Singer/songwriter Basia Bulat hasn't garnered nearly enough notice on this side of our northern border, but it's not because she's not deserving. In her native Canada, the multi-instrumentalist (who's known for playing the autoharp, dulcimer, charango and more) has gained significant airplay and even had her debut album, Oh My Darling, shortlisted for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize. Tall Tall Shadow, her third effort (and first to be accorded Stateside) was also considered for that particular prize and nominated for a Juno Award, as well. Though she possesses a voice best suited for a forlorn folkie—part Kate Bush and part Sandy Denny—Bulat is as far from a willowy troubadour as Miley Cyrus is from any hint of modesty. Her deceptively delicate entreaties often give way to boisterous rhythms, an obvious reflection of bold, perhaps even brash, confidence.
Still, despite occasional kudos from a few knowing critics and an extensive touring schedule that's taken her as far afield as Australia, Bulat has yet to make the kind of inroads her easily engaging songs would seem to call for. That's a shame, because Bulat has an ear for winsome melodies that would otherwise attract a fan following if radio were to offer some meaningful exposure.
Full Review at Paste Magazine
"Dion comes from a time when so-so singers couldn't cut it, they either never got heard or got exposed quick and got out of the way. To have it, you really had to have it, no smoke and mirrors then, not a minute to spare, rough and ready, glorious and grand, grieving with heartache and feeling too much, but still with the always 'better not try it' attitude." - Bob Dylan
"All hail Dion, the real link between Frank Sinatra and rock n roll." - Bruce Springsteen
Nearly six decades after his first hit, Dion Dimucci's real deal voice having lost absolutely nothing, the King of the Bronx teams here with producer/multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Vivino on 10 new tracks, all but two of them co-written by Dion. The one that's getting most of the buzz is the title track, and rightfully so. A duet with Paul Simon, it's filled not so much with nostalgic pining as eternal love: for the place, the attitude and and the sense of belonging the city [of New York] offers. Burrowing down into specifics, the Chuck Berry-esque 'The Apollo King' is Dion's homage to first hearing saxophonist Big Al Sears at the local temple of R&B, while 'Visionary Heart' could've been a lost Doc Pomus composition. And it wouldn't be Dion without a nod to the blues: his take on Lightnin' Hopkins' 'Katie Mae' is, all at once, somehow raw, slick, nasty and smooth. **** - Mojo
On Ten For Ten, Frank Turner has handpicked 10 tracks previously unavailable on a physical release including the 'Old Flames' featuring Billy the Kid, the original demo of 'The Ballad Of Me and My Friends' and 'Atlanta Curse'.
Xtra Mile Recordings released a very limited 7 LP box in 2015 called The First Ten Years - which featured a bonus LP called Ten for Ten.
This is the first standalone physical release of that bonus disc, previously only available digitally and in the limited LP box set.
My Wild West is Lissie's 3rd studio album and her most personal one to date; a fitting tribute to Lissie's life in California, from her arrival as a fresh-faced singer-songwriter to now, leaving for the Midwest wiser and more self-assured.
Bookended by the songs 'Hollywood' and 'Ojai', it brings out the two extremes of the past decade the dashed hopes and heartbreak of the former and the stability, joy and peace of the latter.
My Wild West represents both a new beginning and a return to Lissie's Midwestern roots.
Rokia Traoré's sixth album, Né So (Home), will be released by Nonesuch Records on February 12, 2016. The album was produced by John Parish (PJ Harvey, Tracy Chapman), who also produced her 2013 record, Beautiful Africa. The album features 10 original songs and a cover of Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit."
Traoré had always been a traveler, but in 2009, she decided to move back to Mali. Three years later, she bore witness as her country's civil war gained terrible momentum. "Experiencing life in a war-torn country was traumatic. I became aware of how naïve I had been," she confesses.
She had left Bamako for a while and moved to Europe with her young son while simultaneously experiencing personal difficulties. "Everything was falling apart," she says. "It's never easy to go through tough times, but it is also what makes you grow, and understand why you cling to certain things and give up on some others."
Traoré started by writing and composing the songs alone. She then rehearsed in Bamako and recorded in Brussels and Bristol with musicians from the entire West African region. "I didn't want an all-Malian band. I need variety; I need a mix of cultures around me," she said. "You could say that Mali is where my roots are-it is where I take refuge in times of doubt, and where I accept risks when I must. Bamako was the place where I felt I would be both free and supported."
