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Albums Of The Month – June 2022

Our Top Five Releases Jun 22

Mavis Staples – Photo: LTTL

Top Five Releases

June 2022

Our Top Five Releases Jun 22

By Rob Dickens

Bonnie Raitt

Just Like That…

Redwing Records

22 April 2022

It’s been a big year for Bonnie Raitt. A Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, a Billboard Icon Award and her seminal 1989 album Nick of Time was inducted into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry.

To cap it off is the release of her twenty-first album Just Like That…, a stylish collection of four originals and terrific covers of artists such as the Bros. Landreth (“Made Up Mind” – see clip below), Al Anderson (“Something’s Got a Hold of My Heart”) and Toots and the Maytals (“Love So Strong”). The new songs include “Living for the Ones” (lost family and friends), the wonderfully funky “Waitin’ for You to Blow”, “Down the Hall” (inspired by a prison hospice program news item) and the title track about the complexities of organ donations.

Plenty of lyrical gravitas, beautifully assembled arrangements and Raitt’s vocals sounding as good as ever.

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Gaynor Crawford

Delta Spirit

One Is One

New West Records

21 May 2022

I was a big fan of Delta Spirit‘s previous, 2020 release (see review) and the highly positive vibe continues with One Is One. Formed in Southern California in 2005, the band continues to impress with a strikingly original sound – a rhythmic pulsating and unstoppable underbelly with phrasings that stick in the head like descant darts.

One is One essentially says, ‘What is life all about? Here are some observations.”

Frontman Matthew Logan Vasquez

Churning out ideas separately throughout the summer of 2020, Vasquez and drummer Brandon Young recorded an initial version of the album in Austin, Texas and then sent it to the rest of the band, perfecting the songs over time. With Vasquez in Austin, Young in Chattanooga, multi-instrumentalist Kelly Winrich & guitarist Will McLaren in New York City, and bassist John Jameson in Montreal, the musicians congregated for sessions in New York and Vermont.

The cinematic ten-song set was produced by the band and Jason Kingsland (Band of Horses, Belle and Sebastian) and mixed by Matt Pence (Jason Isbell, The Breeders). Catchy as!

OFFICIAL SITE

Mavis Staples, Levon Helm

Carry Me Home

Anti-

20 May 2022

Mavis Staples first met the now deceased Levon Helm on the set of the movie The Last Waltz, the iconic farewell to the legendary The Band in its original line-up. While the film was largely a live performance there was live material added on a sound stage including Mavis’s guesting (with the Staple Singers) on “The Weight”, a consumate collaborative performance – FOLLOW LINK.

The pair remained friends for years but Helm’s treatment for throat cancer left him unable to sing for a considerable time. By 2011, Helm’s health had improved and was basking in a run of excellent solo albums and Carry Me Home is a glorious album of music recorded live at Levon Helm‘s Studios in Woodstock, New York.

Songs from Nina Simone, Dylan, Curtis Mayfield, ‘Pops’ Staples, Buddy and Julie Miller, Mississippi Fred McDowell and Robbie Robertson‘s “The Weight” among others lead to a look-back treat to two great American roots artists.

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Railroad Earth

All For The Song

Black Bear Records

22 April 2022

The second track says it all – heading down the “Blues Highway” to New Orleans. The members of roots-jamming band Railroad Earth wanted to take a different turn for their new record, a field trip and chose producer and notable artist in his own right, Anders Osborne to record in his home town The Big Easy.

You can hear the influence of their surroundings, a swing and swagger that enhances their considerable musicanship.

Railroad Earth has been amassing a considerable fan base for over two decades with a stream of notable releases. In 2018, the band – Todd Sheaffer [lead vocals, acoustic guitar], Tim Carbone [violins, electric guitar, vocals], John Skehan [mandolin, bouzouki, piano, vocals], Carey Harmon [drums, percussion, vocals], and Andrew Altman [upright & electric bass] – bid farewell to founding member and lifelong friend Andy Goessling who passed away from cancer.

As well as the New Orleans’ bright essence, the material for the album was very much infused by the loss of their brother and All For The Song is a remarkable bitter sweet triumph.

OFFICIAL SITE

Rod Picott

Paper Hearts & Broken Arrows

Independent

10 June 2022

We have sung Rod Picott’s praises before – with his two earlier releases Fortune and Tell The Truth & Shame The Devil. On Paper Hearts & Broken Arrows, there’s a blunt, raw consistency with his now more mature (weathered?) vocals and the production is perfectly aligned with the stark delivery so the songs stand like beacons unadorned.

The narratives are compelling from this gifted artist. The boxer Sonny Liston, moving to the American South (Nashville) a track based on his observations of his life in Maine, the fine line between right and wrong (see clip below), his complicated relationship with his father, “Frankie Lee” the outlaw and heaps more to get your teeth into. Picott is an exceptional songwriter and life observer.

Picott has released thirteen albums over the last twenty years and the quality of his output remains undimished and there’s two poetry collections, a book of short stories and his vivid songs have featured in television and film projects.

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Broken Julebox Media

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LAST MONTH’S BEST ALBUMS

More Music Adventures Await!

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Our Top Five Releases Jun 22

Our Top Five Releases Jun 22

Our Top Five Releases Jun 22

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Author: Rob Dickens

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