Albums of the Month – February 2020

our top picks for Feb 2020

Caleb Caudle – Photo: LTTL

Top New Releases – February 2020

By Rob Dickens

Caleb Caudle

Better Hurry Up

Soundly Music

3 April 2020

Caleb Caudle really raises the ante here. A full, grounded groove permeates throughout, helped with some A-list friends such as Elizabeth Cook, Courtney Marie Andrews, Gary Louris and John Paul White.

The eleven songs on Caudle’s eighth release are well-constructed and contain an uneasiness which insists on your attention. The recording took place at Johnny Cash’s tiny but historically significant Cabin which adds to the gravitas and the production hand of the Jayhawks’s John Jackson is telling.

The musicians here are impeccable – Mickey Raphael (harmonica), Dennis Crouch (bass), Fred Eltringham (drums), Russ Pahl (pedal steel), Laur Joamets (guitar), and, on keyboards, Pat Sansone and Rhett Huffman.

Here’s the swampy title track (and first single) which features Cook, Andrews and White:



Once There Was

Independent/Gold Ship Records

14 February 2020

A stunning debut with eerie vocals. Read our FULL REVIEW HERE.

Here’s a clip of one of the songs “Like It Matters”:

via Gold Ship Records


Brian Johannesen

Holster Your Silver


31 January 2020

Brian Johannesen had to finish this, his second release, while his mother-in-law’s health fatally declined. Even though some of the songs were already written, the final recorded tracks were impacted by what was unfolding around him.

The topics of loss and anxiety and coming to grips with grim reality add extra poignancy to this material. Johannesen’s crisp, ringing vocals are impressive and nowhere is this more evident in the towering “Damn These Saints”. For those like me who have been on the Outlaw Country Cruise you will find his references to it on the bustling “Fremont” to be a hoot.

Here’s an audio clip for “Somewhere Down The Line”:

via Skye Media


Frazey Ford

U Kin B The Sun

Arts & Crafts

7 February 2020

Vancouver-based soul-Americana artist Frazey Ford‘s new album U kin B the Sun will be released soon.

The sound of her high-pitched, sweet twirling vocals somewhat belies the serious subject matter and attitudes of this artist. Take “Azad”, for example, which recounts her earlier days in a commune in Canada as the daughter of American draft dodgers.

This is deliberate move away from a guitar-based sound that has been a feature of her work in the folk trio The Be Good Tanyas and her earlier solo output. Here we have a soulful, rhythmic ensemble that works handsomely.

Here’s her previous album Indian Ocean reviewed on Listening Through The Lens.

Check out the sound clip of the opening track “Azad”:

via Girlie Action Media

Matthew Francis Andersen

Pine River


31 January 2020

Chicago native Matthew Francis Andersen‘s third album was part-funded by an Illinois arts grant, recorded in Austin, Texas and many of the compelling narratives hover around a fictional location, Pine River, and its inhabitants.

The mood swings from the loose and ramshackle “Absolutely”, through the bright imagery of the title track and to the utter heartbreak of “Newborn Surprise (for Cpl. Phillip J. Brodnick)”. This album illustrates beyond doubt the narrative skill of Andersen. The legendary guitarist Gurf Morlix helps out to great effect.

Here’s “Pine River”:

via Weedbend PR


Will Sexton

Don’t Walk The Darkness

Big Legal Mess

6 March 2020

It has taken ten years for Texas guitarist and singer Will Sexton to grace us with a own album. He’s been writer, producer and session player and this new solo venture follows a stroke he suffered in 2009.

On Don’t Walk The Darkness, he cannily teams up with the mighty New Orleans veterans the Iguanas.

Will (younger brother of famed guitarist Charlie Sexton) has tellingly said recently – “Most of my life I’ve complicated things musically. But, nowadays, I have a different approach. It’s less cerebral, and more about gut and soul”. True to that, this release was recorded quickly and gives us a fresh groove that is irresistible, a horn-laden rock and rhythm ‘n blues delight.

via Conqueroo



our top picks for Feb 2020

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Author: Rob Dickens

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