In The Groove
Jamestown Revival have made the quietest record of their career with Young Man, yet it may resonate the most. Recorded in their home state of Texas, it is their first project without electric guitars, with the emphasis instead on skillful songwriting, flawless harmony, and intricate fingerpicking. In addition, it’s the first time that bandmates Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance have created an album with a producer -- in this case, Robert Ellis, a fellow Texan and a recording artist in his own right.
“I really think this is an album about coming of age and settling into an identity,” Clay says. “It’s about losing your identity and searching for it. It’s feeling like you found it and then realizing that’s not it. And it’s about our experiences over the last 15 years of making music – the successes and failures and all of those things mixed up together.”
Sonically the album draws on inspirations such as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and The Doobie Brothers (particularly “Black Water”), yet there’s also a dusty Western feel to Young Man, similar to a Guy Clark or Townes Van Zandt album where the detailed backdrop and acoustic arrangements convey the story as eloquently as the lyrics do.
“This is our first excursion with fiddle and we didn’t hold back,” Chance says. “We wrote a lot of these songs about the questions and the perspectives now that we’re a lot older and have been doing this longer. It’s almost like having a conversation with ourselves at times. We wanted it to feel earthy and rootsy, so the fiddle was a big part of that identity.”
A sense of spaciousness came naturally in past projects like 2014’s Utah, recorded in the Wasatch Mountains, and 2019’s San Isabel, recorded in a Colorado cabin. This time, the band opted for a studio for the first time, choosing Niles City Sound in Fort Worth, Texas. Studio co-founder Josh Block engineered Young Man to evoke the experience of musicians huddled together, singing and playing without headphones or click tracks. Chance and Clay are joined on the session by their longtime rhythm section of bassist Nick Bearden and drummer Ed Benrock.
“The songs move, the tempos move, but we really wanted to capture the performances,” Clay explains. “We wanted the songs to push and pull as they needed to, and not to have to adhere to a grid. It feels like the songs straighten out too much when that happens, so it was cool to be in a studio with an engineer and producer who really supported that idea.”
Chance continues, “All of the adventures we’ve had recording in different places have been fun, but the burden of bringing our own gear, setting it up, and then being our own producer is a lot to carry on our shoulders sometimes. With Robert, he always has an opinion and he could help us pick a direction. We could relinquish control and focus on capturing our best performance.”
Young Man opens with “Coyote,” a plaintive ballad the duo wrote on their ranch near Huntsville, Texas, about an hour north of their hometown of Magnolia. With its lonesome tones and sly title character, it sets the tone for the album, pulling in listeners with blended voices and a narrative that befits a campfire setting. From there, songs like “Young Man,” “Moving Man,” “Northbound,” and especially “These Days” further explore their restless frame of mind, due in no small part to the pandemic.
As Clay explains, “I think what we asked ourselves a lot throughout this process were questions like, ‘Damn, where did our fire go? Do we still have it?’ I didn’t pick up a guitar for six months after our tour got canceled when COVID hit. I just felt like music had turned on me. I felt like I was asking, ‘Am I a musician anymore?’” Chance agrees with that sentiment, adding, “It’s easier for us whenever we’re in motion. I don’t think you ever stop to question how fragile it actually is, and then it gets taken away. You lose the ability to identify with it.”
Even as “One Step Forward” finds the duo seeking a silver lining, “Slow It Down” shows them embracing the situation – by strumming their guitars, driving down dirt roads, and catching crawfish. That homegrown approach carries over into “Way It Was,” even as the opening lines address the inevitable changes in life. Meanwhile, “Old Man Looking Back” is a co-write with Ellis, completed in Chance’s kitchen in the weeks leading up to the sessions for Young Man.
However, it’s a different gathering that set Jamestown Revival on the course to make Young Man. After a year apart of not playing together, Chance and Clay invited their band to the ranch to hang out and to record a few songs in their hay barn. The results served as an unintended pre-production of sorts, sparking ideas that they eventually carried into the sessions with Ellis. They also wrote “Coyote” during that time, as well as the album’s closer, “Working on Love.”
Asked about the message of that final song, Chance replies, “For me, it was about the idea of love – and not just intimate love but love in general – being a lifelong journey. It’s similar to how you’ve got to plow the fields and replant the seeds and water it and tend to it. It’s the same way you have to approach your patience for love in your life.”
Chance and Clay envision Young Man as a collection of songs that should be played all the way through, like reading a book. “We had the most amazing time recording this album. We laughed nonstop,” Clay says. “When I listen to this album top to bottom, I’m really proud of what we did. I hope that this album transports people because it’s like a time capsule. It takes us right back to that studio and to that couple of weeks. It felt like we were doing what we were meant to do.”
