Category Archives: New Releases

Album Review: PERPETUAL GROOVE RELEASES AN INCREDIBLE LIVE VERSION OF “SWEET OBLIVIOUS ANTIDOTE”!!

Last week I picked an okay album from a somewhat disappointing list of new releases, because there were more than ten albums on the list. This week, there were only nine suitable options, and I really didn’t believe I would truly enjoy any of those, so I picked a different album to review. This album came out a couple of weeks ago, but I didn’t hear about it until last week, so I missed out on the opportunity to give my opinion about the live version of 2003’s “Sweet Oblivious Antidote” from Georgia’s own, Perpetual Groove. On the first day of 2016, the quartet played their amazing studio album in its entirety, at The Terminal West in Atlanta, and released this spectacular show for all of us to get to experience. For those that aren’t familiar with Perpetual Groove, their sound is often described as jamband music, but that really doesn’t do justice to the eclectic blend that these four exceptional musicians have made their distinct sound. Since this is a complete live show, I will write my review more like I would after seeing a band live.

The new year began with an amazing omen for music fans at Terminal West. I am not sure if those in attendance were aware that Perpetual Groove was going to play their first album from beginning to end, but either way, they were in for a treat. The show started with the a dreamy but obvious intro, before going full bore into the beloved, “Three Weeks”. There was definitely something different about this song on that night, with some variations on the usual theme of this arena rocker, but the cathartic sing-a-long vibe was still ever-present. It was followed directly by the astronomically themed “Perihilion”, with moments of interplanetary jazz met by more aggressive prog-rock stylings. Another instrumental with a space concept, “Sundog” was both peaceful and playful, throughout.
“TSM2” got a warm reception before it had barely begun. Brock really shines lyrically and vocally on this infectious bubbly alt-rocker, which ended the first set.

The second set opened with the prog-rock machinations of the brooding “Teakwood Betz”. Drummer, Albert Suttle, really got some room to move during this nineteen minute instrumental. The foursome took the attendees for a glide during the dreamlike weightlessness of “Astro Monkey”, that has to be one of the band’s best instrumentals. Bursts of tension dot the landscape on the lighthearted “Robot Waltz”. The slow soulful groove of “Walking In Place” is complimented nicely by Brock’s guitar playing and the appearance by his alter ego, the reverend, who often makes appearances during this song, live, in order to add some levity, but on this night Brock was more serious, and seriously grateful. “Playground” is all the fun of a space hoedown and the edge of symphonic rock in one impressive tune. The last song on the album, is the title track, “Sweet Oblivious Antidote”, where the guys got to show off some harmonizing and concluded with a big beautiful ending. Though this is where the studio album finished, the band decided to give the live crowd a bonus with their fantastically passionate version of Talking Heads’ “Naive Melody”, to round out the night.

I really couldn’t be happier with the live version of Perpetual Groove’s “Sweet Oblivious Antidote”, unless I had been there myself. It shows off the basis for what was a top shelf studio album, but certainly lends the band the room to stretch out in their wheelhouse. It is hard to accurately describe the sound that Perpetual Groove has created, because in just one tune, they can traipse through a few genres, to see where they end up. The journey for Ā Brock Butler, Matt McDonald, Adam Perry and Albert Suttle has not always been a certain one, but it has always been apparent that the music that these guys make, has had a deep impact on so many. I first saw Perpetual Groove almost ten years ago, and I have seen them in sold out venues, and others where there was hardly anyone there, but they always put on an outstanding performance. If you like Umphrey’s McGee, Moe., Lotus and alternative music of the 80’s and 90’s, then you might want to check-out Perpetual Groove. If you haven’t heard them before, check-out “Sweet Oblivious Antidote” live, and if you haven’t seen them before, they are playing four shows along the Front Range, just before Halloween, this year, so get your tickets now. That’s What I Know, So That’s What You Know!! Enjoy!!

