Last year I had the pleasure of going to Newport Folk Festival for the first time of my life. Songhoy Blues were originally were on the list and they were on my must-see list until they had to cancel. Songhoy Blues are a four-piece from Mali that is a hybrid of a number of musical styles that flat out jams. Listening to their debut always puts a pep in my step and I have no reason to believe that Resistance will be any different. Herr’s some info from their new label, Fat Possum Records.
With more time and a wider armoury of equipment at their disposal, the album is the sound of Songhoy Blues stretching themselves, with hints of R&B, soul and hip-hop all fusing seamlessly with the band’s trademark exuberant sound, with themes for our time.
Whereas their debut was lyrically rather parochial, dealing with the problems faced by the people of Mali, the new album is more universal in tone and speaks positively about their homeland, lovingly talking about the beauty of the Sahara and night-life in Bamako.
When I caught Lillie Mae, I was fresh off the high of seeing Tommy Stinson’s band Bash & Pop play at Hotel Vegas. As I bounded down Red River singing On The Rocks, I thought there was no way that Lillie Mae would hit those lofty heights.
She did and this album dies. Lillie Mae has been a performing musician since the age of nine, and Forever And Then Some sees her stepping out from Jack White’s touring band. The crux of this album is Americana but she seems to ease in and out of so many facets of the genre, sometimes within the same song, with such ease that you almost take for granted how stunningly talented she is.
There are numerous highlights throughout the album. Loaner is flat-out gorgeous weeper; reminds me of some of the beset heartbreaking tunes that The Everybodyfields put out a few years back. Her fiddle playing is out of this world on this track.
Over The Hills And Through The Woods shows off Mae’s feisty side. This was a highlight of her SXSW set and you can see why in the Conan video below. Honky Tonks And Taverns is a catchy upbeat weeper that feels radio-ready; you know if country radio didn’t insist on playing shit all the time.
During her set, my friend Scott looked over to me and simply said, “She’s the real deal.” I couldn’t agree more.
Since becoming enamored with Matthew E. White’s music, I’ve learned to look to his label, Spacebomb Records, for quality music. Their newest addition is Bedouine, the moniker of Azniv Korkejian. Her first track is Dusty Eyes and it very descriptive of the track itself. It has a dusty folky feel to it and I’m digging it.
Born in Aleppo, Syria to Armenian parents, Korkejian spent her childhood in Saudi Arabia, moving to America when her family won a Green Card lottery. They settled in Boston, then Houston, but she split for L.A. as soon as she could. A casual offer to stay on a horse farm took her to the rolling hills of Lexington, Kentucky, followed by a year in Austin, and a trip east to Savannah for a degree in sound design. Returning to L.A., she discovered a close-knit community of musicians in Echo Park that started to feel like home.
The Deslondes are back for their sophomore effort after 2014′s excellent s/t debut. Based on this track, the New Orleans quintet are continuing to mine the old Sun Records and Stax Records for influence. Here’s some more info on the album via their label, the excellent New West Records.
Named after the street in the Holy Cross neighborhood of New Orleans where the band first came together, The Deslondes have continued to tour relentlessly since Doores and Cutler departed their roles in Hurray For The Riff Raff to focus entirely on the band. The Deslondes met up last winter at New West Records’ studio and rehearsal space in Athens, GA., and recorded everything for five days, working out new songs and arrangements. With a batch of 20 new songs, they invited their longtime producer & engineer Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Benjamin Booker) to New Orleans to begin tracking that summer, creating a makeshift recording studio at The Tigermen Den in the Bywater neighborhood. The album that emerged was Hurry Home. “It’s a fitting title for this album because our lives and our songwriting revolve around leaving and returning, or searching for, home,” says the band. “And home can be a physical place, a relationship, or a state of mind.”
I was familiar with Gallo’s work with his band, Toy Soldiers. It was solid enough but I can’t say it ever cracked my rotation for long. So the announcement of his solo debut was met with little fanfare by myself. But sooner or later, the album crossed my path and we became fast friends. Heavy [...]
Photo by Andrew White I slept on Combs’ 2015 release, All These Dreams. But right before SXSW, Canyons Of My Mind wound up in my inbox and I decided to dig in anticipation of taking in a set. It wasn’t long before Combs moved from the “Maybe I’ll catch a set list,” to the “Must-see [...]
Michael Nau has a nice career with bands Page France and Cotton Jones, a band that Oz (remember that guy?) really enjoyed. He’s set to release his second solo album, Some Twist via the fine folks at Suicide Squeeze Records. The new remind of the mellower aspects of Kevin Morby and it also kicks off [...]
Gold Star, the moniker for singer-songwriter Marlon Rabenreither, was someone we just stumbled across during out latest SXSW adventure. For someone who meticulously plans his SXSW; it’s still nice to wander into a venue having with no expectations and be blown away. Gold Star took the stage on the Thursday night backed by his excellent [...]
Photo credit: Shervin Lainez Big Thief is set to follow up their 2016 debut, aptly named Masterpiece. I wore that album out last year and caught a real nice set in Evanston. The fine folks at Saddle Creek will be releasing Capacity on June 9th. Enjoy the fantastic video for lead single, Mythological Beauty below [...]
photo credit: Shervin Lainez I became enamored with Palehound, the band fronted by Ellen Kempner, when her debut Dry Food came out in 2015. I wore that record out for a few months and have come back to it regularly since. They play a great band of 90′s influence indie and Kempner is a boss [...]