New Music Revue – 26th August, 2019

Time for another New Music Revue where I look beyond the end of my own nose and see what’s out there …

Delbert McClinton has been around the block a few times. Wikipedia lists him as “an American blues rock and electric blues singer-songwriter, guitarist, harmonica player, and pianist.

From his first professional stage appearance in 1957 (!) to his most recent national tour in 2018, he has recorded albums for several major record labels and singles that have reached the Billboard Hot 100, Mainstream Rock Tracks, and Hot Country Songs charts.  Four of his albums have been number 1 on the U.S. Blues chart, and another reached number 2.

McClinton has earned three Grammy awards; 1992 Rock Performance by a Duo with Bonnie Raitt for “Good Man, Good Woman”; 2002 Contemporary Blues Album for Nothing Personal; and 2006 Contemporary Blues Album for Cost of Living. He has been nominated for seven Grammy Awards as of 2018. 

He says his latest album Tall, Dark & Handsome, is a “kind of a salute to Texas blues, the music I grew up on.”

Check out “Mr. Smith.” (Not to be confused with Mr. Jones.) It’s good for what ails ya:

Spotify link

I’m going to cheat here a little bit as this isn’t really a new song but it’s something worth celebrating. We all know Ray Davies right? Senior Kink and a man whose cranky persona and songwriting genius precede him. Well, one of my favorite albums is Arthur (or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire). Which, it says here, came out 50 years ago.

And to celebrate the epic nature of this epochal event, the band (or their record label) have decided to release a 50th-anniversary version which you can read about in Rolling Stone. I found out about this little goodie by stumbling on a song on Spotify called “The Future,” which initially puzzled me. It said it was done by “Arthur and the Emigrants” and of course the album is ultimately about Arthur emigrating to Australia.

Interestingly, it says this is the “doo-wop version” with the Doo-wop choir. I know of no other version so maybe this was something they did and didn’t use for the album or the BBC telecast. I’m sure it will all be revealed in the box set:

Spotify link

Of Davina and the Vagabonds, Spotify says, “[they] keep the sounds of the ’30’s alive, playing old fashion New Orleans jazz and blues. Based in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, they debuted with Live@The Times in 2008 before releasing their first studio LP in 2011.

Per Wikipedia: “Davina Sowers describes the sound as “unique” when attempting to put a name to it. They feature no guitar, instead using horns, piano, and drums. NPR’s Marc Silver refers to the music as “rooted in early-20th-century blues and jazz, but freshened up with the 21st-century cheek of Sowers’ teasing vocals and clever lyrics.” And from what I can hear, a bit of that old time coochy-coochy:

This is “Devil Horns:

Spotify link

Now this next tune is an offbeat track. Does anybody know (or remember) the anarcho-punk band, Crass? I sure don’t. According to his website, Steve Ignorant (nee Williams), “is also a wood sculptor and volunteer on the Sea Palling Independent Lifeboat, has written his autobiography – All The Rest Is Propaganda – and has worked as a traditional Punch and Judy performer using the name Professor Ignorant. (Who hasn’t done all this shit? – ME).

Mr. Ignorant now has a band called Slice of Life and well, I kinda dug this song but I wouldn’t call it upbeat. But music conveys emotions and they’re not all happy ones. This is from the album Don’t Turn Away, about which his press kit says, “to sum it up: a poignant, emotional album of 11 tracks that stays with you long after the final note has been played.”

Here’s “S.A.D.”

Spotify link

Last but by no means least, here’s a smokin’ band (pictured at top of post), Miss Velvet and the Blue Wolf. From their press release: “New York rock band Miss Velvet & The Blue Wolf have been touring the globe with George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic since 2017. Two years and 100 plus concerts later, Clinton teams up on record with Miss Velvet & The Blue Wolf for their sophomore album Feed The Wolf.

In the nicest possible way, the first word that comes to mind as ‘Super Bon Bon’ the opening track of Feed the Wolf unfolds is “sweaty.” Miss Velvet & The Blue Wolf’s second album feels dirty and raw.

Lead singer Miss Velvet is a New York native and brings a swagger and sass that immediately encourages the listener to imagine they’re getting hot and heavy at a concert. The horns are tight while the bass work by Jimi Beamon brings heft, all building to a glorious cacophony as Miss Velvet screams “you’re my Super Bon Bon baby!” What’s lacking in lyrical subtlety, is made up for in sheer fun.”

Yes indeed. I don’t believe old George is on this track but I just had to have it. Miss Velvet will now put a hurtin’ on you:

Spotify link

14 thoughts on “New Music Revue – 26th August, 2019

  1. That Delbert McClinton Track smokes. Other than his name and now this one song, I don’t believe I know any of his music, even though as you pointed out he has been around forever – something I suppose I should change.

    I also like the Davina & The Vagabonds and Miss Velvet & The Blue Wolf tunes. Velvet stylistically reminds me of the lead vocalist of Jane Lee Hooker, a hot all-female blues rock band. They are also from New York.


    1. Yeah. McClinton has been there and back. He’ll be 79 this year! I bet he’s got a lot of stories to tell from the road. I’m only slightly more familiar with him than you are. But I’ve heard his blues album he won a Grammy for. And check out this video of him and Bonnie Raitt on Letterman

      I figured you’d dig the female-led bands given your predilection for Southern Avenue. Davina’s sound is unusual but for me it totally works. Jane Lee Hooker rings a bell, maybe from you. I’ll check them out.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank You for the review of Miss Velvet and the Blue Wolf’ Feed the Wolf.
    Your words echo the rawness and energy that Velvet and the band bring to every live concert!
    It’s an experience every time you listen to the album.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love Ray’s lazy vocals on the cut. i will be looking for the rest of that one. Nice mix Doc. I gave them all a listen. Would listen and will seek out more cuts.
    You know how I feel about The Kinks. Delbert is way up the ladder in my stack. He is class all the way and lays down some of the best blues/soul/rock you will get. Always has not notch players and his vocals are some of my favorites. I will eventually rave about him on a CB take. I just havent pulled the trigger but he’s been in the chamber waiting.
    A little CB rant. He is definitely one of those guys that should have got way more love but what he gets from people who dig him is 100% pure gold. He is a treasure.


    1. CB and the Doc are certified Kinks-o-maniacs so I knew you’d dig that. I don’t necessarily go for box sets anymore but I am tempted to ask for that one for Christmas. For the man (or woman) who has everything.

      Delbert’s another guy I figured you’d dig, being that roots/Americana guy you are. (We’d make you an honorary American but I’ll leave you to decide what that’s worth these days.) I’ve always known about him, caught some of his stuff, never really pursued him. He hits have been under-the-radar. Seems like a guy you’d want to have a beer or two with.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve never seen Delbert live (a musical regret) but I seen him on Austin City years ago and was blown away. I also had a neighbor who was a fanatic and had seen him a few times. And the beer thing is exactly what he was like, He has so much good stuff Doc and is a keeper of the flame of everything that you and I dig in no bullshit hard rhythm and blues rock.


        1. Austin City Limits. What a great show. Used to watch it pretty faithfully but I’m not sure if it’s still on. Or if it is, how frequently they show it

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Well, it’s a thing. I don’t know that Spotify makes any value judgments. If enough people listen, they (or someone) will put those together. So it’s not necessarily (or even) quality-based, just Is the guy popular enough? And so Bieber likely has the same things. You see?

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