• New and Notable

    By J. Brown

    Here is a rundown on a few new artists/bands that are worth your attention:

    Alabama Shakes: If you haven’t already heard of the Alabama Shakes, then it won’t be long before you do, as this band is bound to blow up in a very big way. With so much new music out there, it can be hard to get excited about one particular band, but that’s not the case with Alabama Shakes.

    This soulful rock band is led by singer Brittany Howard, who somehow manages to blend sounds similar to artists like Tina Turner, Jack White and Janis Joplin. All you need to know is that she hits all the right notes and the buzz this band is getting is well-deserved. Their debut full-length album Boys & Girls is out on April 9th. Just listen, and if you don’t like it, then it’s conceivable you have no soul:

    The New Multitudes: There’s an interesting story behind the moniker “New Multitudes,” which is comprised of several artists you may be familiar with.  Jay Farrar (Son Volt, Gob Iron, Uncle Tupelo), Will Johnson (Centro-matic, South San Gabriel), Anders Parker (Varnaline, Gob Iron) and Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket, Monsters of Folk) came together to give new life to Woody Guthrie‘s previously unrecorded lyrics. Taking inspiration from Guthrie’s old notebooks, scratch pads, napkins, etc, the artists came up with 12 new songs for a great new album.

    You can stream the whole album below.

    Hurray for the Riff Raff: After hearing just once the amazing vocals of lead singer Alynda Lee Segarra, I was completely hooked on Hurray for the Riff Raff’s music. Her voice encapsulates so beautifully this deep sense of yearning, heartbreak, and authenticity. If you’re a fan of country-folk, as well as a blend of many genres, then this New Orleans-based band is for you. At the beginning of May they are releasing a new album entitled, Look Out Mama, which looks to be their best work yet.

    You can hear the title track here:

    And you can hear an amazing cover of Billie Holiday’s “Fine and Mellow” here:

    The Ruffled Feathers: If you’re a sucker for trumpet, then you’ll want to take a listen to this band, which can be characterized as indie-folk that is instrumentally very layered and just plain catchy. The use of jazzy trumpet interspersed in folk-based music is refreshing. They have a new album entitled “Oracle” coming out in April that you can pre-order now here:

    In describing their new album, the band’s website states, “Coloured by the atmosphere of the horse farm in rural Oregon, where it was recorded, Oracles expresses the full range of the multi-instrumentalist five piece – from the decidedly beautiful bare-bones arrangement of Mockingbird to the orchestral composition of Rosin and Horsehair.” Listen to a track here:

    Justin Townes Earle: The savior of country is back with a new album out March 27th entitled Nothing’s Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now. After the success of Harlem River Blues, Earle is back at it with an album that is far more somber in tone than his previous release. Tales of travel, New York, family troubles, and life on the road are familiar topics that Earle sings about in a way that few can rival.

    You can stream the whole album below:

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