Albums Of The Month – June 2020

Our monthly top six

BJ Barham American Aquarium – Photo: LTTL

Top Six Releases

June 2020

By Rob Dickens

American Aquarium


New West Records

1 May 2020

American Aquarium leader B.J. Barham is a tour de force. A self-proclaimed difficult person – a recovering alcoholic with a trail of departed band mates in his wake. After a B.J. solo stint, the band has been re-formed and the result, Lamentations, is a master stroke.

The opener “Me + Mine (Lamentations)” is an epic exemplar of the quality here – a growling commentary of the current state of play which ends with a terrifying crescendo. “Six Years Come September” is a proud observation of sobriety – now ‘cursed with clarity’ – while “The Luckier You Get” brilliantly explains how the hardest workers seem to get the most luck. “A Better South” could not be more topical.


Anthony Garcia

Acres Of Diamonds


17 July 2020

Austin, Texas-based singer-songwriter Anthony Garcia is a guitarist and classically trained pianist. The genres displayed on Acres of Diamonds are many, a wonderful intersection of acoustic subtlety, raging electric guitar, haunting violin, cinematic stories, elements of mariachi and vivid songs not at odds with the Townes Van Zandt song book. And then there’s his deep, rich vocals.

In case you missed it, I cannot say enough good things about Acres of Diamonds! One of the year’s highlights. The album was recorded at Transient Mic Studios in Austin, Texas in 2018 and 2019. Here’s the opening track “Santa Rosa”:

Via Skye Media


Audrey and Hugh


Audrey and Hugh

22 May 2020

Nashville duo Audrey and Hugh show much maturity with their debut release Sisterman. They certainly know how to craft a melody and turn it into a highly-catchy anthem. The ten tracks here are delivered with melodic gusto.

Both lead performers in their own right, Audrey MacAlpine and Hugh Trimble blend folk, country, Americana and demonstrate their love for a classic harmony sound. Produced by Grammy-winning sound engineer and producer Mitch Dane, Sisterman is a keeper and Audrey and Hugh are a star pairing.

Via Lorie Liebig PR


Nate Lee

Wings Of A Jetliner

Independent/Adverb Records

12 June 2020

Nate Lee is an International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) award-winning instrumentalist and music educator, best known as a member of the feted bluegrass group, the Becky Buller Band, which he joined in 2017.

Wings Of A Jetliner takes us on a sparkling journey through folk, old-time traditional and bluegrass in its many forms – straight-up Monroe hollering, blistering instrumentals and tender ballads. The album showcases a brilliant collection of players, including his band mates from the Becky Buller Band.

A singer of nuance and an exceptional instrumentalist, this is a worthy testament to Lee stepping further into the spotlight, providing a unreserved lift to the spirit in these troublesome days.

Via Dreamspider Publicity


Reckless Kelly

American Jackpot/American Girls

Thirty Tigers

22 May 2020

Not one album, but two. Originally from Idaho, but now based in Austin, Texas, power country rock band Reckless Kelly celebrate their twenty-five year career with a compelling offering – a detailed and vivid portrait of America over twenty songs.

For the twins American Jackpot and American Girls, the band called upon some iconic friends and fellow musicians – Bukka Allen, Charlie Sexton, Gary Clark Jr., Rosie Flores, Shawn Sahm, Suzy Bogguss and Wade Bowen.

Although the band initially intended to make just one album, the project took on a life of its own once they headed into the studio. “I wanted to produce this one by myself, just to try that out, and I made sure to book plenty of studio time to get it done right,” says band member Willy Braun. “We ended up moving along really fast, so I pulled out a few more songs and figured we’d end up using them down the road. Before we knew it, we had enough material for two really good records.”

He’s right, they are two REALLY GOOD records!

Via Cooking Vinyl Australia


The Teskey Brothers

Live At The Forum

Glassnote Records

15 May 2020

Now to Melbourne Australia. The Forum Theatre to be precise. One of Australia’s most exciting and promising bands The Teskey Brothers took on the challenging task of recording to analogue tape, during their sold-out four-night stand at that venue last November.

The live tracks include songs from the band’s two critically acclaimed and awarded albums, as well as a Donny Hathaway-inspired cover of John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy”. This release is well-timed as it comes off the back of a hectic touring schedule and shows off the band’s tight stage groove as well as exposing their fervent songs to a wider audience.

The soul-infused star of this lustrous four-piece continues to rise.

Via Glassnote Music




Our monthly top six

Our monthly top six

Our monthly top six

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Author: Rob Dickens

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