HAPPY LISTENING!!!! šŸ˜‰

New Releases 7/29: CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD, DESCENDENTS, MARC RIBOT & THE YOUNG & More…

The list of new music releases for the last Friday of July, isn’t the worst I have seen, but it certainly is nowhere near the best. Since I could only muster enough new albums for a list of nine, I am one short of what I require to do a review. Though there are some familiar names on the list, there aren’t any albums that I think would get a good review from me. I have been a fan of Chris Robinson for more than two decades and have attempted to do a review on Chris Robinson Brotherhood’s studio material in the past, but since I didn’t want to give a bad review, I picked a different album and I don’t want to make that mistake again. Marc Ribot & The Young have a live album that unfortunately seems a little too loose for my tastes. I must admit, the Latin tribute to Creedence Clearwater Revival is quite interesting, but not quite up my alley for an entire album. Here is the list of new releases that I could get together.

  • Chris Robinson Brotherhood- “Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel”
  • D Generation- “Nothing Is Anywhere”
  • Descendents- “Hypercaffium Spazzinate”
  • Lori McKenna- “The Bird & The Rifle”
  • Marc Ribot & The Young- “Live In Tokyo”
  • Owen- “The King Of Whys”
  • Thank You Scientist- “Stranger Heads Prevail”
  • The Bouncing Souls- “Simplicity”
  • Various Artists- “Quiero Creedence”

Even though I won’t be writing a review on any of these albums, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any review at all, for July 29. It means that I won’t be reviewing any of the new releases for this week, but I will pick an album that has been released already this year to review. It is possible that it will be an album that I was unaware of when it came out of or that I wish I had chosen instead of another. There was an album that came out a couple of weeks ago, which I didn’t find out about until a week later, so that is what I will be reviewing this week. As usual, I will put out the review on Saturday, so check-back then to see which album I chose and to read the review. That’s What I Know, so That’s What You Know!!

 

Album Review: SWEDEN’S THE AMAZING RELEASES FOURTH ALBUM “AMBULANCE”

I already knew this week would bring little in the way of quality new releases, but I expected more from a couple fairly familiar names. When I heard that Charlie Hunter was putting out a new album, I was stoked, but since sampling most of it, I found it was a little too jazzy and mellow, with not enough melody for where my ears were, this week. I had also thought that Stephen Marley’s fresh material would show-off the skills of one of the most talented of Bob Marley’s children, but it seemed to showcase so many other artists, that it kind of felt like Stephen got lost in the mix. However, two acts I didn’t know before did make a good argument for a review. Conveyor’s “Ready Not Ready” had a few impressive tracks, but The Amazing from Sweden seemed to offer something new, but vaguely familiar. The alternative quintet released their fourth full-length album “Ambulance”, yesterday.

The album opener, is also the title track, “Ambulance”, which settles into what seems like a millennial Roxy Music. It feels like a night under an expanse of tiny glowing lights, which is how Bryan Ferry’s voice has always made me feel.

“Divide” has a flavor that tastes early 90’s alternative, and isn’t catchy, but it is pleasant.

The vibe of “Blair Drager” is one that couples modern jazz backbeats with something more alternative, like a younger sounding Leonard Cohen, with a whisper of a singing voice.

“Tracks” creates a melodic landscape for the imagination to explore, as the music morphs gradually and organically into something reminiscent of War On Drugs. A tremendous instrumental piece.

The earthy roots of the steel guitar help to give “Floating” an energy like it was born into an early 90’s alternative scene. Probably one of the best songs on the album.

“Through City Lights” is a bit of a dreamy alternative rock tune, softened by some acoustic goodness. Unfortunately, though the song is good, it isn’t great due to the unnecessary length and repetition of the same lines during the second half of the tune.

“Moments Like These” is like a fantastic pairing of sounds similar to both Bon Iver and Field Report. It is like sitting on a hill where the world gives you 360 degree views of all she has to offer. This was the cut that most lured me to checking out the Swedish quintet.

The Bon Iver vibe sticks around on “Perfect Day For Shirmp” with an aura like an acoustic morning mist and the fog of the night before. The production on this track felt intuitive and it worked out well with the alternative singer/songwriter approach.

