Here’s all the best Americana and roots-type music releases for the week of May 26th, 2016. Click the artist or album links to find out more. The artist’s names link to their websites and the CD title links go to either Amazon, CD Baby or the artist’s site for ordering or downloading.
Things Change (Hypermedia)
Bare’s no spring chicken anymore, but he sounds extremely good throughout this classic-sounding country effort. His singing voice may not be a thing of country beauty the way, say, George Jones and Merle Haggard are, but nobody can bring out sincere vocal sadness better than Bare. “Ain’t No Sure Thing” is saturated with hopelessness. And while songwriter Mary Gauthier smartly got inside the head of an alcoholic with “I Drink,” This may not be his lot in life, but if you didn’t know him better, you’d believe this was his own sad tale. Bare brings out this same hopelessness with “The Trouble with Angels.” Its chorus ends with the sad truth, “They all fly away.” Bare somehow inhabits the part bodily. Bare, the consummate storyteller, shows off his sense of humor on “Trophy Girl.” With Things Change, Bobby Bare has created one of his best albums. Be glad that making great music isn’t one of those things that have changed in Bare’s life. (edited from Country Standard Time review)
Justin Townes Earle
Kids In The Street (New West Records)
Working with producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, First Aid Kit, She and Him) in Omaha, Earle’s freshened his roots music.Vital, bright, ebullient, much has been made of the jouncing, wide-eyed pop of “Champagne Corolla,” Kids’ first single. With just enough innocent to invoke Chuck Berry’s girls’n’cars turf, horns kick in after the first chorus and the drums roll and beat down a groove that’s pure confection as Earle’s bottomy tenor extols the virtues of a practical girl. That practicality reflects Earle’s life now. Married, 35, with a child on the way, the rambling blues “Short Hair Woman” swings as it celebrates low maintenance females. Kids’ high point is the Jackson Browne-esque title track. It considers gentrifications’ wake, who he was in 1993, playing ball in a rundown neighborhood and embracing “low rent living, back when life was cheap.” Sketching a certain time and place, streets named, humidity felt and a market on the corner drawn, the bittersweet holds what was in a special reverence. What it becomes is anyone’s guess, but for the moment, Justin Townes Earle delivers an update on roots music that fairly glows. (edited from Paste magazine review)
Also new this week…
Chuck McDermott – Gin & Rosewater (independent)
Tom Russell – Play One More – The Songs of Ian and Sylvia (True North Records)
Vandoliers – The Native (State Fair Records)
Various Artists – Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams (Slate Creek Records)
Coming out soon… Jared Tyler, The Secret Sisters, Cowbell, Amy Black, Rachel Baiman, Slaid Cleaves, Molly Tuttle, Steve Earle, North Mississippi Allstars, Jason Isbell, Shannon McNally, Jeff Tweedy, Phoebe Hunt, The Deslondes, Alastair Moock, Joe Holt, Pierce Edens, VA – Treasure of the Broken Land: The Songs of Mark Heard, Mr. Byrd…
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