This Week in Music, July 30, 2013: Presenting the Harry Nilsson Instant Record Collection! Page 3
Vince Gill & Paul Franklin: Bakersfield (MCA Nashville)
Bakersfield, of course, isn’t just a California city but also a country-music genre. This album pays tribute to the glory days of the Bakersfield Sound in (for the most part) the 1960s, and specifically to its prime practitioners: Buck Owens (and the Buckaroos) and Merle Haggard (and the Strangers). The 10 songs are evenly divided between Buck and Merle (with one of the Owens numbers, “But I Do,” being a Tommy Collins cover). The whole thing is faithful and fresh at the same time, both in Vince Gill’s appealing vocals and in the deft, nimble guitar work from Gill’s electric and Paul Franklin’s pedal steel. FYI: Bakersfield follows Omnivore’s release last week of two related archival collections of instrumentals, on CD for the first time: The Buckaroos Play Buck & Merle (which combines 1965’s The Buck Owens Song Book and 1971’s The Songs of Merle Haggard on one disc) and Don Rich and the Buckaroos’ That Fiddlin’ Man (which adds 10 bonus tracks to the original 1971 album).
Earl Klugh: HandPicked (Heads Up)
Speaking of Vince Gill, he duets with smooth-guitarist Klugh on “All I Have to Do Is Dream.” Other partners: Bill Frisell on “Blue Moon,” Jake Shimabukuro on “Hotel California.” Additional selections include “Alfie,” “Cast Your Fate to the Wind,” “ ’Round Midnight,” “If I Fell,” “Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing,” and four originals.
Buddy Guy: Rhythm & Blues (Silvertone/RCA)
The renaissance that began with 2001’s Sweet Tea keeps rolling along with this two-CD set. Guests abound. On the “Rhythm” disc: Kid Rock (“Messin’ with the Kid”), Keith Urban (“One Day Away”), and Beth Hart (“What You Gonna Do About Me”). On the “Blues” disc: Gary Clark Jr. (“Blues Don’t Care”) and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and Brad Whitford (“Evil Twin”).
Honey Island Swamp Band: Cane Sugar
Dumpstaphunk: Dirty Word
(Louisiana Red Hot)
Based in New Orleans and nearly wiped out by Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana Red Hot Records continues to thrive as the Not-So-Little Southern-Music Engine That Could and Does. Here are two new cases in point. On the jam-leaning, “bayou Americana” front: Cane Sugar, the loose and friendly fourth album from the Honey Island Swamp Band, led by guitarist/songwriters Aaron Wilkinson and Chris Mulé. On the funk front: Dirty Word, the snappy third album from Dumpstaphunk, led by Ivan Neville on B3, clavinet, and other keys. Snappy and in the groove, considering the presence of two bassists. Also present on Dirty Word are guests including Ani DiFranco, Flea, Art Neville, Trombone Shorty, and the Rebirth Brass Band.
Michael Franti & Spearhead: All People (Capitol)
A different kind of musical gumbo, as it were. Studio Album No. 8.
Moreland & Arbuckle: 7 Cities (Telarc)
That would be the Seven Cities of Gold, sought by Coronado — a quest brought to Delta-blues-rock life by singer and harmonica player Dustin Arbuckle, guitarist Aaron Moreland, and debuting drummer Kendall Newby, produced by Matt Bayles (Mastodon, the Sword).
Ron Block: Walking Song (Rounder)
Third solo album from the Union Station mainstay, offering 11 originals he co-wrote with poet Rebecca Reynolds as well as three adaptations (“Devil in the Strawstack,” “Shortnin’ Bread,” “What Wondrous Love Is This”). Stopping by the studio: Alison Krauss and the rest of the Station, along with Sam Bush, Stuart Duncan, Sierra Hull, and Kate Rusby.
Andrew Rangell: A Folk Song Runs Through It (Steinway & Sons)
The program: Janá?ek’s In the Mists, Kodály’s Seven Pieces for Piano, and Bartók’s Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs, Sonata for Piano (Sz 80), and Romanian Folkdances. The booklet includes extensive notes by Rangell. BTW, for an update on Steinway itself, click here.
David Garrett: Music (Decca)
U.S. release of classical-crossover violinist’s album from late 2012. Among the selections: Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature,” Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River,” and Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida.”
Howard Shore: The Film Music of Howard Shore (Silva Screen)
Excerpts from The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, Hugo, The Twilight Saga, Eastern Promises, The Departed, Gangs of New York, Ed Wood, Dead Ringers, and The Silence of the Lambs. Performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
Backstreet Boys: In a World Like This (K-BAHN/BMG)
Emblem3: Nothing to Lose (Syco/Columbia)
One of the original boy bands, and a newfangled band of boys. In a World Like This is the first album since 2006 with Kevin Richardson back in the fold. Nothing to Lose is the debut of the Washington State trio that finished fourth on Season 2 of The X Factor.
. . . oh, and then there’s this guy:
Robin Thicke: Blurred Lines (Star Trak/Interscope; photo by Anthony Mandler)
Perhaps you’ve heard “Blurred Lines” the single, which seems to be battling Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” for 2013’s Song of the Summer. (Or perhaps you’ve seen “Blurred Lines” the video, unrated or otherwise — which, it should be said, was directed by a woman, Diane Martel.) Now here’s Blurred Lines the album. Just 4 the record, titles include “Ain’t No Hat 4 That,” “Go Stupid 4 U,” and “4 the Rest of My Life.” Also here: “Feel Good,” “The Good Life,” and “Ooo La La.” Get frisky.