Blues & Roots

New album: twisted teens || twisted teens

Here is a mysterious record by a mysterious project that simply is too much fun not to share despite me having next to nothing to report about it. Twisted teens is comprised of Cas P. ian, Razor Ramone, CPN Hollywell and C-SPAN which my intuition tells me may not be their real names. After a little extra investigation, I am now fairly certain twisted teens is actually C.P.N. (Blackbird RaumChardonnayPale Robin) and Ramon Joseph Santos – those two persons on the front cover? It’s them.

Perhaps it’s best to let the band do the introducing. By the time they kick off the chorus of the catchy and high octane garage rockin’ album opener, you will be bought and sold. “I don’t need a reason to be here i got twisted dream and that’s why they call us the twisted twisted twisted teen,” they howler. Good luck trying to stop listening to this record after that first track. Mixing elements of folk, punk, blues, garage and rock’n’roll and everything between, twisted teens hit fast, hard and often. The eleven songs cover a lot of bases, but each of the songs sounds raw and real and original in multiple ways and honestly, that voice of C.P.N. is sheer awesomeness.

Time flies when you are having fun, they say. Well this record makes time soar!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Grackles || Grackles

Grackles is an Austin-based alt-folk band featuring Noah Lit, Jason Mozersky, Jimmy Paxson and Kyle Crusham, who just released their self-titled debut album. The musicians, who have each made their mark in various other outfits, mix blues, country, psych and rock influences into their unique sound. Expect ten attractive songs with dark vocals and compelling guitar melodies, but above all a cinematic and moody sound in which you can immerse yourself. Timeless.

Grackles’ self-titled album is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Yes Country For Old Men Records. Featuring Charlie Musselwhite, Kat Edmonson and Lauren Harris on selected tracks.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Anna Dukke || Black Honey

Spanish rhythm & blues singer Anna Dukke went to a farm in the US to write her second EP, and it paid off. The four songs on Black Honey are soulful and swinging, with amazingly powerful and heartfelt vocals in the leading role, and effective strings and drums as the backbone. Original tunes 33 Ball’s, Shake Your Soul and My Lifeline are delicious, vintage floor fillers, the subdued closing track is a beautiful cover of Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s My Journey In The Sky, This is roots music you feel.

Black Honey, produced by Ely Agramunt, is out now digitally and on vinyl 7″ through Folc Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Folc

New album: Handsome Jack || A Good Thing

The development that Handsome Jack has undergone over the past 20 years pays off in A Good Thing. Traveling rockers Jamison Passuite (vocals, guitar), Joe Verdonselli (bass, vocals) and Bennie Hayes (drums, vocals), hailing from Lockport, New York, have mastered a boogie-infused blues rock sound rooted in the early 70s, in which influences from country, rock ‘n’ roll and soul have found a natural place. Their latest studio album consists of eleven original songs for which the words swampy and swagger were coined – no fillers here, but besides the title track, She Don’t Know How To Rock And Roll and Turn Up The Heat appeal most to me. This record is a lot cooler than the modest party that the band members celebrate in the cover photo suggests.

A Good Thing is out now on CD and vinyl LP through Radiator Records.

Add to wantlist: Handsome Jack

New album: Faz Waltz || Endless Beat

Faz La Rocca (vocals, piano, guitar), Diego Angelini (bass) and Marco Galimberti (drums) of Italian power trio Faz Waltz have exchanged their glittering glam rock jacket for greasy rock ‘n’ roll shoes, and it suits them well. They may look a bit further into the past for inspiration these days – the 50s instead of the 70s – but their knack for infectious melodies is still as present as ever. On their latest full-length Endless Beat – the album title is as telling as the stylish black and white cover art – with which they continue the path started with 2022’s On The Ball LP, you’ll hear ten energetic and exciting original songs within 24 minutes. The record kicks off with Rave A​-​Comin’ and Jackal Hop, known from their year-end list worthy 7″ from last November. More wild and dirty floor fillers follow, but also two doo-wop-like ballads to catch your breath. No matter the pace, they’re nothing but killers, with catchy choruses and naturally those awesome gravelly vocals. I’ve got a feeling for the way Faz Waltz rolls.

