Bloodkin BLACK MARKET TANGO

Bloodkin
Black Market Tango
COSMO SEX SCHOOL RECORDS

Intense and Emotionally Articulate Rock of the South.

As many of you will know; I’m very judgemental regarding artwork and band names ……. so this Double Album has sat on the side-lines for weeks; as I (wrongly) presumed that the incumbents were some Heavy Metal Death Squad (you’d be surprised what we get sent some weeks!!!); so it was left to my intuitive IPhone; which picked out a track last week that had me zapping back to the beginning; but more of that later.
Revolving around Daniel Hutchens and Eric Carter who first met as 8 year olds in West Virginia; and eventually upped sticks and moved to Athens GA to become Rock Stars, Bloodkin are actually an articulate Southern Rock Band who are more concerned about ‘the songs’ than the ‘boogie’ which is something I really admire; with track #1 Transistor Radio being the type of ‘driving music’ I’ve loved for more years than I care to remember. A catchy riff and a singer who can actually annunciate as he sings about something many of us still romanticise about; and there’s a girl in the mix too.
For a ‘Rock Band’ with ‘that name’ Bloodkin have a remarkably sensitive side to them; with Her Blues being the type of shuffle you’d imagine Jason Isbell ending the night with and Cantina Fever has echoes of a young Dave Alvin in the way they set the scene for a world weary love song that feels like a Spring sunset over the mountains.
Apparently there’s been a ten year hiatus before Hutchens and Carter finally got back in the studio; and perhaps that explains the restrained vibrancy and darkness that fills out Trashy, Speed Freak Highway and the song that started this mission for me; Beneath the Streets of Nashville, which is as haunting as the title suggests.
I’ve said before that I’m no particular lover of Double Albums, as there’s always a few tracks in there that shouldn’t be and judicial editing should always make for an exceptional single album.
Now; it’s not to say that everything here is Grammy potential; but in the modern idiom I’ve played this via my phone in the car and again in the house while ironing (it’s not all Rock and Roll at RMHQ!) and I never felt the need to FF anything, or worse still delete any tracks ……. it all just rolls along nicely, thank you very much.
Phew; for a Favourite Track I’m not 100% sure where to go; Man in Trouble is as feisty and punchy as I like these days; as is Gloryoski …… especially when played LOUD.
Then again I hadn’t realised that the final opus God’s Bar was 12 minutes long …. and it is; but as a stand alone epic ballad in the vein of Tom Petty or perhaps American Aquarium it’s a thing of beauty.
But; I’m going for John Coltrane in Nagasaki; not just because of the great title and back story …….. it’s the best song Chuck Prophet never wrote!
I know I’ve dropped quite a few name-bombs into the mix here, and that probably will not just annoy Daniel Hutchens and Eric Carter but their fans too; but I feel the desperate need to let RMHQ Readers know what to expect; and I’m not a million miles away with my observations; Bloodkin are as articulate as they are musical and they appear to have a sense of humour too; which is sadly missing in Rock and Roll these days.

Released April 16th 2021
https://www.bloodkin.net/

BUY DON’T SPOTIFY
https://cosmosexschool.com/collections/vinyl/products/black-market-tango


