Saturday, August 26, 2017

Album Spotlight: Lilly Hiatt - Trinity Lane

I was alerted to Lilly Hiatt about a year ago. I listened to her stuff and thought that it was pretty good, someone to keep an ear on for future projects. So when Trinity Lane came out, I was definitely going to give it a listen. However, I was not prepared to be  blown away.

As I've said before, there never has been, nor do I foresee there ever being a perfect album, and Trinity Lane is not, but damned if it doesn't strive to be. Not a bad song among the twelve on this album.

The natural twang in Lilly's voice could make some think this is a country album. It's not. Are there county elements? Sure. But there is also so much more. Some rock, some blues, some soul, some swamp.

Trinity Lane takes on real adult themes and Hiatt pulls them off with wit, camp and maturity. What makes this album great to me is that there is no pandering to anything. It's just real stories with great music and smart lyrics.

We still have a few months left in 2017, but I can't see enough good stuff coming out that knocks this out of my top five. It's that good.

If you are reading this, you have access to the Google machine and can read about the history of Lilly Hiatt, however since I wrote about him recently, she is the daughter of singer/songwriter John Hiatt. Not relevant to this post or her music because each piece of music stands on its own, but just an interesting note.

Probably my favorite song from Trinity Lane, though that may change tomorrow:

And the title song.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Retro Album Spotlight: Sass Jordan - Racine

One of the great things about fantastic music is that it doesn't have an expiration date. Music made that plays to the trends is usually disposable after a few years, but if an artist makes a great album, it will stand the test of time. That's what Sass Jordan did 25 years ago with Racine.

On the 25th anniversary (not to the day, but the year) of Racine's debut, Sass Jordan is releasing Racine ReVisited on September 15, which is a total re-recording of the album with hand picked musicians. You can read more about that on Jordan's website, and you should.

Here's a short teaser of said album.

Being totally transparent, I readily admit I was not aware of the original album until I ran across something about Jordan doing a 25th anniversary remake. Sure, I was aware of Sass Jordan, have heard a few songs, but never really spent any time with her music. Like I said in the opening, there is no expiration date on good music. So listening to Racine was like listening to a brand new album. And what an album it is, very worthy of a remake, if only the remake can hold up to the original.

Racine is a rock album, borrowing heavily from the blues with a sprinkling of country and honky tonk thrown in. For those that read regularly, yes, there is swamp. Jordan's vocals are in the vein of Melissa Etheridge, Bonnie Raitt, Janis Joplin. And for a British born Canadian, there seems to be some inexplicable twang at times.

I don't know Jordan's influences, but there is a heavy Rolling Stones vibe to a lot of the songs.

Racine ReVisted will be her first album since 2009's From Dusk til Dawn. And I understand why established artists don't spend the money to record new music with the way the industry is nowadays so this will be an interesting study because Racine ReVistied is not just a remastering or remix, it's a full fledged re-recording of the album.

I'm also very compelled by Racine ReVisited because it wasn't re-recorded to be current, it was re-recorded 70s style, according to Jordan.

In the meantime, get to know the 25 year old original. Here are a couple of my favorite tracks.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

New Video: Jane N' The Jungle - Killed Someone

Great song, great video by Arizona-based Jane N' The Jungle. If you don't get it, you need to get more in touch with what is going on in the real world.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Album Spotlight: Robyn Ludwick - This Tall To Ride

Texas music artist Robyn Ludwick's latest album This Tall to Ride was released on May 9. It took me a while to come around on this one. Not because I didn't like it upon first listen, but I kept getting distracted and never had the chance to go on a deep dive. And it's not easy to write about.

It's an adult album dealing with adult subjects. Nothing about it is hooky or catchy. The vocals don't soar. The instrumentation is not unique or out of this world.

The album title, This Tall to Ride, serves as warning: Don't get on if you're not ready for the experience. Hookers. Drugs. Debauchery. Love. Redemption. Bars. Alcohol. (Not in that order.)

Tangentially, this album would have hit me harder earlier if it had been released in November or February. It's not a fun summer album. However, it's still great. It just took me a while to get there.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Bad Conflation Between Sports and Music

This is not a rant or complaint. Just observations relating to real life experience.

I'm in a pretty good space with this blog. I write about what I want, when I want. I receive no income and I do this mostly for my own amusement. If people read and enjoy it, great. If not, whatever. At least I have the archives to see where I was at some point in time.

I mostly focus on music here, but I'm a big sports fan. Recently the University of Texas, Louisiana State University and Notre Dame have come out with how reporters can cover the teams. Limiting tweets and other social media until a specified time. To me, this is a huge pile of something.

This sucks for the media outlets. They depend on getting content for the teams in order to sell. The institutions hold all the leverage unless...

And this would take a huge collaborative effort with all media members. If every and all media not team affiliated would stop covering the team, they would cave. Just shut it down. Not going to happen, because content.

I've had the opportunity to do Q&A's with several interesting artists. In all but one instance I've been able to contact the artist directly. When I have to go through a third party (manager/publicist/etc) I've pretty much been stonewalled.

If you have read any of my Q&A's, I'm not looking for dirt. I just like interesting people. But I am not compromising what I know works for some manager/publicist. I could have had a great Q&A but was shut down by management. Or I could have had a boring Q&A.

I know where I stand. I'm not delusional. Katy Perry has not responded to any of my requests. Nor should she or her team. But it would be great if she did. I have questions.

When I contact an artist and am immediately referred to a management company/manager I know i'm not getting that one. All I do is ask. Shot down or ignored more times than not, but the one's that agreed, I have some good stuff.

I know I'm small time. But hey, even if your manager/publicist doesn't think it's worth the time, your fans will.