Endless Beat, produced by Brown Barcella & Faz La Rocca, is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Spaghetty Town Records (US) / Ghost Highway Recordings (Spain) / Head Perfume Records (Germany). For fans of Daddy Long Legs, Televisionaries, The Schizophonics.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs || Faz Waltz

New album: Omar Coleman || Strange Times

It was 2020 that rising blues star Omar Coleman flew from Chicago to Color Red in Denver to work with Eddie Roberts (The New Mastersounds) on an album. Then a pandemic broke out, so it’s not surprising that the result – finally out now – is called Strange Times. The video of the title track already made an impression about three years ago, the other eight songs appear to be just as strong. This is all about bluesy soul (or soulful blues) with a greasy funk sauce, taken to great heights thanks to Coleman’s gravelly vocals and heartfelt harp playing.

Strange Times, produced by Eddie Roberts, is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Color Red. Performed by Omar Coleman, Eddie Roberts, Eric Benny Bloom, Dan Africano, Chris Spies, Cole Rudy, Carl Sorensen, Nick Gerlach, Kari Clifton and Adrienne Short.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Color Red

New album: The Devils || Let The World Burn Down

Covers are often looked down upon condescendingly, but you can also see them as a tribute and a way to find forgotten gems. Cleo Randle’s amazing 1966 soul track Big City Lights (written by Wilkerson Brown) is once again in the spotlight thanks to The Devils’ version on their fourth studio album Let The World Burn Down, packaged in a sublime but twisted illustration by Alice Bad Taste. We get another cover (Teddy Girl Boogie is based on Crazy Cavan’s Teddy Boy Boogie), but actually the eight original songs are even more worthwhile.

In this case, The Devils are Erika Switchblade (vocals, drums) and Gianni Blacula (vocals, guitars) from Naples (Italy), and their new work is dedicated to all the brothers and sisters who have had enough of humanity. Lyrically it’s almost philosophical (“How many things seem but are not // And how many are instead and seem completely nonexistent // An illusion like all life // There is an illusion of living, of loving, of dying – from opening tune Divine Is The Illusion), musically it’s raw blues rock with powerful vocals and heavy guitars, varying in tempo but always with an authentic garage feel. For those who like it wild, Roar II (an even more exciting version than that of 2012’s Beast Must Regret Nothing) and Shake ‘Em are the go-to hits.

Let The World Burn Down is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Go Down Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: La Perra Blanco || Get It Out

Isn’t it time for a revival of good old rhythm & blues? Spanish rock ‘n’ roll outfit La Perra Blanco could just be the spark that’s needed. We were already fans after hearing 2022’s Won’t You Come On EP, our enthusiasm is increased with new full-length album Get It Out. Alba Blanco Sánchez (vocals, guitars), Guillermo González del Campo (double bass) and Jesús López Benitez (drums) play danceable, vintage roots music, exactly what we need right now. The twelve new songs here are frantic and feverish, standing out thanks to the awesome gritty vocals and swinging rhythm section. Very exciting, even more fun live.

Get It Out, produced by Mike Mariconda, is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Folc Records. Also featuring Nelo Alfonso (keys) and Jordi Pastor (violins).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs || Folc

New album: Funky Bluester || Expensive & Dirty

Funky Bluester has reportedly built up a reputation as a must-see live act in the southeastern US, and that fact has now also reached us over here in Europe. We’re talking about veteran musicians Dustin Peterson, Joel Garrison and Russel Boyer, based out of Monroe, Georgia, who are now following up last year’s Quality Rock-n-Roll LP with another album, entitled Expensive & Dirty. As you might expect, this is funky blues rock that is not necessarily refined but certainly old-school delicious. The nine songs here stand out thanks to heavy and groovy riffs, powerful and gravelly vocals, and a big and danceable sound – it takes little effort to imagine how great this will be live.

Expensive & Dirty is out now digitally via Petersonic Sound. Streaming only for now.

New single: Wild Billy Childish & The Chatham Singers || Troubled Mind / Ranscombe Farm Boogie

British artist Billy Childish regularly recycles his own work, and this time Troubled Mind – The Buff Medways version (2002) can be found on several best of compilations, but with Thee Headcoats he recorded it more than ten years earlier, as Troubled Times – gets an extra life, as the A-side of a new 45 from Spinout Nuggets. The gritty blues sauce, with howling harmonica and guitars, works great here. Flipside Ranscombe Farm Boogie is an amazing, instrumental blues stomper, taken from the Kings Of The Medway Delta LP (2020), but even better in this format.

Troubled Mind b/w Ranscombe Farm Boogie, produced by William ‘Spook’ Loveday, is out now digitally and on vinyl 7″ through Spinout Nuggets. Featuring Billy Childish (vocals, guitar), Julie Hamper (bass), ‘Bludy’ Jim Riley (harp) and Wolf Howard (drums).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Spinout Productions

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