Grand Nationals (Bill Meyer) NEW OLD STOCK

Grand Nationals (Bill Meyer)
NEW OLD STOCK
Self-Release

Second Time Around Songs For Second Time Around Love

Sometimes it takes a couple of plays/listens to ‘get’ a band; and that’s what happened here, with the Grand Nationals re-recording of their back catalogue for the Digital Age.
Obviously I don’t know the original songs, as the band and in particular Bill Meyer reside and play in and around the Bay Area of San Francisco and I live in NE England ….. but good music knows no boundaries and Bill thought I might like what I heard.
He was right.
Opening track, Lucky is a cool as you like, swoonsome love song that comes across as a Bob Seger/Tom Petty hybrid with a chorus and backing singers that many Headline Acts would give their eye-teeth to have in their set list.
To some greater or lesser degree; and I could be wrong here, but most of these songs will really appeal to guys (mostly) back on the *dating scene after a long time out of the ‘game.’
We all grew up listening to Teen Love Songs, and that’s what makes up Classic Rock/Magic/ FM etc; but we move on; but sometimes need a familiar story and groove; and with more mature themes; which is where bands like the Grand Nationals come in on a Monday or Tuesday night; giving second-time around romance, a soundtrack.
Got You In Mind, We Ain’t Giving Up (on Love) and Funny That Way all make perfect sense when you hear them and imagine them in that scenario IMHO.
Meyer’s voice certainly has that ‘world weary’ almost ‘lived in’ sensibility; but while he sounds like has been around the block and had his downfalls; there’s a rasp when he pours his heart into He Would Have Felt The Same and the rather delightful Diamond Dust that tells us he hasn’t given up and will always see light at the end of the tunnel.
Then of course there is the song that stands out above all others; still with a Petty/Seger vibe; but the horns on Heaven Only Knows and the longing in Meyer’s voice sound like a leftover from a Boz Scaggs session that is getting a new lease of life.
Even if you are in a long and loving relationship, like what I am …… or even a lady who appreciates Classy and Classic AOR Music; this little beauty is for you too, as there are plenty of songs here that will suit your discerning tastes too.

*This theory came to me because a good friend is a salesman in the fashion trade; and once took on a shirt brand that was very colourful and, at the time had fancy ‘double colours’ ……. Andy couldn’t reason why they were so popular; until a customer explained that the customers buying them were men ‘of a certain age,’ who still felt the need to dress up for a date; unlike the younger men who barely had a shower.
Plus these ‘dates’ were invariably mid-week as both parties would have child care issues on a weekend!

Released 20th January 2021
https://www.reverbnation.com/grandnationals

BUY DON’T SPOTIFY
https://grandnationals-billmeyer.bandcamp.com/album/new-old-stock

The Rocking Magpie Radio Show Pt3 Top 10 North American Albums of 2020

The Rocking Magpie Radio Show Pt3
Top 10 North American Albums of 2020

Well; I’m getting there …… the new fangled faders, knobs and buttons are no longer scaring me in my shiny new Home Studio, so ……. cue drum roll ……… I now plan going ahead with a Weekly RMHQ Podcast, bringing you new tracks from albums we are reviewing and the occasional single that doesn’t get onto the site, alongside a few oldies from across the vast Americana Landscape that tickle my fancy.
The one thing that I plan doing every week, will be bringing you ‘Gateway’ tracks and albums that took me away from Pop Music and into a much more grown up and thoughtful world ……. it’s going to be interesting, that’s for sure.

This Test episode is Part II of my own personal albums of 2020, this time it’s 11 (I know, I know) eclectic songs from ‘Game Changing’ albums that I can’t recommend highly enough .

10Terra SpencerPilot USA 10Chasing RabbitsCoyotes06/11/20
10Sam JoynerPilot USA 10When u need a friendNatural Born Luvah10/08/20
9Maceo ParkerPilot USA 10SOUL FOODHard Times26/06/20
8Grant Lee PhillipsPilot USA 10Lightning Show Us Your StuffLeave a light on04/09/20
7RookiePilot USA 10RookieMiss United States13/03/20
6Ben Adair MurphyPilot USA 10Lets make a kingSame kind of Fascist09/07/20
5Sarah Jane NelsonPilot USA 10I’m Not BrokenReap what you saw
4Drive By TruckersPilot USA 10UnravellingBabies in cages31/01/20
3American AquariumPilot USA 10LamentationsA Better South01/05/20
2LeRouxPilot USA 10One of these daysLucy Anna24/07/20
1Marshall ChapmanPilot USA 10Songs I cant live withoutWill you still love me tomorrow15/05/20

The Cordovas DESTINY HOTEL

The Cordovas
Destiny Hotel
ATO Records

Sharp and Melodious Alt. Country Rockers For the Discerning Music Fan.

