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Autumn arrivals in new music

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The fall musical marketplace could get a little crowded by the looks of the industry’s schedule of current and forthcoming releases.

A bounty of new titles has appeared in recent days from proven players like The Avett Brothers, Jason Mraz, Katy Perry, Bruce Hornsby and My Morning Jacket.

Archival releases are also in abundance this season with boxed sets out now from The Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac, and titles expected soon from Prince, John Lennon, Tom Petty, Wilco and Elvis Presley.

This week, I’ve selected four new and forthcoming titles that I feel are deserving of your attention.

New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers – “New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers Vol. 1” (Stony Plain; out now)

In early 2008, brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars) and their father, the late legendary Memphis pianist and producer Jim Dickinson (Big Star), met up with blues luminaries Alvin Youngblood Hart and Charlie Musselwhite and former Squirrel Nut Zipper guitarist Jimbo Mathus for two nights of spontaneous, live-in-the-studio blues. Rumors and myths about these recordings have percolated until now when we can finally hear this first volume pulled from the tapes. The 10 cuts here are deliberately lo-fi but full of emotion as the musicians sat in a circle and let it fly. A second volume is expected next spring.

The Dirty Knobs - “Wreckless Abandon” (BMG; Sept. 18)

From Mike Campbell, longtime guitarist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and a current member of Fleetwood Mac, comes this sort-of supergroup, with a 13-track LP of multi-genre Campbell-penned tunes. Once you’re past the eerie similarity of Campbell’s voice to that of Tom Petty’s, you’ll find some terrific songwriting and fantastic performances here. Guests include fellow Heartbreaker Benmont Tench and guitarist Chris Stapleton on two tracks, with cover art from Beatles associate Klaus Voorman. Highlights include the rocker “Aw Honey” and the driving blues “Don’t Knock the Boogie.”

The Lemon Twigs – “Songs For the General Public” (4AD; out now)

Holy ‘70s, there’s a lot happening on this fun record. Brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario have crafted a third LP dripping with melody and unexpected twists that somehow manages to conjure a great number of the group’s disparate influences in its 43 minutes. The opening “Hell on Wheels” sounds almost like Mick Jagger crashing Big Star’s “Third” LP. Shades of Queen-meets-Jellyfish abound in “No One Holds You (Closer Than the One You Haven’t Met),” and “Moon” actually sounds a bit like Mott the Hoople goofing on a Meat Loaf outtake. Rather original despite its presumed “let’s pretend we’re someone else” aesthetic, this record is like a variety show but it’s never boring.

Old 97s – “Twelfth” (ATO Records)

True story, these alt-country legends have been intact for nearly three decades and have yet to issue a dud. The winning streak continues on “Twelfth,” certainly one of their most diverse and satisfying listens start to finish. Produced by Vance Powell (Phish, Chris Stapleton, The Raconteurs) the record contains a new batch of tunes from leader Rhett Miller that stick to your noggin from the first listen. In a just world, “The Dropouts” would be a big hit single, not that they need one. A lot of us listen to music to bring more joy into our lives and that’s why these guys make it. Sing along, laugh along, or just turn it up and dance.

Last modified on Wednesday, 09 September 2020 12:44

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