This week, Mount Moriah stretches out the increasingly loose definition of  “Americana,” the Waco Bros. keep it gritty. Shooter Jennings goes disco (that is not a joke), we get some tasty Gene-jazz-and classical from Ralph Alessi and Tord Gustavsen, and Willie Nelson spends summertime with Mr. Gershwin. Read on….



Mount Moriah’s latest is an odd and beautiful puzzle of an album. The trio of Mount Moriah—Heather McEntire (vocals), Jenks Miller (lead guitar and keyboards), and Casey Toll (bass guitar and keys) previously released two sparse, beautiful records that saw them carving their own niche into along the well-trodden path of contemporary Americana, on How to Dance McEntire normally front-and-center voice steps back into the instrumental mix, resulting in a more cohesive sound that allows the band to take on both ragged rockers and delicate waltzes with confidence.

VARIOUS ARTISTS, God Don’t Never Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson
Bluesman Blind Willie Johnson is easy to mythologize. His mother died young. His stepmother blinded him. He was desperately poor and sang in the street. His house burned down and he had no choice but to live in the ruins, and he died there. He didn’t even make it to 50. But as a singer and guitarist. Johnson did incredible things; he created works of monumental beauty. His songbook is meant to glorify God. And the performers on this phenomenal tribute album glorify Blind Willie. Lucinda Williams, Tom Waits, Luther Dickinson, and Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi are just a few of the stars who pay homage.

WACO BROTHERS, Going Down In History (CD/LP)
another blast of fury from this mighty Bloodshot Records unit, a muscular throb that calls to mind a merging of the old and new worlds. The Bros recapture the thrill and vibrancy of the heartland rock from a time when the Rainmakers and The Blasters and the Del Fuegos roamed the highways and byways of America.

This explosive Alligator Records debut might just mean that Toronzo Cannon could give up his day job as a bus driver for the Chicago Transit Authority. Over the last fifteen years or so, Cannon has been one of the hardest workers on the Chicago blues club circuit, but his amazing set at last year’s Chicago Blues Festival set earned some serious acclaim. From here on out, he will be in the spotlight for a good long time.

Tord Gustavsen, the lyrical and scholarly Oslo-born pianist, got big with a blend of pensive improv and Norwegian hymns, and after a brief flirtation with straight-ahead jazz, he’s returned to simple songs with religious roots, and to collaboration with a remarkable singer, Simin Tander. Beyond that, Gustavsen Jarle Vespestad’s fragile percussion is the only other sound.

TRAFFIC QUINTET, Plays Alexandre Desplat (CD)
13 of Desplat’s scores, including The Kings Speech and The Girl With A Pearl Earring are re-imagined for a piano quintet (featuring Mrs. Desplat, Dominique Lemonnier, on violin), with occasional interventions from the composer himself, on flute, glockenspiel and celesta. Needless to say, Gene is currently on the floor making music-geek noises about this one.

WILLIE NELSON, Summertime: Sings Gershwin (CD/LP)
The 82-year-old master takes Gershwin standards into Western swing territory, featuring smooth work by David Piltch on upright bass and Paul Franklin on pedal steel.

Bonnie’s 20th album is more concerned with groove than ballads, and her voice remains largely unchanged save for a touch more gravel, which ends up benefitting the roadhouse rumble of most of the tracks.

Ready for a curveball? Outlaw country rocker Shooter Jennings’ forthcoming release, Countach (For Giorgio), could very well be the strangest country album of the year. Jennings worked alongside Marilyn Manson AND Brandi Carlile to create his ode to the Italian disco legend Giorgio Moroder, best known for his work with Donna Summer. Wha???

1975, I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful (CD/LP out 3/11)
In the three years since their debut was released, Healy and the rest of The 1975 have perfected their brand of ecstatic, precise pop music. They’ve also become interested in D’Angelo-lite gospel epics, reverent takes on turn-of-the-decade chillwave, a smothering bit of shoegaze, and multiple lengthy ambient interludes.

