Albums Of The Month – June 2024

Our Top Six Albums June 2024

Silverada – Photo: Eric Cain

Top Six Album Releases

June 2024

Our Top Six Albums June 2024

By Rob Dickens

Chris Smither

All About The Bones

Signature Sounds

3 May 2024

He might be turning eighty this year, but there’s no slowing down for this folk blues icon, in what is Chris Smither‘s twentieth record. All About The Bones is an apt title as the songs here are stripped of all their flesh with sparse arrangements, slick picking licks and the delightfully gruff Smither vocals.

It’s the style of pure and unadorned bluesy folk music that has been around for decades, but its appeal never fades, particularly when presented so masterfully and with his customary drollery. Get ready for some foot stomping and finger clicking.

Recorded at Sonelab Studios in Easthampton Massachusetts by Justin Pizzoferrato (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., the Hold Steady), Smither is backed by longtime colleague David “Goody” Goodrich (electric guitar, electric diddley bow, percussion), Zak Trojano (drums, percussion), Chris Cheek (baritone sax) and Betty Soo (vocals). 

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Propeller Publicity

Kelsey Waldon

There’s Always A Song

Oh Boy Records

10 May 2024

I reckon Kelsey Waldon is pretty much the most famous export from Monkey’s Eyebrow in Kentucky. Her last record No Regular Dog (2022) was an impressive outing. This time around, she turns her attention to the Great American Traditional Country and Bluegrass Songbook, specifically songs by the likes of Hazel Dickens, Jean Ritchie, A.P. Carter, Bill Monroe, Rosa Lee Watson and Doc Watson.

Waldon infuses those songs with a freshness and vitality that surprised me, having heard these songs in original and often-reinterpreted forms over many years.

She has enlisted some wonderful supportive talent on There’s Always A Song, including her friends S.G. Goodman and Margo Price, Amanda Shires and Isaac Gibson (vocalist for 49 Winchester). Waldon’s voice has never been better.

OFFICIAL SITE

Laurie Lewis

Trees

Spruce and Maple Music

31 May 2024

Laurie Lewis has been stretching the confines of traditional bluegrass and folk for around five decades, as a songwriter, player, collaborator and general influencer, along the way winning IBMA Awards and recording with Linda Ronstadt.

The name of her twenty-fourth album is a clear sign of the album’s preoccupation with the beauty of nature (you can see that in the way the following picturesque video is constructed). A keen walker and conservation activist, Trees is a welcome return after dealing with many obstacles.

During the COVID pandemic, Lewis was required to deal with the loss of her voice over a significant period and the necessity to record without her musical and life partner Tom Rozum (with whom she had been making music together since the 1980s) due to Parkinson’s Disease which has left him unable to play mandolin or guitar.

A special mention to “Why’d You Have To Break My Heart So Early In The Day”, her tribute to John Prine. Lewis has created a powerful and passionate affirmation of music’s fundamental relationship with the natural world.

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Dreamspider Publicity

The Mavericks

Moon & Stars

Mono Mundo Recordings/Thirty Tigers

17 May 2024

Grammy, Country Music and Americana Music award winners The Mavericks are an unstoppable force. Their country and Tex Mex rhythms are an irresistible concoction which transports the listener to a multi-cultural euphoric plain.

Moon & Stars is the band’s first English-speaking album since 2017 and it finds them exploring new territory, soaking up and interpreting from their vast experience as musicians. They have added muscle with a three-piece horn section, an accordionist and a sturdy guest list including Sierra Ferrell, Maggie Rose, Nicole Atkins and Max Abrams, with song co-writers including Bernie Taupin.

Press play and smile.

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Jo Corbett Publicity

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

South Of Here

Stax/Concord

28 June 2024

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats burst onto the scene in 2015 with a virulent album and a cut-through hit in “S.O.B”. More fine albums came before Rateliff needed a break and an opportunity to reset with some introspection and solo work (And It’s Still Alright, one of our favourite albums of 2020). The full outfit returned for the acclaimed The Future (2021) and now we have the excellent South Of Here.

Produced by Brad Cook and recorded at Sonic Ranch outside El Paso, Texas, the new album is an ardent and wistful collection of tales of hope and despair. The r’n’b vibe remains but is tempered with subtlety, stirring writing and angsty observations with plenty of inflection and nuance.

Across eleven original tracks, all written by Rateliff and performed by The Night Sweats, this is another affirmation of Rateliff’s vast musical landscape. 

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Riot House Publicity

Silverada

Silverada

Prairie Rose Records

28 June 2024

Like Watchouse, Silverada has had a serious rethink of its branding and has eschewed, after many years and eight albums, the name Mike & The Moonpies for something more sober and reflective of what this Texas band is currently really about.

Silverada, the album, is definitely a bolder step, seeing the band (vocalist and writer Mike Harmeier, drummer Taylor Englert, guitarist Catlin Rutherford, bassist Omar Oyoque and steel guitarist Zachary Moulton) seeking a territory with more gravitas and a musical palette that goes beyond their renowned country and honk tonk bar-band days.

“Going into the studio, everybody in the band felt inspired to do something bigger than what they’d done before. We all knew we were at a precipice, and we wanted to jump. I brought in some songs that were metaphorical and not always straightforward, and that showed the guys that I wanted to take this music somewhere new… so they threw their own rulebooks out the window, too.”

Mike Harmeier

The innovation has been worth it, both lyrically and arrangement-wise and I look forward to future chapters.

OFFICIAL SITE

Via All Eyes Media

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Our Top Six Albums June 2024

Our Top Six Albums June 2024

Our Top Six Albums June 2024

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Author: Rob Dickens

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