Every once in a while, Music Enthusiast gets off his incessant blues/classic rock kick, sticks his head out, and sees what’s out there in new music. Here are a few tracks that I hope you will dig.
Of the Mononegatives, their site – or maybe their label’s site – says, “Call it Synth-punk, electro-punk, post-punk punk/new wave or whatever you like. Just know that Mononegatives do it better than almost any band out there – faster and louder.” To which ME says – Woo-hoo!
From London, Ontario where every third person is seemingly in a band, here is “Second Self,” a wicked blast of … I’ll call it neo punk:
The A.M.s is an Americana duo that consists of Adrian Libertini and Mariko Langan. Founded in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, the duo wrote over 50 songs while in quarantine, of which, thirteen ended up on their debut studio album, Ignite the Sky. The album is slated for release on October 28th.
Though a thousand miles apart, with Langan located outside of Seattle and Libertini in San Luis Obispo, CA, the two came together after meeting three years ago to record their debut album at Earwig Studio in Seattle, WA. In 2022, the band began rolling out the album’s singles “Torn Vine,” an introspective track that tackles Mariko’s personal struggle with identity as an adoptee, and the title track “Ignite the Sky.”
Here’s “Smoke,” a wistful duet with some really nice piano:
Back in the mid-90s, four of country music’s most prominent male stars got together and under the band name, The Highwaymen recorded three albums. Those stars were Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson. One of those albums was called The Road Goes on Forever and I can’t say I know it for sure but I swear they got that from “Midnight Rider.”
Anyway, following that ‘forever’ theme there is a song on that album called “Live Forever” which Willie and Lucinda Williams re-recorded recently. I happened to stumble on it and as Larry David would say, it’s pretty, pretty, pretty good. It’s from an album called Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver.
Willie pretty much dominates the vocals here so if you want to hear Lucinda suggest headphones:
Grant Geissman (born April 13, 1953) is an American jazz guitarist and Emmy-nominated composer. He has recorded extensively for several labels since 1976 and played guitar on the theme for Monk and other TV series. He joined flugelhornist Chuck Mangione in the mid-70s.
If you’re old enough, you’ll recall a smooth jazz album by Mangione called Feels So Good. The album launched a single of the same name that was a megahit. And that’s Geissman playing the guitar solo. This is the kind of tune that strict jazzers hate ‘coz it’s not bebop or something. But I’ve always dug it and the guitar solo is a highlight. Check it out here.
Geissman recently released an album called Blooz and it’s a pretty bitchin’ album with guests like Tom Scott, Joe Bonamassa, and Robben Ford. There are a couple of keyboard players with whom I was not familiar, one named David Garfield and he lays down some smokin’ organ on this one.