GLIDESONG PREMIERE: AGS CONNOLLY ACHIEVES HONKY TONK GREATNESS WITH “WRONG AGAIN (YOU LOSE A LIFE)”
Wrong Again is Ags Connolly’s third studio album, following on from his highly-acclaimed offerings How About Now (2014) and Nothin’ Unexpected (2017). The traditional country singer-songwriter from Oxfordshire, England, took the reins on this latest effort, producing the album with a team of London-based musicians in the peaceful and intimate surroundings of Woodworm Studios in his home county. Ags also enlisted the expert help of accordionist Michael Guerra (The Mavericks) and fiddle player Eamon McLoughlin (Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell), both of whom had graced his previous album. The album is out November 1st via Finstock Music.
Today Glide is excited to premiere the title track of the album. “Wrong Again (You Lose a Life)” is hard country in the best sense, with a twangy honky tonk sound that is brought to life by fiddle and pedal steel guitar. Connolly’s voice is smooth as can be, seemingly made to sing country tunes, and it’s easy to forget that he isn’t from Texas or Tennessee with his natural honky tonk croon. He also uses the kind of clever lyrical wordplay of legendary acts like George Jones, Webb Pierce, and Ray Price, solidifying himself as someone who can talk the talk and walk the walk. In an age where acts like Tyler Childers, Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price, and Colter Wall have been building huge fanbases for playing real deal country music, Ags Connolly is a must listen as he deserves to be right up there with all of these acts.
Connolly describes the inspiration behind the song:
“This is one of those songs that began with a phrase in my head, like a lot of my songs do. Another relationship that hadn’t worked out, another thing I seemed to have made a mess of. The ‘lose a life’ part can be construed more than one way – the loss of one potential future or the wasting of one more opportunity in what is likely a limited number. These subjects fit pretty snugly in a honky tonk song.”
GospelbeacH Takes It Back to Laurel Canyon With ‘Dark Angel’: Premiere
by Gary Graff
Brent Rademaker wanted to “make some rock n’ roll” with Let It Burn, the third album from his band GospelbeacH — whose “Dark Angel” is premiering exclusively below. But there was also a certain kind of rock n’ roll Rademaker wanted to create, whose philosophy dovetailed with the lush, Laurel Canyon-inspired vibe of the 11-track album.
“I really wanted to do what my heroes do,” Rademaker, also a co-founder of Beachwood Sparks and Further, tells Billboard. “I wanted to marry what was happening in my life in the last year with the craft of songwriting. When you talk about (Tom) Petty and Jackson Browne and Joni (Mitchell) and (David Crosby) — I’m not comparing myself to them at all, but they wanted to make rock n’ roll records that reflected their life and also make some nice little songs and make it sound as good as you can without overdubbing the shit out of it.” In Rademaker’s case that meant dealing with the death of his father and the end of his marriage, as well as external concerns such as the California wildfires and the 2018 shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
“I definitely wanted to do that cathartic thing, where you write song about what’s going on with your life, even if it’s kind of gnarly, and make it listenable,” says Rademaker, who wrote Let It Burn’s songs with drummer Trevor Beld Jimenez, quickly adding that “none of it’s hurtful to anybody at all, but it’s super real.”
“Dark Angel,” the album’s muscular but melodic first single, “says everything about what’s going on with me,” according to Rademaker. “It’s not so much about a person as it is a dark feeling,” he explains. “And it’s more about letting all those things go, getting rid of the dark feelings and those negative emotions. In the past I’ve been notorious for handling bad news really shitty. So when I was writing for this (album) and some truly bad things happened — my father dying, the lady I loved leaving me — I said, ‘I’m gonna handle this the right way,’ and I was really proud of myself. I kept it really mellow. I had some anger and some hurt, but I didn’t want to put that on tape in the same way I might have before.” CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
GospelbeacH Deliver a Powerful Ballad With Extended Guitar Solo Via “Bad Habits” (premiere)
BY JEDD BEAUDOIN
[photo: Sally Peterson]
GospelbeacH offer a taste of their powerful upcoming LP, Let It Burn, via “Bad Habits”. Informed by the past but unburdened by it, GospelbeacH is a glimpse of American music’s future.
