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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Blues & electro & art pop & rock all in our mix

From gritty to dreamy, we're once again bringing a wide variety of sounds to our New Music bin this week.

Robert Cray has been credited with a major role in sparking a 1980s revival of blues-based music, mixed with soul and R&B, that continues into today. For his latest project, Robert Cray and Hi Rhythm, he worked at Memphis' Royal Studios with Grammy-award-winning producer Steve Jordan and with members of the Hi Rhythm band that recorded with many Memphis soul legends (see this Blues Magazine article). The album is due late next month, but we've got the lead track, a cover of Bill Withers' "The Same Love That Makes You Laugh."

Speaking of variations on the blues: English blues/rock/fusion master John Mayall. Eight-three years old. First album came out in 1965. Just released a new one. Let that sink in for a moment. OK, the latest release is called Talk About That. He's joined on a couple of tracks by Joe Walsh - including "Cards On The Table," which we're putting in our New Music bin. More cuts from this album will be finding their way into our mix, too.
Baltimore, Maryland-based synth-pop trio Future Islands is bringing out its new album The Far Field next month. The first taste is a track called "Ran," which combines a quicktime rhythm with a melancholy lyric: "On these roads/Out of love, so it goes/How it feels when we fall, when we fold." There's word that Debbie Harry contributes vocals to one track on the album, but this one features the band's lead singer, Samuel T. Herring. (Are we the only ones who think Herring sounds just a bit like the non-falsetto voice of Fine Young Cannibals' Roland Gift? Yeah, we probably are.)

Nova Scotia singer/songwriter Jenn Grant's voice has been called ethereal, and that's the sound she goes for on "Galaxies," from her brand-new release, Paradise. Some tracks on the album are more down-to-earth, others are lush and dreamy. With her range of sonic styles, Grant may remind you at times of Dar Williams, Sarah McLachlan, Kate Bush, Enya - and even Marian Hill. Paradise keeps our ears paying close attention throughout.

And now for something completely different--

From Birmingham UK comes Electric Cake Salad, an alternative/hard rock/electronica band that released its second album, Subdiffusion, a few months ago. This trio has been part of the music scene in England's Midlands region for about a dozen years. We were introduced by way of Deuce Music, and we're picking picking up the single "Reason To Stay." The refrain is actually "got no reason to stay," and it has a propulsive sound that seems fitting for a fast getaway.

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