I won’t lie and say that “Ambulance” by Sweden’s The Amazing, was just that, but it certainly wasn’t bad, either. On their fourth full-length album the band makes music that is quite pleasant to hear, but not overly compelling to listen to. In other-words, I could put it on heavy rotation and it would take awhile for me to get sick of it, but I am also not sure Ā how much of my attention I would devote to the music on “Ambulance”. Fans of Roxy Music, Bon Iver and War On Drugs, may dig the sounds of The Amazing. That’s What I Know, So That’s What You Know!! Enjoy!!

HAPPY LISTENING!!!! šŸ˜‰

New Releases 7/22: CHARLIE HUNTER, MSTRKRFT, STEPHEN “RAGGA” MARLEY & More…

This Friday will be another summer release day with a sparse list of new albums to choose from. The only familiar names with new releases are Charlie Hunter, MSTRKRFT, Stephen “Ragga” Marley and (Hed) p.e. Though the list is short, it is long enough that I will do a review this week. The new albums from Conveyor and The Amazing seem like promising possibilities.

  • Big Smo- “We The People”
  • Charlie Hunter- “Everybody Has A Plan Until They Get Punched In The Mouth”
  • Conveyor- “Ready Not Ready”
  • Crown The Empire- “Retrograde”
  • (hed) p.e.- “Forever!”
  • Honne- “Warm On A Cold Night”
  • Look Park- “Look Park”
  • Lou Rhodes- “theyesandeye”
  • Matt Brown- “Walk Into The Light”
  • Max Romeo- “Horror Zone”
  • MSTRKRFT- “Operator”
  • Stephen “Ragga” Marley- “Revelation Pt. II: The Fruit Of Life”
  • The Amazing- “Ambulance”
  • Various- “Reggae Gold 2016”

This Friday will make for a tough choice of which of these new releases to pick for a review. Unfortunately, it is not because there are so many wonderful options, but more because the pickins are kind of slim. As usual, I will pick one of these albums and will post my review on Saturday, so check back then to see which one I chose and to read my take on it. That’s What I Know, So That’s What You Know!!

Album Review: MICHAEL KIWANUKA PUTS HIS SOUL FOOT FORWARD ON “LOVE & HATE”!!

This week was not a very impressive one when it came to the number of new albums being released yesterday, especially considering one of the albums on my short list, had already been released. Normally, nine new releases wouldn’t be enough for me to do a review, but there were a few quality options this week, with fresh material from Aaron Neville, Michael Kiwanuka and The Earls Of Leicaster, so I decided to carry on as usual. Though all three seemed like excellent choices, I was specifically grabbed by two songs on “Love & Hate”, so Michael Kiwanuka got the nod, this week. I have heard his first full-length studio album, “Home Again”, and was impressed with the mix of classic soul and tropical ease, that made the music comfortable, but not complacent, so I was hoping for the same from this release.

The album opens with the longest track, “Cold Little Heart”, which clocks in at close to ten minutes. It has a broad start, that is reminiscent of Pink Floyd or millennial Peter Gabriel. The guitar playing leans more toward the first. About half-way through, Michael adds his vocal stylings, and the song turns soul folk. Good track, but you won’t be hearing it on the radio.

As one of the tracks that intrigued my ears, “Black Man In A White World”, brings the influences of Bill Withers to the fore, while dealing with issues that have plagued society for ages. The use of strings to add layers of sound is a pretty classic soul approach, and a good one at that.

Strings begin the slower relationship drama of “Falling”, which deals with the sometimes revolving door of a relationship that neither is willing to end, while keeping both on an emotional yo-yo.

“Place I Belong” has an urban 70’s vibe and confronts the need to figure-out how to change in order to keep up with the world changing around you. It isn’t an upbeat tune, but it does have its peak in the middle.

“Love & Hate” is the other tune that convinced me to go with Michael Kiwanuka for this week’s review. It instantly reminded me of Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues”, along with a vibe that tipped the hat toward Bill Withers. The strings are a huge piece of the power on this cut.

