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Saturday, April 23, 2022

Brand-new music from Bonnie Raitt, Marcus King, The Suffers, Common Deer, The Silos

Bonnie Raitt: Livin' for the Ones

On her 21st album, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner shows her singing, songwriting and guitar-playing are as excellent as ever. The LP was recorded during the summer of 2021, and this song reflects on lives lost to Covid, with the message that we must make the most of our own lives in their honor. It's a co-write with frequent collaborator George Marinelli, who joins in on guitar and vocals. The record also features two veteran members of Raitt’s band, bassist James Hutchinson and drummer Ricky Fataar, as well as Glenn Patscha (keyboards/backing vocals) and Kenny Greenberg (guitar). Its 10 tracks are a mix of originals -- including the title song, equal parts heart-wrenching and heart-warming -- and covers, including "Love So Strong" by Toots and the Maytals. Raitt planned to record the song as a duet with Toots Hibbert -- but he was one of "the ones" taken by the pandemic.

Marcus King: Hard Working Man

Working again with Dan Auerbach, who produced 2019's El Dorado, the blues-rock guitarist is preparing to release Young Blood in August. King says the music of the English band Free and its late guitarist Paul Kossof was running through his head when he was writing this song. The result, writes Rolling Stone: "The high-octane track explodes with an FM-radio chorus, a chunky guitar riff, and enough cowbell to satisfy Christopher Walken. [It] sounds as if it arrived in the year 2022 by way of a bitchin’, time-traveling 1970 Camaro."

The Suffers: Don't Bother Me

This Houston-based ensemble fronted by singer Kam Franklin will release its third studio album, It Starts With Love, in June. This first single started with a demo Franklin received several years ago from a friend, Swedish writer/producer Johan Karlberg. The band finally took it into a studio and "knocked it out over the course of two-and-a-half days," the singer said in a statement. "Influenced by the complexities, power, and care of Buena Vista Social Club, Miami Sound Machine, and Sly and The Family Stone, ‘Don’t Bother Me’ is a demand to be left alone by the outside world so that the wildness, fun, mistakes, and freedom that should come with being a young adult can truly be embraced.”

Common Deer: Take Me Home

Comprised of two sets of siblings -- Sheila Hart (vocals), Adam Hart (guitar, synthesizer), Liam Farrell (percussion, samples) and Connor Farrell (bass) -- this Toronto group just released its first LP, Maximalist, following a couple of EPs and then a pandemic-forced break. "It’s hard to feel like a musician when you can’t really record or perform," Sheila Hart tells Streets of Toronto. "I’ve definitely had a couple of identity crises over the last two years! But I’ve tried to combat that feeling by continuing to write a lot." She describes the album as "a lot of fun, despite the heavier lyrical themes. I was going through a lot of ups and downs with my relationships and mental illness throughout the writing process, and all of that ended up in the record. It’s definitely very personal. The music itself is pretty upbeat, and I love how that juxtaposes with the more serious lines."

The Silos: My Favorite Animal

The Silos initially emerged in New York in the 1980s, playing what might now be called alternative or Americana music, and were named Best New Artist in the 1987 Rolling Stone Critics Poll. We confess we weren't aware of them then, and the band's makeup and sound have morphed over the years. It's led by co-founder Walter Salas-Humara, who says it has "members all over the United States and in parts of Europe." Its upcoming album, Family, "was recorded in the Northeast, the Midwest, Texas and Germany, with members from all those regions dropping in on each other’s tracks via our modern technology." Salas-Humara describes this first single as "a melodic rock effort with a funky groove and sticky guitar and organ hooks. The lyric condenses the diversity in our cultures and ecosystems into a beautiful universality. Certainly the right message in troubled times."

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