Roots Rock News: Larry Crane, Gaslight Anthem, The Dead Weather, Marah

Former Mellencamp guitar slinger Larry Crane has released a new album, called “Tropical Depression”. It is a refreshingly solid piece of roots rock, similiar in sound to the albums Crane put out in the 90s, as he was hitting the clubs of Indiana behind records like “Eye for an Eye”. Crane, part of the Mellencamp band all the way back to the early Cougar days, now lives in Florida and plays occasional shows there. The new record, however, was recorded here in Indiana. Nearly equal parts rollicking and introspective, it shines most when Crane lets loose with his Telecaster: screeching, grinding and digging into roots-rock sounds. His singing voice is rather ordinary, but exudes a familiar, lovely southern Indiana lilt, and it serves his songs just fine. “What Billy Wants” is one of the album’s best, an Americana anthem that dates back to some of his live shows from his days in the Hoosier State. The opening cut “Once You Love” hits many of the same rock and roll buttons, with three-chord rock, guitars and gospel keyboards.

Larry told me via email that he’ll be back in Indiana in the spring. We will let you know when and where. Meanwhile, listen to (or buy) the entire album here.

Gaslight Anthem is working on its new album, “American Slang”, the follow-up to 2008’s “The ‘59 Sound”, and the Jersey rockers are, according to lead singer Brian Fallon, moving into more literal songwriting.

In an interview with on, Fallon said that the Americana stories are out. In is something like reality.

“I’ve kind of abandoned all of that,” said Fallon. “There are no names (Maria and such) and none of the old stuff. I feel like I’ve said a lot of what I had to say about that old stuff. I’m moving on. … [American Slang] is a hyper-literal album. These stories are coming out of my life and the reflections on the things I’ve gotten as I’ve gotten older. It’s more autobiographical, definitely more direct. Not so shrouded in mystery. I’m not trying to confuse anyone with a trail of images on this one.”

Let’s hope his talent and intelligence means this is all a good thing, and not a self-indulgent change in direction. I just say this: Please be good….
Read the interview.

Gaslight Anthem and special guest…

Philly’s old school-type rockers Marah have a new album coming out, called “Life Is A Problem”, due on June 1st. They have a deal on their website that if you tell five people about the music, you can have some cuts that didn’t make the record.
go to website

“We are making these unreleased recordings available to you because you deserve ’em,” they say on the website. “As music fans you’ve displayed the rare quality of really giving a shit about our music through the years and that means a lot to us.”

The Dead Weather has announced a spring tour, as Jack White’s third band plans to release a sophomore album later in 2010. The tour begins in San Francisco on April 15 and winds up on May 2 at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. They get only as close to Indy as St. Louis on April 24 at The Pageant.

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