There is a folky island blues quality to “One More Night”, which is similar to his first album, with just a little more of a rock angle.

“I’ll Never Love” is comfortably desperate in the idea of being alone for the duration of this life. It is like Ben Harper and Gary Clark Jr. writing a song in Hawaii.

“Rule The World” is a little too modern to be vintage, but it has too classic a sound to be brand new. It is a sincere plea for guidance, which is given a kick by the backing vocalists, the strings and percussion.

The piano makes an obvious appearance on the beach bound singer/songwriter vibe of “Father’s Child”. The strings include the lower end of the spectrum, which assists in the melodic time-warp that evolves during this track.

“The Final Frame” is another track that spans a long time period in music history. The song has an early rock ballad feel with early 70’s vocals and the more recent sounds of fuzzy electric guitar.

This may not be a contender for album of the year, in my opinion, but it is still an extremely solid sophomore effort by Michael Kiwanuka. It is a continuation of much of the music from his first album “Home Again”. There does seem to be more of a Marvin Gaye influence on this album, “Love & Hate”, than on the last. The strings are used fairly liberally and they only enhance the songs, in my opinion. I also appreciate, what seems like, Michael’s lack of concern over making radio hits, considering a couple of the best tracks, are over seven minutes long and probably won’t hear themselves on the airwaves. If you are a fan of Michael’s, this album will keep you happy, but it is also an appropriate move for those who love the music of Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and Otis Redding. It isn’t a classic soul album, but the best influences from the past are apparent on “Love & Hate”. That’s What I Know, So That’s What You Know!! Enjoy!!

HAPPY LISTENING!!!! šŸ˜‰

 

 

 

New Releases 7/15: AARON NEVILLE, MICHAEL KIWANUKA, EARLS OF LEICASTER & More…

For this Friday, July 15, the list of releases is exceptionally short, but just long enough for a review. After an initial sampling of each of these albums, the best so far are from Aaron Neville, Michael Kiwanuka and The Earls Of Leicaster. Some of the other big name acts releasing new music this week, are Jeff Beck, Stephen Tyler and Dirty Heads.

  • Aaron Neville- “Apache”
  • Blood Red Throne- “Union Of Flesh & Machine”
  • Con Brio- “Paradise”
  • Dirty Heads- “Dirty Heads”
  • Jeff Beck- “Loud Hailer”
  • Maynard Ferguson- “Complete High Voltage”
  • Michael Kiwanuka- “Love & Hate”
  • Steven Tyler- “We’re All Somebody From Somewhere”
  • The Earls Of Leicaster- “Rattle & Roar”
  • The Temperance Movement- “White Bear”

This is the best of the short list of new releases coming out on Friday. I will choose one of these albums to review and will post the review on Saturday. So check back then to see which one I picked and to read the review. That’s What I Know, So That’s What You Know!!

Album Review: THE MOTET DROPS SOME SERIOUS FUN-K ON “TOTEM”!!!!

This week’s list of new releases was light years better than the one for July 1st. It was one of the more eclectic collections of new albums I have seen in awhile. Several genres are represented, including blues, metal, rock, singer/songwriter, jazz, alternative, electronic, funk, country and more. Despite the varied sounds, the biggest names with new releases are Aphex Twin, Heart, Chevelle, Eric Gales, The Motet and Eric Krasno. Some of the other stand-outs are from Sean McConnell, Bad Bad Not Good, Frankie Lee and Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley. After sampling all of these, and then some, I went with “Totem”, which is the latest release from Colorado’s own The Motet. I have been listening to The Motet’s music for the last fifteen plus years, and though I haven’t heard a lot of their more recent albums, I have always been a fan.

The opening cut is a 70’s funk throwback with a modern vibe called “The Truth”. The horns and guitar dig deep into this track and assist in making this one highly danceable.

