In The Groove
In April of 2021, 13 months into quarantine, Rick Springfield and his band performed his most iconic album, “Working Class Dog,” from start to finish live at Rick’s home in Malibu in celebration of its 40th Anniversary. The resulting work is a renewed interpretation of a classic. The DVD features behind-the-scenes footage, all the joyful live performances, plus 4 bonus Rick Springfield hits: “Love Somebody,” “Don't Talk to Strangers,” “State of the Heart,” and “Affair of the Heart.”
CD: $29.98 Buy
The most unforgettable songs from Disney’s iconic films reimagined by the greatest living pianist, Lang Lang’s The Disney Book tells the story of a century of magical, joyous entertainment for all. Join him on an uplifting, virtuosic journey to experience beloved songs from Disney films with collaborators from across the globe, including Andrea Bocelli, Sebastián Yatra, and Jon Batiste, performing hits from Snow White, Encanto, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio and many more.
Girl Of My Dreams is an up-close look at the moments of heartache, triumph and deeply transformative experiences on FLETCHER's way to self-discovery. The new record expands on the boldly detailed storytelling she’s brought to hits like “Undrunk” and “Bitter.” This time around, FLETCHER reveals her inner world more fully and fearlessly than ever before, embracing the kind of uninhibited honesty that’s freeing for both artist and audience.
Guitarist Julian Lage discovers new possibilities with orchestration on the follow-up to his acclaimed 2021 Blue Note debut, Squintby, expanding his trio with bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Dave King with the addition of fellow guitarist (and Blue Note labelmate) Bill Frisell. A View With A Room presents 10 compelling new original compositions by Lage that explore a wide range of guitar sounds and textures with these two distinctive masters seamlessly blending their unique 6-string styles.
Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Julian Lennon releases two powerful new original tracks, “Freedom” and “Every Little Moment.” “Freedom” is a soulful, ethereal track intensified by Lennon's distinctive vocals that provokes an emotional and meditative journey. “Every Little Moment,” is a driving rock track, that not only confronts the wars within, but the ongoing battles we face on the outside. Lennon will continue to release singles, leading into a much anticipated studio album with BMG.
The Paranoyds are Southern California DIY rock royalty. Fueled by the fiery energy of their live shows paired with raw lyricism and subtle societal commentary, The Paranoyds are unafraid and unapologetically in perpetual pursuit of a good time. The four-piece is made up of Laila Hashemi (keyboardist-vocals), Lexi Funston (guitars/vocals), Staz Lindes (bass/vocals) and David Ruiz (drums, vocals) who together masterfully blend light-hearted playfulness with sharp sincerity over fuzzy guitar, dreamy vocals and punchy, punky rock-n-roll.
Talk, Talk, Talk, the sophomore album from The Paranoyds gives the band space to expand, evolve and above all, have fun. Over 11 tracks, the band experiments with sounds that span an eclectic array of genres–from jazz, to lo-fi punk-rock, to groovy R&B–that melt together showcasing the innovative range of The Paranoyds.
Charley Crockett will release his latest album The Man From Waco on September 9th via Son of Davy/Thirty Tigers. Crockett wrote or co-wrote all 14 songs on the album, and in many ways The Man From Waco is the purest distillation of his artistry to date. What started as a demo session with producer Bruce Robison at Robison’s studio The Bunker outside Austin, TX turned into the first album Crockett has ever made with his band The Blue Drifters backing him from start to finish. Mostly first takes with only a handful of overdubs, The Man From Waco finds Crockett refining his singular “Gulf & Western” sound which continues to captivate an ever-growing legion of fans.
“I just wanted an honest partnership: do it at your place, live to tape, everybody in the room,” Crockett says of the recording experience, and Robison was happy to accommodate. “The magic is in the performances on that tape. That’s what Bruce wanted to do, that’s what I wanted to do. When we were done, I said ‘these are masters, not demos.’”
There’s a loose narrative thread that ties the album together, but at the center of The Man From Waco is Crockett, who continues to trust his instincts and carve out his own singular space. Eschewing the ever-growing siren song of major labels and GRAMMY-winning producers, Crockett is forging ahead as a mostly DIY artist, calling his own shots and giving himself the space to strive for greatness on his own terms.
“Everybody was telling me: ‘go right, go right, go right,’” says Crockett. “I went left. I had to hold on to what has gotten me this far.”
The Man From Waco will be in a record store near you on September 9th on CD, Vinyl, and an indie record store exclusive edition featuring alternate album artwork.
Perseverance carries us through the most turbulent, traumatic, and trying of times. When all hope seems lost, it shines a light from the inside that’s impossible to extinguish, no matter how hard even the darkest forces try. That light also burns bright at the heart of Gogol Bordello. Since 1999, the band have consistently riled up audiences with an inimitable patchwork of punk, gypsy, dub, folk, Latin swing, and Eastern European magic.
