Dennis

New album: The War and Treaty || Hearts Town

Sometimes you discover new music that turns out not to be that new anymore (actually, that happens quite often, simply because too much new music appears to keep up with it all). This one was released two months ago via Rounder Records, but is too good not to mention. The Nashville husband and wife duo Mike Trotter Jr. and Tanya Blount-Trotter mix elements of soul, gospel, country and rock and roll in their songs, but it’s mostly their powerful voices that keep your attention. Watch and listen to Beautiful below, a track from new album Hearts Town, featuring Jason Isbell. Impressive. I would love to see the couple live with their band.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs || thewarandtreaty.com

New album: The Dirty Knobs || Wreckless Abandon

The Dirty Knobs has long been a side project of guitarist / songwriter / producer Mike Campbell (The Heartbreakers), fellow guitar player Jason Sinay, bassist Lance Morrison and drummer Matt Laug. Every now and then they played together, and finally there is an album now: Wreckless Abandon. The title track below gives an idea of what to expect: American, old-fashioned, familiar-sounding, quality rock and roll. How great that such music is still being made. 

‘Throwing caution to the wind // Going over the edge again // With wreckless abandon’

Add to wantlist: Discogs 

New album: Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar || The Reckless One

Last week, MOJO, Uncut and Rough Trade, among others, already published their music year end lists. With six weeks or so to go in 2020, there is of course the risk that they will miss some new albums. Like this one! The combination of the singing skills of songwriter / arranger / band leader / ‘vocal powerhouse’ Samantha Martin and the soul / funk sound of Delta Sugar make The Reckless One an album that would not have been out of place in the aforementioned lists. My favorite song is original Don’t Have To Be – see below – but you should at least also check out Bob Dylan cover Meet Me in the Morning.

Add to wantlist: Gypsy Soul Records || samanthamartinmusic.com

Book: Seth Bovey || Five Years Ahead of My Time: Garage Rock from the 1950s to the Present

Looking back to the past to forge the future. That’s what Seth Bovey was aiming for with his history book about garage rock. The author is a professor of English at a university, but 40 years ago he also played in several garage bands. The scientist’s hand is clearer than the musician’s experience in the book; above all, it provides a thorough and detailed overview (no lack of references), roughly arranged chronologically and by location. Although many bands are mentioned in the six chapters, it is useful that the book ends with a list for recommended listening – many “garage punk unknowns”, but of course a classic like Psychotic Reaction by Count Five is not missing, see below – and recommended compilations and compilation series. Oh man, my wantlist has expanded a lot when I was reading this – you’ve been warned.

Want to hear more? I’ve collected songs mentioned in the book in this Spotify playlist.

New album: The Parson Red Heads || Lifetime of Comedy

It was worth the wait, The Parson Red Heads are back with a new LP. As they put it themselves: ‘An album full of dreams, self-reflection, and weary yearning (…) beautiful vocal melodies and harmonies, sparkling pedal steel-driven cosmic Americana and folk rock, coupled with (…) layered synths, organs and mellotrons, songs that build and drive to chaotically beautiful peaks.’ I couldn’t have said it better. Listen to stand-out track All I Wanted below.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

Friday on my mind: TV’s Daniel || Better Than It’s Been

I know, this 7″ from TV’s Daniel (Daniel Fried from Bad Sports, Mind Spiders, Radioactivity, among others) is over a year old, but the flip side has become one of my favorite Friday night anthems lately. I like the A side of the single – Maybe We’ll All Die, but what I really love is the B-side (always check the B-side!). Sing along: It’s Better Than It’s Been!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp (Wild Honey Records) || Discogs

New album: The Bats || Foothills

The heyday of Flying Nun Records somehow passed me by at the time, unfortunately, but that won’t happen to me again (#FOMO). The New Zealand record label is still on the right track, and look, tomorrow they are releasing The Bats‘ 10th full-length – one of those bands I also would rather have discovered in the 80’s than 30 years later, but better late than never, right? Either way, they’ve again managed to record 12 addictive songs that you can listen to all day long.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Flying Out

New album: Thelonious Monster || Oh That Monster

I did not see this one coming, but this fanboy is very happy with it. You probably know that Bob Forrest first had too many Sammy Hagar Weekends and later used those experiences to save others from Running with Monsters. And now, 34 years after his first and 16 years after his last album with Thelonious Monster, he is back with 10 new tracks. These sound more like the old 80’s work than the songs on their most successful LP – Beautiful Mess, but that’s not a bad thing in this case. The band will be touring again in 2021 and will also return to the Pinkpop festival – that show will not be as legendary as in 1993, but no doubt it will sound better!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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