Joey Porter explores the synth sounds of the 80’s, and makes something best described as new wave funk, on “Fool No More”. Garrett Sayers shows-off at the low end with a nice solo before the horns strut their stuff.

There is something that is immediately reminiscent of New Orleans best, The Meters, on “Know It Too Well”. Like their heroes, the band weaves rock and a sand between your toes groove into the Crescent City funk.

“Rippin Herb” has a classic Motet world-funk feel, that has plenty of action to keep that ass shakin’. Joey Porter goes all space-age on the keys and everyone drops out for a fabulous drum and bass excursion on this one.

The band demonstrates tremendous cohesiveness on the Parliament inspired “Damn!”. This track couples 70’s funk and 80’s rock to make something that is a great tribute to the late Bernie Worrell.

The Motet goes back through the years to create “Solar Plexus”, which is a terrific representation of the genres that the band has explored over the last couple of decades.

“So High” comes off like an 80’s R&B number, produced by Rick James. The strings and Joey Porter on the talkbox really took this one back thirty years.

There are qualities of a dream-state and a funky stroll on the instrumental, “Cretan”. It really does have an extremely sweet groove.

Joey Porter starts “Danger” on piano and gets into a New Orleans swagger with some futuristic funk growing on this one like kudzu.

“Cloak & Dagger” harkens back to the days when The Motet was a mostly instrumental band, with something that is kind of a dark afrobeat flavor.

The influence that a group like The Neville Brothers has had on The Motet, is evident on “Back It Up”. Joey’s keys dig a deep valley where jazz lives and thrives and the a cappella outro really sells this tune.

The album concludes with the dubtronic “Contraband”, which is like listening in 3D.

The Motet have been a hidden gem on the Colorado music scene for a long time, but it appears that their time has finally come. This is definitely one of, if not their best album. Not only is it a highly eclectic album, but it gives a sincere tip of the cap to several of the legends that these guys have been covering for years, especially around Halloween. It is no surprise that the influences of bands like Earth, Wind & Fire, Parliament Funkadelic and The Meters, are obvious on “Totem”. I would recommend this album to fans of The Motet and any of their many influences. They pay deep respect to the past, while always facing toward the future. Ā I am happy for the guys and for all of us that have gotten to see the changes that have led to this success. The Motet will be playing at Red Rocks on Friday, July 22, with Medeski, Martin & Wood and Vulfpeck. That’s What I Know, So That’s What You Know!! Enjoy!!

HAPPY LISTENING!!!! šŸ˜‰

New Releases 7/08: THE MOTET, ERIC GALES, ERIC KRASNO & More…

The first full week of July brings with it a much thicker list of great new albums, than last week’s. The biggest names with new releases this week are Heart, The Motet, Eric Gales, Eric Krasno, Aphex Twin, Chevelle and Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley. A few other acts with some captivating new music are Bad Bad Not Good, Frankie Lee and Sean McConnell.

  • Aphex Twin- “Cheetah” Ā  ep
  • Bad Bad Not Good- “IV”
  • Chevelle- “The North Corridor”
  • CIRCA- “Valley Of The Windmill”
  • Dust Bolt- “Mass Confusion”
  • Eric Gales- “A Night On The Sunset Strip” (live)
  • Eric Krasno- “Blood From A Stone”
  • Frankie Lee- “American Dreamer”
  • Heart- “Beautiful Broken”
  • Inter Arma- “Paradise Gallows”
  • Kenny Garrett- “Do Your Dance!”
  • Konx-Om Pax- “Caramel”
  • Kree Harrison- “This Old Thing”
  • Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley- “The Country Blues”
  • Sean McConnell- “Sean McConnell”
  • Shura- “Nothing’s Real”
  • The Avalanches- “Wildflower”
  • The Julie Ruin- “Hit Reset”
  • The Motet- “Totem”
  • Wymond Miles- “Call By Night”

This is the list of new releases for this Friday, July 8th. As usual, I will pick one of these albums to review. Check back on Saturday to see which one I chose and to read the review. That’s What I Know, So That’s What You Know!!

