A rash of some cool new music to share with y'all. First up is the NOLA-based Luke Winslow-King's live take on his bluesy train chugger "Travelin' Myself" from his album Everlasting Arms. Roots-rockin' Americana that is authentic, passionate, poignant, infectious snapshots of life in this big ol' country. One of my favorite albums of the year. Out now on Bloodshot Records.
José González is easily one of my favorite folk artists of the past several decades. His simple yet evocative songs resonate with me long after the songs have faded. His latest is no different. "Every Age," the Swede's first single from his first album in seven years, Vestiges & Claws (Mute) [to be released February 17th, 2015], is available for purchase from your favorite digital music provider. The amazing aerial video was directed by Simon Morris and Chris Higham for global collective Eyes In Space, "whose aim is to mesh artistic experiment with scientific innovation to open new worlds."
A twofer 7" vinyl/digital release from the U.K. label All My Friends Records offers up some Trip Hop-meets-Acid Jazz earwax from Seth B.'s outfit Fold with their new track "Be Water My Friend," re-orchestrating and recording their new demo in a studio. Love how they dropped in Bruce Lee's pearls-of-wisdom vocal samples, as they complement all the live instruments. Well played, lads. And the Leeds-based anthem rockers Invisible Hands drop their four-on-the-floor single "Just," invigorating my faith in fist-pumping, cigarette-lighters-held-aloft rock 'n' roll!
"Fool's Gold" is a slice of pop-rock convection from the L.A.-based pop-meister Fitz of The Tantrums. Sure, he's Daryl Hall's bastard son, but who cares when he sings so effortlessly and the chorus is so infectious. From their most recent album More Than Just a Dream.
And speaking of the Velvet Underground, "Ten Street," from Ultimate Painting's new self-titled debut album Ultimate Painting (Trouble In Mind Records), is a simple but charming underground rock guitar tune that borrows mightily from Lou Reed's canon of riffs and killer tone. Even the simple drum pattern seems vaguely familiar in a Mo Tucker kind of way.
It only took a way smart label (Now-Again Records) 44 years to release this album. James Brown got Bootsy Collins and his band in the studio to record some tracks in 1970. Those tracks would be known as These Are The J.B.’s, a title given to a King Records test-press LP that was never released, and only rumored to exist. It's funky, funky music, it's still funky fresh, and it's got Brown’s funky innovation all over it. Mastered for vinyl by Elysian Master’s Dave Cooley from the original two-track stereo master that Brown and his engineer Ron Lenhoff delivered four decades ago. Out on "Black Friday," November 28, 2014. Get on your good foot, peeps, and pre-order the limited edition vinyl here.
"Brother" is some edgy, dark indie rock from Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Selena Garcia. Love the piano, swirling organ, and nasty guitar licks throughout. Fiona Apple meets PJ Harvey meets retro '60s rock. Download this single for free and then grab her self-titled EP Selena Garcia today.
Jason Isbell has quickly become one of my favorite Americana artists. Loved him in the Drive-By Truckers but even more so as a solo artist. Here's my favorite track from the Springsteen tribute album Dead Man's Town: A Tribute to Born in the U.S.A. Believe it or not, October 30th marked the 30th anniversary of the release of Springsteen's single "Born in the U.S.A." This take is more in keeping with The Boss's stripped down acoustic-driven Nebraska, with just Isbell on acoustic guitar and vocals along with Amanda Shires on fiddle. Out now on Lightning Rod Records.
I discovered Morgan Delt's psychedelic rock nugget "Barbarian Kings" from his self-titled album quite by accident, but boy I'm happy I did. Even the band name is retro. Apparently Mr. Delt was the protagonist of an obscure 1966 Vanessa Redgrave film called Morgan -- A Suitable Case of Treatment. Perfect for taking a trip down Arnold's memory lane and back again. But be careful you don't float away.
Mr. Wright is a content creator and culture curator. He is co-producing the documentary Growing Up With Roswell, a co-founder of High Fidelity Club, the former editor-in-chief of Creem and Prince's New Power Generation magazines as well as a writer of films, fiction, and television. He's also a singer/songwriter who has released four solo CDs and one with folk-rock quartet GIANTfingers. And before all of this he was a William Morris agent.