Ron – Glen Hansard: Between Two Shores
Glen Hansard spent many years making and playing music before that Oscar-winning film Once. His rock ‘n roll days with The Frames probably surprised a few new fans who jumped on the Once bandwagon back then. On his new album Between Two Shores, those surprised fans can come back, but should be wary: this is an album with a lot of ‘end of the relationship’ songs. Titles like “Movin’ On,” “Setting Forth,” “One Of Us Must Lose” and “Your Heart’s Not In It” tell you where his heart is, but the music and real emotion of the words-and-delivery pull you in. Like the beginning of a relationship, you can’t walk away. Glen mixes in some Muscle Shoals-like horns (“Lucky Man”) which, like a great soul song, make you forget about the hurt. Those who joined us at our Music Meetings in January will recognize Shores’ lead track “Roll On Slow”.
Margot – Roxy Music: Roxy Music (reissue of 1972 debut)
Seminal art rock band Roxy Music recently celebrated their self-titled debut album with a comprehensive deluxe reissue called Roxy Music: 45th Anniversary Edition. Their debut album was released in June 1972, with the initial lineup of Roxy Music featuring Brian Eno (who left right after the release of their second album.) The super deluxe reissue contains an astonishing amount of material, including never before heard demos, radio sessions, and a 136-page booklet among other goodies. One of the demos, recorded in 1971, is the eventual single “Ladytron.” The super deluxe reissue really drives home just how unique Roxy Music was as a band when they came on the scene. It also dispels a fallacy that art rock bands aren’t electrifying live performers. The price is steep but Roxy Music fans will love this in their collection.
Stacy – Laura Veirs: The Lookout
Laura Veirs just released her 10th solo album The Lookout. She’s been busy polishing these songs since her last project in 2017, Case/Lang/Veirs, where she collaborated with K.D. Lang and Neko Case. This new album is full of soft-spoken gems that unfold naturally upon multiple listens. Part of what makes this album so good is the production, thanks to her husband, drummer and producer Tucker Martine. His intimate knowledge of Veirs affords him to have a light touch in the control room, allowing Veirs’ subtlety and nuance to shine through. It’s so subtle in fact, you might miss the guest appearances from Jim James and Sufjan Stevens. Listen closely and you’ll hear their beautiful harmonies on this delicate album with its effortless, low-key exuberance. Be on the lookout for the new Laura Veirs.
Benji – Joshua Hedley: Mr. Jukebox
Joshua Hedley’s Mr. Jukebox is one of the most anticipated releases of 2018. Hedley has been a fixture around the Nashville music scene for years. He holds a standing gig at Robert’s Western Wear and has become affectionately nicknamed “The Mayor of Lower Broad” for being in such high demand as a player for almost every genre of music. The dude can and probably has played almost everything, which explains why Hedley named his debut “Mr. Jukebox.” That said, don’t be fooled into thinking this is a covers record. His original works earned him a Rolling Stone Magazine nod as one of the 10 Country artists to watch. A Nudie suit-wearing throwback to the days of Billy Sherrill-produced records, Hedley honors the classic Nashville tradition of crooners in the style of Merle Haggard. If you like your country with a heavy dose of Honky Tonk and a strong side of George Jones, check out Joshua Hedley’s “Mr. Jukebox.” You won’t be disappointed.