New Music Revue – 1.6.19

Every now and again I dip into the new tune pile and present a few of them for your consideration. Here’s some I dug recently. Your mileage may vary. 

From their press kit: “Austin-based rock band/collective Gleeson returns with The Years Have It – a dynamic collection of classicist guitar-pop-etc that by turns celebrates and defies convention, gives and doesn’t give a fuck.” They name-check The Replacements, Beach Boys, Superdrag, Wilco, Big Star, Kinks among others. Their Facebook page mentions some other bands I never heard of but that probably don’t suck, notes their genre is rock and roll and says band interests are women.

I like a song that starts and ends with funny noises, kicks some serious ass and – as previously noted – doesn’t give a fuck. Such a tune is “Holding On.” Discuss.


Spotify link

From his website: Filippo Dall’Asta (pictured on top of post) is an Italian Gypsy jazz guitarist, composer, bandleader and arranger, mixing the sounds of Gypsy jazz and his native Italy with traditional Indian music, to forge his own style of progressive guitar playing: “Mediterasian.”

Filippo began playing at the age of 5 in Parma, Italy and studied music in his native country as well as Germany, Holland, and India. In 2010, at the age of 23, he arrived in the UK. He has toured and recorded with hundreds of artists.

I am a sucker for great guitar and Filippo is a great guitarist. Here he (and sax, clarinet, bass, drums) takes on “Bach’s Prelude No.2 in C minor, which is a tune I walk around whistling pretty much every day. He Django’s it up. Roll over Bach:

Spotify link

What would a Music Enthusiast roundup be without something bluesy? How about Lonesome Shack? They “started in the early 2000s when songwriter Ben Todd developed his musical voice in the isolation of rural New Mexico. After moving to Seattle in 2007, Todd teamed up with drummer Kristian Garrard and were later joined by bassist Luke Bergman.

The trio released the live album City Man (2012), which was recorded in one night at their favorite neighborhood bar, Cafe Racer. With More Primitive (2014), Lonesome Shack continued to hone their skills as an elemental rock group: stripped down, raw, expressive, and danceable.

That pretty much describes this cool, to-the-bone tune, “Past the Ditch,” which clocks in at an economical 3 minutes, 3 seconds:

Spotify link

Of Sci-Fi Romance, their Facebook page says this: If Kurt Vonnegut, Nick Cave, and Johnny Cash got together and planted a tree, Sci-Fi Romance would fall off that tree. They are an alt-folk band from Los Angeles, and Dreamers & Runaways expands on the textured blend of folk, Americana, punk, and metal influences the band has showcased on its previous releases. It is also the record where the social consciousness that has run beneath the surface of much of the band’s work takes center stage.

Combining guitars, layered cello performances, stacked drums and percussion, and evocative baritone vocals, the band has expanded its sound on this release with the addition of piano, vibraphone, Theremin, and assorted other musical esoterica.

Now I know that the vocalist in “Long Ways Left” reminds me of somebody, some folkie or country guy. One of you Americana guys tell me who that is:

Dreamers and Runaways album

Let’s end this visit to the real world with some more bluesy stuff. I’m hearing more female blues guitarists these days and thank God they said fuck it and worked their way in from just being backup singers and tambourine players.

From her website: Joanne Shaw Taylor has established herself as the UK’s number one star of the blues-rock world. The girl with the big voice from the Black Country has toured extensively around the world, released critically acclaimed albums and gained a global fan base as well as having the honor of playing alongside some of her musical idols.

Joanne is a bona fide star with famous fans across the guitar world including Joe Bonamassa (who described her as a Superstar in waiting), Tedeschi Trucks, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Wilko Johnson, Glenn Hughes and John Mayall to name but a few.

I found Joanne on Spotify. Here she is doing “Break My Heart Anyway.”

Spotify link


21 thoughts on “New Music Revue – 1.6.19

    1. I figured you’d dig the Shack. I had Filippo’s take and then I found a couple of guys doing a duet on acoustic but I figured I’d save them for next time. Yeah, there is a Kottke-esque vocal there. Some other folkie too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just listened to some of the Lennon/Claypool thing. Les definitely carries the load. The interview before the concert is priceless. Claypool is one funny guy. There’s another snippet of interview later. You can see that they like each other. Good stuff. Do you think LC could make Ono appeal to CB? That’s a hard one.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I dug that Primus song you posted. Weird but in a good way. Poor Sean. He had the hardest act in the world to follow and I’m not sure he pulled it off. And whatever happened to Julian? Stella McCartney was smart – go into another profession. As to Ono, acquired taste I should think. She once had an art thing in Cambridge and I went to it. She wasn’t there but it was kinda fun in a Yoko way.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Good stuff, Jim. Joanne Shaw Taylor sounds awesome to me, and I definitely like to hear more from that lady. Lonesome Shack speaks to me as well.

    As for Filippo Dall’Asta, he’s definitely a kick-ass guitarist. What’s missing in my opinion is any sign of emotion. He keeps the same facial expression throughout and doesn’t even move his head. Sure, it could be concentration; after all, he’s not exactly playing Itsy Bitsy Spider. Still, musicians who come across as remote don’t fully engage me, even if they have strong chops.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually I think you hit on when you said concentration. Bach cannot be easy to play. But more to the point, that is the style of classical guitarists, for good or ill. Years ago we were fortunate enough to see Segovia at Symphony Hall in Boston. Same thing. So if you’re looking for these guys’ emotion-laden “blues faces,” forget it, it ain’t gonna happen. I don’t believe it’s lack of engagement, maybe just the way they’re trained, don’t know.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. BTW, I’ve started exploring Joanne Shaw Taylor (2016 album “Wild” and her 2009 debut “White Sugar”) and can see why some of her male blues counterparts have called her out – great guitar sound and intriguing voice. Especially on the debut you’d never guess you’re listening to an artist who then was in her early 20s!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m digging the fact that there are an increasing number of female guitarists, especially blues. We can attribute the fact that there weren’t a lot before to two words – patriarchal bullshit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Completely agree! In this context, it’s also worthwhile noting Jane Lee Hooker, a New York all-female blues rock band. Coincidentally, I saw them at a free summer concert in the park type event in 2017. Had the gig been indoors, these hard-rocking ladies would have blown the roof off the place!


        1. I believe Lez Zeppelin recently played The Stone Pony in Asbury Park. Have you ever seen them?

          There’s also an all-female version of Judas Priest called Judas Priestess. While I don’t listen to Judas Priest and realize this leads us away from the good ole blues, I thought I mention them anyway.


    1. As they were to me, Phil. Dall’Asta is across the pond these days, closer to you than me. London I think. And I was saying to one of the other guys that yeah, women are finding their place in the guitar-slinging world.


  3. Some interesting stuff here. Another vote for Lonesome Shack, but the Dall’Asta is very interesting. Gleeson are curious also… think maybe I would like them better than I do. Sci-Fi Romance, though? Who doesn’t find themselves drawn to that?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really liked Lonesome Shack, which I had not heard before. So thanks for that. And, of course I love Joanne Shaw Taylor. Speaking of guitar playing women who lead bands, have you heard of Larkin Poe? They are awesome


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