Quiver finds trumpeter Ralph Alessi and his quartet in a lyrical, reflective mood. The group includes most of the players from Alessi’s acclaimed ECM leader debut Baida (2013); Drew Gress (double-bass) and Nasheet Waits (drums), with Gary Versace taking the piano chair.

ANTHRAX, For All Kings (CD/LP)

PETER FRAMPTON, Acoustic Classics (CD)

MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS, This Unruly Mess I’ve Made (CD)


VOIVOD, Post-Society (CD)

ALCD 4968

Additional Tasty Re-issues & Re-Stocks

The original multi-platinum, boundary-breaking album plus a documentary about the making of said album directed by Spike Lee.

Llama Blues (CD/LP)
Paper (CD/LP)
In the early 2000’s, during one of the Black Crowes numerous acrimony-laden hiatuses, guitarist Rich Robinson started up a solo career based very much on the raw riff-rock and swampy grooves of his day job. These two long out-of-print releases are perfect if you’re itching for some straightahead rock, Crowes-style.

VARIOUS ARTISTS, Rough Guide To Bottleneck Blues (CD)
Serving as a solid primer in Bottleneck 101, the CD boasts 22 varied tracks, each resonating in its own special way. The masters on display include Blind Willie Johnson, Kokomo Arnold, Allen Shaw and Muddy Waters.




KENNY BARRON, Book Of Intuition (3/4)

RAY LAMONTAGNE, Ourboros (3/4)

LORETTA LYNN, Full Circle (3/4)

VIOLENT FEMMES, We Can Do Anything (3/4)

BS233_cover_0 Raitt-dig-in-deep Summertime-Willie-Nelson-Sings-Gershwin-album-cover-art-500x500


And don’t forget these still-new platters that matter!

The frontman for North Mississippi All-Stars pays tribute to his larger-than-life father, Jim, who walked tall in the blues, rock and soul worlds from the 1960’s til 2009. Mr. Jim worked with everyone from Aretha to the Stones to the Replacements as a producer and a musician, and he left quite a legacy behind. But rather than deal in morbidity, Luther celebrates his father’s art and life with a low-key, laid-back, gritty Memphis-soul style session that would do his Pop proud. And he even brings Mavis Staples, Amy LaVere, JJ Grey, and Mr. Jason Isbell along for the ride.

LUCINDA WILLIAMS, Ghosts Of Highway 20 (CD/LP)
Miss Lucinda claws her way back into your heart with a collection of covers and originals, all as a reflection on the passing of her father, the poet Miller Williams. Using that same scarred, sensual drawl that she’s snared us with since 1978, Lucinda slings ragged alt-country, A-list jazz players (Bill Frisell and Greg Leisz) and literary lyrics, Williams loses herself in another masterpiece.

SNARKY PUPPY, Family Dinner Vol. 2 (CD/DVD)
Snarky Puppy, the jumbo-size brainchild of bassist-composer Michael League, is one of the more versatile groups on the planet right now. On its own, the Grammy-winning orchestra plays a virtuosic, high-energy blend of jazz, funk, hip-hop and more. But the group is also an expert backing band, as demonstrated on its Family Dinner albums, guest-studded affairs that raise money for worthy causes. This new version features David Crosby, Charlie Hunter, Salief Keita and many more.

MALCOLM HOLCOMBE, Another Black Hole (CD)
Boasting a croak of a voice that makes Tom Waits sound like James Taylor, blues-folkie Malcolm Holcombe  ain’t cut out for tender love songs as this set of dark, gritty songs about those that are down and mostly out proves. With production, engineering, mixing and mastering from Ray Kennedy (Steve Earle, Billy Joe Shaver) and a backing band consisting of veterans like Tony Joe White and drummer Ken Coomer (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo), Holcombe spins 10 tales that mix country, bluegrass, blues and folk in a musky, dusky yet surprisingly melodic concoction.

