New Music

This week saw the release of a couple of albums by artists I like who have featured here – one of them often, the other for the first time a couple of weeks ago. This prompted me to look at my Apple Music library, and it occurred to me that I have recently added several new albums in there from artists who I’ve played here before, and some I should have done, so I thought it might be an idea to share some of this music with you. It’s a fairly eclectic mix, and I hope you find something among these to enjoy.

I’ll start with the two very new ones. The first of these is from one of my long-time favourites, who you will often have seen here before: Kate Rusby. Kate reaches thirty years in the music business this year, and has released an album of some of her best songs from that time, entitled 30: Happy Returns. These have been re-recorded to mark the occasion, in several cases with guests. Like this one:

That is utterly charming. Like they did for Paul Simon’s Graceland album, Ladysmith Black Mambazo bring their joyous music to the party and I find it irresistible. The song – without these guests – was originally on Kate’s 2014 album, Ghost. She did something similar in 2012 for her twentieth anniversary, with an album called, simply, 20. I’m already looking forward to 40.

Xander and the Peace Pirates made their first appearance here a few weeks ago, and as their new album came out yesterday this seemed like a good time to play them again. The album is called Order Out Of Chaos, and is the band’s response to all of the upheavals that we have gone through for the past two years. I haven’t had the chance to hear it all yet, but the tracks I’ve listened to have been excellent. Here is one of them:

I really hope the album picks up some airplay and gives the band a lot of success. In my view, they deserve it.

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band have never appeared in one of my posts, and I think it is long overdue that I correct that omission, as I’ve been following them since the late Sixties. They have a new album coming out in two weeks’ time, called Dirt Does Dylan. As you may have guessed, this is an album of their versions of some of Bob Dylan’s songs, and three of the tracks have been issued ahead of the album’s release, as advance promotion. Like the Kate Rusby album, some of these feature guest musicians, and this one cried out for me to play it. I’ve long loved the song, ever since The Band covered it, and the guests are the excellent Larkin Poe, who are comprised of sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell, and who I really should play more than I have done (once, in a video that is no longer available!). This should make up for that:

Rebecca and Megan bring a lot of pleasure to that recording – they look really happy to be there with a bunch of Americana legends. The two other tracks which have been given an advance release are also very good, and I’m looking forward to hearing the full album.

Faun are a German band who describe their music as ‘pagan folk,’ and they have gone the whole hog with their new album, which came out a couple of weeks ago: it is called Pagan. They sing in a variety of languages, in this case in German, but there are English subtitles – just click the link if they don’t come up when you play the video:

That is a lovely version of a song which I know as an English folk song, which has been recorded by both Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention, among others. Faun’s version is gentler, and I think it really fits the song’s imagery very well. The album has already reached #3 in the German albums chart, equalling their best performance to date, and has also made the charts in Austria and Switzerland. I’m not holding my breath for an appearance in the UK listings though!

Bonnie Raitt is another of those whose music I love but who I’ve never played before. Again, a new album from her seems the ideal opportunity to put that right. The album is called Just Like That… and it came out on 22 April (the same date as the Faun one). This is one of the tracks:

As with Xander and the Peace Pirates, it seems to me that Bonnie has been taking stock of the events of the pandemic years: it certainly seems that way, judging by these lyrics, and her message is one which I imagine is etched on many people’s hearts. It is amazing to think that her first album came out in 1971 – and that she is now 72: it feels like only yesterday that I first heard her music! This is her eighteenth studio album, and her first since Dig In Deep came out in 2016. On this evidence, she has still got it. The new album has already reached #44 in the US albums chart and on her previous performances I would expect it to go higher than that.

Today’s final song is from a third album that came out yesterday. Like Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow has been around for a while and celebrated her 60th birthday a couple of months ago. There was a long interview with her in my paper yesterday to mark the album’s release, and it is clear that she remains as focused as ever, and is long past the cancer that she suffered in her forties. The album itself is a retrospective with some new songs, and has been released to coincide with a major new documentary about her, which is showing in the US but not yet here – I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Netflix or Disney+ to catch up! The album is called Sheryl: Music From The Feature Documentary, and it is a great collection of (most of) her best songs, plus the three new ones. This is one of those new songs:

I think that is a lovely, touching song, and the clips in the video really reflect what is important in her life. There are several shots, for example, of her two adopted sons, to whom she has dedicated much of her life over the past fifteen years or so. I hope these new songs are an indication that perhaps there is some new music on the way from her: she has never been the most prolific in terms of album releases, so I guess the three years since her most recent album, Threads, isn’t anything out of the ordinary for her!