Bonobo will release new album Fragments, due on January 14, 2022 via Ninja Tune. Fragments is the most emotionally intense record that he - aka Simon Green - has ever had to make. It’s no surprise that it’s also his masterpiece. The album features Jamila Woods, Joji, Kadhja Bonet, Jordan Rakei, O’Flynn and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. Born first out of fragments of ideas and experimentation, the album ultimately was fused together in a burst of creativity fueled by both collaboration and Green’s escape into the wild.
REMIX ED [2LP]
Elvis Costello & The Imposters
The Boy Named If
Elvis Costello & The Imposters release The Boy Named If, an album of urgent, immediate songs with bright melodies, stinging guitar solos, and a quick step to the rhythm. Costello says, “The full title of this record is ‘The Boy Named If (And Other Children’s Stories).’ ‘IF’ is a nickname for your imaginary friend; your secret self, the one who knows everything you deny, the one you blame for the shattered crockery and the hearts you break, even your own.” Produced by Costello and Sebatian Krys.
Cat Power returns with Covers, Chan Marshall’s third album of her celebrated reinterpretations of songs by classic and contemporary artists.
On Covers, Marshall reaches back to songs that have affected her from childhood to the present, connecting each with a deeply personal memory. She recalls her grandmother’s love for Billie Holiday’s “I’ll Be Seeing You” and finding a box of cassettes as a teenager that led her to discovering Kitty Wells’ “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.” She remembers getting chills hearing Iggy Pop’s “Endless Sea” in the 1986 Michael Hutchence film Dogs in Space and being a broke artist in her twenties in New York City spending her last dollar to play the Replacements’ “Here Comes a Regular” on the jukebox at Mona’s. She recorded the Pogues’ “Pair of Brown Eyes,” which she calls one of her favorite songs of all time, after it reminded her of one friend who passed from cancer and turned to Bob Seger’s “Against the Wind” to help her heal from the loss of another.
Alongside covers of rock-and-roll icons from Nico to Nick Cave, Marshall brings her inimitable vocal power and elegant arrangements to songs by contemporary artists, capturing the defiance of Dead Man’s Bones’ “Pa Pa Power” and the dreaminess of Lana Del Rey’s “A White Mustang.” And the album opens with a dazzling cover of Frank Ocean’s “Bad Religion,” of which she says, “I believe in whatever God is called… But I think that the wretched men that have come in history to implement horror on humanity in the name of these religions is something that should be looked at universally.”
Finally, Covers finds Marshall, an artist of constant evolution, reworking “Hate,” a song from her 2006 LP The Greatest on which she sang “I hate myself and I want to die.” Marshall says she has always felt “antsy” about the track and reimagined it as “Unhate,” a new version that looks back on the raw devastation of the original track in the rearview. “We all have bad days,” she says. “We all have shit, trauma, something. There are times when you feel like that. But I needed to make it right.”
Marshall self-produced all of Covers; it was recorded in Los Angeles at Mant Studios with Rob Schnapf, who mixed and engineered.
Against The World
CD: $18.98 Buy
Between1994 to 2001, Green Day would visit the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios in London four times and record live sessions for Radio 1’s “Evening Show” and its popular DJ Steve Lamacq. This compilation documents those sessions, and includes many of the band’s hits including “When I Come Around”, “Basket Case”, “Brain Stew/Jaded” and “Minority”.
Neil Young & Crazy Horse
CD: $18.98 Buy
BARN, the new Neil Young/Crazy Horse album was recorded in a remote, restored, 19th century log barn. This musical family has played together for a half century, yet they continue creating new music. Neil and the Horse fans have long shouted for “more barn” and here it is… 10 new songs that capture the wild, rock and roll spirit, the idiosyncratic raw sound and the lyrical beauty that epitomizes a classic NYCH collaboration. The last song appeared on the last morning and was recorded just an hour later during a pounding hailstorm and during the full moon.
The album was recorded this summer over a handful of days. The ten new songs encompass all that Neil Young with Crazy Horse are known for, beautiful romantic acoustic ballads, powerhouse electric rockers and insightful rollicking tunes that stick with you.
Niko Bolas was parked adjacent to the barn, in an exquisite analog mobile recording truck, Le Mobile ready to capture and mix the album on the spot. Produced by The Volume Dealers – Neil Young and Niko Bolas, the album will be released on vinyl, CD, cassette and digitally. There will also be a deluxe edition that will include the LP, CD. and Blu-ray film.Special edition of the album includes 6 photographs from the Barn sessions.
