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Saturday, June 4, 2022

New Music from Banditos, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Amanda Shires, Maggie Rogers, Sunflower Bean

Banditos: On My Way

Formed in Alabama a dozen years ago and now based in Nashville, this group is known for blending various strains of rootsy music. On their new, third album, Right On, the quintet has retooled its sound to center on the vocals of Mary Beth Richardson, who previously shared lead-singing duties with other band members. This rollicking number, says the band, "is about trying to stay positive when it seems as though everything is falling apart. It’s about staying true to yourself even if it seems like the odds are against you."

Tedeschi Trucks Band: Fall In

The remarkable musical ensemble led by Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks just released I Am the Moon: Part I, Crescent. It's the first of four installments of an ambitious concept album, with songs loosely based on "Layla & Majnun," a 12th-century Persian poem by Nizami Ganjavi that inspired Derek and the Dominos' "Layla." It's also a multi-media production, each part accompanied by a film. Our featured track from Crescent, with Mike Mattison singing lead, "is a playful New Orleans second-line marching song, with Trucks’ National Steel slide ringing through it," writes Ultimate Classic Rock. The review site says "the group's combination of musical excellence and daring won't be denied, which makes I Am the Moon, in all of its unapologetically indulgent grandeur, a career-defining work. (Read the band's full explanation of the project on its Bandcamp page.)

Amanda Shires: Hawk for the Dove

This accomplished fiddler and singer-songwriter, well known in alt-country and Americana circles and as a member of The Highwomen and Jason Isbell's 400 Unit, is set to release Take It Like a Man later this summer. It's billed as "a record so unlike anything she’s ever recorded that it feels like her debut album instead of her seventh." On this first single, she takes on the role of seductress, telling her target: "You can call me serious trouble /  Just admit I'm what you want." The album features husband Isbell on guitar on several tracks and guest vocals from Maren Morris, Natalie Hemby and Brittney Spencer.

Maggie Rogers: Want Want

Also due this summer is Surrender, the follow-up to the singer-songwriter's 2019 major-label debut, Heard It in a Past Life. This second single is a catchy alt-pop tune designed to blast from speakers in a club or at a party. We're told the New York-based Maryland native co-wrote this single with Brooklyn-based Del Water Gap (aka songwriter-producer S. Holden Jaffe) while holed up in Maine at the height of the pandemic. The two finished it up with Kid Harpoon (aka London-based Tom Hull) while working on the album at New York’s Electric Lady Studios and Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios near Bath.

Sunflower Bean: In Flight

We're spotlighting one more track from the Brooklyn trio's latest, Headful of Sugar. Guitarist Nick Kivlen takes the lead vocal on this number, which sonically lands somewhere between the mellow pop of "Who Put You Up To This" and the edgy "Roll the Dice." “This song is a romantic vision of meeting a lover, running away together, and entering a dangerous new world,” Kivlen says. “It’s less safe but also less suffocating."

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