Music Releases 08-23-19
Seratones aptly named sophomore release POWER is described by poet and author Hannif Abdurraquib as a glorious, swelling album[a] sonic monument, and precise lyrical tapestry. AJ Haynes bends her gloriously malleable voice seamlessly around the temples of rock, and soul, and funk. All of them, unfurling in waves of keys, staccato percussion and wailing curves of guitar. Based in Shreveport, Louisiana, Haynes and founding members, drummer Jesse Gabriel and bassist Adam Davis, form the kind of laser-focused rhythm section that you only get from bandmates who've been playing together since they were teenagers. New members Tyran Coker (keys) and Travis Stewart (guitar) bring a fresh dynamic to the band with interstellar soundscapes and entrancing melodies, all while maintaining the emotional edge and intensity from their acclaimed proto-punk debut record Get Gone.vPOWER exemplifies a true strength in vulnerability, a kaleidoscopic view into Haynes passions, hopes, and worries: from her love of poetry to her advocacy for Reproductive Justice and racial equity. Hard-learned lessons from lovers and intimate friends. The struggles to adapt and overcome. POWER is as much a statement as it is a question, a semiotic exploration of sound and Soul.
Produced by Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings, While I’m Livin’ is Tanya Tucker’s first album of all new music in 17 years and signals the return of this country music icon.
"While I'm Livin'" is an album of mostly original music written by Brandi Carlile, the twins and Tanya Tucker about her real life and the places she's seen. This album is a musical biography of sorts narrated by the greatest country and western singer this side of Johnny Cash. When the kids heard Cash stripped down on "American Recordings" they knew where their outlaw country music came from. When they hear Tanya stripped down on "While I'm Livin'", they'll know it again.
GRAMMY Award-winning MCA Nashville country star Vince Gill announced today that his new album, Okie, will be released on August 23. Gill wrote or co-wrote all 12 songs on Okie. The album s title is taken from the once-derogatory term used to disparage migrants from Oklahoma to the nation s west coast during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression eras. A proud Oklahoman, Gill has appropriated this term on an album that embraces his roots and explores some of the most important issues of our time. I thought this was going to be a songwriter record, not a concept album, Gill says. It wound up being more information than I d envisioned. A friend sent me an email saying, You could have only written this record after living a 60-year-plus life. He said, There s no struggle in these songs, just truth and your experience. Okie marks Gill s most recent solo album since 2016 s Down To My Last Bad Habit and 2011 s Guitar Slinger. In 2013, Gill partnered with famed steel guitarist Paul Franklin on Bakersfield as a tribute to the Bakersfield sound of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. With 21 GRAMMY Awards to his credit. Gill has solidified his place as country music s most eloquent and impassioned champion. He is both a world-class musician and a wide-ranging songwriter whose compositions earned him entry into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007. Gill has also made appearances on over 1000 artists records. In 2017, Gill was invited to join the Eagles for their worldwide tour, and later this month he will again join the band for the European leg of their upcoming tour with stops in Antwerp, Belgium, Cologne, Germany and Amsterdam.
Power pop legends The Rubinoos are known for turning bubblegum into gold with ridiculously catchy tunes like I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend, their cover of Tommy James & The Shondells' I Think We're Alone Now, and the theme song to Revenge of the Nerds. They were the backing band when Jonathan Richman recorded the alternate version of Roadrunner and they opened 56 shows for Elvis Costello on his Armed Forces tour. But what's most impressive is that The Rubinoos are approaching their 50th anniversary and penning some of their finest songs to date. From Home is a homecoming recording of sorts. It reunites the original lineup of the band and was recorded in the same studio where they recorded their first single for Beserkley Records nearly half a century ago. The album was co-written and produced by Chuck Prophet, and right from the opening of the lead track Do You Remember, you'll realize that The Rubinoos never left and are here to take you back to Berkeley with them. The first pressing of From Home arrives on limited edition black and yellow splatter vinyl!
Nothing less than one of the great vocal jazz albums, this Grammy-winning 1956 collection showcased a large orchestra arranged by Buddy Bregman and famous versions of 'Miss Otis Regrets,' 'I Get A Kick Out Of You,' 'Every Time We Say Goodbye,' 'Night And And Day,' 'Love For Sale' and 'I've Got You Under My Skin.'
CEREMONY make their Relapse Records debut with their highly ambitious new album, 'In the Spirit World Now'. It will hit stores on CD and LP on 8/23. The album sees CEREMONY at the height of their creative output, as the always-evolving Rohnert Park quintet take various influences from post punk and rock to create one of the summer's most compelling and infectious records.
