Between collaborating with Ben Harper in the early 90's on a folk album and coming full circle with his last release seeing Harper as a collaborator again, that time as a producer, Tom Freund has released a ton of music. His latest release is somewhat of a retrospective look at his career as a musician through a collection of new tunes. You can find every bit of Freund on this album from his early days as an unknown folkie to his more recent life as a new father. Fruend's music tells stories, and that has never been more evident than in this collection of music. He speaks like the local know-it-all, telling about the people he's met, the places he's been, and his local surroundings along with connecting to the listener on familiar relatable topics. "Wounded Surfer Boy" is west coast beach music at it's best, however, it's without the palm trees and sunshine and bonfires that define that style. It's straight up 70's era California folk music. He rocks on tracks like "Cruel Cruel World" and brings vivid imagery into his lyrics on "Daddy's Song" and "Lakeshore Drive (LSD)." Meiko also lends some beautiful backing vocals on the mellow tune "Sweetly Calling My Name." His signature jazz influence is evident throughout while still keeping this very much a folk recording. Tom Fruend is a magical soul, and you truly get let inside his mind and soul throughout this entire new release.
Gary Clark Jr. is an impressive guitarist and on his debut release he showcases this incredible talent. Featuring two studio and two acoustic live tracks, the EP is a taste of what's to come from Clark in the future. His bluesy electric guitar and deep vocals are reminiscent of blues and rock greats such as Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, and even John Lee Hooker. His talents as a acoustic guitar player echo the same talent but also showcase a modern approach on musicianship, similar to acoustic offerings from artists like John Mayer and Dave Matthews. Blues and rock have been making a statement in music scene today and with his tunes, Gary Clark Jr. is going to make blues rock important and influential again.
For bands like John Butler Trio, the live show is the essence of their entire existence. The band was born from performing live, and their music grows wings and comes alive at each and every show. The studio albums are just stepping stones between live performances. In their latest live album release John Butler Trio bring us into their performance at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado, a place that saw their largest crowd at a JBT show in the U.S. The setlist that the band put together for this show, and subsequent live album, is like a greatest hits of the John Butler Trio catalogue. Almost every great song that they've recorded together on their last handful of albums gets the live and uninhibited treatment here, including "Zebra," "Funky Tonight," "Better Than," and recent singles "One Way Road" and "Close To You." Fan favorite songs, both new and old, grace he album as well, as John Butler Trio proves they are one of the most exciting, explosive, and talented band touring today. This album, and DVD companion, helps fans get a real sense of the true power of JBT, just in case they can't be there for themselves.
New music out today worth checking out:
- Eli Young Band - Life At Best
- Tom Freund - The Edge Of Venice
- Lex Land - Where My Sweetheart To Go...
- Jason Reeves - The Lovesick
- Fionn Regan - 100 Acres Of Sycamore
- Shwayze & Cisco - Island In The Sun
- Three Legged Fox - Always Anyway