Handsome Jack Takes On a ’60s Soul Classic
by Gary Graff
Why did Handsome Jack record a version of Wilson Pickett’s 1965 iconic “In the Midnight Hour” (premiering exclusively below)? Pretty much for the hell of it.
Jamison Passuite, singer and guitarist for the rock trio from Lockport, N.Y., tells Billboard he and his bandmates have long been a fan of the soul classic and have even covered in shows, albeit in a fashion “more faithful” to the original. Handsome Jack was between albums (it’s released two so far) and “wanted to just put something out there — maybe a cover to keep people’s interest piqued before the next record comes out. So we took that song and made a little more of a rock n’ roll version. It was all last minute, but it worked out.”
SONG PREMIERE: DATURA4 HIGHLIGHT SPARSE ACOUSTIC SOUND WITH TONY JOE WHITE-INSPIRED “YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE”
By Neil Ferguson
Hot on the heels of their critically acclaimed third album, Blessed is the Boogie, Australian rockers Datura4 have hit the motorway running for another sonic journey through burning boogie, dirty blues and rock and roll soundscapes on their follow-up opus West Coast Highway Cosmic. Due out April 17th via Alive Naturalsound Records, the title was inspired by the highways that the band has traveled to get to the recording studios they’ve been using over the four albums they’ve done so far. The two studios are 200 kilometres [124 miles] apart and situated along the southwest coast of Western Australia. The long and sometimes lonely drives back and forth along these routes have definitely played its part in the band’s creative process, and whether it be new ideas or just listening back to what they’ve done in a previous session the ‘West Coast Highway Cosmic,’ as they like to call it, has been a constant spirit over all of Datura4’s studio recordings.
West Coast Highway Cosmic sees Datura4 stretch out and experiment with their sound that they’ve been building on ever since their debut release Demon Blues in 2015. “I see every album as an extension from the previous one,” admits frontman Dom Mariani, “and I’m conscious about not rehashing the same things over. The collection of tunes on WCHC is slightly more eclectic than on the previous albums, which makes it really interesting and exciting for albums in the future. There was a more spontaneous and looser approach for the majority of the recording, where we would take the basic song idea and let things go until we had the take that we liked. We got into the grooves you might say.”
Today Glide is excited to premiere “You’re The Only One”, one of the standout tracks on the upcoming album. The song finds the band channeling the acoustic swamp blues of Tony Joe White alongside the big rock and roll harmonies of acts like the Black Keys. For a band that is more than capable of piling on layers of noise and shredding, “You’re The Only One” takes a more restrained approach with subtle use of slide guitar and eerie, reverb-soaked harmonica playing. Though it is clearly a love song, the instrumentation and vocals give this tune a sparse, rambling road-tune vibe.
Singer-songwriter and guitarist Dom Mariani describes the inspiration behind the song:
Brother Dege’s Profound Roots on Display via “The Early Morn” (premiere)
By JEDD BEAUDOIN
Americana’s Brother Dege teams with Irish dobro man Tom Portman for in-studio performance of “The Early Morn”.
“The Early Morn” is the latest cut from Brother Dege’s album Farmer’s Almanac (Psyouthern Records). The video was made by Bearfoot Productions and director David Dooley with audio recording done by Paul Mulligan at Audio Monkey Studio. Kinvara, Ireland.
The Grammy-nominated Dege hails from Louisiana, earned a slot on the soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, and remains a fiercely in-demand artist on the European touring circuit.
Of the tune, Dege says, “It’s about those haunting moments of sobering clarity that come to you while getting ready in the grey, predawn hours to go meet the daily grind of whatever kind of job you have to do. Where am I? Who am I? What the hell am I doing with my life? For some reason, I find that all that stuff has a profound resonance in the early morning.”
Video Premiere: Andrew Hibbard “Runnin’ From the Enemy”
By Andrew Frolish
‘Runnin’ from the Enemy’ showcases Andrew Hibbard’s knack for creating a lovely vocal tune and we are delighted to be sharing this exclusive video premiere. This is Hibbard’s second single from his forthcoming third studio album, which is due for release in April. Hibbard is a prolific song writer, who has written hundreds of songs while he has been honing his craft. He’s a genuine talent, releasing his debut album at the age of just 17. Hibbard says of the song: “This song is something that I wrote in about 10 minutes during the 8 hour session it took to record the whole record. We did it in one take like most of the songs on this. We didn’t rush anything though.” Click here to read more…
Jerry Leger Premieres Rotoscope “Read Between the Lines” Video, Talks New Album, Ghosts, and Betty Boop by Tina Benitez-Eves
Some past spirits got a hold of Jerry Leger. In a rush of fascination, the Toronto-based singer was on a mission to explore old Canadian ghost towns. Inspired by the writings of historian Ron Brown one old copper mining town, Burchell Lake, in Ontario’s Thunder Bay District, was always immortalized in Leger’s head, who allowed these “ghosts” to guide him through ninth studio album Time Out For Tomorrow.
