Five Cool Ones: Five New Records Released This Week (May 15, 2020)

Another week where we lament what could have been including some stellar records that were supposed to be released today including the new Chuck Prophet, Weezer, and the great Bon Jovi New album, all widely anticipated records that did not see the light of day today. Here are five nice records that are rocking our hedgerow this week.

Ruthie Foster – Live at the Paramount

Texas Blues legend Ruthie Foster is out front and center with a very strong set from her performance at The Paramount in Austin. Sprinkled in with her stellar original material are several really choice cover versions of “The Ghetto,” “Ring of Fire,” and “Mack The Knife.” Several listens in, the overall sentiment in the halls of Rock is the New Roll is that Ruthie Foster should really be much more famous than she is.

Jason Isbell – Reunions

As expected, the new Jason Isbell record is spectacular. His band, The Four Hundred Unit is one of the cracker-jack units in the business, and this one might surpass Southeastern as the best album in the Jason Isbell canon given enough listening time. Extra credit to Jason for releasing the album exclusively to independent record stores one week in advance of delivering the finished product to the unwashed masses.

Gretchen Peters – The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury

Mickey Newbury is one of those songwriters that wrote a lot of songs that you really love that you will be surprised to hear that Mickey wrote them. Here, Gretchen Peters approaches each song with reverence and love in an understated manner that is perfect for a late-night listen. “Just Dropped in (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” is broken down to the core of its elements, “San Francisco Mabel Joy” is sung with such precision that in your minds-ear you might as well be watching a movie and “She Even Woke Me To Say Goodbye” is even more of a tear-jerker with the delicate interpretation that Gretchen gives it.

The Lickerish Quartet – Threesome, Vol 1.

Anytime that two members of the iconic Bay Area band Jellyfish come together to form a band, color us all in. Here, with Eric Dover and Joseph Manning Jr. coming together with the rest of The Lickerish Quartet it is an event celebrating in Psychedelic Rock heaven even if it’s only an E.P.

Willie Nile – New York at Night

It’s official, with the release of his latest, New York at Night, Willie Nile has taken the mantle from Lou Reed as the King of New York. Having been doing his thing from the late ’70’s Nile comes across his love for the city naturally. Here, with “New York Is Rocking,” “The Backstreet Slide,” and “New York at Night” the new Pope of Greenwich Village is more than alive and well.

Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums released this week (November 29, 2019)

Since we are contractually and philosophically obligated to steer away from covering any Christmas releases, the pickings are a bit slim this week. But, fear not fellow music aficionados, there are a couple of cool ones along with some spicy reissues that are deserving to be heard.

Mapache – Mapache

A stripped down version of their laid back Laurel Canyon ethos, this one is carries so much ’70s DNA it could be dating Linda Ronstadt.

If You’re Going To The City: A Tribute To Mose Allison

Mose Allison is one interesting dude. A unicorn of sorts, he plays well in the worlds of Jazz, Blues, Folk, and Americana. Here, Iggy Pop, Bonnie Raitt, Chrissie Hynde, and even Richard Thompson makes an appearance on this one. “Stop This World” and “Parchman Farm” are both pretty special, but the entire set is ear-worthy.

Shawn Lee – Rides Again

Shawn Lee has been around a bit, since the late 80,s and with his vibe of Pop, New-Soul, and 60’s Motown Groove, his latest effort has a distinct retro feel that is cleansing to the palate.

Willie Nile – Beautiful Wreck of a World

Willie Nile, the king of New York, has been creating pretty great music since the 70’s. Sort of a mix of Mink DeVille and Lou Reed, this reissue from 2004 is is a great primer to learn more about an artist that very much should be on your radar.

Jack Green – Humanesque

Known mostly for his work with The Pretty Things, Jack Green has reissued his first solo release, Humanesque, from way back in 1980. Power Pop in the Greg Kihn mold, “I Call No Answer” features Ritchie Blackmore before before he went all Renaissance crazy.