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Albums of the Month – April 2020

Our top six releases

Whitney Rose – Photo: LTTL

Our Top Six New Albums

April 2020

By Rob Dickens

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings

King Of This Town

Warner Music

24 January 2020

Recently signed with Warner Music Canada, the fabled and enigmatic cult trio Blackie and the Rodeo Kings celebrate twenty-five years together with their tenth full release King Of The Town.

Three solo artists Colin Linden, Stephen Fearing and Tom Wilson decided to do a one-off tribute to renowned Canadian songwriter Willie P. Bennett which stuck (the band’s name derives from a Bennett album title).

The band’s release and live show schedule has been spasmodic, but every move they make is dusted with class. King of This Town does not waver from their lofty standards. An elegant and bright light in these dark days.

Here’s a lyric video for “Cold 100”:

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Alley Cat PR

Bronwynne Brent

Undercover

Independent

10 April 2020

Hailing from the delightful town of Greenville, Mississippi, Bronwynne Brent decided to record Undercover in Brooklyn at the famed Daptone Studios. Long-time collaborator Johnny Sangster assembled a masterful group of players and the result is a defining jazz, folk and blues mix.

Brent’s voice is persuasive and beguiling. “Raincoat” is worth the admission alone. There are many steady footsteps here and Undercover should prove to be a break-out statement.

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Hearth Music

The Danberrys

Shine

Dagotown Records

8 May 2020

The husband and wife duo, Dorothy Daniel and Ben DeBerry, were high school sweethearts. Splitting for five years, they reunited when the pair crossed paths again and married four months later. 

An EP, two full-length and well-recognised albums lead us here. Comprising twelve bristling new tracks, with crunching guitar and passionate vocals – it’s intense and compelling – a real sultry, swampy contender for 2020 which will continue the duo’s rise to greater things.

Here’s the title track:

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Empkt PR

Doc Watson and Gaithier Carlton

Doc Watson and Gaithier Carlton

Smithsonian Folkways

29 May 2020

What a treat! A live recording from Doc Watson‘s first headlining concert (1962) in New York City in a tiny folk club. He’s playing with his father-in-law, the renowned (and rarely recorded) Appalachian fiddler Gaither Carlton.

The sound is surprisingly crisp, the dialogue typically brief and humble and we have fifteen tracks including “Corrina”, “My Home Across The Blue Ridge Mountains”, “Bonaparte’s Retreat” and “Reuben’s Train” – just a few examples in this authentically-preserved window to a golden moment when rural Appalachia meets the Big City .

Via Hearth Music

Jason Wilber

Time Traveler

Wilber Tone Records

29 May 2020

You probably have seen or heard Jason Wilber somewhere along the way. At the tender age of twenty six, he started playing guitar with John Prine. He’s now fifty and his job description is pretty much the same. Well, actually that’s not quite true. If you have seen Prine and band, you would observe how much say Wilber has on stage, most everybody deferring to him during performances.

When he gets the time, he is able to pursue his own, impressive career. His guitar prowess is well known, but on this offering it’s an acoustic blend of well-formulated songs, simple but clever arrangements. His vocals on the ballads “The Old Ones” and “The Disappearance of Bigfoot” prove conclusive testaments to his ability in this area as well.

My copy came with with a new four-song EP Honey Bee which is excellent also, seamlessly indistinguishable from Time Traveler.

OFFICIAL SITE

Whitney Rose

We Still Go To Rodeos

MCG

24 April 2020

Whitney Rose hits a career high with this outing. Produced by the renowned Paul Kolderie, We Still Go To Rodeos features twelve songs, all of which are self-penned originals.

This has a classic country rock feel where every element is carefully and successfully blended. If you think that some of the songs and vibe are reminiscent of early Lucinda Williams, you might be spot on. The electric guitar throughout this album is prominent and polished and Lucinda’s early collaborator Gurf Morlix is a clear link. Other players shine – drummer Lisa Pankratz, bassist Brad Fordham, guitarists Dave Leroy Biller and Rich Brotherton.

But most kudos should go to Rose, whose vocals and sensibilities prove to be irresistibly superior.

Here’s “Believe Me, Angela”:

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Conqueroo

ADVERTISE ON LISTENING THROUGH THE LENS

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Our top six releases

Our top six releases

Our top six releases

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Author: Rob Dickens

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