Jun 2019

Turn Off The News (Build A Garden) (CD)

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real have a message on their latest, Turn Off the News (Build a Garden). The likable title track implores listeners to do just that. Give people something to believe in. Endow your way of life with hope. It’s a standout moment on an album filled with top-notch tracks, with high-profile collaborators like Kesha, Sheryl Crow, Neil Young, and Lukas’ father, Willie. The younger Nelson has created a strong showcase for his songwriting chops, with songs that effortlessly segue from country to folk to rock to soul. Impassioned and brilliant, there’s lots to love about this album.

Read more
Servants Of The Sun (CD)

Chris Robinson Brotherhood starts their latest album, Servants of the Sun, on an uptempo note. The good times are rolling, with a few heart-worn ballads sprinkled into the mix. “Some Earthly Delights” starts the journey off with a psychedelic groove and “The Chauffeur’s Daughter” features ultra catchy licks with lyrics that feel like a future classic. Album closer “A Smiling Epitaph” is a stunner all on its own but it’s made even more poignant by the fact that the band has announced they’ll be taking a hiatus for an undisclosed period of time and that founding member Adam MacDougall has moved on from the CRB. Fortunately, this excellent LP should be in heavy rotation long enough to scratch the CRB itch for quite some time — Servants of the Sun is all killer, no filler.

Read more
Oklahoma (CD)
Keb Mo' teamed up with Oklahoma native songwriter Dara Tucker for his new album that explores that state's themes. Evoking the area's musical history, natural disasters, Native American relations and more, these blues-rock songs benefit from guest artists like Robert Randolph on the title track, Rosanne Cash - who excels on vocals in the powerful “Put A Woman In Charge” - and previous collaborator Taj Mahal. The latter adds further depth to “The Way I,” an emotional song about depression, and “Don't Throw It Away,” a timely plea to acknowledge environmental issues. Another highly relevant number, the gentle ballad “This Is My Home,” features vocals from Latin singer Jaci Velasquez addressing the immigrant experience. Read more
Erotic Reruns (CD)

Yeasayer take on smooth AM Gold style rock on their sunny and slightly woozy new album, Erotic Reruns. The band fuses influences ranging from the expected indie pop to more off-the-wall psychedelia to krautrock on this smart collection of love-lorn numbers. It comes as no surprise, perhaps, based on the album’s title, that there’s also a playful rock ’n’ roll sleaziness to some of the band’s more sensually-oriented tunes — Yeasayer seems to be luxuriating in all the over-the-top-ness of the traditional rockstar persona while giving a knowing indie rock wink to their audience. It’s pure indie pop listening pleasure and pure fun.

Read more
Paradise (CD)

Psych-jazz duo The Mattson 2 steps away from their high concept collaborations and reimagined covers for a new album of mellow, retro sunglasses-tinted jazz/indie pop, perfect for the summer. But don't let the easy-going vibes distract you from the twin brothers' impeccable chops – these tracks might be airy and hushed, augmented by sleepy synths on songs like “Wavelength,” but they're built on a foundation of virtuosic bass lines and drum fills. “Essence” is a highlight with its intriguing melody, hypnotic groove, and liquid guitar solos. Guitar even substitutes for a lead vocal on “Naima's Dream,” every bit as expressive and melodic as a human voice.

Read more