Posts Tagged album review

music review: The Lone Bellow

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If asked about my musical tastes I gravitate mostly toward darker, goth female artists but have a soft spot for the flannel boys of Americana –bands like The Avett Brothers and Band of Horses. Sometimes I dig those rootsier beats. The Lone Bellow album Walk Into a Storm has me swaying and swooning in my Doc Martens. Note to self: find some flannel shirts at Goodwill. Maybe bring back my 90s wardrobe of flannel and jean shorts with tights. There are plenty of heartfelt and poignant songs on this album enveloping you in a big auditory hug. Things are tough. Despite challenges and adversities we’ll be okay if we stick together. And the power of music can lift our spirits and open our hearts. The opening track swiftly draws you in and digs deep. It’s moving, particularly with Kanene Pipkin joining Zachary Williams on the chorus. I particularly like these lyrics: “I’ve got no sickness/ Got no disease/ Except for the heart inside of me.”  The song “Is It Ever Gonna Be Easy” reminds me a bit of Chris Robinson Brotherhood both in twangy guitar and earthy vibes.  “May You May Well” is a hopeful meditative song. There’s an aching beauty to “Come Break My Heart Again” with Williams singing: “Come break my heart again/ So I can feel it /I think you need it/ I know you mean it…” A swaying and feverish beat anchors “Time’s Always Leaving.”

The Lone Bellow’s third studio album, Walk Into A Storm [Descendant Records/Sony Music Masterworks] was produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell) and recorded in Nashville, Tenn. It will be released September 15, 2017.

WALK INTO A STORM TRACK LISTING:

  1. Deeper In The Water
  2. Is It Ever Gonna Be Easy
  3. May You Be Well
  4. Come Break My Heart Again
  5. Feather
  6. Walk Into A Storm
  7. Time’s Always Leaving
  8. Can’t Be Happy For Long
  9. Between The Lines
  10. Long Way To Go

The Lone Bellow will kick off a tour in support of their new album on September 21 in New York.

TOUR DATES:

Sept 21 – Central Park Summerstage – New York, NY#

Sept 23 – Farm to Fork Festival- Sacramento, CA

Sept 29 – The Orange Peel – Asheville, NC ^

Sept 30 – Riverfront Park Concert Series – Lynchburg, VA

Oct 01 – Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland, OH^

Oct 02 – Opera House – Toronto, ONT^

Oct 03 – El Club – Detroit, MI^

Oct 05 – Lincoln Theatre – Columbus, OH ^

Oct 06 – Dave Finkelman Auditorium – Middletown, OH ^

Oct 07 – Headliners Music Hall – Louisville, KY^

Oct 08 – Deluxe at Old National Center – Indianapolis, IN

Oct 10 – Thalia Hall – Chicago, IL^

Oct 11- Thalia Hall – Chicago, IL^

Oct 13 – Majestic Theatre – Madison, WI ^

Oct 14 – The Englert Theatre – Iowa City, IA ^

Oct 15 – Fine Line Music Cafe – Minneapolis, MN ^

Nov 01 – Bijou Theater – Knoxville, TN*

Nov 02 – Variety Playhouse – Atlanta, GA*

Nov 05 – Iron City Birmingham – Birmingham, AL*

Nov 06 – Charleston Music Hall – Charleston, SC*

Nov 07 – Neighborhood Theatre – Charlotte, NC*

Nov 09 – Haw River Ballroom – Saxapahaw, NC*

Nov 10 – 9:30 Club – Washington D.C.*

Nov 12 – Infinity Hall Hartford – Hartford, CT*

Nov 14 – State Theatre – Portland, ME*

Nov 15 – House of Blues – Boston, MA*

Nov 16 – Higher Ground – South Burlington, VT*

Nov 17 – Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA*

#Supporting The Head And The Heart

*w/ The Wild Reeds

^w/ Mt. Joy

 

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music review: The Charlatans

 

Different-Days_cover

My heart belongs to several bands and artists but two bands will permanently possess a special spot: Jesus Jones and The Charlatans. I followed both bands in the 90s and befriended them as best one could without having sex with any band members. Kudos to singer Tim Burgess and bassist Martin Blunt for keeping The Charlatans going and the music flowing after the deaths of keyboardist Rob Collins in 1996 and drummer Jon Brookes in 2013. Different Days is the 13th album for The Charlatans, who formed in the late 80s.

For Different Days, core members Burgess, Blunt, guitarist Mark Collins and keyboard player Tony Rogers collaborated on this album with former Verve drummer Pete Salisbury, Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe, Johnny Marr [featured on several songs including the lead single ‘Plastic Machinery’], New Order’s Stephen Morris, Paul Weller [“Spinning Out”], as well as spoken word contributions from Ian Rankin and Kurt Wagner. The Charlatans have never really hit it big in the United States like other contemporaries such as Oasis and The Stone Roses. In 2015 Q Magazine gave the band a lifetime achievement award.

In many aspects over the years, the band has transitioned from Britpop to indie rock. On Different Days, a California vibe definitely seeps into these songs. There’s still swagger and a bit of Manchester as well. It’s overall pretty laid back, sunshiny and optimistic. There’s the pretty and soothing “Hey Sunrise” with its jangly guitar. On the contemplative and catchy (the brilliance of Tim Burgess’s writing) “Solutions,” grooving percussion and a deep bass line propel along with gentle keys propel the melody. It’s one of my favorites. Maybe because I’m looking for one. The songs “Plastic Machinery” and “Not Forgotten” feature more guitar than keyboards with fierceness and swaying beats. “Plastic Machinery” tackles fleeting popularity and superficial happiness. “Not Forgotten” approaches how we evolve and what we learn from relationships: “I’ve taken every opportunity. Tried to be everything you wanted me to be. So why do you have to talk like that?” This is a spectacular album. It pulls me back in and can easily be filed alongside 2001’s Wonderland or 2006‘s Simpatico in its overall sound.

RATING: 5/5*

The Charlatans
Different Days
BMG

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