to sink your ears into in advance of a new record to be released later in the year.

Retro Country stars Midland gave us a live video this week from their live at The Palomoino recent release,

and, Rock is the new Roll mega-favorite Lissie is back after an extended absence with the highly excellent track “Just Because I can.

Here are five new records that have earned our attention this week.

Charlie Crockett – Welcome To Hard Times

With this, his 8th album since his 2015 debut,  and his second already this year, to say that Charlie Crockett is on a bit of a roll would be like saying Eric Clapton is good at that guitar thing. Of course, captain obvious. And what a stellar album it is. Expertly walking the tightrope between Classic Country and Americana-Roots music, there is nothing about this old soul crooner that seems past its born-on date. Sure there is a bit of good old countrypolitan in many of the tunes presented here, most notably with the aptly named “The Man That Time Forgot,” but it is on the take me to the honky numbers “Run Horse Run” and “Paint it Blue” where this record really earns it spurs.

Mike Polizze – Long Lost Solace Find

Somewhat of a departure here for Mike Polizze as he strays from the recent Grunge-Garage sound of his band Purling Hiss for a more gently acoustic sound on this, his debut solo record. Played and sung entirely by Polizze with production help from Kurt Vile the record meanders from shoe-gaze to Beck inspired Bedroom Rock at the blink of an ear. There is a bit of grandeur around the subtle instrumentation that deftly floats around the lyrics that might bring to mind Nick Drake or Karen Dalton at their most thoughtful.

Psychedelic Furs – Made of Rain

As the torchbearers for much of the Psychedelic Rock sound that is prevalent in today’s  Indie Rock sound, The Psychedelic Furs have released their first record in over twenty years. Dispanding their snarly Punk sound and sometimes foray into Synth-Pop, this one has a more expansive arena-friendly sound. There are a couple of real highlights here that will genuinely excite the long time fans of the band including “Wrong Train,” a song clearly demonstrating that Richard Butler has lost nothing on his vocal fastball and “Don’t Believe.” Once concerts return to full gear, expect an epic return to glory for this band that practically invented Indie Rock and college radio.

Fontaines D.C. – A Hero’s Death

A Heros Death, the sophomore album from Fontaines D.C. may not be as spot-on dangerous as Dogrel, it is still, none the less, an inspiring record that deserves to be in your record collection. Starting from the opener “I Don’t Belong,” a mid-tempo anthem that highlights the gritty vocal of Grian Chatten, the stage is set for this Dublin Band, sort of a Post-Punk U2, to opine on their world view over 11 tracks of intermittent rage and corresponding thoughtfulness.

“You Said” has a bit of a Velvet Underground feel to it, while the title track certainly shares some DNA with Iggy Pop and the Stooges and might just be the most important song to be released this year

Don’t get stuck in the past
Say your favorite things at mass
Tell your mother that you love her
And go out of your way for others
Sit beneath a light that suits ya
And look forward to a brighter future
Sink as far down as you can be pulled up
Happiness really ain’t all about luck
Let your demeanor be your deep down self
And don’t sacrifice your life for your health
When you speak, speak sincere
And believe me friend, everyone will hear

If only people would listen.

Mojo Buford – Mojo Workin’

The classic Chicago blues is bleeding from every ounce of Mojo Buford’s fine new record, Mojo Workin’. Having the distinction of being the only harmonica player to have played with Muddy Waters in the 1950s, ’60s,’70s, and ’80s Mojo Buford was a Blues staple from Memphis to Chicago before his death in 2011. Originally recorded in 1969 this reissue courtesy of Sundazed records features many of his songs included in his live repertoire including “Got My Mojo Working,”  the song that delivered his nickname when every night he would get requests to play the famous Muddy Waters tune.

The sound quality on this release is excellent and Mojo’s self-penned songs stand equally as tall beside Otis Spann’s “Blues Is Botheration” and Sonny Boy Williamson II’s “Help Me.

If harmonica-blues is your jam, you can’t get much better than this one.

Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums Released Today (September 27, 2019)

Charlie Crockett – The Valley

It has been a bit of a tough year for Charlie Crockett. Just after he finished up the recording sessions for this new record he had major heart surgery. Thankfully, all is well and he can celebrate this masterful bit of Classic Country retro goodness.

Sturgill Simpson – Sound & Fury

Full disclosure, we here at Rock is the New Roll are very divided on this new and very different incarnation of Sturgill Simpson. Here, he goes electric, turns up the amps and noise on this soundtrack to an Anime film.

Temples – Hot Motion

Going back to their roots a bit. Here, The Temples fly there Psyche flag a bit more than they have in quite a while going back to their earlier days and in so doing turn up the Jangle-Pop in fine fashion.

David Hasselhoff – Open Your Eyes

Ok, we have not lost our minds, or our ears for that matter. While we are stopping short of actually recommending this record, the guests on this album are ridiculous. Todd Rundgren, Charlie Daniels, Steve Cropper, Ministry, Flock of Seagulls, Tracii Gunns, Steve Stevens, Eliot Easton, and yes, there’s more.

Billy Strings – Home

The appropriately monikered Billy Springs can play the hell out of pretty much any string instrument. After sharing a side man stage with everybody this side of Zamfir, here, we see his talents on full display with his latest release.

Five Cool Ones: Five More Albums Released Today (September 20, 2019)

Bruce Cockburn – Crowing Ignites

Bruce Cockburn is considered to be a National treasure, as well he should be. While this set of beautiful instrumentals won’t serve to bring him any new fans, this should serve as a calming Sunday Morning record.

Charlie Crockett – The Valley

In his distinct Western drawl Charlie Crockett channels his inner Texan with a Western Swing influenced two-stepper of an album.

Hiss Golden Messenger – Terms of Surrender

M.C. Taylor doing business as Hiss Golden Messenger has created another stunner of an album. Sparse yet tender rules the day here with more than a little social consciousness bubbling up to the surface.

Babe Rainbow – Today

Another album with strong Laurel Canyon vibes. “Morning Song” would have been a hit duet for Herbie Mann and Donovan in 1965.

Andrew Combs – Ideal Man

There is a touch of late era Beatles vibe to this latest album from Andrew Combs. “Firestarter” is a mellow wanderer with a startling sub-text, and “Born Without A Clue” is the story of a man looking in from the outside.