"They drift between drawn-out jangle-pop and sped-up grime-punk riffs, and frontman Mikey Carnevale twists his echoey yells as if Roy Orbison became a surf rat and used an empty metal trashcan as a microphone." - The Portland Mercury
"Swoon-worthy psych guitar riffs rendez-voused with reverb during our hellos. The song then turned 180 degrees and exploded into a raunchy rockabilly tune. Full of raw grit power, Mikey Carnevale's vocals charged into the backbeat-driven snare before flowing back into those luscious psychedelic riffs. I might have to sit down for a second." - Lo Pie
"The Frights, a San Diego surf-punk band tore up the stage with their enormous energy. Some of their number one fans were crowd diving at every opportunity they had, while singing along to their songs. These guys absolutely rip...." - Grimy Goods
GRAMMY Award-winning MCA Nashville country star Vince Gill revealed via NPR his new album Down To My Last Bad Habit is set for release on February 12. Gill wrote/co-wrote, co-produced and is a featured musician on all 12 songs on Down To My Last Bad Habit. The album also includes guest vocals from Little Big Town and Cam.
"Forty years into this, it's still as much fun as it s ever been to play music," notes Gill. "At the end of the day, what I get excited about is doing something I haven't done before. When I record a song, I feel successful if I've accomplished something new."
Down to My Last Bad Habit marks Gill's first solo album since 2011's Guitar Slinger. In 2013, The Oklahoma native partnered with famed steel guitarist Paul Franklin on Bakersfield as a tribute to the Bakersfield sound of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. With 20 GRAMMY Awards to his credit, Gill has emerged as country music's most eloquent and impassioned champion. He is both a world-class guitar picker and a wide-ranging songwriter whose compositions earned him entry into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007. Gill has produced albums for LeAnn Rimes, Amy Grant as well as Ashley Monroe and has made guest appearances on over 500+ albums including Barbra Streisand, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, George Jones and more.
The groundbreaking musical experience tied to VINYL, the highly anticipated new HBO drama series from Executive Producers Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger, and Terence Winter, VINYL: MUSIC FROM THE HBO ORIGINAL SERIES VOLUME 1, is a full length musical companion to the series premiere episode.
Informed by Scorsese's renowned innovative use of music in film and Jagger's intimate insight on the era, VINYL: MUSIC FROM THE HBO ORIGINAL SERIES VOLUME 1 takes the listener on a musical journey with new and previously released material - all featured in the season premiere - from an array of rising stars and legendary artists, including the one and only David Johansen, who revitalizes a pair of classics by his seminal group the New York Dolls with re-recordings exclusively for the series. Original highlights include No Good, the breakout rock single from Elektra/Atlantic recording artist Kaleo that was featured in the latest VINYL trailer, and Sugar Daddy (Theme From Vinyl), the series main title and first new music from GRAMMY Award-nominated, Atlantic recording artist Sturgill Simpson.
VINYL: MUSIC FROM THE HBO ORIGINAL SERIES - VOLUME 1 further showcases material featured in the series premiere, including the original song Rotten Apple, co-written by VINYL co-star James Jagger along with Mick Jagger, Luis Felber and James Dunson, and performed by Nasty Bits, a band featured in the show that is fronted by James Jagger. Additional highlights include tracks from Soda Machine and Vintage Trouble's Ty Taylor who has also been cast as the singing voice of the series character Lester Grimes. The soundtrack also captures the electric energy of New York City in the 1970's via a bounty of indelible pop, rock, disco, and soul favorites from such iconic stars as Otis Redding, Foghat, Jimmy Castor Bunch, Dee Dee Warwick, Edgar Winter, The Meters, and much more.
Fearless, foul-mouthed filthy…..and down-right funny. We were given a taste of Wheeler Walker Jr’s unabashedly frank music back in the Fall when he released his three-song EP, Fuck You Bitch. Now, on February 12th, Walker unleashes his debut album, Redneck Shit. Produced by Dave Cobb and featuring top notch musicians including Leroy and Chris Powell and Bryan Allen, the album is eleven tracks of melodically pure country. The subject matter on the other hand....be prepared to hear language so dirty that you may find yourself needing a bath afterwards, either from wetting yourself from laughing so hard or feeling utterly disgusted.
Full Review at The Daily Country
WYNONNA and her band The Big Noise, led by her husband, producer/drummer Cactus Moser, recorded the majority of the album in the sanctity of their home studio located on the family farm in Tennessee. WYNONNA has described the new album as "vintage yet modern" and a "return to the well." It's a rootsy work encompassing country, Americana, blues, soul and rock.
The process of recording WYNONNA & THE BIG NOISE with her band set her free artistically. "Like a garage band we all get in a room, basically knee to knee in a circle, and we jam until it feels amazing," WYNONNA shares. "By the time we push record we are already jacked up because we have practiced and practiced until we know we are rocking. The end result is even better than when we started out because we're free to just play and enjoy ourselves." She adds: "I have stripped myself of all the expectations of worrying about fitting into any format and just picked songs I love. This album is my favorite thing I've done so far."
Cactus elaborates about the recording of the album. "It creates more energy, more excitement and definitely a more unique sound to have our actual band play. When you have session players you just play differently. There's less emotional input, less freedom! These guys are with us 365 days a year and that was my goal...to have an actual living breathing band make a record, not just people who come in for the week and then are gone. Much better feel, much better vibe. AMEN."