Buried Loot: Demos from the House of Cash and Outlaw Era, ’73-’78
Deciphering The Message
Black Label Society
Doom Crew Inc.
CD: $11.98 Buy
"El Alimento (translation: the nutrient) is the monumental second album from Cimafunk, the Cuban medical-student-turned-Latin-funk-star who crash-landed onto the music scene with his debut album Terapia in 2017 and an electric live show that been compared to that of James Brown. The sonically dynamic collection masterfully blends Afro-Cuban sounds and rhythms with global funk, hip hop and soul—resulting in a progressive, head-bopping celebration of black music’s power to eclipse borders and cross-pollinate across cultures. Written and recorded over the last year, the album served as an alimento for the soul, a motivation to persevere through the pandemic, as Cimafunk spent countless hours studying decades of musical influences to help understand who he is musically and culturally, and thus, where he wanted this album to take him.
As innovative funk forefather George Clinton (Parliament-Funkadelic), who sings alongside Cimafunk on the opening track "Funk Aspirin," says: “Cimafunk takes it back there while keeping it in the now. It’s what we do, always reinventing the Funk to keep it fresh.”
The 13-track album was co-produced by Cimafunk and Grammy Award-winning producer Jack Splash (Kendrick Lamar, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Goodie Mob, Valerie June, Tank & the Bangas). El Alimento also includes collaborations with US hip hop stars Lupe Fiasco and CeeLo Green; Jamaican dancehall singer Stylo G and Afro-Colombian hip hop group ChocQuibTown; as well as Cuban musicians Chucho Valdes, an AfroCuban jazz icon and '70s funk pioneer, Los Papines, a Cuban Rumba group whose career spans six decades, and AfroCuban rapper and Reggaetonero El Micha."
The French Dispatch (Original Soundtrack) [2 LP]
Vinyl: $39.98 PREORDER
Original soundtrack to Wes Anderson's film, The French Dispatch, in theaters Oct. 22, 2021. The Franco-centric soundtrack features an original score by Oscar-winner Alexandre Desplat, music by E Georges Delerue, Grace Jones and Charles Aznavour, and a new version of the French pop hit "Aline" recorded by Jarvis Cocker. The film revolves around a fictitious newspaper based in a fictional French city of Ennui-sur-Blase, starring Benicio Del Toro, Timothee Chamelet, and Frances McDormand.
Hits [Limited Edition Translucent Red with Black Smoke LP]
Vinyl: $35.98 PREORDER
The Georgia Thunderbolts
Can We Get A Witness [2LP]
Whether it be on the banks of the Mississippi River or deep in the heart of the English countryside, rock 'n' roll lives, breathes, and burns on the outskirts. Hailing from Rome, GA, at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, The Georgia Thunderbolts rise up with a scorching signature style steeped in soulful southern swagger. On, Can We Get A Witness, their full-length debut for Mascot Records, the quintet—TJ Lyle [vocals, harp, piano], Riley Couzzourt [guitar], Logan Tolbert [guitar], Zach Everett [bass, keys], and Bristol Perry [drums]—conjure a tried-and-true spirit through a fresh fire. The line-up of The Georgia Thunderbolts officially cemented when they were still in high school. They shared a wide swath of inspirations, ranging from southern gospel to Hank Williams, Jr., Neil Young, Little Feat, Waylon Jennings, Ray Charles, Merle Haggard to the hard rock of Ozzy Osbourne, Audioslave, Bad Company and of course, Lynyrd Skynyrd. "Got a full tank of gas, and I'm headed down the road, no money in my pocket, destination still unknown," they sing on the album opener "Take It Slow," setting the tone for the album. The Georgia Thunderbolts embody the blue-collar working man who has put their foot down on the accelerator towards the rock 'n roll American dream. "Can We Get A Witness" will be released on CD and digitally via Mascot Records on October 15, 2021, with a vinyl release expected to follow on November 26, 2021. The vinyl includes a bonus track "Better Run From The Beast".
What Happens Next [LP]
On his aptly-titled Mascot Records’ debut, What Happens Next, roots singer-songwriter and guitarist Davy Knowles boldly steps forward with timeless and cohesive songwriting; sleek modern production; and a lyrical, play-for-the-song guitar approach informed from soul, folk, rock, and blues. The 12-song album is just as influenced by The Black Keys, Fantastic Negrito, Gary Clark Jr., as it is Muddy Waters, Junior Kimbrough, and R.L. Burnside. It is a cohesive body of work rather than a collection of disparate songs. On What Happens Next, Knowles’s poetic songwriting, and his soulfully emotive singing steal the show. The 12-song body of work offers forth a peaks-and-valleys album experience winding through brawny riffs, jazzy blues balladry, and vintage soul before concluding with one of Knowles’s most personal songs released to date. Throughout it all, his guitar playing is brilliantly understated, his rhythm work is deft and dynamic—beefy on the rockers, and subtly supportive on the slower tunes—and his leads are economical but feature juicy blues bends and thick as molasses lead guitar tones. "What Happens Next" is released on CD and digitally on October 22, 2021 and on vinyl on December 3, 2021 via Mascot Label Group/Provogue Records.
Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
Love For Sale [Regular - not signed]
Celebrating 10 years since they first recorded together, Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga returned to the studio for another collaboration featuring the very best of the Cole Porter Songbook. Continuing the musical legacy that began with “Lady Is A Tramp,” followed by the GRAMMY winning album, Cheek To Cheek, this new recording captures the evolution of the singular creative and personal relationship of these two world famous artists. Tony, who turns 95 on August 3, 2021, has spent over 7 decades dedicated to performing the Great American Songbook and Lady Gaga who, with Tony by her side, renewed her love of the popular standard and redefined herself in the process. The album features duets as well as solo performances by both artists accompanied by Tony Bennett’s quartet, The Brian Newman Quintet, along with big band and orchestral arrangements by Marion Evans and Jorge Callandrelli.
Happier Than Ever
Billie Eilish has announced her highly anticipated sophomore album. The 16-track studio album, titled Happier Than Ever, will be released via Darkroom/Interscope Records on July 30. Continuing the tradition on from her multi-GRAMMY Award, record-breaking debut album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?, Happier Than Ever features no outside songwriters or producers, and was written by 19-year-old Billie Eilish and her brother FINNEAS who produced the album in Los Angeles. The album includes Top 40 #1 single “Therefore I Am” and “my future.”
Silk Sonic ( Bruno Mars + Anderson .Paak)
An Evening With Silk Sonic
Ice Nine Kills
Welcome To Horrorwood: The Silver Scream 2
CD: $14.98 Buy
True to horror franchise tradition, there is always a sequel... Welcome To Horrorwood: The Silver Scream 2 follows in the bloody footsteps of its predecessor, paying tribute to 13 more of the most gruesome tales to ever grace the silver screen. In this latest INK offering, the last album and video series are portrayed as a work of fiction. The new storyline thrusts the band into a brutal “real world” slaying. The only traces of the crime are 13 songs left behind by the suspected killer.
Gillian Welch & David Rawlings
All The Good Times [Limited Edition LP]
Vinyl: $27.98 Buy
CD: $12.98 Buy
Mica Tenenbaum and Matthew Lewin began their musical journey together over 10 years ago in a Miami after-school music program. Connecting through their shared music tastes, the two formed a band that endured until the two parted ways for college. Not long afterward, Tenenbaum and Lewin reconnected and formed what we now know as the indie-pop duo Magdalena Bay.
The duo released their EP truly moments before the pandemic pervaded through North America, bringing their tour to an abrupt end. Resiliency illustrated at its peak, Magdalena Bay dipped their heads into a focused timeline, coming out of the pandemic with their debut album, Mercurial World. Magdalena Bay peruses the sound of experimental pop, crafting a synthy world that shatters genres and bends time to the pair’s will, elevating their sound to match their philosophical reflections. Lewin shared, “We spend all of our time together, and in some ways Mercurial World is about that particular sense of madness in containment. We live together and make art together; this immerses you in our creative, insular universe.”
A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 2 [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Autographed CD]
Common - "A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 2" - A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 2?is the continuation?of Common's movement music. Common said "something kept telling me to focus on the good and the things I wanted to see in the world. Music is one of the things that gives me hope and happiness." Pt. 1's message lead with love and positivity through difficult times: a pandemic, racial and social justice protests, and a polarizing election. Pt. 2 recognizes there is much work to be done while acknowledging progress and starting to live our dreams. Indie Exclusive Signed CD. Limited Edition
On August 20, 2020 the world lost an amazing light with the passing of Justin Townes Earle. Justin was a vibrant songwriter who could play the blues, country, and rock n roll all in the same song. In his short career, Justin released eight albums and one EP that all manage to sound classic and yet inventive.
Justin's father, Steve Earle, pays tribute to his son by recording an album of songs written by Justin titled, J.T. The album consists of ten Justin Townes Earle songs as well as one song written by Mr. Earle shortly after Justin's passing. J.T. features fan favorites such as "Harlem River Blues," "Far Away In Another Town" and "Champagne Corolla" along with lyrically heavy songs like, "The Saint of Lost Causes" and "Turn Out My Lights."
