Tuesday, April 19, 2011
If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Street Date: 4/19/11
DUSTY WRIGHT- IF WE NEVER
Dusty Wright's first three solo records were collections of songs; songs that represented his influences in life and music. Too often though, the records played that way. Some songs worked, while others tried too hard to evoke a time or a place, relying on style and not substance. On his 4th release, "If We Never...," Dusty Wright has hit the mark. This is more than a collection of songs. It is a musically coherent album, showcasing a singer-songwriter who seems to have finally found his comfort zone.
Songs like "Swirl," "Sometimes I," and "Breathe," tracks 2-4 on "If We Never..." boast the elements of classic record-making; hooks, harmonies, key changes and smart production. Wright's earlier releases found him struggling at times to find a voice. Here, his vocals are relaxed. He sounds happy with himself, but not smug. "Lustful Blues" is a stand-out, not because it's the best track on the record, but because its smoky, dark-alley arrangement hits you by surprise at just the right time. At Track 6, it's the perfect breather on a very personal record.
There are bittersweet moments, as on the ballad "Uncertain" and the album opener, "Comfort Me," where Wright wears his heart on his sleeve. Thankfully, it all works. "If We Never..." is a solid record from Dusty Wright and a piece of work that is worth your time.
You can find it on iTunes or at www.DustyWright.com
BRIAN SETZER- SETZER GOES INSTRU-MENTAL
Brian Setzer has always struck me as a musician who was too good for any of the bands and projects he was associated with...kind of like watching Paul Newman in "The Towering Inferno." The Stray Cats were fine for awhile, but never really got beyond novelty, and the "big band" revival was even worse. That simply annoyed me. But, Setzer is a guitar-god and has an amazing singing voice. (Check out the Stray Cats' 50s slow-dance, "I Won't Stand In Your Way." Still my fave Cats' moment.)
Now, on "Brian Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL," he nails it, well without the vocal part. A selection of originals and covers like Ray Noble's "Cherokee" and "Blue Moon Of Kentucky," SGI smokes with killer arrangements and guitar playing that will make your jaw drop. Admittedly, I can't really figure out what makes this type of a record any less novelty than a rockabilly or big band revival, other than I like it better.
ALSO OUT THIS WEEK
The umpteenth reissue of the first three Kinks' records, "Kinks," "Kinda Kinks," and "The Kinks' Kontroversy," now each boasting a second disc and given the seal of approval by Ray Davies. If there are any Kinks-heads out there who can share some pertinent info such as whether or not they truly sound better than previous versions, if the bonus material appearing is really new to collectors, or any other helpful tips, it'd be appreciated.
April 12th saw a big release day with new, solid records by k d lang, Alison Krauss, and The Feelies. But the 2 that really stand out for me are Paul Simon's "So Beautiful Or So What" and the Foo Fighters' Wasting Light."