Category Archives: Track premiere

Track Premiere: Amy Black “If I Could Reach Out”

New album “Memphis” out this week.

By Blurt Staff

It’s called “If I Could Reach Out (and Help Somebody)” and, if you are a fan of soul/blues man Otis Clay, you’ve already recognize the tune. Now, songstress Amy Black has recorded it for her new album, titled Memphis, which was indeed recorded in Memphis and was produced by Scott Bomar of Memphis nu-soul-funk mainstays The Bo-Keys. Folks from St. Paul & the Broken Bones, along with legends of the Memphis session musician community (like the Hi Records rhythm section), appear on the record as well. The album drops June 2 on Black’s Reuben Records label, and we are privileged to premiere the aforementioned track:

Notes Black, about the track and the album, “When I was in Boston, I’d watched a program on PBS and found out about the Nashville-based organization Thistle Farms and their work with woman in the sex trade. I was so moved by what I learned and I remember thinking, “If I ever move to Nashville, I want to work with those guys.” Now, that I was here and needed to place to give to, I called Thistle Farms, attended an orientation (that had me in tears) and started volunteering with the amazing woman in the shipping department.

“Each week, I would drive into Nashville and volunteer. It got me into the city, I got to know some of these incredible women and hear their stories, and I really got out of my own way. It wasn’t glamorous work, which was perfect. Just taking orders and packing boxes, helping a cause that I believe in. And, no surprise, it was just the right medicine. I found so much from giving.

“Fast forward one year and I was in a very different place — living in East Nashville (the perfect spot for me) and preparing to do an album in Memphis with some killer players. I had the originals for the album lined up, but wanted to do three Memphis covers. My producer, Scott Bomar sent me Otis Clay’s, “If I Could Reach Out (and Help Somebody)” for consideration. All it took was one listen to know that I would definitely do this song. It’s what I believe. It is my religion. I can’t wait to sing it live at every show. I’ll take everyone to church and delivering it as my sermon: It is better to give than to receive.”

There’s a precedent for Memphis; Black’s 2015 album, The Muscle Shoals Sessions, found her traveling to the venerable Muscle Shoals, Alabama, studios to work with Spooner Oldham, no stranger to Memphis sounds. So triangulating from her home in Nashville was a natural for her. For Memphis she cut tracks at Bomar’s Electraphonic Recording studio and then mixed it at Ardent. And as noted above, a cream of Memphis musicians pitched in to infuse the new record with authenticity.

She’ll be hitting the road with her Memphis Music Revue show, the followup to her previous Muscle Shoals Revue, naturally enough, starting next week. More details: http://amyblack.com/

Wed., June 5  CLEVELAND, OH  The Beachland Ballroom
Tues., June 6  WORTHINGTON, OH  Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza
Sun., June 11  NASHVILLE, TN  City Winery Nashville
Mon., June 12  ST. LOUIS, MO  Off Broadway
Sun., June 18  CHICAGO, IL  City Winery Chicago
Wed., June 21  NEWPORT, KY  Southgate House
Fri., June 23  OKLAHOMA CITY, OK  The Blue Door
Sat., June 24  DALLAS, TX  AllGood Cafe
Tues., June 27  AUSTIN, TX  The Townsend
Thurs., June 29  HOUSTON, TX  The Mucky Duck
Sun., July 2  ATLANTA, GA  City Winery Atlanta
Thurs., July 6  MEMPHIS, TN  Lafayette’s Music Room
Thurs., July 13  AUBURN, AL  Sundilla Concert Series (Unitarian Fellowship building)

Track Premiere: American Professionals “Guide to the Perplexed”

Awesome new album drops June 23.

By Blurt Staff

They’re called American Professionals, they hail from San Francisco, and they have a new album, Sympathetic Overdrive, out June 23 via Charlie In The Box. (Great label name, that.) We here at BLURT are happy to serve up an advance preview via the horns-and-guitars, hi-nrg pop of “Guide to the Perplexed.” Check it out:

The group is built around the nucleus of guitarist Chuck Lindo and bassist/vocalist Cheryl Hendrickson, with Adam White on drums plus, on horns, saxman Daniel Casares and trumpet/trombone player Rich Armstrong. Over the years, Lindo has played with numerous San Francisco bands on projects including Jumbo Shrimp (w/ Dead Kennedys East Bay Ray & Klaus Fluoride), noise-pop pioneers Actionslacks, and collaborations with both Dryspell and The Mr. T. Experience. He also continues to write and compose for radio and television advertising and perform with bands Wizard Van, The Real Numbers and Tom Jonesing. Meanwhile, Hendrickson composed and recorded her synth pop single, “Diamonds in the Rough,” with her Los Angeles singer/songwriter friends, Little Lonely (aka Julie Cain) and Arrica Rose (Arrica Rose and the …, Dear County). She also created the concept and directed the video for the “Diamonds” single that was released in mid-May.

