New Music Monday: February 18th 2019

posted by Cassie Betten on 02/18/2019

These releases among others are available to request at wyce.org/request or call (616)742-9923  For a complete list of everything we add visit: grcmc.org/wyce/music/library

 

Max Lockwood - Max Lockwood 

I finally had a chance to meet Max Lockwood on a studio session at Third Coast Recording Company, a great Grand Haven studio that ended up recording all of the music for his latest album. During our session, we were tracking a studio band arrangement of a Tom Petty tune, and it was great to see Max’s careful attention to serving the music in his playing and suggestions. So while listening to his album, the confidence behind his arranging and playing was evident on every track. Whether the tune was folk rock, psychedelic, or funk, the core of the album surrounds Lockwood’s songwriting. Vocal harmonies, tastefully placed instrument sounds, and a comfortable arch to each song that invites you to sit down and listen. I especially enjoyed the variety of keyboard and guitar sounds never feeling forced between each track. Max Lockwood is no stranger to the West Michigan music community, but to those who have yet to meet him, catch him live or hear his music, this self-titled release is the perfect introduction to all of the sounds and styles that he thrives in! Catch him live at Founders Brewing Company with Morgan Haner and The Transmitters on February 23rd for the album release show.

Highlights: "Tried Love (feat. Lindsay Lou and Sam Cooper)", "Overflow", "Light Arrives"

 

The Dip - The Dip Delivers 

This Seattle based band is a modern day R&B/Pop infused soul band that somehow sounds like it’s ripped straight out of the 1960s. From the arrangements, to the album production, to the vocal and horn harmonies sprinkled on top, this band has dialed in their sound and style for this latest release. They fit right at home with other soulful acts like The Suffers and St. Paul & Broken Bones in a city so famous for grunge and indie rock acts. Also in the tradition of singles from the 60s, each tune sits comfortably in that 3 to 4 minute range, showcasing well-crafted nuggets of ear candy you can’t help but bob your head to as you listen. I’m sure you’ll see me there on April 24th when the band performs at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo!

Highlights: "Sure Don’t Miss You", "Advertising (feat. Jimmy James and Delvon Lamarr)", and "Starcastle"

 

Hugh Coltman - Who's Happy? 

This British artist and former leader of The Hoax resides in New Orleans and is now on the scene with a new release entitled Who’s Happy? Right away, you might have an assumption that Coltman’s music is a second-line style brass band fit for a Mardi Gras celebration. Much like a Creole gumbo, the elements stripped away are tasty in their own right and can be utilized in other dishes, but the gumbo combining these ingredients varies from chef to chef. So while there are brass band horns, 40s style New Orleans swing and blues, clarinets gliding overtop tunes, and blues-laden vocals that are indicative of New Orleans, Coltman’s album is served with different flavors like soul, jazz and R&B. The album feels like a concert, with a live in-studio recording that invites the listener to dance and delight to each songs. Hugh Coltman may be trying to re-invent his artistry with albums like these, but it is clear that he sits comfortably in this tradition and is passionately sharing his voice with the world on this release!

Highlights: "It’s Your Voodoo Working (Charles Sheffield cover)", "Civvy Streets", "Little Big Man"

 

J.S. Ondara - American Dream 

J.S. Ondara shares about his life experiences and living the American dream this debut release. Originally from Nairobi, Ondara’s life was one of chasing opportunity, as every friend you made, school you went to, and job you held determined your social standing and your ability to move up the ladder (much like in America). While in this daily struggle, he turned to music, writing songs inspired by the artistry of Bob Dylan. American Dream is the tale that many immigrants understand as they journey hundreds of miles to a land they are both intrigued by and lost in, especially in Ondara’s case moving from Nairobi to Minneapolis. These eleven songs were picked from a list of hundreds, according to Ondara, that speak to various American music themes: love in “Torch Song,” infatuation on “Television Girl,” and the emotional moments of leaving your home in “Saying Goodbye.” Ondara’s vocal delivery is powerful, expressing deep pain and celebrating moments of happiness with light band accompaniment to keep the focus on the lyrics. While this is Ondara’s first album, it is clear that experience in both his travels and songwriting shines through each track, and it tells a story that is both deeply personal while being very relatable to any listener. I encourage you to connect with a song on this record and feel a breath of humanity that often gets lost in the noise surrounding our daily lives.

Highlights: "American Dream", "Torch Song", "Saying Goodbye"

 

Sugaray Rayford - Somebody Save Me 

When first looking up Sugaray Rayford, I found his story to share similarities with Michael Trotter from The War and Treaty: both are former servicemen with huge personalities and soulful, strong voices. This Texas-born soul blues singer is back with a his latest release, Somebody Save Me, a record that permeates the spirit with music that blends new blues with rock and soul while also adding an attitude reminiscent of Sharon Jones and The Daptones. With a voice like Otis Redding and a band sitting so comfortably in the pocket, this album is great to vibe to at any point of the day. Twanging guitars, whirling organ, grooving bass, lush strings, and punctuating horns all make up a solid accompaniment to Rayford’s soulful storytelling. When you see this 6’5”, cigar chomping personality taking the stage or peaking out from a collection of album covers in your local record store, don’t hesitate to engage with this wonderful music!

Highlights: "You and I", "The Revelator", "Angels and Demons"

 

New Music Monday is a collaboration with WYCE Staff and Dutcher SnedekerThese among others are all available for request at wyce.org/request or call (616) 742-9923 For a complete list of everything we add visit: grcmc.org/wyce/music/library

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