During this hot, humid part of the year, I’m doing my best to stay cool. Camping out with the air conditioning and some new music is part of the formula, so read on and perhaps find something to enjoy.
‘White Bear,’ The Temperance Movement (Fantasy Records, ☆☆☆☆1/2)
This CD, likely available in both vinyl/digital formats, is the second album for the UK-based band (vocalist Phil Campbell, bassist Nick Fyffe, guitarists Paul Sayer & Matt White and drummer Damon Wilson).
The album’s stunning cover image of a girl and a bear overlapping with photographic/magical realism is thanks to celebrated rock ’n’ roll photographer Steven Sebring. The music is hard to describe: dynamic, hard-rocking, vocally-and-guitar layered with a supremely tight band sound.
My favorite songs include “Three Bullets,” the hard-hitting “Get Yourself Free,” the tempo-shifting “A Pleasant Peace I Feel” and the indescribable title song. There are too many others to list.
This album will be a treat for broad-minded listeners.
‘Nicollet And Tenth,’ Davina and The Vagabonds (Independent Release, ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ )
‘Alive In Amsterdam,’ Walter Trout (Provogue Records, ☆☆☆☆)
These two recently released live CDs also are likely available in multiple formats. The live release from Davina (Sowers), who sings while playing either piano or ukulele and The Vagabonds (Daniel Eikmeier: trumpet/vocals, Ben Link: trombone/vocals, Connor Hammergren: drums/vocals and Greg Byers: upright bass) was recorded at The Dakota Jazz Club. There are 18 songs, seven of which are Davina originals. There are elements of Marcia Ball, Fats Domino and Squirrel Nut Zippers, among others.
My favorite tunes are covers such as the short opener “Knock Me A Kiss” and “His Eye Is On The Sparrow,” along with originals like “Red Shoes,” “Start Runnin’” and “Pocket.”
Fans of vintage New Orleans-flavored music will dig this one.
Walter Trout’s “Battle Scars,” which told the story of him needing and finally receiving a liver transplant, was one of the best blues albums of 2015. This two-CD live album is his newest, and features highlights from “Scars.*”
My CD-1 favorites include “Help Me,*” “I’m Back,” Walter’s B.B. King tribute “Say Goodbye to the Blues,” “Omaha,*” “Tomorrow Seems So Far Away*” and “Haunted By The Night.*”
My CD-2 favorites are “Fly Away*” and “Please Take Me Home,*” but some fans might enjoy other tunes containing longer solos. Blues/blues-rock fans will enjoy this recording.
Ricky Flake, a former punk rocker and current music fan, lives in Biloxi. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org