Stay tuned for tour dates, and meanwhile, you can check ‘em out at their Facebook page and their Bandcamp page.

Track Premiere: Ghost Wolves “Shouldn’t Have Lied”

Killer tune from brand new album frontloaded with fuzz/slide-guit-and-drums fury. (Photo credit: David Brendan Hall)

By Blurt Staff

They’re not only one of most exciting bands the BLURT braintrust has ever heard outta Austin, the Ghost Wolves are one of the most exciting bands we’ve ever experienced, period. Indeed, just the recorded evidence alone is impressive—of their 2014 album Man, Woman, Beast, our reviewer, Michael Toland, noted, “Outside of a marvelously stripped-down sound featuring Jonathan Wolf on rhythm pound and Carley Wolf on bare-bones riffery and teasing, pouting vocal, the Wolves burst with sheer attitude, the kind of moxie that comes from being young, hungry and not giving a shit whether or not they see the inside of an arena… Carley’s frazzled bottleneck and aggressive assertion rides Jonathan’s surging drum kit like a surfer on a shark.” (Magazine editor Fred Mills was pretty damn impressed with their 2011 release, In Ya Neck, as well.)

So now they have a new ‘un about to drop, TEXA$ PLATINUM, via Hound Gawd, and we are privileged to unveil a track from it just in time for the group’s kicking off its US tour. Check out “Shouldn’t Have Lied”:

Notes Carley, “This song was based on an experience I witnessed where one lie led to so many more and to a path of misery for a while for that person. It all could have been avoided with simple honesty, but ego and pride got in the way. That’s dangerous stuff.”

The band formed in Austin, Texas in 2010, and Wolf’s guitar playing has been featured in Premiere Guitar, SheShreds, and Guitar Girl Magazine and has performed live on NPR stations like WBEZ in Chicago. (Wolf Endorses Silvertone Guitars and Eminence Speakers.) Several tracks from their previous record got prominent TV and film placements, including on the hit TV series Shameless; several programs on the Oxygen channel (Bad Girl’s Club, Funny Girls, Best Ink); and an over-the-top trailer for Japanese martial arts film called, Why Don’t You Play in Hell? Not to mention MTV’s Real World: Explosion and for Perry Ellis at Fashion week in New York.

They will be touring heavily behind the new album, so you don’t have no excuse for not checking ‘em out, kids. Some early tour dates are below. (Photo credit: Steven Alcala)

Saturday, May 27th at Swan Dive in Austin, TX

Wednesday, June 7th at Blue Canoe in Tupelo, MS

Thursday, June 8th at Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta, GA

Saturday, June 10th at The Cave in Chapel Hill, NC

Sunday, June 11th at Bandito’s in Richmond, VA

Thursday, June 15th at 10th Ave Burrito in Belmar, NJ

Friday, June 16th at Firehouse 13 in Providence, RI

Saturday, June 17th at The Press Room in Portsmouth, NH

Tuesday, June 20th at Brillobox in Pittsburgh, PA

Wednesday, June 21st Beachland Tavern in Cleveland, OH

Thursday, June 22nd at Marble Bar  in Detroit, MI

Friday, June 23rd at Brass Rail in Fort Wayne, IN

Saturday, June 24th at Fountain Brewing Co. in Indianapolis, IN

Sunday, June 25th at MOTR in Cincinnati, OH

***

Visit The Ghost Wolves online at:

theghostwolves.com

facebook.com/TheGhostWolves

twitter.com/TheGhostWolves

instagram.com/theghostwolves

youtube.com/user/TheGhostWolves

 

 

Video Premiere: Thomas Wynn and the Believers “Wade Waist Deep”

Title track from just-released debut album.

By Blurt Staff

Premiering today for our astute BLURT readership, we have the new video by Thomas Wynn and The Believers. Coming from all the way down in Orlando, Florida, the Americana band has been hailed as one of the most promising Americana bands from the area. Check out the video for the title track of their debut album Wade Waist Deep:

The video was directed by Blake Judd, who has also done music videos for Shooter Jennings and Amanda Shires.”

