James McMurtry has gone from strength to strength in the past 23 years, compiling an estimable catalog of eight studio
albums and a pair of stellar live recordings as proof of his compelling
Band of Horses is back and its music is sexier than ever.
The members’ beards are luscious and their button-down shirts are
oh-so-tantalizing, but it’s BoH’s awesome new(ish) sound that will truly
make you squirm.
You know who there aren’t enough of in America? Guys like Paul Thorn. Thorn plays a loud version of Americana, a bluesy, Southern Rock. His
lyrics often illustrate stories about rough lives, hard times and rowdy
women, making him a sort of funkier Johnny Cash.
This year has already been a huge one for Halestorm. In
February, the song “Here’s to Us” was performed on Glee and the band’s
sophomore album, The Strange Case of... was released in April, hitting Billboard’s Top 20 in its first week.
In the past, Chris Robinson
has incorporated his musical influences into his original material the
way an Italian chef works four cloves of garlic into a recipe — with
total pride and absolute confidence in the distinct flavor of the
Based on sound alone, The Donkeys come off
as pretty mature. The San Diego band plays a tender, starlit kind of
Rock with a folky side that isn’t too sleepy, an AltCountry side that
isn’t too twangy, a Blues side that isn’t too reverb-heavy and a Psych
Rock side that isn’t too psychedelic.
Although Natural Child
coalesced back in 2009, they sound like they’ve been around forever.
Almost stereotypically young, the Nashville trio’s influences date to
their parents’ record collections and that sense of musical classicism
is infused with an appropriate dose of hormonal rage and rebellion.
Wailing guitars and screaming
Rock stars have their place in the hearts of many Americans, but
they’re certainly not needed to make great Rock music. A quick listen to
Hoots & Hellmouth will prove exactly that. The boys of Hoots
make music that may be different from what graces Top 40 radio, but
it’s far from unique. They’ve fashioned their tunes after stuff we’ve
listened to for decades.
People about to change the world rarely
look like people about to change the world. Take Gold Shoes — central
casting didn’t assemble a new millennium Monkees to storm the music
world with calculated precision. Gold Shoes is comprised of oddly yet
perfectly meshed parts.