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:
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:
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:
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.”
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: