Tuesday Tunes 25: New Music – Part 1

A few weeks back in this series I ran a couple of posts featuring music videos that had been created during lockdown (or quarantine, if you prefer). These were a mixture of new songs, back catalogue and cover versions, and often involved the use of video link apps to bring the participants ‘together.’ These posts, in case you missed them, were numbers 19 and 20 in this series. They were well-received, and it struck me that despite all the problems there has still been a lot of new music released recently, so I’m doing a couple more. This time I’m concentrating on music videos which are more of the ‘usual’ kind you would expect for single or album releases: the only criterion I’m using is that they have been released within the past six months. There is a lot of good new stuff out there! Four of today’s five selections are tracks from new or forthcoming albums, the other is as yet solely a single, but I would expect it to be on an album before long.

Cat Stevens released his fourth album, Tea For The Tillerman, in November 1970, and it reached #8 in the US, #11 in Canada and #20 in the UK – for some reason, most of his records have fared better in North America than in his home country. To mark the 50th anniversary Yusuf, as he is now, has re-recorded the album in its entirety, and it is due for release on Friday week, 18th September. This is the first of the two tracks which have been previewed, with a specially made video:

Just as meaningful and lovely as it was fifty years ago. I think that bodes well for the album – I’m looking forward to it. I saw him play live in 2009, in a concert as part of Island Records’ 50th anniversary celebrations. He played this as his second song, after opening with one of his new ones – not a dry eye in the house.

I included Kate Rusby in both previous lockdown music posts: she is one of my favourites, after all! As well as one of her lockdown specials, there were two of the tracks from what is now her recently released album, Hand Me Down. This is a selection Kate made of songs by other artists, covered in her unique style. Since those posts, several more videos have emerged, including her cover of what I think is the best song by The Cure. Based on the simple theme of the people and things that we love, this is beautiful. It’s ‘something in the eye’ time again:

Kate’s album was released on 14 August, and made its debut at #12 in the UK album chart. This is a stunning achievement for a folk musician – it isn’t the coolest of genres – and was, unsurprisingly, Kate’s best ever chart position (unless you count the single she made with Groaning Ronan). The album was also top of the UK iTunes singer-songwriter chart in its release week. It stayed there for the next week too, and is currently still at #2.

The three remaining artists haven’t been featured here before, and I’d hazard a guess that some of them may be new to you. The first is a duo I found by accident on YouTube. I’d clicked a link to another song and this one came up as an advert – unusually for an ad they gave us the whole song. It was so good that, by the time it was over, I’d forgotten what I’d been planning to listen to. See what I mean:

Carolina Story comprises a married couple, Ben and Emily Roberts. He’s playing acoustic and harmonica in the video, the other guys are their seemingly anonymous band. I can find very little information about them: they don’t seem to have a Wikipedia entry and their own website and Facebook page give little away. Their record company is a bit more forthcoming, but not much: there’s an opportunity there for a PR/promo company, I think! That song was the lead (but not title) track on what I believe is their third album, Dandelion, which was released last Friday – I’m hot off the press with this one, folks! They have been together since meeting at college in 2007, and have been touring, writing songs and releasing albums since 2009. The band name derives from their being on tour in Carolina at the time they realised theirs was more than a professional relationship – isn’t that sweet? I’ve found a reference to a 2013 album called Carolina Story: Parts 1 and 2, which appears to be their first album, but have yet to track it down – it’s not on iTunes, or Bandcamp, my two usual sources, nor is it on Spotify or Amazon. Their second (I think) album, Lay Your Head Down, was released in 2018. With songs like that, a voice like Emily’s, and some decent promotion I think they could be a big success. Remember, you heard it here first…

Another singer-songwriter that I found from YouTube is Caroline Jones. Again, she isn’t a household name and may well be new to you, too. But she has garnered some notable supporters – the likes of Jimmy Buffett and the Zac Brown Band, for example – and may well become huge after the current craziness is over and acts can get out on the road again. She has been playing a lot of solo shows on Facebook and Instagram during lockdown, and has recently released two new songs. Of the two, this is the one I prefer:

What a view, indeed! I guess social distancing isn’t an issue when you live near scenery like that. To date, that has only been released as a single but as Caroline’s sole main label album to date  – Bare Feet – was released two years ago I’m wondering (and hoping) that there might be a new album in the offing. Bare Feet reached #13 on the US Country Chart, and there were also four earlier self-released albums – which I can’t find! As well as the album, Caroline has also released a couple of EPs since signing to Jimmy Buffett’s record label – Chasing Me, in 2019, and All Of The Boys, earlier this year. The latter is remarkable for comprising four tracks, all of the same song, but in markedly different versions – this lady has talent!