Orlando Weekly has given Wynn and his Believers the title of Best Rock Group and Best Country/Folk Band for seven years in a row. Last Friday, May 19, the band dropped Wade Waist Deep via Mascot Label Group on vinyl, CD, and digital—and you can get more info, including upcoming tour dates, at the band’s official website.

Track Premiere: Feederz “Stealing”

Incendiary tune is the A-side of the band’s crucial new single.

By Blurt Staff

In a recent roundup of new and notable single releases, the leadoff review is of Arizona punk vets the Feederz’ incendiary new 45 “WWHD (What Would Hitler Do?), a limited edition/orange vinyl 7”.  On the Cris Kirkwood-produced record, bandmembers Frank Discussion, DH Peligro, and Clear Bob serve up a twinpack of pure outrage and sonic scree, a veritable call to arms of the citizenry. The sleeve art alone (below) is worth its weight in cultural gold.

As Frank Discussion explains, “The record is the only reasonable response to a world gone completely off its fucking rails: sabotage, subversion and the other fine arts.” Indeed – when the new administration took power in January, pundits were divided as to whether this so-called bold new era of American greatness would galvanize the artistic community or not. Well, history tells us that during the Reagan years, punk rock was utterly energized, and it sounds like history is on the verge of repeating itself – with the Feederz’ record an early warning shot across the cultural bow.

Check out the track “Stealing” for ample evidence:

Notes Mr. Discussion, “’Stealing’ explores the joys to be found in rioting and looting because in a society that abolishes all adventure, the only adventure becomes abolishing that society.”

Amen. ‘Nuf said. Find the Feederz online for more info, touring details, and ordering the record:

feederz.org

facebook.com/FeederzBand

wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Feederz

https://sloperecords.com/artist/feederz/

https://sloperecords.com/shop/vinyl/feederz-wwhd/

 

Video Premiere: Calan’s “Kân”

Track taken from new album that drops this week.

 By Blurt Staff

Traditional Welsh folk music group Calan aren’t your everyday “traditional” outfit. Despite the ancient roots of Calan’s music, this brash, young group is composed of a new generation of ambassadors, striving to take their sound to new audiences, raising some eyebrows with their deliberate presentation, while also raising the international profile of traditional Welsh music. Get used to this: Accordion, Fiddle, Pipes, Harp, and the percussive sound of Clogs are the new Guitar, Bass, and Drums.

We’re very proud to unveil a video from the group, whose new single is Kân,” a patriotic song about the future of the Welsh language and culture. It’s taken from their new album, Solomon, due out this week (May 12, Sain Records). Check it out:

Explains the group, “In the song we sample the voice of the late poet Nigel Jenkins, father of our fiddle player, Angharad Jenkins, reading an extract of his poem, ‘The Creation.’ The chorus of this song is based on the style of traditional psalm chanting popular in west Wales at one time.”

Calan caused a bit of a stir recently, having been held in a detainment cell at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport alongside a death metal band from Estonia. They were subsequently seen onstage performing alongside Sting at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the 50th birthday celebration of famed opera singer, Sir Bryn Terfel Jones. And they tour seemingly nonstop, having graduated from busking in the streets of Cardiff to introducing Welsh traditional music to curious music fans in the UK, Belgium, Italy, France, and on several tours of North America, playing festival shows on huge stages to tens-of-thousands, as well as at local folk club shows, unrestricted by sound systems, while standing on tables and jumping off chairs.

Keep your eyes peeled for tour dates in North America – this month they will be all over the UK. Official website: https://www.calan-band.com/

Calan (L-R): Angharad Jenkins, Sam Humphreys, Bethan Rhiannon, Patrick Rimes, Alice French. Photo credit: Richard P Walton. 

Track Premiere: Outrageous Cherry “I Believe in Sunshine”

Crucial new 7” single en route from the Burger braintrust…

By Blurt Staff

Rather than blather on about this publication’s editor’s long-standing admiration for Detroit sonic auteur Matthew Smith—we could wax ebulliently at length about his equally long-standing (like, since the early ‘90s) combo Outrageous Cherry, or his participation in alt-country mavericks the Volebeats, and certainly his myriad production and engineering exploits—allow us to simply introduce the new O.C. track “I Believe in Sunshine,” from the group’s new single that arrives via the estimable Burger label:

Some background follows below. The song at hand was originally done back in 1968 by a band called A Passing Fancy, and if that name fails to sufficiently register, don’t despair—Smith knows his deep cuts, so you can leave the driving to him. Was the psych-pop combo singing about a physical paramour, or perhaps one slightly more lysergic? Who knows! Who cares! You’ll be a believer.