However, the New York-based collective trumpet the spirit of survival louder than ever on their eighth full-length album, SOLIDARITNE. Ukrainian-born band leader Eugene Hutz and Co. linked up with New York underground icon Walter Schreifels [Gorilla Biscuits, Rival Schools, Quicksand] to co-produce the album. Meanwhile, H.R. of Bad Brains guested on “Era of the End of Eras,” blessing the track with a cameo punctuated by a key moment from the Bad Brains anthem “Sailin’ On.” The band also recorded a new version single “Forces of Victory” [feat. Serhiy Zhadan & Kazka]. Dizzying acoustic guitar and violin charge forward at lightspeed before crashing into an uplifting verse kickstarted by fits of electric guitar. The accompanying video juxtaposes footage of the band with real-life scenes of citizens and soldiers in the midst of war in Ukraine shot by a Gogol Bordello crew member.
In the end, Gogol Bordello rally everyone together on SOLIDARITNE.
CD: $19.97 Buy
CD in mini-jacket sleeve + Limited edition Ozzy Osbourne Patient Number 9 comic book designed by Todd McFarlane
Patient Number 9 is Ozzy Osbourne’s 13th solo studio album and a continuation from 2020’s top 5 release Ordinary Man, once again produced by Andrew Watt. This 13-track project running nearly over an hour long has the most legendary guests ever on an Ozzy Osbourne release. Three tracks alone – “Patient Number 9”, “Degradation Rules”, and “One Of Those Days” – feature Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, and Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) respectively, not to mention Josh Homme (Queens of The Stone Age), Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses), Robert Trujillo (Metallica), Zakk Wylde (Ozzy’s longstanding guitarist from the late 80’s) as well as the late Taylor Hawkins.
The Old North State is tattooed on the bones of front man BJ Barham, who has never lived more than two hours from his hometown in Reidsville. But, more so, what better to represent an album about loss than a place built to save the lives of shipwrecked mariners and passengers? Song as a sort of salvation is something Barham hopes this album can do for the band’s established and growing fanbase. Sometimes when we’re drowning, music keeps us afloat.
“When these massive life changes happen, we feel like we are the only ones facing these problems,” Barham said. “I hope this album serves as a salve to anyone who has experienced this sort of loss over the last few years. I hope it makes them feel a little less isolated and disconnected. I want them to know that someone out there is going through the exact same shit and that they are not alone.”
With tracks tackling personal loss—the loss of his mother and grandmother, the loss of a child, the loss of youth and time and the creative spark that drives him—Chicamacomico feels stripped down and bare-boned in its instrumentation compared to earlier records. The orchestration is dialed back leaving the lyrics to stand naked front and center. It’s reminiscent of Rockingham, Barham’s 2016 solo album, and this may be in part a result of producer Brad Cook, who produced both albums as well as the band’s 2015 record Wolves. But it’s likely more a sign of the maturing sound and expanding scope of a songwriter now fully comfortable and confident in his own skin.
“When you are young, you want to play everything loud and fast and I think that comes, at least in part, from uncertainty. I hadn't fully found my voice back in those early days so the louder and faster the songs were the less chance someone could actually hear what I was saying. I'm not afraid of the lyrics sitting way out front anymore because I am confident in the songwriting. The band can still cut loose and take over a song, but they aren't expected to do all the heavy lifting these days.”
Few songwriters swing the hammer as hard and precise as Barham and it is a testament to the humility and trust of his bandmates that they take the back seat and allow his storytelling to drive us home. With a heavy tour the rest of the year and a backlist of brass-knuckled bangers, each will surely have their fair share of time at the wheel.
But as for this record, be thankful for the subtlety, for the stillness and for the quiet. For ten songs, Chicamacomico will hold your head above water.
Noah Gundersen returns with his much anticipated new album, ‘A Pillar of Salt’ out October 8th ahead of a US headline tour kicking off October 9th. The project is a return to form for Gundersen, coupling heartfelt lyrics with his signature understated vocal performance. Featuring singles “Sleepless in Seattle” and “Atlantis,” a stunning duet with Phoebe Bridgers, fans old and new will be celebrating this triumphant piece of art.
Multiplatinum artist & EGOT winner John Legend announces his highly anticipated 8th studio album, Legend, out September 9 via Republic Records. The double album features Saweetie, Rick Ross, Muni Long, Jazmine Sullivan, Rapsody, Ledisi, Jhene Aiko, Ty Dolla $ign and more. Executive produced by Legend and Ryan Tedder, this vibrant project is suffused with an unapologetic spirit of sensuality and joy, informed by the vulnerability of pain, praise and healing.
