Albums Of The Month – July 2023

Our Top Six Releases July 23

Jason Isbell with Amanda Shires – Photo: LTTL

Top Six Releases

July 2023

Our Top Six Releases July 23

By Rob Dickens

Dan Tyminski

God Fearing Heathen

8 Track Enterta

23 June 2023

The singing voice behind George Clooney in the movie O, Brother Where Art Thou? A pivotal member of one of the GREAT backing bands – Allison Krauss’s Union Station. An acclaimed decades-long solo career and four-time International Bluegrass Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year.

This is somewhat surprisingly Dan Tyminski‘s first bluegrass album in over ten years (he’s embarked on some fascinating experimental pop projects recently). God Fearing Heathen is stunning with his always unique imprint and sharp social observations.

This iteration of the Dan Tyminski Band is a young clutch of firebrand players – Maddie Denton on fiddle, Gaven Largent on dobro, Harry Clark on mandolin, Grace Davis on bass and Jason Davis on banjo. You get a great look at them in the clip below.

Tyminski is playing at AmericanaFest in Nashville this year amongst 150 other artists. He is number one on my list to see there.

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Del Barber

Almanac

Acronym Records

28 April 2023

Manitoba, Canada native Del Barber has a wry, pithy streak running through his impressive body of work, navigating tales of the simple things in life that should never be taken for granted, a little reminiscent of the laconic Louisianan Bobby Charles.

Despite the streak of humour, Almanac is a serious body of work that should not be rushed through – it is often witty but never lightweight. Songs about the failure of organised religion, tough lives on the farm, how things can easily go south (“I Told You So”), gender classification tolerance, the quality of Presidential candidates, and just stripping away the BS – eg “You can call a spade a spade / But the truth around here / Is a spade is just a shovel”.

I saw Barber perform live way back in 2014 (read our review of his latest release and interview at the time HERE and HERE) It’s fitting to see his career remaining prolific and blue-ribbon.

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Jason Isbell and 400 Unit

Weathervanes

Southeastern Records

9 June 2023

Starting his solo career with the landmark Southeastern in 2013, Jason Isbell has presented the world with Something More Than Free (2015), The Nashville Sound (2017) and Reunions (2020), leading up to Weathervanes.

It’s getting hard for this humble writer to come with up with new superlatives. Suffice it to say that Isbell continues to be at the top of his game, as a once-in-a-generation songwriter. His run of excellence over these five albums is up there with Lucinda Williams as a roots music lodestar. Extraordinary.

It’s tough to pick one song to highlight, but “Save The World” is as good as any.

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Maia Sharp

Reckless Thoughts

Crooked Crown

18 August 2023

I had not heard of Maia Sharp until Reckless Thoughts came across my desk. But this raised-in California, Nashville-based singer-songwriter is far from a novice. This is, in fact, her ninth solo full release and her twenty-five-year journey includes penning material for Bonnie Raitt, Trisha Yearwood, Cher and Art Garfunkel.

Her move to Music City prompted much of the subject matter on this record, including the title:

“I never thought I would leave California. “Once I did, I had a feeling it would be easier to build a community in Nashville, but I had no idea how much easier it would be. It’s really tapped into something I didn’t know I needed so badly.”

Maia Sharp

Sharp’s voice is intriguingly good – deep and nuanced – and the music genre is delightfully hard to pigeonhole. Reckless Thoughts was self-produced and largely tracked at Nashville’s Resistor Studio, with
owner/engineer Joshua Grange also contributing electric guitars and lap steel. It’s an eloquent statement from an accomplished artist.

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Hello Wendy PR

Tanya Tucker

Sweet Western Sound

Fantasy Records

2 June 2023

Tanya Tucker had her first country hit, the classic “Delta Dawn,” at the age of 13 in 1972. Since then she has garnered Grammys, a string of charting releases and many other awards including a recent induction into the Country Music Hall Of Fame.

Her Grammy-winning While I’m Livin’ in 2019 was her first new album in seventeen years and was widely recognised as a stunning return to the spotlight. Sweet Western Sound is also a beautifully crafted record, Tucker’s vocals warm and husky with the songs (many Tucker co-writes) carefully selected from luminaries such as Billy Joe Shaver, Shooter Jennings, Brandi Carlile, Bernie Taupin and JT Nero.

Produced once again by Carlile and Jennings, this is a confident country music celebration. The video below “Letter To Linda”, a loving tribute to Linda Rondstadt, was written by Tucker and Jennings.

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Via Dave Laing Publicity

Tommy Prine

This Far South

Nameless Knight Records

23 June 2023

A tough gig this, to follow in the footsteps of an iconic singer/songwriter father but Tommy Prine makes a few wise decisions along the way. His musical influences have been diverse, absorbing many bigger-sounding and more animated genres to make this, his debut record.

In the main, This Far South has a broad musical palette and, even where he turns to acoustic finger-picking (on the title track), it cannot be mistaken for his father’s whimsical Americana/folk style.

The record was beautifully co-produced by close friend Ruston Kelly and Gena Johnson. It’s a rewarding and vehement offering, full of melodies and soundscapes which constantly engage the listener.

As he’s reportedly responded on stage to requests for one of his father’s songs: “You’re not about to get an hour of John Prine Jr.” Also, he repeats in “By The Way” – “By the way, people say I look just like him hmm hmm hmm”.

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ADVERTISE WITH LISTENING THROUGH THE LENS

LAST MONTH’S BEST ALBUMS

More Music Adventures Await!

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Our Top Six Releases July 23

Our Top Six Releases July 23

Our Top Six Releases July 23

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Author: Rob Dickens

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for these Rob – I look forward to them very time. Dan Tyminski – WOW!…..next level above next level – Bill

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    • Thanks for the feedback Bill! Yes, Dan is the man! His ‘Southern Gothic’ was a fascinating departure, lyrically biting and big electronic arrangements

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