Back On The Road Again
If you can’t remove the bumps on the road, you can try to go around the
So, this newsletter continues. It is good to be back on the road again. Well, not really, as this pandemic rises and falls and then makes another set of rounds. It just might turn out that we have to learn to live with this and other viruses, as they might subside, but they don't seem to be going away for good.
As things never get back exactly as they were, you just might get back into whatever vehicle takes you from one point to the other and as some musicians (take your pick) would say, keep on truckin.’
Basically, as Willy Nelson, or Canned Heat (again, a matter of preference, both being excellent choices) would say, here we are, on the road again. I’ll stick with Willy this time around.
Divide and Dissolve - Mental Gymnastics
Quite a relevant title from the Divide and Dissolve duo working with Moor Mother backed up with some quite relevant music too. We certainly do need some mental gymnastics in these crazy times.
The Delines - Little Earl
Willy Vlautin has made a name for himself both as a writer and as a musician. With his initial band Richmond Fontaine, he was the lead singer, with The Delines he leaves that to the beautiful voice of Amy Boone.
Jack Swagger - Animal
Jack Swagger, frontman of the Minneapolis rockers The Soviet Machines, decides to do a solo album but sticks to what he knows really well - guitar-oriented alt-rock with some nifty choruses. He made the right decision.
Kramer - The Crying
Wherever Kramer goes (and he’s moved around quite a bit), he still remains one of the more creative artists/producers around, often doing more for others than for himself. This is an excellent introduction to his revived Shimmy Disc label.
Jason Boland - Restless Spirits
It was Gram Parsons who came up with the term ‘cosmic American music,’ but here Jason Boland takes things a step further with some truly cosmic proportions. How about a country sci-fi adventure?
Wizard Tree - The Lake
These two artists/producers who go under the name Wizard Tree decided to remain anonymous but with ‘The Lake’ go on to prove that since psych-rock emerged it never went away. It just mutated into as many colors as there are. And beyond.
Mike Cyril - Alone
Exactly, alone. Sitting by yourself to make music in the Catskill mountains doesn’t exactly bring you wider recognition. Yet Cyril must be doing something right to be able to engage Josiah Spencer who directed videos for Beyonce and Lenny Kravitz to get him to work on this one. Actually, he certainly is. Some quality baroque pop.
Duquette Johnson - Year To Run
Johnson made a bit of a name for himself in the nineties with Verbena, and ‘Year To Run’ shows that there were good reasons for that. Here he teams up with the likes of Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley and a few others to come up with another slice of what you may call archetypal alt-rock.