So far there has been a strong female bias in this week’s tunes, so maybe I should redress the balance… ah, sod it, let’s go for broke! Last one for today is from Molly Tuttle, one of those artists who gets labelled as bluegrass or country, but is developing a much wider range than those labels might suggest to you. She is 27, has been playing guitar since she was 8, and first appeared onstage with her father and the family band – The Tuttles – when she was 11. After playing in other bands, her solo career to date comprises a 2017 EP, Rise, a 2019 album When You’re Ready, and her new album But I’d Rather Be With You, which was released on 28 August. Like the Kate Rusby album, this is a set of cover versions of some of Molly’s favourite songs, all given her unique treatment. She is an amazingly talented guitarist and banjo player, and her reinventions of these songs are the best kind of cover versions: those that take the original and add a new dimension to it. The one I’m sharing will be familiar to you as a Rolling Stones track: it was one of their gentler songs, a love song. This is how Molly has done it:

Molly has suffered from Alopecia Areata since childhood, and wears a wig most of the time. She has said in interviews about how being stared at in public from an early age has enabled her to develop an inner strength, and to become aware of what feminism means for her. Some may not like the stance she is taking in that video: I applaud her for standing up and supporting others, and for her caring nature. And her version of the song is absolutely gorgeous.

That’s it for another week. I hope you’ve enjoyed this selection of new music from – mostly – under the radar and emerging artists. I think they’ve proved that you don’t have to be a household name to make good music – a lot of those ‘household names’ could learn a bit from these, in my view. They can all sing and play and don’t need autotune, for starters!

Stay safe, keep well, and I’ll see you again next week.

28 thoughts on “Tuesday Tunes 25: New Music – Part 1

  1. Prior... September 9, 2020 / 6:16 pm

    Hi Clive !
    Enjoyed the music – I listened to half of most songs – except for #5 – only a little bit was enough so see not a song I’m into right now – I was not too familiar with the stones Robinson song (I know I know -but heats of it) and do respect the artist for pushing on through her affliction

    And funny how different it feels right now from the time I started with the cat Stevens song – I mean Yusuf jam! Smooth and melodic –

    The other exception was the song I listened to the end and it was Caroline Jones what a view.
    I had to drop my bias and listen because she looks like she is fourteen years old.
    And what. Could she know about love 💕
    But her vocals and smooth delivery was not overdone – and I was not surprised to hear she had many albums (sorry you cannnot find them) but truly a gem.
    The song was a little to busy for like the ending minute and was too much for my liking –
    And I know I might be in one of those critical moods.
    I happen to havee a little more time to digest blog posts today and so I paved myself here.
    Last comment
    The Katy Rusby cover was excellent
    And you know Clive – I realized that sometimes when a cover of a big hit song is slow (and tasty) wel
    Sometimes the original plays in my mind at the same time -or in a round! A wave of both songs fill up my mind and for that –
    I thank you for the experience –
    Was snide Tuesday tunes on Wednesday after noon for moi!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive September 9, 2020 / 6:21 pm

      Hi Yvette, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Fair enough if they weren’t all to your taste, but I have to say I think you’re wrong about Molly Tuttle! But life would be very dull if we all liked the same thing, wouldn’t it?