ODESZA return after four years with their new album "The Last Goodbye" available on crystal clear LP, indie exclusive version crystal clear LP with limited edition print, standard CD, deluxe CD with a patch and stickers, and transparent green cassette. Symphonic, vast, and emotionally stirring, 'The Last Goodbye' is set to be the GRAMMY-nominated duo's most ambitious album to date. A project rife with brightness and emotion, nostalgic yet rooted in the present, it serves as a sweeping sonic experience that speaks to themes of connection, reminiscence and the impact we impart on one another. It's a vivid celebration of the people and moments that have left fingerprints on our existence, echoing throughout the record. "The Last Goodbye" features collaborations with Låpsley, Ólafur Arnalds, Julianna Barwick, The Knocks, Bettye LaVette, Izzy Bizu, MARO, and Charlie Houston. With over 5 billion total streams, ODESZA have masterfully reemerged to remind the world what has made the duo of Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight cornerstones of the modern electronic landscape. Their last album 'A Moment Apart' was not only a commercial success (going gold and debuting at no. 3 on the Billboard 200), but it also earned critical acclaim including two GRAMMY nominations and praise from the likes of NPR, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Complex, Consequence and more. The duo has cultivated a diehard fanbase of massive proportions: known for their groundbreaking, awe-inspiring and immersive live performance, that reached 2.85m+ fans over the course of their 'A Moment Apart' tour. They also have had headline performances at the likes of Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bumbershoot & more, as well as performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Conan, and launched their own music festival SUNDARA in Riviera Maya, Mexico in 2019.
Big Loud/Republic Records’ Morgan Wallen released his highly anticipated sophomore album, DANGEROUS: THE DOUBLE ALBUM, in January 2021. The vast 30-track project was written largely by Wallen throughout the previous three years while he was becoming “the fastest rising young star in country” (Variety). Further establishing his signature sound, it includes a strong arsenal of writers and features “More Than My Hometown,” “7 Summers” and more. Includes 2 bonus tracks, “This Side of a Dust Cloud,” and “Bandaid on a Bullet Hole.”
In the kitchen of the Byron Bay home of Winston McCall stands a refrigerator, adorned on one side by a quote from Tom Waits: “I want beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.”
This, the PARKWAY DRIVE vocalist says, is a pretty good summation of him-self. It holds true, too, as one of the guiding principles behind Darker Still, the seventh full-length album to be born of this picturesque and serene corner of north-eastern NSW, Australia, and the defining musical statement to date from one of modern metal’s most revered bands.
Darker Still, McCall says, is the vision he and his bandmates – guitarists Jeff Ling and Luke Kilpatrick, bassist Jia O’Connor and drummer Ben Gordon – have held in their mind’s eye since a misfit group of friends first convened in their parents’ basements and backyards in 2003. The journey to reach this moment has seen Parkway evolve from metal underdogs to festival-headlining behemoth, off the back of close to 20 gruelling years, six critically and commercially acclaimed studio albums (all of which achieving Gold status in their home nation), three documentaries, one live album, and many, many thousands of shows.
While Darker Still remains irrefutably PARKWAY DRIVE, it finds the band sonically standing shoulder to shoulder with rock and metal’s greats – Metallica, Pantera, Machine Head, Guns N’ Roses – as much as it does their metalcore contemporaries. “I wanted a classic guitar tone for this record,” explains Ling, who credits much of his inspiration to the connection his riffs have with a crowd in a live setting.
Emerging from the darkness of the past few years, this is the true face of PARKWAY DRIVE: redefined and resolute, focused in mind and defiant in spirit.
VIVA LAS VENGEANCE shows a change in process for frontman/songwriter Brendon Urie, having cut everything live to tape in Los Angeles alongside his friends and production partners, Jake Sinclair and Mike Viola. The cinematic musical journey is about the fine line between taking advantage of your youth, seizing the day and burning out. The songs take an introspective look into his relationship with his decade plus career including growing up in Las Vegas, love, and fame.
Meechy Darko, an artist who has achieved both critical acclaim and commercial success as one-third of Brooklyn hip-hop group Flatbush Zombies, is well aware that the “crazy shit, crazy-colored hair and psychedelics” of his group are imprinted in the brains of many fans, but on his solo debut album Gothic Luxury (executive produced by Dot Da Genius) there is a through line of brutal honesty and catharsis which prove him to be one of the rawest and most candid rappers in the game.
