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New spring titles from Paul Stanley, Melissa Carper, Morgan Wade and more

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I have a feeling we’re in for a deluge of new music titles as artists everywhere prepare to release the fruits of their lockdowns in hopes they’ll soon be able to take the stage in support. Here are a few recently released LPs that should not be overlooked in the pending flood.

Morgan Wade – “Reckless” (Thirty Tigers)

This country rock newcomer has released an impressive debut produced by Paul Ebersold and Sadler Vaden of Jason Isbell’s band, The 400 Unit. The 26-year old Wade hails from Floyd, Virginia, and has been writing songs since she was seven years old. She proves herself a stirring songwriter and storyteller on these 10 self-penned tracks powered by her expressive, smoky voice. Highlights include the opening “Wilder Days” about a love interest that seems to be hiding something. The poppy “Last Cigarette” equates the ups and downs of a relationship with the struggles of addiction. She sums up one of the album’s themes in “Don’t Cry” when she sings “It’s OK not to be alright.” We’ll be hearing much more from Wade in the years to come.

The City Champs – “Luna ‘68” (Big Legal Mess Records)

This trio of Memphis-based all-stars have supported artists ranging from Rufus Thomas to Alex Chilton, and have just issued their first LP in more than a decade. It’s an album of part soulful, part space-aged funky, jazzy instrumentals. If Booker T. and the MGs had been tapped to record the soundtrack for “Fireball XL5,” the results might sound like The City Champs. The record is a ton of fun and full of sounds almost nobody else is making right now.

Paul Stanley’s Soul Station – “Now and Then” (UMe)

The KISS co-founder salutes his influences on this debut album blending pop-soul classics of his youth with five originals in the same style recorded by his 15-piece ensemble. Stanley’s lead vocals are a highlight throughout on tunes like “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love” (The Spinners), “O-o-h Child” (The Five Stairsteps), “Let’s Stay Together” (Al Green), and others. The arrangements on the vintage tunes remain faithful to the original versions, while Stanley’s original songs here, including “Save Me (From You)” sound almost like long-lost classics from the era.

Melissa Carper – “Daddy’s Country Gold” (Mae Music)

For fans of old-school classic country, the kind that sometimes swings and the kind that tells a story (think Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys meets Patsy Cline), comes this stunning album of 12 originals from the upright bassist of Austin’s acclaimed The Carper Family. Melissa’s voice draws you in to hear the stories that unfold around a possessing backdrop provided by some of Nashville’s finest players who instilled a sweet and dusty vintage sound to these songs that recall a simpler life and time.

Lake Street Dive – “Obviously” (Nonesuch Records)

This multi-genre outfit, formed in Boston in 2004, combines elements of pop, jazz and hip-hop on their infectious seventh LP. Produced by Mike Elizondo (50 Cent, Eminem, Carrie Underwood), he wisely allowed the group’s musicianship, vocals and songwriting to dominate. The opening “Hypotheticals” sounds like a hit, as does the first single “Making Do,” a message song which begs the next generation to forgive us for the condition of the world.

Last modified on Wednesday, 24 March 2021 16:12

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