New Music Friday Vol. 1

New Releases I'm excited to listen to this weekend:

I spent many years of my life working in record stores and in a ravenous pursuit of discovering new music. It recently occurred to me that a focused pursuit of new music has been absent from my life for at least a couple of years. Consider this my first attempt at remedying that situation. And in so doing, I thought it might be fun to share.


Van Morrison - Roll with the Punches

Covers and standards albums by well-established, legendary, and aging artists are plentiful and mostly tired. From the singles available before release date, this feels like an album of classic blues tunes and a handful of originals that are stuffed with the Van Morrison soul that just keeps getting deeper as he gets older. "Bring It On Home To Me" (linked below) is beautiful. And one of my favorite tunes, "Goin' to Chicago" wears a very standard arrangement for that song, but it's full of fun and it ain't broke. I hope when I'm 72 years old, I can be making records that sound half as good as I think this one will.


Christian McBride Big Band - Bringin' It

McBride is a monster on the bass. And I've been listening to a lot of big band recordings recently, so I'm excited to hear a new one from McBride. From what I've heard, it's tight and clean. Maybe a little too clean, but I'll give it chance. McBride plays the roles of bassist, composer, arranger, and producer on this record. Call me jealous. Here's a little teaser trailer for the album:


Cold Specks - Fool's Paradise

I don't remember how I learned about Cold Specks five years ago, but I really enjoyed the sound of her first album, I Predict a Graceful Expulsion. There's power and weakness and life in that voice. I also liked her second album, Neuroplasticity, but for me it lacked some of that rawness that I found so compelling in the first record. The title track on this new record strips away the rawness even more to find in its place a sound that feels a bit more sparse and smooth. It's a little slicker in production and writing as if to appeal to a wider audience. Which isn't always bad. I kind of like it.