Morning all. It's that time of month again, so here we are with the edited highlights of what I have been sent via ReviewShine this month. And what a bumper month it has been. There are some goodies I have not even had time to listen to yet, like the new Jon Dee Graham album. Expect to see that some time in the future.
The first choice is a bit of a cheat as I had already bought "Poor Moon" by Hiss Golden Messenger before I got sent a free copy, but it is far too good to ignore. Their previous records had been good but this is a step up in class. It is classic country-soul of the sort that Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham would be proud to put their names to. If you are looking for more contemporary comparisons then think Lambchop or Jeb Loy Nichols although, as good as they are, this is better.
"Drummer Down" - Hiss Golden Messenger
I am going to see Hiss Golden Messenger on Tuesday supporting the legendary Michael Chapman, which is one helluva double bill. As a bonus for you, and for me, here is Michael with a track from his 1969 debut album "Rainmaker".
"Goodbye To Monday Night" - Michael Chapman
The next two records have some similarities to Hiss Golden Messenger at certain points, but also have very much their own sound. Both are well worth a listen.
First up is Screen Door Porch, a duo hailing from Jackson Hole, Wyoming (I am not sure that is relevant but to someone in London it sounds really exotic). Their self-released album "The Fate and the Fruit" is available via their website and has a nice bluesy feel running through it. Seadar Rose and Aaron Davis - presumably not the former Yeovil Town midfielder - both sing and play. I particularly like Seadar's slightly world-weary vocals, as featured on today's selecton.
Next is Rough Shop, from the slightly less exotic St. Louis. Based on a core of songwriters Andy Ploof and John Wendland, their fourth album "Beneath the South Side Bridge" is out now on Perditon Records. The cover a number of different styles during the course of the album but their sound always has a real soulfulness about it - perhaps most explicitly on this track.
"Lovin' Strange" - Screen Door Porch
"Convenience Store" - Rough Shop
We have saved the biggest and most pleasant surprise until the end. The dB's are back with their first album in over 25 years! I was going to add that it is like they have never been away, but of course they haven't - you would need an encyclopedia to list everything Chris Stamey, Peter Holsapple and the others have done since.
The new album is called "Falling Off The Sky" and it comes out on 12 June on Bar None records. It is jam-packed with what they have always done best - classic pop songs like "Write Back". For those of you too young to remember them from first time round, we have added "Amplifier" from 1982's "Repercusson", which in my humble opinion is one of the greatest pop songs ever written.
"Write Back" - The dB's
"Amplifier" - The dB's
To my surprise and delight, some kind soul has posted the video for "Amplifier" on YouTube. Here it is.
British readers of my generation may have had a Proustian moment at 0:36 (when she takes the soda-pop) because of this: