Jazz singer and composer Meklit Hadero, known by the mononym Meklit, has long been bringing her Ethiopian heritage to the forefront of the jazz she sings. Now, on upcoming album When the People Move, the Music Moves Too, exclusively streaming on PopMatters one week before its June 23 release, the blend is more seamless than ever with deeply personal compositions and appearances by Andrew Bird, the Preservation Hall Horns, and a literal star.
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Los Angeles’ the Dustbowl Revival has been around for ten years delighting audiences with their upbeat American roots music, and now the group has a new album on tap that sees them expanding their sound into new areas. Previous recordings have seen the ensemble explore New Orleans jazz and old-time folk, but their latest self-titled album releasing June 16th on Signature Sounds sees the Dustbowl Revival adding a serious dose of soul and funk to their wide-ranging music. Bright Stax-style horns now punctuate the songs’ rhythms and add an element that’s likely to bring show audiences to their feet.
Now, this is Americana! The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers use gospel music as a foundation for their sound with blues, country, soul, folk, and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll woven in for good measure. Everything the band does is based on American roots musical forms, and the mixture is astounding. On their latest single, “No Glory”, they start from a spare and bluesy place with a solo vocalist and eventually reach a crescendo of joyous, thrilling gospel rock with a full-fledged choir and exciting guitar riffs.
San Francisco is known as a breeding ground for colorful musical collaborations, so it’s no surprise that newcomer Mare Island hails from the Bay Area. Formed by members of the Velvet Teen and Loma Prieta, the musicians have played together (in various forms) for many years, so it was a no-brainer for guitarists Derrick Chao and Sean Leary to start the band in 2015. Fast-forward two years and they’re releasing their eponymous debut EP on June 23rd, with the lead track, “Alight”, showcasing how their previous “indie pop and post-hardcore” sound helped to create their own brand of lush, maximalist indie rock”. It’s a beautifully anthemic piece that’s sure to invigorate.
Cello-playing Americana maestro Ben Sollee has been making waves for years as a musician that seeks to transcend genre boundaries. Ten years ago, he recorded a spare, cello and vocals take on the soul classic “A Change Is Gonna Come” that was a stunningly fresh look at the powerful song from the ‘60s civil rights era recorded first by Sam Cooke and later by Otis Redding and many others. Sollee’s use of quiet spaces within the song helped heighten the dramatic importance of the song’s message.
// Notes from the Road
"The Joshua Tree tour highlights U2's classic album with an epic and unforgettable new experience.READ the article