MAVIS STAPLES, Living On A High Note (CD/LP)
Mavis Staples has created some of the most joyous music ever, and her latest solo effort, is just as exuberant and celebratory as they come. Featuring production by M. Ward and boasting songwriting credits from Nick Cave, Neko Case, Justin Vernon and others, the tempos percolate and pop, with flashes of horns and bold basslines supplied by members of her longtime backing band.

PETER ERSKINE, Interlochen Concert (CD)
Brilliantly versatile jazz drummer Peter Erskine returned to his alma mater, the Interlochen Arts Academy, in April of 2009 with bassist Darek Oles and pianist Alan Pasqua for a dynamic show that features an intriguing mix of straight jazz, sophisticated balladry and standards. The interplay between these three giants is stunning, and the original compositions by Erskine and Pasqua stand tall alongside works by Dizzy Gillespie, Jaki Byard and more.

MATMOS, Ultimate Care II (CD/LP)
What? It’s just a new album by the experimental electronic music duo Matmos that’s a 38-minute ode to their washing machine. Yep: Every sound on the single-track album is produced, in some way, by the machine­­, whether from a wash cycle or by the duo hitting, scraping, or manipulating it themselves. The result is an album full of hypnotic rhythms and bubbling textures, driving metallic tribal beats, tinkling marimba-­like tones, sweeping synth swells, and delightfully organic howls and squeals.

RA RA RIOT, Need Your Light (CD/LP)
Kind of a step outside the comfortable for this baroque pop group on their 4th album. None of the songs on the Syracuse indie-rock five-piece’s last album, 2013’s Beta Love, cracked four minutes; the ones on Need Your Light stretch longer and build a grandiose momentum that delves into electronic territory last time around, leaning heavily on synth riffs and hooky grooves.

RANGDA, The Heretic’s Bargain (CD/LP)
A supergroup comprising fellow Drag City Records signees Ben Chasny, Sir Richard Bishop and Cris Corsano, Rangda specialize in long, instrumental guitar and percussions jams, creating a fascinatingly dark mix of prog, psychedelia and world-folk.

VARIOUS ARTISTS, Soul Jazz records presents New York Noise III (CD/2xLP)
The latest installment in Soul Jazz Records’ journey into the underground music of New York City in the 1980s, this time focusing on the electronic dance/post-punk mutations and proto-electro music that originally came out on mainly small DIY labels. Featuring contributions from Implog, Suicide, Snatch, James Blood Ulmer, Dominatrix & more.

