Category: New Album Review

Steve Earle and the Dukes ‘Terraplane’ .. NEW ALBUM REVIEW

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#954 in the series) is Steve Earle and the Dukes, Terraplane. Steve Earle’s new album Terraplane is being billed as his blues album. We’ll talk about that a bit more in a minute. More importantly I think – it’s a Steve Earle and the Dukes album, and a damn fine one at that.  Steve Earle has had many different personas and approaches in his career, Country rock and roller, hard core troubadour, singer songwriter, bluegrass musician, political activist, you name it  – but mostly I think the best name to fit him – if he even needs one – is a folk singer.  And if you don’t think folk singers can play or sing the blues then you...

Roxy Swain .. ‘Restless Hearts’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#949 in the Series) is Roxy Swain, Restless Hearts Restless Hearts, the second record from local Chicago favorites Roxy Swain, is about as perfectly crafted a set of songs as your ears will enjoy all year. With influences that seem to float from Fleetwood Mac to Emmy Lou Harris, with a hint of daisy-duke era Linda Ronstadt thrown in for good measure, Ms. Swain, the front-woman for the group, with her back of the barroom pipes, slight Americana warble, and abundance of Indie Rock-Chick swagger could be the love child of Chrissie Hynde and Lucinda Williams. There is definitely some palate cleansing retro fairy dust that is sprinkled throughout this highly addictive album...

Billy Joe Shaver ‘Long in the Tooth’- NEW MUSIC REVIEW

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#948 in the Series) is Billy Joe Shaver, Long in the Tooth On the Mount Rushmore of 70’s Highwayman Icons, a zip code that includes Willie Nelson,Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristoffersons, Billy Joe Shaver could very well be considered the fifth Beatle, the under the radar cowboy that jump-started the movement with Honky Tonk Heroes in 1973, and in the process put the outlaw in Outlaw Country, reshaped the image of Waylon Jennings, changed the landscape of Country music forever, and just might have laid the foundation for Roots Rock and the Americana movement that is in full force today. Having already used up most of his nine lives, he...

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers .. ‘Hypnotic Eye’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#947 in the series) is Tom Petty,  Hypnotic Eye Every couple of years, starting in 1976, Tom Petty demands our attention. With his debut, self-titled release, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, a game-changing blend of straight ahead Rock, Ramones style Punk, and Byrds harmonies, a new contender for the title of future King of American Rock and Roll was Born. Stretching their influences instead of imitating them, this was about as strong a coming out party as you could possibly find, and “American Girl,” the first actual full-length song that Petty ever wrote, created the blue print for the straight ahead sound, and the lyrical purity that has served them well over...

Rival Sons “Great Western Valkrie”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#942 in the Series) is Rival Sons, Great Western Valkrie Great Western Valkyrie, the latest and certainly the greatest album from Los Angeles rockers Rival Sons just might be the best pure Rock record since Guns ‘n’ Roses scorched the Sunset Strip earth with Appetite for Destruction in 1984.  No need to adjust your ears, you heard correctly. This album is that damned good, and then some. The slow burn to album perfection started for Rival Sons in 2011 with the release of the consistent but not overly dramatic Pressure and Time, a record that did not quite reach the unwashed masses in large numbers, but did get the band on the...

Monks of Mellonwah ‘Turn the People’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#939 in the series) is Monks of Mellonwah, Turn the People Sydney, Australia’s Monks of Mellonwah released their debut full-length Turn The People back in March and it’s certainly worth a listen. For all fans of Nine Inch Nails’ style of industrial rock, Satriani-esque guitar weavings and lyrical meditations on an existential theme, the Monks bring a late 90s vibe with 2014 relevance. At first listen, a trip through the album feels a bit like you’re caught up in a plot from the Fast and Furious franchise – you’re speeding through a European capital in the middle of the night, cars whizzing as you enter a tunnel riddled with strobe lights en route...

Ready Never ‘Eleutheropia’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day ($#935 in the Series) is Ready Never,  Eleutherophobia Oh, the modern EDM craze. It isn’t my first choice to queue up when I’m making dinner, while I’m at work, or even when I’m driving and just want background music, but it has a special place in my life. For me, it’s when I’m clubbing after midnight in Nairobi, Kenya, not sure how or when I’m going to get back to the hotel to make the flight home to Kigali tomorrow. Or when I’m supervising a school dance and the kids are bouncing up and down with the lights and the beat and the waves of heat and sweat. It’s me being 17 and finding...

The War on Drugs Impress Both Live and with New Album – CONCERT REVIEW

  Considering that we recently had  Coachella, record store day and Easter all occur, I thought I’d publish my review on The War on Drugs show from Phoenix’s Crescent Ballroom from a couple weeks back.  After all, these things all relate to the show in the fact that The War on Drugs are one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen (Coachella), their new album (Record Store Day) supported by this tour is incredible and this is the most psychedelic yet “traditional” band (Easter Holiday) that you’ll probably hear in your lifetime. If you’ve never listened to The War on Drugs they are a band that I cannot recommend highly enough. For starters, they will restore your belief...

Johnny Cash ‘Out Among The Stars’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#920 in the Series) is  Johnny Cash,  Out Among the Stars In the last years of his life, and currently with the multiple releases of the Rick Rubin produced American Recordings series of recordings, we have been treated to new music from Johnny Cash. The songs presented on these records were mostly scaled down un-plugged style versions of old classics along with deep in the vault songs from artists Cash admired. Every song in the series was a powerful reminder of the greatness of the past, and a sobering look into eyes and on to the soul of one of the greatest artists ever to walk the line. And now, courtesy of the...

Rosanne Cash ‘The River & the Thread’

  Today’s Cool album of the Day (#901 in the Series) is Rosanne Cash,The River & The Thread.   Many people will to want to know – is this a country album, a folk album, an Americana / Alt-country album? Well – yes to all three but primarily I think it’s a Southern album. Each of the songs are finely crafted short stories in the great Southern tradition. They each work all by themselves telling a story that’s either from the Cash family history or a work of fiction. They also work together to paint a portrait of the South that is equal to the best Southern fiction writing. There are songs of family, a feeling of community or the...

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