I hope I’ve given you something new to listen to, and maybe to follow up further if you’ve enjoyed them. I’m always spoilt for choice for new music – it seems that every Friday brings another album for me to enjoy. Do you find that, too, or is that just me? What’s on your current playlist? I’d love to know, as you may be listening to something I don’t know and might like. Do tell!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and I’ll see you again on Tuesday. Take care 😊

33 thoughts on “New Music

  1. Pingback: Odds And Sods | Take It Easy

  2. A great Sheryl Crow song! Sentimental, liked the pictures with it.
    Ahh! Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is a wonderful band.My husband says they will probably do better on the Bob Dylan songs than Bob Dylan does. LOL! Really enjoyed this song too! Wouldn’t mind hearing more from the sister’s. They harmonized beautifully.

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    • That Sheryl Crow one is lovely and the video really enhances it. I hope we get to see the documentary here soon but as it came out a couple of months ago I’m not holding my breath.

      NGDB are great, aren’t they. I think others often do Dylan’s songs better than he does – the Byrds are an obvious example of that. Larkin Poe have a large catalogue of their own material, which is a mixture of acoustic folky stuff and punchy blues rock. Their sibling harmonies are very effective aren’t they.

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      • Sheryl’s video did enhance the song. Sometimes I have to wonder why certain videos were matched with some songs, but the music and video definitely went together with this song.

        Fishing in the dark, Dance Little Jean, Mr.Bojangles are some of my favorites NGDB songs.

        Yes, their harmonies really added to the song. I will have to look up more of their songs. Thanks for playing them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree, it’s a lovely fit of music and video.

        Too many NGBD goodies to even think about listing them! I hope you enjoy Larkin Poe if you explore further.

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  3. Pingback: Tuesday Tunes 103: Change | Take It Easy

    • It’s a good version, which is why I played it! The NGDB always make good records. I can recommend The Band’s version of that one, too. Even the Tremeloes had a good attempt at it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Clive – thanks for this tasty post! Enjoyed seeing the selection of Sheryl Crow and realized I know very little of her music and posting history – that was a beautiful song from Her.
    Also – the opening one with Kate was pure joy and reading it was to celebrate 30 years enriched the video for me
    Her voice is like a paintbrush and not overdone –

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Yvette. I’m pleased you enjoyed it. Those two are both lovely, aren’t they. Part of Kate’s charm for me is that she has a pronounced Yorkshire accent and has never attempted to hide it: it is integral to her music 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • I did notice that – and her voice is rather simple yet seriously trained and kind of perfect!

        And As noted before – I just don’t know much Sheryl Crow — I did like her duet with Kid Rock

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think it’s entirely natural. She comes from an area with centuries of tradition in singing, and is continuing the line. ‘Perfect’ is a good word for her!

        That’s probably the only song involving Kid Rock that I quite liked – talentless oik who rips off other people’s tunes!

        Liked by 1 person

      • hahah – the first time I heard Kid Rock was when in college for my master’s and someone shared a few songs – and they had swear words and shocked me – I am not anti swearing at all – but at the time they were abrupt.
        However, even if I do not listen to him regularly – I think he had a gift and a unique approach – and again – not my taste per se – but I think quite talented for his genre – and some of his songs are just tough and strong – but I understand if it is not at all your thing

        Liked by 1 person

      • To me, everything about Kid Rock is offensive: his music, attitude, politics. No redeeming qualities, and he steals songs. I don’t like him at all – can you guess? 😂

        Liked by 1 person

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    • She does, doesn’t she! Faun are a multi-talented bunch, and use instruments not common to many bands. That’s part of their charm for me.

      Thanks for dropping by, Leon 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have always loved the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band so it was good to see them still recording. They have aged well. And Bonnie Rait is amazing. She’s my age and going strong. Love love her. Thanks for showing us we are never too old. I’m also a fan of Sheryl Crow but she’s still a youngster in my books. You introduced me to Faun and I really like them. All good tunes really.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They have made a lot of good music over the years and this new album sounds promising. I’ve long been a fan of Bonnie and Sheryl, and I’m pleased you like Faun too – I think they are very good.

      Glad you enjoyed them 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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