When I received this I remembered previously ‘liking’ the Cordovas ……. but couldn’t quite ‘place them’ so did a bit of research on the website’s Back Pages and ….. AHA! It was a live review from 2018; and I was correct; I had liked them.
So with a tinge of excitement I pressed ‘play’ and SHAZAAM!
I was instantly whisked back to the late 1970’s; when Country Rock was all over the airwaves and what little spare money I had was squandered on albums by Little Feet, Allman Brothers, The Band and The Eagles too …… none of that snarling Punk Rock for me.
Opening track High on The Rail is as timeless as it’s contemporary; which is not meant to be a misnomer; as The Cordovas have taken all of the good things from those bands I name checked; put them in a Moulinex blender and come up with as cool a Summer Soundtrack as you are going to hear in October on the Eve of an Apocalypse.
Here at RMHQ we hear a lot of albums trying to tap into this style of Country Rock; but very few come anywhere near the quality that The Cordovas produce on Afraid No More and Warm Farewells, which when played loud(ish) come dangerously close to giving you a sensory overload and leave you feeling like you’re a little bit sloppy drunk, without ever taking a taste of alcohol.
Loving this album as I now do, I’m left wondering where it fits into the current world of media; social and actual. I can only think of two UK Internet radio shows that will comfortably fit Rain on The Rail and Man In My Head into their playlists; and maybe a couple in the US a friend listens to too; but National Radio?
Not a chance; and don’t even mention TV …… these cats are too cool for any TV shows I’m aware of.
But there’s always me, you, our friends and the age old ‘word of mouth’ isn’t there?
Aha! You ask, what though is the RMHQ Favourite Track?
It’s not been easy as nearly every song here has its merits and has had me either singing along or at the very least tapping a toe or two (plus when no one was watching I even played Air Guitar to one song!) but … ta da……. it’s between The Game, which is the type of track that’s absolutely perfect for long car journeys (think: The Doobie Bros. or Eagles) and the more laid groove of I’ma Be Me with its neat choppy guitars is a bit different from everything else here and therefore wins a very tightly run musical race.
DESTINY HOTEL is a good ole fashioned Long Player, the type you put on the stereo and sit back and listen to; rather than the type of thing that people flit in and out of on the streaming sites. Of course I could be wrong; but I doubt it …… this is music for Real Music Fans.
It’s all here; harmonies so thick and delicious you want to eat them with a spoon; short sharp and liquid gold guitar playing; occasional mandolin and organ (of the Garth Hudson variety) a bass player who barely touches his strings, and when he does it sounds like there’s ‘thunder in them thar hills’ plus a machine gun drummer who occasionally becomes a sharp shot sniper too; and even a ‘live’ or ‘one take’ feel to the whole album.

http://cordovasband.com/

BUY DON’T SPOTIFY
https://www.cordovaswitnesses.com/

Released USA October 16th 2020
Released UK & Europe October 23rd 2020

Stacie Collins DAMN GIRL!

Stacie Collins
Damn Girl!
Self-Release

She’s Done It Again; Harmonica and Twang Infested Country Rock Deluxe.

Where do I start with my love and adoration of Stacie Collins?
Probably the year of our Lord 2000, when I bought my first ever copy of No Depression; from the late lamented Goldrush Records shop in Perth Scotland. As I sat poring over this amazing publication I spotted an advert for her debut album ……. I can picture it now, one leg bent and her foot planted firmly against a tree she was standing against; and the fresh faced lovely smiling from beneath a big ole Cowboy Hat; and a strap-line that read something like ‘the best Country Harp player in Tennessee.’
These were the days before the internet; so I had to send a letter enquiring about purchasing this CD; weeks later I got a handwritten reply with the price inc. postage.
As I couldn’t get the actual price in dollars (and Paypal was 10 years away from being invented) I then had to buy 3 x $10 bills from work and duly posted them off.
Again; some weeks later a parcel arrived from the Colonies, baring a CD and a T-Shirt to make up for the difference in price!
There are more stories to tell; but I’ll leave them for my Autobiography 😉

Which now brings me to Stacie’s fifth album; DAMN GIRL!
Originally a self-financed and subsequently crowd funded release that was held back because of this pesky Coronavirus malarkey; but is now finally being released out into the wild.

