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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Robbie Robertson channels John Lennon - plus The Magpie Salute, Madison Cunningham, Shovels & Rope, Lizzie No

Mixing new music and classics is what we're all about, so when classic-rock artists release new music, we always want to check it out. Robbie Robertson is preparing to release his first studio album in seven years, Sinematic, and we have the first single, "Let Love Reign." The former The Band member says it's inspired by a former Beatle: "Some people think John Lennon’s dream about love and togetherness went up in flames. I think that’s wrong. It’s everlasting." Musically, he notes that the song's groove and guitar riff hearken back to Dale Hawkins' "Susie Q."

Here are this week's other picks for the New Music Bin:
The Magpie Salute: "In Here"
A just-released single from a soon-to-be-released EP of tracks from a pretty-soon-to-be-released album, High Water II (got that?) ... from the project started a few years ago by Rich Robinson and former Black Crowes bandmates Marc Ford and Sven Pipien. To be honest, the band's first release, 2017's The Magpie Salute, recorded live before a small studio audience, remains our favorite. But this is a solid piece of mid-tempo, guitar-based rock, fleshed out nicely with keyboard and horns and John Hogg's powerful, bluesy vocals.

Madison Cunningham: "Pin It Down"
This Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter makes her Birch Street Radio debut with this sinuous song from her just-released album, "Who Are You Now." The chorus speaks of deja vu, but in the sense of repeating past mistakes. Atwood Magazine aptly describes Cunningham’s style as "somewhere between Joni Mitchell and Margaret Glaspy, bearing both a sweetness and flippancy in her airy voice."

Shovels & Rope: "I'm Comin' Out"
The fourth album by the married duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, By Blood, came out several months ago, but this single just landed in our inbox and we promptly moved it to the New Music bin. The couple tells Consequence of Sound that the inspiration was their second pregnancy: "We were... imagining what it is like to be born, naked and vulnerable. ...We pictured the infant working up the courage to emerge." The lyric could easily apply to other forms of coming out. "We often dedicate this song, in honor of their journey, to our LGBTQ friends, fans and family, but this song is about finding your inner magic and motivation - wherever that leads."

Lizzie No: "Channels" 
We've been playing the early singles from Vanity, this New York singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist's latest album. Now that the full collection has been released, you'll be hearing more. The LP is full of strong tracks, featuring a wide range of musical styles. They're tied together by No's smartly observant and very personal lyrics, matched by her voice, which projects both vulnerability and clear-eyed determination. This track closes the album with an upbeat country-rock-band sound.

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