GospelbeacH return with Let It Burn, the Los Angeles band’s third proper studio album and the follow-up to the 2017 LP, Another Summer of Love. The new set is available 4 October via Alive Naturalsound Records.
Featuring Neal Casal (Chris Robinson Brotherhood), the collective’s slow-burning ballad “Bad Habits” captures the spirit of the Grateful Dead in the nakedness of 1970 (Workingman’s Dead, American Beauty) and the Band at their best without being burdened by an adherence to a specific era. Straightforward and soul-searing, the tune is a harbinger of the full album’s truth-seeking and deep honesty. Like their Northern California brethren, the Mother Hips, GospelbeacH never try too hard but always hit the mark.
The outfit’s Brent Rademaker says, “Essentially Trevor [Beld Jiminez] and I wrote this song about learning from your mistakes. Then we went and recorded it as an unfashionable ballad complete with a near three-minute guitar solo. I guess I’m still learning!”
GLIDE SONG PREMIERE: JERRY LEGER FINDS HOPE IN THE SONG WITH ROAD-WEARY COUNTRY ROCKER “CANVAS OF GOLD”
Jerry Leger has a thing for ghosts. The Toronto singer/songwriter confirmed it a couple of years ago when he went on a personal journey to explore many of Ontario’s largely unknown ghost towns, having been inspired by the writings of historian Ron Brown. Leger has immortalized one of those towns, Burchell Lake, on his new album Time Out For Tomorrow (out November 8th via Latent Recordings), containing 10 portraits of the impermanence of life, love, or simply catching a glimpse of a shooting star.
Yet, other ghosts reside much deeper in Leger’s songs. Whether they’re the voices of Roy Orbison, Lou Reed, Gene Clark, Rick Danko or Ronnie Lane, they naturally complement the universal truths at the core of Jerry Leger’s music, along with his undying faith in rock ‘n roll as a way for all people to find common ground.
Time Out For Tomorrow continues Leger’s run of consistently high output and displays the finely honed artistic vision that has been evident since 2005 when, at age 19, he released the first of nine studio albums, along with three more with his side projects The Del-Fi’s and The Bop-Fi’s. It’s added up to a body of work that was recently celebrated with the European-only compilation Too Broke To Die, aimed at Leger’s growing fan base in Britain and the EU.
Most of those listeners didn’t discover Leger until his 2014 album Early Riser, his first with Michael Timmins of Cowboy Junkies handling production duties, as well as the first to be released on the Junkies’ label, Latent Recordings. The combination of Timmins’ capture-the-moment production aesthetic and the Rolling Thunder-esque chemistry of Leger’s longtime band The Situation (plus a few special guests) now appears unbeatable. And although Time Out For Tomorrow may not be as expansive as Leger’s previous Timmins-produced effort, the acclaimed 2017 double album Nonsense And Heartache, its more concentrated dose of everything Leger does best is just as potent.
In keeping with his love of all things vintage, Leger is a voracious vinyl collector and notes that when recording Time Out For Tomorrow, the two albums he was listening to most often were Lou Reed’s Coney Island Baby, and Nick Lowe’s The Impossible Bird. He says their influence had more to do with the overall sound he wanted to project rather than any specific musical or lyrical content.
Canada may be known more these days for punching above its weight in the global pop music field, but its long and storied tradition of singer/songwriters refuses to die. Jerry Leger is carrying that torch, and if there’s any further proof needed that he’s at the vanguard, just listen to Time Out For Tomorrow.
Today Glide is excited to premiere “Canvas of Gold”, one of the standout tracks on the new album. Awash in slide guitar and organ, Leger’s naturally soulful and folk vocals fit perfectly over the track’s shimmering optimism. That isn’t to say the lyrics are hopeful, but the best artists are able to turn the darkness of life into a unifying piece of music. With “Canvas of Gold”, we get the kind of sentimental and rootsy blues-meets-country soul that is reminiscent of the more faster tunes of Magnolia Electric Co. while also bringing to mind a 70s country rock sound.
Jerry Leger describes the inspiration behind the song:
“It’s a road worn hustlin’ song. I come from family where commitment and hard work has always been valued over how much money you had. It’s what you do with it when you have it but the rich get richer and the poets die in the gutter. I’m trying to find optimism in the song though. Hank Williams once said something like a song ain’t nothing in the world but a story with music set to it. I kinda think of songs starting with a fresh canvas and what little dabs of words on paper and notes you play create the story you wanna tell. You never know where they’ll go and where they’ll take you.”
Jerry Leger’s new album Time Out for Tomorrow will be available on vinyl, CD, digital and streaming formats on November 8th via Latent Recordings.
mxdwn PREMIERE: Ikebe Shakedown Celebrate 10 Years as a Band with Soulful New Song “Horses”
Matt Matasci JULY 18TH
With a mix of dramatic horns and cinematic guitar work, Ikebe Shakedown’s latest song “Horses” will transport you to another world for three and a half minutes. Today, we’re premiering the song, which is taken from the band’s latest album, Kings Left Behind. The album is a celebration of the band’s 10 years in existence and is out on Colemine Records on August 16th.
The instrumental song starts out with a simple guitar riff, recalling a vintage soul sound mixed with just a little spaghetti western influence, all the while a chilling wind is blowing in the background. Once the song starts in earnest, the drums, bass and horns enter the mix to give the song a dramatic, slightly mournful, yet still-celebratory sound.
“‘Horses’ started as a little riff Robin was playing during the first sessions for The Way Home, way back in 2014,” said Dave Bourla. “I found the recording and sent it to Robin on his birthday a year later. Eventually, after some writing with the rest of guys and an epic over-the-phone session, the band ended up with a really different type of song for us. In many ways, it’s our most complete effort to tell a full story, from its production to its instrumentation. Having just the guitar at the start and then adding the whole band gradually, all bookended by the wind – hopefully people can let it wash over them and stir something deep in their imaginations.”
The new album features every member of the band collaborating on the songwriting process together. The band’s current lineup includes Barnaby Alter on drums, Bourla on percussion, Mike Buckley on tenor/bari sax, Vince Chiarito on bass, Jason Colby on trumpet, Nadav Nirenberg on trombone and Robin Schmidt on guitar.
TVD is proud to premiere the new single from Chicago based rock and soul musician Neal Francis. The song, “This Time,” appears on Francis’ upcoming full-length album, Changes, which arrives in stores on September 20th on Karma Chief Records, a subsidiary of rising soul label Colemine Records.
Francis is a piano player steeped in the history and music of New Orleans. His work has been compared to that of Allen Toussaint and Leon Russell with a healthy dose of Dr. John and other artists from the funk and soul scene back in the day.
A piano prodigy, Francis, who was born Neal Francis O’Hara, broke out as an eighteen-year-old touring Europe with Muddy Waters’ son and backing up other prominent blues artists. In 2012, Francis joined popular instrumental funk band, The Heard. Before long, with Francis calling the shots, The Heard became a national act, touring with Meters’ progeny, the New Mastersounds and New Orleans’ own the Revivalists with appearances at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and other major festivals.
Then things went down hill. Francis fell into addiction. His new music as a solo artist reflects the changes that occur with his hard-won sobriety. “I just wanted to be honest about everything, from my musical influences to my story,” muses Francis.
He continues, “I wrote ‘This Time’ as kind of a bargain with the spirit of the universe or whatever you want to call it. I had been messing up most of my adult life and wanted to turn things around for good. We really went for the Allen Toussaint vibe on this tune; I tried to think of how he would write it. He’s an all time hero of mine.”