New Releases 7/01: SNOOP DOGG, SARA WATKINS & More…

I had a feeling that the first day of July would be pretty short on new music releases, since it is a holiday weekend, and I was more correct than I thought. The only well known names with new albums are Snoop Dogg and Sara Watkins. I have a long standing rule that I must have a list of at least ten new albums, in order to do a release, and this week’s is short of that number, so I will list the new releases for this week, but I will not be doing a review, this week,

  • Bat For Lashes- “The Bride”
  • Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve- “The Soft Bounce”
  • Durand Jones & The Indications- “Durand Jones & The Indications”
  • El Da Sensi, K-Def & The Enforcers- ” The Jersey Connection”
  • Jerry Goodman- “Violin Fantasy”
  • Sara Watkins- “Young In All The Wrong Ways”
  • Snoop Dogg- “Coolaid”
  • Thee Oh Sees- “Live In San Francisco”

This is the list of new releases for this week, but I had to lower my expectations a bit, just to build a list of eight new albums. This happens a few times a year, especially around major holidays, so I won’t be reviewing an album this week, but will post a list for July 8, next Sunday. That’s What I Know, So That’s What You Know!!

Album Review: JERRY GARCIA & MERL SAUNDERS ARE FEATURED ON “GARCIA LIVE, VOL. 6”

This week’s list of new releases, includes some solid offerings from acts like Sam Bush, The Avett Brothers, The Felice Brothers, The Felice Brothers, Royal Southern Brotherhood and The Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman. Some other strong albums come from D.A.R.K., Drowners, Marian Hill and Dorothy. Aside from all of these quality releases, I was already pretty certain that I would pick ‘Garcia Live, Vol. 6: 7/05/1973’ featuring Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders from the Lion’s Share in California, and I was right. Since this is a complete live show, I will do my review more like I would for a concert, by splitting up the sets.

A seemingly subdued “After Midnight” opens the show, Jerry’s guitarĀ starts like a dogĀ on a new chain, until his fingers figure out, that they have the run of the whole yard. Jerry’s vocal strength is more upfront on the soul-blues of a super playful “Someday Baby”. “She’s Got Charisma” is a number I wasn’t familiar with, but its mellow blues vibe was coupled well with some experimental jazz on a musical see-saw that goes back and fourth, with some nice grooves before it melts nicely into a funky take on “That’s Alright Mama”. Merl gets political and blue on “The System” with some funky jamming, which lead to the set ending “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”, which was not Jerry’s best performance of the evening.

The second set commenced with an extremely impressive “Second That Emotion”, that found a mystery trumpeter wrapping his horn in Jerry’s sweet tones. The trumpet on “My Funny Valentine” made the tune and the “Dark Star”-esqueĀ jam was intriguing. “Finders Keepers” featured Merl’s bouncy keywork, which provided a funky swing of the hips. Jerry and Merl take back the spotlight when the strange trumpeter disappears on a glorious “Money Honey”. ThereĀ is somethingĀ deeplyĀ personal about the gospel sound of “Like A Road”, when there are no back-up vocals to bare the weight of the singing and the emotion of the tune. The brass bandit returns on the funky-jazz instrumental “Merl’s Tune”, but seemed less welcome musically, than he had beenĀ earlier. An incredibly experimental segue becomes something titled “Lion’s Share Jam”, which gave Jerry the room to stretch his guitar tones into the low end. Garcia and Saunders showed-off their chemistry on the show-endingĀ “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)”.

I love Merl and Jerry, together or apart, so it is no surprise to me that I love this show. These two had some sort of connection which allowed them to dance around each other effortlessly, on-stage. Along with John Kahn on bass and Bill Vitt on drums, the quartet was joined by a mostly welcome guest trumpeter for their second set. I would recommend this three disk show to any Deadhead or fan of Jerry’s solo work, but I would also suggest it to any jam fan, who is open to some serious musical exploration. That’s What I Know, So That’s What You Know!! Enjoy!!

HAPPY LISTENING!!!! šŸ˜‰