Bombino – Deran

 

After a period spent enchanting Western audiences and employing Western producers and studios, Tuareg guitar master Bombino (given name, Omara Moctar) touches back down in Africa for his energetic sixth LP Deran. Championed by fans and fellow musicians across the globe for his glowing amalgam of desert blues and Hendrix– and Knopfler-inspired classic rock, the Niger native has enjoyed an impressive run since breaking through with his 2011 album Agadez. Extensive North American tours, U.S. festival appearances, collaborations with members of the Rolling Stones, and two acclaimed albums produced by Americans Dan Auerbach (the Black Keys) and Dave Longstreth(the Dirty Projectors) cemented his reputation as an artistic ambassador of the Tamasheq language and the geopolitical conflicts of his native land.

With DeranBombino largely leaves the West to its own concerns, heading instead to a Moroccan studio in Casablanca to record under the lighter touch of his manager, Eric Herman. The resulting ten-song set comes across as more open, honest, and generally unfiltered than either of his previous two outings. While the struggles of the Tuareg people are addressed on tracks like the hard-edged reggae rock of “Tehigren” and the meditative acoustic-led “Adouni Dagh,” the overall tone of Deran is more optimistic and celebratory. Spry opener “Imajghane” sings the praises of Tuareg resilience while the vibrant “Tamasheq” is a literal love letter to the beauty of his native language. The album’s title itself translates to “best wishes,” a sentiment delivered to a groom on the deeply percussive “Deran Deran Alkheir.” As an addition to Bombino‘s already sterling catalog, Deran is another excellent release and a natural continuation of his distinctive style.

Emm Gryner – Only of Earth

Emm Gryner is known for her typical folk pop stylings. Her latest project has a little divergence from the norm. It   s a 3-part series known as Only of Earth. It will be accompanied by graphic novels and other literature to really set the scene of what Gryner is going for.

The project begins with Days of Games. It delivers a very different feel than what Gryner fans are used to. The inspiration comes from the birth of a child, the death of the iconic David Bowie, and the passing of Greg Lowe. All of these can be felt throughout the album. A former member of David Bowie   s band, Gryner goes for a style much more similar to his, using heavy rock guitar riffs, usually played by Greg Lowe, and adding a synthesizer to give it a more space adventure feel.  The guitar work fits in perfectly with the rock stylings of the    70s and    80s, in a form that would make Bowie proud.

Imagination    is the first single from the album and helps to remind the listener that this is a science fiction album. The whole album really tells a story, and it is in full swing by the time    A Mission    rolls around. It has a beautiful guitar intro that pairs perfectly with  Gryner   s voice. Lowe   s guitar work comes through though and provides for the serious tone of what Gryner is saying. He helps to establish the idea of the mission by showing his guitar work to add a dangerous factor, but it also feels triumphant. This means that the mission Gryner is singing about will be accomplished, though it may be difficult.

The Spark    begins with a powerful guitar solo that rolls right into a rock riff that can   t be easily forgotten. This song actually seems to feel a lot like    War Pigs    by Black Sabbath. It does so by splitting up lines in the verse with a heavy guitar part and impressive guitar soloing throughout. Gryner   s voice just adds to the feel of a powerful classic rock sound because of the reverb added to it.

Though Days of Games is a different take to what Gryner is usually putting out, it still has some legs to stand on. It escapes the folk genre completely, but it does a very good job as making an appearance as a rock album with a very classic vibe.

The Senior Management – Heart & Soul

Album due to be released 18 May.

 

 

Zetterlund formed the rockband The Senior Management. Together they have been involved in different music project since the late 80’s. During the first half of the 90’s they collaborated in the band Y.M.I where they reached the finals in the Swedish championship of rock music.

In the mid 90’s Y.M.I played at a rock festival and was warm up act for Billionaires Boys Club who was headlining. Billionaires Boy Club was Jörg Fischer (Accept), Anders Johansson (Yngwie Malmsteen) Göran Edman (Yngwie Malmsten, John Norum) and Magnus Rosén (Hammerfall). Magnus was at the time in the beginning of his career and that later would bring him to several successful years with Hammerfall. Göran had recently left Yngwie Malmsteen band when he replaced Marc Boals in Billionaires Boys Club. During this rock festival, it was the first time we all met and none of us had any idea that we 20 years later would team up together as The Senior Management.

In order to find their sound they did some attempts with different voices like Tony Martin from Black Sabbath and Jeff Scott Soto from Journey, Talisman and more. However, all pieces fell into place after the first demo run with Göran. He finally added with his voice and amazing vocal harmonies the missing piece to complete our sound.

Some listeners say that The Senior Management sound like a blend of The Eagles and Thin Lizzy. Others have said they sound like Journey or Bon Jovi.

Well, the band simply call it Country Metal.

Ruby Boots – Don’t Talk About It

A natural chanteuse who possesses just the right blend of sass and savvy, Aussie-born singer Ruby Boots (aka Rebecca Louise “Bex” Chilcott) was a seeker from early on. After leaving home at the age of 16, she took off for the outer reaches of Australia’s west coast, eventually landing a job on a pearl fishing trawler. It was there where she started dabbling in guitar, and eventually writing songs. After adopting a new name, she embarked on a career that’s brought her numerous awards and a fan following as well.

