“Unanswered Questions” by Dylan LeBlanc, not on the album “”Renegade”

“Will we meet again, long after the end?” asks Dylan LeBlanc in the new song “Unanswered Questions,” released via ATO Records on Tuesday. And though the Louisiana native’s latest is a weeper that wrestles with the mystery of what becomes of us when we die, the video feels more like a celebration of what we do in the brief time we’re alive.

Directed by Cal and Aly, the elegant clip shows LeBlanc in his proper element in the studio and on stage. In studio shots, he’s laying down his vocal parts and strumming his acoustic guitar, in addition to watching from the control room as the song’s lush string parts are brought to life. His stage shots, on the other hand, crackle with rock & roll energy, in stark contrast to the plaintive sounds of the song.

“Unanswered Questions” wasn’t included on LeBlanc’s 2019 album Renegade, which was produced by Dave Cobb. Truthfully, it might have sounded like an oddball among that project’s many jangling rockers that sonically referenced Fleetwood Mac, Todd Rundgren, and Tom Petty.

 

copy/pasted from Rolling Stone

 

“Dystopian Dreams” by Ernie Hendrickson, from the album “Roll On”

 

Recorded live on the floor with the most minimal of overdubs, Roll On represents Ernie’s art at its most direct carefully worked out. This is not a paradox, this combination of craft and spontaneity. The contributions of Brian Deck, who has helmed great recordings by Americana and rock artists Iron & Wine, Josh Ritter and Counting Crows. was, as Ernie enthusiastically admits, crucial to the process. Equally important is the sympathetic, muscular playing by a crack studio band that included guitarist and pedal steel player Brian Wilkie, bassist Pete Muschong, drummer Gerald Dowd and keyboardist John Kattke. Several songs are enriched by horn arrangements that suggest Dixieland jazz on riverboats on the Mississipi and Randy Newman. Roll On is a true fusion of songcraft and sound, and represents Ernie’s artistry as writer, singer and player in its fullest form.

“Promised Land” by Heathcote Hill, from the album “Fight Another Day”

 

Fresh from the top of the playlist that is the brand new album Fight Another Day, Promised Land kicks things off with a heavy folk-rock, Americana-soaked core, and a contrastingly delicate, soulful vocal that’s quickly inviting.

As the track builds, it gathers momentum in a natural, organic and brilliantly entrancing manner. At the same time, the lyrics work hard to create this poetic yet deeply thoughtful story-line around listeners, enveloping them entirely in this ambient, rhythmic world of imagery and promises of a better place.

Coming in at just under the three minute mark, Promised Land sounds bigger than it ought to – the latter half in particular sees flickers of detail subtly add hints of further power and colour that really helps increase that weight and rising energy implied by the beginning. Again, the vocal continues to hold close to its smooth and seductive nature – a quality that runs throughout the album, undoubtedly giving Heathchote Hill a sound that’s entirely their own; and one that captivates beautifully.

 

“Banker and a Liar” by Driftwood Soldier, from the album “Stay Ahead of the Wolf”

“Banker and a Liar” is a single from Driftwood Soldier’s 2019 album Stay Ahead of the Wolf. The only cover on the album, it was originally written by Greg Cartwright of Reigning Sound and hits an important note railing against corporate greed and pitiful practice of selling your soul for a quick buck.