More is en route, we suspect, with this sort of chemical inspiration.

The Backstory: Named after a brilliant red hair dye, Detroit’s Outrageous Cherry mixes garage rock, psychedelic and indie pop into a timeless yet distinctive sound. The band started as a recording project in 1992 but blossomed into a full-fledged group when singer/guitarist/producer Matthew Smith (who also performs in the country tinged Volebeats) began performing live backed by a full band in 1993. Outrageous Cherry’s wistful noise-pop debuted with a limited-edition 7″ of “Pale, Frail Lovely One” on the local Third Gear label. Later came 1994’s Outrageous Cherry and 1997’s Nothing’s Gonna Cheer You Up.  In 1999, the band released Out There in the Dark via Del-Fi’s new music imprint, DF2K. The group moved to Alan McGee’s Poptones label for 2001’s prog- and space rock-influenced The Book of Spectral Projections, which Rainbow Quartz reissued the following year., the band subsequently serving up two 2003 releases for the label, Supernatural Equinox and the Stay Right Here for a Little While EP.

What came next for the increasingly prolific combo? How about 2004’s Why Don’t We Talk About Something Else EP, 2005’s Our Love Will Change the World and 2006’s Stay Happy. In 2009, the band released their ninth album, Universal Malcontents, followed quickly the following year by Seemingly Solid Reality.

Somewhere in the middle of all this the BLURT braintrust caught O.C. at SXSW one year and all those years of record collecting were reaffirmed with one of the most brilliant sets we’d ever witnessed during the annual Austin music fest.

In 2014, Outrageous Cherry returned with Digital Age, a more lo-fi set of songs released by Burger Records. Which brings us up to the new single. Rumor has it we should get ready for a new full-length as well…

Track Premiere: Jim Jones & the Righteous Mind “Aldecide”

SAMSUNG CSC

New album from the veteran Brit rocker is set on “stun” and arrives this week.

By Blurt Staff

So you say you know Jim Jones, eh? Maybe through, ahem, some of the BLURT coverage over the years—like HERE and HERE and HERE —from Thee Hypnotics to Black Moses to The Jim Jones Review. Now comes Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind, the latest manifestation of Jones’ “ever evolving sonic vision,” as we are advised, and not unwisely. The braintrust here is pretty chuffed to let you get a choice peek at brand new album Super Natural, due out this Friday, May 12, via Hound Gawd. Check out “Aldecide” – which, incidentally, is also out as a 10″ single on “ectoplasmic green vinyl” so you know you wanna get to huntin’…

Jones comments, “I wanted something raw, but exotic at the same time; spiritual, but blood and guts earthy too… Super Natural. It’s a tricky balance, but this band really has the chops to make it work.”

No shit. Jones has always delivered the goods, but here he has clearly hit a new and unique peak (listen, for example, to how he phrased that song title, or elsewhere, the sheer force of his howl), roping in elements of all his previous endeavors to forge a powerhouse sound that’s one part primal, one part tuneful, and several parts sheer bloody-minded purposeful. Incidentally, the album artwork is by renowned French illustrator and tattooist Jean-Luc Navette, who previously collaborated with the band on their Boil Yer Blood EP artwork and t-shirt designs.

In addition to Jones on guitar and vox, the Mind is Malcolm Troon (guitar; pedal steel and backing vocals) Matt Millership (keyboards and backing vocals); Gavin Jay (bass guitar, upright bass and backing vocals); Phil Martini (drums and backing vocals). The band has released three EPs from 2015 through 2016. See the link below, also, to check out some pretty choice videos.

Tour Dates:

10th May Petit Bain, Paris, France

13th May The Plug, Sheffield, UK

17th May Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK

18th May Fruit, Hull, UK

19th May The Cluny, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

20th May The Lexington, London, UK

21st May Waterfront, Norwich, UK

25th May Cinetol, Amsterdam, Netherlands

26th May Sniester Festival, Den Haag, Netherlands

27th May Get Mad Festival, Madrid, Spain

21st July Le Sable Festival, Trouville, France

12th Aug Boomtown Festival, Winchester, UK

***

And you can check in with the Mind all over the place, such as:

righteousmind.co.uk

facebook.com/jjatrm

twitter.com/JJandtheRM

instagram.com/jjandtherm/

youtube.com/channel/UCDB2C6QPxuwUcmWZ7KPWFcQ

 

 

Video Premiere: Raging Fire “Free to Be”

New album from Nashville rockers out this week!