"It's obvious he was destined to become one of Bluegrass's contemporary stars." -Boston Globe "Michael Cleveland is as versatile as they come, but when it comes to straight-up bluegrass, whether it's a 'bootstomper' or a high and lonesome lament, his peers are few and far between" -All Music Guide "He takes no prisoners but he plays with a restraint and a soul. He plays without abandon." -Vince Gill Featuring Special Guests: Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Tommy Emmanuel, Béla Fleck, Del McCoury, Tim O'Brien, the Travelin' McCourys, and Dan Tyminski "Untouchable." That's how Vince Gill describes the playing of bluegrass fiddler Michael Cleveland in the inspiring documentary about the GRAMMY-nominated musician's life, Flamekeeper: The Michael Cleveland Story. On his new album TALL FIDDLER, Cleveland lives up to Gill's lofty praise, showing off the verve, dexterity and intensity that have made him one of the most transfixing performers today - of any genre. It's that crossover appeal that distinguishes TALL FIDDLER, a record that blends string-music with country, jam-grass with folk, and is geared to introduce Cleveland-who, as he talks about in the Flamekeeper film, overcame partial deafness and being born blind-to a wider audience. Yes, bluegrass may be the Indiana native's first love, but on this album, Cleveland rocks. His masterful playing attracts an all-star roster of guests on TALL FIDDLER. No less than Del McCoury, a pillar of bluegrass, appears on the album, singing "Beauty of My Dreams" (Cleveland's favorite Del song) with Flamekeeper vocalist Josh Richards. Elsewhere, Dan Tyminski harmonizes with Richards on the chugging "Son of a Ramblin' Man" and the gorgeous "Mountain Heartache," also featuring Jerry Douglas on Dobro. Tim O'Brien and make appearances too, helping flesh out an album that, while a collaborative effort, is guided by the gifts of Michael Cleveland. It can also be tempting to sum up his playing as effortless. But that'd be selling the musician short. His journey to a GRAMMY-nomination and a record-setting 11 wins as Fiddle Player of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association, among other IBMA honors, only came through hard work and indomitable spirit.
Mainly recorded and produced at Brooklyn's Figure 8 Studios, with Ty Ueda later assisting on final tracking at his Mount Misery studio, Lina Tullgren's Free Cell is masterfully con dent. Some rock elements like nonlinear song structures and syncopated rhythms bleed over from the debut album Won era on tracks like "110717," but the album offers a wider musical palette than it's predecessor, with lush arrangements utilizing strings, brass and sculpted synths throughout. "Golden Babyland" abounds in tension and claustrophobia, finding Tullgren alone and "in the kitchen melting Legos," while the elegant and introspective ballad "Bad at Parties" scores a moment of quiet social paralysis. The strings (arranged by Simon Hanes) that carry through Free Cell echo back to Tullgren's education as a classical violinist, and Lina moves deftly between these various soundscapes, resulting in their most dynamic music to date. Throughout Free Cell, Tullgren looks back on their memories from the position of an analyst, often cool and cynical but always with an undercurrent of humor and deep feeling. In their poetry Lina Tullgren writes anthems for the alienated, for those alone on busses, at parties, at their parents' house, for those who cannot help but feel lonely even if they are surrounded by others. Free Cell invites us to sit and listen, to reflect, but with no guarantee of any of those things being easy.
There is an entire sub-genre of poetry devoted to rivers and their persistent, meditative flow. Emily Dickinson’s “My River Runs to Thee” compares them to the cycle of life, while Alfred Tennyson’s “The Brook” deems them eternal and Kathleen Raine’s “The River” muses on the dream-state they evoke. For transcendent folk-pop artist Shannon Lay, the river is all of the above: It’s the metaphor driving her latest album, the exquisitely uplifting August, which doubles as an aural baptism renewing her purpose for making music. “I always picture music as this river. Everyone’s throwing things into this river, it’s a place you can go to and feed off of that energy,” she says, “and feel nourished by the fact that so many people are feeling what you’re feeling. It’s this beautiful exchange.” The album’s name, August, refers to the month in 2017 when Lay quit her day job and fully gave herself over to music. This was her liberation as an artist, and the album is devoted to paying that forward to her listeners. Lay may be the most chilled-out artist you’ll ever meet. Despite fronting her tranquil solo act and being a guitarist/singer in the indie-rock band Feels, she never pressures herself to overachieve. Nonetheless, she regularly does: in a glowing review, Pitchfork anointed her last album, Living Water, “captivating.” With her life devoted to music, Lay often spends hours a day simply playing the guitar, challenging herself to become better. “It just feels so good, doing something that is so much bigger than myself. I think so much of music is that, realizing that it’s coming from something beyond and you are just the messenger” says Lay, who took guitar lessons at age 13, which introduced her to Neil Young and The Beatles. After high school, she moved from Redondo Beach, Calif., to Hollywood and joined an indie-rock band. “It was an energy I needed to release,” she says. The exact type of energy may have changed, but her drive hasn’t. August was mostly written in three months, during Lay’s first solo tour for Living Water. “For the most part, all of the songs were just guitar and voice,” she says. In keeping with the humbled, contemplative nature of August, most tracks clock-in at three minutes or less. She saved indulgence for the production. “Some songs as they were had this room to grow,” says Lay, who recorded the album with her longtime friend, musician Ty Segall at his home studio on the East Side. “I believe whoever you record with tends to affect the mood of music and Ty really brought this jovial sense that I hadn’t really explored yet,” she says. Also in the mix is Mikal Cronin, who played saxophone on the album’s opener, “Death Up Close.” “A lot of my friends who are really tough have admitted that they shed a tear when they hear my songs, and I think that really speaks to the visceral aspect of folk music,” Lay says. “It’s this ancient form of expressing yourself.” Think of August as a warm hug for your psyche. “I want to create as much music as I can,” she says, “and leave this spot by the river where people can go sit and enjoy.”