Four years following the release of their last album, Tonight (and its dub companion, Blood), Scottish indie stars Franz Ferdinand have returned with new album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, out on Domino on August 27. Recorded over the last year at Kapranos’s Scottish studio and McCarthy’s Sausage Studios in London, the LP cements their status as a unique and adventurous British band: emboldened by a decade’s undreamt-of worldwide success, but still daring and defiant. It’s an ecstatic rejection of the drab conventions often accompanying that level of attention and expectation.
Attention-grabbing contemporary blues acts — bands that really encourage listeners to pull classic albums out of rotation — can be hard to find. Fair or not, it usually takes something special to pique my interest; exceptional tunesmithing and musicianship, a unique instrumental lineup, or a sound that draws from diverse traditions. Blues and Trouble, the new album from Kansas City-based Grand Marquis, manages to score on all three counts. By contrast to the six-string foundation of most modern blues acts, the sound of Grand Marquis is rooted in its brass players — Bryan Redmond on saxophone (and lead vocals) and Chad Boyston on trumpet. Bass player Ben Ruth even takes up the sousaphone in a throwback to the pre-electric days of Dixieland swing (perfect counterpoint to the washboard rhythm of drummer Lisa Mackenzie). The group’s sound does justice to the rich blues and jazz history of Kansas City, a musical crossroads often unfairly eclipsed by glitzier northern metropolises.
Boston’s legendary Barrence Whitfield & The Savages’ new album Dig Thy Savage Soul is a wealth of atomic-powered, sock it to me R&B and rock & roll hoodoo. Barrence, possessing otherworldly pipes that range from a low feral growl rumbling the nether regions to a scream that would make Little Richard blush, belts out originals and crate-diver covers with the formidable and aptly-named Savages. They keep his back with a punk rock grit and blues ferocity that lives in the frets between Chuck Berry and Jack White. Together, Barrence & the Savages lay down a groovy racket that’s so thick and greasy, you need moist towelettes near the hi-fi.
What’s The Chance‘ produced by Duke Robillard .The new release features the live band as the core rhythm section- Billy Bileca, (electric and acoustic bass) Nick Longo (drums) and Larry Fallstrom (Hammond B-3, piano), as well as an all star cast of musicians including Duke Robillard (guitar), Mark Naftalin (piano), Bruce Bears (organ and piano),Steve […]
A wide-ranging collection of traditional American music featuring memorable performances from the Folk Masters concert and radio series, recorded live at the Wolkf Trap in 1992. A vivid representation of the changing scope of American through the music and culture of contemporary European-, African-, Hispanic-, and Native American Indian communities. Includes Dewey Balfa, The Johnson […]
Ben Mandelson has played with everyone, from Magazine to Billy Bragg’s Blokes to my favourite, quirky English acoustic trio, Les Triaboliques, in which he is joined by Lu Edmonds and Justin Adams. When Adams is off with JuJu or Robert Plant, he is replaced by journalist/musician Ian Anderson in another trio, Blue Blokes 3. And […]
Recorded in Mike West’s (of Truckstop Honeymoon) Ninth Ward Pickin’ Parlor, “Bastards and Broken Things” is the full-length debut from Lawrence, KS – based Cowgirl’s Train Set. The culmination of 3 years’ work, this album displays an American slice-of-life through the lens of four distinct songwriters. Diverse, genre-defying, intense, chaotic, melodic, and progressive, it offers […]
One of the most inimitable songwriters of the past decade – Portland, Oregon’s Laura Veirs – returns with her ninth full-length album in August. Beautiful, lush and at times deeply dark, Warp and Weft captures the intensity of motherhood, love and violence. Primarily electric-guitar driven, it is a fever dream of an album and could […]
And The Traveler is a group of modern day bards, relaying stories through their music, “The Road, The Reason” follows the story of a traveler set to rescue a girl from her evil uncle who holds her captive beneath a massive metropolis. And The Traveler is: Max Johl- Lead Vocals and Guitar Josh Goldberg- Chapman […]
Many point to Billy Squier as early-’80s rock personified — an era when he and many of his peers tempered hard rock with pop melodicism — and by adding just the right amount of posing and posturing for the newly constructed MTV set, he scored a string of arena rock anthems and power ballads. But […]
Strangers in the First Place, his Vanguard Records debut, and his firs studio offering since 2009′s criminally overlooked Before Nightfall.The disc opens placidly with “Tunnels,”a slow-moving affair that lifts gradually over the course of three minutes. It is a decidedly amiable opener and a nice starting off point. But the best is still yet to […]