J.T. is a loving tribute to a loved son and beautiful songsmith who left this earth too early. But in his wake, Justin left a wealth of beauty. All proceeds from this release will be put into a trust for Justin’s 3 year old daughter, Etta.
John Hiatt with The Jerry Douglas Band
In the midst of a global pandemic, John Hiatt walked into Historic RCA Studio B and opened up a lifetime full of leftover feelings. A half-century ago, Hiatt lived in a ratty, $15-a-week room on Nashville’s 16th Avenue, less than a mile away from the RCA and Columbia studios that were the heartbeat of what had come to be known as “Music Row.” In the ensuing 50 years, he went from a scuffling young buck to a celebrated grand master of song.
With Leftover Feelings, Hiatt teamed up with multi-grammy winning artist and producer, Jerry Douglas and his band, The Jerry Douglas Band. There’s no drummer, yet these grooves are deep and true. And while the up-tempo songs are, as ever, filled with delightful internal rhyme and sly aggression, the Jerry Douglas Band’s empathetic musicianship nudges Hiatt to performances that are startlingly vulnerable.
In life, leftover feelings can remain unresolved, no matter how often explored. Explicated in a place of history, a place of comfort. A sacred place, if you believe the documentation of human expression to be a holy thing. Here then, with this album, there is a meeting of bruised and triumphant American giants. Here are Hiatt and Douglas, creating the meant-to-be: Love songs and road songs, sly songs and hurt songs. Their songs, and now our songs. Leftover feelings that edify and sustain.
And you always hear it with The Wallflowers. For the past 30 years, the Jakob Dylan-led act has stood as one of rock’s most dynamic and purposeful bands – a unit dedicated to and continually honing a sound that meshes timeless songwriting and storytelling with a hard-hitting and decidedly modern musical attack. That signature style has been present through the decades, baked into the grooves of smash hits like 1996’s Bringing Down the Horse as well as more recent and exploratory fare like 2012’s Glad All Over.
But while it’s been nine long years since we’ve heard from the group with whom he first made his mark, the Wallflowers are silent no more. And Dylan always knew they’d return. “The Wallflowers is much of my life’s work,” he says simply. That life’s work continues with Exit Wounds, the brand-new Wallflowers studio offering. The collection marks the first new Wallflowers material since Glad All Over.
Exit Wounds, which, true to its title, is an ode to people – individual and collective – that have, to put it mildly, been through some stuff.
“I think everybody – no matter what side of the aisle you’re on – wherever we’re going to next, we're all taking a lot of exit wounds with us,” Dylan says. “Nobody is the same as they were four years ago. That, to me, is what Exit Wounds signifies. And it's not meant to be negative at all. It just means that wherever you’re headed, even if it’s to a better place, you leave people and things behind, and you think about those people and those things and you carry them with you. Those are your exit wounds. And right now, we’re all swimming in them.”
Los Angeles based band, Los Lobos, have always been inspired by their surroundings and the place they call home. Their music is influenced by rock and roll, Tex-Mex, country, zydeco, folk, R&B, blues, brown-eyed soul, and traditional music such as cumbia, boleros and norteños. With Native Sons the band set out to showcase all of these influences with their own take on the songs of Los Angeles from some of the cities greatest songwriters. Native Sons features 13-songs from well known LA artists such as Buffalo Springfield, WAR, Jackson Browne and the Beach Boys as well as deep cuts from the Jaguars, The Basters and The Premiers. The album title track is the sole original composition written by the band.
The Horses and the Hounds
In James McMurtry’s new effort, The Horses and the Hounds, the acclaimed songwriter backs personal narratives with effortless elegance (“Canola Fields”) and endless energy (“If It Don’t Bleed”). This first collection in seven years spotlights a seasoned tunesmith in peak form as he turns toward reflection (“Vaquero”) and revelation (closer “Blackberry Winter”). Familiar foundations guide the journey. “There’s a definite Los Angeles vibe to this record,” McMurtry says. “The ghost of Warren Zevon seems to be stomping around among the guitar tracks. Don’t know how he got in there. He never signed on for work for hire.”
The Horses and the Hounds is a reunion of sorts. McMurtry recorded the new album with legendary producer Ross Hogarth (Ozzy Osbourne, John Fogerty, Van Halen, Keb’ Mo’) at Jackson Browne’s Groovemaster’s in Santa Monica, California. Hogarth recorded McMurtry’s first two albums, Too Long in the Wasteland and Candyland and later mixed McMurtry’s first self-produced album, Saint Mary of the Woods. Another veteran of those three releases, guitarist David Grissom (Joe Ely, John Mellencamp, Dixie Chicks), returns with some of his finest work.