You can only imagine the excitement in the air when I pressed ‘play’ for the first time and the noise that crackled out of the office speakers sounded like a Perfect Storm as the Al-Mighty 3 build up the tension until Stacie blasts out; all guns blazing ……. no prisoners taken; on the feisty as Hell, You Don’t Know Me.
Certainly erring on the Rockier end of Country; this is one belter of a song; and when Jonathan Sudbury delivers the first of his guitar solos my heart skipped a beat and the butterflies in my stomach flew around like starlings at roost.
That one song throws down the marker for what is to follow; as Stacie and Band are totally synched as one; which is what happens after years on the road.
While DAMN GIRL! certainly fits into Stacie’s cannon of work perfectly well; it’s as different as chalk and cheese from anything (apart from possibly the Live album) that has come before it.
For a studio album; songs like Down For The Count, Got Me Going and the 90 mph Darlin’ Why all have that glorious ‘one take’ feel about them; perhaps they took months to overdub (I doubt it, knowing how Al Collins works) but when a band is as tight as this they genuinely spark off each other like a forest fire.
While I’ve always loved Stacie Collins’ rockier numbers; and the powerful Hey Now, which opens with a steam train of a harp solo; is right up there with her best and is a certain to be a Live Favourite; but I’ve always been drawn to her slower, sultry ballads which invariably are Heartbreakers Deluxe.
If Things I Meant To Say doesn’t squeeze the life out of your heartstrings you are reading the wrong website …….. this is written by and for sloppy Old Romantics like me; and works perfectly in every word, syllable and note.
It’s an odd thing to think and even say; but I think Stacie has finally ‘grown into’ her voice; which has always been a power-tool; but on the heads down, no nonsense You’ve Been Gone and Down For The Count; her vocals are actually quite subtle; whereas the younger Stacie would have tried to blow every word off the Richter Scale …… here, she actually leaves that for the delightful harmonica/guitar interplay.
This is far too early for me to make a considered judgement as to selecting a Favourite Song; Hell’s Bell’s ……. I haven’t even played this in the car yet!
But; so far the intense and intricate Straight To Hell doesn’t sound anything like anything I’ve heard on Stacie’s previous releases; which has to be a good thing.
The cheeky giggle that starts Stuck In a Ditch gives an already doozy of a Twang infested Country Rocker one extra point; but I keep being dragged back to the Harmonica laden I Can’t Take It, as it is as good a song as Stacie and Al have ever recorded …….. man; there’s plenty of young Lady Rockers out there who could learn a lot about a singer and songwriter’s craft from this one song alone; and the band behind her ain’t too shabby either.
We all have acts like Stacie Collins in our collections; personal Favourites who we firmly believe should be Superstars; yet are still trawling the Clubs around the world barely scratching a living.
It’s not too late, that’s for sure ……. as Stacie Collins may have just released her most balanced album to date; and with the Western World all in ‘Lockdown’ of one sort or another; this might actually be the best time to release DAMN GIRL! as fans can actually kick back and let Stacie Collins take you to a secret place where only you and her songs matter.

Released September 20th 2020

BUY DON’T SPOTIFY
https://staciecollins.com/store





The Allman Betts Band BLESS YOUR HEART

THE ALLMAN BETTS BAND
Bless Your Heart
BMG

Still Carrying the Torch and Waving the Flag for Southern Rock.

Well; you certainly get what it says on the tin, no more and no less ……. two of the famous surnames from not just Southern Rock but Rock Music itself – Allman and Betts from The Allman Brothers Band.
Hey presto, those two surnames are 100% guaranteed to grab the attention of a whole bunch of Rockers of all ages.
But wait, you actually get an even better deal here, cos it’s 3 for the price of 2.
Yes, the 2nd. generation formed the new 7 piece band back in 2017 and are undoubtedly keeping the faith with Gregg’s son Devon Allman (guitars & vox), Dicky’s son Duane Betts (guitar & vox) plus Berry’s son Berry Duane Oakley (bass & vox) along with 4 others talented musicians who somehow, somewhere clearly have the very same rocking DNA.

Sticking to the winning formula of their debut studio album from 2019’s “Down to the River” the follow up entitled “Bless Your Heart” is another cracking collection of Blues, Soul, Jazz & Rock ensuring the legacy lives on. So, fourteen months later, they went back down to Muscle Shoals Sound Studio (where else, I hear you ask) with more confidence and even more ambition. Re-enlisting top producer Matt Ross to repeat his magic, along with further help from singer-songwriter Still Vaughn.

The opener of the 14 tracks “Pale Horse Rider” was one of two tracks released ahead of the album as a teaser and has Devon singing the clear lead vocals and featuring a dual guitar solo highlighting the lonely trek across dry and dusty prairies.
You get a similar western feel with Betts delivering “Ashes of my Lover”. Whilst “Savannah’s Dream” is slightly over 12 minutes long, it certainly recreates an uncanny anthemic bluesy tune, bordering on jazzy even, trademark of the original Allman Brothers iconic sound.
All three Daddies would be rightly proud of this potential classic crowd pleaser.