Traditional soul music has come a long way since its start in the 1950s and 60s yet there is something about its revival over the course of the last 20 years that is pulling heartstrings and reaching into us at a much deeper level. This comeback is not merely nostalgic, it is somehow finding a central home within the infinite spectrum of genres that is now so easily accessible to us all. The rebirth of soul, which was resuscitated by artists like the late Sharon Jones, Lee Fields, and of course, Charles Bradley, should be no surprise—it has always been there because there is an innate cry within us to experience this tradition drawing from early jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel that served as a backdrop to the civil rights movement in the United States.
Within this family of soulful American royalty, in comes Kelly Finnigan. And while for some, Finnigan may have arrived from out of left field, history does precede him. His father, a legend in his own right, played keys with Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, and Taj Mahal to name a few. Yet, for Finnigan, music really came to him at his own pace—having shied away from formal music education and then finding his own voice through his influences, he is here to remind us what has and always will be great about soul music.
Finnigan has filled the Bay Area music scene in San Francisco for nearly a decade as a singer, songwriter, producer, and engineer – having toured with George Clinton, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, and Charles Bradley along with psychedelic soul band Monophonics where he delivers hard-hitting organ licks and a sweetly-tinged southern vocal flair like no other.
The Rickshaw Theatre, in many ways, is one of the few venues left in Vancouver where you can get up close and personal and feel the hot, sweat-drenched, power that emanates from a performer like Kelly Finnigan. It wasn’t enough to merely watch and enjoy Finnigan’s performance, he wanted no part of any passive engagement. This was a celebration.
Finnigan brought church to the downtown eastside – sermon and all.
SONG PREMIERE: IKEBE SHAKEDOWN PUMP OUT HARD-DRIVING INSTRUMENTAL SOUL GROOVE ON “UNQUALIFIED”
By Neil Ferguson
June 13, 2019
Ten years ago, Ikebe Shakedown began pushing the boundaries of instrumental music. Each new track and live set has sent them deeper into combining the foundational elements of ’70s soul, raw psychedelic style, and cinematic Western soundtracks with powerful grooves and soaring melodies.
With their new release, Kings Left Behind (out August 16th via Colemine Records), the band is giving listeners more mystery and majesty than ever before. The album features the entire group writing together, allowing each instrument and element to shine through. You’ll find rhythms that punch you right in the gut, even as dreamy guitars, lush horn melodies, and vibrant string arrangements capture your imagination.
Kings Left Behind was recorded to tape by Ikebe’s bassist, Vince Chiarito, at Hive Mind Recording, a Brooklyn studio built from the ground up and co-owned in part by Vince and the band’s saxophonist, Michael Buckley. Since it opened in 2017, Hive Mind has become a home base for the band, giving them the freedom to experiment with the textures and sounds of a genre they define as Instrumental Soul.
No matter how much things have changed over the past decade, Ikebe Shakedown has been a consistent, driving force. The band has gone from local clubs to the stages of Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits, playing with some of the biggest names in music. They continue to stretch their capabilities and add to their worldwide following. And with no signs of slowing down, fans can only imagine what comes next.
Today Glide is excited to premiere “Unqualified”, a song that is absolutely qualified to funk your face off. Featuring the band’s signature style of heady instrumental soul grooves, the song is a guitar-driven romp through wild territory. As we have come to expect from the Ikebe crew, the tune finds the band firing on all cylinders with a full on barrage of brass, saxophone, organ, and plenty of guitar shredding. With only a handful of groups keeping the instrumental soul torch burning, “Unqualified” is a quick shot of danceable goodness that proves Ikebe Shakedown are among the leaders of the pack.
Ikebe Shakedown’s Dave Bourla offers his own take on how the song came to fruition:
“We went into the writing of this tune wanting to push the tempo and give ourselves a chance to let loose a little. It features so much of what’s become the Ikebe sound over the past 10 years, but it also has space to highlight Eric Finland, who sat in on organ on so much of the album.
One of the great things about group writing is how many different textures we can bring to a single song. In ‘Unqualified,’ you get a hard-charging horn melody for a lot of the tune, then this unexpectedly sparse, rhythm-driven bridge, before Eric’s organ solo takes back over. It’s definitely a fun one for us.”