Music Releases 05-31-19
Guns N’ Roses bassist and New York Times bestselling author Duff McKagan’s new solo album, Tenderness, is a reflection on his experiences traveling the globe over two and a half years on GNR’s Not In This Lifetime tour. Encountering heartbreak, anger, fear, confusion and divide on his travels during this tumultuous time in our world history, McKagan channeled a collective hurt into songs of monolithic power. The album was produced by recent Grammy winner Shooter Jennings and features Jennings’ band along with appearances by The Waters and The Suicide Horn Section, amongst others. Pressed on 180-gram audiophile black vinyl and housed in a single-pocket gatefold jacket, the vinyl edition features 10 tracks and a unique sequence carefully selected by Duff and Shooter.
Omoiyari is Kishi Bashi's fourth album, following the acclaimed 151a (2012), Lighght (2014), and Sonderlust (2016). Channeling the hard-learned lessons of history, Omoiyari reflects the turbulent socio-political atmosphere of present day America. "I was shocked when I saw white supremacy really starting to show it's teeth again in America," Kishi Bashi says. "My parents are immigrants, they came to the United States from Japan post-World War II. As a minority I felt very insecure for the first time in my adult life in this country. I think that was the real trigger for this project." Kishi Bashi recognized parallels between the current U.S. adminis- tration's constant talk of walls and bans, and the xenophobic anxieties that led to the forced internment of Japanese-Americans in the months following the attack on Pearl Harbor. So he immersed himself in that period, visiting former prison sites and listening to the stories of survivors, while developing musical concepts along the way. The unique creative process behind Omoiyari has been documented in a film scheduled for release in early 2020. "I didn't want this project to be about history, but rather the importance of history, and the lessons we can learn," Kishi Bashi reflects. "I gravitated toward themes of empathy, compassion, and understanding as a way to overcome fear and intolerance. But I had trouble finding an English title for the piece. Omoiyari is a Japanese word. It doesn't necessarily translate as empathy, but it refers to the idea of creating compassion towards other people by thinking about them. I think the idea of omoiyari is the single biggest thing that can help us overcome aggression and conflict." The strong conceptual elements of Omoiyari are driven by Kishi Bashi's captivating musical score. Stepping away from his past loop-based production model, he embraced a more collaborative approach when recording, and for the first time included contributions from other musicians, such as Mike Savino (aka Tall Tall Trees) on banjo and bass, and Nick Ogawa (aka Takenobu) on cello. Kishi Bashi's spectacular trademark violin soundscapes are still an essential component of his sound, but the focus of Omoiyari is centered squarely on it's songs. While the theme of Omoiyari is rooted in 1940s America, the album's message is timeless. In exploring the emotional lives of the innocent Japanese-Americans who were unjustly incarcerated, Kishi Bashi hopes to nurture a sense of empathy, or omoiyari, in all who hear the album.
The Traveler, an album of experience and profound resonance by the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band. Recorded in Los Angeles, while the band was on a break from their uncompromising tour schedule that left them road-tested and ready to rock, The Traveler showcases some world-class musicians: vocalist Noah Hunt, drummer Chris “Whipper” Layton (formerly of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double Trouble), bassist Kevin McCormick, and keyboardists Jimmy McGorman and Joe Krown. The album features ten songs including eight new originals co-written by KWS and some of Nashville’s most in-demand songwriters, plus incendiary covers of Buffalo Springfield’s “Mr. Soul” and Joe Walsh’s “Turn to Stone.”
After years of struggling with drug and alcohol abuse, the then 62 year old homeless Nashville street musician Doug Seegers’ life changed overnight. A hit song catapulted him to superstar status in Sweden and since then he's played hundreds of sold out shows. And in the spring of 2018, Doug Seegers recorded his first international album in Los Angeles with master producer Joe Henry - the result is the much anticipated emotional eleven-songs album "A Story I Got to Tell” which is to be released on May 31st 2019.
In a career that spans over four decades, garage rock superheroes The Fleshtones truly have done it all. Theyre one of the final remaining original CBGB bands, theyve played on Andy Warhols short-lived MTV show while Sir Ian McKellen read Shakespeare over their jamming, and were the last band to publicly perform at the World Trade Centers Windows on the World. However, whats most incredible about The Fleshtones is that theyre putting out some of their best music yet forty years into their career, as evidenced by their brand new limited edition 45 single Layin Pipe b/w Lady Nightshade. Layin Pipe is a cover of the great Canadian blues rocker David Wilcox, but the track gets a garage rock facelift from The Fleshtones, complete with howls from Keith Streng and a leading vocal performance by The Count Peter Zaremba. Lady Nightshade is a rollicking original by The Fleshtones, featuring some haunting guitars licks and various spellbinding chants throughout the chorus.