Of the slower numbers “The Doctors Daughter” stands out, it’s Berry’s song and as well as the lead vocals he also takes over on piano, with Devon happy to cover the Bass duties.
Magnolia Road” was actually the first single released off the album where Devon and Duane share the vocals with the finale building to more terrific slide from the talented Johny Stachela.
Then, you get the Johnny Cash like baritone vocals from Devon on the country sounding “Much Obliged”.

I’m somewhat juberous at elevating any track to my absolute favourite, but if you’re gonna push me then I’d likely vote for “Airboats and Cocaine,” which really rocks, with plenty of glorious slide guitar too.

Sophomore albums are always fraught with doubt and trepidation, but fear not folks, this is a lot more collective than last years effort, it has an additional eclectic spectrum that may have stretched the band, but boy has it been worthwhile.
The albums final track is entitled “Congratulations” and that is precisely what I would say to The ABB, carrying the torch and waving the flag for the sub-genre that was forged by their fathers.
Southern Rock is certainly alive and well.
Bless Their Hearts indeed.

Jack Kidd : “Messin’ with the Kidd” on lionheartradio.com

Released on 28th. August 2020
https://www.allmanbettsband.com/

The Georgia Thunderbolts GEORGIA THUNDERBOLTS

The Georgia Thunderbolts
GEORGIA THUNDERBOLTS
Mascot Records

Deluxe Southern Rock With Added Fire and Water.

Even before I’d heard a note I pretty much knew that I was going to like this debut EP from Mascot Records’ latest signings; but nothing prepared me for how much!
To the uninitiated and the lazy among the Reviewing Fraternity, The Georgia Thunderbolts sound a lot like Lynard Skynard; but that’s primarily because singer TJ Lyle sounds uncannily like Ronnie Van Zandt; especially on the cocksure and swaggering opening track Looking For an Old Friend; which features some liquid gold guitar breaks from Riley Couzzourt and Logan Tolbert; but the more you check out the fine print, the more you unearth ever more amazing influences that all come together in a way that makes me hanker for being 18 again.
While the twin guitars on track #2 So You Wanna Change the World are ‘trademarked Southern Rock’, their ‘Heavy’ arrangement and actual guitar playing is more Paul Kossoff and Stevie Marriott than anyone I can think of who hails from South of the Mason Dixon Line; and that rock solid bass/drum combo must surely come from a lifetime listening to Andy Fraser and Simon Kirke from Free.
So, dear reader …….. add the Best of Southern Rock to the Best of British Blues Rock with an extra shot of Black Crowes for good measure; and you will understand why the pounding beat of Lend a Hand (courtesy of drummer Bristol Perry and bassist Zack Everett) not just set the hair on the back of my neck upright; but had me desperately trying not to ‘head bang’ in the car!
The songs and stories therein, are instantly memorable and the finale Set Me Free is almost anthemic with a hook so big and phat that I couldn’t help thinking “Captain …….. we’re gonna need a bigger boat!”
Of course there’s one other track on this all too short EP; and that’s the epic and perhaps epoch-making Spirit of A Workin’ Man; which majestically captures the spirit of the bands’ name The Georgia Thunderbolts.
My major criticism is that this is an EP and not an actual Long Player; but Lordy do I wish that I could turn back time to be 18 again and if I could; The Georgia Thunderbolts would easily be my new Favourite Band of all time ……. duuuuude!

Released August 21st 2020
Buy Don’t Spotify https://www.georgiathunderbolts.com/

LeRoux ONE OF THOSE DAYS

LeRoux
ONE OF THOSE DAYS
Gulf Coast Records

Just add Gumbo, Sazerac, Shrimp and Lots of Beer and The Bayou.

