Blues & Roots

New album: Daniel Young || The World Ain’t Gonna Wait

Daniel Young is a versatile musician from Salt Lake City, Utah, who grew up on the side of a tall mountain, and that sense of forceful elevation informs all of his work. To outline the setting: on the sunset side of the ground floor of his home studio, there’s a window that frames a long, straight road, and if you catch it when the light’s right, you could swear that road goes on and on through the mountains – not hard to imagine if you listen to his music, a successful combination of Americana, country, folk, and rock. On The World Ain’t Gonna Wait, Young’s third album out today on all streaming platforms, LP and CD, it seems you do your hardest traveling at home sometimes. Written on the late-night back porch, the new songs chronicle the urgency and uneasiness of the everyday emergency, the undeniable sense that you may be living your last day on the world you’ve known. There are some pretty good songs on the new album, with pretty good musicians and pretty good instrumentation (b3 organ! mandolin! fiddle! lap steel! accordion!). Standout tracks are the previously shared title track and Take It Or Leave It (listen below), which brings Natural Child into mind. Great music for a road trip that goes on and on.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Honshu Wolves || Cosmic Creature Capture

You wouldn’t expect it, but somewhere in an alternative trailer park in the back alleys in Switzerland’s capital Bern, with a view on foggy cold mountains, three-piece Honshu Wolves play music you could describe as trippy psychedelic desert gospel Delta space blues – a combination of styles and influences that turns out surprisingly well. They already released the 10″ Shine On Me (2010) and the 12″ Silver Ashes Line The Lane (2014), but hopefully their new full length album Cosmic Creature Capture via Voodoo Rhythm Records will reach a wider audience. The songs of Maryanne Shewolf (vocals, guitar, percussion, piano), Fäbu (guitars, organ, backing vocals), and Mige (drums, percussion) are strong, dreamy, and fascinating. Immerse yourself for 40 minutes.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs || Voodoo Rhythm

New album: Bones Owens || Bones Owens

Bones Owens‘ self-titled full-length debut album is out now via Thirty Tigers, and while you might expect this to be a country album based on the cover photo or the fact that he’s from Nashville, it’s not. This is all about swinging rhythms and swaggering riffs, inspired by ’60s garage rock, Hill Country blues, and swampy roots rock. Uplifting songs with great guitar work and brooding vocals (the cool background vocals of legendary gospel singer Regina McCrary are also worth mentioning).

I actually wanted to post this quick review tomorrow, but this is definitely not Monday music. This is music for a sunny road trip or a party with beer and a barbecue. Music for a good day! RIYL: Creedence Clearwater Revival, Everest Cale, The Black Keys.

Add to wantlist: Discogs ||  Bones Owens Merch Store 

New album: Jax Hollow || Underdog Anthems

Underdog Anthems, the debut album from singer / songwriter and “shredder” Jax Hollow, is a blend of classic rock, blues, and Americana, with soulful vocals and raw storytelling. The LP is recorded and produced by Michael Wagener, and is recommended if you like the bands he collaborated with before (Skid Row, Extreme, White Lion, etc.). ‘No one found my weakness’, she sings confidently in Say My Name. Based on this album I can endorse that.

Add to wantlist: Jax Hollow Shop

New single: Boogie Beasts || Bring It On

Sometimes you just want to let good electric Delta blues blare from your speakers, right? If you want to hear something different than the classics of John Lee Hooker, Elmore James, R.L. Burnside or The Black Keys, if you want to discover something new, Belgium is probably not the first country that comes to mind. But check out the new single from Boogie Beasts. These four Belgians know how to hurt their guitars, drums and harmonica. Ooh ooh!

Add to wantlist: NAKED

New single: Genevieve & Hemmy || Last One For The Road

The photos stand out on the website of Genevieve & Hemmy.  Two travelin’ street musicians, two guitars, one kickdrum, one open guitar case with a cardboard note (“anything helps”), two dogs. The three songs that make up The last One For The Road EP sound nothing like those from their previous act, the loud grunge/blues outfit Beneath Trees. These days, Genevieve & Hemmy opt for a garage take on folkrock. Usually, I am not that into folkrock, but the band incorporates a variety of influences that make this a compelling EP. The opener is the most rocking song on the EP, with an organ giving the song a seventies rock vibe. Stillness, the second track, is a well executed jangle pop song; it’s my favorite track. And finally, Sisters is a tad slower, more dreamy. G & H’s music is inspired by travel, love, nature & spirit. I look forward to find out where Genevieve & Hemmy are off to next.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Hotels On Mars || Grief Museum

Yesterday I was skating on a frozen river, a few degrees below zero and a watery sun on the horizon, meanwhile listening to Mat Weitman’s debut as Hotels on Mars on my headphones. I couldn’t have wished for a more appropriate soundtrack than this rootsy, cinematic songs. The background of the lo-fi audio project is not a cheerful one (as is often the case with art): raw from a breakup and the sudden death of a friend while isolated during lockdown, Weitman processed anxiety through a rapid-fire recording session that became Grief Museum. He complemented his painfully honest nadirs words with multi-genre instrumentation, all performed and recorded at home. The album may stem from waves of dark feelings, but it did lead to an atmospheric and comforting album. Out now in digital and physical forms on Styles Upon Styles Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Jim Keller || By No Means

In the last century musician / songwriter Jim Keller played in power pop band Tommy Tutone (listen to 80’s hit 867-5309-Jenny), but with a voice aged by time, whiskey and promises he has been solo for some time now. After Sunshine In My Pocket (2005), Soul Candy (2011) and Heaven Can Wait (2014) he has now released his fourth solo album: By No Means (out now through Elisha James Music). It is quality music that is somewhat reminiscent of the later works of Leonard Cohen or Bob Dylan. He will not win a Nobel prize for literature with his lyrics though (“Maria come home, Maria come home // I don’t want to spend another night all alone”), but that doesn’t matter; the songs are strong, the vocals sound deep and pleasant, the musicians know what to do, and the production is top notch. This is my favorite Sunday morning record for now.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Scooter James || Way Too Heavy / Felt The Sun

Scooter James formed Pinhead Circus in 1992, a punk band that made noise for ten years. After a stopover in Love Me Destroyer, his next project Tin Horn Prayer found him in the element that fit him best as he became older and wiser (for example watch the video for Crime Scene Cleanup Team). This is where he reshaped his voice and his relationship with music, the road to now be a solo artist (we saw with Frank Turner that the road from punk band to solo folk artist can lead to success). Scooter James’ first single We Bend / Dear Friends was released a year ago and now there is a follow-up, of which A-side Way Too Heavy in particular is worth your time, not in the least because of that great snarly voice. Now digitally available through Snappy Little Numbers Quality Audio Recordings.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp (pay what you want download)

GIMME 5! || Scott Davis (Virginia Trance) Shares 5 Records To Listen To in 2021

With Gimme 5! we take a peek into the collections of artists we admire. The premise is simple: artists WE like, share 5 records THEY love.

We are absolutely thrilled to present this week’s curator of Gimme 5!: Scott Davis. Scott is the main man behind Virginia Trance, who released Vincent’s Playlist last year – Niek’s favorite indiepop record of 2020. Scott also played in the psychelic rock band Psychic Ill’s. In his list, Scott challenges us to wander off the beaten path, and discusses the importance of an eclectic listening experience – which we love, and probably should do more often.

Click below to read and listen. Scott added short explanations for each pick. He even throws in his top 5 Lou Reed albums for good measure. We added YT video’s and Discogs links so you can add these records to your wantlist. Thanks a lot Scott!

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