Three Recent Gems

Sometimes records find their way to my inbox that I really enjoy, but for some reason I don’t get a review written up.  It could be  they’re an EP and short of material for a full review.  Or they showed up at the same time as a bunch of other good material.  Occasionally it’s the case that they grow on my over time.  Whatever the reason, here are three recent releases well worth mentioning.

Lydia Loveless – Boy Crazy  As Mayer noted, we’ve been damn impatient waiting for the new album from Twangville favorite Loveless.  To whet everyone’s appetite she released a 5 song EP a month or so ago.  If you’re a Lydia fan, you won’t be disappointed with the standard straight-ahead rock and roll here.  The title track is a rocker’s paean to those 50’s female songs about all the cute bad boys.  Water is sort of an alt country ballad and gives her vocals a little more room to breathe.  All the songs have a strong rhythm line from Lydia’s  husband/bassist, and one of the most energetic live performers you’ve seen in a long time, Ben Lamb.

DownTown Mystic – DownTown Mystic  I would normally be a little wary of labeling a band’s sound as classic rock, but DownTown Mystic embraces the idea by labeling their music “vintage, but modern”.  Record label exec Robert Allen and pals from groups like the E Street Band and Ian Hunter have put together a record that really exemplifies that concept.  I hear country rock harmonies on Some Day and In the Cold.  There’s a tinge of Buffalo Springfield in Can’t Let Go.  The modern influence comes across a many of the songs, but to my ear is best played with the Band Of Heathens-like Everything.  This is the perfect stocking stuffer for the person on your list who swears they don’t like anything recorded after 1984.

Lindi Ortega – Tin Star  If DownTown Mystic is a lifeline for folks who like their rock and roll from a simpler time, Lindi Ortega is a throwback to when Nashville was more about the Grand Ole Opry than Record Row.  Canadian songstress Ortega has a lot of tricks up her sleeve on this album, but the standouts are when she adds a soaring Patsy Cline vibrato over the top of a boom-chuka,boom-chuka rhythm section on country numbers like Hard As This, Gypsy Child, and Voodoo Mama.  The title track empathizes with all the musician tin stars “lost in the shining stars of Nashville.”  All These Cats takes that thought a little further with a rockabilly attitude about the establishment trying to run the new kids out of town.

There you have it.  The album release calendar may be winding down, but there’s still some new music you need to hear.

About the author:  Support new music. Listen to a band or singer you've never heard of this week. I've been doing that for over 30 years.

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