Part introspective, part retrospective, Leger’s lyrical dive into Time move through the transience of life and love, inspired by some ghosts of the past, particularly early inspirations like Roy Orbison, Lou Reed, Gene Clark.
“Sometimes it does feel like there’s a supernatural energy when writing or playing music,” Leger tells American Songwriter. “I’m a contemporary artist but the past is important to me, and it’s important in my writing and the direction I like to take musically, just like some of my favorite songwriters like Tom Waits and Dylan who gravitated towards music and writers who lived in previous generations. I also grew up in a haunted house, maybe that has something to do with it.”
Even the album’s title was a blast from the past, a take on some 1960s dime store science fiction stories given to Leger by a friend. “Everything around me seems like science fiction these days,” says Leger. “The phrase ‘Time Out For Tomorrow’ fit these songs and my mood in one way or another.”
Returning to the studio with Cowboy Junkies’ Michael Timmins, who also produced Leger’s breakout release, 2014’ Early Riser and double album Nonsense and Heartache (2017), the duo reunited for Time Out for Tomorrow, also the debut release off the Junkies’ newly formed Latent Recordings. “It’s great working with Mike,” says Leger. “We both write and make records for ourselves and not according to trends or what someone else expects of us. That’s why it works so well and we’ve basically made four albums together that are all naturally different from each other.”
Leger, who debuted with 2005’s Jerry Leger & the Situation (2005) at the age of 19, has steadily arrived at Time Out for Tomorrow. Etched through lush lyrics and unwavering guitar, all moves fluidly through Time. Opener “Canvas of Gold,” is a pure Americana tale of the realities of the working and traveling writer. “Some things that haven’t changed since Woody Guthrie in beauty and also in struggle,” says Leger. After “Canvas,” Leger, perhaps left in a ghost-derived stupor, admits he doesn’t remember writing tracks “Survived Like a Stone, “Corner Light,” or “That Ain’t Here,” while slower driven “Justine,” Leger says, directly benefitted from the ease and lyrical prowess of Lou Reed’s Coney Island Baby, one of the first albums—along with Nick Lowe’s The Impossible Bird (1994).
VIDEO PREMIERE: GA-20 OFFER VIBRANT, DREAMY RENDITION OF BO DIDDLEY’S CLASSIC “CRACKIN’ UP”
GA-20 was formed by friends Pat Faherty and Matthew Stubbs in Boston, MA in 2018. The project was born out of their mutual love of heavy traditional Blues, R&B, and Rock & Roll of the late ’50s and early ’60s. Faherty and Stubbs bonded over legendary artists like Lazy Lester, J.B. Lenoir, Earl Hooker, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush and Junior Wells. Feeling a void in current music, the duo have set out to write, record and perform a modern version of this beloved art form. Live, GA-20 is a trio of 2 guitars, vocals and drums. Raw, passionate and honest performance – both on stage and in the studio – is the only goal.
Stubbs has spent the past 11 years as guitarist for Blues legend Charlie Musselwhite. During that time he has also backed up and toured with such Blues giants as John Hammond, James Cotton, Junior Watson and James Harman. Stubbs also leads his own original instrumental psych-rock band, The Antiguas.
The band released their new album Lonely Soul via Karma Chief Records in October 2019 and today Glide is excited to offer an exclusive premiere of their music video for “Crackin’ Up”. Recorded live, the video captures the musical magic being stirred up by these passionate blues purists. Compared to Bo Diddley’s original, the GA-20 rendition is a bit more slowed down and is less focused on the doo-wop harmonies than it is on nailing the instrumental. The harmonies are definitely represented, but what stands out is guitar playing, which feels brighter and dreamier than the original. Similar to what Dap-Tone Records does with soul music, GA-20 offer a faithful but refreshed and vibrant take on the raw blues and rock and roll of the 50s and 60s. it should come as little surprise that the album recently debuted at #2 on Billboard’s Blues Albums Chart and that they’re kicking-off a month-long tour with Jonny Lang starting today.
Guitarist Matt Stubbs offers his own take on deciding to record this classic tune:
“’Crackin’ Up’ has been my favorite Bo Diddley song for as long as I can remember. It’s a song I’ve always wanted to cover but never had the right singer. As soon as Pat and I started working together I knew his voice would be a perfect fit to the melody. It remains to be one of the most popular songs we perform live.”
GA-20’s new album Lonely Soul is out now via Karma Chief Records.
Photo credit: Rosie Coche
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