At the start of ‘Lockdown’ I was transferred to a new depot an hour from home, which was a Godsend as it meant I could listen to whole albums travelling to work and back again.
Music can play tricks on the mind if you’re not careful, so as soon as I heard the opening salvo to the first track here; One Of Those Days my Hyundai i20 metamorphosed into a ’71 Ford Bronco and my bus driver uniform into a plaid shirt and well worn Wranglers; and I miraculously drove the back-roads from Tucson to Tucumcari and Tehachapi to Tonapah instead of plodding along the A19 in Wearyside!
What a song and what a band! Classic Southern Rock, with twin guitars fighting for your attention, a Hammond Rhodes that swirls like a swampy mist and a bass/drums combo that’s even tastier than a cocktail made with Jim Beam’s finest……. and that’s without Jeff McCarty’s smouldering vocals.
It’s obviously all too easy to get lost in the amazing melodies and solos across this album; and no one will blame you if you did; but there’s so much more here than LeRoux’s insanely catchy choruses; as if you listen properly, the songs and stories are exemplary from start to finish.
While I can list the musical ingredients in this heady musical cocktail; LeRoux assemble them in a way that they make their very own; and I defy anyone to test the DNA of Don’t Rescue Me, The Song Goes On or even No One’s Gonna Love Me and tell me definitively who the Father was ……. the lineage, yes……. but not the actual Daddy.
LeRoux want it known that they ain’t ‘Southern Rock’ …… they are the Sound of Louisiana; and when you hear the last three tracks, Lifeline (Redux), then the fiery instrumental Sauce Piquante and their ‘signature tune’ New Orleans Ladies, you know instantly that this music could come from anywhere else on planet earth.
I was tempted to go leftfield for my Favourite Song and choose the spiky Nothing Left to Lose as it is a real bonafide head down, gut punch Boogielicious Rocker that I’ve loved most of my adult life; but there’s another scorcher that has been something of an ‘earworm’.
Now; I’m not 100% sure if Lucy Anna is a love song to a young lady of the same name; or more likely a luuuurve song to and about the band’s home State of Louisiana or both ……. who knows and who the Hell cares? But; if it’s the latter it’s a wholesome sing-along, fist in the air Anthem that will close any or every concert the band ever plays; and if it comes on in a Roadhouse juke-box expect to clear the table to accommodate dancers of all ages and abilities. Then again, there just might be a little lady somewhere in the Bayou who has had a Classic Rock Love Song written about her …… lucky gal.
For what it’s worth, in 1975 I went along to Newcastle City Hall to see The Warner Brothers Music Show featuring Tower of Power, Montrose, Little Feat, Graham Central Station, the Doobie Brothers, and Bonaroo …… all for about £1.50 and it changed my life; and it’s fair to say LeRoux could easily have replaced any single act that night and fit in perfectly well.

Released June 24th 2020
https://www.leroux.band/



Jamie Williams and the Roots Collective DO WHAT YOU LOVE

Jamie Williams and the Roots Collective
DO WHAT YOU LOVE
New Outlaw

Purveyors Of Fine British Alt. Country With a Dash of Southern Rock and Essex Chutzpah!

I have the greatest admiration for musicians who follow their own path, and steadfastly refuse to get drawn into the murky world of ‘covers bands’; which as we all know is generally more lucrative; but essentially Soul Destroying!
With musical CV’s the envy of their peers in London Town, Jamie Williams and the Roots Collective are still ploughing their very own musical furrow, regardless of financial gain or literate praise; and the world is a better place for people like them.
Their 7th release opens with the twangtastic, Time Keeps Slipping Away; evoking many happy memories of the heyday of Country Rock, with Williams raspy, wheezy and ‘lived in’ voice alongside a combination of silvery and fizzy guitar licks taking us on a road trip around their beautiful country roads.
This leads directly into I’m a Stone, which may be a metaphor for why a love affair has failed; but with a superb Bluesy riff from Robbie McIntosh and Nick Garner’s harmonica is straight from the Brian Jones guide-book; who’s to say theirs not a lot more to this song than at first heard?
Because I know his history; I know that Williams is English and sounds it; but if you just stumbled on this record in a shop or received it as a gift; that voice suddenly becomes International and perhaps even American of the Southern State persuasion; and the players behind him sound as if they only come out of the swamp after dark.
The songs criss-cross Americana and Roots with ease; Lazy Day and Held in Your Glow are so ‘Southern,’ you fear they may be banned North of the Mason-Dixon line; and Straight Down The Middle somehow mixes Jug-Band Music with Country Rock and sounds just perfect to these ears.
At other times you feel these songs are a soundtrack to a road-trip around the Southern States, with the band picking up and appropriating something useful and fun from each stop, with Life on The Road being their map.
Red Hot and Raunchy could easily be a lost Little Feet track and Dreams Come True could easily have been found on any of Tom Petty’s early albums too.
That said, The Roots Collective combine all of these varied influences to create their very own and distinctive ‘style’ and ‘sound’ which really comes through on If I Met My Hero, which features some stunning cello and guitar interplay; and I defy everyone to find a definitive set of links for the creation of album closer Dreams Can Come True.
Then of course there is the RMHQ Favourite Song, Losing Streak something of a ‘Song for our Times’. An Acoustic Alt. Country soft-rocker that brings everything together and adds the sublime pedal-steel of BJ Cole esq. to give a sad, sad song more pathos than a sane man can possibly cope with …… and I didn’t; having to wipe away a salty tear more than once.
Bands in the UK were always ‘early adopters’ for what is now known universally as Alt. Country; most notably in the halcyon Pup Rock years; but there are still plenty of bands hauling the act around the motorways and back-roads, regaling and winning fans in bars, clubs and most especially festivals; and with that in mind Jamie Williams and The Roots Collective just may be some of the finest purveyors of this glorious genre; miss them at your peril.