Chilcott, or Ms. Boots if you will, previously released three EPs and a full length debut she christened Solitude. However, her new album, the tellingly named Don’t Talk About It, handily elevates her standing. A set of songs that dwell on the wreckage left in the wake of romance, it pointedly addresses those prone to all sorts of sexual manipulation. Granted, that kind of abuse is nothing new, but in view of recent headlines, the focus Boots finds here seems especially apt.

Boots is aided in her efforts by the astute backing of the band Texas Gentlemen and support from a kindred spirit, Nikki Lane, who co-wrote the title track and provides the backing vocal. However, the focus remains wholly on Boots throughout, thanks to a saucy delivery that turns each song into a clear statement of purpose. “Don’t Talk About It” offers an especially strong example of her swagger and defiance. The determined “I’ll Make It Through,” has her declaring “I’m more than you can handle,” turning a song about survival into a hard won ode to independence.

To be sure, these songs never find Boots in retreat. If her attitude is any indication, she remains steadfast and undaunted. “Infatuation,” “It’s So Cruel” and “Easy Way Out” come across with drive and insistence, ample indication that she’s not about to back down. Happily, she’s willing to lure her lover by offering assurance as well. “I am a believer, standing strong by your side, I’m a hand to hold on to when its too hard to climb,” she declares on the spare “I Am A Woman.” Unlike the defiance Helen Reddy once railed about on her similarly-named song, this is one instance where Boots finds no need to roar.

Ironically, the relatively subdued song that ends the set, “Don’t Give a Damn,” is also the most emphatic. Boots rebukes an unfaithful lover while dishing out her disdain. As it climbs to its crescendo, it becomes increasingly clear that Don’t Talk About It makes certain statements that definitely need to be said.

Christy Hays – River Swimmer

Like Lucinda Williams in a Carhartt jacket, Christy Hays works rugged metaphors into emotionally charged country folk. (Austin Chronicle). Christy Hays music has folk and country tinges, thoughtfully penned stories and a full band sound that is both driving alt country and moody folk rock.

New Album “River Swimmer” out April 27th, 2018 on Nine Mile Records.

“Christy Hays is likely the mostunderappreciated singer-songwriter in Austin. With River Swimmer, a rare combination of charming and powerful, she graciously ascends to another level.”

Sam Green And The Midnight Heist – Onsette Return

Alt Americana/Surf Roots Rock Music from the North Atlantic Coast.

Discover Surf Roots Rock music from the North Atlantic Coast.

Sam Green and the Midnight Heist are an Alt Americana/Roots Rock band from North Devon in the UK. The band is made up of Sam Green (vocals, slide, electric and acoustic guitar), Lucy Green (vocals, banjo and acoustic guitar), Paul Hopkins (vocals and double bass) and Steve Tanton (vocals and drums).

SGATMH’s music is heavily influenced by the blues, west coast folk rock and alt country soul. Taking inspiration from artists such as The John Butler Trio, Gomez and Ryan Adams, the band is proud to release it’s latest 5 track EP ‘Onsette Return.’

Lloyd Green and Jay Dee Maness – A Journey to the Beginning -Tribute to the Byrds

Clark had left the Byrds by the time the group   s now-classic Sweetheart of Rodeo was released in 1968. Gram Parsons had just joined the group, bringing his country-fueled vision with him. Green and Maness, the two pedal steel guitar players on that album, put together, along with producer John Macy, this beautiful new album on the 50th anniversary of Sweetheart of the Rodeo. The album   s opening track,    You Ain   t Going Nowhere,    features Sam Bush on mandolin and Jim Lauderdale, Jeff Hanna, Matraca Berg, Herb Pedersen, Richie Furay, Jim Photoglo, and Bill Lloyd on vocals. Drenched in the lush steel guitar playing of these two masters, this classic album takes on new life for fans and new listeners alike.

Bishop Briggs – Church Of Scars

British singer-songwriter Bishop Briggs’s    River,    however, is the kind of song you might have heard sandwiched between Paula Cole’s    Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?    and the Spice Girls’s    Wannabe    on the radio in the late ’90s. The track’s mix of blues-rock and more contemporary elements   like handclaps that morph into trap snares   feels like a throwback to the alternative-pop bands that infiltrated Top 40 stations just before the turn of the century. And Briggs’s debut, Church of Scars, delivers in kind, with a series of gothic-soul dirges and blues-inflected pop.

The looped refrain on    River    sounds like it was lifted from Adele’s 25, an album that could have, in turn, used some of Briggs’s trip-hop edge. Church of Scars harnesses the soulful blues-pop that Adele has so deftly deployed on hits like    Rolling in the Deep.    Standouts    Wild Horses    and    Hallowed Ground    are defined by canned horns and reverb-drenched vocals, while the classic R&B tropes of    Lyin’    and    Hi-Lo (Hollow)    are juxtaposed by pitched-down and diced-up vocals, respectively.