  • Brad Mehldau Double Hitter Out Now Via Nonesuch!
                  Grammy Award winning jazz pianist, composer, and arranger, Brad Mehldau, has two new albums, After Bach II and Après Fauré, out on Nonesuch Records! […]
  • Kamasi Washington Turns to Dance on Fearless Movement, Out Now!
    Following 2015’s (aptly titled) The Epic and 2018’s Heaven and Earth, the Los Angeles saxophonist, composer, and band leader juggernaut’s Fearless Movement is “a celebration of music, dance, and the ever changing maze of the mind that makes us who we are”. […]
  • TECHNICS SL-D202 turntable
    The semi-auto SL-D202 was introduced in 1981 as the replacement of the D2 model. They continued the tradition of employing a high quality direct drive motor and great sounding tone arm. The cue control was moved to the outside of the table for easier access. This turntable has been professionally […]
  • TECHNICS SLD2 TURNTABLE w/ custom paint job
    The semi-auto SL-D2 is the workhorse of the Technics family. Time has proven this model extremely reliable due to its high-quality direct drive motor and tone arm. This unit features a unique (and very handsome) custom paint job and has been professionally inspected, refurbished, lubricated and has […]
  • Yamaha 5-disc Carousel CD Player
    Tons of programming options and 18bit digital conversion (w/ 8 X oversampling)! Heavy duty unit and professionally inspected and refurbished!     […]
  • Thorens MM 008 Pre-amplifier
    Audiophile grade phono pre-amplifier, extremely clean sound and as reliable and well-constructed as they get! High versatility and ease of use: the MM 008 phono preamplifier can be adjusted to match the tonal characteristics of your pick-up cartridge, ranging from an MM setting to three different […]
  • Technics SLDD2 Turntable
    Technics direct drive quality at an affordable price! The great thing about Technics is they made quality affordable tables that were never “cheap”. This semi-auto SL-DD2 is one of the easiest turntables to operate. Simply move the tone arm over to start the record! This turntable has been […]
  • Technics SLD20 Turntable
    The semi-auto SL-D20 was the most popular of the p-mount turntables. They are ultra-reliable and feature a high-quality direct drive motor. This table has been thoroughly tested and is operating at 100%! Has been fitted with a like new audio technical stylus, Plug and play!       […]
  • Onkyo TX SR 876 Receiver
    Modern AV receiver with plenty of inputs and outputs and turntable READY with on-board phono pre-amplifier! Robust power for surround or otherwise at 140 watts PER CHANNEL! 140 watts x 7 into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.05% THD. THX® Ultra2 Plus certification new THX listening modes for optimized […]
  • Haffler XL 280 Power Amplifier
    Legendary dedicated power amplifier, pure audiophile grade sound (No gain or tone control needed!), and near non-existent self noise! This is one of the very best amplifiers that Hafler made. It offers 145 watts per channel into 8 ohms, and is stable down to 1 ohm, offering 325 watts for short […]
  • Audio Research LS1 Line Stage Amplifier
    No tone adjustment needed, pure sound for the sound purist! The Audio Research LS1 Line Stage Amplifier is designed to accommodate music lovers who exclusively use line-level input sources — digital or analog — for the reproduction and enjoyment of music in their home audio systems. In technology, […]
    The BDP-S580 has built-in Wi-Fi and the best current lineup of streaming-media services, including Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, Vudu, Slacker, and CinemaNow! […]
    The Technics SL-D30 is a fantastic direct drive turntable featuring the same sound specifications as the SL-D3 model (Which is usually considerably higher in price) […]
    This unit has been completely refurbished including lubrication and calibration! Includes vintage Audio Technica cartridge with OEM stylus! […]
    The Technics SL-D3 is the FULLY AUTOMATIC version of the SL-D2 which is regarded as the workhorse of the Technics family. […]
    The Technics SL-D2 has been considered the workhorse of the Technics line of turntables for decades. […]
    The Technics SL-D1 turntable is a FULL MANUAL version of the legendary SL-D2, this model has been regarded as a “tank” and “indestructible” among hi-fi enthusiasts for decades. […]
    The Sansui S2000 speakers have been highly regarded in the hi-fi community for decades and for good reason! […]
    Very nice Blu-Ray player, with remote! Enjoy 3D Blu-ray Disc movies in Full HD 1080p--also supports standard Blu-ray Disc movies in HD and upscales DVDs to near HD quality. […]
  • RCA 45-EY-2 45rpm TURNTABLE
    The RCA 45-EY-2 is an AC operated 3 tube automatic phonograph with mono amplifier and speaker.  The turntable is a 45 RPM, model RP-190-1, which holds up to twelve 7 inch fine groove records. Uses crystal pickup with medium output voltage. Also uses Qty(1) PM Elliptical 4″ x 6″ speaker. […]
    The BX-300 incorporates a wealth of original Nakamichi technology such as the Discrete Three Head system, a Direct Drive Asymmetrical, Diffused Resonance Dual Capstan Transport etc. […]
    This NAD 7020E is an absolutely rock solid receiver, 2x20watts and AM/FM receiver is perfect for bookshelf and medium sized speakers. To those familiar with the NAD 3020E Stereo Amp, this unit employs much of the same technology!       […]