Twisting and contorting the English language to fit the meter and his every whim, Lupe Fiasco uses his superb lyrical skill to process the changing world in which he lives. Drawing connections between the concrete and spiritual in his hometown of Chicago, Lupe announces DRILL MUSIC IN ZION, his next album. The product of a burst of thoughtful spontaneity, Lupe created the new album over a short period, diving into a folder of beats sent by his longtime producer Soundtrakk and emerging with a fully-realized album in just three days. “Soundtrakk is the swordmaker, I’m the samurai," says Lupe. "He’s the mechanic, and I’m the driver.” Armed with Soundtrakk's soulful sounds, Lupe creates a focused statement that reflects on the past and paves a way forward, preaching strength through mindfulness and self-sustaining community. DRILL MUSIC IN ZION arrives digitally on June 24th via 1st & 15th/Thirty Tigers. The physical release is set for August 26 (CD, Black Vinyl, and Indie-retail exclusive blue vinyl).
His first new album since 2018's DROGAS WAVE, DRILL MUSIC IN ZION marks the start of another chapter in Lupe's illustrious career. The proud Chicago native has already had a busy 2022, marked with sold out shows, new music, and much more. Lupe recently closed out his "Food & Liquor Tour," a series of performances in which he plays his debut album in full. He paid tribute to his hometown in the reflective, self-produced "100 Chicagos," and dug into the archives to share "Hustlaz," a previously-unreleased song originally recorded before the release of the now-classic debut album Food & Liquor. Beyond music, Lupe continues to focus on the community organizations he founded, including We Are M.U.R.A.L, The Neighborhood Start-Up Fund, Society of Spoken Art, and his cross-cultural content venture, Studio SV.
Steve Earle has been creating intimate and personal music for well over four decades now. His songwriting has wound itself along a path from Texas to Tennessee and his education came in the form of learning from the best. 2009’s Grammy-nominated record, TOWNES, was a tribute to his dear friend and mentor, Townes Van Zandt. Ten years later Earle released, GUY. An album concentrated on paying homage to the late Guy Clark and the indelible friendship that they had formed in stories told through song. 2022 welcomes the release of JERRY JEFF. A 10-song collection of songs written by the gypsy songman, Jerry Jeff Walker. Featuring hits like, “Mr. Bojangles” and “Gettin’ By”, Earle & The Dukes honor the late Texan by amplifying the concept and sound of each song with a full-band recording.
“A lot of the strategy was marrying the songs to the guests that we wanted to be part of the record,” Sara says. “So we knew, for example, that Willie Watson was somebody who we wanted to have on the record because we have such a long history with him specifically. So we did the Jim and Jesse song ‘She Left Me Standing on the Mountain’ with Gabe Witcher and Willie, who are both part of the foundation of the Family Hour.”
While Vol. II is certainly a celebration of the band’s collaborative show itself, it’s also a tribute to Largo, the beloved Los Angeles venue that first hosted them and is an essential hub of the city’s creative community. “We wanted to capture what we’ve done over the years, but also capture the process that is continually at work, which is this intermingling of the musical community here in Los Angeles that surrounds Largo.”
As both Sean and Sara continue to work on their own solo music, as well as with their other bands like Nickel Creek and I’m With Her, Watkins Family Hour remains an invaluable resource and respite for them both, offering a familiar but ever-evolving space to test new ideas, meet new collaborators and, most importantly, have a good time doing what they love.
“It’s been really exciting to be part of this thing that is happening and growing and enables us to dig deep into this musical community,” Sean says. “The consistency has been invaluable to both of us, as musicians.” Sara adds, “But also, in life, the Family Hour has been and continues to be a huge part of making us feel anchored in the crazy city of Los Angeles.”
Chicago-born composer, producer and arranger Charles Stepney is known to some for his work with Earth, Wind & Fire, Deniece Williams, Ramsey Lewis, Rotary Connection, Minnie Riperton, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Terry Callier, and many more. In the decades since his untimely death in 1976, the presence of his name in liner notes has become a seal of quality for record collectors, while his sound has been sampled extensively by artists such as Kanye West, A Tribe Called Quest, The Fugees, MF Doom, and Madlib. Step on Step – which comes almost 50 years after Stepney’s passing – is the enigmatic producer's eponymous debut album. It's an album full of creative compositional seedlings – originally written, performed, and recorded by Stepney in the basement of his home in Chicago, between the late 1960s and early 1970s, using just primitive drum machines, early-gen Moog synthesizers, pianos, vibraphones, and a few other instrumental accessories.
Delta Spirit has been making music for nearly 17 years and with five albums under their belt they are set to release their follow up record to 2020’s What Is There. One Is One was recorded in southern Vermont and mixed in Texas by Matt Pence (Jason Isbell, Nikki Lane, Paul Cauthen). The album has a distinctly anthemic quality with songs like “Villians” “One Is One” and “What’s Done is Done” inducing goosebumps upon the first listen. Other tracks like “Lottery”, “Ghost of Caddo” and “Thoughts on Seneca” are more quiet in sound and song structure but deliver heavy lyrical messages that capture the listeners attention. One Is One is made for the headphones and the live concert experience.