Spread across 10 tracks, though, Briggs’s formula ultimately reveals itself to be one-note. The incessant box-stomping and earnest belting on    Dream    obliterates the subtlety of the song’s pensive acoustic guitar strains and gospel humming. For all its sermonizing and church-y fundamentals, the album is largely joyless.    Why can’t I let my demons lie?/Keep screaming into the pillow,    Briggs laments on    Wild Horses.    When, two-thirds of the way through Church of Scars, the singer cynically bemoans that    there’s more pain in love than we can find in hate,    her dour disposition has grown exhausting.

The Boxer Rebellion – ghost alive

Last year’s single ‘What The Fuck’ is a such a lush and mournful opener I had already been asking myself if Ghost Alive could be as good as some of last year’s US releases on the indie-rock scale of sentimental awesomeness, as its gentle strings and whistled outro sweep in on a wave of studio echo and the rest of the record holds up to scrutiny. If you are looking for major chords look elsewhere because this is an album recorded almost exclusively in minor scales. Grown up indie from a dark place. Not depressing, but beautifully realised melancholy.

Tim Buckley-like acoustic runs, simple piano and orchestration throughout conjure landscapes and firstfall. ‘Rain’ grows into an epic green screen of sound and ‘Fear’, with its falsetto, is like ice skating on a frozen lake while companion piece ‘Here I Am’ is a fast rolling terrain of dandelions and moss about falling back in love as spring breaks; its looping three-note piano motif has the natural reverb of a studio as big as the valleys. The overblown similes may be hackneyed but Ghost Alive is so evocative at times in its unconcealed ambition and panoramic reach the grandiose superlatives stick.

At others a workmanlike ballast presides over the chamberal and funereal and this is reflective of the underlying theme, since frontman Nathan Nicholson lost both his parents and his unborn child the band have teamed up with CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) to help spread a message of hope. So, it’s not quite Chris Martin penning Paradise.
Previous Boxer Rebellion albums have suffered in the face of Coldplay-without-the-hooks type criticism and there still remains a lack of an obvious centrepiece despite ‘Love Yourself’ growing gracefully into a ‘Streets of Philadelphia’ moment on any other album but perhaps diluted by the overarching stratospherics of this one.

While the Tim Buckley thing never really goes away the scope and thoroughness, for want of a better word, of Ghost Alive is breath-taking. The gentle brass on ‘Don’t Ever Stop’ is so out of place it takes us out of the story altogether and we are now on the outside looking in (or like recalling a vivid dream) and you suddenly realise how absorbing this record is. Or on ‘River’; again those acoustic runs, an old man looks back on his life still dreaming of being led to the sea from his Steinbeckian perch as the melancholy prevails stopping just short of dipping into a true sadness. A sense of guilt runs through the whole record, as you might surmise given the source material, and it’s only on closer ‘Goodnight’, a simple acoustic lullaby, that this burden is perhaps both literally and figuratively put to bed.

For sure, it’s not going to be the most original album of the year but on this, the band’s sixth, The Boxer Rebellion have hit upon something timeless and placeless, poignant and gorgeous.

Trixie and The Trainwrecks – 3 Cheers To Nothing

FROM BERLIN AND LONDON LED BY TRIXIE AND HER 3 MEN BRINGS US THE RAW AUTHENTIC TRAIN HOPER BLUES TRASH FOLK COUNTRY FROM THE STREETS DIRECT INTO YOUR EARSWAYS

TRIXIE TRAINWRECK:
Wild child, Trixie Trainwreck aka Trinity Sarratt was born in San Francisco and moved to Berlin on a whim when she was 18. She started her musical endeavors in the underground trains back in 1999 and went on to make a name for herself working in and promoting shows in almost every bar in town as well as touring the EU and the USA with a handful of bands (Kamikaze Queens, Cry Babies, Runaway Brides) and most recently with her one woman show as Trixie Trainwreck No Man Band. She’s probably the hardest working girl in showbiz…and a mother, too!!

LINE UP :
Trixie Trainwreck: vocals & rhythm guitar
Charlie Hangdog : blues harp
Paul Seacroft: lapsteel & lead guitar
Bruce Brand: drums & percussion

 


THE RECORINGS:
When Dylan Walshe introduced Trixie Trainwreck to Charlie Hangdog on the premise of playing around London, no one could have predicted what would happen next. After a handful of shows and what may have been a one- off session with Bruce Brand (Thee Headcoats, Milkshakes, Holly Golightly, Hipbone Slim) and Paul Seacroft (The Selector, played with members of Jim Jones Revue, Urban Voodoo Machine, Prince Buster) they would end up recording a whole album with Ed Deegan at the amazing Gizzard Studios for Voodoo Rhythm Records! Well, that’s just what happened and this is what we got just 3 action packed days later! Recorded 99% live and analogue, here comes 13 overdriven-long-gone-broken-hearted-country-blues-trash numbers from the wrong side of the tracks. And it feels so right. “3 Cheers to Nothing” sums up the last 18 years of the San Francisco born, Berlin based Trixie Trainwreck in exile, taking you along on her personal adventures and inner struggles with the ghosts of yesterdays past, angels, demons, and everything in between. The sound is just as unexpected as the rest. We call it Trainwreck Blues!