By Blurt Staff

So – what could be better than a Raging Fire retrospective release? How about a NEW Raging Fire release? A year and a half ago we wrote, in this space:

They were called Raging Fire, and they were a bright spot on the otherwise moribund Nashville rock scene in the ‘80s. As the saying goes, while likeminded Nashville insurgents Jason and the Scorchers merged the Sex Pistols with Hank Williams, Raging Fire merged the Clash with Tennessee Williams. Voted “one of America’s best unsigned bands” (along with the Pixies) in 1988 in the annual CMJ readers’ poll, they burned brightly, but by the end of the decade they were done. Now, though, the members have collaborated in order to release a 30th anniversary celebration, Everything Is Roses 1985-1989

That was then, track premiere-wise, but this is now, and NOW we are stoked to offer up a premiere from the revived band. Check out the video for “Free to Be”:

The song is from the new album These Teeth are Sharp, out May 12, and the video is by Robert Johnson (no, not that Robert Johnson).

Explains the band’s Mark Medley, “Interestingly my friend, original Raging Fire guitarist Michael Godsey wrote ‘Free to Be’ in early 2012 as a techno-pop song. He and RF vocalist Melora Zaner were living in Shanghai and they cut what sounded to me like an unfinished demo with Melora and singer Monica Chen on vocals. A few months later, in May 2012, Michael was taken by a heart attack. He was 47. Three years after that, Raging Fire released an anthology LP entitled Everything is Roses 1985 -1989 and played their first show in 25 years to a packed house at Nashville’s Exit/In.

“In the wake of that project we began making recordings for a brand new record. These Teeth are Sharp will be released May 12th and is dedicated to Michael Godsey. The LP features a new version of ‘Free to be’ expanding on its themes of self-responsibility and free will. In reference to the song’s Asian origins most of the third verse in Chinese by Melora. The band was knocked out when we realized ‘Free to Be’ represents a departure –a new twenty-first century sound for Raging FIre.

“We asked a dear friend to make a video of the song –photographer and original Jason and the Scorchers bassist Robert Johnson, also known as Jeff Johnson. Jeff was also the producer of Raging Fire’s first full length LP in 1986 and we’ve enjoyed a sense of homecoming working with him on this project. Using Chinese footage and stills from Melora’s friends in Shanghai, as well as imagery submitted by the band and himself, Jeff said he wanted to capture the spirit of Michael Godsey. We believe he did.”

Indeed he did. The resulting These Teeth are Sharp is a culmination, then—and a beginning. Keep your eyes peeled for tour dates this summer, too.

 

Track Premiere: Sunshine & the Rain “Let’s Go”

Ace track culled from forthcoming album on the Ernest Jenning Record Company label—a TMOQ, natch.

By Blurt Staff

Sunshine & The Rain — husband and wife team Ashley Morey (vocals, bass) and Justin Morey (guitar), both formerly of critically acclaimed psych rockers The Black Hollies — formed around the same time as the 2014 dissolution of their former band, subsequently releasing the single “Can’t Stop Thinking About You” b/w “Pale Blue Skies” in late 2015. Now their debut full-length, In The Darkness Of My Night, is set to drop May 12 via the Ernest Jenning Record Company, and we are hereby authorized to give you, the gentle BLURT readership, an advance look (listen). Check out “Let’s Go”:

Thoughts, readers? How about “garage-punk with the four-on-the-floor drive of the Ramones, but cut with the grit of Big Black, the snarl of Joan Jett and the melodic sensibility of the Shirelles. Throw in some Jesus & Mary Chain and you’re almost there.”

Well, alright then! About the album:

In early 2016 the band headed into Sonic Youth’s Echo Canyon West studio with Jon Spencer to begin work on the album. Eschewing some of the lengthier psych leanings of their earliest days, Spencer coaxed the band towards a more immediate sound, cutting down track lengths and, according to the band, “leaving nothing but pointed pop gems with sugary hooks and a dirty Ramones grit cutting throughout.”

Among those “pop gems”: a Fugazi cover—yes, you read that correctly—in which the Moreys turn “Merchandise” into a personal statement.

On the web for tour dates and more:

https://sunshineandtherain.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sunshineandtherain/