Every once in a great while, the great lumbering beast known as Music Enthusiast slouches out of his cave, cranks up his (or its) gramophone, and actually listens to some new tunes. A few tasty ones came his way recently which he and his hard-working team of underpaid interns submit for your dining and dancing pleasure. (Spotify playlist at bottom of post).
First up – Colm O’Mahony & The Hot Touches from Killarney, Ireland. From their website: “[The band’s] self-titled debut album is an examination of life by way of rock ‘n’ roll. With 8 original songs, each written by O’Mahony, it explores issues such as love, loss, betrayal & defiance.
The exploration of these topics and the wide-ranging impacts they can have on our lives is what made rock music so powerful in the first place, and this album proves that it still has the power to perforate and infiltrate our heavily guarded senses.”
I dug this tune on first hearing. I thought of Petty and Springsteen (and Mellencamp?). I emailed Colm and – serendipity- he named Petty and Springsteen as major influences.
This tune is called “Young Love” and it’s an infectious song with radio hit all over it.
“On Oct 2. Blackbird Morning released the single “St. Magnus” from their upcoming album, Earthbound. St. Magnus is based on a true tale of survival, treachery, and the decay of governments. Featuring 12 string guitar and 4-part vocal harmonies, St. Magnus shows the band channeling the great rock groups of the past into an epic brew of acoustic and world music influences with a timely message.”
From their Facebook page: Blackbird Morning is an American rock band that formed in Saint Petersburg, Florida. Inspired by mysticism and ancient world influences, Blackbird Morning has created a unique sound inside the live rock band format, channeling the driving pulse of classic bands like Band of Gypsies and Led Zeppelin and adding angelic vocal harmonies with sacred sounds and deep poetic lyricism.”
The Zep influence is notable because on hearing this hypnotic tune I couldn’t help but think of the late Sandy Denny singing with Robert Plant on “Battle of Evermore.” Really like this tune:
I’ve written about Shemekia Copeland before, daughter of the late great Johnny Copeland. She’s been a force on the blues scene for a number of years now. In May 2020, Copeland was presented with another Blues Music Award in the ‘Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year’
She has a new album called Uncivil War and she’s clearly (and righteously) pissed off about the state of the world and the state of Black people in America in particular. “As a blues artist, I’m sick and tired of love songs,” Copeland said. “We’ve heard those songs for a hundred years. And while those songs are great, the world is changing and people listen differently now. You want to give listeners a little food for thought.
The church shootings, people being out at a concert and the concert getting shot up, kids shooting up schools, these are times in my life that I’ve been completely disheartened and miserable,” she said. “‘Apple Pie and a .45’ is close to that emotion. Uncivil War is close to that. I ask, ‘Why is it we have to keep fighting the same battles we have been fighting for years?’ It’s time for this to be over.”
But it’s not. From where I sit, we are not done with murders of black people by white cops. We are just in between. Here’s her tune, “Apple Pie and a .45.”
“Award-winning singer-songwriter, Michael Jones returns with his latest single, ‘Melts Away,’ further evidence of his extraordinary lyrical skill and ability to conjure up earworms at will.
As a published poet, Michael has long been determined to bring his talent to music and the reception has been overwhelming – the appetite for genuine songcraft has never been stronger and this is reflected by both critics and music fans alike, with awards for both “We Are Soldiers” and “What is this Life For?” as well as radio play and rave reviews around the world.”
I don’t often get into singer/songwriter stuff, simply because so much of it seems weepy or not of interest to me. But I liked this song because it had that Dylan/John Prine feel without being derivative. “Melts Away” is taken from his forthcoming EP, American Poet Part I.
Lastly, we haven’t had a flat-out rocker in this roundup yet, have we? We have not. From New York City come The Midnight Callers. Their site says, “combining their passions for huge guitar riffs, lush harmonies, sticky hooks, and Bonham beats, the band aim to keep heads banging and butts shaking all night long. This vibrant four-piece channels their love of all things vintage into a sound reminiscent of rock ‘n’ roll’s heyday, while adding a flair all their own.
Yes indeed. Here is their tune “41 Miles to Roscoe.”