It was tempting to just post my five favorite tracks from the new Zach Bryan album out today. I resisted that urge. So far.
Here are this week’s five songs worth listening to.
Ray Wylie Hubbard–Bad Trick ft. Ringo Starr, Don Was, Joe Walsh and Chris Robinson
You know, an Eagle, a Black Crow and a Beattle don’t make up a bad backup band. And Don Was is as badass as any of them. And Ray’s witty lyrics are the icing on the cake. The man just oozes cool, in a hard earned way.
“You got to have some scars to be a poet.” Ray might know that as well as anyone. I finally got his book delivered. I think it is third in my queue right now.
Logan Ledger–The Lights Of San Francisco
This one checks a couple of important Weez Music check boxes: Pedal Steel? Check. Produced by T-Bone Burnett? Check. Co-written by Steve Early. Big Ol’ Check. Ledger, a Bay-area singer, has an expansive sound to his vocals that harkens to the old, dark honky tonk days. On this album, he is backed by the same band that won a Grammy backing Robert Plant and Alison Kraus in 2009. And if the pedal on this one sounds a tinge haunting, well the song is of a ghost wandering Alcatraz Island, so…
Also, at what point do we start telling the young’ens that T Bone Burnett was Dave Cobb before Dave Cobb was Dave Cobb?
Brent Cobb–The World Is Ending
Speaking of Dave Cobb, here is cousin Brent delivering another track perfect for the Covid Times. File this one under psychedelic country. While this fits the current times, Brent actually wrote this one back in 2011 as an answer to the Mayan calendar fixation back then. It was finally recorded in December, just before the current predicament, making the timing both fortuitous and somewhat haunting.
They say the world is ending…again
Everyone’s busy defending…their sins
Plus, I’ve always had a soft spot for a song that uses the “creek don’t rise and the good lord willin'” line. Back in my radio days, I produced a bluegrass hour that always finished with the host saying that.
John Anderson–I’m Still Hanging On
Mr. Black Sheep himself is back for a surprise album at 65 years old. And this track very much deals with mortality, getting old and the alternatives. John worked with producers Dan Auerbach (Black Keys) and David Ferguson on this album. Auerbach has had quite a couple of years within Americana, producing this, Yola, Kendell Marvel and Marcus King. Anderson has said he wrote the album as if it could be his last, and that no more poignant than on this song. And while the chorus could seem autobiographical for a late-career musician, the verses are about a soldier suffering PTSD.
The Rolling Stones–Living In A Ghost Town
Why not stick with some old guys putting out new music. At least this one has a little more pep to it, amirite? Even if this one also feels a little more at home in the current situation as the whole world is a bit of a ghost town these days. This is the first new material from the Stones in eight years. This was written more than a year ago, got a sligtht rewrite and boom…Ghost Town.
Speaking of, has anyone checked Keith Richards’ blood for antibodies?
We’ll be back with five more next week. Until then, remember the immortal words…
“Songs are really just interesting things to be doing with the air.” Tom Waits