Top 25 CDs
Los Angeles based band, Los Lobos, have always been inspired by their surroundings and the place they call home. Their music is influenced by rock and roll, Tex-Mex, country, zydeco, folk, R&B, blues, brown-eyed soul, and traditional music such as cumbia, boleros and norteños. With Native Sons the band set out to showcase all of these influences with their own take on the songs of Los Angeles from some of the cities greatest songwriters. Native Sons features 13-songs from well known LA artists such as Buffalo Springfield, WAR, Jackson Browne and the Beach Boys as well as deep cuts from the Jaguars, The Basters and The Premiers. The album title track is the sole original composition written by the band.
Recorded in the spring of 2010 and then mysteriously abandoned by Prince before its release, the statement album Welcome 2 America documents Prince’s concerns, hopes, and visions for a shifting society, presciently foreshadowing an era of political division, disinformation, and a renewed fight for racial justice. The album features some of Prince’s only studio collaborations with the bassist Tal Wilkenfeld, drummer Chris Coleman, and engineer Jason Agel, with additional contributions from New Power Generation singers Shelby J, Liv Warfield, and Elisa Fiorillo and keyboardist Morris Hayes, who Prince also recruited to co-produce the album.
And you always hear it with The Wallflowers. For the past 30 years, the Jakob Dylan-led act has stood as one of rock’s most dynamic and purposeful bands – a unit dedicated to and continually honing a sound that meshes timeless songwriting and storytelling with a hard-hitting and decidedly modern musical attack. That signature style has been present through the decades, baked into the grooves of smash hits like 1996’s Bringing Down the Horse as well as more recent and exploratory fare like 2012’s Glad All Over.
But while it’s been nine long years since we’ve heard from the group with whom he first made his mark, the Wallflowers are silent no more. And Dylan always knew they’d return. “The Wallflowers is much of my life’s work,” he says simply. That life’s work continues with Exit Wounds, the brand-new Wallflowers studio offering. The collection marks the first new Wallflowers material since Glad All Over.
Exit Wounds, which, true to its title, is an ode to people – individual and collective – that have, to put it mildly, been through some stuff.
“I think everybody – no matter what side of the aisle you’re on – wherever we’re going to next, we're all taking a lot of exit wounds with us,” Dylan says. “Nobody is the same as they were four years ago. That, to me, is what Exit Wounds signifies. And it's not meant to be negative at all. It just means that wherever you’re headed, even if it’s to a better place, you leave people and things behind, and you think about those people and those things and you carry them with you. Those are your exit wounds. And right now, we’re all swimming in them.”
Like thousands of artists, Williams cut her teeth and developed her craft by playing in small, medium, and large clubs throughout the country, and the world. These venues are vital to the development of artists and their music. Williams has never forgotten her roots, and often performs special shows in some of her favorite halls.
This year, the Lu's Jukebox Series will be made widely available on Vinyl and CD. Volume 1, Running Down A Dream: A Tribute to Tom Petty, was released on April 16, 2021, and featured songs from the namesake's celebrated career.
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Angel Dream is a special reimagining of the album She’s The One to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its original release. This also brings to a close the celebration of Tom Petty’s masterpiece Wildflowers, as most of the songs on this album were recorded during the same time period. She’s The One included some songs that were left off the original Wildflowers album, recently included in the Wildflowers & All The Rest re-issue. To take the place of those songs, four previously unreleased songs have been added here – two Petty originals (“105 Degrees” and “One of Life’s Little Mysteries”), a cover of JJ Cale’s “Thirteen Days”, and the instrumental “French Disconnection”. An extended version of “Supernatural Radio” is also included. The album has been remixed & remastered and brand new cover art commissioned – emphasizing that this is a Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers album, rather than a soundtrack album.
In a career marked by risk-taking and rule-breaking, Simpson has previously challenged genre conventions with 2016’s soul-inflected A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, which won the Grammy award for Country Album of the Year and was nominated for Album of the Year, and 2019’s Sound & Fury, which was nominated for Rock Album of the Year.
ICONS is a proven physical line, a true cross genre success with over 150 artists and over 6.5 million units scanned in less than 3 years of sales! a true American Icon, Bob Seger's record sales are in excess of 51 million including 12 platinum and seven multi-platinum RIAA-certified album awards. The Bob Seger Icon collection contains several Top Five charting hits including: "Night Moves," "Turn the Page," "Hollywood Nights," "Mainstreet," "Old Time Rock And Roll," "Like a Rock," "We've Got Tonight," "Against the Wind," "Still the Same," and many other Seger classics.
2020 was not quite what Jay Farrar was expecting for the 25th anniversary of Son Volt, the band he started in 1995 after leaving the seminal group Uncle Tupelo, whose No Depression album helped define the alt-country and Americana genre. The group had just finished an Outlaw Country Cruise when the pandemic hit and sent them into their homes on lockdown.
Instead of a triumphant tour marking the illustrious landmark, Farrar was forced indoors by the pandemic, and his “Reverie” during that time helped define Electro Melodier, Son Volt’s 10th studio album – and third for influential Nashville indie Thirty Tigers. The title, taken from the names of two vintage amplifiers from the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, also describes the disc’s unique blend of folk, country, blues, soul and rock – an electric troubadour with melodies that hit and stick. Social protest songs like “Living in the U.S.A.” and “The Globe,” the former about the promises of this nation gone wrong, the latter referencing the street protests accompanying the Black Lives Matter movement, exist side by side with odes to long-term relationships (specifically his 25-year marriage) in “Diamonds and Cigarettes” and “Lucky Ones.”
Once again accompanied by the current Son Volt line up – keyboardist/steel guitarist Mark Spencer, bassist Andrew Duplantis, guitarist Chris Frame and drummer Mark Patterson – Farrar takes a slight turn from 2019’s politically pointed Union to a series of songs that asks questions rather than demanding answers – think of “Living in the U.S.A.” as Farrar’s version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.,” Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” or Patti Smith’s “People Have the Power,” an anthem to unite the populace.
One listen to Electro Melodier, which opens with “Reverie,” describing Farrar’s contemplative state gazing out his window, enlivened with Mark Spencer’s “Wichita Lineman” guitar riffs and the lush Big Star melodies, and you wonder why no other rock ‘n’ roll bands or singer/songwriters are making albums like this about what we’re all going through.
With tour dates scheduled before the end of 2021, Son Volt is ready to return to what they know best after a welcome period of introspection.
The songs of Electro Melodier help remind us to be thankful of what we still have – new music from Jay Farrar and Son Volt.