Lonesome Shack may be from the Pacific Northwest, but they sound like a great swamp blues band from the Southern regions of the US. The grooves are relaxed as are the vocals, suggesting the soundtrack to a lazy, hot summer day with just a little angst in the air, lingering a little beyond reach. It’s a great sound that, in places, recalls some of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s more stripped down, rootsy recordings.
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With the pensive tone of his acoustic strum and forlorn voice, Sad Brad Smith lives up to the modifier of his name. But there’s just a touch of ringing melody to sweeten his twangy folk sound on his new track, “On the Beach,” which premieres on PopMatters. “On the Beach” appears on Sad Brad Smith’s upcoming album Magic, which comes out 20 May.
Of the Everymen’s 2012 album New Jersey Hardcore, PopMatters Associate Music Editor Matthew Fiander wrote, “This is as populist as a rock party gets, and yet despite the common tropes the band visits (and revisits), the emotions still feel specific and dig almost as deep as the hooks do.” That assessment rings true about the Everymen’s new album Givin’ Up on Free Jazz and then some: Expanding from a core pairing of Mike Venutolo-Mantovani and Catherine Herrick to a full-on nine-piece act, this latest effort runs the gamut of retro-y rock styles, with a good humored camaraderie that they’re enjoying what they do holding it all together.
Venutolo-Mantovani shared some thoughts on the album via email in advance of the release of Givin’ Up on Free Jazz, which premieres on PopMatters. The new album comes out on 20 May, via Ernest Jenning Record Co.
Maryam Qudus grew up in a Muslim household, the daughter of Afghani ex-patriots, with early musical gifts that led her onto the Berklee College of Music in 2011. She has been making music constantly since that time, writing all of her material and mastering many instruments, while perfecting her enigmatic voice.