Released May 22nd 2020
https://www.jwroots.co.uk/
https://jwrc.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/IsolationMusicFestival/

Rusty Ends & The HillBilly Hoodoo THE LAST OF THE BOOGIEMEN

Rusty Ends & The HillBilly Hoodoo
THE LAST OF THE BOOGIEMEN
Self-Release

The Title and Name Says It All …….. Just Add Beer.

Back in my drinking days we would travel many miles on a Friday or Saturday night to see a band with an ‘interesting name’ (Bessie and the Zinc Buckets? The Baldy Babies? Talisman?) …… just for the Hell of it!
So; seeing the name Rusty Ends & The HillBilly Hoodoo meant I just had to put this straight into the car stereo as soon as I opened the envelope!
Well; my friend …….. or man Frank has done it again; unearthing a minor gem that was probably only ever destines for the merch table at club gigs within a 100 mile radius of Louisville and the Dixie Highway!
The opening chords to Track #1 Cheap Wine, will real you in like a big fat catfish’ and when Rusty Ends busts out of the speakers with his personal love song to the joys and perils of Cheap Wine it’s Friday Night …… somewhere!
Just like the Newcastle bands I mentioned earlier; you just know from that song on the swinging instrumental Unholy Roller which follows that this trio are not just consummate professionals who have ‘trod the boards’ for several decades; but sure know how to give you a damn good time.
When you actually get to listen to the shimmying Stiletto Heels and Fishnet Hose or Forgot To Say I Love You, you quickly realise that these cats know there way around a chord sequence and a melody; but know their demographic better than any damn manager in a suit sitting in an office somewhere on Music Row.
Then of course there are the Rocking and Rolling doozy’s; Rockabilly Boogie #1003, Cottonmouth Rock and Bob Wills Plays the Blues that will bend your senses until they combine to make you wish that you were somewhere dark, sleazy and full of beer; and make you want to dance with that slinky redhead in the corner.
Just like the best of Rock & Roll, Rockabilly and any other Honky Tonk music; Rusty Ends makes something very complicated sound very easy and simple ……. it isn’t! Check out the silky smooth instrumental Sinner’s Strut and the Doo-Wop ballad Let Me Cross Your Mind, then try to replicate any of the constituent parts in the comfort of your own home …. you can’t.
On such a well balanced album it’s been increasingly difficult to select a single Favourite Track, but I’m going for the heartbreaking We Love Our Way Through The Blues; which shivers, shimmy’s and shakes in a way that sounds like Sam Cooke singing a song written by Otis in his darkest of moods.
One other song that deserves a mention is the sleazy Midnight Angels; which sounds fabulous here; but will really come to life at the tail-end of a gig.
LAST OF THE BOOGIEMEN is the perfect title for this marvelous collection of mostly self-penned songs, with the band dipping in and out of musical styles that pull together to create a nicely balanced and spicy Musical Gumbo that makes for a good night on your stereo or a great night in a bar somewhere your Mother warned you against visiting.

Released April 30th 2020
https://rustyends.com/