Petty produces former Byrd Chris Hillman’s new album; set for 9/22/17 release

hillmanTom Petty is producing an album by former Byrd and Flying Burrito Brother Chris HIllman.  It is set for a September 22 release and is Hillman’s first studio album in more than a decade. Bidin’ My Time is set to be released on Rounder Records.

Early listen?  The teaser sounds like Tom Petty indulged himself in his love of the Byrds.(No surprise, considering the comparisons that were made between early and mid-career Petty and the legendary 60’s group.).  The promo video actually shows Petty band members in the recording studio with Hillman

Guest musicians include former Byrds David Crosby and Roger McGuinn.  Hillman also recruits members of  the Desert Rose Band (Herb Pedersen, John Jorgenson, Jay Dee Maness) to play.  Hillman recorded seven top 10 country hits with the DRB in the late 80’s.

MIDWEST TOUR DATES
10/1 Nashville, TN City Winery
10/4 Newport, KY Southgate House Revival
10/5 Kent, OH Kent Stage
10/6 Chicago, IL Old Town School of Folk Music
10/7 Edwardsville, IL The Wildey Theatre

 

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First Listen: Will Hoge duet with Sheryl Crow – “Little Bit of Rust”

Will HogeWill Hoge has slogged his way through years of van tours, bar shows and others having more success with his songs than his own band. He’s made some freakin’ great Americana rock and roll albums, including his most recent record Small Town Dreams. His shows are killer; a Telecaster-infused Memphis rock and roll blast.

Through it all, the consistent theme seems to have been that Will Hoge is just one of those guys who is better than people realize, meaning he may be in a van playing the 800-seaters for years.

But he’s smart. And his songwriting reflects it. You like Petty? Dig into Will Hoge. Shouldn’t be that tough.

And his new song, “Little Bit of Rust” from his forthcoming album Anchor brings Nashville neighbor Sheryl Crow into the mix, with a duet that blends the harmonies with a surprisingly biting electric guitar.  It’s a song that pairs his endearing and enduring grit with  a partner who might just raise his profile, even if that’s not his intention.

Read the Rolling Stone story about the partnership here.

New album coming from Butch Walker. Really.

ButchWalker-1024x680None of Butch Walker’s seven albums have reached the Top 100 on the US charts. His most recent record, 2015’s Afraid of Ghosts, crawled to 104 with Billboard.

Kinda odd, I think, because they sound authentic and of-the-moment but still seated firmly at the table with their influences.  It’s rock and roll.  But it’s shiny pop too, sometimes winding their way around each other in the same song. Sugary.  Truthy.  Hooky.  Holy. Smart.

His audience is cult-sized. Those who know and like, well, are glad they know and like, because his music kinda digs in and finds way into a listeners gut.  And heart.

Walker, raised in Georgia, has found his success with his producer’s golden-boy touch on records by Taylor Swift, Fall Out Boy, Avril Lavigne, Pink, Keith Urban, and worked on the new solo record from Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon.

His go-to sound? Layered vocals that build a wall of cotton candy around a bottle of whiskey. A big-and-loud pop sound. It’s also back to the 80’s.  FM radio.  And AM radio too, full of static and sex.

Not too often that kind of material gets stitched together and heard, like Butch Walker does it, as a big ol’ blanket of 2016 goodness, covering you with a feeling of both nostalgia and like the song may be the newest little treasure that nobody else has found yet.

Walker’s new record, Stay Gold, is due soon. There’s a teaser video out today.   And here’s a couple other of my favorites from him (and his recent work with Fallon) to test drive.

New Peter Wolf album; Throwback video

peterwolfIt’s criminal, you know, that the J. Geils Band is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  And it matters for one selfish reason: there is a credibility bump that translates to dollars available on the road. Simply put, you get in, your career gets better.

So selfishly – and correctly, I might add – the Boston band needs to get in.  They need to earn a spot for one main reason: so they will continue to play live as a band, and more fans (like me) can see Peter Wolf and the band blaze through the rock and blues and soul revue that they do so well.

Wolf, meanwhile, rolls right on along, all 135 pounds of him.  The 70 year-old singer, who has reunited with the Geils boys as recently as last year for the opening slot on the Bob Seger tour, has his own band, and they are set to hit the road for a tour. On April 8, Wolf released A Cure For Loneliness,  a followup to 2010s Midnight Souvenirs.  While the previous album leaned on a rootsy, country-ish Memphis groove, the new record is a soul album, lashed with country, with the always-present Boston R&B.  Plus, there is a reworked cover take on the J. Geils hit “Love Stinks”, tipped musically to bluegrass.

A couple links follow, one for the first single “Wastin’ Time”, one of the two or three best songs on the record, The second link is to a brilliant and unseen-outside-of-Boston PSA for the Boston library.  It is a bit of subversive video work before it was cool for libraries and NPR to play things a bit more hip.  Plus, a nice job of keeping the acting straight from the “Woofa Goofa”.

ADDENDUM: I got into a discussion at a music club one night with a friend, and we ended up trying to rank the top 5 rock and roll frontmen of all time. (Not the singer/songwriter Springsteen/Prince/Sly  Stone model – frontmen, you see,  can’t be known for playing instruments.  They sing.  They play some tambourine). I said Peter Wolf belongs on that top 5 list.  May have even said he was top 3.  We were drinking. I probably mentioned that if you really think about it, Wolf may be the most underrated frontman of all rock and roll time.  I think we agreed on Jagger at the top, and then it got murky real quick.  Freddie Mercury? Steven Tyler?  Eddie Vedder?  Roger Daltrey?  Paul Rodgers? Jim Morrison? Elvis?

 

 

 

New Dan Baird Album Due September 25

Music-Homemade-SinFormer Georgia Satellite Dan Baird and his band Homemade Sin release their new album Get Loud on September 25.  As his gift, he passes along another fabulously greasy, gritty, Satellite-esque chunk of rock and roll.  The title is essentially a command.  This stuff sounds best cranked.  “Fairground People” is a highlight. This is another good record, featuring an old recipe.

Baird has built a career out of one big hit (Keep You Hands’ to Yourself” ) and a couple smaller radio gems (“I Love You Period”, “Open All Night”).  He’s had former/current Jason and the Scorchers guitarist Warner Hodges in tow for live gigs and albums for nearly ten years, and his Georgia Satellites drummer Mauro Magellan has stayed loyal to Baird, with him from the beginning of the solo career.

The new album is more of the loud Telecaster and pounding drums that Baird traffics with each record.   And that’s as it should be – he does his part in keeping the smart, lyrical side of the Satellites alive, with throwbacks to The Faces, Stones, and Petty in his music.

Alas, the band spends most of its touring time in Europe, and US fans have to get by with a few of the bootleg-y live videos and scattered live albums between proper studio releases. So enjoy this blast of new, old rock and roll, best turned up loud, just like they tell you to.

Get Loud: SONGS
1. Get Loud, 2. Nothin’ Left To Lose, 3. Don’t Be Wastin’ My Time, 4. Thin Disguise, 5. A Few Of My Own, 6. County Black, 7. Fairground People, 8. Silver Little Lies, 9. A Little Bad Luck, 10. Get It Right, 11.Movin’ Right Along