      For the record, Caroline Jones’ birthday was at the end of June – she was 30 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Prior... September 10, 2020 / 7:31 pm

        Oh I loved molly tuttle – hope
        What I wrote did not come
        Out wrong –
        The talent of the artists in each featured song was a treat.
        And I liked them all!
        And I could tell Caroline was seasoned and mature – I was trying to say that at first I was biased in my mind but then delightfully impressed

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive September 10, 2020 / 7:43 pm

        I must have misunderstood what you were saying, sorry! I’m glad you liked them all, I’ve watched a lot of videos over the past few months and these are all among the best – though I have a few more up my sleeve for next week 😉


      • Prior... September 10, 2020 / 9:32 pm

        Yes – loves them all and I guess I wrote a little too much – and will share more later about that!
        In the meantime – have a great day and thanks for terrific tunes on Tuesday

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive September 10, 2020 / 9:57 pm

        Sounds mysterious – hope all’s well.

        I’ll save the ‘great day’ wishes for tomorrow if that’s ok – nearly 10pm here!

        You’re welcome with the tunes. It has become a regular part of my week and I’m having fun with it 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive September 10, 2020 / 10:56 pm

        Thank you. Enjoy your evening 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. petespringerauthor September 9, 2020 / 7:10 am

    Five great selections! I listened to part of each video, and I’m going to say my top choice would probably be Carolina Star. I had never heard of them before today. Isn’t it great when we just discover somebody by accident?

    I also liked Kate Rusby’s take on Friday I’m in Love. I enjoy about everything from The Cure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive September 9, 2020 / 10:00 am

      Thanks, Pete. You’re right: sometimes those lucky finds can be great.

      That’s my favourite Cure song, and in my eyes Kate can do no wrong 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jim Borden September 9, 2020 / 1:24 am

    Tea for the Tillerman is one of my top 10 albums. This new version of Where Do the Children Play sounds terrific; can’t wait to hear the rest of the songs. I like the “cameo” by Cat at the end of the video…

    Kate sounds great; I’m happy to see that the new album had such a great response…

    Emily of Carolina Story does have a good voice; it’s funny how much luck plays a role in making it in the world of music; they certainly have the talent to be better known.

    I also enjoyed the Molly Tuttle song and video – a nice cover. And I also admire her for getting her message out about feminism.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive September 9, 2020 / 9:58 am

      Thanks, Jim.

      It is good, isn’t it. Like you, I’m really looking forward to the album. I think the video is incredibly clever, and I love the way it gets its message across by starting with Cat and ending with Yusuf.

      Kate’s album has got a lot of airplay as well as sales – thoroughly deserved, for a lovely person.

      I was blown away by Emily’s voice the first time I heard that: I really wasn’t expecting it. Such a lovely warm tone. I hope they make it big too – they’ve put in the hard yards already.

      As for Molly, I think she’s a special talent. She has been working with Old Crow Medicine Show on a couple of things recently – they may feature here soon…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Clare Pooley September 9, 2020 / 12:27 am

    Great selection of new music, Clive. I loved Molly Tuttle and Carolina Story and Kate is a favourite already.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive September 9, 2020 / 9:45 am

      I’m pleased you enjoyed them, Clare. Thanks as ever for reading and commenting 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • Clive September 8, 2020 / 6:22 pm

      Glad you like them, Robbie. Kate Rusby has been one of my favourites for more than 20 years – I’ve seen her in concert and she’s fabulous. If you want to hear more of her the links to posts 19 and 20 will do it for you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Stevie Turner September 8, 2020 / 1:19 pm

    I’d like to hear that Cat Stevens’ song, but try as I might I can’t get my speakers to work. I’ll have to wait until Sam finishes work and then ask him. Some great songs here, Clive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive September 8, 2020 / 1:36 pm

      Good luck with the listening! Hope you enjoy them 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • Stevie Turner September 9, 2020 / 8:26 am

        Sam sorted out my speakers – I haven’t heard that Cat Stevens one for years! Thanks for the memory, Clive.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive September 9, 2020 / 10:01 am

        Glad he did! It’s an album I often go back to – it’s just so good! Happy memories, eh?

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Darlene September 8, 2020 / 12:26 pm

    Some great tunes here today. I especially enjoyed Molly Tuttle and nice to see/hear Yusuf after all these years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive September 8, 2020 / 12:32 pm

      Thanks, Darlene, I’m glad you enjoyed them. It’s good to know that Yusuf still has it – he was excellent when I saw him in concert. Molly is a bit special, isn’t she ?

      Liked by 1 person

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