This week’s column presents the second section of my 2016 favorite releases so far this year.
1. ‘Del and Woody,’ The Del McCoury Band (McCoury Music)
This April 15, release features one of the great voices of bluegrass writing songs to go with previously undiscovered Woody Guthrie lyrics. Some songs are funny and some are serious but nearly all are good.
2. ‘Good Days A’ Comin’,’ Ivas John (Right Side Up Records)
This June 3 CD features songs that are mostly too mellow for me, but fans of singer-songwriter acoustic music will love it.
3. Concept Album Section
A. ‘Trilogy,’ Ana Popovic (ArtisteXclusive Records)
This triple-CD was released in May and each CD represents a different time of day with accompanying music.
B. ‘Scofflaw,’ Clint Morgan (Lost Cause Records)
This June 17 CD (probably available in other formats) is pianist-singer Clint Morgan’s second release. The songs about folks on the wrong side of the law reveal Morgan’s level of understanding.
C. ‘Profit,’ The Jelly Jam (Music Theories/Mascot Label Group)
This May 27, CD is the fourth album from a collaboration of progressive-music superstars: guitarist-vocalist Ty Tabor (King’s X), drummer Rod Morgenstein (Winger) and John Myung (Dream Theater). The concept is that the world’s leaders care more about money than humanity.
4. ‘Flux,’ Rich Robinson (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
This June 24 CD is the new album from the former Black Crowe. It was introduced by Robinson’s raft of reissues earlier in the year.“The Woodstock Sessions” is better than this one.
5. ‘Center Of The Maze,’ Comet Control (Tee Pee Records)
This June 24 CD is the Toronto band’s sophomore release, which contains a wall of guitar and keyboard sounds adding up to good power-pop.
6. ‘Red Clay Soul,’ Tinsley Ellis (Heartfixer Music)
This June 3 CD is likely available in other formats and comes from an “old hippie” whose soul is filled with red clay as well as Stax soul, blues and other forms of roots music.
7. ‘Loud Hailer,’ Jeff Beck (Atco Records)
This July 15 CD is the master guitarist’s first new studio album in six years. Here he has young collaborators and it’s far from fusion.
8. ‘White Bear,’ The Temperance Movement (Fantasy Records)
This CD is the second album for the UK-based band (vocalist Phil Campbell, bassist Nick Fyffe, guitarists Paul Sayer and Matt White and drummer Damon Wilson). Cool music!
9. ‘Stake My Claim,’ Big Eyes (Don Giovanni Records)
This Aug. 19, recording originates from singer and guitarist Kait Eldridge and her band. The album exhibits Eldridge’s concise power-pop and punk songwriting and guitar abilities.
Ricky Flake, a music fan and a former punk rocker, lives in Biloxi. Reach him at email@example.com